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Willa’s Roaring Comeback

Willa Havisham, the titular heroine of Coleen Murtagh Paratore’s The Wedding Planner’s Daughter series (Simon & Schuster) is returning, but to a new publishing house: Little Pickle Press! Roar Like a Girl (9781939775078, Trade Paper, $9.95). is the first installment in the all-new Always Willa series, and chronicles Willa’s move from Cape Cod to Troy, New York, and her adjustment to a new life. Willa is already getting buzz, with a write-up in Publishers Weekly, and a five-star review from Foreword!

“Willa is likable, and she benefits from the friendly and fair people around her…The lessons waiting for young readers in Roar Like a Girl are powerful.”
Foreword Reviews


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One of the country’s most prominent young writers on race delivers an unflinching account of what it means to be a young black man in America today, and how the existing script for black manhood is being rewritten in one of the most fascinating periods of American history.


“‘Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching’ is ambitious, ardent and timely.” —Walton Muyumba, New York Times Book Review 

“An ambitious blend of autobiography and cultural criticism.” New York Times Book Review, Editors’ Choice 

“[an] audacious debut book…This is a must-read book for the generations.” —Charlie Braxton, Washington Post

“…a superbly thoughtful memoir.”—Buzzfeed 

“…wonderful…While Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching may not have the answers, its attempt to define the undefined something buzzing about blackness feels like catching lightning in a bottle.”—, Summer Reading Selection

“[Mychal Denzel Smith] provides perspective into the complexity of blackness that’s commonly lost in discussions about race…this memoir is both groundbreaking and saddening. It might be the first of its kind: a book that offers a comprehensive look into the genesis of black millennial lives through the eyes of a young black man.” —Daren W. Jackson, Chicago Tribune

“Mychal Denzel Smith is one of the most important and vibrant voices of his generation. Born into the grim and brutal realities of systemic racism, police violence, and the prison industrial complex, Smith’s work—searing yet funny—is, in some ways, a miracle. He has survived the grave challenge of simply being a young black man in America and has lived to tell the tale. Smith’s writing, speaking, and television appearances, as well as his incisive use of social media, inspire one to imagine what it would be like if James Baldwin, Richard Wright, or Ralph Ellison were on Twitter.” —Jeremy Scahill, author of Dirty Wars and Blackwater

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Annick, Groundwood, and Owlkids in SLJ!

Annick Press, Groundwood, and Owlkids Books have been featured in a School Library Journal article highlighting diversity in Canadian children’s book publishing! This article focuses on diversity and “the inclusivity of—and the collaboration between—the publishing industry and public libraries in Canada.” The publishing environment in Canada is particularly unique because of Canada’s two official languages (French and English), the prominence of independent publishers, and publishers’ commitments to “prioritizing the caliber of their titles over the potential bottom line.”

Here is what SLJ says about our PGW publishers:

“Of the many Canadian publishers displaying a diverse world through children’s books, Groundwood Books is a leader. ‘We are keeping the tradition of not considering sales and marketing,’ says Sheila Barry, president and publisher. ‘We concentrate on making the very best book.’ The strategy has worked. Groundwood titles are highly respected. In addition to the Bologna win, it has garnered awards in all the major book competitions in Canada.”

“The first year the Bologna prize was awarded, Annick Press was a nominee. Sounding a similar note to Groundwood’s Barry, Rick Wilks, director of Annick Press, stresses that his is an editorially driven company. ‘Annick needs to survive, but we want to publish books that make a difference,’ he says. Annick’s recent lists have featured nonfiction narratives that are as exciting as fiction. It’s had significant success with its contemporary tales from indigenous peoples. A prime example is Dreaming in Indian (2014; an SLJ Best Book), edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale.”

“While developing new Canadian talent, Owlkids has showcased international authors with books such as The Flat Rabbit (2014), a touching story of death from a Faroese writer, Bardur Oskarsson. Its singular advantage is direct access to children’s opinions through its magazines, Owl, Chirp, and Chickadee.”

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Maxwell the Monkey Barber Book Trailer!

Cale Atkinson has developed an adorable 8-bit book trailer for Maxwell the Monkey Barber (Atkinson; 9781771471039; Owlkids Books; Trade Cloth, Picture Book; $16.95) over at All the Wonders! Check it out here, along with an interview about Cale’s creative process in creating Maxwell and his menagerie of customers.

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Travels with Henry James
Travels with Henry James

Chock full of charm, wit, and biting criticism, this new collection of travel essays by Henry James will reintroduce the novelist as a formidable travel companion—whether for a trip from Lake George to Burlington, an evening at the theater in London, or an afternoon visit to an art exhibit in Paris. From the town of Saratoga in upstate New York to the city of Ravenna in Italy, James will surprise and delight readers with his insights into places they thought were familiar and suddenly make them feel nostalgic for places they’ve never been.

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Kirkus & PW Stars for Turn On the Night!

Turn on the Night (By Geraldo Valério; 9781554988419; Groundwood; Trade Cloth, Picture Book; $18.95) has received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly! Turn on the Night comes out next month on September 13th.

“A little girl falls asleep—clutching her picture book and her stuffed-animal hen—and a joyous, wordless adventure unfolds…The stylized, brightly colored animals are friendly and cooperative, figuring out together how to access the tantalizing star. It is hard to choose a favorite among the illustrations, which use composition, form, and color to full advantage to animate the three animals and spin a magical tale. More than a bedtime story: a treat from a masterful artist.” – Kirkus Reviews

“A giddy sense of possibility permeates this enchanting wordless story. Valério (My Book of Birds) opens with an overhead view of more than a dozen homes, clustered in a field of supernaturally green grass underneath an inky night sky… Dwelling in images of sinuous animals, sweeping landscapes, and the sheer joy of running for the sake of running, Valério’s paint and pencil artwork almost vibrates with the idea that not even the sky is the limit in one’s dreams.” – Publishers Weekly

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Annick Press = Indiefab Book of the Year Finalists! Annick titles have been named Indiefab Book of the Year Awards finalists by Foreword Reviews! The Foreword Indies are “awarded to independent publishers, university presses, and self-published authors whose books not only meet our editorial standards, but also blow our minds.”

Foodprints (Paula Ayer; 9781554517183; Trade Paper; $16.95) and Give Me Wings!: How a Choir of Slaves Took on the World (Kathy Lowinger; 9781554517473; Trade Cloth; $21.95) have been named finalists for Juvenile Nonfiction Children’s Books. To learn more about Foreword Reviews and the Indiefab Book of the Year Awards, check out the press release here.


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Macavity: “A World of Mischief and Hilarity”

With the revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Cats” returning to Broadway and the unstoppable reign of kittens over the internet, Faber & Faber’s series of new editions of individual picture books featuring T.S. Eliot’s feline characters from Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats couldn’t come at a more perfect time.

Macavity, Eliot’s infamous “Mystery Cat,” is the title character of the newest release in this series (Macavity: The Mystery Cat; By T.S. Eliot; Illustrated by Arthur Robins; 9780571308132; Trade Paper, Picture Book; $9.95). This picture book has received a great review in The New York Times!

“It’s rare that a poem not meant for a picture book translates so smoothly into the form, but Macavity does, coming in at the perfect length and with ample opportunity for illustrations to help build out the story. There’s a refrain — after each dastardly deed we learn about, we’re informed that ‘Macavity’s not there!’ — that makes it a good read-aloud. And the character himself is, of course, the kind of blithe rule-breaker children love hearing about. In fact his ‘crimes’ resemble the kind of thing a kid could get in trouble for: He snatches the milk; he breaks the greenhouse glass. And ‘they say he cheats at cards’… Arthur Robins, a British illustrator whose many credits include My Granny Is a Pirate and a wonderful version of The Teeny Tiny Woman, gives Macavity a wide-faced, grinning demeanor. On a few pages we catch glimpses only of a tail. With their high-spirited, wavery lines and casual, splotchy color, his friendly illustrations call to mind Quentin Blake, but with perhaps a bit more innocence to them. Like Eliot’s verses, they present a world of mischief and hilarity, where cats, true to their nature, lurk, but dark shadows do not.”

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The New York Times Loves Pinny in Summer in Summer (By Joanne Schwartz; Illustrated by Isabelle Malenfant; 9781554987825; Trade Cloth, Picture Book; $16.95) has received a shining feature this weekend in The New York Times!
“A late summer day near the ocean, a smiling girl who hums as she looks for ‘a special kind of rock’ to make a wish on: From this lovely opening through four simple chapters, Pinny in Summer sets an idyllic mood. Pinny seems wonderfully plucked out of time. Parent-free, she picks blueberries, takes walks, makes a cake, hosts a party and cleverly handles a mischievous seagull’s incursions. Malenfant’s adorable, windswept watercolors add even more charm to each page.”

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Two Creston Books in School Library Journal

Two titles from Creston Books have received great reviews from School Library Journal!

Busy Busy! (By Lucy Scott; 9781939547255; Trade Cloth, Picture Book; $15.99)
“A sweet story to share one-on-one with a special, busy child. Recommended for most public library collections…The endpapers are cleverly covered with scribbles of a toddler, reminding us of the boundless, vivid world of a young child’s day. The digitally created illustrations bring the child’s imagination to life.” Check out the full review here!

Mira’s Diary: California Dreaming (By Marissa Moss; 9781939547224; Trade Paper; $12.99)
“After adventures in Rome, Paris, and London, Mira, her father, and brother are finally back home in San Francisco. The family thinks that Mira’s mother is somewhere back in time in San Francisco, attempting the forbidden—changing the past…Fast-paced and full of details, the wrap-up of this series gives answers to all of the questions posed in earlier books… A satisfying conclusion. Recommended to fans of the series and Moss’s other works.” Check out the full review here!

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