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We've teamed up with the editors of Publishers Weekly to scour the latest titles — from books for babies to cutting-edge fiction for teens — to help you find that perfect book for your grandchild.
By Olivier Dunrea
(Philomel, $16.99; ages 3-8)
In a quiet and playful story, Dunrea portrays the comically testy but loving relationship between the two title characters. When Little Cub doesn’t want to eat his porridge or wear a scarf, Old Bear—who could easily stand in for a parent or grandparent—knows best. But when the older bear starts sniffling, the intergenerational tables turn.
By Emily Gravett
(Simon & Schuster, $17.99; ages 4-8)
Cleverly designed to resemble a wall calendar, Gravett’s story riffs on the Italian mathematician Fibonacci’s famous query, asking: “If a pair of baby rabbits are put into a field, how many pairs will there be: a) At the end of each month? b) After one year?” The answer becomes clear in spreads crammed with rabbits and in humorous booklets detailing the animals’ travails as their numbers multiply.
By Jeannie Baker
(Candlewick, $18.99; ages 5-7)
Two parallel wordless stories, told entirely in Baker’s sculptural collages, unfold in this picture book (one reads left to right, the other right to left). As they read the stories simultaneously, readers perceive the differences—and, more important, the commonalities—in the daily lives of two children: one in an Australian city, the other in a Moroccan village.
By Sandra Boynton
(Workman, $15.95, $10.95 paperback; ages 5-8)
Less a traditional picture book than an assemblage of limericks, jokes, poems, and puns, Boynton’s latest celebrates the noble cow with hyperbole and humor. Don’t expect facts about breeds or dietary habits: Boynton instead offers a comic-book story featuring the Superman-style Amazing Cow, songs such as “It Had to Be Moo,” and a herd of other calf-witted bovine ephemera.
By Calvin Alexander Ramsey, illus. by Floyd Cooper
(Carolrhoda, $16.95; ages 7-11)
Set in the early 1950s and built around The Negro Motorist Green Book (which listed businesses that would serve African-Americans at a time when many would not), Ramsey’s story traces Ruth’s family’s road trip from Chicago to her grandmother’s home in Alabama. The journey holds moments both heartbreaking and heartwarming, which are movingly portrayed in Cooper’s hazy yet realistic artwork.
By Jennifer Trafton, illus. by Brett Helquist
(Dial, $16.99; ages 9-11)
Set on the “Island at the Center of Everything,” this lively novel stars determined heroine Persimmony Sludge, who gets wrapped up in a quest to discover if her island home is built on the belly of a sleeping giant. The book’s bratty child king, magical elements, and eccentric islanders make it a rousing and rewarding adventure.
By Lisa Greenwald
(Abrams/Amulet, $16.95; ages 10-14)
In this keenly observed story of tween friendship, three tight-knit 7th graders get snowed in at their apartment complex on Valentine’s Day. Despite some ups and downs while they deliver fortune cookies throughout the building, the girls—and some formerly isolated neighbors—grow closer as the day progresses.
By Adam Gidwitz
(Dutton, $16.99; ages 10 and up)
Funny, touching, and more than a little gory, Gidwitz’s highly original twist on Grimm’s fairy tales recasts Hansel and Gretel in several stories, as they seek out “nicer” parents—ones who won’t cut off their heads, as the last ones did. Underlying the sometimes-bloody particulars is a memorable story about the meaning of family.
By Linda Sue Park
(Clarion, $16; ages 10 and up)
Park’s hard-hitting novel centers on Salva, one of the “Lost Boys” of Sudan, as he and other refugees flee persecution. In a narrative that spans decades, Salva endures a great deal but eventually finds refuge in New York State (where he lives today). Park alternates Salva’s story with that of a contemporary Sudanese girl, illuminating the realities of her daily life.
By Jonathan Stroud
(Disney-Hyperion, $17.99; ages 10 and up)
This boisterous prequel to Stroud’s Bartimaeus Trilogy is set in ancient Israel (as opposed to the modern-day London of the later books). Fans will be thrilled to find that the djinni’s sharp tongue and wicked sense of humor remain intact; newcomers will no doubt be moved to seek out Stroud’s other works.
By Orson Scott Card
(Simon Pulse, $18.99; ages 12 and up)
Science fiction icon Card offers a complex and rewarding epic that centers on 13-year-old Rigg, who has the ability to see into the past, enabling him to track the movements and actions of people and animals. Card also incorporates the story of a starship captain piloting his craft to a new colony. Think politics, class issues, and time travel—all seamlessly blended.
By Kathy Reichs
(Razorbill, $17.99; ages 12 and up)
You may know Reichs better as the author of the “Bones” series—the source of the TV show of the same name, which features forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. Now Reichs has created an action-packed spinoff starring Tempe’s 14-year-old niece, Tory, and her friends. As the teens try to solve the mystery of a long-buried body, they get infected with a “canine parvovirus” that endows them with superhuman abilities.
By Sarah Smith
(Atheneum, $16.99; ages 12 and up)
Reality and the paranormal collide in this provocative romance/ghost story about 15-year-old Katie, who can interact with ghosts, and her classmate Law, the biracial son of activists. As the teens try to suss out their own identities, they uncover a mystery involving slavery and a historic Boston home.
By Sarah Ockler
(Little, Brown, $16.99; ages 12 and up)
Family secrets and authentically flawed characters are everywhere in Ockler’s novel. Sixteen-year-old Delilah, her emotionally distant mother, and her eccentric aunt must deal with the death of Delilah’s estranged grandmother. Readers will empathize with the protagonists as they watch them trying to rebuild their lives and loves.
By Ally Condie
(Dutton, $17.99; ages 14 and up)
In this gripping dystopian novel, 17-year-old Cassia couldn’t be more excited about her upcoming “matching ceremony,” during which the Society will reveal the life partner selected for her. At first, Cassia is relieved to be matched with her best friend, Xander. But her eyes are soon opened to the secrets underlying her supposedly ideal existence.
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