Among the hoopla at the American Library Association’s annual conference in Chicago, one may have missed the number of exciting publisher previews that occur. Disney’s Hyperion preview was no exception. Although it only offered only a peek at seven titles that will be released in the coming year, it was heavy on star power and theatrics.
None other than Mo Willems made a guest appearance at the event, telling attendees that, after a decade with Pigeon, he wanted to write “a dirty book.” Therefore, in April of 2014, The Pigeon Needs a Bath will debut, what Willems calls, “the most fecal book” he’s ever written. During Willems read of the book, the audience—as all Pigeon lovers do—quickly joined in participating in the books refrain.
Author and poet, Marilyn Singer was also in attendance, and shared her upcoming book, Rutherford B. Who Was He: Poems About the Presiden (December), illustrated by John Hendrix. It is a great book for teaching facts about the president using poetry.
Here is an example:
A city boy who loved the country,
an animal lover, who loved to hunt.
A Rough Rider, rancher and a scholar,
a diplomat, yet also blunt.
He took on greedy corporations
and foreign powers with this trick.
A president should speak quite softly,
but always carry a very large stick.
A book trailer for the new title has also been created:
Next up was United We Spy, the sixth and final installment of Ally Carter’s “Gallagher Girls” series, which offers such unforgettable lines such as, “He smelled of soap and bacon.” The book features the heartthrob leading man Zach in a shirtless bacon-frying scene that will surely have teen girls waiting in line for the book’s September release.
Hidden among the veteran writers at the presentation was Cristen Terrill, a debut author. She treated the attendees to a reading from All Our Yesterdays, her time travel young adult novel told in a dual narrative that takes place both in the present and past.
Another YA title that was featured was Elizabeth Wein’s Rose Under Fire (September). Set in a concentration camp during World War II, it is told from the point of view of Rose Justice, an American pilot (and poet) who is shot down and sent to Ravensbrück.
We were also introduced to a new British import, the series “Lockwood & Co.” by Jonathan Stroud. The first book in the series is The Screaming Staircase (September), which features a group of kids who open the Physic Detection Agency to battle an epidemic of ghosts in London.
Yet Don’t Play with Your Food (January), Bob Shea’s tale of how a group of bunnies outsmart a monster was the highlight of the preview for many. It was performed by the Disney Hyperion folks, who donned hand puppets to act out scenes from the book.