Welcome to another edition of Must Read Monday!
This feature is where I spotlight older, recent, or upcoming releases I am looking forward to. The lists will include all genres I like to read, everything from picture books to comics, children’s lit to adult fiction!
This week: titles from Randy Cecil and William Joyce! Lucy, written and illustrated by Randy Cecil, has been at the receiving end of some high praise from Kirkus, and is one title that I keep thinking, “Why haven’t I read this one yet!?”. A cross between a picture book, graphic novel, and early chapter book, Lucy looks like it could be a memorable, touching and unique read. William Joyce, author of the excellent The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (among many others!) has authored the intriguing-sounding Ollie’s Odyssey. The hardcover of Ollie’s Odyssey is a larger format early chapter book with huge crossover appeal- and in further similarity to Lucy, is also aesthetically gorgeous. The story itself sounds so terrifically strange- something like Toy Story with a much darker, fantastical element…Can’t wait to read it!
Lucy by Randy Cecil
Publication: August 2, 2016 by Candlewick
Lucy is a small dog without a home. She had one once, but she remembers it only in her dreams. Eleanor is a little girl who looks forward to feeding the stray dog that appears faithfully beneath her window each day. Eleanor’s father is a juggler with stage fright. The overlapping stories of three delightful characters, offering a slightly different perspective each time, come together in a truly original, beautifully illustrated book for dog (and underdog) lovers of all ages.
A tiny dog, a kindhearted girl, and a nervous juggler converge in a cinematic book in four acts — a unique children’s literature experience.
Ollie’s Odyssey by William Joyce, illus. Moonbot Studios
Publication: April 12, 2016 by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
From the creator of The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore and The Guardians of Childhood comes a grand adventure of valor, friendship, and a look into the mysterious world of favorite toys.
In the secret realm of toys, there are many mysteries. There is the Code of the Toys, which is as ancient as childhood. There’s also the magic of becoming a child’s favorite, the highest honor in the Toy World.
Made by hand by Billy’s mother, Ollie is a special toy, “a toy who will matter.” He becomes Billy’s best friend, confidant, pal, and yes, Billy’s “favorite.” But there are villains in the Toy World, and Zozo, the clown king, is the most feared. He and his toy henchman (the Creeps) have sworn to steal and imprison favorite toys until they forget their children and become forever lost. When Ollie is toynapped, Billy must rescue his beloved favorite from Zozo’s subterranean lair in the old Carnival Place, past the park, through the woods, and into the night.
Never has a journey of ten blocks been more epic.