So, I apologize in advance for any frustration this entry may cause. Today’s featured book won’t be published until … August. Sorry about that! I do try to talk about books that everyone can access — but this one just now crossed my desk and I can’t help but give it some attention. I’m not usually all about the cover, but when I saw this cover, I stopped looking at all the other books near it and swooped in to check it out. It’s not your average picture book cover, right? Has more a feel of a graphic novel cover, maybe? It’s certainly unusual, and the cover is no bait-and-switch: that quality of freshness and originality continues after you open the book and begin to read.
A Different Pond should be a magnet for the 2018 Caldecott committee. Why? A few thoughts:
- it’s by a debut illustrator, at least where children’s books are concerned; her first book was the best-selling adult graphic memoir The Best We Could Do, published this spring
- it’s by a nonwhite illustrator (Thi Bui was born in Vietnam)
- it’s from Capstone, a publisher that has not previously been recognized by the Caldecott committee
- it’s a picture book that uses elements of graphic novels effectively (panels are incorporated into a more traditional picture-book layout; the text looks handwritten)
- it’s a personal and moving treatment of a timely topic
I’ll leave it at that, for now. Look for this unique picture book on bookstore shelves in August — and for further coverage on this blog come the fall.