Owen and Flora…

johnston_storyofowen

…sittin’ in a tree. So far we’ve found three Owens in novels this year. The Geography of You and Me (romantic Owen), The Unbound: An Archived Novel (evil supernatural renegade Owen), and The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim (fearless hero, or something like that, Owen). Owen-Chloe-Flora love triangle?      

Maybe it’s just me…

smith_grasshopper jungle

…but is this cover reminiscent of this cover? In his March/April 2014 article “What Makes a Good Book Cover?” Thom Barthelmess praises the Grasshopper Jungle cover’s “iconic simplicity,” which “piques our curiosity” with its compelling minimalism. The same can certainly be said of Woman‘s cover art…but for a different reason!

Chill out, animals

saltzberg_chengdu

While proofreading the May/June Magazine book reviews section, Martha astutely noted how many of the picture books feature animals draped over branches. (Trust us on Two Little Birds; the picture is inside.) Nice life, animals.       

The new headless torsos, redux

erlings_boy on the edge

The new headless torsos could also be this.   For more book jacket love, read Thom Barthelmess’s article What Makes a Good Book Cover? From the March/April Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: Illustration.

Jeune filles fatales

reeves_slice of cherry

As Elissa and Shara have both noted, YA themes tend to be cyclical. Vampires, zombies, mermaids, cyborgs, even Emily Dickinson devotees have all had — are still having — major upswings in YA. Dia Reeves’s 2011 Slice of Cherry (Simon Pulse) starred sisters Kit and Fancy, who took after their serial killer father. Now with […]

You are what you read

bella reading

From The Outsiders to The Perks of Being a Wallflower to the Twilight saga, teen fiction has long used protagonists’ reading taste as a characterization device. It’s a fast way to say a lot about a character with very little information (or effort, depending on the novel). For instance, avid Jane Austen fans show up […]

Animal sounds

what does the fox say

It seems like lately everyone’s been asking “What does the fox say?” but children’s books have been asking this question (and others like it) since long before it was cool. Not only are animal noises fun and engaging for children to read aloud or say along, but the variety of these noises shows kids that […]

Flora is the new Chloe?

flora and the flamingo

Last year, Betsy Bird commented on the “Cluster of Chloes” showing up in children’s books. (And, in the comments section, Lois Lowry noted the Emmas and Bens of yore.) A new crop of books seems to have blossomed, all starring girls (or other animals) named Flora. Recent books…and counting: Flora and the Flamingo by Molly […]

Paging Jaime Sommers, or: Girls-who-don’t-know-they’re-part-robotic are the new zombies

bionic_woman

Vampires have had their day in the sun. Zombies are resting in peace. The new it-girls in supernatural romance seems to be bionic women. [Possible spoilers appear below; and, okay, to be fair, they’re not all robots, but I do sense a trend. And just for fun, Freaks & Geeks fans, click here.] Cinder (Feiwel, […]

All hail the queen

The Queen of Kentucky

First there was The Queen of Kentucky (by Alecia Whitaker, Little/Poppy, January). Look what popped up yesterday at our offices: The Princesses of Iowa (by M. Molly Backes, Candlewick, May).     Could this be a new trend? Regal YA? I hope the royals aren’t limited to the Midwest though—I, for one, wouldn’t mind The […]