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Article:    New & Upcoming Books from Candlewick Press

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With ten years, and such remarkable books as Guess How Much I Love You? and One Duck Stuck!, under their belt, Candlewick Press, an independent children's publisher, has reason to celebrate. We had a chance to take a look at their brand-new and upcoming children's book offerings. 

But first, here's a look at Candlewick's award-winning children's books already available:

Some Outstanding Children's Books

Guess How Much I Love You? (by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Anita Jeram) is a simply sweet story about Big and Little Nutbrown Hare. The hares compete affectionately in their expressions of just how much they love each other ("right up to the moon, and back", for example). Beautiful watercolors support the delightful text. Excellent fare for bedtime. (Toddler and preschool picture book)

[For more information, or to buy: Guess How Much I Love You at]

Anita Jeram - Guess How Much I Love You
Guess How Much I Love You
Anita Jeram
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One of the best early counting books ever, One Duck Stuck! (written by Phyllis Root and illustrated by Jane Chapman) has perfect rhythm, gorgeous illustrations, and the most rhymes around. It all begins when one duck gets stuck in the muck, and a host of animals arrive to help the duck out of his muddy predicament. Two fish, three moose, four crickets...all the way up to ten dragonflies try to help, but "no luck...still stuck". In the end, they all chip in and get the duck out with a satisfying "spluck". The adjectives and sound effects in this book are just as colorful as the rich illustrations. As well, each newly introduced numeral is large and clearly presented, making this delightful story a super educational experience. It's hard to find a better early counting and rhyming picture book for the very young.

[For more information, or to buy: One Duck Stuck at]

Can't You Sleep, Little Bear? (written by Martin Waddell and illustrated by Barbara Firth) is a charming bedtime story in which Big Bear helps Little Bear overcome his fear of the dark. Gentle illustrations. (Preschool)

[For more information, or to buy: Can't You Sleep, Little Bear? at]

Barbara Firth - Untitled
Barbara Firth
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A Poke in the I (written by Paul B. Janeczko and illustrated by Chris Raschka) is a book of concrete poems--highly visual poems that express themselves not only through their text, but also through a playful arrangement of words, spaces, and typefaces on the page. This book features 30 delightful, kid-friendly concrete poems with the added fun of illustrations by Chris Raschka for each. Some of the poems take on the overall shape of the subject, such as the one entitled Eskimo Pie, which is shaped like the ice cream treat, and Swan and Shadow, with its text taking the form of a swan and its reflection in the water. Our favorite is one called Tennis Anyone? that requires the reader to move their head from one page to the next--back and forth--with the effect similar to that of watching a tennis game. Very clever! In another poem, entitled A Weak Poem, the lines droop to express the poem's overall weakness (from eating too much junk food and going to bed too late). This highly original collection of visual poems will delight readers from approximately ages 8 and up. The book may inspire them to create their own--it seems to me that concrete poems may come more naturally to kids than to adults. The book is fun to share with kids--it can be revealing and stimulating to discuss the meaning behind each poem. Be aware that many kids younger than 8 may not grasp the whole concept. 

[See our full review. For more information, or to buy: A Poke in the I : A Collection of... at]

New and Upcoming Books from Candlewick Press

Carlo Likes Counting (written and illustrated by Jessica Spanyol) features exceptionally fresh and appealing illustrations that support the simple text. Each spread invites kids to count various sets of objects (such as 8 mice, 8 legs on an octopus, and so forth, on the eight spread) along with Carlo the Giraffe. Although there is certainly no shortage of counting books available, this one's illustrations make it especially inviting for young children, and the parents who read it to them. 

[For more information, or to buy: Carlo Likes Counting at]

Another counting book, 1 2 3 Follow Me (written and illustrated by Philippe Dupasquier), features no text save for a couple of "sound effect" words. Through the graduated pages of this board book, children follow a chick and a succession of animals that chase the little bird with delight. A surprise ending features a mouse who scares away the entire clan. This book is simple but effective. 

[For more information, or to buy: 1 2 3 Follow Me] 

A new Maisy book, filled with flaps to lift and a wheel to turn, introduces little ones to the seasons of the year. This oversized board book will delight children. In the spring, kids discover what's hiding in the tree, behind the flowers, and inside the barn. In the summer, they turn a wheel to discover what Charley catches while fishing. Will it be a starfish, or a boot? Both a picture of an object and its word appears in the wheel's window on the Fall page; and kids get to peek under the snowballs to discover surprises on the Winter spread. Finally, children learn the words for Maisy's favorite activities in any season on the final spread of this fun, interactive book. (Preschool board book)

[For more information, or to buy: Maisy's Seasons at]

We've heard of Monday blues, but Sunday blues?! Steve is dreading Monday so much that his Sunday is tough to handle in The Sunday Blues: A book for schoolchildren, schoolteachers, and anybody else who dreads Monday mornings (written and illustrated by Neal Layton). Of course, in the end, school doesn't seem so bad.

[For more information, or to buy: Sunday Blues: A Book for Schoolchildren,... at]

For slightly older readers, Under the Moon & Over the Sea: A Collection of Caribbean Poems (edited by John Agard and Grace Nichols) presents poems from over 30 different poets and gorgeous illustrations that effectively capture the Caribbean experience. A treasure! 

[For more information, or to buy: Under the Moon and over the Sea: A...] 

Presenting a wonderful way for children to enjoy Charles Dickens' work without fuss, Charles Dickens and Friends (written by Marcia Williams) features five retellings of classic Dickens: Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, David Copperfield, and A Tale of Two Cities. The stories are retold through simple text and illustrations with "bubbled" dialogue. (For ages 9-13)

[For more information, or to buy: Charles Dickens and Friends at] 

The patriotic poem is explained for children to understand in this new book, I Pledge Allegiance (written by Bill Martin Jr. and Michael Sampson and illustrated by Chris Raschka). The pledge is printed in large text, and smaller words explain both the vocabulary and the meanings. Vocabulary words (such as pledge, allegiance, and indivisible) are defined, and the meaning of the pledge itself is explained and personalized. 

[For more information, or to buy: I Pledge Allegiance: The Pledge of... at] 


New editions in the excellent Brand New Readers series (for very beginning readers), Where's Waldo? line, in addition to Maisy sticker books, a Guess How Much I Love You? board book and toy gift set, a sequel to Witch Child entitled Sorceress for older readers, and more, are due in the upcoming months.








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Anita Jeram - He Kissed Him Goodnight
He Kissed Him Goodnight
Anita Jeram
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July 2002

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