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A Different Pond

different pondSo, 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.


Martha V. Parravano About Martha V. Parravano

Martha V. Parravano is book review editor of The Horn Book, Inc., and co-author of the Calling Caldecott blog.

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