(Of school. The spring 2024 semester…of school. Because these are books for very young children. Who are in school. Just wanted to clarify that, in case you thought that these books were for college students or something, as colleges have semesters too. But the fact that one of these books is a board book probably tells you that it’s not for college-age people, right? Hmm. I think I’m doing that thing I sometimes do, where I overexplain stuff way too much. Like, WAYYYY too much. Moving on…)
Here’s Scholastic’s official description of Search for the Missing Teddy Bear:
Missing teddy? Never fear! Team Spidey is here to save the day! In this fun board book, Spidey’s head is a tactile, slow-rise squishy built into the back cover and pops through die cuts on every page! Swing through various locations with Spidey to find the missing teddy!
I just want to emphasize something the above ad copy mentioned: In this book, Spidey’s head is a tactile, slow-risesquishy! Isn’t that adorable? (Yes. Yes, it is.)
And here’s the official publisher description of Scratch and Sketch with Stitch:
Scratch to reveal cosmic colors and supercool patterns as you go on adventures with Stitch, the little blue alien with a big heart!
BTW, many of the aforementioned “adventures” in this Stitch book are games, puzzles, and activities. And one of the activities involves candy hearts, the kind you give and receive on Valentine’s Day. Which of course is quite fitting, since Valentine’s Day is just a few short weeks away!
And just in case you’re interested, the back cover copy for Scratch and Sketch with Stitch tells you a little more about what you can expect from that book:
This Stitch-tastic activity book is brimming with intergalactic illustrations! Scratch away to reveal what outfit Stitch wears on an outer space trip, complete a maze to help him get through a space nebula, draw a new musical instrument for him, and a whole lot more!
The book includes a wooden stylus (for the whole “scratch away” part), 20 scratch-off pages, and 20 notebook pages. Pretty cool, eh?
I should also mention that both of these books are only available for distribution through the school market. In other words, they’re exclusively available through Scholastic Reading Events, so you won’t be able to find them on Amazon.
Last but definitely not least, if you’d like to see some of the other books I’ve written for Scholastic over the years, you can click HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.
For some time now, I’ve been writing children’s stories for a company called Chapter One. (I talked about it in a few previous blog posts. You can read one of them HERE.) And you can find my stories on the Chapter One website, in the Global Free Library section, which is an online collection of stories and materials that celebrate the world’s diversity.
In my latest Chapter One story, I paid tribute to a great New Yorker. Who is this icon of the Big Apple? Is it James Baldwin? Stephen Sondheim? Whoopi Goldberg? Martin Scorsese? Nope! None of the above. Give up? It’s Flaco the Owl. The story I wrote is called “Flaco Flies Free,” and it was illustrated by the incredible Arantza Valdivia. You can read it right HERE.
And if you scroll down on that page, you can also see a few of the other Chapter One stories I’ve written.
Here’s the official description of “Flaco Flies Free,” from the Chapter One site:
“The story of Flaco the owl, who fled his enclosure in the Central Park Zoo and was determined to survive on his own. In doing so, Flaco has behaved like a classic New Yorker and attracted legions of fans.”
I’ve also made short videos for all of the Chapter One stories I’ve written. In these videos, I explain what inspired me to write the story in question. You can see the “Flaco Flies Free” video once you scroll down after reading the story of the same name. But you can also see the “Flaco” video right here:
And while you’re on the Chapter One site, feel free to also check out the landing page for the Global Free Library.
Time is a construct. However, it’s OUR construct. (“Ours” as a society, I mean.) So as we use this imperfect system called a “calendar” to mark our time here on this tainted blue orb we call Earth, I wanted to wish all of you a Happy New Year!
And not to turn these totally warm and earnest new year wishes into a blatant narcissistic plug for a new project, BUT – how to say this non-narcissistically? – I have some news to share:
I wrote a Minecraft children’s book called Mobs in the Mansion, which was published today by Penguin Random House. It was illustrated by the amazing Alan Batson. Here’s the official publisher description of the book:
Journey into the world of Minecraft in this Step 3 Step into Reading, the only official leveled reader series based on Minecraft, one of the world’s best-selling video games!
Minecraft® is one of the best-selling video games of all time! And now learning to read has never been more fun for players of the game ages 4 to 7. They’ll get a great introduction to the game’s most mysterious biomes when two players, Emmy and Birch–and their tame wolf Byte–set out on an epic adventure to explore a dark Minecraft mansion!