Holiday Spotlight: Candlewick Press 2021

Here at Penguin Random House Canada, we’re lucky to work with so many different publisher lists. This holiday season, we’ll be highlighting each one with a dedicated post to help you find the perfect gift (or your next read). Today’s post spotlights Candlewick Press.

20 Big Trucks in the Middle of Christmas
By Mark Lee
Illustrated by Kurt Cyrus
32 Pages | Ages 3-7  | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536212532 | Candlewick
The snowy town is filling up with a procession of trucks of all shapes and sizes, including a snowplow, a crane, a digger, a semitrailer transporting the town’s majestic Christmas tree, and even a flatbed carrying Santa’s sleigh. All in all, twenty trucks roll in full of sparkle and anticipation, ready to set up the holiday festivities. But when the star being hoisted to the top of the Christmas tree wobbles and crashes to the ground, what could possibly be used to replace it? Thankfully, a pair of siblings scan the scene and come up with the perfect solution. Author Mark Lee and illustrator Kurt Cyrus team up again for a buoyant story delivering satisfying rhymes, holiday spirit, and most importantly, twenty trucks for counting.

Amber and Clay
By Laura Amy Schlitz
Illustrated by Julia Iredale
544 Pages | Ages 10-14 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536201222 | Candlewick
In a warlike land of wind and sunlight, “ringed by a restless sea,” live Rhaskos and Melisto, spiritual twins with little in common beyond the violent and mysterious forces that dictate their lives. A Thracian slave in a Greek household, Rhaskos is as common as clay, a stable boy worth less than a donkey, much less a horse. Wrenched from his mother at a tender age, he nurtures in secret, aided by Socrates, his passions for art and philosophy. Melisto is a spoiled aristocrat, a girl as precious as amber but willful and wild. She’ll marry and be tamed – the curse of all highborn girls – but risk her life for a season first to serve Artemis, goddess of the hunt. Bound by destiny, Melisto and Rhaskos – Amber and Clay – never meet in the flesh. By the time they do, one of them is a ghost. But the thin line between life and death is just one boundary their unlikely friendship crosses. It takes an army of snarky gods and fearsome goddesses, slaves and masters, mothers and philosophers to help shape their story into a gorgeously distilled, symphonic tour de force. Blending verse, prose, and illustrated archaeological “artifacts,” this is a tale that vividly transcends time, an indelible reminder of the power of language to illuminate the over- and underworlds of human history.

Bake, Make, and Learn to Cook: Fun and Healthy Recipes for Young Cooks
By David Atherton
Illustrated by Rachel Stubbs
88 Pages | Ages 5-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536219364 | Candlewick
Gather your frying pan, mixing bowls, and rolling pin – it’s time to cook! David Atherton, 2019 winner of The Great British Baking Show, walks readers through delicious and delightful recipes such as banana bear pancakes, tasty tacos, and mega-chocolatey cake. From tomato soup (served in a teapot!) to brownies made with sweet potatoes, David Atherton offers a kid-friendly collection of recipes that feels at once timeless and modern. Accompanied by warm illustrations from Rachel Stubbs that capture the joys of cooking together, Bake, Make, and Learn to Cook features sweet and savory recipes for any time of day, a list of needed equipment, a glossary of cooking terms, and some important tips. Don your apron and grab your favorite little sous-chef – this will be a first cookbook to cherish.

Idol Gossip
By Alexandra Leigh Young
352 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536213645 | Walker Books US
Every Friday after school, seventeen-year-old Alice Choy and her little sister, Olivia, head to Myeongdong to sing karaoke. Back in San Francisco, when she still had friends and earthly possessions, Alice took regular singing lessons. But since their diplomat mom moved them to Seoul, her only musical outlet is vamping it up in a private karaoke booth to an audience of one: her loyal sister. Then a scout for Top10 Entertainment, one of the biggest K-pop companies, hears her and offers her a spot at their Star Academy. Can Alice navigate the culture clashes, egos, and extreme training practices of K-pop to lead her group onstage before a stadium of 50,000 chanting fans – and just maybe strike K-pop gold? Not if a certain influential blogger and the anti-fans get their way. . . . This debut novel is about standing out and fitting in, dreaming big and staying true. It will speak to fans of K-pop and to anyone who is trying to take their talents to the next level.

Jasmine Green Rescues: A Donkey Called Mistletoe
By Helen Peters
Illustrated by Ellie Snowdon
160 Pages | Ages 7-9 | Paperback
ISBN 9781536222463 | Walker Books
When Jasmine and her best friend, Tom, visit their neighbor Mr. Hobson to help him with some chores, they discover that he is selling his farm and moving to a nearby assisted living facility. Because Mr. Hobson won’t have a home for his beloved donkey, Mistletoe, anymore, he is planning to send him to a faraway sanctuary. Jasmine doesn’t want to see them separated, so she hatches a plan to keep Mistletoe at Oak Tree Farm, where Mr. Hobson could visit him whenever he liked. But caring for a donkey is lots of work (as Jasmine’s parents often remind her), especially with her mischievous younger brother around. When the school nativity play encounters a mishap, though, Jasmine realizes she may have the perfect understudy right in her backyard. From author Helen Peters and illustrator Ellie Snowdon, this latest book in the Jasmine Green Rescues series offers a heartwarming tale of multigenerational friendship and holiday spirit.

Jingle Bells: A Musical Instrument Song Book
By James Lord Pierpont
Illustrated by Nicola Slater
10 Pages | Ages 0-2  | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536222036 | Nosy Crow
Listen and sing along as the merry band of musicians go on a sleigh ride, playing their instruments along the way. Then join in as they all play together in the festive finale! Nicola Slater’s charming illustrations combined with real instrumental music make this sound-button board book an irresistible Christmas gift.

Over the Shop
By JonArno Lawson
Illustrated by Qin Leng
48 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536201475 | Candlewick
A lonely little girl and her grandparent need to fill the run-down apartment in their building. But taking over the quarters above their store will mean major renovations for the new occupants, and none of the potential renters can envision the possibilities of the space – until one special couple shows up. With their ingenuity, the little girl’s big heart, and heaps of hard work, the desperate fixer-upper begins to change in lovely and surprising ways. In this bustling wordless picture book, JonArno Lawson’s touching story and Qin Leng’s gentle illustrations capture all angles of the building’s transformation, as well as the evolving perspectives of the girl and her grandparent. A warm and subtly nuanced tale, Over the Shop throws open the doors to what it means to accept people for who they are and to fill your home with love and joy.

Stink: The Stupendously Super-Sonic Collection
By Megan McDonald
Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Ages 6-9 | Paperback Box Set
ISBN 9781536223002 | Candlewick
Stink Moody: fact freak, science star, and encyclopedia enthusiast. He’s always up to learning more and sharing some out-of-this-world comics! Readers won’t want to miss out on this paperback boxed set of Stink’s first six books, with fresh covers sure to catch the eye. Included are: The Incredible Shrinking KidStink and the Incredible Super-Galactic JawbreakerStink and the World’s Worst Super-Stinky SneakersStink and the Great Guinea Pig ExpressSolar System Superhero, and Stink and the Ultimate Thumb-Wrestling Smackdown.

The Beatryce Prophecy: Gift Edition
By Kate DiCamillo
Illustrated by Sophie Blackall
256 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536218671 | Candlewick
This collector’s edition of The Beatryce Prophecy, packaged in a keepsake box with a ribbon enclosure, includes an exclusive full-color piece of artwork, as well as a special beautifully decorated scroll with a story written by two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo and illustrated in full color by two-time Caldecott Medalist Sophie Blackall. In a time of war, a mysterious child appears at the monastery of the Order of the Chronicles of Sorrowing. Gentle Brother Edik finds the girl, Beatryce, curled in a stall, wracked with fever, coated in dirt and blood, and holding fast to the ear of Answelica the goat. As the monk nurses Beatryce to health, he uncovers her dangerous secret, one that imperils them all – for the king of the land seeks just such a girl, and Brother Edik, who penned the prophecy himself, knows why. And so it is that a girl with a head full of stories – powerful tales-within-the-tale of queens and kings, mermaids and wolves – ventures into a dark wood in search of the castle of one who wishes her dead.

The Heartbreak Bakery
By A.R. Capetta
352 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536216530 | Candlewick
Syd (no pronouns, please) has always dealt with big, hard-to-talk-about things by baking. Being dumped is no different, except now Syd is baking at the Proud Muffin, a queer bakery and community space in Austin. And everyone who eats Syd’s breakup brownies . . . breaks up. Even Vin and Alec, who own the Proud Muffin. And their breakup might take the bakery down with it. Being dumped is one thing; causing ripples of queer heartbreak through the community is another. But the cute bike delivery person, Harley (he or they, check the pronoun pin, it’s probably on the messenger bag), believes Syd about the magic baking. And Harley believes Syd’s magical baking can fix things, too – one recipe at a time.

The Rock from the Sky
By Jon Klassen
96 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536215632 | Candlewick
There is a spot.
It is a good spot.
It is the perfect spot to stand.
There is no reason to ever leave.
But somewhere above there is also a rock.
A rock from the sky.
Here comes The Rock from the Sky, a hilarious meditation on the workings of friendship, fate, shared futuristic visions, and that funny feeling you get that there’s something off somewhere, but you just can’t put your finger on it. Merging broad visual suspense with wry wit, celebrated picture book creator Jon Klassen gives us a wholly original comedy for the ages.

To the Moon and Back Slipcase Set
By Sam McBratney
Illustrated by Anita Jeram
Ages 3-7 | Hardcover Box Set
ISBN 9781536222210 | Candlewick
It’s the book that gave rise to the words “I love you right up to the moon – and back” – a phrase that’s now in the common vernacular. This tale of a big and little hare who boast of loving each other as high as they can hop and as wide as they can reach has been adored by a generation of children who’ve begun sharing it with their own. Twenty-five years after the Nutbrown Hares met the world, creators Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram brought us the perfect companion – the story of Little Nutbrown Hare’s jubilant steps toward independence after meeting a new friend. Now, in an elegant slipcase, Guess How Much I Love You and Will You Be My Friend? find a special spot together on bookshelves – a pairing sure to be coveted by big and little readers for generations to come.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
By Clement C. Moore
Illustrated by P.J. Lynch
32 Pages | Ages 3-7  | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536222852 | Candlewick
P.J. Lynch brings his rich and atmospheric art to the well-loved holiday poem. Children will pore over every cozy detail in these warm, sweeping watercolor illustrations – from snug mice to stockings hung by the chimney with care to toys in the bundle flung over merry St. Nicholas’s back. A glowing interpretation of a favorite read-aloud, this is a keepsake volume to cherish and return to year after year.

Where Snow Angels Go
By Maggie O’Farrell
Illustrated by Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini
72 Pages | Ages 7-10 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536219371 | Candlewick
One night Sylvie awakens to an incredible sight: a glowing figure tiptoeing across her floor, with enormous feathery wings wafting from his back. He’s muttering to himself, trying to remember his orders, for this is his first flight. Could he really be the same angel she made last winter in the snow? Sylvie’s angel says she isn’t supposed to see him. He has been sent to save her life, and when the danger is past, she won’t remember he was there. But she does remember. She thinks of him every day. And when nothing Sylvie does, no matter how risky, can make him reappear, she realizes he’ll always be there unseen when she truly needs him. In a contemporary tale told with humor and warmth, paired with Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini’s enchanting artwork, Maggie O’Farrell weaves the story of a spirited girl who finds a way to bring magic into her own house – and enlist it to bring a sense of wonder to those she loves.

Where’s Waldo? Santa Spotlight Search
By Martin Handford
16 Pages | Ages 5-9  | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536220131 | Candlewick
Shake your sleigh bells, pull on your holiday sweater, and join in the festive madness! These night-time scenes are bustling with Santas getting ready for Christmas Eve. With the help of a magic slider to light up one spot at a time, can you find some very specific Santas – like the one whose stocking is threadbare? Or the ones who are slimmer than most? And by the way, where are Waldo and all his friends – Wenda, Odlaw, Wizard Whitebeard, and Woof? Featuring super-challenging searches as well as puzzles and games, Santa’s Spotlight Search promises many hours of merriment for seasoned Waldo fans and new followers alike.

Box Sets: Perfect for Gift Giving

Looking for a good gift for the bookworm in your life? Here are a bunch of box sets to keep them occupied for days!

Picture Books

Big Ideas for Little Philosophers Box Set
By Duane Armitage and Maureen McQuerry
Illustrated by Robin Rosenthal
Ages 0-3 | Board Box Set
ISBN 9780593111703 | Putnam BFYR
An exciting board book set about asking deep questions in a wonderfully accessibly way. This box set features four board books on prominent philosophers and their main teachings: Imagination with René Descartes, Equality with Simone de Beauvoir, Happiness with Aristotle, and Truth with Socrates. Through bold illustrations and relatable scenes, these concepts are explored in an accessible way for kids that allows them to connect these big ideas to their lives.

To the Moon and Back Slipcase Set
By Sam McBratney
Illustrated by Anita Jeram
Ages 3-7 | Hardcover Box Set
ISBN 9781536222210 | Candlewick
It’s the book that gave rise to the words “I love you right up to the moon – and back” – a phrase that’s now in the common vernacular. This tale of a big and little hare who boast of loving each other as high as they can hop and as wide as they can reach has been adored by a generation of children who’ve begun sharing it with their own. Twenty-five years after the Nutbrown Hares met the world, creators Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram brought us the perfect companion – the story of Little Nutbrown Hare’s jubilant steps toward independence after meeting a new friend. Now, in an elegant slipcase, Guess How Much I Love You and Will You Be My Friend? find a special spot together on bookshelves – a pairing sure to be coveted by big and little readers for generations to come.

Chapter Books/Graphic Novels

A Waffle Lot of Narwhal and Jelly (Hardcover Books 1-5)
By Ben Clanton
Ages 6-9 | Hardcover Box Set
ISBN 9780735271364  | Tundra Books
The first five books in this bestselling series are now available in a hardcover box set. The perfect gift for hours of underwater fun! The Narwhal and Jelly books are delightfully silly graphic novels full of positivity, friendship and playful adventure. This fintastic hardcover collection includes the following five titles: Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea!, Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Narwhal’s Otter Friend, and Happy Narwhalidays.

Stink: The Super-Incredible Collection
By Megan McDonald
Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Ages 6-9 | Paperback Box Set
ISBN 9781536223026 | Candlewick
Stink Moody – encyclopedia in hand, zany schemes in mind, and comical comebacks at the ready – stands tall in this boxed set of his first three books filled with cool facts, delightful idioms, and outrageous comics. Now it’s easy for young readers to jump-start their Stink collection with this refreshed set offering a trio of titles: The Incredible Shrinking Kid, Stink and the Incredible Super-Galactic Jawbreaker, and Stink and the World’s Worst Super-Stinky Sneakers.

Stink: The Stupendously Super-Sonic Collection
By Megan McDonald
Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Ages 6-9 | Paperback Box Set
ISBN 9781536223002 | Candlewick
Stink Moody: fact freak, science star, and encyclopedia enthusiast. He’s always up to learning more and sharing some out-of-this-world comics! Readers won’t want to miss out on this paperback boxed set of Stink’s first six books, with fresh covers sure to catch the eye. Included are: The Incredible Shrinking Kid, Stink and the Incredible Super-Galactic Jawbreaker, Stink and the World’s Worst Super-Stinky Sneakers, Stink and the Great Guinea Pig Express, Solar System Superhero, and Stink and the Ultimate Thumb-Wrestling Smackdown.

Where’s Waldo? The Ultimate Waldo Watcher Collection
By Martin Handford
Ages 5-9 | Hardcover Box Set
ISBN 9781536215113 | Candlewick
Ready yourself for hours of searching with this slipcase full of Waldo’s best-selling adventures. This cool collection features seven puzzling classics – each including a spread full of new games and searches, and redesigned with a cohesive new look. Line them all up and you may even find the titular wanderer along their spines! Inside you’ll find: Where’s Waldo?, Where’s Waldo Now?, Where’s Waldo? The Fantastic Journey, Where’s Waldo? In Hollywood, Where’s Waldo? The Wonder Book, Where’s Waldo? The Great Picture Hunt, and Where’s Waldo? The Great Paper Chase.

Middle Grade

A Tale Dark & Grimm Complete Trilogy
By Adam Gidwitz
Ages 10+ | Paperback Box Set
ISBN 9780593530283 | Dutton BFYR
Never before available, this brand-new paperback box set is perfect for Adam Gidwitz fans old and new. This stunning collection includes all three books in the Newbery Honor–winning author’s bestselling series. Hansel and Gretel. Jack and Jill. Witches, beanstalks, and talking frogs. Murderous mermaids, giants, and bakers with ovens just right for baking children. Follow your favorite characters as they run away from their own stories and embark on thrilling new adventures. They may be frightening. They may be terrible. They may be Grimm. But unlike  those other fairy tales you know, these tales are true.

Disasters!: A Who HQ Collection
By Who HQ
Ages 8-12 | Paperback Box Set
ISBN 9780593519387 | Penguin Workshop
An eight-book box set from the creators of the New York Times Best-Selling What Was? series that details the most famous disasters in history, including the Titanic, Pompeii, and the Great Depression. Perfect for curious young readers, these eight titles provide exciting details about notable tragedies throughout history. Learn about the impact of catastrophes like the Titanic, Pompeii, the San Francisco Earthquake, Hurricane Katrina, the Hindenburg, the Great Chicago Fire, and Pearl Harbor in this complete collection of iconic historical moments. With black-and-white illustrations and an easy-to-read narrative in each book, readers will be able to quickly learn about the shock and aftermath of these disasters.

The Beatryce Prophecy: Gift Edition
By Kate DiCamillo
Illustrated by Sophie Blackall
256 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536218671 | Candlewick
This collector’s edition of The Beatryce Prophecy, packaged in a keepsake box with a ribbon enclosure, includes an exclusive full-color piece of artwork, as well as a special beautifully decorated scroll with a story written by two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo and illustrated in full color by two-time Caldecott Medalist Sophie Blackall. In a time of war, a mysterious child appears at the monastery of the Order of the Chronicles of Sorrowing. Gentle Brother Edik finds the girl, Beatryce, curled in a stall, wracked with fever, coated in dirt and blood, and holding fast to the ear of Answelica the goat. As the monk nurses Beatryce to health, he uncovers her dangerous secret, one that imperils them all – for the king of the land seeks just such a girl, and Brother Edik, who penned the prophecy himself, knows why. And so it is that a girl with a head full of stories – powerful tales-within-the-tale of queens and kings, mermaids and wolves – ventures into a dark wood in search of the castle of one who wishes her dead.

The Rock Box!: A Who HQ Collection
By Who HQ
Ages 8-12 | Paperback Box Set
ISBN 9780593519370 | Penguin Workshop
A ten-book box set dedicated to some of the most famous rock-and-roll artists of all time, from the creators of the #1 New York Times Best-Selling Who Was? series. Learn about the early lives and exciting careers of the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Bob Marley, Bruce Springsteen, and Bono. The Rock Box celebrates the musicians who have made us sing along to their songs for decades. With black-and-white illustrations and an easy-to-read narrative in each book, readers will enjoy discovering more about the history of the artists that shaped today’s music.

Young Adult

Karen M. McManus 2-Book Box Set
By Karen M. McManus
Ages 14+ | Hardcover Box Set
ISBN 9780593178751 | Delacorte Press
In One of Us Is Lying, five students walk into detention, and only four walk out. According to investigators, the last student’s death wasn’t an accident. He was planning to post juicy reveals about all four of his classmates the next day, which makes them each suspects. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose? In One of Us Is Next, a ton of copycat gossip apps have popped up since Simon died, but in the year after no one’s been able to fill the gossip void quite like he could. The problem is no one has the facts. Until now. This time it’s not an app, though – it’s a game. Truth or Dare. And if you’re smart, you’ll always take the dare.

The Ruta Sepetys Collection
By Ruta Sepetys
Ages 12+ | Paperback Box Set
ISBN 9780593352861 | Philomel Books
Discover #1 New York Times bestselling author Ruta Sepetys from the beginning. Featuring beautiful new cover art, this collection includes paperback editions of her award-winning, critically acclaimed body of work, including Between Shades of GrayOut of the EasySalt to the Sea, and The Fountains of Silence.

Wordless Books

There aren’t enough words to describe these wonderful titles. Wordless books can be a huge asset for emerging readers and a great resource for parents and educators. Here are some we love:

Antonia: A Journey to a New Home
By Dipacho
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781662650451 | MineditionUS
Like so many people around the world facing difficult times, the little girl and her family in this eye-catching and emotionally satisfying picture book have had to leave their home. The girl has brought along her belongings and her friendly, curious dog, Antonia. While waiting for a boat to take them across a river, she plays with other children who’ve also brought pets – a duck and a bird. But on the other side of the river, Antonia goes missing in the brush. The girl is distraught, until a new friend releases his own pet bird from its cage in an extraordinary gesture of solidarity and freedom. With colorful, whimsical illustrations and an uplifting message of resilience, this US debut from a talented Colombian creator will leave readers with a full heart.

Dandelion’s Dream
By Yoko Tanaka
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536204537 | Candlewick
In a meadow filled with dandelion buds just about to flower, one dandelion blooms into a real lion. Roots and leaves unfurl into four tiny paws and a long tail with a fluffy yellow tuft. What a great, wide world there is to explore when you have paws instead of roots: there are fast trains to ride, regal ships to sail, and cities with lights as bright as Dandelion’s field in full bloom. But will a real lion ever be content to go back to being a rooted dandelion? Yoko Tanaka’s exquisite illustrations take us on an adventure where even the smallest seeds contain cosmic dreams.

Field Trip to the Ocean Deep
By John Hare
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780823446308 | Margaret Ferguson Books
Students dressed in deep sea helmets travel to the ocean deep in a yellow school-bus submarine. When they get there, they frolic with fish, chase luminescent squid, and discover an old shipwreck. But when it’s time to return to the submarine bus, one student lingers to take a photo of a treasure chest and falls into a deep ravine. Luckily, the child makes an unexpected friend – a maybe-not-so-extinct sea creature called a Pleiosaur – that’s happy to entertain the young explorer until the teacher returns.

Hike
By Pete Oswald
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536201574 | Candlewick
In the cool and quiet early light of morning, a father and child wake up. Today they’re going on a hike. Follow the duo into the mountains as they witness the magic of the wilderness, overcome challenges, and play a small role in the survival of the forest. By the time they return home, they feel alive – and closer than ever – as they document their hike and take their place in family history. In detail-rich panels and textured panoramas, Pete Oswald perfectly paces this nearly wordless adventure, allowing readers to pause for subtle wonders and marvel at the views. A touching tribute to the bond between father and child, with resonant themes for Earth Day, Hike is a breath of fresh air.

How to Talk Monster
By Lynn Plourde
Illustrated by Mike Lowery
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525515807 | Putnam BFYR
A Little Boy is just trying to go to sleep when a Little Monster creeps up to his window and . . . says goop-zee-googy! Or, peek-a-boo!, in case you don’t speak Monster. Hilarity ensues as the Little Monster tries to play with the Little Boy despite the language barrier. While at first scared, the Little Boy comes to Little Monster’s rescue when he gets hurt and the two new friends are able to play together all night long. Complete with a glossary translating the monster language used throughout, this classic nighttime adventure story will have little readers wishing for a Little Monster to knock on their window at night.

I Walk with Vanessa: A Picture Book Story About a Simple Act of Kindness
By Kerascoët
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781524769550 | Schwartz & Wade
Inspired by real events, I Walk with Vanessa explores the feelings of helplessness and anger that arise in the wake of seeing a classmate treated badly, and shows how a single act of kindness can lead to an entire community joining in to help. By choosing only pictures to tell their story, the creators underscore the idea that someone can be an ally without having to say a word. With themes of acceptance, kindness, and strength in numbers, this timeless and profound feel-good story will resonate with readers young and old.

Journey
By Aaron Becker
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780763660536 | Candlewick
A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. Red marker in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon, and a flying carpet that carry her on a spectacular journey toward an uncertain destiny. When she is captured by a sinister emperor, only an act of tremendous courage and kindness can set her free. Can it also lead her home and to her heart’s desire? With supple line, luminous color, and nimble flights of fancy, author-illustrator Aaron Becker launches an ordinary child on an extraordinary journey toward her greatest and most exciting adventure of all.

La La La
By Kate DiCamillo
Illustrated by Jaime Kim
72 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780763658335 | Candlewick
“La la la . . . la.” A little girl stands alone and sings, but hears no response. Gathering her courage and her curiosity, she skips farther out into the world, singing away to the trees and the pond and the reeds – but no song comes back to her. Day passes into night, and the girl dares to venture into the darkness toward the light of the moon, becoming more insistent in her singing, climbing as high as she can, but still there is silence in return. Dejected, she falls asleep on the ground, only to be awakened by an amazing sound. . . . She has been heard. At last. With the simplest of narratives and the near absence of words, Kate DiCamillo conveys a lonely child’s yearning for someone who understands. With a subtle palette and captivating expressiveness, Jaime Kim brings to life an endearing character and a transcendent landscape that invite readers along on an emotionally satisfying journey.

Over the Shop
By JonArno Lawson
Illustrated by Qin Leng
48 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536201475 | Candlewick
A lonely little girl and her grandparent need to fill the run-down apartment in their building. But taking over the quarters above their store will mean major renovations for the new occupants, and none of the potential renters can envision the possibilities of the space – until one special couple shows up. With their ingenuity, the little girl’s big heart, and heaps of hard work, the desperate fixer-upper begins to change in lovely and surprising ways. In this bustling wordless picture book, JonArno Lawson’s touching story and Qin Leng’s gentle illustrations capture all angles of the building’s transformation, as well as the evolving perspectives of the girl and her grandparent. A warm and subtly nuanced tale, Over the Shop throws open the doors to what it means to accept people for who they are and to fill your home with love and joy.

Stormy: A Story About Finding a Forever Home
By Guojing
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781524771768 | Schwartz & Wade
In this heartwarming, wordless picture book that’s perfect for dog lovers, a woman visits a park and discovers a pup hiding under a bench – scruffy, scared, and alone. With gentle coaxing, the woman tries to befriend the animal, but the dog is too scared to let her near. Day after day, the woman tries – and day after day, the dog runs away. With perseverance and patience – and help from an enticing tennis ball – a tentative friendship begins. But it’s not until a raging storm forces the two together that a joyous and satisfying friendship takes hold. Guojing poignantly explores how trust doesn’t always come easily, but how, over time, and with kindness and determination, forever love can grow.

The Midnight Fair
By Gideon Sterer
Illustrated by Mariachiara Di Giorgio
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536211153 | Candlewick
Far from the city, but not quite the countryside, lies a fairground. When night comes and the fair is empty, something unexpected happens. Wild animals emerge from the forest, a brave raccoon pulls a lever, and the roller coasters and rides explode back into bright, neon life. It’s time for the woodland creatures to head to the fair! In a gorgeous wordless picture book, author Gideon Sterer and illustrator Mariachiara Di Giorgio offer an exuberant take on what animals are up to when humans are asleep. Suffused with color and light, the panel illustrations celebrate the inherent humor and joy in deer flying by on chair-swings, a bear winning a stuffed bear, three weasels carrying a soft pretzel, and a badger driving a bumper car. With thrills both spectacular and subtle, Midnight Fair will have readers punching their tickets again and again to revel in this fantastic nocturnal world.

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