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the ostrich and other lost things

As someone who has people with autism in her life, I’m drawn to stories like THE OSTRICH AND OTHER LOST THINGS.  It’s written from the perspective of a sister whose older brother has autism.  Olivia is the (incredibly) observant type — she notices everything and everyone and no detail seems to escape her watchful eye.  She’s extraordinarily good at finding things — objects and belongings that people in her life misplace.  There’s one lost thing that eludes her, though — her brother Jacob’s beloved ostrich that she has not been able to find for months.  She feels like it has something to do with his worsening behavior which is odd, unpredictable and more often than not embarrassing.

Olivia craves normalcy and wants to carve out a space of her own, apart from being “Jacob’s sister.”  We experience her frustration, ongoing grief and her feeling of being “closed in” as she deals with her brother’s profound differences and the restrictions that they impose on her life.  We learn about how love is different when you have a person with autism in your family—it’s still there, just felt and expressed in ways you wouldn’t expect.  I love author Beth Hautala’s words — “We are all a little bit lost and a little bit found.” In our case, we’re glad to have found this heartfelt and meaningful story.

The Ostrich and Other Lost Things was written by Beth Hautala and published by Philomel Books.


they say blue

This book is poetry—every line, every stroke, every dab of color, every word.  It’s probably one of the most creative and philosophical explorations of color we’ve seen, where color is as much a character as the little girl narrating the story.  They Say Blue is also about being in the world, observing, noticing, wondering.  Every flip through it will likely yield something new for the reader.  It’s simple but wonderfully complicated.  Jillian Tamaki’s depictions of color are imbued with such depth, movement, emotion and life.  Easily one of our favorite books this year.

They Say Blue was written and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers.  Out on March 13 and available for pre-order now.


a chip off the old block

Rocky comes from a family of remarkable rocks—there’s Uncle Gibraltar, Great-Grandma Half Dome and his monumental cousin Rushmore.  With a history of such great accomplishments to live up to, tiny Rocky—just a pebble—feels a little overshadowed.  But what he lacks in size, he makes up for in grit, gumption and tenacity.  He forms a plan—a grand plan—and sets off to make his mark in the world.

A Chip Off the Old Block takes readers on a beautiful road trip through the US and its wide skies and majestic landforms, gorgeously illustrated by Daniel Miyares.  The story leaves readers with the realization that they can rely on their own unique traits to find their place in the world and make a true difference.  An informative author’s note about rock types concludes this fantastic story.

A Chip Off the Old Block was written by Jody Jensen Shaffer, illustrated by Daniel Miyares and published by Nancy Paulsen Books.  It's out tomorrow!


who was that?

A highly engaging guessing game with intriguing cutouts and interactive page turns that keep readers on their toes and test their short-term memory.  A fun way to sharpen observational skills and pinpoint those small, slight details that sometimes make all the difference. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Who Was That? was cleverly penned and illustrated by Olivier Tallec and published by Chronicle Books. Out soon on March 6 and available for pre-order now.


the walkabout orchestra

The orchestra is set to perform in one week and everyone—from the bassoon player to the violinists—seems to be missing.  Or should we say, out traveling.  A postcard from each musician gives us clues to their whereabouts as we search for them in busy, bustling landscapes from Reykjavik to Rio.  The little yellow bird in each scene is also on the lookout for a few special things, too, if you wouldn’t mind lending him a hand as well/ ;)

The Walkabout Orchestra: Postcards From Around the World was written and illustrated by Chloé Perarnau and published by Wide Eyed Editions.  Out soon on March 1.