Franny's March Recommendations

 

57th Street Books' Children's Manager Franny Billingsley with this month's top recommendations of Children's, Middle Grade, and Young Adult literature. 


Picture Books

Egg, Kevin Henkes

An almost wordless story of friendship. There are pink, yellow, and blue eggs, which hatch into baby birds. But there is also a green egg, which doesn’t hatch. The baby birds, and the reader, wait and wait. But when the green egg hatches at last, both are in for a surprise: A crocodile!

 

The baby birds fly away.

 

But the crocodile is lonely, sad, and miserable. The baby birds return. They ride on the crocodile’s back. They are friends.

 

Beautiful, simple, touching—Henkes at his best.

 

Mighty, Mighty Construction Site, Sherri Duskey Rinker, illus. by Tom Lichtenheld

Our old friends from Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site need new construction friends to finish their new job. Bulldozer, Excavator, and the rest are joined by other workers such as Flatbed, Front-End Loader, and Pumper; together they can get it all done. With the same playful, rhyming text, this companion book will entrance truck fans everywhere, and maybe even make a few converts.

 

Middle Grade

 

Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms, Katherine Rundell

Wil lives half-wild with her horse and monkey in Zimbabwe. She’s used to facing lions and hyenas, but when she’s sent to boarding school in England she needs a different kind of courage to survive. The novel is wild and sensual; the writing is magical; and Wil is a vivid, mesmerizing character.

 

Pax, Sara Pennypacker, illus. by Jon Klassen

Peter and Pax, a fox, have been together since Pax was a kit. But when Peter’s dad enlists in the military, he forces Peter to return Pax to the wild. Peter immediately regrets his decision and runs away to find Pax, while Pax embarks on a journey of his own. A beautifully-written bitter-sweet story of love and loyalty.

 

Not for Children Only

 

Carve the Mark, Veronica Roth

Roth’s newest novel is a space opera, which like her other novels (Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant) is bound to attract adult as well as teen readers. It’s a rich blend of politics, intrigue, adventure, and romance, spiced with Roth’s signature turns and twists.

 

David Wiesner & the Art of Wordless Storytelling, Eik Kahng, Ellen Keiter, Katherine Roeder, David Wiesner

Weisner has won three Caldecott Medals (one of only two illustrators to do so); two of his Caldecott winners are wordless. This book begins with several essays, including a question and answer with Weisner, examining his process and sources of inspiration—which range from Surrealist masters to graphic artists—while the rest of the book is devoted to Weisner’s magnificent, dreamy illustrations.