Every year I write a  most anticipated books of the year post  and I have loved doing updated seasonal ones for Summer and Autumn so no...

Upcoming Picture Book Releases - Winter 2020

Wednesday, November 04, 2020 BookBairn 1 Comments


Every year I write a most anticipated books of the year post and I have loved doing updated seasonal ones for Summer and Autumn so now it's time for a winter list! And that should see us through to next year's list! I haven't included any festive books on this list as I'm sure I'll cover them in due course over the coming months. This list is not exhaustive - it couldn't be as there are 100s of new releases - and I will no doubt have missed something out that I am really excited about but I've done my utmost to find books that I'm most excited to read this winter. Here they are:

Ella's Night Lights by Lucy Fleming (5 Nov)

I'll admit - this one was very much a cover that drew me in! BookBairn loves owls at the moment so I thought this friendship would be enchanting for her! I also believe that it's about a girl with moth wings which I found really interesting as little moths are often overlooked and we recently discovered how cool they are when reading the Butterfly House by Katy Flint & Alice Patullo. Ella has always dreamed of seeing the sunrise. But with her delicate gossamer wings, she can only come out at night. So, when the moon is high, she collects as many shimmering beams of light she can find – a twinkle from a star, the glow from a lamp post. With her light, she guides lost and lonely animals and finds friendship in Fox and Owl. And, together, Ella’s animal friends know just how to return her kindness.
(Note I have just received a copy of this whilst drafting this blog post and it's every bit as lovely as I had hoped.)

Blue Planet II by Leisa Stewart-Sharp & Emily Dove (5 Nov)

Like most people, I really enjoy these TV series by David Attenborough and I've always thought they would make really interesting picture books so I'm intrigued to see this one brought to life. Unlike billions of other worlds in the Milky Way, 71 per cent of our Blue Planet is covered by ocean. It's home to the greatest diversity of life on Earth but is our least explored habitat; we've better maps of Mars than of the ocean floor. And with a foreword by David Attenborough himself it's surely got his stamp of approval and that's enough for me to want it!

And the People Stayed Home by Kitty O'Meara and Stefano Di Cristofaro & Paul Pereda (10 Nov)

I haven't heard a huge amount about this one but it seems particularly timely. O'Meara's prose poem, with its hopeful and timeless message about healing of people and the Earth, written in March 2020, quickly went viral on a global level. O'Meara clearly captured an important aspect of the pandemic experience's zeitgeist while offering a thoughtful and optimistic view of the future. Her words have resonated nationally and internationally and been widely circulated on social media, mainstream news media, and have inspired an outpouring of creativity with musicians across the globe creating songs, filmmakers creating videos, artists creating imagery with the words, and much more. I'm hoping to buy a few book on this theme as I think they will be timely reminders for once this stage has passed of the times we struggled and to remember what we value long after the day to day lockdown has been forgotten.

The Puffin Keeper by Michael Morpurgo & Benji Davies (12 Nov)

BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner, and their daddy, are huge puffin fans! And with Michael Morpurgo coming together with a favourite illustrator - Benji Davies - this book is one they will probably enjoy when they are a little older (the description says 8+ but I'll read it myself and see if I think it's appropriate for BookBairn at age 5). It was Benjamin Postlethwaite's job all his long life to make sure the light shone brightly high up in the lighthouse on Puffin Island. Not once in all his years as the lighthouse keeper had he ever let his light go out. But sometimes even the brightest light on a lighthouse cannot save a ship.This is a story of a life-changing friendship, a lost puffin, and a lonely artist. It's the story of an entire lifetime, and how one event can change a life forever. With lighthouses and puffins this is bound to be a book I will love!

Swan Lake by the New York City Ballet & Valeria Docampo (12 Nov)

BookBairn really loves the musical edition of Swan Lake that we have and I think that this one looks fantastic too! This lavishly illustrated book follows the storyline, choreography, costumes, and sets of the New York City Ballet’s production of Swan Lake. With beautiful art illustrated by Valeria Docampo, this magnificent retelling is a perfect gift for an aspiring ballerina or any family who wants to add this enchanting and classic tale to their library. And it turns out there are others in this series to collect too! Sounds super!

Awesomely Emma by Amy Webb & Merilee Liddiard (17 Nov)

We don't see enough representation of disability in children's picture books so I've been love @thecatchpoles KidLitCripCrit series seeing some great books which are breaking down these barriers and allowing children to see a more diverse spectrum of characters. And this one has me intrigued. Emma has limb differences, but different isn't bad, sad, or strange. It's just different! But when some accessibility problems get in the way at the local art museum, it ruins the fun of a class trip... and then Emma's friend Charley makes things even worse! In the middle of a really bad day, Emma has to call upon her sense of inner awesome to stand up for herself and teach everyone a lesson about the transformative power of feeling awesome in your own skin. Amy Webb's follow-up to When Charley Met Emma, Awesomely Emma will have all kids cheering as they learn to see the inner awesome in themselves and those around them.

What is a River? by Monika Valcenaviciene (1 Dec)

Another book where the cover just drew me right in and made me want to open this book and pore over the illustrations. I actually can't seem to find out a huge amount about this one but it sounds like a poetic journey showing the beauty of rivers. What is a river? It’s water, the source of life. It’s also a journey, visiting mountains, cities, and oceans. It’s a home; it’s shelter. It’s energy, giving away its force to humans for power and industry. It’s a meeting place; a memory; a place to wash, to find food, to dream; it’s a word. Such is a river.

Leo and the Octopus by Isabelle Marinov & Chris Nixon (7 Jan)

This sounds like a fantastic book for kids everywhere but especially for understadnign those who see and experience the world differently from us. The world was too bright for Leo. And too loud. "I must be living on the wrong planet," Leo thought. Leo struggles to make sense of the world. He doesn't understand the other children in his class, and they don't seem to understand him. But then one day, Leo meets Maya. Maya is an octopus, and the more Leo learns about her, the more he thinks that perhaps he isn't alone in this world, after all. And the illustrations look wonderful.

A Shelter for Sadness by Anne Booth & David Litchfield (21 Jan)

New David Litchfield books often end up on my anticipated book lists as I just adore his illustration style and how evocative his artwork is. A small boy creates a shelter for his sadness, a safe space where Sadness is welcome, where it can curl up small, or be as big as it can be, where it can be noisy or quiet, or anything in between. The boy can visit the shelter whenever he needs to, every day, sometimes every hour, and the two of them will cry and talk or just sit, saying nothing. And the boy knows that one day Sadness may come out of the shelter, and together they will look out at the world, and see how beautiful it is. A poignant and heart-warming picture book exploring the importance of making space and time for our own griefs, small or large, sensitively visualized with David Litchfield's stunning illustration. This sounds like it could be a very powerful and supportive book.

When doing my research, there really were so many great books being released in the next couple of months but I had to narrow it down somehow! I hope you agree I picked some good ones. (I have no doubt missed some off my list in error too!)

Happy Reading!
Kim, BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner xxx

*Release dates are for UK release provided by publisher but may be subject to changes.

Sections in italics from Amazon description.

1 comment:

  1. I think you picked out some great books here. I look forward to reading some of them with BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner some day soon when the people don’t need to stay home.