Picture Book Month 2013: The Finale: Part 2 – Future Releases


If you’re new to T.A.A. and missed our earlier posts during Picture Book Month 2013, check them out below- 


Picture Book Mania 

(Inaugural Post for T.A.A.’s participation in Picture Book Month 2013, and other more writer-centric events)

Picture Book Month Spotlight #1: Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

Picture Book Month – Author Spotlight #2: Katie Davis


Picture Book Month – Author Spotlight #3: Two Lost Lights of 2013

You can also find our spotlights and more picture book treats and tributes on our Pinterest board-



If you missed Part 1-

http://talkinganimaladdicts.com/picture-book-month-finale-part 1


Today is the last day of Picture Book Month, and T.A.A. wraps up with whetting your appetite for picture books due out in 2014*-

 (*As with many things book related, the release dates listed here are subject to change, and not all titles have an eBook version at the time this post was originally written)



A Day with the Animal Mechanics


A Day with the Animal Mechanics 

by Sharon Rentta

Publisher: Alison Green Books

(An Imprint of Scholastic)

Pub. Date: May 1, 2014

For the little “Fixer Upper” in your life.




Written by Jenny Offill 

Illustrated by Chris Appelhans

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade

(An imprint of Random  House Children’s Books)

Pub. Date: March 11th, 2014


Kids with nontraditional pets will get a kick out of Sparky, a sloth that despite being slower than turtles, and more sedate than your eccentric cousin thrice removed after Thanksgiving has more to offer than what the cover image above leads you believe. 

UPDATE: Check out our full review!




By Tim Warnes

 Publisher: Tiger Tales/Little Tiger Press

Pub. Date: March 1st, 2014


Author-Illustrator Tim Warnes brings us cautionary tale with a twist. The “Old Chestnut” style to the illustration certainly helps my anticipation of this March 2014 release.


Jacob's New Dress

Jacob’s New Dress

Written  by Sarah and Ian Hoffman

Illustrated by Chris Case

Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company

Pub. Date: March 1st, 2014


As those who know me well know, I’m an advocate for N.T.B.M.


(Non-Traditional Boys and Men)

In the spirit of the song, “William’s Doll” (From “Free to be You and Me“) co-authors Sarah and Ian Hoffman bring readers a story that despite any potential controversy it sparks, touches on something every boy and man who was “Different” has to face, but all too often, in a negative and abusive context.

In a world where girls and women the world over are breaking boundaries and redefining what it means to be a girl or woman today, boys and men have been left behind (And LEFT OUT) of the local and increasingly GLOBAL conversation in this age of redefining their non-standard gender identity.

Even if your son/brother/nephew/etc. isn’t like Jacob, this book might be wise to keep on your eyes on when it launches early next year. Trust your Literary Rat on this one…I’m a non-traditional man and proud of it!




How to Cheer Up Dad

By Fred Koehler

Publisher: Dial 

Pub. Date: March 20, 2014


We need more Father-Son Stories in general. Enough said. (Until I review it, of course!)


Here Comes the Easter Cat




Written by Deborah Underwood

Illustrated by Claudia Rueda

Publisher: Dial

Pub. Date: January 28, 2014


It seems dogs aren’t the only rivals for this cat given the title of the latest from author Deborah Underwood, best known for “The Quiet Book” and it’s companion “The Loud Book.” Easter may be many months away (At the time this post is being written) but it never hurts to plan ahead with seasonal titles.


UPDATE: Check our review!


The Driftwood Ball



 The Driftwood Ball

   By Thomas Docherty

    Publisher: Templar Publishing

     Pub. Date: January 1st, 2014









Thomas Docherty’s next solo outing continues the grand tradition of “Going Your Own Way” by using the classic setting of a exclusionary social event with a fresh approach. This is one dance off I DON’T want to miss! (Says the Literary Rat with two left hind paws…)


For more on Thomas Docherty (And his author wife, Helen) check the links above for our author spotlight article featuring their previous solo and collaborative work.


Busy Bunny Days - In the Town, On the Farm & At the Port


Busy Bunny Days: In the Town, On the Farm & At the Port

By Britta Teckentrup

Publisher Chronicle Books 

Pub. Date: February 25, 2014


Think of Richard Scarry’s “Busy Town”

meets Disney’s “BunnyTown” and you have

a rabbit lover’s utopia in picture book form.

(Fun Fact: Your Literary Rat [Though not Chinese] was born in the “Year of the Rabbit” and I’ve had mixed feelings about that…)






By Elys Dolan ()

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Pub. Date: February 25th, 2014


As loyal T.A.A. readers know, I’m working on a fairy tale style novel (Working Title: The Baroque Weasel) but while my weasel is a hero, this picture book by author-illustrator Elys Dolan uses their classic role as a gang trouble making upstarts who try to take over the world.

Will they succeed? We’ll have to wait for February 2014 to find out…

UPDATE: Check Out Our Review!

Babar on Paradise Island

Babar on Paradise Island

Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers

Pub. Date: May 13, 2014

Much like other classic series such as Madeline and The Berenstain Bears, an extended family has carried on where the original creators left off, and the pachyderm who became King is off on yet another adventure, but will paradise turn out to be a foreboding misnomer?  



by Charlie Sutcliffe

Publisher: Tate Publishing

Originally Published: October 3rd, 2013 (U.K.)

(U.S.) Pub. Date: April 1st, 2014


First released in the U.K. in October 2013, Author-Illustrator Charlie Sutcliffe makes his picture book debut in the U.S. in 2014.

FINALLY, a potential male counterpart to Eloise and Madeline. Not sure it’ll rhyme as in the case of the latter…


Fancy Nancy and the Wedding of the Century

Fancy Nancy and the Wedding of the Century

by Jane O’Connor

Illustrated by

Robin Preiss Glasser

Publisher: HarperCollins

Pub. Date: April 8, 2014



The DIY Diva/Fashionista is back and fancier than ever.

What better than a wedding to bring the appropriate glam and big vocabulary to the table. Nancy may not always “Keep it Simple” but she always keeps things sensational!


I Am Otter

I Am Otter (@i_am_otter)

by Sam Garton (@SamuelGarton)

Publisher: Balzer + Bray 

(An Imprint of HarperCollins)

Pub. Date: April 29, 2014

Just like a certain “Wimpy Kid” this character began as a niche online experiment by author-illustrator Sam Garton, and is now entering the print book world in April 2014! Fans of Calvin and Hobbes and Katie Davis (The Latter of which was spotlighted for Picture Book Month 2013) will be in stitches when Otter struts in!

UPDATE: Check our review!

This is only a TASTE of the many picture books we have to look forward to in 2014. They’ll all available for pre-order now. (For those of you early bird shoppers)

If you’ve got an upcoming release that you’re excited for, or any comments on the books mentioned above, please share in the comments below. T.A.A. LOVES hearing from you, our precious readers.

Thanks for spending Picture Book Month with T.A.A. We’ll be back for 2014 and beyond. 

Regular blog posts will resume Monday, December 2nd, 2013. Until then, stay safe as Thanksgiving weekend in the U.S. continues, and as always-

May the fantastical fauna be with you.


P.S: Also take time to check out the 

OFFICIAL website for

Picture Book Month:http://www.picturebookmonth.com


UPDATE (12/3/13)piboidmo2013-winnerbadge-700x700

I got to 30 IDEAS in

PiBoIdMo 2013!

Picture Book Month Spotlight #1: Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

Today, to kick off our series of author and illustrator spotlights (In honor of Picture Book Month) we profile Author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler (Who is also the author-illustrator of the Pip and Posy series), and we’ll start off by highlighting their latest book-

The Highway Rat

(*Click the cover image above if you’re interested in purchasing)

Fans of “The Gruffalo” will love the latest collaboration from author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler where a wicked rat on horseback finds out “Crime Doesn’t Pay” in the most comical, knee-slapping ways, from the reader’s perspective, anyway…!

Being a literary rat who is on the side of good (And PROUD of it!) there is admittedly something to be said for my species “Classic” role as the villain, and the fact that Julia composed this story EXPERTLY IN RHYME, as she did in previous books A Gold Star for Zog, “Tabby McTat” and “Stick Man.” (All of which, also illustrated by Axel Scheffler) proves how compelling art and text can really be when they work together. Expect a more through review of this book in the future.

While many of Julia’s books have other various (And equally talented!) illustrators behind them (Such as “Jack and the Flumflum Tree” illustrated by David Roberts), Axel Scheffler’s bright and simple-yet-sophisticated illustrations brilliant compliments Julia’s “Harder to do than it looks, no, REALLY” rhyme scheme, makes for a art and text combo rarely seen since the previous “Golden Age” of children’s books in general, and picture books in particular.

Picture book Month is a great initiative to both celebrate picture books across the ages, it’s also a prime opportunity remind today’s authors, illustrators, and readers the world over that there are many authors and illustrators who are committed to picture books,  and to prove beyond doubt that like Madeline, Olivia, and Clifford the Big Red Dog before them, there are plenty of emerging examples of picture book characters in the 21st Century who are just as capable of having staying power beyond their time of creation. No less than their 20th Century (Or further) predecessors.

At T.A.A., we say celebrate the  OLD and the NEW, and remember that all  the “Classics” today, were once in the rookie’s corner, too. Check back for more author and illustrator spotlights throughout November.

 If you’ve read Julia Donaldson or Axel Scheffler’s books (Collaborative or Solo), please share your favorites in the comments below. T.A.A. LOVES to hear back from you, the readers.

Until next time, may the fantastical fauna be with you.

*If I’ve hooked you into buying the book (or books)  mentioned above, please support T.A.A. by clicking the affiliate link cover (Or links to other books mentioned above) for the book above. Or check it out at your local public or school library.

Support them so they can stick around to support you or someone you love when you need it most.

Learn more about author, Julia Donaldson, and her many other books at her website-


Also, take time to check out the OFFICAL website for Picture Book Month-