Whether you’re longing for the cooler days and cozy sweaters ahead of us, or clinging to our last days of summer, take some time out to enjoy these new books! As a bonus, while I was writing this, an accidental theme emerged. Other than the first book, it lines up purrfectly!
“Don’t Worry, Wuddles” by Lita Judge
Wuddles is a delightfully fluffy sheep, with an overenthusiastic duckling for a friend. The duckling realizes that winter is coming and it may get cold, so their solution is to fashion a scarf from Wuddles’ wool. The duckling is so excited about the plan that it forgets to ask Wuddles for permission, and the pattern continues when the duckling spots a rooster that might get a cold head this winter. Same with the rabbit who needs earmuffs, and the goat who needs leg warmers. The duckling obliviously chatters on about its good thinking and generosity, all while poor Wuddles’ wool supply dwindles. This makes for a very fun read-aloud and would be a great opportunity to talk with little ones about being sensitive to other people’s needs and feelings, even when they don’t speak up.
“Flat Cat” written by Tara Lazar and illustrated by Pete Oswald
Flat Cat loves his two-dimensional life. He can slither under doors, blend into his surroundings, and nap pretty much anywhere — like between books, on the towel bar, or in a pile of laundry. But that laundry basket nap turns out to be life-changing, when Flat Cat is accidentally thrown into the wash and emerges from the dryer…fluffy! Fluffy and fuzzy-wuzzy and utterly irresistible to his family. Suddenly Flat Cat is no longer flying under the radar, but getting nonstop hugs and kisses, and he’s not sure how to feel about it. All the attention is slowly flattening him again, but just as Flat Cat decides he might actually enjoy being fluffy, he gets sat on and returns completely to his old 2D self. Happily, Flat Cat realizes he doesn’t need to choose and can head to the clothes dryer whenever he likes. With excellent rhythm and illustrations that are cool and adorable by turns, this is another book that will be a delight to read aloud.
“Nimbus” by Jan Eldredge
Nimbus is a little black cat who was rescued and adopted by her boy, Fletcher, when she was a kitten. She loves him fiercely and would do anything to protect him. When Fletcher opens a mysterious jar and accidentally releases an ancient demon, Nimbus is quick to defend him. But she and Fletcher are both injured in the fight, and Fletcher’s aunt blames Nim. She secretly abandons Nimbus far from home, in an attempt to protect Fletcher. Now Nimbus is hurt and desperate to get back to her boy. She meets a friendly rat who guides her to a kindly witch’s house, where Nim is able to recover from her injuries. The witch’s cats recognize that Nim has magic, and offer her some training. Despite all the things she’s learning and the community she’s found, Nimbus is determined to return to Fletcher. Especially because the demon they battled may not be vanquished, and if it returns for Fletcher she needs to be prepared. This book is perfect for readers who love animal adventure stories. Plenty of heartstring tugs and magic make for an emotional and exciting read.
“The Otherwoods” by Justine Pucella Winans
River is cursed with the ability to see spirits and monsters, but nobody believes them. The spirits hail from the Otherwoods, a magical realm whose call River is determined to ignore. But then the Otherwoods snatch away River’s new friend and crush, Avery, and River is plunged into an adventure they’d prefer to avoid. River is accompanied by their cat Mr. Fluffy Pancakes (which is probably the cutest cat name ever), and their ghostly Otherwoods guide named Xavier. River is a charming reluctant hero, and their relationship with Xavier is full of fun sibling-style banter, which lightens the mood during all the perils they face. Spooky and queer, with a focus on bravery and self-discovery, this is a great book to kick off the fall season.