2015 was a phenomenal year for children’s literature, and 2016 looks to be another! Kinderlit has combed through virtual stacks of publisher and distributor catalogs and compiled our picks for the most anticipated releases of the year… Below are our picks for releases from the beginning of April through to the end of July, with a few titles coming out in August for good measure. See Part One, from January through March, HERE.

Coming soon: We’ll shine the spotlight on diverse books coming in 2016!

Please note: Our choices are based entirely on our knowledge of the past work of the creators, how interesting the descriptions, and –let’s be honest– we judged a few books by their covers.

perfect picnicWhich ones get your motor running? Are there any that you think we missed? Leave your comments below.


The Perfect Picnic
By Ciara Flood
Published by Little Bee

From Little Bee: “Squirrel and Mole are the best of friends, and they do everything together, including going on picnics. But while Mole doesn’t really mind where they have a picnic, Squirrel is very determined that this picnic will be PERFECT, and that means finding the perfect place. But does such a thing exist?”

spaced outAPRIL 5

Spaced Out
By Stuart Gibbs
Published by Simon & Schuster

From Simon & Schuster: “The moon base commander has gone missing and Dash Gibson is on the case in the second mind-boggling mystery of the Moon Base Alpha series from the New York Times bestselling author of Belly Up and Spy School.

There’s nowhere to hide on the world’s first moon base. After all, it’s only the size of a soccer field. So when Nina Stack, the commander of Moon Base Alpha, mysteriously vanishes, the the-tale-of-a-no-name-squirrel-9781481444750_hrMoonies are at a total loss.”


The Tale of a No-Name Squirrel
Written by Radhika R. Dhariwal
Illustrated by Audrey Benjaminsen
Published by Simon & Schuster

From Simon & Schuster: “Solve riddles with Squirrel as he travels to the walled city of bees, the fireless tea plantation of mice, and treacherous desert full of tricksters in this beautifully written and creative debut adventure.”


The Bear and the Piano
By David Litchfield
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

From Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: “One day, a young bear stumbles upon something he has never seen before in the forest. As time passes, he teaches himself how to play the strange instrument, and eventually the beautiful sounds are heard by a father and son who are picnicking in the woods. The bear goes with them on an incredible journey to New York, where his piano playing makes him a huge star. He has fame, fortune and all the music in the world, but he misses the friends and family he has left behind. A moving tale of exploration and belonging from an exciting debut author-illustrator.”

clap clapAPRIL 12

Clap, Clap!
By Madalena Matoso
Published by Flying Eye

From Flying Eye: “Count along as the pages meet and part and the pictures come to life with movement and sound!

Flap, flap… A butterfly flaps its wings. Doing!… Two cymbals crash! Bong, bong… A boy bangs a drum with all his energy.

No batteries required, just your hands on each side!”

one day blue lanet antarcticaAPRIL 12

One Day on Our Blue Planet… In the Antarctic
By Ella Bailey
Published by Flying Eye

From Flying Eye: “From breakfast to dinner, dusk to dawn, children will love spending the day with this curious penguin chick.

The One Day on Our Blue Planet series by Ella Bailey is a new set of children’s books focused on the way our young animal friends spend a day. This time we head to the biting cold of Antarctica to meet a curious penguin chick!”

what can i beAPRIL 26

What Can I Be?
Written by Ann Rand
Illustrated by Ingrid King
Published by Princeton Architectural Press

From the author of the classics Sparkle and Spin and I Know A Lot of Things.

From PAP: “Unearthed after nearly forty years, What Can I Be? , a stunning concept book written by Ann Rand and illustrated by Ingrid King, is sure to delight children with its superb graphics and vivid palette. Triangles, squares, circles, lines, and colors spring to life in various and creative formations as they ask, What can I be?” A green triangle asks to become a tent, a kite, a Christmas tree, or the sail of a boat, or why not all of these things?”


Archie Snufflekins Oliver Valentine Cupcake Tiberius Cat
By Katie Harnett
Published by Flying Eye

stone throwerFrom Chronicle: “A sweet and memorable tale about communities, friendship, and
how one beloved cat can bring joy and companionship to those who need it most.”


The Stone Thrower
Written by Jael Ealey Richardson
Illustrated by Matt James
Published by Groundwood Books

From Groundwood: “The African-American football player Chuck Ealey grew up in a segregated neighborhood of Portsmouth, Ohio. Against all odds, he became an incredible quarterback. But despite his unbeaten record in high school and university, Flora-and-the-Peacocks_FC_HighReshe would never play professional football in the United States… This inspirational story is told by Chuck Ealey’s daughter, author and educator Jael Richardson, with striking and powerful illustrations by award-winning illustrator Matt James.”


Flora and the Peacocks
By Molly Idle
Published by Chronicle Books

The latest Flora book from the Caldecott Honor-winning author.

From Chronicle: “The darling, dancing Flora is back, and this time she’s found two new friends: a pair of peacocks! But amidst the fanning feathers and mirrored movements, Flora realizes that the push and pull between three friends can be a delicate dance. Will this trio find a way to get back in step? In the third book featuring Flora and her feathered friends, Molly Idle’s gorgeous art combines with clever flaps to reveal that no matter the challenges, true friends will always find a way to dance, leap, and soar—together.”

thereisatribeofkidscoverMAY 3

There is A Tribe of Kids
By Lane Smith
Published by Roaring Brook

New from the multi-award-winning illustrator.

From Roaring Brook: “If Lane Smith’s Caldecott Honor Book Grandpa Green was an homage to aging and the end of life, There Is a Tribe of Kids is a meditation on childhood and life’s beginning. Smith’s vibrant sponge-paint illustrations and use of unusual collective nouns such as smack and unkindness bring the book to life. Whimsical, expressive, and perfectly paced, this story plays with language as much as it embodies imagination.”

doreenMAY 10

By Ilana Manaster
Published by Running Press

A young adult spin on The Picture of Dorien Grey.

From Running Press: “When Doreen Gray walks in the vaulted doorway of elite Chandler Academy, she is a sad, disastrous mess of acne, frizzy hair, and low self-esteem. Heidi Whelan, social-climber turned queen bee, takes one look and knows she has found her new protégé. Heidi gets her bookworm roommate Biz Gibbons-Brown to take a picture of Doreen and work her Photoshop magic. The result? A stunning profile pic that looks nothing like the real Doreen. To the shock of all three, Doreen wakes up the next morning the embodiment of the glossy, digital makeover.”

it was so quiet i coud hear a pin dropMAY 17

It Was So Quiet I Could Hear A Pin Drop
By Andy Goodman
Published by Princeton Architectural Press

A new edition of the 2008 hidden gem.

From original publisher Corraini: “Between dream and reality, everyday sounds are transformed by Andy Goodman into light and essential illustrations: from the intangible swish of a kite, to the ticking of the wrist-watch, to the sharp notes of a trumpet, to the whistle of a steam train accelerating. From piano to forte and then back to silence, It was so quiet I could hear a pin drop is a spontaneous improvisation of imagination, a sort of inventory of sounds and noises, but especially dedicated to the silence among them, which is the starting point of every flight of fancy. In this “crescendo”, the dimensions of the texts follow the atomic adventure“expansion” of the sounds till the final silence, that turns out the series of the images in an unexpected way.”

MAY 20

Professor Astro Cat’s Atomic Adventure
Written by Dominic Walliman
Illustrated by Ben Newman
Published by Flying Eye

From Flying Eye: “In this brilliant follow up to Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space, our trusty feline returns to take you on a journey through the incredible world of physics. Learn about energy, power and the building blocks of you, me and the universe in this all new ATOMIC ADVENTURE!”


The Lines On Granny’s Face
By Simona Ciraolo
Published by Flying Eye

A new book from the author of 2015’s brilliant Whatever Happened to My Sister?

From Flying Eye: “In this imaginative and heart-warming story from the bestselling author and illustrator of Hug Me, Simona Ciraolo turns the lines from old age into come on tom tigerlittle wrinkles of wonder and memory as a little girl learns all about the precious moments in her grandmother’s life.”


Come On, Tom Tiger
By Gabriel Alborozo
Published by Simon & Schuster

The latest from one of Kinderlit’s besties, the artist behind last year’s excellent Good Night, Firefly.

From Simon & Schuster: “The Jungle Book meets the Lion King in this magically illustrated tale of one little tiger’s adventures as he grows up. Tiger has to learn all is tiger skills in this gorgeous coming-of-age tale.”

and thenJUNE 15

And Then…
By Gabriel Alborozo
Published by Child’s Play

Another from one of Kinderlit’s besties, the artist behind last year’s excellent Good Night, Firefly.

From Child’s Play: “It’s hard being an older sister when everybody is admiring your newly born younger brother – particularly on your birthday. Especially when that younger brother is noisy, smelly and slimy – just like a tiny squid! How can our hero grab everyone’s attention, and grow to love her brother in the process? This quirky, exuberant picture book reminds us of the power of the imagination, and shows us how telling stories can help us order and deal with our experiences.”

Mystery-and-Mayhem-front-coverJUNE 23

Crime Club: Mystery and Mayhem
Various authors
Curated by Katherine Woodfine
Published by Egmont

From Egmont: “Twelve mysteries. Twelve authors. One challenge. Can you solve the crimes before the heroes of the stories?

For the first time, this anthology brings together the cream of current British children’s crime writing, with twelve brand-new stories from twelve prize-winning, bestselling authors. These creepy, hilarious, brain-boggling, heart-pounding mysteries, featuring daring, brilliant young detectives, will delight crime fans old and new.”

school's first day of schoolJUNE 28

School’s First Day of School
Written by Adam Rex
Illustrated by Christian Robinson
Published by Roaring Brook

From Roaring Brook: “It’s the first day of school at Frederick Douglass Elementary and everyone’s just a little bit nervous, especially the school itself.”

before we go extinctJUNE 28

Before We Go Extinct
By Karen Rivers
Published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux

From Farrar, Straus & Giroux: “J.C., who goes by the nickname Sharky, has been having a hard time ever since his best friend died in front of him in a what might or might not have been an accident. Shell-shocked, Sharky spends countless hours holed up in his room, obsessively watching documentaries about Colin and Lee Carrot and Peasharks and climate change—and texting his dead friend.”


Colin and Lee, Carrot and Pea
By Morag Hood
Published by MacMillan

From MacMillan: “Made using just a collage of supermarket plastic bags and painted facial expressions, Morag Hood has created a timeless picture book with unique and engaging artwork that is brimming with warmth and humour. With the bold simplicity of Herve Tullet or Dick Bruna’s Miffy, and a dry wit and charm all of Morag’s own, it is a fantastically funny story that appeals to the very youngest child – and makes adults laugh out loud.”

my thumbJULY 26

My Thumb
Written by Karen Hesse
Illustrated by Rich Deas
Published by Feiwel and Friends

From Feiwel and Friends: “Kids who suck their thumbs know there’s nothing better. NOTHING! Here is a fun picture book ode to the thumb by Newbery Medalist Karen Hesse, with art by Feiwel and Friends Creative Director Rich Deas.”


The Hunting of the Snark
Written by Lewis Carroll
Illustrated by Chris Riddell
Published by MacMillan

A new edition of the little known Lewis Carroll gem, with new illustrations.

From MacMillan: “Written by Lewis Carroll and first published in 1876, The Hunting friends is friendsof the Snark is fully illustrated throughout with black and white and colour artwork by Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell.”


Friends is Friends
By Greg Cook
Published by First Second

From First Second: “Friends Is Friends tells the story of complicated friendships through a series of funny, bittersweet vignettes. Greg Cook’s deceptively sweet storybook world is imbued with grown-up humor that is both dark and whimsical. The result is a fable for adults, where the only clear moral is this: friendship isn’t easy, whether you’re a hobo or a snowman or a ghost.”

goodbye summer hello autumnAUGUST 16

Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn
By Kenard Pak
Published by Henry Holt

From Henry Holt: “As trees sway in the cool breeze, blue jays head south, and leaves change their colors, everyone knows–autumn is on its way!

Join a young girl as she takes a walk through forest and town, greeting all the signs of the coming season. In a series of conversations with every flower and creature and gust of wind, she says good-bye to summer and welcomes autumn.”

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