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… Or at least from now until the end of March! (Part Two, featuring releases from April through July, will be published shortly.)

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.

we are the antsWhich ones get your motor running? Are there any that you think we missed? Leave your comments below.

We Are the Ants
By Shaun David Hutchinson
Published by Simon Pulse

From Simon Pulse: “From the “author to watch” (Kirkus Reviews) of The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley comes a brand-new novel about a teenage boy who must decide whether or not the world is worth saving.

Henry Denton has spent years being periodically abducted by aliens. Then the aliens give him an ultimatum: The world will end in 144 days, and all Henry has to do to stop it is push a big red button… Only he isn’t sure he wants to.”

4834a7b3ae40a270202463eb42f2bdceJANUARY 26
Girl and Gorilla: Out and About
Written by Rick Walton
Illustrated by Joe Berger
Published by HarperCollins

From HarperCollins: “Girl and Gorilla are best friends. Girl and Gorilla want to play at the park. But how will they get there? They can . . . Hopscotch! Or jump rope! Maybe they can just close their eyes and wish they were there! But when they open their eyes . . . they are not at the park. Will Girl and Gorilla ever get to play at the park?”

frankencrayonJANUARY 26
By Michael Hall
Published by Greenwillow

From Greenwillow: “This affecting, charming graphic novel about a dog and a robot shows us in poignant detail how powerful and fragile relationships are. After a Labor Day jaunt to the beach leaves the robot rusted, immobilized in the sand, the dog must return alone to the life they shared. But the memory of their friendship lingers, and as the seasons pass, the dog tries to fill the emotional void left by the loss of his closest friend, making and losing a series of friends, from a melting snowman to epicurean anteaters. But for the robot, lying rusting on the beach, the only relief from loneliness is in dreams.”

robot dreamsFEBRUARY 2

Robot Dreams (Re-issue)
By Sara Varon
Published by Square Fish

“This affecting, charming graphic novel about a dog and a robot shows us in poignant detail how powerful and fragile relationships are. After a Labor Day jaunt to the beach leaves the robot rusted, immobilized in the sand, the dog must return alone to the life they shared. But the memory of their friendship lingers, and as the seasons revenge and the wildpass, the dog tries to fill the emotional void left by the loss of his closest friend, making and losing a series of friends, from a melting snowman to epicurean anteaters. But for the robot, lying rusting on the beach, the only relief from loneliness is in dreams.”


Revenge and the Wild
By Michelle Modesto
Published by Balzer + Bray

From Balzer + Bray: “True Grit meets True Blood in this delightfully dark and fantastical Western perfect for fans of Gail Carriger, Cassandra Clare, and Holly Black. This thrilling novel is a remarkable tale of danger and discovery, from debut author Michelle Modesto.”lettie peppercorn


The Adventures of Lettie Peppercorn
Written by Sam Gayton
Illustrated by Poly Bernatene
Published by Margaret K. McElderry

From Margaret K. McElderry: “Lettie Peppercorn cannot go outside. Ma told her so right before she disappeared forever. So Lettie’s house is on stilts, and she is stuck with only the wind and a pigeon for a friend. Nothing exciting has ever happened to her—until the night a strange merchant appears. He claims to be an alchemist—the greatest that ever lived—and he is here to sell Lettie his newest invention. It’s an invention that could change Lettie’s life—and the world forever. An invention called “snow.”

But snow is not the only secret he holds. The alchemist knows where Lettie’s sara-lost-and-found-9781481438711_hrMa is. And Lettie will do anything to get Ma back—even if it means risking her own life.”


Sara Lost and Found
By Virginia Castleman
Published by Aladdin

From Aladdin: “Sara and Anna Olsen face an uncertain world. Their mother left home and may—or may not—be coming back. Their father is a drummer in a band and comes home long after the girls go to sleep—if he comes home at all. Too often, ten-year-old Sara and twelve-year-old Anna are left to fend for themselves. Then one night, three loud knocks at the door change everything: their father is in jail and social services has come to take the girls away. Rather than risk being split up, Sara and Anna decide their only option is to run away…”

last immortalFEBRUARY 9

The Last Immortal
By Alex Marlowe
Published by HarperCollins

From HarperCollins: “The first installment of a brand new adventure series, The Last Immortal combines the action of Percy Jackson with the mystery-solving of Sherlock Holmes, and a superhero cast reminiscent of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.”

th_0062281267FEBRUARY 9

Little Butterfly
By Laura Logan
Published by Balzer + Bray

Kinderlit loves a good wordless picture book.

From Balzer + Bray: “Little Butterfly is a charming and emotional wordless picture book, in the vein of acclaimed books like Suzy Lee’s Wave and Barbara Lehman’s The Red Book, by debut author-illustrator Laura Logan.

This is a story of a young girl, a simple act of kindness, and a magical, once-in-a-lifetime journey. Laura Logan’s the-night-gardener-9781481439787_hrsweet and surprising illustrations tell an extraordinary tale of compassion rewarded and the wonder of nature.”


The Night Gardener
By The Fan Brothers
Published by Simon & Schuster

From Simon & Schuster: “One day, William discovers that the tree outside his window has been sculpted into a wise owl. In the following days, more topiaries appear, and each one is more beautiful than the last. Soon, William’s gray little town is full of color and life. And though the mysterious night gardener disappears as suddenly as he appeared, William—and his town—are changed forever.

With breathtaking illustrations and spare, sweet text, this masterpiece about enjoying the beauty of nature is sure to become an instant classic.”

what-are-you-glad-about-what-are-you-mad-about-9781481423557_hrFEBRUARY 16

What Are You Glad About? What Are You Mad About?
Written by Judith Viorst
Illustrated by Lee White
Published by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books

From Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books: “From the beloved and internationally bestselling author of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Judith Viorst comes a brand-new collection of clever, hilarious, and poignant poems that touch on every aspect of the roller-coaster ride that is childhood.

From school to family to friends, from Grrrr to Hooray!, Judith Viorst takes us on a tour of feelings of all kinds in this thoughtful, thanks-for-the-trouble-9781481418805_hrfunny, and charming collection of poetry that’s perfect for young readers just learning to sort out their own emotions.”


Thanks for the Trouble
By Tommy Wallach
Published by Simon & Schuster

A new novel from the acclaimed author of We All Looked Up.

From Simon & Schuster: “Parker Santé hasn’t spoken a word in five years. While his classmates plan for bright futures, he skips school to hang out in hotels, killing time by watching the guests. But when he meets a silver-haired girl named Zelda Toth, a girl who claims to be quite a bit older than she looks, he’ll discover there just might be a few things left worth living for.”

just my luckFEBRUARY 23

Just My Luck
By Cammie McGovern
Published by HarperCollins

The middle grade debut from the acclaimed author of Say What You Will.

From HarperCollins: “Fourth grade is not going at all how Benny Barrows hoped. He hasn’t found a new best friend. He’s still not a great bike rider—even though his brother George, who’s autistic, can do tricks. And worst of all, he worries his dad’s recent accident might be all his fault. Benny tries to take his mom’s advice and focus on helping others, and to take things one step at a time. But when his dad ends up in the hospital again, Benny doesn’t know how he and his family will overcome all the bad luck that life seems to have thrown their way.”

charlie priceFEBRUARY 23

The Remarkable Journey of Charlie Price
By Jennifer Maschari
Published by Balzer + Bray

The middle grade debut from the acclaimed author of Say What You Will.

From Balzer + Bray: “Ever since twelve-year-old Charlie Price’s mom died, he feels like his world has been split into two parts. Before included stargazing and Mathletes and Saturday scavenger hunts with his family. After means a dad who’s completely checked out, comically bad dinners, and grief group that’s anything but helpful. It seems like losing Mom meant losing everything else he loved, too.

Just when Charlie thinks things can’t get any worse, his sister, Imogen, starts acting erratically—missing school and making up lies about their mother. But everything changes when one day he follows her down a secret passageway in the middle of her bedroom and sees for himself.

spot the catImogen has found a parallel world where Mom is alive! There’s hot cocoa and Scrabble and scavenger hunts again and everything is perfect . . . at first.”


Spot, the Cat
By Henry Cole
Published by Little Simon

From Little Simon: “Through this gorgeous visual narrative, Henry Cole shows us a day in the life of a cat named Spot. Spot sneaks away from home by way of an open window to go on a wordless journey through the city. Follow Spot as he weaves when green becomes tomatoesthrough busy city streets, visits a farmers market, wanders into a park full of kite-flyers, and beyond. But while Spot is out on his adventure, his beloved boy owner is looking for him—seeming to just miss him every time. When all seems almost lost, Spot’s story reminds us that there’s always a way back home.”


When Green Becomes Tomatoes
Written by Julie Fogliano
Illustrated by Julie Morstad
Published by Roaring Brook

From Booklist: “This slim book provides a nuanced look at a familiar theme: poetry for the seasons. Taking a diary-like approach, the text begins and ends with the spring equinox, offering poems for different days throughout the year. A blue bird’s song starts things off, “poking / a tiny hole / through the edge of winter / and landing carefully / balancing gently / on the tip of spring.” Verse by verse, day by day, the snow melts, April showers fall, magnolias bloom, berries ripen, warm rivers beckon swimmers, fireflies twinkle, a new school year starts, leaves turn, and winter returns. The poems stand on their own as solidly as they connect to each other, inviting multiple readings to experience the details.”

dead birdMARCH 1

The Dead Bird
Written by Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrated by Christian Robinson
Published by HarperCollins

A reinterpretation of a legendary writer’s picture book by an award-winning illustrator.

From HarperCollins: “One day, the children find a bird lying on its side with its eyes closed and no heartbeat. They are very sorry, so they decide to say good-bye. In the park, they dig a hole for the bird and cover it with warm sweet-ferns and flowers. Finally, they sing sweet songs to send the little bird on its way.”

forest of wondersMARCH 1

Wing and Claw: Forest of Wonders
By Linda Sue Park
Published by HarperCollins

A new series from the Newbury Award-winning author of A Single Shard.

From HarperCollins: “Raffa Santana has always loved the mysterious Forest of Wonders. For a gifted young apothecary like him, every leaf could unleash a kind of magic. When an injured bat crashes into his life, Raffa invents a cure from a rare crimson vine that he finds deep in the Forest. His remedy saves the animal but also transforms it into something much more than an ordinary bat, with far-reaching consequences. Raffa’s experiments lead him away from home to the forbidding city of Gilden, where troubling discoveries make him land of forgotten girlsquestion whether exciting botanical inventions—including his own—might actually threaten the very creatures of the Forest he wants to protect.”


The Land of Forgotten Girls
By Erin Entrada Kelly
Published by Greenwillow

From Greenwillow: “Two sisters from the Philippines, abandoned lifeboat cliqueby their father and living with their stepmother in Louisiana, fight to make their lives better in this remarkable story for readers of Cynthia Kadohata and Rita Williams-Garcia, and for anyone searching for the true meaning of family.”


The Lifeboat Clique
By Kathy Parks
Published by Greenwillow

From Greenwillow: “Mean Girls meets Life of Pi in this darkly humorous, compulsively readable teen novel that’s perfect for fans of Libba Bray and Andrew Smith. A hilariously dark and twisted story that sparkles with a remarkably fresh voice, The Lifeboat Clique is Kathy Parks’s irreverent yet insightful novel about how to survive in the most unthinkable circumstances.”

study in charlotteMARCH 1

A Study in Charlotte
By Brittany Cavallaro
Published by Katherine Tegen

From Katherine Tegen: “The first book in a witty, suspenseful new trilogy about a brilliant new crime-solving duo: the teen descendants of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. This clever page-turner will appeal to fans of Maureen Johnson and Ally Carter.”

sandwich thiefMARCH 1

The Sandwich Thief
Written by Andre Marois
Illustrated by Patrick Doyon
Published by Chronicle Books

From Chronicle: “Marin loves the sandwiches his parents make for him-every day they’re different and more delicious than the last. One morning, someone dares to steal his favourite sandwich: ham-cheddar-kale. Furious, Marin begins a fevered and famished investigation to unmask the thief. The days go by, the suspects multiply and Marin’s perry t cooksandwiches continue to disappear. This droll, graphic caper is a funny school mystery exploring the high stakes of low blood sugar.”


All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook
By Leslie Connor
Published by Katherine Tegen

From Katherine Tegen: “Eleven-year-old Perry was born and raised by his mom at the Blue River Co-ed Correctional Facility in tiny Surprise, Nebraska. His mom is a resident on Cell Block C, and so far Warden Daugherty has made it withering-by-sea-9781481443678_hrpossible for them to be together. That is, until a new district attorney discovers the truth—and Perry is removed from the facility and forced into a foster home.

When Perry moves to the “outside” world, he feels trapped. Desperate to be reunited with his mom, Perry goes on a quest for answers about her past crime. As he gets closer to the truth, he will discover that love makes people resilient no matter where they come from… But can he find a way to tell everyone what home truly means?”


By Judith Rossell
Published by Atheneum

From Little Simon: “High on a cliff above the gloomy Victorian town of Withering-by-Sea stands the Hotel Majestic. Inside the walls of the damp, dull hotel, eleven-year-old orphan Stella Montgomery leads a miserable life with her three dreadful aunts. Stella dreams of adventuring on the Amazon—or anyplace, really, as long as it isn’t this dreary town where nothing mrs-ravenbachs-way-9781941393581_hrever happens. Then one night Stella sees something she shouldn’t have. Soon she finds herself on the run from terrifying Professor Stark and his gang of thugs. But how can one young girl outwit an evil magician, much less rescue his poor, mistreated assistant?”


Mrs. Ravenbach’s Way
By William M. Akers
Published by Regan Arts

From Regan Arts: “Being a new student at the McKegway School for Clever and Gifted Children is crummy enough, but when Toby Wilcox is stuck in the fourth grade homeroom of Mrs. Ravenbach, a vainglorious German tyrant who worships “the order and the discipline,” he faces a much bigger challenge: Fight back or be ground to goo in the gears of Teutonic efficiency.

maybe-a-fox-9781442482425_hrToby upends Mrs. Ravenbach’s perfectly ordered universe and risks everything to strike a blow for free-thinkers everywhere!”


Maybe A Fox
By Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee
Published by AAtheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books

From Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books: “Worlds collide in a spectacular way when Newbery and National Book Award finalist Kathi Appelt and Pulitzer Prize nominee and #1 New York Times bestseller Alison McGhee team up to create a fantastical, heartbreaking, and gorgeous tale about two sisters, a fox cub, and what happens when one of the sisters disappears forever.”

i want a monsterMARCH 15

I Want A Monster!
By Elise Gravel
Published by Katherine Tegen

From Groundwood: “Winnie wants a monster! Some monsters smell like pirate feet and some might read your diary, but they are so darn cute! All Winnie’s friends have one. But how much do Oogly-Wumps eat? Don’t they ever sleep? Can monsters get lonely?

a-hungry-lion-or-a-dwindling-assortment-of-9781481448895_hrI Want a Monster! is a humorous, energetic celebration of the responsibility and joy of owning your dream pet, perfect for fans of Peter Brown’s Children Make Terrible Pets or anyone who’s ever longed for or loved a pet of any kind.”


A Hungry Lion; or, A Dwindling Assortment of Animals
By Lucy Ruth Cummins
Published by Atheneum

From Atheneum: “The very hungry lion is all set to enjoy an exciting day with his other animal pals. But all of a sudden his friends start disappearing at an alarming rate! Is someone stealing the hungry lion’s friends, or is the culprit a little… Closer to home?

swatchWith sharp wit, adorable illustrations, and hysterical twists galore, this debut picture book asks—what do you think happened to the hungry lion’s friends?”


Swatch: The Girl Who Loved Color
By Julia Denos
Published by Balzer + Bray

From Balzer + Bray: “In a place where color ran wild, there lived a girl who was wilder still. Her name was Swatch, and color was her passion. From brave green to in-between gray to rumble-tumble pink… Swatch wanted to collect them all. But colors don’t always like to be tamed… This is an exuberant celebration of all the beauty and color that make up our lives.”

buddy earl go exploring



Buddy and Earl Go Exploring
Written by Maureen Fergus
Illustrated by Carey Sookocheff
Published by Groundwood Books

Kinderlit chose 2015’s Buddy and Earl as its Favourite Canadian Picture Book in the first annual Kindie Awards.

From Groundwood: “This second book in the Buddy and Earl series reunites this odd and loveable animal couple: a dog who likes to play by the rules and a hedgehog who knows no limits.”

 maggie-and-wendel-9781481439749_hrMARCH 22

Maggie and Wendel: Imagine Everything!
By Cori Doerrfeld
Published by Simon & Schuster

From Simon & Schuster: “In this charming picture book, brother and sister elephants come together for an afternoon of epic adventures as they let their big imaginations take them to the wildest of places!

the-classy-crooks-club-9781481446372_hrWhen it comes to playtime, Maggie and Wendel’s imaginations are limitless. Whether the elephant siblings are pretending to rescue a pal from a burning building, buying a pet dragon at the pet store, or going on a wild jungle safari, no adventure is too far-fetched.”


The Classy Crooks Club
By Alison Cherrythe-great-american-whatever-9781481404099_hr
Published by Aladdin

From Aladdin: “Twelve-year-old AJ is dreading spending the summer with her uber-strict grandmother—that is, until she’s recruited to join Grandma Jo’s heist club—in this hilarious and quirky twist on a summer vacation story.”


The Great American Whatever
By Tim Federle
Published by Simon & Schuster

From Simon & Schuster: “From the award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of Five, Six, Seven, Nate! and Better Nate Than Ever comes a laugh-out-loud sad YA debut that’s a wry and winning testament to the power of old movies and new memories—one unscripted moment at a time.”


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