New Release Spotlight: May 19, 2020 (Picture Books)

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I was on-the-fence about splitting this week’s Spotlight into three sections, but the picture books this week pushed me over the edge! Every title on this list received at least one starred professional review. Lots of dog books this week!

As always, titles with a * by them received two or more starred professional reviews. This week’s YA and middle grade Spotlights are linked at the bottom of this post. All titles have been added to The Ginormous book list, a searchable spreadsheet of all my New Release Spotlight titles since October 2019. It’s now up to over 700 titles!

*Cityscape: Where Science and Art Meet by April Pulley Sayre

April Pulley Sayre has turned her keen photographic eye to the art and architecture that fills every city. Stunning photographs illuminate basic STEAM concepts such as geometry (lines, angles, and shapes), transportation, power, building, construction, balance, and community, while also celebrating the beauty, diversity, and magic of human creativity and the written word.

This informational picture book features a rich, read-aloud text, remarkable full-color photographs, and excellent backmatter. Cityscape is an ideal resource for teaching how art, science, and design intersect and an accessible, awe-inspiring choice for story time.

Booklist and SLJ starred.

  • Genre(s): picture book, art
  • Recommended for: PreS-Grade 3
  • Themes: STEAM, art, cities, photography, geometry, shapes, science, design

Two Dogs on a Trikeby Gabi Snyder (Author) and Robin Rosenthal (Illustrator)

Count up to 10 and back down again in this picture book starring 10 traveling dogs and one very tenacious cat!

One by one, each dog escapes its yard and joins the adventure in this hilarious counting story. Vehicle-obsessed readers will love seeing all the modes of transportation that the pups use—until the family cat decides to round them all up to go back home.

Kirkus starred.

  • Genre(s): picture book
  • Recommended for: PreS-Grade 1
  • Themes: counting books, dogs, numbers, math, cats, transportation

This Is Gus by Chris Chatterton

Meet Gus. He is one grumpy dog who doesn’t like much of anything, especially making new friends. So what will Gus do when a little puppy comes barking into his life?

SLJ Express starred.

  • Genre(s): picture book, humor
  • Recommended for: PreS-Grade 1
  • Themes: dogs, curmudgeons, friendship, making friends, puppies, emotions

Spacebot by Mike Twohy

One quiet evening, a dog is settling down inside his family’s house when a strange rumbling emerges from the sky. Electric energy surges and makes everything start to vibrate, including the family dog. When he darts outside to investigate, a UFO appears. Beep! Beep! Is it friend or foe? Over the course of the night, the dog might just make an unexpected friend in this story about seeing things from others’ points of view and unlikely friendship.

Booklist starred.

  • Genre(s): picture book
  • Recommended for: PreS-Grade 3
  • Themes: outer space, dogs, aliens, robots, rhyming stories, pets, onomatopoeia, friendship

Smashy Town by Andrea Zimmerman (Author), David Clemesha (Author), and Dan Yaccarino (Illustrator)

With a turn of his crane and a swing of his wrecking ball, Mr. Gilly knocks down the old buildings. He smashes through brick and wood. He crashes through stone and glass. Then, with a push from his bulldozer, Mr. Gilly cleans it all up to make room for something brand-new!

Kirkus starred.

  • Genre(s): picture book
  • Recommended for: PreS-K
  • Themes: construction, trucks, bulldozers, cleaning up, cranes, wrecking balls, buildings

The Ocean in Your Bathtub by Seth Fishman (Author) and Isabel Greenberg (Illustrator)

Did you know that oceans cover 71 percent of our planet and contain 97 percent of the Earth’s water? That seven out of every ten breaths you take contains oxygen that comes from oceanic plant life?

No matter how far from the ocean you live, it is part of your life, every single day. And you are part of the ocean’s life, too. Every time you flush the toilet or throw something away, you might be sending it to the ocean—and every time you do a good deed, such as pick up litter or recycle, you are helping the ocean!

SLJ starred.

  • Genre(s): picture book nonfiction
  • Recommended for: K-Grade 3
  • Themes: science, oceans, water cycle, oxygen, plants, conservation, saving energy, pollution, recycling

Lone Wolf by Sarah Kurpiel

Maple the husky is a valued member of the team, but strangers always seem to think she’s a wolf! It’s true: Maple can hunt, she can howl, and she can dig, just like wolves can. Oh, no! What if she is a wolf and doesn’t belong with her family after all?

A perfectly paced tale of family, self-acceptance, and belonging, Lone Wolf strikes the balance between heartwarming and hilarious. This irrepressible and sensitive dog’s identity crisis and spirited journey of self-discovery will capture readers’ hearts, whether or not they have a pet themselves.

SLJ starred.

  • Genre(s): picture book
  • Recommended for: PreS-Grade 2
  • Themes: dogs, wolves, huskies, family, belonging, identity, pets

THIS WEEK’S NEW RELEASE SPOTLIGHTS:

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