June 23, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Refreshing Reissues | A Roundup of Back-in-Print Titles and Special Anniversary Editions

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Is it time to replace well-worn copies of classics like Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry? Librarians will want to take a look at the gorgeous new cover illustrated by Kadir Nelson. Teen fans of E.R. Frank’s recent novel Dime  may want to dig into Life is Funny, originally published in 2000 and back in print for the first time this year. Several of these reissues make fantastic gifts, featuring full-color illustrations, introductions by notable authors, and illuminating back matter.

1602-RefreshingReissues-CVs1Applegate, Katherine. The One and Only Ivan: Full-Color Collector’s Edition. illus. by Patricia Castelao. 352p. HarperCollins. 2015. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9780062425249.

Gr 4-6 Budding fans and die-hard Ivanites alike will appreciate this sumptuous, oversize edition of Applegate’s spare yet resonant Newbery Award–winning work, inspired by actual events, about a gorilla put on display at a mall and his journey to freedom. Castelao’s gentle spot-art illustrations, originally printed in black-and-white, are presented in full color, bringing to life with tenderness Ivan; his friends Stella, Ruby, and Bob; and the artwork Ivan creates, which eventually casts a spotlight on his plight. Bonus materials add appeal and context: Applegate’s Newbery acceptance speech; a copy of the real Ivan’s “autograph” (fingerprint); a letter from Jodi Carrigan, the zookeeper who helped care for Ivan at Zoo Atlanta (where he lived after leaving the mall); and sketches and illustrations that were considered for the original edition.–Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal

Ardizzone, Edward. Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain. ISBN 9781847806291.

––––. Tim All Alone. ISBN 9781847806284.

––––. Tim to the Rescue. ISBN 9781847806307.

––––. Tim’s Friend Towser. ISBN 9781847806314.

ea vol: illus. by Edward Ardizzone. 56p. Frances Lincoln. 2015. Tr $18.99.

K-Gr 2 –These four newly reissued works in Ardizzone’s “Little Tim” series clearly show why certain titles remain classics over time. Spanning from 1936 with the publication of Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain to 1962 with Tim’s Friend Towser, these charmingly traditional tales, illustrated delicately with pen and ink and soft washes of watercolor, follow the adventures of a young wannabe sailor. From stowing away aboard a steamer to rescuing a cat from a burning ship, Tim almost always winds up in some sort of trouble on the high seas—though all’s well by the last page. Tim All Alone, which finds the youngster working as a cabin boy while searching for his missing parents along the seaboard, won the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal in 1956. Modern adult readers may balk at the idea of a knee-high child embarking on dangerous excursions sans parents, but kids will embrace Tim’s admirable independence and intrepid spirit.–Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal

Bond, Michael. Olga da Polga. illus. by Catherine Rayner. 176p. Kane Miller. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781610674331.

Gr 1-4 This lush gift edition of the beloved classic by the creator of Paddington Bear will have animal lovers wanting their own adorable little guinea pig. Illustrated with acclaimed artist Catherine Rayner’s watercolor paintings and screen-printed images, this chapter book for children graduating from “Frog and Toad” and “Peter Rabbit” tales will create new Olga fans and win back longtime friends. Peppered with charming critters and mischievous adventures, the narrative will move young readers to laugh out loud and root for the wayward pet. The large trim size is perfect for one-on-one sharing and classroom read-alouds.–Shelley Diaz, School Library Journal

Emberley, Barbara. The Story of Paul Bunyan. 32p. ISBN 9781623260620.

Emberley, Ed. The Wing on a Flea: A Book About Shapes. 48p. ISBN 9781623260583.

––––. One Wide River to Cross. adapted by Barbara Emberley. 32p. ISBN 9781623260590.

ea vol: illus. by Ed Emberley. Ammo. 2015. Tr $17.95.

PreS-Gr 3 –Ed Emberley’s style and media have changed over his six-decade-long career making picture books and how-to-draw instructional titles, but all of his work shares a distinctive artistry, compelling design, and child-friendly exuberance. With his more than 100 books, the Caldecott Award–winning artist continues to work with his daughter Rebecca; their most recent collaboration is Spare Parts (Roaring Brook, 2015). The early titles highlighted here are all classics in their own right—The Wing on a Flea: A Book About Shapes, originally published in 1961, features playful line drawings and judicious bits of color; The Story of Paul Bunyan, written by his wife Barbara, is illustrated with bold three-color woodcuts and came out in 1963; and the 1967 Caldecott Honor book One Wide River to Cross was also written by his wife. Emberley is a giant in the illustration field, and it’s grand and exciting to see new editions of his early output sitting side by side on picture book shelves with his new titles.–Luann Toth, School Library Journal

FRANK, E.R. Life is Funny. 304p. ebook available. S. & S./Atheneum. May 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481431644.
Gr 9 Up–Eleven diverse teens in the same Brooklyn neighborhood each have their own struggles. Grace’s mom seems to hate her and her black best friends, Ebony and China. Eric is raising his brother. Keisha wants her brother to stop “touching her on her privacy.” Drew looks to have it all, but he keeps a very dark secret. Sonia is trying to navigate life with very strict Muslim parents. Monique is surly and pregnant and the opposite of her sister Molly. Linnette is trying to move forward without her brother, and Gingerbread is always smiling because, “life is funny.” Frank’s latest is both gritty and heartbreaking. Told in alternating viewpoints over the course of seven years in the 1990s, this work has something for everyone. All of the protagonists are connected in some way, which allows glimpses into everyone’s lives as they grow up. Their stories are intricately woven and will leave readers wanting more. Being dropped into the middle of the story can be disconcerting, and some won’t appreciate the open-endedness of some characters’ fates, but the reading experience is worth it. Originally published in 2000, this back-in-print title is perfect for fans of Blythe Woodson and Ellen Hopkins and would make a fantastic addition to any YA collection.–Faythe Arredondo, Tulare County Library, CA

Garfield, Leon. Shakespeare Stories. illus. by Michael Forman. 576p. NYRB. 2015. Tr $24.95. ISBN 9781590179314.

Gr 4 Up–In this collection essential, first published in 1985, Garfield relates 21 of Shakespeare’s most famous works in language that is accessible but never condescending or out of spirit with the Bard’s original Elizabethan text. Leagues above CliffsNotes-style guides, Garfield manages to relay the tales of Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, and more with grace and a masterly understanding of his audience. A must-have resource for any library supporting the study of Shakespeare and his works.–Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal

1602-RefreshingReissues-CVs2Hughes, Shirley. Out and About. illus. by Shirley Hughes. 56p. Candlewick. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763676445. LC 2014934991.

PreS-Gr 1– Shirley Hughes fans will be excited to see this book back in print. Readers will delight in following Katie and her baby brother Olly through the four seasons. Four to five short, rhythmic poems are grouped together by season. Each season and group of poems is prefaced by a wordless spread that begs for readers to spend time pondering the stories and poems. These busy illustrations are full of community, action, and mystery and appropriately match each season. Strong, descriptive vocabulary is used throughout. For example, the poems “Mudlarks,” “Water,” “Sand,” and “Wind” each follow a similar structure: they all open and close in the same way (“I like mud” and “I do like mud”), but in between those simple lines is juicy, descriptive vocabulary (“the slippy, sloppy, squelchy kind”) that paints a picture in readers’ minds. An author’s note from Hughes also encourages readers to use the illustrations to form their own stories and poems. From the nostalgic watercolor illustrations to the science-themed poems, this is sure to be a favorite read-aloud among educators and a lapsit with families.–Andy Plemmons, David C. Barrow Elementary, Athens, GA

Leaf, Munro. How to Be: Six Simple Rules for Being the Best Kid You Can Be. 104p. Universe. 2015. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9780789331090.

PreS-Gr 3–Perhaps best known as the author and illustrator of The Story of Ferdinand, Leaf also wrote several beloved guides on proper behavior and manners. Four of his guides, originally published over 50 years ago, are abridged and collected in this attractive volume. Accompanied by naive-style, stick-figure illustrations, the book opens with Leaf’s “Six Best Rules for Getting Along in Life.” Most adults will be pleased to see that these include being honest, fair, healthy, polite, friendly, and wise. Some of the advice is age-old and has weathered the test of time quite well, such as admonitions against stealing and cheating and suggestions to share and take turns while playing with others. Other aspects will ring a sour note with many modern readers, such as the use of the term Eskimo or the description of a bully as “a stupid person.” Students of children’s literature and sociology, and those interested in changes in cultural mores and attitudes toward children over the last century will likely be intrigued by this collection of popular mid-century manners guides.–Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal

Levine, Karen. Hana’s Suitcase: The Quest to Solve a Holocaust Mystery. 144p. further reading. websites. Crown. 2016. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781101933497.

Gr 5-8 –The recipient of multiple honors, this moving title simultaneously shines a spotlight on the life of a young Holocaust victim and makes the process of exploring and unraveling history relevant and exciting. In 2000, after receiving an empty child’s suitcase from a museum in Auschwitz labeled “Hana Brady, May 16, 1931, Orphan,” Fumiko Ishioka, curator of a Holocaust museum in Tokyo, decided to track down Hana and discover what happened to her. Alternating between describing Hana’s life in Czechoslovakia as the Nazis came to power and following Ishioka’s process of learning about the girl’s story, Levine creates tension and drama as readers slowly uncover Hana’s fate. Bonus material includes notes from Levine, Ishioka, and Hana’s brother, George Brady; photographs from Hana’s childhood and from Ishioka’s and Levine’s travels and visits; and memories from those who knew Hana and her family.–Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal

Lindgren, Astrid. Mio, My Son. tr. from Swedish by Jill Morgan. illus. by Ilon Wikland. 184p. $16.95. ISBN 9781590178706.

––––. Seacrow Island. tr. from Swedish by Evelyn Ramsden. 256p. $17.95. ISBN 9781590178683.

ea vol: NYRB. 2015. Tr.

Gr 3-7 –Pippi Longstocking fans will find much to enjoy in these new editions of Lindgren’s classic works about characters just as unforgettable as her rambunctious redhead. In Mio, My Son, a young boy is reunited with his long-lost father, whom he discovers is the King of Farawayland. As the hero learns the ins and outs of his fantastical new home and receives the love of a father he has never known, He also discovers that he’s at the center of a foreboding prophecy. Filled with flying horses, an evil villain, and new friendships, this warm tale will resonate with young fantasy fans. Seacrow Island features the adventures of the four Melkerson siblings and their widowed father, who move to a small island in the sparkling Baltic Sea. Reminiscent of Madeleine L’Engle’s “Austin” books and works by Louisa May Alcott, L.M. Montgomery, and Jeanne Birdsall, this summery title is steeped in the familiarity and quaintness of island life. With a cast of charming characters and a string of beachside high jinks, this lovely work will enchant readers so much they’ll be smelling sea salt in the air for days after closing the last page.–Shelley Diaz, School Library Journal

Merrill, Jean. The Pushcart War. illus. by Ronni Solbert. 232p. NYRB. 2015. Tr $9.99. ISBN 9781590179369.

Gr 4-6 –It’s war! The battlefields are the streets of New York City, and the weapons are pea shooters. Up in arms because traffic jams slow down their deliveries, the truck owners aim to get the pushcarts out of the picture. But the pushcart peddlers won’t go down without a fight. The setting of this 50th-anniversary edition has been updated to 2036 (the book originally was set in 1974, and each edition has updated the year in which it takes place to reflect a not-too-distant future). An unusual children’s book—few children actually appear—SLJ included this innovative work on its “One Hundred Books That Shaped the Century” and lauded it as “social satire for children in its finest form.” As with many of the late author’s books, Merrill tells with dexterity the tale of underdogs who persevere in the face of injustice. This strikingly original work should continue to find fans among children and adults alike.–Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal

1602-RefreshingReissues-CVs3Pilkey, Dav. The Paperboy. illus. by Dav Pilkey. 32p. Scholastic/Orchard. Mar. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780545871860.

PreS-2– A lovely, meditative book about a child who rises before the sun, loads up his delivery bag, and sets off on his appointed rounds with his dog by his side. The spare text sets the scene and offers just the right amount of detail. “All the world is asleep except for the paperboy and his dog. And this is the time when they are the happiest.” The luminous acrylic and India ink artwork is evocative in its lighting and soft-focus rounded shapes. There is an overall sense of peace and calm and the contentment in a job well done, and the boy and his pup crawl back into his bed, which is still warm. Pilkey (yes, that Pilkey), the creator of the zany “Captain Underpants” and “Ricky Ricotta” books (both Scholastic), has written and illustrated more than 50 books for children. The Paperboy was a Caldecott Honor winner in 1997 and definitely established his painterly chops. Be sure to look for his illustrations in Richard Blanco’s poem/picture book One Today (Little, Brown, 2015).–Luann Toth, School Library Journal

Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: The Illustrated Edition. illus. by Jim Kay. 256p. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Bks. 2015. Tr $39.99. ISBN 9780545790352.

Gr 4-7 –Whether they’re committed Potterheads who grew up reading the world-changing fantasy series or children just old enough to enjoy the stories for the very first time, readers will want to pore over this stunning illustrated edition, which features the full and unabridged text (with the exception of the title, the text is from the original British edition). From the dark and stormy endpapers to the ink-sploshed pages to Kay’s expressive pencil and watercolor illustrations adorning almost every page, the story of Harry’s humble beginnings with the wretched Dursleys, the arrival of his letter from Hogwarts, and his first adventures as “the boy who lived” come to brilliant life in this beautiful—and beautifully designed—edition. Though the size and heft might make library circulation somewhat challenging, this is a fantastic gift.–Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal

Scher, Paula. The Brownstone. illus. by Stan Mack. 32p. Princeton Architectural. 2016. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781616894283.

PreS-Gr 2 –Six animal households try to get along in this wry reprint originally published in 1973. Noise, odors, and menacing neighbors send one household after another to knock on the live-in owl landlord’s door. He orchestrates apartment swaps that only make matters worse until he settles on the perfect arrangement: like-minded neighbors find one another, prey escape predators, and the bear family can finally settle in for their winter nap. Repetitive text, plenty of sound effects, and increasing hullabaloo lend the story the feel of an old yarn. While it would make a wonderful read-aloud, only a handful of pictures are large enough to share with groups. Most illustrations show a cutaway view of the brownstone interior, allowing readers to peek into all six apartments at once. The pen-and-ink drawings by New Yorker cartoonist Mack add humorous details and a cheerful, almost Seussian absurdity. A silly tale about neighborliness and problem-solving that will work best for small groups or one-on-one sharing.–Sarah Stone, San Francisco Public Library

Smith, Jeff. Bone: Out from Boneville (Tribute Edition). illus. by Jeff Smith. 192p. Scholastic/Graphix. 2015. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780545800709.

Gr 4 Up–Jeff Smith’s highly influential “Bone,” which originally started life as a self-published comics serial from 1991 through 2004, garnered mainstream attention when it got the full-color treatment in 2005, thereby launching Scholastic’s Graphix imprint. The genre-smashing graphic series, which combines humor, epic fantasy, and thrilling adventure, celebrates its 10th anniversary with Graphix in this special tribute edition featuring all-new artwork (including a gallery of “Bone”-inspired artwork by fellow comics) and a never-before-seen poem about quiche by Smith. A fun acquisition for fans of the series.–Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal

Steig, Jeanne. Consider the Lemming. illus. by William Steig. 48p. ebook available. S. & S./Atheneum. Feb. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481439633.

Gr 5 Up –Thirty animal poems, accompanied by William Steig’s familiar comic drawings, roll along rhythmically in this small book. Jeanne Steig favors couplets and quatrains and includes a few limericks in consideration of pigs and giraffes, the stork and the penguin, the mythical manticore, and, finally, the human race. While the verses skim along quickly, and the art on the book jacket is reminiscent of William Steig’s picture books, many words, allusions, and innuendoes will most resonate with adult readers. The beaver “can gnaw through a tree/While you pour the Chablis./He’s a consummate overachiever.” The lemming doesn’t shilly or shally or dilly or dally in its wild migration to the water. “A lem to the slaughter!/Don’t ask him ‘Who sent ya?’/It must be dementia—unless it’s ennui.” There are plenty of quick chuckles for older readers. “We talk about the bull a lot…. We take him by the horns in daring/and name him when we fall to swearing./Sometimes we shoot the bull. Poor Taurus!/He must—how could he not—abhor us.” The absurdity of the stork bringing “new babies, tucked in little slings” and the need for Adam and Eve to leave Eden are fun spoofs of human lore. “The need arose in apple season. It’s called the Fall, for just that reason.” The work all bears much earlier copyrights, but the clean format with William Steig’s spare black-and-white sketches and Jeanne Steig’s deft patter still seem fresh, offering enjoyable perusing and many good read-aloud possibilities for mature audiences.–Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston

1602-RefreshingReissues-CVs4Steig, Jeanne. Divine Comedies: A Gift from Zeus and the Old Testament Made Easy. illus. by William Steig. 200p. ebook available. S. & S./Atheneum. 2016. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781481439572.

Gr 7 Up–With tongues planted firmly in cheek, the Steigs’ deliver thoroughly entertaining retellings of classical myths and Bible stories. Here are gathered two previously published works, A Gift from Zeus (2001) and The Old Testament Made Easy (1990). Though William Steig’s artwork might call to mind Shrek or Doctor De Soto, this fare is for more mature readers, as his wife and collaborator Jeanne Steig does not shy away from the more lurid aspects (suicide, incest, violence, and sex) in some of these classic tales. For those with a basic understanding of the originals, the Steigs’ pithy versions are guaranteed to elicit chuckles and spark discussion. Clever and fluid prose makes these especially enjoyable as read-alouds for teens.–Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal

Taylor, Mildred D. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry: 40th Anniversary Special Edition. 304p. Dial. 2016. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781101993880.

Gr 4-7 –Taylor’s story about Cassie and her family, set in southern Mississippi during the Great Depression, is one of those rare books that is beloved by educators and children alike. A perennially popular selection for summer reading lists, classroom discussion, and book clubs, it turns 40 this year—and boy does 40 look good on this classic. Sporting a stunning new cover illustration by Kadir Nelson and an introduction by Jacqueline Woodson, this is a beautiful edition that will be embraced by longtime fans and entice a new generation of readers. Penguin plans to release new editions of the other novels in the “Logan Family” series (all to feature cover illustrations by Nelson) as well as reprint Taylor’s entire backlist over the next few years.–Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal

Titus, Eve. Basil of Baker Street. 112p. (The Great Mouse Detectives). Aladdin. May 2016. pap. $5.99. ISBN 9781481464017; Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781481464024.

Gr 2-4 –Basil lives in the cellar of the great Sherlock Holmes, where he’s picked up a thing or two about sleuthing. Along with dear friend and associate Dr. Dawson, the wee mouse sets about investigating the mouse-napping of twins Agatha and Angela. Many young readers may not realize that the popular animated Disney film by the same name was based upon this charming series by Titus, originally published in 1958 and out of print (other than the Disney movie tie-in versions) for some time. Mystery lovers rejoice—this is a perfect series for fans of Ron Roy who are ready for something a bit meatier. Keep an eye out for book 2 in May 2016.–Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal

Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. illus. by C.F. Payne. 296p. Creative Editions. 2015. Tr $29.99. ISBN 9781568462684.

Gr 4-8 –Tom, Becky, Aunt Polly, and the other residents of St. Petersburg, MO, come to vivid life through Payne’s exuberant artwork in this handsome reprint edition of the classic story. Finely detailed pencil drawings, stunning watercolors, and mixed-media compositions depict playful, Norman Rockwell–esque portraits, Americana, and thoughtful visualizations of Twain’s iconic scenes. A work of art, this oversize edition is a lovely addition for collectors and libraries with large classics collections.–Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal

Van Allsburg, Chris. Just a Dream. illus. by Chris Van Allsburg. 48p. HMH. 2015. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780544422834.

Gr 2-5 –The 25th-anniversary edition of Van Allsburg’s plea for environmental awareness still strikes a chilling chord. A boy’s flippant attitude toward the environment results in a night of dreams that offer a glimpse into a bleak, all-too-real future where trees are seen as fodder for toothpicks, where the ocean has been depleted of all but the tiniest fish, and where smog prevents anyone from seeing the Grand Canyon. Paired with the quiet, matter-of-fact text, Van Allsburg’s striking visuals of pipes bellowing smoke and twisting, car-packed highways will leave readers with a sense of unease and even, at times, horror. Kids will also appreciate the free audio version of this story (available with an access code provided within the book) on the publisher’s website, read by the author with accompanying sound effects and music.–Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal

Kiera Parrott About Kiera Parrott

Kiera Parrott is the reviews director for School Library Journal and Library Journal and a former children's librarian. Her favorite books are ones that make her cry—or snort—on public transportation.