Cover Reveal: The Dollar Kids

Thank you Jennifer Richard Jacobson for stopping by Kid Lit Frenzy and talking about your hybrid middle grade book, The Dollar Kids, coming in 2018 and sharing the fabulous cover. 

Love the Cover!
The cover for The Dollar Kids makes me swoon.  Lowen’s family, as well as four other families, relocate to a former-mill town to purchase a foreclosed home for a dollar.  When I share this premise with school kids, their eyes light up.  Imagine buying a home for a single dollar bill!  Of course, nothing is as easy as it sounds. 

Comic book artist and illustrator Ryan Andrews captures this uphill battle beautifully!   The mill houses are truly dilapidated, the requirement (that the houses be renovated within a year) steep. Shadows loom. As the Dollar Kids and the Millville kids live side-by-side, misunderstandings ensue. So do friendships.  I love that Ryan was able to capture a feeling of opposition in black and white tones splashed with red.

The lettering has a distinct comic book feel.  That’s intentional.  In addition to having to move to a new and puzzling town, Lowen is grieving the loss of his young friend.  An aspiring artist himself, Lowen processes his grief through comics.  Ryan not only created the cover for The Dollar Kids, he drew all of the interior comic art.  In fact, the story itself begins with a series of comic strips.  For me this cover captures everything wonderful about this collaboration.

About the author and illustrator
Jennifer Richard Jacobson is the author of several books for children and young adults, including the middle-grade novels Small as an Elephant and Paper Things, and the Andy Shane early chapter books, illustrated by Abby Carter. She lives in Maine.

Ryan Andrews is a comics artist and illustrator living in Fukuoka, Japan. Two of his web comics have been nominated for Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards.

And now here is the cover...

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The Dollar Kids by Jennifer Richard Jacobson; Illustrated by Ryan Andrews (Candlewick Press, Spring 2018)

About the book
When a family buys a house in a struggling town for just one dollar, they’re hoping to start over — but have they traded one set of problems for another?

Twelve-year-old Lowen Grover, a budding comic-book artist, is still reeling from the shooting death of his friend Abe when he stumbles across an article about a former mill town giving away homes for just one dollar. It not only seems like the perfect escape from Flintlock and all of the awful memories associated with the city, but an opportunity for his mum to run her very own business. Fortunately, his family is willing to give it a try. But is the Dollar Program too good to be true? The homes are in horrible shape, and the locals are less than welcoming. Will Millville and the dollar house be the answer to the Grovers’ troubles? Or will they find they’ve traded one set of problems for another? From the author of Small as an Elephant and Paper Things comes a heart-tugging novel about guilt and grief, family and friendship, and, above all, community.

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: Cover Reveal: Can An Aardvark Bark?

Do you have a favorite author or illustrator? The one author or illustrator that when you hear that they have a new book coming that you mark your calendar or place a pre-order? The author or illustrator that your students or readers are always excited to read? I know I do. 

Both Melissa Stewart and Steve Jenkins fits this for me. For a book to be written by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Steve Jenkins, it is a dream book. So, mark your calendars because in June of 2017 there will be a new book you will want to add to your personal, class or school library.

And I am excited to be able to share with all of you the cover for Can an Aardvark Bark

In talking with author, Melissa Stewart, I asked her to share what inspired her to write this book. Here is her response: 

"Can an Aardvark Bark? was inspired by a question my nephew asked me in 2010 while we were on a family trip to Disney World. It lead to a google search, which satisfied him, but only made me ask more questions. I set off on a fascinating research journey in which I eventually compiled a list of more than 300 animals that bark, bellow, chirp, chatter, grunt, growl, and more. That’s when I knew I had the makings of a book.

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"It took four long years to find the perfect format and text structure for the book. When it was acquired shortly before Christmas in 2014, I couldn't wait to share the news with my nephew. He was gobsmacked. He couldn't believe I'd been thinking about his question for all those years. But that's what nonfiction writers do. They become obsessed with ideas and information and don't give up until they find a way to share it with other people."

Can an Aardvark Bark? 
by Melissa Stewart; Illustrated by Steve Jenkins
Beach Lane Books (June 13, 2017)
Audience: Preschool to Age 8
Nonfiction * Animals

Description from GoodReads
From award-winning author Melissa Stewart and Caldecott honoree Steve Jenkins comes a noisy nonfiction exploration of the many sounds animals make.

Can an aardvark bark? No, but it can grunt. Lots of other animals grunt too…

Barks, grunts, squeals—animals make all kinds of sounds to communicate and express themselves. With a growling salamander and a whining porcupine, bellowing giraffes and laughing gorillas, this boisterous book is chock-full of fun and interesting facts and is sure to be a favorite of even the youngest animal enthusiasts.

Don't forget to link up  your nonfiction reviews below

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: Cover Reveal - Martina & Chrissie

Recently, Anna from Candlewick Press reached out to see if I was interested in doing a special cover reveal. Of course, I couldn't pass up revealing the cover for a new picture book biography celebrating tennis greats Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert. 

Before I reveal the cover, here are a few words from Phil Bildner about his upcoming book, Martina & Chrissie: The Greatest Rivalry in Sports.

When we think of the greatest rivalries in the history of sports, we often think of boxers Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, facing one another in three epic showdowns for the heavyweight championship of the world in the 1970s. We think of basketball immortals Magic Johnson of the Los Angeles Lakers and Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics, facing one another three times in the NBA Finals in the 1980s.

In tennis, we think of legends like John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg, who went head-to-head fourteen times and Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, who squared off thirty-four times.

Yet none of those rivalries come anywhere close to the rivalry of Martina Navratilova and Chrissie Evert. They faced one another an astounding eighty times, fourteen times in grand slam finals. 

But what made their rivalry so much greater than all the others went way beyond the grass courts of Wimbledon and the red clay of Roland Garros. What made their rivalry transcendent was the humanity of the combatants.

Earlier this month at the Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, we witnessed a rare moment of sportsmanship we're not quite used to seeing these days. During a qualifying heat of the women's 5,000 meters race, Abbey D'Agostino of the United States clipped Nikki Hamblin of New Zealand. Both runners fell to the track, and in an instant, lifelong Olympic dreams were dashed. But then the amazing happened. For the remainder of the race, Abbey and Nikki looked out for one another and made sure they both crossed the finish line.

That snapshot moment took place on the track, but it captured the essence of the Martina Navratilova and Chrissie Evert rivalry. Martina and Chrissie were fierce competitors, playing under the brightest lights and on the biggest stages. But they were also the best of friends, and in the world of sports where we often carelessly serve and volley phrases like "going to war" and "doing battle" and "fighting for your life," Martina and Chrissie never lost sight of their humanity and heart and the role of sportsmanship in competition.

That's what made their rivalry the greatest in the history of sports.

Now for the reveal.....

Isn't this a great cover? Absolutely beautiful! I can't wait to get in and see the illustrations in the finished copy and to read the story of Martina & Chrissie. Mark your calendar for March 2017 and pick up a copy of the book at your local indie bookstore. 

About the book
Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert come from completely different places and play tennis in completely different ways. Chrissie is the all-American girl: practiced, poised, with perfect technique. Martina hails from Czechoslovakia, a Communist country, and her game is ruled by emotion. Everything about them is different, except one thing: they both want to be the best. But as their intense rivalry grows, something else begins to swing into place, and a friendship forms that will outlast all their tennis victories. Phil Bildner and Brett Helquist tell the engaging true story of these two masters of the court as they win title after title — and, most importantly, the hearts of the fans.

About the authorPhil Bildner has written many historical picture books, including Marvelous Cornelius and The Unforgettable Season. His next book—the fascinating dual biography of tennis greats Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert, Martina & Chrissie—publishes on March 14, 2017. He lives with his husband in Newburgh, New York.

Don't forget to link up your reviews....