Looking for a few holiday gift ideas? Whether you have an avid reader or you are trying to get your child, niece, nephew, or neighbor into books, the Small Press Spotlight has some titles to add to your shopping list. Below are a few to check out from Holiday House and Pixel+Ink.
Owl and Penguin (I Like to Read® Comics) by Vikram Madan (Holiday House, for ages 4-8 years, NEW)
Best friends don’t need to be the same. Owl and Penguin celebrate their differences and solve their problems with creative play. In three nearly wordless stories, expressive art takes charge of the storytelling, supplemented by simple text captions and emoticon-style images in speech bubbles. This innovative format supports visual literacy and sight word recognition for the earliest independent readers. With warm humor and a joyful palette, it’s perfect for kids to giggle over on their own.
Noodleheads Take It Easy by Tedd Arnold, Martha Hamilton, and Mitch Weiss, illustrated by Tedd Arnold (Holiday House, for ages 6-9 years, NEW)
This seventh and final book in the Noodleheads graphic novel series is perfect for comic fans and reluctant readers. Mac and Mac want to take it easy and eat their favorite pie, but making pie isn’t as easy as eating it! Or is it? Based on traditional world folktales and stories of fools, this colorful graphic novel will have 1st and 2nd grade independent readers laughing out loud at the Noodleheads’ funny adventures.
Black Sand Beach 3: Have You Seen the Darkness? by Richard Fairgray (Pixel+Ink, for ages 8–12, NEW)
After reading Dash’s journal from the previous summer, the kids piece together that Dash’s new ghost friends are puppets of a darker evil that collects the identities of its victims. And now that evil has come to call. Kelsey and Casey visited Black Sand Beach in the 90s, back when it was a legit beach town. But they weren’t on a summer escape. They were tagging along on their dad’s monster-hunting mission. They found one. And it ate them. Now, back in the present, Dash and his crew must put this face-stealing monster to rest. Before the Darkness, and all the evil of Black Sand Beach takes Dash . . . forever. Click here to check out earlier entries in the Black Sand Beach series.
Cardboardia 2: This Side Up by Richard Fairgray and Lucy Campagnolo, illustrated by Richard Fairgray (Pixel+Ink, for ages 8–10, on sale 11/22/2022)
Cardboardia is a clever graphic novel series, in which four friends must use their individual gifts to help save a parallel world that can only be accessed via cardboard box, where creativity thrives. In This Side Up, a war for the very fate of the cardboard kingdom smolders and could ignite at any moment. Pokey is lost in Cardboardia, and her older brother, Mac, and friends, Maisey and Bird, are desperately trying to find her. Taken in by a band of wild witch girls—friends or foes?—Mac, Maisey, and Bird learn more about how the world of Cardboardia works. What’s in all the boxes? What are the rules of travel?
Santiago!: Santiago Ramón y Cajal! Artist, Scientist, Troublemaker by Jay Hosler (Margaret Ferguson Books/Holiday House, for ages 8–12, on sale 11/22/22)
Santiago! is a graphic novel biography of polymath Santiago Ramón y Cajal, visionary pioneer of modern neuroscience, and his early dreams of becoming an artist. His father wanted him to become a doctor. Although Santiago was forbidden by his parents to make art, Santiago secretly kept at it. At medical school, he discovered the wonders of how animal bodies work, and his studies eventually led him to the microscopic mysteries of the brain. Using the artistic skills he honed as a child, Santiago painted brain cells to unlock their secrets. His pursuit of art had trained him to be observant and creative.
Welcome to Feral (Frights from Feral #1) by Mark Fearing (Holiday House, for ages 8–12, on sale 11/22/22)
With vibrant art, clever humor, and heaps of unsolved mysteries, animator Mark Fearing conjures a fearsome saga out of small-town terrors. Feral has everything a small town should have: Main Street, City Hall, a population just over sixteen thousand. . . . But Feral also has secrets. Mysteries. Unexplained disappearances. A brave local invites readers to look a little closer. Are you game to investigate what’s going on in Feral? If you pay attention, you might notice something where it shouldn’t be. Be careful, though. Whatever you do, do not go into the Messner Mansion. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!