Monthly Archives: June 2010

The Best Meetings, Ever

Josie Leavitt - June 29, 2010

Now that summer is here, I can indulge in one of my favorite parts of being a book buyer: breakfast meetings at the Inn at Shelburne Farms, which is open seasonally from May to October. There are few places as beautiful as this 1,400 acre working farm, which used to be Vanderbilt-Webb estate, set on the shores of Lake Champlain. The drive from the gatehouse to the main house takes about eight minutes that just get prettier and prettier.
Past the fields’ Brown Swiss cows whose milk makes the award-winning Shelburne Farms cheddar cheese, I round the corner and there before me is Lake Champlain, waves gently lapping the shore. I am always running late for my breakfast meetings, so I take the view in quickly. I bound to the outside table where one of my sales reps is usually waiting. The view, and this is not overstating, is breathtaking.
Breakfast is usually delicious with farm fresh eggs and bacon, coffee and juice. I love these meetings, not just for the food, but for a chance to talk with my sales reps in a more relaxed setting. I get to know them as people: what are their hobbies, what are they reading, what are their summer vacation plans. Sharing a meal is wonderful way to get to know someone. There are always children running in the grass by the Inn and it’s just idyllic.
After breakfast we retire to Adirondack chairs on the lawn and make the order. I look at samples while sipping coffee in the sun. I order more under these conditions. Being outside, feeling the warmth of sun, somehow makes me feel hopeful, therefore more optimistic about book orders. I’m more willing to take chances and get more copies of titles I feel strongly about, or take a risk on an oddball book that could go either way. So I feel like this is a win/win for me and the rep.
It’s a lucky coincidence that the fall/winter buying season starts in the summer, so I can have meetings throughout the season at this lovely place.

Summer Reading Thoughts

Josie Leavitt - June 28, 2010

Schools all over have closed for the summer, and this should mean fun, relaxation and having time to read. But for many young people summer heralds a whole new season of school work. Yes, there are the ubiquitous summer reading lists (more on them later), but now these poor kids have pages of math homework to do, daily. I can’t imagine a summer where I not only had math homework, but I had to email it to my teacher weekly. Several schools have set up weekly blogs for kids to use to respond to every chapter they read. If they don’t have that, many schools require a paper, albeit a short one, in response to every book read.
Oh, to make matters worse, let’s pick some of the most tedious books and force kids to read them. I just reviewed the summer reading lists for three local schools and with rare exceptions the books are all written by white authors who were born in the early 20th century. While these books have solid value, I think asking kids to read these challenging (some would say boring, especially if you’re 14) books during the distracting days of summer is folly. Sometimes hard books need the help of a class and a skilled teacher to bring the reading to life. How many kids start Bleak House only to hate it and just give up? Animal Farm is wonderful, but if you’re reading it because it’s August 15th and it’s short, just how much of the political story are you really absorbing? And really, must every child read Lord of the Flies? Perhaps we could take that off the list and substitute The Hunger Games or The Uglies? I just want to put books on reading lists that children are actually excited to see on the list, not dreading.
Some of my happiest memories are reading massive Stephen King and Peter Straub books one summer, staying up way too late with my Mom and scaring ourselves silly. Then one summer I read all the James Herriott books, one right after the other, and it was wonderful. Then there was the Judy Blume summer, then the summer of Faulkner, which was a miserable failure, really, what I was thinking at 13? But the point is, even without assignments that were more than “read three books this summer,” I read tons, and I loved it. Free of schoolwork, I found that I loved reading for pleasure. There was a bookstore that I could bike to that also sold penny candy. I was in heaven.
Wouldn’t it be nice, just for the two to three short months of summer, to have kids read for pleasure and not give them homework for every chapter read? I don’t think forcing kids to read books written by dead white men (for the most part) is the best way to instill a love of reading. Reading should not be a chore, something to be checked off on a list; it should be something that brings pleasure, especially in the summer.

Five Fun Finds via Offbeat Earth

Alison Morris - June 25, 2010

Those of you who read last week’s announcement of my impending NYC move might’ve thought you’d seen the last of me on ShelfTalker, but that is not the case! (Sorry if I confused you.) I will attempt to put together at least one missive a week from now until September 1st, in between apartment hunting, packing, and moving (oy).  A Paris report is still forthcoming. Plus some fun discoveries I made at BEA. AND a birdhouse extravaganza! In the meantime, here’s a fun distraction for you…
Sales rep Bill Palizzolo sent me an e-mail recently with incredible photos of artwork made from books. Physical books, that is. As Bill notes, “You can’t do this with ebooks!” (So true! And you can’t make birdhouses either.)
The source of the photos in Bill’s forwarded message turns out to be a post on a rather eclectic blog called Offbeat Earth. Wondering what other fare I’d find there, I went digging and came up with these five fun book-themed things. In each case I’m giving you one photo as a sneak preview, as I can’t just repost the full content of their blog here, but if you visit the actual posts on Offbeat Earth you’ll find a LOT more, and they’re definitely worth seeing!
Post Number 1: “Don’t like reading? Read on…
This is the source of the book art photos that Bill sent to me — the theme being “other uses for books.”

one of three beautiful images created for an ad campaign of Prague's Anagram Books

Post Number 2: “Paper Art Makes a Statement
More book art here + newspaper art and art made from paper in general.

Su Blackwell's clever take on the rabbit hole

Post Number 3: “33 of the World’s Strangest Buildings
Of book-related note in this post: the Kansas City (Missouri) Public Library (how clever!), a “low impact woodland house” that is RIGHT out of Tolkien, and the Basket Building in Ohio that positively screams Little Red Riding Hood to me.

The Kansas City Public Library

Post Number 4: “Quiet at the Library
Blimey! The smallest library in the world might ALSO be the most charming.

phone booth library in Somerset, England

Post Number 5: “This Is Asking for Too Much
What happens when the rule-makers get their hands on a thesaurus… (There’s only one photo in this post, so I’m sending you over to Offbeat Earth to take a look.)
What do you think? Do have a favorite image from these Offbeat posts? I’m still shaking my head over the beauty (and absurdity!) of some of those buildings… What will they think of next?

The iPad and I: Of Love and Meh

Elizabeth Bluemle - June 24, 2010

Let sleeping dogs lie—and prop up iPads

I think one of my bookselling colleagues thinks I have sold my soul to the Dark Side by purchasing an iPad. She practically ran away from it (and me) at a recent conference when I unveiled the thing.
It was a funny moment, because I absolutely understand her horror: the growing digital-book market is affecting all booksellers and we don’t know where and how the smaller indies will fit in—if at all—and what that will mean to our already challenged bottom lines.
On the other hand, I want to know what this format means, what it looks like in its most appealing state, how it works, what it does and doesn’t do in contrast to printed books, and try to guess where this whole digital reading thing is likely to head, and how I as a bookseller fit into the equation.

Robert Sabuda's COOKIE COUNT

I’m a die-hard lover of real books (r-books, if you must, publishing people, or b-books for bound books, but never, EVER “p-books”—physical books—a term that has been bandied about mainly by e-book proponents who I am sure have tongues firmly planted in gleeful cheeks; call them p-books and I guarantee they will not gain cool points on the playgrounds of our fair nation). I will always love the feel of books: the smooth square fit-in-your-hand secret treasures and the big glossy coffee-table books, the books with pebbly matte covers, toothy papers, and deckled edges, the books that are improbably light or heavy for their sizes. I love the smell of books, of course, of fresh ink and also the lightly toasted smell of library books. I love running my fingers along age-softened pages, and fanning the bound sheaves of paper, and flipping back and forth to find favorite passages. I love the solidity, the heft, of a book at my side, the comforting there-ness of the object itself and the world it contains. This will never change. I’m a total bookie, and proud of it.

The original Laserdisc. From

But I also grew up with a father who was irresistibly drawn to new gadgets, and I inherited his curiosity. I grew up at the dawn of the new technological era, old enough to remember a time without computers but young enough to adopt them with an easy, quick familiarity. I loved the Jetsons. Heck, in middle school, I subscribed to Omni (a magazine devoted to science and science fiction, my favorite section being the one describing future tech). So I straddle both old and new worlds with an opinionated but fairly open mind. At least, I try.
So, the iPad. It seemed like a waste of money to buy a giant version of my iPhone with fewer features, but I’ve felt increasingly frustrated not to be able to participate in discussions about e-books without a viable e-reader to experiment with. What really clinched my decision was an early May afternoon at the Apple store, where I’d gone to replace a laptop cable and saw Winnie-the-Pooh on the demonstration iPad.

The pages were crisp, bright, appealing; the graphics looked charming and unchanged from the original (well, unchanged from their color versions, which I have come to accept over the years). All in all, it looked like an e-book even bibliophiles would admire. Its very appeal alarmed me. So Winnie on the iPad (and the approach of BEA at the end of May) made me bite the bullet and buy.
I’d seen articles and raves for two books specially altered and formatted for the iPad. The first was The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Atom in the Universe by Theodore Gray. There’s an impressive video in which the infectiously enthusiastic author shows how he used the graphic advantages of the iPad — motion, 3D capabilities — in order to bring the elements to life in a way that the printed book — as handsome as it is — cannot. I acquired The Elements by shelling out $13.99 at Apple’s app store, an act made especially painful by the fact that the hardcover version is still $29.95 in bookstores. I felt the first sting of competition. But then I marveled. The book in this form is truly amazing, a fantastic use of the technology. One can view all of the photos in motion, in three dimensions, from all sides, and zoom in close to objects that, in a bound book, are of course locked at a set size. This is the kind of book the iPad should be used to produce. (Side note: the book is sold in the app store but doesn’t seem to be available in the company’s new iBooks store. Odd.)
Exploring The Elements made me think of other books, other genres, that might benefit from iPad development. History, for instance. Imagine reading Elizabeth Partridge’s Marching to Freedom, that most excellent book, onscreen, and being able to touch a photo of Martin Luther King Jr. and watch him spring to life, delivering a speech that you can listen to then and there. Or imagine following the Selma march route as a virtual protestor, seeing the landscape unfold as you ‘walk,’ and getting a feel for the sheer length of the walk. Or getting to hear the songs Partridge refers to in the text. All of those could be a powerful experience for readers, especially for young readers whose knowledge of history and contextual understanding are still nascent. I can imagine books in just about every area of cultural or scientific study enriched in this way, and be happy about it.
But not every book benefits from screen conversion.

Alice in Wonderland for the iPad

The other iPad book I was eager to see was an adapted version of Alice in Wonderland that was similarly hailed as revolutionary, interactive, and gorgeous. It was all of these things. But it was also… curiously flat as a reading experience. First of all, it’s greatly abridged — which automatically turns the book into a different animal. Secondly, it’s so handsome, so glossy and slick, that there is no room for the reader in it. When kids read, they create the world along with the writer. Pictures serve as touchstones, but the real world-building in books goes on inside the reader’s head. This app is more like TV, in that the reader is more of a passive receptacle for the media experience of the book than a co-creator.

The interactive elements — falling and suspended objects you can manipulate and move by touching and tilting the screen — are entertaining the first time around but I suspect pretty soon will seem rudimentary given what the iPad medium is capable of.
I don’t mean to pick on this Alice, which was obviously thoughtfully and creatively designed, but its very beauty makes its limitations more evident, and makes what is missing stand out.
For instance, when you think of Alice in Wonderland, one of the most iconic images in a reader’s mind is that of Alice falling down the rabbit hole — that long, long, endlessly l-o-n-g drift downward. You can see it in your mind’s eye, that drop, can’t you? Yet in this Alice, the journey is truncated to the point of near irrelevancy.

Alice’s fall, writ small

The text, cut from a page and a half in the original to a few sentences, just doesn’t do justice to the girl or the rabbit hole. Visually, the designers chose to use as the falling object (one that actually drops quickly from the top of the page to the bottom when you turn to the page), not Alice, but the rather insignificant jar of marmalade she picks up and discards on the way down. Alice’s fall is all but lost. Here, the design replaced the literature rather than enriching it.
To me, this symbolizes the biggest problem with adapted e-books: the transformation of it into a one-way experience, beaming out at the viewer like a TV show. With recent studies showing that the human brain while watching TV is less active than the brain while it’s asleep (!), this is something to think about. There is a danger in losing the conversation that a book sparks between writer and reader.
So that, dear virtual readers, is my e-reader experience so far: a mix of awe and ehh. Like it or not, the technology is here to stay, and since it will only get better over time, we booksellers do need to figure out how to participate in that market. However, the experience of reading a book in hand and a book on screen are different enough that as long as there are trees, there will always be a need and a desire for both formats. So I don’t think we have to start succession planning just yet, or shelter ourselves from pieces of the falling sky.
Colleagues, have you read digital books? Avoided them? Made peace with them? Found a way to share the market? I’d love to hear what your experiences have been.
P.S. There’s a good article comparing e-readers here.

My Name’s Josie and I’m an Addict

Josie Leavitt - June 22, 2010

Sadly, the above is true. No, I’m not addicted to drugs or alcohol, or even books. No, I’m addicted to a word game that I play incessantly on my iPhone, with up to 15 games going at the same time. The game, Words with Friends, is just like Scrabble, but you can play it with anyone, anywhere as long as they have a phone that can use apps. Okay, so I love this game, big deal.
Well, it turns out that lots of people — customers, sales reps, heads of trade associations, etc. — are also addicted. I was at a lovely NEIBA (New England Independent Booksellers Assocation) gathering last week and several folks saw me playing before the session started. It turns out they play, too. So, now I’ve added three new people to play against. It’s fun, and there’s no pressure, except from me, to play your word. You can take days if you’re out of town, and the game will still be there.
Customers are now challenging me, and it’s fun to interact with them in a very different way. Word games make sense for booksellers and book lovers to enjoy. Plus, two wonderful things have happened with the game.
The first thing is the chat feature. This allows you to send messages to your opponent. While I’ve yet to sink to trash-chatting, it’s been nice to chat about something other than the bookstore.
The second great thing is an extension of chatting. Now when I see these customers at the supermarket, they’re not asking me if their special order came in. Instead they’re asking me to play my word. For some of these customers, it’s the first time they’ve seen me in another capacity than bookseller, so it’s been wonderful.

Email and the Indie

Josie Leavitt - June 21, 2010

Bookstores are evolving every day with their use of email. I thought it might be interesting to discuss what the Flying Pig has done with email in the last year to reach out to customers.
The beauty of email is it’s green, and that’s really important to customers these days, especially Vermont customers. Email uses no paper. It’s vital and often is interactive, which makes it more fun than a piece of paper received in the mail. And more importantly, it’s an inexpensive way to get your message out to your customers.
We have an email newsletter that we send out monthly. This tends to be an event-driven email, a monthly missive that highlights our upcoming author visits. I can claim no credit for this, as Elizabeth does all our graphics. One thing she does that I think is sheer genius, is every link on the email blast brings people back to our website for book purchases or further information. This closed link works to keep the Flying Pig foremost in our customer’s minds.
There are several email newsletter providers, but if a store is an ABA member, they can get Constant Contact at a reduced rate. The beauty of this program is it allows you to track who opens your email, what links they click through, and more. What’s important with all of the available programs is to see what’s working and what’s not. Are folks clicking on book covers to get more information? Do they want to learn more about the authors? Again, if you can keep a closed circle to your website, then customers are getting their info from you and not clicking off to Amazon to learn more.
Emails have become the preferred method of special order notification for a large group of customers. We are still calling the majority of customers, partly because we haven’t totally figured out the smoothest, most time-efficient way to do mass email notifications for each shipment that contains special orders and partly, because some folks are just don’t want to give out their email address.
Some people absolutely prefer emails because they have a smartphone, so they get notified whenever they turn their phone on. The real beauty of email notification is there are no phone messages to get lost, not delivered or just plain not written down. How many times have you left a message with a young child and known that the customer is not going to get that message? Emailing ensures the customer will get the message every time.
Collecting customer emails should be very easy. There are many ways to harvest emails. The first is quite simply a sign-up sheet at the register. Then you could ask the customer for their email address when you’re ringing them up and, depending on your point of sale system, you can add it directly. Lastly, if you have Constant Contact (I’m sure other email newsletter providers have similar functions) you can set up a widget on your desktop that allows you to add emails seamlessly right to the email program.
While emailing customers might be easy, often a phone call allows you to speak directly to the customer, and sometimes this can result in a book added to the order or just a fun conversation. Even when you’re really busy, never underestimate the value of a real person-to-person conversation.
Lastly, the question of email etiquette looms large in the business world. One thing I’ve often wondered is if someone has asked to be removed from your email list, do you send them an email telling them you’ve removed them, or do you just let it be?

A New (& New York) Chapter in My Life

Alison Morris - June 18, 2010

Lorna Ruby (left) and I have shared a windowless basement office for 7 years, hence the pale skin and beady eyes.

As many of you may have read yesterday in Children’s Bookshelf, Gareth and I are about to start a new chapter in our lives – complete with a new job for me and a new apartment for us, in (drum roll please…) New York City.
Starting September 1 I will be the Senior Editor of Acquisitions and Merchandising at Scholastic Book Clubs. In this newly created position I’ll be working with David Allender, Vice President of Scholastic Book Clubs, to select and merchandise trade books for the Clubs’ monthly catalogs, which are sent home throughout the country with kids ages toddler to teen.
In many ways this job seems like a dream come true for me. I get to have the experience of working for a large publisher but, in much the same way as I’ve done as a buyer, I get to see and select from the lists of books being published by everyone. I get to steer an almost incomprehensible number and variety of kids and parents and teachers toward books, authors, and illustrators that I think are more than worth their knowing, and try to make those books affordable to all of them. I get to continue working with teachers—the customers with whom I think I’ve done the best and most rewarding work of my bookselling career—and I get to dip my toes still further into the worlds of both editing and marketing, without having to choose just one or the other.

One of the first children's events we hosted at our store was with the couldn't-be-more-charming Bob Graham. Other visitors early on included Marie-Louise Gay, Robert Sabuda, Graeme Base, and Susan Cooper. Our children's event series has been going strong ever since!

The decision to make this leap, though, has not been an easy one. I’ve been an independent bookseller/buyer for 12 years – 9 of which I’ve spent at Wellesley Booksmith, and all of which I have loved. I have loved building the children’s section at our store and cementing our place in the larger community. I have loved working with the hundreds of authors and illustrators who have come through our doors and getting to know the editors and other folks in publishing who have made their books happen. Most of all, I have loved discovering terrific new books and putting them in the hands of readers.
I’m going to miss all the close personal relationships I’ve formed at our store with local teachers and librarians. I’m going to miss working with my fellow independent booksellers – some of the hardest-working, most creative, most intelligent people I know. I’m going to miss having daily contact with the public – of meeting new people each and every day and having meaningful conversations with them about what they’re reading, who they’re buying for, and what kinds of things they look for in a book. Those conversations have been such an important part of what I do that it’s hard to imagine going days, let alone weeks, without having them.

This is Lorna and me sitting at my desk (she has her own). I have tried to make up for our lack of windows by covering every surface with attractive book-related artifacts, but... We would still prefer windows.

In making the decision of whether or not to take this job, though, I’ve had to reflect on what my chief goals have been as a bookseller: to put great books into kids’ hands; to turn reluctant readers into eager ones; to sustain the interests of fluent readers by introducing them to a ready supply of new, great books; to help teachers find the books that will reach each of their students and make their jobs more enjoyable; to discover great talent and spot new trends in the fields of writing and illustration; to ignite in others (of any age!) a passionate love for reading and for books – in particular those created for kids and teens. I believe my new role at Scholastic Book Clubs will allow me to accomplish all of these same goals, even if my daily work and means of getting there will look considerably different.

I am truly grateful to everyone who has helped shape the past 12 years of my bookselling career – this includes the customers I’ve worked with, the booksellers I’ve learned from, the sales reps who have guided my choices and shaped our store’s success, the authors and illustrators and editors and agents and publicists and countless others who have talked candidly with me about the work that they do and bonded with me about books. You have been the very best kind of company, and the very best teachers too. I’m looking forward to learning still more from you in this next phase of my life.

The Junie B. Jones bus came to our store soon after Lorna started working here. We look so much younger in this photo (though not as young as the twenty-something actress playing Junie). Where does the time go?

Let me make it clear that just because I will no longer be working in an independent bookstore, that does not mean I don’t still believe, heart and soul, in the value of and necessity for independent bookstores. I am still and always will be an evangelist for independent bookselling. I will continue to shop at independent bookstores, sing the praises of independent bookstores, send new business to independent bookstores, and educate the world about what it is that these stores do and why their work is so valuable to all of us.
I will be at Wellesley Booksmith through the end of June (my last official day will be Friday, July 2). After that Gareth and I will spend a month apartment-hunting, packing, and reveling in both the excitement and terror of pulling up roots and planting them in (yeesh) the great hub of New York City. Once there I hope to spend a few weeks getting back to work on my too-long-neglected book, before I start work at Scholastic on September 1.

When Julie Andrews Edwards came to our store in 2007, we thought we'd all died and gone to Heaven. Or maybe Austria. That was one event I'll never forget.

I am sad to be leaving our store, and I am sad to be leaving the children’s section that I’ve spent 9 years building here. I am not, however, worried about how EITHER will fare in my absence!
Going forward, there are two amazing booksellers who will share the responsibilities of buying children’s books for Wellesley Booksmith and who are looking forward to meeting those of you who’ve been working with me for lo these many years. Margaret Aldrich is a bookseller and librarian par excellence who reads more books in a week than I read in a month (seriously) and whose taste is almost always 100% aligned with mine. (If you’ve liked my recommendations you will definitely, absolutely like hers!) Lisa Fabiano is a savvy bookseller, terrific mother, intelligent reader, portrait of efficiency, and cool head in any crisis. She’s been assisting Lorna and me in the buyers’ office here for two years now, and we weep bitter tears on the rare occasion when she takes a vacation. Together Margaret and Lisa will continue to bring all the enthusiasm, good sense, and keen organization to our children’s department that customers have come to expect from us, but they’ll also (because there are two of them) be able to spend more time on the floor with customers, which is a blessing for everyone! I can’t think of a better fit for this job than this dynamic duo, and I know those of you who meet Margaret and Lisa will find them a joy to work with.

I'm hoping I can still find a way/place/audience for giving book talks (like this one I did at the Bacon Free Library in Natick). They've been my single favorite aspect of my job.

Working with Margaret and Lisa will eventually be a third person, a Children’s Marketing and Event Coordinator, as soon as we find the right person for the job. This person will be in charge of running our extensive series of events with children’s book authors and illustrators, in addition to working part-time as a bookseller in our store. (If you know someone who’d be ideal for this position, please put them in touch with us!)
As for the overall health of Wellesley Booksmith, it’s probably right now the strongest it has ever been. While it’s true the store is currently for sale, there are several parties very interested in becoming our new owners, and all signs point to them being people who will continue to run our store in the way that it has been – efficiently, intelligently, and with the same dedication to superb customer service that has made us a vital part of this community for more than ten years. I have every reason to believe that our store will continue to grow and, in fact, thrive in the coming years — our amazing staff of booksellers will see to it that happens!

I'm going to miss all the wonderful dogs who visit our store. (We give them treats, which keeps them and their owners coming back.) This is Tucker, a resident favorite. His "mom" is amazing school librarian Lisa Rogers, and Tucker has his own blog. Click on the photo to see.

In the meantime, I am excited to try something different, and optimistic about the new opportunities and adventures New York may hold for me and for Gareth. I’m looking forward to getting better acquainted with the New Yorkers I’ve known for years but seen infrequently. I’m hoping our paths will cross more often now and would welcome any advice you have to give us soon-to-be-locals: things we should do; places we should explore; neighborhoods we should consider; apartments we should rent (!); experiences with renting an outside studio versus creating art in your own house; banks you actually like; doctors you’d recommend… We’d welcome your thoughts on almost anything! Please comment here with any insider tips or drop me a line (shelftalker AT gmail DOT com).
And if anyone’s got any cures for bookselling homesickness (would we call that “storesickness”?) I’d welcome those too!

The Stars So Far – Updated 6/17/2010

Elizabeth Bluemle - June 17, 2010

Here is the latest round-up of books receiving starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, the Horn Book, School Library Journal, Kirkus, Booklist, The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, and VOYA (since VOYA doesn’t star reviews, only books that receive a 5Q 5P rating make the starred review list here). Starred reviews are counted only when they have been officially published by the review magazines, so if your book has, say, a July starred review, never fear; it will be included in a future update. Publishers, please alert me to any oversights or errors. This is a ridiculously painstaking process, and I’m sure there are bobbles here and there.
Receiving a starred review is a rare and wonderful honor for a book and its creators, so we hope this list will be a handy resource for buyers of all stripes. The list was compiled from all the review sources by an indie bookseller; please consider ordering from your favorite indie instead of a chain or online megastore.
Happy reading!
COSMIC. Frank Cottrell Boyce. (HarperCollins/Walden Pond, $16.99) ISBN 978-0-06-183683-1
CONSPIRACY OF KINGS, A. Megan Whalen Turner. (Greenwillow, $16.99) ISBN 978-0061870934.
DREAMER, THE. Pam Munoz Ryan. Illustrated by Peter Sis. (Scholastic, $17.99) ISBN 978-0439269704
INCARCERON. Catherine Fisher. (Dial, $17.99) ISBN 978-0-8037-3396-1
MIRROR, MIRROR: A BOOK OF REVERSIBLE VERSE. Marilyn Singer. Illustrated by Josée Masse. (Dutton, $16.99) ISBN 978-0-525-47901-7
UBIQUITOUS: CELEBRATING NATURE’S SURVIVORS. Joyce Sidman. Illustrated by Beckie Prange. (Harcourt, $17) ISBN 978-0-618-71719-4
AS EASY AS FALLING OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH. Lynne Rae Perkins. (Greenwillow, $16.99) EAN 978-0061870903
CITY DOG, COUNTRY FROG. Mo Willems. Illustrated by Jon J. Muth. (Hyperion, $17.99) ISBN 978-1423103004
DEATH-DEFYING PEPPER ROUX, THE. Geraldine McCaughrean. (Harper, $16.99) ISBN 978-0-06-183665-7
FEVER CRUMB. Philip Reeve. (Scholastic, $17.99) ISBN 978-0545207195
FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK. Melina Marchetta. (Candlewick, $18.99) ISBN: 978-0-7636-4361-4
HERE COMES THE GARBAGE BARGE! Jonah Winter, illus. by Red Nose Studio. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-375-85218-3
KAKAPO RESCUE: SAVING THE WORLD’S STRANGEST PARROT. Sy Montgomery. Illustrated by Nic Bishop. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $18) ISBN 978-0618494170
MY GARDEN. Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow, $17.99) ISBN 978-0-06-171517-4
MYSTERIOUS HOWLING, THE (INCORRIGIBLE CHILDREN OF ASHTON PLACE, THE, BOOK 1). Wood, Maryrose. (HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray, $15.99) ISBN 978-0-06-179105-5
NOTHING. Janne Teller. Translated from the Danish by Martin Aitken. (S&S/Atheneum, $16.99) ISBN 978-1-416-98579-2
ONE CRAZY SUMMER. Rita Williams-Garcia. (HarperCollins/Amistad, $15.99. ISBN 978-0060760885
REVOLVER. Marcus Sedgwick (Roaring Brook, $16.99) ISBN 978-1596435926
SIR CHARLIE: THE FUNNIEST MAN IN THE WORLD. Sid Fleischman. (Greenwillow, $19.99) ISBN 978-0061896408
WAR TO END ALL WARS, THE. Russell Freedman. (Clarion, $22) ISBN 97800547026862
WHAT IF? Laura Vaccaro Seeger. (Roaring Brook/Porter, $15.99) ISBN 978-1596433984
ALCHEMY AND MEGGY SWANN. Karen Cushman. (Clarion, $16) ISBN 978-0547231846
AMELIA EARHART: THIS BROAD OCEAN. Written and illustrated by Sarah Stewart Taylor and Ben Towle. Center for Cartoon Studies and Disney-Hyperion, $17.99) ISBN 978-1423113379
BUNNY DAYS. Tao Nyeu. (Dial, $16.99) ISBN 978-0-8037-3330-5
COUNTDOWN. Deborah Wiles. (Scholastic, $17.99) EAN 978-0545106054
EFRAIN’S SECRET. Sofia Quintero. (Knopf, $16.99) ISBN 978-0375847066
EXTRAORDINARY MARK TWAIN, THE (ACCORDING TO SUSY). Barbara Kerley. Illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham. (Scholastic, $17.99) ISBN 978-0-545-12508-6
FARM. Elisha Cooper. (Scholastic/Orchard, $17.99) ISBN 978-0545070751
LAST SUMMER OF THE DEATH WARRIORS, THE. Francisco X. Stork. (Scholastic/Levine, $17.99) ISBN 978-0545151337
LMNO PEAS. Keith Baker. (S&S/Beach Lane, $16.99) ISBN 978-1416991410
MERCURY. Hope Larson. (S&S/Atheneum, $17.99 hc; $9.99 pb) ISBN hc 978-1416935858; ISBN pb 978-1416935889
OUT OF MY MIND. Sharon M. Draper. (S&S/Atheneum, $16.99) ISBN 978-1416971702
RED PYRAMID, THE. Rick Riordan. (Disney-Hyperion, $17.99) ISBN 978-1423113386
SHARK VS. TRAIN. Chris Barton. Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld. (Little, Brown, $16.99) ISBN 978-0316007627
SOME GIRLS ARE. Courtney Summers. (St. Martin’s Griffin, $9.99) ISBN 978-0312573805
TRICKSTER: NATIVE AMERICAN TALES. Edited by Matt Dembicki. (Fulcrum, pb, $22.95) ISBN 978-1555917241
TURTLE IN PARADISE. Jennifer L. Holm. (Random, $16.99) ISBN 978-0375836886
WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON. John Green and David Levithan. (Dutton, $17.99) ISBN 978-0525421580
YEAR OF GOODBYES, THE: A TRUE STORY OF FRIENDSHIP, FAMILY, AND FAREWELLS. Debbie Levy. (Disney-Hyperion, $16.99) ISBN 978-1423129011
AFTER EVER AFTER. Jordan Sonnenblick. (Scholastic, $17.99) ISBN 978-0-439-83706-4
ALL STAR!: HONUS WAGNER AND THE MOST FAMOUS BASEBALL CARD EVER. Jane Yolen. Illustrated by Jim Burke. (Philomel, $17.99) ISBN 978-0-399-24661-6
ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL. Ashley Bryan. (S&S/Atheneum, $16.99) ISBN 978-1-4169-8939-4
BEACH TAIL, A. Karen Lynn Williams. Illustrated by Floyd Cooper. (Boyds Mills, $17.95) ISBN 978-1590787120
BIG RED LOLLIPOP. Rukhsana Khan. Illustrated by Sophie Blackall. (Viking, $16.99) ISBN 978-0670062874
BIRMINGHAM SUNDAY. Larry Dane Brimner. (Boyds Mills/Calkins Creek, $17.95) ISBN 978-1590786130
BLACK ELK’S VISION: A LAKOTA STORY. S.D. Nelson. (Abrams, $19.95) ISBN 978-0810983991
BORDERLINE. Allan Stratton. (HarperTeen, $16.99) ISBN 978-0-06-145111-9
BORN YESTERDAY: THE DIARY OF A YOUNG JOURNALIST. James Solheim. Illustrated by Simon James. (Philomel, $15.99) ISBN 978-0399251559
BRIDGET’S BERET. Tom Lichtenfeld. (Holt/Ottaviano, $16.99) ISBN 978-0805087758
CHESTER’S MASTERPIECE. Watt, Mélanie. (Kids Can Press, $18.95) ISBN 978-1554535668
CITY OF SPIES. Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan. Illustrated by Pascal Dizin. (Roaring Brook/First Second, $16.99) ISBN 978-1596432628
DARK DAYS OF HAMBURGER HALPIN, THE. Josh Berk. (Knopf/Borzoi, $16.99) ISBN 978-0375856990
DRIVEN: A PHOTOBIOGRAPHY OF HENRY FORD. Don Mitchell. (National Geographic, $18.95) 978-1426301551
DRIZZLE. Kathleen Van Cleve. (Dial, $16.99) ISBN 978-0803733628
FALLING IN. Frances O’Roark Dowell. (S&S/Atheneum, $16.99) ISBN 978-1416950325
FLASH. Michael Cadnum. (FSG, $16.99) ISBN 978-0374399115
GREEN WITCH. Alice Hoffman. (Scholastic, $17.99) ISBN 978-0545141956
GRIFF CARVER, HALLWAY PATROL. Jim Krieg. Razorbill, $15.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1595142764
HAPPYFACE. Stephen Emond. (Little, Brown, $16.99) ISBN 978-0-316-04100-3
HATTIE THE BAD. Jane Devlin. Illustrated by Joe Berger. (Dial, $16.99) ISBN 978-0803734470
HEART AND THE BOTTLE, THE. Oliver Jeffers. (Philomel, $17.99) ISBN 978-0399254529
HENRY IN LOVE. Peter McCarty. (HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray, $16.99) ISBN 978-0-06-114288-8
HIVE DETECTIVES, THE: CHRONICLE OF A HONEY BEE CATASTROPHE. Loree Griffin Burns. Illustrated by Ellen Harasimowicz. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $18) ISBN 978-0547152318
HOW TO CLEAN A HIPPOPOTAMUS: A LOOK AT UNUSUAL ANIMAL PARTNERSHIPS. Steve Jenkins and Robin Page. (Houghton, $16) ISBN 978-0547245157
HOW TO SURVIVE MIDDLE SCHOOL. Donna Gephart. (Delacorte, $15.99) ISBN 978-0385737937
I CAN BE ANYTHING! Jerry Spinelli. Illustrated by Jimmy Liao. (Little, Brown, $16.99) ISBN 978-0-316-16226-5
IF STONES COULD SPEAK: UNLOCKING THE SECRETS OF STONEHENGE. Marc Aronson. (National Geographic, $17.95) ISBN 978-1426305993
ILLYRIA. Elizabeth Hand. (Viking, $15.99) ISBN 978-0670012121
I’M THE BEST. Lucy Cousins. (Candlewick, $14.99) ISBN 978-0763646844
KEEPER. Kathi Appelt. Illustrated by August Hall. (S&S/Atheneum, $16.99) ISBN 978-1416950608
KNIFE THAT KILLED ME, THE. Anthony McGowan. (Delacorte, $16.99) ISBN 978-0385738224
LAST BEST DAYS OF SUMMER. Valerie Hobbs. (FSG/Foster, $16.99) ISBN 978-0374346706
LINCOLN TELLS A JOKE: HOW LAUGHTER SAVED THE PRESIDENT (AND THE COUNTRY). Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer. Illustrated by Stacy Innerst. (Harcourt, $16) ISBN 978-0152066390
LING & TING: NOT EXACTLY THE SAME. Grace Lin. (Little, Brown, $14.99) ISBN 978-0316024525
LITTLE RED HEN AND THE PASSOVER MATZAH, THE. Leslie Kimmelman. Illustrated by Paul Meisel. (Holiday House, $16.95) ISBN 978-0823419524
MAMA MITI: WANGARI MAATHAI AND THE TREES OF KENYA. Donna Jo Napoli. Illustrated by Kadir Nelson. (S&S/Wiseman, $16.99) ISBN 978-1416935056
MEANWHILE: PICK ANY PATH. 3,856 STORY POSSIBILITIES. Jason Shiga. (Abrams/Amulet, $15.95) ISBN 978-0810984233
MIMI’S DADA CATIFESTO. Shelley Jackson. (Clarion, $17) ISBN 978-0547126814
MOCKINGBIRD. Kathryn Erskine. (Philomel, $15.99) ISBN 978-0399252648
NEST FOR CELESTE, A: A STORY ABOUT ART, INSPIRATION, AND THE MEANING OF HOME. Henry Cole. (HarperCollins/Tegen, $16.99) ISBN 978-0061704109
NIGHT FAIRY, THE. Laura Amy Schlitz. Illustrated by Angela Barrett. (Candlewick, $16.99) ISBN 978-0763636746
NUMBERS. Rachel Ward. (Scholastic/Chicken House, $17.99) ISBN 978-0545142991
OH, NO! (OR, HOW MY SCIENCE PROJECT DESTROYED THE WORLD) Mac Barnett. Illustrated by Dan Santat. (Disney-Hyperion, $16.99) ISBN 978-1423123125
ONCE. Morris Gleitzman. (Holt, $16.99) ISBN 978-0805090260
OSTRICH BOYS. Keith Gray. (Random, $17.99) ISBN 978-0375858437
PARIS IN THE SPRING WITH PICASSO. Joan Yolleck. Illustrated by Marjorie Priceman. (Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99) ISBN 978-0375837562
PIRATE OF KINDERGARTEN, THE. George Ella Lyon. Illustrated by Lynne Avril. (S&S/Atheneum/Jackson, $16.99) ISBN 978-1416950240
PRINCE OF MIST, THE. Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Translated from the Spanish by Lucia Graves. (Little, Brown, $17.99) ISBN 978-0316044776
SHADOW HUNT, THE. Katherine Langrish. (Harper, $16.99) ISBN 978-0061116766
SHARING THE SEASONS: A BOOK OF POEMS. Selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins. Illustrated by David Diaz. (S&S/McElderry, $21.99) ISBN 978-1416902102
SHIP BREAKER. Paolo Bacigalupi. (Little, Brown, $17.99) ISBN 978-0316056212
SICK DAY FOR AMOS MCGEE, A. Philip C. Stead. Illustrated by Erin Stead. (Roaring Brook/Porter, $16.99) EAN 978-1596434028
SIT-IN: HOW FOUR FRIENDS STOOD UP BY SITTING DOWN. Andrea Davis Pinkney. Illustrated by Brian Pinkney. (Little, Brown, $16.99) ISBN 978-0316070164
SKY IS EVERYWHERE, THE. Jandy Nelson. (Dial, $17.99) ISBN 978-0803734951
SLEEPOVER AT GRAMMA’S HOUSE. Barbara Joosse. Illustrated by Jan Jutte. (Philomel, $17.99) ISBN 978-0399252617
SUMMER BIRDS: THE BUTTERFLIES OF MARIA MERIAN. Margarita Engle. Illustrated by Julie Paschkis. (Holt, $16.99) ISBN 978-0805089370
SWEET HEREAFTER. Angela Johnson. (S&S, $16.99) ISBN 978-0689873850
THREE RIVERS RISING: A NOVEL OF THE JOHNSTOWN FLOOD. Jame Richards. (Knopf/Borzoi, $16.99) ISBN 978-0375858857
UNDER A RED SKY: MEMOIR OF A CHILDHOOD IN COMMUNIST ROMANIA. Haya Leah Molnar. (FSG/Foster, $17.99) ISBN 978-0374318406
UNSINKABLE WALKER BEAN, THE. Aaron Renier. (First Second, $13.99 paper) ISBN 978-1596434530
WATER SEEKER, THE. Kimberly Willis Holt. (Holt, $16.99) ISBN 978-0805080209
WHITE CAT. Holly Black. S&S/McElderry, $17.99) ISBN 978-1416963967
WICKED GIRLS. Stephanie Hemphill. (HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray, $16.99) ISBN 978-0061853296
WONDER HORSE: THE TRUE STORY OF THE WORLD’S SMARTEST HORSE. Emily Arnold McCully. (Holt, $16.99) ISBN 978-0805087932
WOODS RUNNER. Gary Paulsen. (Random/Lamb, $15.99) ISBN 978-0385738842
13 TREASURES. Michelle Harrison. (Little, Brown, $15.99) EAN 978-0316041485
ADDICTED TO HER. Janet Nichols Lynch. (Holiday House, $17.95) EAN 9780823421862
ADVENTURES OF JACK LIME, THE. James Leck. (Kids Can, $16.95) EAN 978-1554533640
AFTER THE KISS. Terra Elan McVoy. (Simon Pulse, $16.99) ISBN 978-1442402119
AMAZING FACES. Poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illus. by Chris Soentpiet. (Lee & Low, $18.95) ISBN 978-1600603341
AMERICAN BABIES. (Charlesbridge, board book, $6.95) ISBN 978-1580892803
AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR. Morgan Matson. (Simon & Schuster, $16.99) ISBN 978-1416990659
ANIMAL CRACKERS FLY THE COOP. Kevin O’Malley. (Walker, $16.99) ISBN 978-0802798374
ASHES. Kathryn Lasky. (Viking, $16.99) ISBN 978-0670011575
ATHENA: GREY-EYED GODDESS. George O’Connor. (Roaring Brook/First Second/Porter, $16.99) ISBN 978-1596436497
BABY SHOWER. Jane Breskin Zalben. (Roaring Brook/Porter, $16.99) ISBN 978-1596434653
BACK OF THE BUS. Aaron Reynolds. Illustrated by Floyd Cooper. (Philomel, $16.99) ISBN 978-0399250910
BACK TO BED, ED! Sebastien Braun. (Peachtree, $15.95) ISBN: 978-1561455188
BAG IN THE WIND. Ted Kooser. Illustrated by Barry Root. (Candlewick, $17.99) ISBN 978-0763630010
BAMBOO PEOPLE. Mitali Perkins. (Charlesbridge, $16.95) ISBN 978-1580893282
BANDIT’S SURPRISE. Karen Rostoker-Gruber. Illustrated by Vincent Nguyen. (Marshall Cavendish, $16.99) ISBN 978-0761456230
BEAR FLIES HIGH. Michael Rosen. Illustrated by Adrian Reynolds. (Bloomsbury, $16.99) ISBN 978-1599903866
BEAR IN THE AIR. Susan Meyers. Illustrated by Amy Bates. (Abrams, $15.95) ISBN 978-0810983984
BEAUTIFUL YETTA: THE YIDDISH CHICKEN. Daniel Pinkwater. (Feiwel & Friends, $16.99) ISBN 978-0312558246
BEAVER IS LOST. Elisha Cooper. (Random House/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99) ISBN 978-0375857652
BEFORE I FALL. Lauren Oliver. (HarperTeen, $17.99) ISBN 978-0061726804
BENNO AND THE NIGHT OF BROKEN GLASS. Meg Wiviott. Illustrated by Josée Bisaillon. (Lerner/Kar-Ben, hc $17.95; pb $7.95) ISBN hc 978-0822599296; ISBN pb 978-0822599753
BEST FRIENDS FOREVER: A WORLD WAR II SCRAPBOOK. Beverly Patt. Illustrated by Shula Klinger. (Marshall Cavendish, $17.99) ISBN 978-0761455776
BIBLIOBURRO: A TRUE STORY FROM COLOMBIA. Jeanette Winter. (S&S/Beach Lane, $16.99) ISBN 978-1416997788)
BIRTHDAY BALL, THE. Lois Lowry. Illustrated by Jules Feiffer. (Houghton, $16) ISBN 978-0547238692
BLACK HOLE SUN, by David Macinnis Gill (Greenwillow, $16.99) ISBN 978-0061673047
BLACK JACK: THE BALLAD OF JACK JOHNSON. Charles R. Smith. Illustrated by Shane W. Evans. (Roaring Brook/Porter, $16.99) ISBN 978-1596434738
BLACK MAGIC. Dinah Johnson. Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. (Holt/Ottaviano, $15.99) ISBN 978-0805078336
BLEEDING VIOLET. Dia Reeves. (Simon Pulse, $16.99) ISBN 978-1416986188
BLOCKHEAD: THE LIFE OF FIBONACCI. Joseph D’Agnese. (Holt, $16.99) ISBN 978-0805063059
BLUE SO DARK, A. Holly Schindler. (Flux, pb, $9.95) ISBN 978-0738719269
BONESHAKER, THE. Kate Milford. Illustrated by Andrea Offermann. (Clarion, $16) ISBN 978-0547241876
BOY WHO CLIMBED INTO THE MOON, THE. David Almond. Illustrated by Polly Dunbar. (Candlewick, $15.99) ISBN 978-0763642174
BOYS, THE. Jeff Newman. (S&S, $15.99) ISBN 978-1416950127
BRAND-NEW BABY BLUES. Kathi Appelt. Illustrated by Kelly Murphy. (HarperCollins, $16.99) ISBN 978-0060532338
BRONTORINA. Howe, James. Illustrated by Randy Cecil. (Candlewick, $15.99) ISBN 978-0763644376
BULLET POINT. Peter Abrahams (HarperTeen, $16.99) ISBN 978-0061227691
CAN I PLAY TOO? Mo Willems. (Hyperion, $8.99) ISBN 978-1423119913
CANDY BOMBER: THE STORY OF THE BERLIN AIRLIFT’S “CHOCOLATE PILOT.” Michael O. Tunnell. (Charlesbridge, hc $18.95; pb $9.95) ISBN hc 978-1580893367; pb 978-1580893374
CAPTAIN SMALL PIG. Martin Waddell. Illustrated by Susan Varley. (Peachtree, $15.95) ISBN 978-1561455195
CARBON DIARIES 2017, THE. Saci Lloyd. (Holiday House, $17.95) ISBN 978-0823422609
CASE OF THE GYPSY GOOD-BYE, THE. Nancy Springer. (Philomel, $14.99) ISBN 978-0399252365
CAT THE CAT, WHO IS THAT? Mo Willems. (HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray, $12.99) ISBN 978-0061728402
CELESTIAL GLOBE, THE. Marie Rutkoski. (FSG, $16.99) ISBN 978-0374310271
CHALK. Bill Thomson. (Marshall Cavendish, $15.99) ISBN 978-0761455264
CHASING ORION. Kathryn Lasky. (Candlewick, $17.99) ISBN 978-0763639822
CHICKEN THIEF, THE. Batrice Rodriguez. (Enchanted Lion, $14.95) ISBN 978-1592700929
CINCO DE MOUSE-O! Judy Cox. Illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler. (Holiday House, $16.95) ISBN 978-0823421947
CLOCK WITHOUT A FACE, THE. Gus Twintig. (McSweeney’s, $19.95) ISBN 978-1934781715
CLOUD TEA MONKEYS. Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham. Illustrated by Juan Wijngaard. (Candlewick, $15.99) ISBN 978-0763644536
CONSTELLATIONS. F. S. Kim (Children’s Press, hc $26; pb $6.95) hc EAN: 978-0531168950; pb EAN: 978-0531228029
COW LOVES COOKIES, THE. Karma Wilson. Illustrated by Marcellus Hall. (S&S/McElderry, $16.99) ISBN 978-1416942061
CRISPIN: THE END OF TIME. Avi. (HarperTeen/Balzer+Bray, $16.99) ISBN 978-0061740800
CROSSING THE TRACKS. Barbara Stuber. (S&S/McElderry, $16.99) ISBN 9781416997030
CRUNCH. Leslie Connor. (HarperCollins/Tegen, $16.99) ISBN 978-0061692291
DANCING FEET! Lindsey Craig. Illustrated by Marc Brown. (Knopf, $16.99) ISBN 978-0375861819
DANCING PANCAKE, THE. Eileen Spinelli. Illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff. (Knopf, $12.99) ISBN 978-0375858703
DARK EMPEROR AND OTHER POEMS OF THE NIGHT, by Joyce Sidman. Illustrated by Rick Allen. (Houghton, $16.99) ISBN 978-0547152288
DINOSAUR MOUNTAIN: DIGGING INTO THE JURASSIC AGE. Deborah Kogan Ray. (FSG/Foster, $16.99) ISBN 978-04374317898
DJANGO, THE. Levi Pinfold. (Candlewick/Templar, $16.99) ISBN 978-0763627889
DOG LOVES BOOKS. Louise Yates. (Knopf, $16.99) ISBN 978-0375864490
DOGS. Emily Gravett. (S&S, $15.99) ISBN 978-1416987031
DOLLHOUSE FAIRY, THE. Jane Ray. (Candlewick, $16.99) ISBN 978-0763644116
DON’T SPILL THE BEANS! Ian Schoenherr. (Greenwillow, $16.99) ISBN 978-0061724572
DOODLEBUG: A NOVEL IN DOODLES. Karen Romano Young. (Feiwel & Friends, $14.99) ISBN 978-0312561567
DRAGONBREATH: ATTACK OF THE NINJA FROGS. Ursula Vernon. (Dial, $12.99) ISBN 978-0803733657
DRAGONS OF DARKNESS. Antonia Michaelis. Translated by Anthea Bell. (Abrams, $18.95) ISBN 978-0810940741
EASTER EGG, THE. Jan Brett. Putnam, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0399252389
ECOMAZES: TWELVE EARTH ADVENTURES. Roxie Munro. (Sterling, $14.95) ISBN 978-1402763939
EGRET’S DAY, AN. Jane Yolen. Photography by Jason Stemple. (Boyds Mills/Wordsong, $17.95) ISBN 978-1590786505
EIGHTH-GRADE SUPERZERO. Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich. Scholastic/Levine, $16.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0545096768
EMILY’S FORTUNE. Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Illustrated by Ross Collins. (Delacorte, $14.99) ISBN 978-0385736169
EMMA’S POEM: THE VOICE OF THE STATUE OF LIBERTY. Linda Glaser. Illustrated by Claire A. Nivola. (Houghton, $17) ISBN 978-0547171845
ENCHANTED GLASS. Diana Wynne Jones. (Greenwillow, $16.99) ISBN 978-0061866845
ENCYCLOPEDIA MYTHOLOGICA: GODS AND HEROES. Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda. (Candlewick, $29.99) ISBN 978-0763631710
EVERY LITTLE THING IN THE WORLD. Nina de Gramont. (Atheneum, $16.95) ISBN 978-1426305955
EVERYDAY LIFE IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE. Kathryn Hinds. (Marshall Cavendish/Benchmark, $42.79 ISBN 978-0761444848
EYE FOR COLOR, AN: THE STORY OF JOSEF ALBERS. Natasha Wing, illus. by Julia Breckenreid (Holt, $16.99) ISBN 978-0805080728
FARAWAY ISLAND, A. Annika Thor. Translated by Linda Schenck. (Delacorte, $16.99) ISBN 978-0385736176
FDR’S ALPHABET SOUP: NEW DEAL AMERICA, 1932-1939. Tonya Bolden. (Knopf, $19.99) ISBN 978-0375852145
FIRE WILL FALL. Carol Plum-Ucci. (Harcourt, $18) ISBN 978-0152165628
FIREFLY LETTERS, THE: A Suffragette’s Journey to Cuba. Margarita Engle. (Holt, $16.99) ISBN 978-0-8050-9082-6
FLEABAG. Helen Stephens. (Holt, $16.99) ISBN 978-0805089752
FOLLY. Marthe Jocelyn. (Random House/Lamb, $15.99) ISBN 978-0385738460
FOR THE WIN. Cory Doctorow. (Tor, $17.99) ISBN 978-0765322166
FOREVER FRIENDS. Carin Berger. (Greenwillow, $16.99) ISBN 978-0061915289
FOX AND THE HEN, THE. Eric Battut. (Boxer Books, $16.95) ISBN 978-1907152023
FRANKIE PICKLE AND THE PINE RUN 3000. Eric Wight. (S&S, $9.99) ISBN 978-1416964858
FRANKLIN’S BIG DREAMS, by David Teague. Illustrated by Boris Kulikov. (Hyperion, $16.99) ISBN 978-1423119197
FREDERICK DOUGLASS: A NOBLE LIFE. David A. Adler. (Holiday House, $18.95) ISBN 978-0823420568
FREEFALL. Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams. (Scholastic/Chicken House, $18.99) ISBN 978-0545138772
GARMANN’S STREET. Stian Hole. (Eerdman’s, $16.99) ISBN 978-0802853578
GIRL WITH THE MERMAID HAIR, THE. Delia Ephron. (HarperTeen, $16.99) ISBN 978-0061542602
GLIMPSE. Carol Lynch Williams. (S&S/Wiseman, $16.99) ISBN 978-1416997306
GRIMM LEGACY, THE. Polly Shulman. (Putnam, $16.99) ISBN 978-0399250965
GUARDIAN OF THE DEAD. Karen Healey. (Little, Brown, $17.99) ISBN 978-0316044301
HALF-LIFE OF PLANETS, THE. Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin. (Hyperion, $16.99) ISBN 978-1423121114
HALF-MINUTE HORRORS. Edited by Susan Rich (HarperCollins, $12.99) ISBN 978-0061833793
HALLELUJAH FLIGHT, THE. Phil Bildner. Illustrated by John Holyfield. (Putnam, $16.99) ISBN 978-0399247897
HENRIETTA HORNBUCKLE’S CIRCUS OF LIFE. Michael de Guzman. (FSG, $16.99) ISBN 978-0374335137
HENRY AARON’S DREAM. Matt Tavares. (Candlewick, $16.99) ISBN 978-0763632243
HEY, RABBIT! Sergio Ruzzier. (Roaring Brook/Porter, $16.99) ISBN 978-1596435025
HIP HOP DOG. Raschka, Chris. (HarperCollins, $16.99) ISBN 978-0061239632
HOUSE OF DOLLS. Francesca Lia Block. Illustrated by Barbara McClintock. (Harper, $15.99) ISBN 978-0061130946
HOW TO CLEAN YOUR ROOM IN 10 EASY STEPS. Jennifer LaRue Huget. Illustrated by Edward Koren. (Random/Schwartz & Wade, $16.99) ISBN 978-0375844102
HOW TO MAKE A BIRD. Martine Murray. (Scholastic/Levine, $17.99) ISBN 978-0439669511
HUDSON, by Janice Weaver. Illustrated by David Craig. (Tundra, $22.95) ISBN 978-0887768149
I AM A BACKHOE. Hines, Anna Grossnickle. (Tricycle, $12.99) ISBN 978-1582463063.
I AM GOING (ELEPHANT & PIGGIE). Mo Willems. (Hyperion, $8.99) ISBN 978-1423119906
I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER (JOHN CLEAVER). Dan Wells. (Tor, $9.99) ISBN 978-0765327826
I DON’T WANT A COOL CAT! Emma Dodd. (Little, Brown, $15.99) ISBN 978-0316036740
I KNOW HERE. Laurel Croza. Illustrated by Matt James. (Groundwood, $18.95) ISBN 978-0888999238
INCREDIBLE VOYAGE OF ULYSSES. Bimba Landmann. (Getty, $19.95) ISBN 978-1606060124
INSECT DETECTIVE. Steve Voake. Illustrated by Charlotte Voake. (Candlewick, $16.99) ISBN 978-0763644475
IS IT NIGHT OR DAY? Fern Schumer Chapman. (FSG, $16.99) ISBN 978-0374177447
JUMP. Elisa Carbone, Viking, $16.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0670011858
JUSTIN CASE: SCHOOL, DROOL, AND OTHER DAILY DISASTERS. Rachel Vail. Illustrated by Matthew Cordell. (Feiwel & Friends, $16.99) EAN 978-0312532901
LAWN TO LAWN. Dan Yaccarino. (Knopf, $17.99) ISBN 978-0375855740
LIFE AND TIMES OF SCROOGE MCDUCK, THE. VOL. 1. Don Rosa. (Boom! Kids, $24.99) ISBN 978-1608865383
LIGHTER SIDE OF LIFE AND DEATH, THE. C.K. Kelly Marton. (Random, $16.99) ISBN 978-0375845888
LITTLE DIVA. LaChanze. Illustrated by Brian Pinkney. (Feiwel & Friends, $16.99) ISBN 978-0312370107
LITTLE WANTING SONG, A. Cath Crowley. (Knopf, $16.99) ISBN 978-0375960963
LOCKDOWN. Walter Dean Myers. (HarperTeen, $16.99) ISBN 978-0061214806
LOVE STORY STARRING MY DEAD BEST FRIEND, A. Emily Horner. (Dial, $16.99) ISBN 978-0803734203
LYLE WALKS THE DOGS: A COUNTING BOOK. Bernard Waber. Illustrated by Paulis Waber. (Houghton Mifflin, $12.99) ISBN 978-0547223230
MAGGIE’S BALL. Lindsay Barrett George. (Greenwillow, $16.99) ISBN 978-0061721663
MAGIC UNDER GLASS. Jaclyn Dolamore. (Bloomsbury, $16.99) ISBN 978-1599904306
MAMA, IS IT SUMMER YET? Nikki McClure. (Abrams, $17.95) ISBN 978-0810984684
MAMBA POINT. Kurtis Scaletta. (Knopf, $16.99) ISBN 978-0375861802
MARY MAE AND THE GOSPEL TRUTH. Sandra Dutton. (Houghton Mifflin, $15) ISBN 978-0547249667
MARY’S PENNY. Tanya Landman. Illustrated by Richard Holland. (Candlewick, $15.99) ISBN 978-0763647681
MEETING, THE. Brigitte Luciani. Illustrated by Eve Tharlet. Translated by Carol Klio Burrell. (Lerner/Graphic Universe, $6.95) ISBN 978-0761356318
MILLION SHADES OF GRAY, A. Cynthia Kadohata. (S&S/Atheneum, $16.99) ISBN 978-1416918837
MISS BROOKS LOVES BOOKS! (AND I DON’T). Barbara Bottner. Illusytsyrf by Michael Emberley. (Knopf/Borzoi, $17.99) ISBN 978-0375846823
MISTWOOD. Leah Cypress. (Greenwillow, $16.99) ISBN 978-0061956997
MOON BEAR. Brenda Z. Guiberson. Illustrated by Ed Young. (Holt, $16.99) ISBN 978-0805089776
MR. MENDOZA’S PAINTBRUSH: A GRAPHIC NOVEL. Luis Alberto Urrea. Illustrated Christopher Cardinale. (Cinco Puntos Press, $16.95) EAN 978-1933693231
MY LIFE AS A BOOK. Janet Tashjian. (Holt, $16.99) ISBN 978-0805089035
NABEEL’S NEW PANTS: An EID TALE. Fawzia Gilani-Williams. Illustrated by Proiti Roy. (Marshall Cavendish, $15.99) ISBN 9780761456292
NO MOON. Irene N. Watts. (Tundra, $12.95) ISBN 978-0887769719
NORTHWARD TO THE MOON. Polly Horvath. (Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99) ISBN 978-0375861109
NOT ALL PRINCESSES DRESS IN PINK. Jane Yolen and Heidi E.Y. Stemple. Illustrated by Anne-Sophie Lanquetin. (S&S, $15.99) ISBN 978-1416980186
ODYSSEY, THE. Homer and Tim Mucci. Illustrated by Ben Caldwell. (Sterling, $7.95) ISBN 978-1402731556
OH, DADDY! Bob Shea. (HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray, $16.99) ISBN 978-0061730801
OLDER THAN THE STARS. Fox, Karen C. (Charlesbridge, $15.95) ISBN: 978-1570917875
OTHER HALF OF MY HEART, THE. Sundee T. Frazier. (Delacorte, $15.99) ISBN 978-0385734400
PADDLING OF DUCKS, A: ANIMALS IN GROUPS FROM A TO Z. Marjorie Blain Parker. Illustrated by Joseph Kelly. (Kids Can, $16.95) ISBN 978-1553376828
PALACE BEAUTIFUL. Sarah DeFord Williams. (Putnam, $16.99) ISBN 978-0399252983
PICTURE THE DEAD. Adele Griffin. Illustrated by Lisa Brown. (Sourcebooks Fire, $14.99) ISBN 978-1402237126
PIGS TO THE RESCUE. John Himmelman. (Holt, $16.99) ISBN 978-0805086836
PINGPONG PERRY EXPERIENCES HOW A BOOK IS MADE. Sandy Donovan. Illustrated by James Christoph. (Capstone, $25.32) ISBN 978-1404857599
PLANET HUNTER: GEOFF MARCY AND THE SEARCH FOR OTHER EARTHS. Vicki O. Wittenstein. (Boyds Mills Press, $17.95) ISBN 978-1590785928
POD. Stephen Wallenfels. (namelos, pb $9.95) ISBN 978-1608980109
POETRY SPEAKS WHO I AM: POEMS OF DISCOVERY, INSPIRATION, INDEPENDENCE, AND EVERYTHING ELSE. Edited by Elise Paschen. (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, $19.99) ISBN 978-1402210747
POISON EATERS AND OTHER STORIES. Holly Black. Illustrated by Theo Black. (Big Mouth House, $17.99) ISBN 978-1931520631
POISONED HONEY: A STORY OF MARY MAGDALENE. Beatrice Gormley. (Knopf, $16.99) ISBN 978-0375852077
POP! THE INVENTION OF BUBBLE GUM. Meghan McCarthy. (S&S/Wiseman, $15.99) ISBN 978-1416979708
PRESENT TENSE OF PRINNY MURPHY, THE. Jill MacLean. (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, $11.95) ISBN 978-1554551453
PRIME BABY. Gene Luen Yang. (First Second, hc $19.99; pb $6.99) ISBN 978-1596436503; pb 978-1596436121
PRINCESS SAYS GOODNIGHT. Naomi Howland, illus. by David Small. (Harper, $16.99) ISBN 978-0061455254
PRIVATE THOUGHTS OF AMELIA E. RYE. Bonnie Shimko. (FSG, $16.99) ISBN 978-0374361310
PUSH BUTTON. Aliki. (Greenwillow, $16.99) ISBN 978-0061673085
QUIET BOOK, THE. Deborah Underwood. Illustrated by Renata Liwska. (Houghton, $12.95) ISBN 978-0547215679
RATFINK. Marcia Thornton Jones. Illustrated by C.B. Decker. (Dutton, $16.99) ISBN 978-0525420668
REMEMBERING CRYSTAL. Sebastian Loth. (North South, $14.95) ISBN 978-0735823006
RESISTANCE. Carla Jablonski. Illustrated by Leland Purvis. (Roaring Brook/First Second, $16.99) ISBN 978-1596432918
RING WENT ZING, THE. Sean Taylor. Illustrated by Jill Barton. (Dial, $16.99) ISBN 978-0803733114
RIVER, THE. Mary Jane Beaufrand. (Little, Brown, $16.99) ISBN 978-0316041688
ROBIN MAKES A LAUGHING SOUND, THE: A BIRDER’S JOURNAL. Sallie Wolf. (Charlesbridge, $11.95) ISBN 978-1580893183
SABLE QUEEN: A TALE OF REDWALL. Brian Jacques. (Philomel, $23.99) ISBN 978-0399251641
SALT. Maurice Gee. (Orca, $18) ISBN 978-1554692095
SAVING SKY. Diane Stanley. (Harper, $15.99) ISBN 978-0061239052
SAY HELLO! Rachel Isadora. (Putnam, $16.99) ISBN 978-0399252303
SCARS. Cheryl Rainfield. (WestSide, $16.95) ISBN 978-1934813324
SECRET SPEAKERS AND THE SEARCH FOR SELADOR’S GATE. K.S.R. Kingworth. (Rawle & Windsor, pb $15.99) ISBN 978-0980130355
SEEDS OF CHANGE: WANGARI’S GIFT TO THE WORLD. Jen Cullerton Johnson. Illustrated by Sonia Lynn Sadler. (Lee & Low, $18.95) ISBN 978-1600603679
SHADE. Jeri Smith-Ready. Simon Pulse, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1416994060
SHADOWS, THE. Jacqueline West. Illustrated by Poly Bernatene. (Dial, $16.99) ISBN 978-0803734401
SHAKESPEARE MAKES THE PLAY-OFFS. Ron Koertge (Candlewick, $15.99) ISBN 978-0763644352
SIGNED, ABIAH ROSE. Diane Browning. (Tricycle, $15.99) ISBN 978-1582463117
SISTERS RED. Jackson Pearce. (Little, Brown, $16.99) ISBN 978-0316068680
SIX RULES OF MAYBE, THE. Deb Caletti. (Simon Pulse, $16.99) ISBN 978-1416979692
SLEEPY, OH SO SLEEPY. Denise Fleming. (Holt, $16.99) ISBN 978-0805081268
SMALL FREE KISS IN THE DARK, A. Glenda Millard. (Holiday House, $16.95) ISBN 978-0823422647
SMELLS LIKE DOG. Suzanne Selfors. (Little, Brown, $15.99) ISBN 978-0316043984
BSMILE! Leigh Hodgkinson. (HarperTeen/Balzer+Bray, $16.99) ISBN 978-0061852695
SNOOK ALONE, by Marilyn Nelson. Illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering. (Candlewick, $16.99) ISBN 978-0763626679)
SNOWBALL EFFECT, THE. Holly Nicole Hoxter. (HarperTeen, $16.99) ISBN 978-0061755712
SOLAR SYSTEM, THE. Howard K. Trammel. (Children’s Press, $6.95) ISBN 978-0531228029
SOMEBODY EVERYBODY LISTENS TO. Suzanne Supplee. (Dutton, $16.99) ISBN 978-0525422426
SONG OF THE WHALES, THE. Uri Orlev. Translated by Hillel Halkin. (Houghton, $16) ISBN 978-0547257525
SONS OF LIBERTY, THE: VOLUME 1. Alexander Lagos and Joseph Lagos. Illustrated by Steve Walker. (Random, hc $18.99; pb $12.99) ISBN hc 978-0375856709; pb 978-0375856679
SORTA LIKE A ROCK STAR. Matthew Quick. (Little, Brown, $16.99) ISBN 978-0316043526
SOURCES OF LIGHT. Margaret McMullan. (Houghton, $15) ISBN 978-0547076591
SPACE BETWEEN TREES, THE. Katie Williams, Chronicle, $16.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0811871754
SPACEHEADZ. Jon Scieszka and Francesco Sedita. Illustrated by Shane Prigmore. (Simon & Schuster, $14.99 hc; $? pb) ISBN hc 978-1416979517; pb 978-1416987055
SPELLS. Aprilynne Pike. (Harper, $16.99) ISBN 978-0061668067
STAND STRAIGHT, ELLA KATE: THE TRUE STORY OF A REAL GIANT. Kate Klise. Illustrated by M. Sarah Klise. (Dial, $16.99) ISBN 978-0803734043
STAR CRUSHER, THE: MISSILE MOUSE. Jake Parker. (Graphix, $10.99) ISBN 978-0545117159
STAR IN THE FOREST. Laura Resau. (Delacorte, $14.99) ISBN 978-0385737920
STARS. Ker Than. (Children’s Press, $6.95) ISBN 978-0531228067
STOLEN. Lucy Christopher. (Scholastic/Chicken House, $17.99) ISBN 978-0545170932
STUCK ON EARTH. David Klass. (FSG/Foster, $16.99) ISBN 978-0-374-39951-1
SUBURB BEYOND THE STARS, THE. M.T. Anderson. (Scholastic, $17.99) ISBN 978-0545138826
SUBWAY. Christoph Niemann. (Greenwillow, $16.99) ISBN 978-0061577796
SUNDAY IS FOR GOD. Michael McGowan. Illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher. (Random House/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99) ISBN 978-0375841880
TAKE ME WITH YOU. Carolyn Marsden. (Candlewick, $14.99) ISBN 978-0763637392
TELL US WE’RE HOME. Maria Budhos. (S&S/Atheneum, $16.99) ISBN 978-1416903529
THEY CALLED THEMSELVES THE KKK: THE BIRTH OF AN AMERICAN TERRORIST GROUP. Susan Campbell Bartoletti. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $19) ISBN 978-0618440337
THIS WORLD WE LIVE IN. Susan Beth Pfeffer. (Harcourt, $17) ISBN 978-0547248042
TIME YOU LET ME IN: 25 POETS UNDER 25. Selected by Naomi Shihab Nye. (Greenwillow, $16.99) ISBN 978-0061896378
TOADS AND DIAMONDS. Heather Tomlinson. (Holt, $16.99) ISBN 978-0805089684
TODD’S TV. James Proimos. (HarperCollins/Tegen, $15.99) ISBN 978-0061709852
TREASURE OF DEAD MAN’S LANE AND OTHER CASE FILES. Simon Cheshire. Illustrated by R. W. Alley. (Roaring Brook, $16.99) ISBN 978-1596434752
TREE HOUSE, THE. Marjorie Tolman and Ronald Tilman. (Boyds Mills/Lemniscaat, $17.95) ISBN 978-1590788066
TRUCKER, THE. Barbara Samuels. (FSG, $16.99) ISBN 978-0374378042
TUMBLEWEES SKIES. Sherrard, Valerie. (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, $11.95) ISBN 978-1554551132
TYRANNY. Lesley Fairfield. (Tundra, $10.95) ISBN 978-0887769030
UGLY DUCKLING, THE. Adapted by Sebastien Braun. (Boxer Books, $16.95) ISBN 978-1907152047
VAMPIRE RISING (Alex Van Helsing series, Book 1. Jason Henderson. (HarperTeen, $16.99) ISBN 978-0061950995
VIEW FROM THE TOP, THE. Hilary Frank. (Dutton, $16.99) ISBN 978-0525422419
W IS FOR WOMBAT. Bronwyn Bancroft. (Little Hare, $8.99) ISBN 978-1921541179
WAGER, THE. Donna Jo Napoli. (Holt, $16.99) ISBN 978-0805087819
WAITING OUT THE STORM. JoAnn Early Macken. Illustrated by Susan Gaber. (Candlewick, $15.99) ISBN 978-0763633783
WALDEN THEN AND NOW: AN ALPHABETICAL TOUR OF HENRY THOREAU’S POND. Michael McCurdy. (Charlesbridge, $16.95) ISBN 978-1580892537
WANTED: THE PERFECT PET. Fiona Roberton. (Putnam, $16.99) ISBN 978-0399254611
WARRIORS IN THE CROSSFIRE. Nancy Bo Flood. (Front Street, $17.95) ISBN 978-1590786611
WE THE CHILDREN (BENJAMIN PRATT AND THE KEEPERS OF THE SCHOOL 01). Andrew Clements. Illustrated by Adam Stower. (S&S/Atheneum, $14.99) ISBN 978-1416938866
WHAT ABOUT BEAR? Suzanne Bloom. (Boyds Mills, $16.95) ISBN 978-1590785287
WHAT THE LADYBUG HEARD. Julia Donaldson. Illustrated by Lydia Monks. (Holt, $16.99) ISBN 978-0805090284
WHEN JACK GOES OUT. Pat Schories. (Boyds Mills, $13.95) ISBN 978-1590786529
WISHING FOR TOMORROW: THE SEQUEL TO A LITTLE PRINCESS. Hilary McKay. Illustrated by Nick Maland. (S&S/McElderry, $16.99) ISBN 978-1442401693
WOLVEN. Di Toft. (Scholastic/Chicken House, $16.99) ISBN 978-0545171090
WORD AFTER WORD AFTER WORD. Patricia MacLachlan. (HarperCollins/Tegen, $14.99.) ISBN 978-0060279714
YOUNG ZEUS. G. Brian Karas. (Scholastic, $17.99) ISBN 978-0439728065
YUCKY WORMS. Vivian French. Illustrated by Jessica Ahlberg. (Candlewick, $16.99) ISBN 978-0763644468
ZEN & XANDER UNDONE. Amy Kathleen Ryan. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $16) EAN 978-0547062488
ZEUS: KING OF THE GODS. Adapted and illustrated by George O’Connor. (Roaring Brook/First Second/Porter, $16.99 hc, $9.99 pb.) ISBN 978-1596434318 hc; ISBN 978-1596436251 pb.

How We Can Save the Picture Book

Josie Leavitt - June 16, 2010

Yesterday, the New England Children’s Bookselling Advisory Council met for its third meeting of the year. We were fortunate to have author/illustrator Elisha Cooper make a presentation to us. He was accompanied by Ken Geist, v-p and editorial director of Orchard Books and Cartwheel Books.
Elisha’s talk was lively and got me thinking. He really discussed how picture books fit in the bookselling world. What is the difference between a bestselling book: one that might rely on celebrity authors, or be part of franchise and be thought of as light, or one that is solid quality, say, an Elisha Cooper or a Jerry Pinkney book, that might not find its way onto the bookshelves of young readers? His overriding point was picture books are where we create lifelong readers. A child’s library should be full of richness of story, art that is magic and wonder. How do we as booksellers get the best picture books into the hands of young readers?
Well, it’s challenging right now to sell picture books. Hardcovers are deemed too expensive by many customers, and paperbacks don’t often lend themselves to longevity on the child’s shelf; parents have started thinking that children over the age of five are too old for picture books; some people think wordless picture books are a waste of time and money.
The point I walked away with was: it’s on us, the booksellers, to fight these assumptions. While we can’t do anything about the cost, we can impress on parents and grandparents that the great picture books, the ones that last, not the theme-based books, are the one kids will remember. Do I remember every Snow White book I read as a child? No. But, I can practically tell you the day I first read In the Night Kitchen and how it has stayed with me my entire life. This is not to say that the Snow White books were bad, they were just light. A few of them were good, but a steady diet of them would have been ultimately very limiting for me. It was In the Night the Kitchen that had me craving other books. I read everything Maurice Sendak wrote. I pored over every page of Chicken Soup with Rice and What Do People Do All Day?
The point I’m trying to make is we need to work harder to sell all kinds of picture books. One statement Ken made that chilled me was that Barnes and Noble, in their store redesign, has removed the picture book back wall from its stores. Instead there are activity books and some picture books mixed in. No longer is there an unbroken expanse of picture books; the message that sends is enormous. If parents only see activity books or media tie-in books, then that’s what they’ll buy.
Our jobs as indie booksellers is to keep the picture alive, and this means doing some customer education.
* Wordless picture books are not “babyish.” They are often extremely sophisticated works that allow a child, or parent, to use their imagination every time they read the book to create a new story and see new things. These books are art and it’s time to look at them that way. The lack of words only expands the mind.
* Anyone can read a picture book. Even if a child has begun to read on their own, picture books are still appropriate for them read. There is a rush to get kids out of picture books and into chapter books, and I feel the loss of picture books to kids the same way it hurts my heart when 12-year-olds stop reading kids’ books and go right to adult fare. These books were meant to be read by children and a picture is not “too young” for anyone.
* There is a place for franchised books, but there needs to be some books with a quieter message, too.
Everyone remembers their favorite picture book from childhood, and these are now the “classics.” It’s our job as booksellers and librarians to help find the modern classics amid the sea of books that comes out every year. I try to think when I recommend books, “Is this something this child will want to read more than once or twice?”
I’m curious what were some of the formative picture books from your childhood?

Playing Hookey

Josie Leavitt - June 14, 2010

I love my store. I love my customers. But there are times when I need to get away and enjoy a stunningly spectacular day. Sadly, sometimes this day conflicts with my regularly scheduled work times. So, what’s a slightly understaffed boss supposed to do?
Well the first thing I could do is get someone competent to work on Sundays so I could enjoy a rare gorgeous early summer day. But I haven’t done that, yet. So today I continued a long-standing Flying Pig tradition of taking a “gone fishing” day.  Is this a smart business decision?  I think so. We have a very strange dynamic where one busy Saturday tends to mean that Sunday is slow, and this Saturday was phenomenal.
Why do we close two days a year when the weather is so gorgeous it hurts? We say yes to life. There is something about the spontaneity  about waking up and thinking, “It’s too pretty to work.” I live in Vermont and it’s done nothing but rain the past week. Not just rain, but pour, and it’s been about fifteen degrees cooler than normal, so  Sunday, with abundant sunshine and warmth, was a gift that I needed to enjoy with Elizabeth, who had just gotten home from a week away.
It’s really a win-win for everyone. A happy, refreshed Josie is a better bookseller and that’s can only be a good thing, really, for everyone.
The reality of “gone fishing” for me means actually spending the day on my deck, reading.