Here we round up new and expected youngsters' titles, including a center evaluation novel about a growing artist, an image book about a prickly plant, and the account of an unexpected gathering.
The Line Tender by Kate Allen. Dutton, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-7352-3160-3. Allen tackles the complexities of grief with subtly wry humor and insight in this richly layered middle-grade debut about the power of science and love. The middle-grade book earned a starred review from PW.
Nobody Hugs a Cactus by Carter Goodrich. Simon & Schuster, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-0090-0. New Yorker cover artist and animated film character designer Goodrich (We Forgot Brock!) infuses humor and sweetness into the simplest of settings and the most unassuming of characters: Hank, a cactus.
Watch Out for Wolf! by Anica Mrose Rissi, illus. by Charles Santoso. Disney-Hyperion, $17.99; ISBN 978-148478556-0. A gently subversive plot twist ends this suspenseful picture book with cake and a surprise celebration.
Blooming Beneath the Sun by Christina Rossetti, illus. by Ashley Bryan. Atheneum/Dlouhy, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-4092-0. Bryan illustrates late-19th-century poems by Rossetti with intricate cut-paper shapes that combine bold images with blazing color.
High Five by Adam Rubin, illus. by Daniel Salmieri. Dial, $19.99; ISBN 978-0-525-42889-3. In this interactive picture book by the Dragons Love Tacos team, a high-five champion called Sensei, who resembles Bigfoot and wears a multicolored belt, offers to apprentice readers.
Bruno, the Standing Cat by Nadine Robert, illus. by Jean Jullien. Random House, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-525-64714-0. One morning, Peter, wearing a sky-blue outfit and a wide-eyed expression, hears meowing out of a box labeled “Bruno” that he finds on his doorstep. When he opens it, a cat rises up expectantly on his hind legs, face-to-face with the child.