Please Please the Bees, coming out in April of this year, is illustrator Gerald Kelley‘s debut as an author too! The humorous picture book tells the story of a bear who loves honey, but finds himself in a sticky situation when the honeybees that live in his yard go on strike. How can he please the bees? Kirkus wrote a review of Please Please the Bees and had plenty of praise. They enjoyed the amusing illustrations, which they called, “A hoot.” They had great things to say about the text of the book, writing, “In his authorial debut, illustrator Kelley shows a knack for a wry turn of phrase, an effective economy with character development, and a good sense of textual pacing.” You can read Kirkus’s full review here. Please Please the Bees can be pre-ordered online here.
Publishers Weekly wrote a starred review for Noah Webster’s Fighting Words, an upcoming picture book written by Tracy Nelson Maurer and illustrated by Mircea Catusanu. Noah Webster tells the life story of the creator of the first American English dictionary. Publishers Weekly praises its humorous tone, calling it, “a boisterous account of a singular contributor to America’s linguistic legacy.” They also praise Mircea’s illustrations, writing, “Catusanu…creates lively, patchwork scenes that incorporate samples from prints, newspapers, books, and Webster’s own letters.” Noah Webster’s Fighting Words will be released April 1st. You can pre-order it online here.
Il Sung Na‘s Bird, Balloon, Bear and Lucía the Luchadora, written by Cynthia Leonor Garza and illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez, were chosen by Amazon for their Best Books of the Month for Ages 3-5! Bird, Balloon, Bear tells the story of a shy bird’s attempts to make friends with a bear who is more interested in a mysterious red balloon. Bird, Balloon, Bear will be released March 14th. You can pre-order it online here. Lucía the Luchadora is the story of a plucky young girl who finds the bravery to stand up for herself and others when her grandmother reveals her family’s secret history of luchadoras, the female members of the lucha libre tradition. Lucía comes out tomorrow! If you can’t wait till then, you can pre-order it here. The full list of books selected for Amazon’s Best Books of the Month can be found here.
Waiting for Pumpsie, the recently released picture book written by Barry Wittenstein and illustrated by London Ladd, tells the story of a young Boston Red Sox fan in the 1950s who earnestly waits for the Red Sox to racially integrate. They were the last major league baseball team in the United States to do so, but with the arrival of promising new player Pumpsie Green, the time has finally come. Kirkus gave Pumpsie a starred review! They praised the historically accurate portrayal of 1950s Boston and baseball and the “earnest, joyous voice” of the narrator. They wrote of the illustrations, “Ladd’s wonderfully detailed acrylic-and–colored pencil illustrations powerfully and beautifully complement and enhance the events.” They conclude that Waiting for Pumpsie is, “innocent, aware, and endlessly hopeful and will win readers hearts. A grand slam.” Kirkus’s full review is available on their site here. You can purchase Waiting for Pumpsie online here.
Michael Slack‘s tale of a courageous turtle who doubles as a tugboat and rescue vehicle, Turtle Tug, has been pulling praise and positive reviews! The newest review comes from the School Library Journal. They call the picture book, “the right combination of fun and sincerity,” and praise Michael’s narration and illustration. They write, “The nail-biting narrative chugs effortlessly alongside Slack’s bright and bold digital artwork.” Turtle Tug will be available for purchase as of March 21st. Until then, you can pre-order it online here.
Waiting for Pumpsie, written by Barry Wittenstein and illustrated by London Ladd, is available for purchase as of today! The picture book tells the story of a young boy, Bernard, living in Boston in the 1950s, and his dream that the Boston Red Sox will draft an African American player. Twelve years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, the Red Sox at last added Pumpsie Green to their team, making them the last major league team to integrate. Just in time for the book’s release, a new review of Waiting for Pumpsie is available from the Fenway News newspaper. The Fenway News praises the book’s portrayal of an important civil rights event and its ode to baseball in the 50s. They write, “The book is half-criticism, half-ode. London Ladd’s illustrations Fenway as it was in the 1950s.” You can order Waiting for Pumpsie online here.