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January 03, 2017

It’s time for ALA Midwinter in Georgia!

Stop by the Random House Children’s Books Booth, #1903, to browse our new books from spring and summer 2017, pick up a variety of free promotional materials and advance reader’s copies, and meet our staff!

RHCB Coupon Giveaway!
Look for this coupon in your School Library Journal packet, and bring it to our booth to receive an exclusive print!

 

Visit the Book Buzz Theater!
RHCB Book Buzz Presentation on Saturday, January 21!

ARCs to get excited about:

Picture Books

  • by Emily Jenkins; illustrated by Chris Appelhans
  • by R.J. Palacio
  • by Jonah Winter; illustrated by C. F. Payne
  • by Annie Silvestro; illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss

Middle Grade

  • edited by Ellen Oh, contributions from Kwame Alexander, Soman Chainani, Matt de la Peña, Tim Federle, Grace Lin, Meg Medina, Walter Dean Myers, Tim Tingle, Jacqueline Woodson, and Kelly J. Baptist
  • by Melissa Savage
  • by Mark Siegel and Alexis Siegel; illustrated by Xanthe Bouma, Matt Rockefeller, and Boya Sun
  • by Adrienne Kress

Young Adult

  • by Jeff Zentner
  • by Cath Crowley
  • by Jennifer E. Smith
  • by Tanya Lee Stone

January 03, 2017

Celebrate 50 Years of Heartfelt Children’s Literature with Leo Lionni!

When you see Leo Lionni’s name on a picture book, you know you’re in for a magical storytime treat! Lionni, author and illustrator of FOUR Caldecott Honor Books, was commended in 2007 with the Society of Illustrators’ Lifetime Achievement Award (Posthumous). Random House Children’s Books is honored to have Lionni on our list, and we will forever celebrate his masterful storytelling. Enjoy these four new paperback editions and a few of his most beloved backlist titles. Visit Leo Lionni’s author page to learn more about his incredible career.

Download these Leo Lionni resources for classroom storytime activities:
The World of Leo Lionni
Dragonfly Books Featuring Leo Lionni

New Paperback Editions!

Little Blue and Little Yellow
Ages 3–7
A New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book of the Year

With few words, lots of white space, and splotches of color, this picture book tells of two friends who share wonderful adventures until the day they can’t find each other. When Little Blue and Little Yellow finally meet again, they hug each other joyously—and turn green! How they recapture their identities provides an ending that delights preschoolers, while teaching them that mixing blue and yellow makes green. This was Leo Lionni’s first children’s book.

 

 

Frederick
Ages 3–7
A Caldecott Honor Book
A New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book of the Year
A Library of Congress Children’s Book of the Year
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year

Winter is coming, and all the mice are gathering food . . . except Frederick. But when the days grow short and the snow begins to fall, it’s Frederick’s stories that warm the hearts and spirits of his fellow field mice.

 

 

 

Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse
Ages 3–7
A Caldecott Honor Book
An ALA Notable Children’s Book
A Christopher Award Winner
A New York Times Outstanding Children’s Book of the Year

Everyone loves Willy the wind-up mouse, while Alexander the real mouse is chased away with brooms and mousetraps. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be loved and cuddled? thinks Alexander, who wishes he could be a wind-up mouse, too.

 

 

 

Swimmy
Ages 3–7
A Caldecott Honor Book
An ALA Notable Children’s Book
A Christopher Award Winner
A New York Times Outstanding Children’s Book of the Year

Deep in the sea lives a happy school of fish. Their watery world is full of wonders, but there is also danger, and the little fish are afraid to come out of hiding . . . until Swimmy comes along. Swimmy shows his friends how—with ingenuity and teamwork—they can overcome any danger.

 

 

Beloved Backlist Titles




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January 03, 2017

A Book is a Shoal of Fish: Writing Tips

Dave Rudden, author of Knights of the Borrowed Dark, offers writing tips for you and your students! Whether for a creative writing piece for school, an essay for a class, or a piece of personal writing, these suggestions will help all writers find their voice.

Knights of the Borrowed Dark
by Dave Rudden
Ages: 10 & Up

I didn’t want to be a writer as a kid. Not because I didn’t love books, but precisely because I loved books – I thought authors were another species entirely. They had professor parents, or had been bitten by a radioactive author, or had went through some kind of [SECRET PROCESS] to become a person that could write a book, possibly involving tweed.

And I rarely give rules when I teach because every person is different, but I have learned this – writing is less about innate talent and more about hard work and dedication. Here are some things I learned while writing my first novel, KNIGHTS OF THE BORROWED DARK, and, while your path to writing a novel might be different than mine, I hope these can be of help.

A BOOK IS A SHOAL OF FISH

I get asked a lot about where I get my ideas, and I find it a fascinating question because people assume ideas are external, that you have to go somewhere to get them. Ideas are responses. They’re solutions. And they come from you.

I wrote KNIGHTS OF THE BORROWED DARK because I wanted to read a book about a kid who wasn’t automatically brave. I don’t know if I’m brave. I’d like to think I am, but I don’t think you can know until it’s tested, and as much as Teenage Dave wanted magic and a hero’s destiny, part of him also had a sneaking suspicion he’d be terrible at it.

That was my starting point. But that isn’t a book. So I had to ask myself -

Who is this kid? Why do they doubt themselves? Where do they live? How can I test them? What’s their shoe size?

These questions gave me direction. I wasn’t trying to come up with amorphous ideas, I was filling the space in an equation. And the answers didn’t come from outside. Instead, I went inwards – giving my protagonist magic because I love stories about magic, but giving the magic a Cost because I wanted my characters under pressure with no easy answers. My villains were bullies because I had been bullied as a kid, and bullies frighten me.

(The Man in the Waistcoat is playground mockery incarnate, the Woman in White brute force, and the Opening Boy a hurt child, because it’s important I remind myself, even now, that that’s what bullies are)

A book is not a single idea. It’s a shoal of fish – lots of tiny creatures moving together so perfectly they look like one single beast. And ideas are everywhere, but so are writers, so remember -

EVERY WORD IS A WEAPON

‘The word rolled from his tongue like a cockroach.’

I was very proud of this line. It tells you everything you need to know about the Man in the Waistcoat’s voice in just nine words, and when I excitedly shared it with an author friend he nodded, smiled, and pointed out… that cockroaches don’t roll.

Ah. Okay.

‘The word skittered from his tongue like a cockroach.’

Better.

This might sound utterly pedantic, but there is a lot of competition out there, especially in children’s fiction. The way you stand out is by striving to be original, from your biggest concept to your smallest word. Read voraciously what’s out there. Take sharp left turns from overdone concepts, or turn them on their head.

Every person in the world is an intricate and unique machine. Different things inspire and scare and delight you. Make the book as you as you possibly can, because nobody else can write that book. And, most importantly -

YOU DON’T HAVE TO GET IT RIGHT FIRST TRY

KOTBD went through six drafts.

1st Draft – Me telling the story to myself

2nd Draft – Polishing and cutting and plugging every plot hole I could see.

3rd Draft – Polishing and cutting and plugging every plot hole my friends could see

4th, 5th, 6th – Going over every line, word and comma to make sure they belonged.

No book starts off perfect. They’re huge projects with a lot of moving parts, and it takes multiple drafts to make sure it all hangs together. Sometimes you have to put the wrong word down to find the right one.

You never, ever stop learning as a writer. Read interviews. Read books and watch videos on writing. Read writing tips, try them all, and only keep the ones that work (even these ones!) Share your work with friends and listen to what they have to say. Remember that every one of your favourite writers was in the exact same position you are now.

Best of luck. I look forward to seeing your book on the shelf.


January 03, 2017

Random House Children’s Books Authors at an Event Near You!

Bring your students to hear one of our authors speak at a bookstore or library event near you! Author readings are a great place to learn about an author’s writing life, the inspirations for characters and stories, and fun facts about the book!

Jerry Spinelli
January 3, 2017, 7:00 PM
Towne Book Center & Cafe
Collegeville, PA

January 23, 2017, 6:00 PM
Princeton Public Library (with Labyrinth Books)
Princeton, NJ

January 24, 2017, 6:00 PM
Books of Wonder
New York, NY

January 25, 2017, 6:00 PM
R. J. Julia Booksellers
Madison, CT

Dev Petty
Pajama Party
January 6, 2017, 6:00 PM
DIESEL, A Bookstore
Larkspur, CA

Pajama Party
January 27, 2017, 6:00 PM
DIESEL, A Bookstore
Oakland, CA

Lisa Yee
January 7, 2017, 3:00 PM
Vroman’s Bookstore
Pasadena, CA

 

 

 

 

 

Breeana Shields
January 14, 2017, 2:00 PM
Barnes & Noble: Olympia
Olympia, WA

January 19, 2017, 6:00 PM
Barnes & Noble: Grand Teton
Idaho Falls, ID

 

 

 

Emily Jenkins
January 22, 2017, 10:30 AM
Stories Bookshop
Brooklyn, NY

 

 

Christian Robinson
January 26, 2017, 5:00 PM
Charlie’s Corner Children’s Bookstore
San Francisco, CA

 

 


December 01, 2016

Random House Children’s Books Is Seeing STARS!

Incredible books and starred reviews have been the hallmarks of 2016 at Random House Children’s Books! Here are a few of our picture book, middle grade, and young adult titles that received extraordinary reviews!

PICTURE BOOKS


  • Clara
    Booklist
    The Horn Book
    Publishers Weekly
    Shelf Awareness
    HC: 978-0-553-52246-4

  • Hank’s Big Day
    Booklist
    Kirkus Reviews
    Publishers Weekly
    HC: 978-0-553-51150-5

  • A Hat for Mrs. Goldman
    Booklist
    Kirkus Reviews
    Publishers Weekly
    School Library Journal
    HC: 978-0-553-49710-6

  • Henry Wants More
    Booklist
    School Library Journal
    HC: 978-0-385-38512-1

  • Little Penguins
    Booklist
    School Library Journal
    HC: 978-0-553-50770-6

  • My Favorite Pets
    Booklist
    School Library Journal
    HC: 978-0-385-75570-2

  • Owl Sees Owl
    Booklist
    The Horn Book
    Kirkus Reviews
    School Library Journal
    HC: 978-0-553-49782-3


  • Penguin Problems
    The Horn Book
    Kirkus Reviews
    HC: 978-0-553-51337-0

  • Rescue Squad No. 9
    The Horn Book
    Kirkus Reviews
    School Library Journal
    HC: 978-1-101-93662-7

  • The Secret Subway
    The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
    Kirkus Reviews
    Publishers Weekly
    HC: 978-0-375-87071-2

  • Six Dots
    The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
    Publishers Weekly
    School Library Journal
    HC: 978-0-449-81337-9

  • Sophie’s Squash Goes to School
    Booklist
    Publishers Weekly
    HC: 978-0-553-50944-1

  • This Is My Dollhouse
    Kirkus Reviews
    Publishers Weekly
    HC: 978-0-553-52153-5

  • Tree in the Courtyard
    Booklist
    School Library Journal
    HC: 978-0-385-75397-5

  • Who Wants a Tortoise
    Kirkus Reviews
    The Horn Book
    HC: 978-0-385-75417-0

  • You Never Heard of Casey Sengel
    Booklist
    School Library Journal
    Publishers Weekly
    HC: 978-0-375-87013-2

MIDDLE GRADE


  • A Bandit’s Tale
    Publishers Weekly
    School Library Journal
    HC:
    978-0-385-75499-6

  • Beautiful Blue World
    Kirkus Reviews
    Publishers Weekly
    School Library Journal
    HC:
    978-0-385-74300-6

  • Cat Who Came In off the Roof
    Kirkus Reviews
    Shelf Awareness
    HC:
    978-0-553-53500-6

  • Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island
    Kirkus Reviews
    School Library Journal
    HC:
    978-0-553-52130-6

  • Full of Beans
    Booklist
    The Horn Book
    Kirkus Reviews
    Publishers Weekly
    Shelf Awareness
    HC:
    978-0-553-51036-2

  • Goblin’s Puzzle
    Publishers Weekly
    School Library Journal
    HC:
    978-0-553-52070-5

  • Hilo: Saving the Whole Wide World
    The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
    Kirkus Reviews
    HC:
    978-0-385-38623-4

  • Lily and Dunkin
    Booklist
    VOYA
    HC: 978-0-553-53674-4

  • A Most Magical Girl
    The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
    Kirkus Reviews
    HC:
    978-0-553-51285-4

  • The Nine Lives of Jacob Tibbs
    Booklist
    School Library Journal
    HC:
    978-0-553-51123-9

  • Not As We Know It
    Publishers Weekly
    School Library Journal
    Shelf Awareness
    HC:
    978-0-553-53509-9

  • The Secret Horses of Briar Hill
    Booklist
    Kirkus Reviews
    Shelf Awareness
    HC:
    978-1-101-93975-8

  • Time Traveling with a Hamster
    Booklist
    Kirkus Reviews
    HC: 978-0-399-55149-9

  • The Turn of the Tide
    Booklist
    School Library Journal
    HC: 978-0-375-86972-3

YOUNG ADULT


  • And I Darken
    Booklist
    School Library Journal
    HC: 978-0-553-52231-0

  • Anna and the Swallow Man
    The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
    The Horn Book
    Publishers Weekly
    Shelf Awareness
    VOYA
    HC:
    978-0-553-51334-9

  • Beast
    Kirkus Reviews
    Publishers Weekly
    HC:
    978-1-101-93716-7

  • The Darkest Corners
    Booklist
    Kirkus Reviews
    Shelf Awareness
    HC:
    978-0-553-52145-0

  • Girl In Pieces
    Booklist
    VOYA
    HC:
    978-1-101-93471-5

  • Glitter
    The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
    Publishers Weekly
    HC: 978-1-101-93370-1


  • The Head of the Saint
    Booklist
    The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
    HC:
    978-0-553-53792-5

  • Holding Up the Universe
    Publishers Weekly
    School Library Journal
    HC: 978-0-385-75592-4

  • Julia Vanishes
    Booklist
    Publishers Weekly
    HC:
    978-0-553-52484-0

  • Lucy and Linh
    Booklist
    The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
    Kirkus Reviews
    School Library Journal
    VOYA
    HC:
    978-0-399-55048-5

  • Places No One Knows
    Booklist
    Kirkus Reviews
    Publishers Weekly
    HC: 978-0-553-52263-1

  • The Serpent King
    The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
    Kirkus Reviews
    Publishers Weekly
    Shelf Awareness
    HC:
    978-0-553-52402-4

  • The Smell of Other People‘s Houses
    Booklist
    Kirkus Reviews
    HC: 978-0-399-55149-9

  • The Sun Is Also a Star
    Booklist
    The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
    The Horn Book
    Kirkus Reviews
    Publishers Weekly
    Shelf Awareness
    HC:
    978-0-553-49668-0

  • This is the Part Where You Laugh
    Kirkus Reviews
    Publishers Weekly
    VOYA
    HC:
    978-0-553-53810-6

  • Up to this Pointe
    The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
    Shelf Awareness
    HC:
    978-0-553-53767-3

  • Uprooted
    Booklist
    Kirkus Reviews
    Publishers Weekly
    School Library Journal
    HC: 978-0-553-50936-6