Random House Summer 2008 Preview*

Love was in the air at the Random House Summer 2008 preview (it was on Valentine’s Day)! Instead of the usual rows Random House has us sit in, they had us in a Golden-Globes-esque set-up where we sat at little tables with our colleagues. The tables had confetti lips scattered on them with chocolate kisses and cherry-flavored gummy lips. Fun, right?

One of the first books I got excited about was presented by the Golden House group: The Big Tidy-Up by Norah Smaridge. It was published in 1970 – this is a reissue – and I’m not familiar at all with the original. But this just looks darling. (Note: the endpapers they showed us for the book were fantastic) 5.13.08
Elissa’s Odyssey by Erica Verrillo is the sequel to Elissa’s Quest, and I’ve read neither at this point. Nevertheless, Elissa’s Quest circulates quite nicely in Queens so I’ll be sure to order the sequel. 6.24.08

This looks insanely promising, and it’s called Heck: Where the Bad Kids Go by Dale E. Basye. A colleague of mine started it and wasn’t terribly happy with it…but also claimed that she may have just been feeling grumpy that day. So the verdict is still out. Nevertheless, I think you could put it on display and it’ll fly off the shelves based on the name and cover alone. 7.22.08

The Order of Odd-Fish by James Kennedy has a cool cover and the editors described it as “Roald Dahl meets Monty Python.” Could be cool. 8.12.08

The editors also talked about the reissue of Sweet Valley High, a well-covered topic on this blog. Needless to say, lots of people cheering in the room about this one (someone even yelled "Elizabeth and Jessica forever!" when the book was announced)! 4.22.08

For you Giselle Potter fans out there, Schwartz and Wade promoted their book, Wynken, Blynken, and Nod, illustrated by…you know…Giselle Potter. The trouble is that I’ve never been a fan of her work. It’s not that I don’t like it…it’s just…meh. And her faces remind me of all those Middle Ages paintings where the babies have the faces of grown men. But that’s just me. 5.13.08

Yay! Lenore Look, author of the Ruby Lu series, has a chapter book coming out for boys: Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things. It’s next in my stack of galleys to read. Can’t wait! 7.8.08

Meghan McCarthy is doing astronauts this time in Astronaut Handbook. I received the F&Gs and my initial impression is that it’s really fantastic. Especially as we see the space program being phased out, it’s good to see a book that will capture kids’ imagination and encourage them to dream about being astronauts. A few more years and this book might seem more nostalgic and, perhaps, old-fashioned. But it’s just right for now. 6.10.08

The Penderwicks are back in Jeanne Birdsall’s The Penderwicks on Gardam Street. I feel like I’m the last librarian to not have read the first book! Nevertheless, I guessed that most of you would be happy to hear about this so here it is. 4.8.08

And, once again, my love of food and youth literature collide in the form of two books: A La Carte by Tanita Davis and High Dive by Tammar Stein. In A La Carte, an African-American, vegetarian teenager dreams of having her own cooking show. There are recipes at the end of each chapter. In High Dive, Arden travels around Europe, taking in all the culinary pleasures. Naturally, I have both books at the top of my huge galley pile – you can imagine how stoked I am. A La Carte - 6.10.08, High Dive - 6.10.08

Last, Wendelin Van Draanen was the guest, promoting her upcoming non-Sammy Keyes book, Confessions of a Serial Kisser. Wendelin was a complete treat and she table-hopped while we ate lunch…meaning that I was able to be a bit of an arse and tell her how much Sammy Keyes reminds me of my own daughter, blah, blah, blah. God, just don’t let me be anywhere near authors. There are two authors I have never been a jerk around: Peter Sís (because I had no idea who he was until 45 minutes into the conversation – which is why everyone should where name tags at the damn conferences) and Patricia MacLachlan (because she’s so down-to-earth, she wouldn’t have stood for any fussing, and my daughter fell in love with her). Except for those two, I’m an idiot. Serial Kisser - 5.13.08

And on another culinary note, marketing extraordinaire Tracy Lerner passed around really pretty iced cookies while we were talking with Wendelin. Naturally, they were heart-shaped.

* Keep in mind I'm only mentioning the books that were of interest to me. There are many, many books I didn't mention here, like Judy Blume's Cool Zone with the Pain and the Great One (5.13.08). Check out Random House's website for more info on books I didn't mention.

Note: Copyright stuff baffles me to no end. Can anyone tell me if I'm breaking copyright laws here by posting the pictures of the book covers??? God, I hope not.


Anali said...

re: breaking copyright


Anonymous said...

The Order of Odd-Fish DOES have a VERY cool cover!! Neat!

Unknown said...

I know, fantastic cover, right? Not to mention that the "Roald Dahl meets Monty Python" description sounded pretty fun. Unfortunately, I don't know when the heck I'm going to get around to reading it...