PW Children's Bookshelf: Breaking children's and YA publishing news, author interviews, bestsellers lists and reviews.
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In Conversation
48012-1.JPGLisa Wheeler
and Loren Long

Lisa Wheeler is the author of several picture books, including Jazz Baby (a Geisel Honor book), her Dino-Sports series, and The Christmas Boot. Illustrator Loren Long has collaborated with authors ranging from Angela Johnson, Julie Fogliano, and Matt de la Peña to Barack Obama and Madonna. His bestselling Otis the Tractor series is in development as an animated TV show. Their first collaboration, Someone Builds the Dream, is an ode to construction workers of all kinds. We asked Wheeler and Long to share the personal connections and artistic influences that served as the foundation for their new book. more more_arrow.gif
48006-1.JPGJoan Walsh Anglund
Children's book creator Joan Walsh Anglund, widely known for her instantly recognizable images of sweet-faced, dot-eyed children, died on March 9. She was 95. Brein Lopez, manager of Children’s Book World in Los Angeles, said, "She taught me the importance of always observing life around me with empathy and humanity." more more_arrow.gif
Discover a Korean American Adventure
Rick Riordan Presents Graci Kim’s thrilling debut about an adopted Korean American girl who discovers her heritage and her magic on a perilous journey to save her witch-clan family. “Graci Kim does such an amazing job of blending Korean mythology into the modern world.” —New York Times #1 bestselling author Rick Riordan. MORE ►
In the News
47996-1.JPGBologna Fair Announces First Event in BolognaBookPlus Program
BolognaBookPlus is the new professional series announced earlier this year by the Bologna Children's Book Fair. Its first event, announced yesterday, will be a new rights and licensing training program focused on selling rights for children's books. MORE more_arrow.gif
Bookselling News
48014-1.JPGA Storyworld for Future Authors
This spring, indie bookstore Tree House Books in Ashland, Ore., will launch the beta version of the Secret Storyworld, an interactive website for kids to learn how to craft their own tales and engage more deeply in the physical world around them. more more_arrow.gif
Four Questions
79390-v1-300x.JPGFour Questions for Raffi
Canadian composer and songster Raffi started winning over the hearts of children and their parents in the 1970s, with live performances and recordings of his buoyant, impossible-to-get-out-of-your-head songs. Think "Baby Beluga," "Wheels on the Bus," and "Down by the Bay." A number of his songs have also been adapted as picture books for young readers. We spoke with Raffi about three forthcoming board books based on his lyrics, beginning with Everything Grows, illustrated by Nina Mata.

Q: During your decades of performing for children, what have you discovered about the benefits of reading and singing to kids?

A: For very young children, singing offers fun, learning, and a way to connect with others. And reading to preschoolers is vitally important, not only as a bonding experience with parents and caregivers, but also to engage the mind’s theater of imagination while having a warm experience with printed words and artful illustrations. more more_arrow.gif
Chicken Talk Around the World
Out Next Week
79393-v1-300x.JPGHot Off the Presses:
Week of March 22

Among the books hitting shelves next week are a picture book about the water cycle as told through the perspective of an iceberg, a book of advice at times practical and silly, a YA novel about a teen who channels her grief into roller derby, and more. more more_arrow.gif


For more about these and other great jobs, visit the new PW JobZone, now with resume hosting and more!

Rights Report
48017-1.JPG Karen Lotz at Candlewick has acquired at auction, in a three-book deal, an untitled YA autobiography by Zion Clark (l.), known internationally for his athletic feats and as the subject of an award-winning Netflix short documentary. Clark's first autobiography chronicles his journey from his foster care childhood to his rise as an elite high school wrestler through his current training and competitions in pursuit of his goal of representing the U.S. in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2021; publication is set for 2022. The other two books in the deal are Zion Unmatched, a photo essay co-written with James S. Hirsch set for summer 2021, timed to Clark's quest for Olympic and Paralympic gold; and a picture book. Katie Cunningham at Candlewick will edit all three titles. Todd Shuster at Aevitas Creative Management did the deal for world rights.
48018-1.JPG Anne Schwartz at Random/Schwartz has bought world rights to the next YA nonfiction title from Candace Fleming (The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh). This untitled project will explore American cults of past and present—such as Jim Jones and the People's Temple, and Mathias the Prophet and the Mount Zion Group—and the influence they've had in our culture and on our lives. Publication is slated for fall 2023; Ethan Ellenberg at the Ethan Ellenberg Agency brokered the deal.
48019-2.JPG Claudia Gabel at HarperCollins has acquired world rights to A Million to One by Adiba Jaigirdar (The Henna Wars), a high-stakes and romantic heist YA novel set on the Titanic, in which four girls team up to steal a priceless jewel-encrusted book on board the infamous ship. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; Uwe Stender at Triada US represented the author.
48020-1.JPG Andrew Karre at Dutton has bought Diamond Park by Phillippe Diederich, a contemporary YA novel that tells the story of four Mexican American teenagers from Houston, a '59 Impala, and the murder that changes all their lives. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Isabelle Bleecker at Nordlyset Agency negotiated the deal for world English rights.
48021-1.JPG Maggie Rosenthal at Viking has acquired, at auction, Made of Stars by debut YA author Jenna Voris. Inspired by Bonnie and Clyde and set in space, this YA novel follows Shane and Ava, two renegades who live outside the law, and Cyrus, the recent military academy grad who is hot on their trail. When they collide in a battle over planetary resources, the three of them have to decide how much they're willing to sacrifice for their homes, their futures, and for love. Publication is set for spring 2023; Claire Friedman at InkWell Management handled the deal for North American rights.
48022-1.JPG Hannah Milton at Little, Brown has bought world rights to The Drowned Woods by Emily Lloyd-Jones (The Bone Houses). This YA fantasy novel is part dark fairy tale and part heist novel about the last living water diviner, 18-year-old Mererid, who has spent years running from the prince who bound her into his service when she was a child. When her old handler returns and asks Mer to destroy the magical well that keeps the prince's lands safe, she can't refuse. Publication is slated for summer 2022; Sarah Landis at Sterling Lord Literistic brokered the deal.
48023-1.JPG Kat Brzozowski at Feiwel and Friends has acquired world rights to We Are Mayhem by debut author Beck Rourke-Mooney. Pitched as Glow meets Moxie and set against the very male world of underground indie wrestling, the YA novel follows Birdie as she is befriended by Abigail Rose, who thinks Birdie could be the perfect performer to help her take her family's wrestling promotion in a new, more feminist direction, if only Birdie can get over her desire to blend in. Publication is scheduled for winter 2023; Lauren MacLeod at the Strothman Agency negotiated the deal.
48025-1.JPG Mari Kesselring at Flux has bought Every Variable of Us by Charles A. Bush. This YA contemporary debut, pitched as The Hate U Give meets Moonlight, is a timely story about race, love, and being true to yourself. After Philly teenager Alexis Duncan is injured in a gang shooting, her basketball career comes to a halt. At the urging of new Indian student (and crush?) Aamani, Alexis shifts her focus to the school's STEM team in hopes of earning a college scholarship, but gains more than she could have imagined. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Christopher Schelling at Selectric Artists Literary and Talent Management did the deal for world rights.
48026-1.JPG Olivia Valcarce at Scholastic Press has acquired Over and Out by Jenni L. Walsh (I Am Defiance). In this middle grade historical novel set in Cold War Germany, a science-loving girl dreams of a better future on the other side of the Berlin Wall. When she is forced to spy for the East German secret police, she risks everything to plot an escape. Publication is slated for spring 2022; Shannon Hassan at Marsal Lyon Literary negotiated the deal for world rights.
48027-2.JPG Brian Geffen at Henry Holt has bought, at auction, Doña Quixote: Knight of the Nagual and a sequel by Rex Ogle writing as Rey Terciero, illustrated by Monica M. Magaña. This middle grade graphic novel is a gender-flipped reimagining of Don Quixote that follows Lucia Castillo's obsession with becoming a modern-day knight. After finding a family heirloom that lets her see the supernatural world of Mexican lore, Lucia's parents think she's imagining things just like her "Abuelo Loco" had years before, but she's determined to prove them wrong and thwart the villainous Mayor's dangerous plans for the town. Publication is set for spring 2023 and 2024; Simon Lipskar at Writers House represented the author on behalf of Temple Hill Publishing, and the illustrator represented herself.
48028-1.JPG Elise Howard and Krestyna Lypen at Algonquin have acquired world rights to Smaller: The Search for Subatomic Particles by Katie Slivensky, with Lypen editing. This middle grade nonfiction debut will trace the wild journeys scientists have embarked on to find evidence of the existence of ever-smaller matter, and show how what they find helps us understand the universe. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary brokered the deal.
48029-1.JPG Holly West at Feiwel and Friends has bought world rights to Happily Ever After Rescue Team: Agents of H.E.A.R.T. by Sam Hay (l.), illustrated by Genevieve Kote. In this new chapter book series, a nine-year-old girl's wish to help out in her family's seaside café gets out of hand when she accidentally summons a rescue squad of meddling fairy tale princesses. Publication for book one is planned for February 2022; Gemma Cooper at the Bent Agency represented the author, and James Burns at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
48030-1.JPG Donna Bray at HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray has acquired, in a preempt, Izzy Paints by author-illustrator Tim Miller. In this picture book, a young koala struggles with the pressure of a blank canvas, only to discover the joy and freedom of letting go to create something new. Publication is set for summer 2022; Steven Malk at Writers House handled the two-book deal for world rights.
48031-1.JPG Reka Simonsen at Atheneum has bought world rights to Something Beautiful, a picture book written and illustrated by Lita Judge. In this celebration of friendship, Mouse, Elephant, Giraffe, Porcupine, Warthog, and Lion explore the world together and discover the beauty that comes with making new friends. Publication is slated for summer 2022; the author-illustrator represented herself.
48032-1.JPG Meriam Metoui at Viking has acquired world rights for On a Rainy Day by debut author-illustrator Sarah LuAnn Perkins. This picture book celebrates the sounds of a rainy day, in which a girl and her father retreat indoors while waiting for a rainstorm to pass. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; Adria Goetz at Martin Literary Management negotiated the deal.
48033-1.JPG Ilona Oppenheim at Tra Publishing has bought Sweet People Are Everywhere by Alice Walker, illustrated by Quim Torres. This picture book featuring Walker's 2013 poem of the same title is a celebration of humanity and globalism. The poem addresses an American boy getting his first passport and walks the boy through a series of countries, focusing on the "sweet people" to be found all over the world. Publication is planned for fall 2021; Joy Harris at Joy Harris Literary brokered the deal.
48035-1.JPG Andrea Welch at S&S/Beach Lane has acquired world rights to All By Himself, written by National Book Award finalist Elana K. Arnold and illustrated by Giselle Potter, the story behind one child's magnificent masterpiece and all the people he didn't realize were part of it. Publication is slated for fall 2022; Rubin Pfeffer at Rubin Pfeffer Content represented the author, and Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary represented the illustrator.
48036-3.JPG Rotem Moscovich at Knopf has bought world rights to Hooray for DNA! by debut author Pauline Thompson, illustrated by Greg Pizzoli (The Watermelon Seed). A playful and rhythmic introduction to DNA, this picture book celebrates the similarities we share with all life forms and with each other. Publication is set for spring 2023; Stacey Kondla at the Rights Factory represented the author, and Steven Malk at Writers House represented the illustrator.
48037-v1-300x.JPG Reka Simonsen at Atheneum has acquired world rights to Let Us March On! by Yohuru Williams (l.) and Michael G. Long, illustrated by Xia Gordon, which tells the story of James Weldon Johnson and the Silent Protest Parade, the first mass all-Black march for civil rights in the U.S. and the first time that children played a primary role in a protest march of this kind. Publication is planned for summer 2023; Joan Brookbank at Joan Brookbank Projects represented Williams, John Rudolph at Dystel, Goderich and Bourret represented Long, and Andrea Morrison at Writers House represented the illustrator.
48038-1.JPG Samantha Swenson at Tundra has bought world rights to How to Teach Your Cat a Trick, written by Nicola Winstanley (l.) and illustrated by Zoe Si, a picture book about a kid trying and failing to teach their cat special skills. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; the author represented herself, and Lindsay Auld at Writers House represented the illustrator.
48039-1.JPG Sarah Rockett at Sleeping Bear has acquired There Was a Hole by Adam Lehrhaupt, illustrated by Carrie O'Neill, a story about loss, change, and ultimately how love sustains us. Publication is slated for spring 2022; Alexandra Penfold at Upstart Crow Literary represented the author, and Nicole Tugeau at Tugeau 2 represented the illustrator.
48040-1.JPG Amy Novesky at Cameron Kids has bought world rights to The Perfect Tree, by Corinne Demas (l.), illustrated by Penelope Dullaghan, a picture book about a bunny who searches for the perfect tree, only to discover she didn't have to look very far at all. Publication is set for fall 2022; Ariana Philips at Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency represented the author, and Scott Hull at Scott Hull Associates represented the illustrator.
48041-1.JPG Lisa Rosinsky at Barefoot Books has acquired That's Mine! and Undies, Please! by debut author Sumana Seeboruth (l.), illustrated by Ashleigh Corrin (Family Reunion). These board books explore the ups and downs of friendship at daycare, and potty-training at home. Publication is planned for fall 2021; the author and the illustrator represented themselves in the deal for world rights.
To see all of this week's deals, click here.


48003-1.JPGFred Gets Dressed
Peter Brown. Little, Brown, $18.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-316-20064-6

White-skinned, brown-haired Fred zooms around the house, “naked and wild and free,” striking one joyful pose after another. But when Fred ends up in a magical place—his parents’ closet—getting dressed becomes irresistible. He has trouble donning his father’s shirt and tie, but Mom’s razzle-dazzle clothes are a different story. more more_arrow.gif


48004-1.JPGWhat the World Could Make: A Story of Hope
Holly M. McGhee, illus. by Pascal Lemaître. Roaring Brook, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-250-26811-2

Best friends Rabbit and Bunny stand transfixed as snow falls, “a wonder—/ winter white flakes a gift from the sky.” “I wish it would snow forever,” says Bunny. “Forever? For always?” Rabbit asks. “No... not exactly.” Over the course of a year, the two rejoice in the beauty of the seasons, enjoying each moment’s gifts and acknowledging the beauty of nature. more more_arrow.gif


48007-1.JPGDa Vinci’s Cat
Catherine Gilbert Murdock. Greenwillow, $17.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-06-301525-8

As a political hostage of Pope Julius II, 11-year-old Federico Gonzaga is witness to the historic rivalry between artists Raphael and Michelangelo as the latter works on the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Federico’s pampered life is opulent but lonely, until he discovers a cat in an enigmatic closet designed by Leonardo da Vinci. The cat’s mysterious movements link him to only child Bee, an intrepid 21st-century Brooklynite who discovers a drawing of herself—purportedly by Raphael. more more_arrow.gif


48008-1.JPGMaybe Maybe Marisol Rainey
Erin Entrada Kelly. Greenwillow, $16.99 (160p) ISBN 978-0-06-297042-8

Marisol Rainey, an anxious eight-year-old, lives in Louisiana with her teacher mother, who is Filipino; her white father, who works on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico; and her 12-year-old brother, Oz, a video game fanatic. Marisol has given the perfect climbing tree in their new home’s backyard a name: Peppina. Her best friend, Jada makes climbing the large magnolia look easy, but Marisol grows frustrated by the fear that keeps her from mounting Peppina’s branches. more more_arrow.gif


48009-1.JPGThe Threads of Magic
Alison Croggon. Candlewick, $18.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-5362-0719-4

When 12-year-old pickpocket Pipistrel lifts a silver box from a noble on the streets of Clarel, he’s just hoping to support his sister El and himself. But inside the box is a sinister Stone Heart, an object heavily sought by the kingdom. The siblings’ quest to understand the heart takes them to Amina, a witch escaping extermination. Meanwhile, 15-year-old Princess Georgette is desperate to escape an arranged marriage and also seeks Amina, her old nurse. more more_arrow.gif

March 18, 2021
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I Love My Fur!
Enter to Win: 'We Are Still Here!'
Take Me Outdoors
Daniel Ehrenhaft is joining Blackstone Publishing as senior acquisitions editor. Most recently he was editorial director at Soho Teen.
Random House Children’s Books has two promotions. Kathy Dunn has been promoted to director, publicity, from executive publicist. Lili Feinberg has been promoted to senior publicist, from publicist.
Vicki Lame has been promoted to executive editor at St. Martin's, including Wednesday Books; previously she was senior editor.
HMH Books for Young Readers has several new hires and promotions. Samira Iravani has joined as associate art director; previously she was senior designer at Penguin Young Readers. Bones Leopard has joined as senior designer; previously they were design coordinator at Disney. Margaret Raymo has been promoted to v-p, senior editorial director, from senior editorial director. Lily Kessinger has been promoted to editor, from associate editor. Mary Magrisso has been promoted to managing editor, overseeing all BFYR imprints, from managing editor, editorial operations. Helen Seachrist has been promoted to senior production editor, from production editor. Melissa Cicchitelli has been promoted to manager of production for Etch and BFYR special sales, from lead production coordinator. Emma Grant has been promoted to production coordinator, from production associate. Harriet Low has been promoted to associate editor, from editorial associate. Elizabeth Agyemang has been promoted to associate editor, from editorial associate. Eleanor Hinkle has been promoted to editorial associate, from editorial assistant. Lauren Wengrovitz has been promoted to marketing associate, from marketing assistant.
A virtual memorial service will be held today, March 18, at 5:30 p.m. EDT for longtime children's book editor David Gale, who died on October 9, 2020. Authors including John Lithgow, Gary Paulsen, and Neal Shusterman will be speaking at the memorial, along with several colleagues. The service is open to the public, with no registration required, and will be held on Zoom.
Mark Your Calendar
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art presents On the Move with Eric Carle, on view now through August 22. Divided into themes of travel by land, air, and sea, this exhibition showcases artwork representing 15 Eric Carle titles, including familiar images from 10 Little Rubber Ducks and The Lonely Firefly and linoleum prints from The Boastful Fisherman. Visitors can become one of Carle’s fantastical characters as they make their way through railroad tracks, waterways, and roads. To learn more, click here.
In the Winners' Circle
The Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street College of Education has announced the 2021 winners of three awards recognizing outstanding works of children’s literature in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. The Josette Frank Award winner for excellence in fiction is When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed, illus. by Jamieson with color by Iman Geddy. The winner of The Flora Stieglitz Straus Award for distinguished nonfiction for younger readers is Lizzie Demands a Seat!: Elizabeth Jennings Fights for Streetcar Rights by Beth Anderson, illus. by E. B. Lewis; and All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys' Soccer Team by Christina Soontornvat has won for older readers. The Claudia Lewis Award for poetry for younger readers goes to I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes, illus. by Gordon C. James; and Flooded: Requiem for Johnstown by Ann E. Burg for older readers. Acceptance videos will be posted on CBC’s website. For more on the winners, click here.
Norton Juster

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Comics Formats
Go Younger

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Highlights from the 2021 Latinx Children's Literature Conference
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Publishers' Pandemic Pastimes
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