Butler Bookshelf

This week’s Butler Bookshelf features recently released and coming soon titles! These include The View from the Very Best House in Town by Meera Trehan. This debut middle grade novel explores the troubled friendship of Sam and Asha, both autistic middle schoolers. As Sam is accepted into a prestigious school and Asha is not, their friendship is put at risk. In addition to being told from the perspectives of both Sam and Asha, the very best house in town also has its own perspective in this story.

Fossil Hunter: How Mary Anning Changed the Science of Prehistoric Life
Written by Cheryl Blackford
Published by Clarion Books
Available now!

Ready for the Spotlight!
Written and Illustrated by Jaime Kim
Published by Candlewick
Available now!

Wayward Creatures
Written by Dayna Lorentz
Published by Clarion Books
Available now!

The Monarchs
Written by Kass Morgan and Danielle Paige
Published by Clarion Books
Available now!

On the Move: Home Is Where You Find It
Written by Michael Rosen and Illustrated by Quentin Blake
Published by Candlewick
Available February 8, 2022

The View from the Very Best House in Town
Written by Meera Trehan
Published by Walker Books US
Available February 8, 2022

Monsters Among Us: A Review of Only a Monster

Only a Monster
Vanessa Len
February 22, 2022
HarperTeen
Ages 13-17 

In this first installment of a planned trilogy, debut author Vanessa Len lays down the foundations of a world where monsters live among humans, appearing no different from their human counterparts. Monsters’ primary ability involves travelling through time, though in order to do so they must “steal time” from humans, shortening the lifespans of their victims. Beyond this ability that is shared by all monsters, each also has an additional ability shared by their family line. The story’s protagonist, Joan, is half-monster, half-human, and the monster half of her family has intentionally hidden the full extent of their abilities from her. Shortly after accidentally using her powers for the first time and learning the truth about them, Joan also learns that her crush, Nick, has sworn to destroy all monsters. Joan escapes a massacre, where the victims include most of her own family. As Joan teams up with another survivor of the massacre, she must quickly learn how to navigate not only her powers, but the entire society and hierarchy of monsters living hidden throughout London. 

Despite being the first in a series, Only a Monster can stand on its own as the primary conflict is solved by the end of the book, with greater unresolved questions looming for those who will wait for its sequels. Its primary theme relates to morality, and the ambiguity of good versus evil, with the ever-present question being whether monsters are always evil, and heroes are always good. Another central theme is that of adapting to a new society. In the monster world, Joan feels out of place as she is half-human. Since her family hid the truth about monsters from her, Joan is not aware of monster society which has its own rules about what can and cannot be done regarding time travel, as well as urban legends which end up having truth to them as Joan learns more.  She also alludes to feeling out of place in the human world as well due to being of mixed race. The supporting cast is also diverse, featuring characters of various ethnicities and sexualities. While the story gets dark, and features depictions of death, it is not overly graphic. Fantasy readers who enjoy time travel and related themes, such as alternate timelines, are sure to enjoy this fast-paced read. 

Butler Bookshelf

This week’s Butler Bookshelf features some recent arrivals to the BCLC! These include Lawless Spaces, a novel in verse by Corey Ann Haydu that tells of Mimi’s coming of age through her own journaling and the discoveries she makes looking through the journals of the women in her family line. Check out more new and coming soon titles below!

The Princess in Black and the Mermaid Princess
Written by Shannon and Dean Hale and Illustrated by LeUyen Pham
Published by Candlewick
Available February 1, 2022

Lawless Spaces
Written by Corey Ann Haydu
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Available now!

Ear Worm!
Written by Jo Knowles and Illustrated by Galia Bernstein
Published by Candlewick
Available January 25, 2022

Not That Pet!
Written by Smriti Prasadam-Halls and Illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw
Published by Candlewick
Available February 1, 2022

Alice Waters Cooks Up a Food Revolution
Written by Diane Stanley and Illustrated by Jessie Hartland
Published by Paula Wiseman Books
Available now!

Even Robots Aren’t Perfect!
Written and Illustrated by Jan Thomas
Published by Beach Lane Books
Available now!

It’s a podcast for your eyeballs: A Review of Wow in the World: Wow in the Wild: The Amazing World of Animals

Wow in the Wild cover art

Wow in the World: Wow in the Wild: The Amazing World of Animals
Mindy Thomas and Guy Raz
Illustrated by Jack Teagle
Harper Collins/Clarion Books
April 12, 2022

All the fascinating, absurd, and disgusting facts of the award-winning podcast combined with vibrant illustration and photography make for a “wow-worthy” fourth installment of the series. Mindy Thomas and Guy Raz, hosts of the NPR podcast, pack this animal themed edition full of all the quizzes, interviews, listicles, job postings, and graphic novel spreads you could ask for with the goal of inspiring discovery. Broken into six sections, including birds, reptiles, mammals, sea creatures, bugs, and amphibians, the pair explores the extreme diversity and weirdness of the animal kingdom. But hilarity the series in known for doesn’t diminish the complex ideas they share, like the aerodynamics of bird flight and sophisticated animal communication methods. Easily digestible language and abundant illustrations, combined with plenty of poop facts, strike just the right note for the enjoyment and education of 8-12 year old audience. Jack Teagle’s full-color illustrations (including a cartoon Mindy and Guy) run the gamut from graphic novel-like spreads to illustrated diagrams and complement the hilarity of the text. The title includes extensive back matter like thorough source notes, photo credits, an exhaustive glossary and index, a suggested reading list, and QR code links to related podcast episodes. A final section on conservation, that could have been more robust, wraps things up with a brief list of action items for the inspired reader. An engaging and quick read, or fun-fact reference, for animal lovers and comedy fans alike.

*Reviewed from uncorrected black and white proof.

Butler Bookshelf

This week’s Butler Bookshelf includes Sometimes Cake by Edwina Wyatt and Jasmin Ainslie, which shows the importance of celebrating even the little things. Best friends Audrey and Lion celebrate everything ranging from birthdays to days of the week to colors. Yet one day, Audrey sees Lion looking down and must remind him that even ordinary days can be a cause for celebration.

Freddie vs. The Family Curse
Written by Tracy Badua
Published by Clarion Books
Available May 3, 2022

The Burning Swift
Written by Joseph Elliott
Published by Walker Books US
Available now!

Every Line of You
Written by Naomi Gibson
Published by Chicken House
Available March 1, 2022

Wutaryoo
Written and Illustrated by Nilah Magruder
Published by Versify
Available January 25, 2022

Sloth Sleuth
Written and Illustrated by Cyndi Marko
Published by Etch
Available June 7, 2022

Sometimes Cake
Written by Edwina Wyatt and Illustrated by Tamsin Ainslie
Published by Candlewick
Available now!

Butler Bookshelf

Happy New Year! Welcome back to Butler’s Pantry! A new year brings all new books! This week on the Butler Bookshelf is just a sampling of the fresh titles to come in 2022. We are particularly excited to dive into K-Pop Revolution by Stephan Lee. Follow Candace on her journey of making a record-breaking debut album while also trying to effect change in the K-Pop industry. Check out the list below for more amazing titles debuting this year!

Caprice
Written by Coe Booth
Published by Scholastic Press
Available March 1, 2022

A Duet for Home
Written by Karina Yan Glaser
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Clarion Books
Available April 5, 2022

K-Pop Revolution
Written by Stephan Lee
Published by Scholastic/Point Paperbacks
Available April 5, 2022

Bright Brown Baby: Peek-a-You
Written by Andrea Davis Pinkney and Illustrated by Brian Pinkney
Published by Scholastic/Cartwheel Books
Available February 1, 2022

The Ivory Key
Written by Akshaya Raman
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Available now!

Mother Goose Goes to India
Written by Kabir Sehgal and Surishtha Sehgal
Illustrated by Wazza Pink
Published by Simon & Schuster/Beach Lane Books
Available now!

Commemorate the Ordinary: A Review of Sometimes Cake

Sometimes Cake
Edwina Wyatt
Illustrated by Tamsin Ainslie
Candlewick
January 4, 2022
Ages 2-5

Audrey always finds Lion celebrating something. Whether it be Tuesdays or the color orange, Lion commemorates the little things with a big production. And Audrey joins of course! They don their heads with colorful hats and eat delicious cake. But one day, Audrey finds Lion in a sad slumber. Now Audrey must show Lion that even ordinary days are a cause for celebration.

Sometimes Cake is a simple and fun picture book that illustrates how the small things in life can bring us great joy. Having coconut cake just because it’s Tuesday can brighten our darkest days. Ainslie’s pencil and watercolor illustrations have a hand-drawn feel with pictures placed on an off-white background. The gentle and warm colors, with noticeable pencil shading on the outlines of each drawing, add a soft-focus look to an already warm, fuzzy story. Ainslie also cleverly shows the passage of each day by changing Audrey’s clothes. Through Audrey and Lion, Wyatt proves that there is something special about every day. All we have to do is find it.

 

Butler Bookshelf

This week on the Butler Bookshelf you will find Nothing Burns as Bright as You by Ashley Woodfolk. Set over the course of one reckless day, this book of poetry that tells the story of two girls and their love for one another. For more amazing titles, check out the list below!

Loyalty
Written by Avi
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Clarion Books
Available February 1, 2022

Drew Leclair Gets a Clue
Written by Katryn Bury
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Clarion Books
Available March 1, 2022

Just Right Jillian
Written by Nicole D. Collier
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Versify
Available February 1, 2022

The Antiracist Kid: A Book About Identity, Justice, and Activism
Written by Tiffany Jewell and Illustrated by Nicole Miles
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Versify
Available September 20, 2022

At the End of Everything
Written by Marieke Nijkamp
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Available January 25, 2022

Nothing Burns as Bright as you
Written by Ashley Woodfolk
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Versify
Available April 5, 2022

In Memory of Lynne Butler Adams

With great sadness, we share the news of Lynne Butler Adams’ passing.

Librarian. Philanthropist. Friend. Generous in words and deeds, Lynne was kind and gracious, with a keen sense of humor. Her tremendous curiosity made her both an outstanding librarian and a delightful lunch date. She was an ardent believer in the importance of literacy and an enthusiastic advocate for the Butler Children’s Literature Center and its goals.

Lynne’s joyfulness and generosity will continue to guide our work supporting scholarship and building community. In her memory, the Butler Center will continue its mission as one of the nation’s premier centers for the study of children’s and young adult literature in the services of literacy, learning and a lifelong love of reading.

Butler Bookshelf

With 2021 coming to a close, the Butler Center is receiving more and more books that will release next year! This week’s bookshelf highlights some young adult titles we have received that will release throughout 2022 including The Most Dazzling Girl in Berlin by Kip Wilson which focuses on former orphan Hilde’s coming of age in 1930s Berlin as she discovers and embraces her own voice and sexuality through her newfound job at a cabaret. For more upcoming YA in a variety of genres, check out the list below!

A Thousand Steps into Night
Written by Traci Chee
Published by Clarion Books
Available March 3, 2022

Epically Earnest
Written by Molly Horan
Published by Clarion Books
Available June 21, 2022

Survive the Dome
Written by Kosoko Jackson
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Available March 29, 2022

The Darkening
Written by Sunya Mara
Published by Clarion Books
Available July 5, 2022

Crumbs
Written and Illustrated by Danie Stirling
Published by Etch
Available June 7, 2022

The Most Dazzling Girl in Berlin
Written by Kip Wilson
Published by Versify
Available March 29, 2022