As we, at last, enter some form of Spring, we wanted to give you a peek at snippets of some of the excellent children’s fiction* coming out over the next two months – perfect for reading outdoors when the sun’s out (or hiding indoors when it’s not)!

*Age recommendations are in brackets next to the title

EVERY SHINY THING by Cordelia Jensen & Laurie Morrison (8+)

About Every Shiny Thing

In this beautifully constructed middle grade novel, Lauren’s autistic older brother has recently been sent to a therapeutic boarding school, and it seems to Lauren that her parents are unfairly ‘living it up’ now that he’s gone. Lauren joins a simplicity group at her Quaker school and recruits Sierra, her new neighbour, for the group. She misunderstands the group’s anti-materialism mission and slowly begins to take things from her parents and to shoplift, using the money she gets selling stolen goods to give to kids on the autism spectrum. Meanwhile, foster kid Sierra has been in a toxic relationship with both of her parents, as an enabler and caretaker. Sierra realises she’s falling into the same enabling patterns with Lauren. And Lauren must learn that what she is doing is not fighting injustice, however good her intentions. Told in alternating viewpoints between Sierra’s verse chapters and Lauren’s prose chapters, this is a story about fairness for young readers first grappling with an unequal world.

Out now!

THE GIRL WITH MORE THAN ONE HEART by Laura Geringer Bass (8+)

About The Girl With More Than One Heart: 

When Briana’s father dies of a heart attack, she feels a new heart grow inside her body. Through this heart, her father’s voice speaks to her. It guides Briana through her grief as well as her new, not-so-normal life at home. When her mother’s own grief becomes debilitating, Briana feels like she’s solely responsible for her autistic little brother, Aaron. As she begins to spend much of her time and energy caring for Aaron, she begins to wonder: did his special needs hurt her father’s very fragile heart? The voice of Briana’s ‘new heart’ helps her to navigate the messy uncertainties, as she balances her first feelings of romance, making new friends, and following her dream of writing for the school newspaper. And as Briana finds strength and knowledge in herself, she’s finally able to let go of her new heart and rely solely on her own.

Out now!

LUMBERJANES: THE MOON IS UP (Book #2) by Mariko Tamaki (illus. Brooklyn Allen) (8+)

About Lumberjanes: The Moon Is Up: 

Welcome to Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. The five scouts of Roanoke cabin—Jo, April, Molly, Mal, and Ripley—love their summers at camp. They get to hang out with their best friends, earn Lumberjane scout badges, annoy their no-nonsense counsellor Jen . . . and go on supernatural adventures. That last one? A pretty normal occurrence at Miss Qiunzella’s, where the woods contain endless mysteries. As the camp gears up for the big Galaxy Wars competition, Jo and the gang get some help from an unexpected visitor—a Moon Pirate! Book Two will focus on Jo, the ingenious inventor of the group who also happens to be trans.

Pub date: 08 May 2018

BOOKISH BOYFRIENDS by Tiffany Schmidt (14+)

About Bookish Boyfriends:

Boys are so much better in books. At least according to Merrilee Campbell, 15, who thinks real-life chivalry is dead and there’d be nothing more romantic than having a guy woo her like the heroes in classic stories. Then she, her best friend, Eliza, and her younger sister, Rory, transfer to Reginald R. Hero Prep–where all the boys look like they’ve stepped off the pages of a romance novel. Merri can hardly walk across the quad without running into someone who reminds her of Romeo.

When the brooding and complicated Monroe Stratford scales Merri’s trellis in an effort to make her his, she thinks she might be Juliet incarnate. But as she works her way through her literature curriculum under the guidance of an enigmatic teacher, Merri’s tale begins to unfold in ways she couldn’t have imagined. Merri soon realizes that only she is in charge of her story. And it is a truth universally acknowledged that first impressions can be deceiving…

Pub date: 01 May 2018

THE ACCIDENTAL BAD GIRL by Maxine Kaplan (14+)

About The Accidental Bad Girl:

After getting caught ‘in the act’ with her best friend’s ex on the last day of junior year, Kendall starts senior year friendless and ostracised by her peers. She plans to keep her head down until she leaves for the prestigious Young Astronomers Talent Search program in three months. But after discovering her online identity has been hacked and she’s being framed for drug theft, Kendall is drawn into a tenuous partnership with the mastermind of a drug ring lurking on the outskirts of her Brooklyn private school. The longer she plays the role of ‘bad girl,’ the more she becomes her new reputation. If she wants to preserve her only chance of escaping high school early, repairing her tattered reputation, and ultimately saving her neck, she’ll have to decide who she really is, and own it. Friends and enemies, detectives and drug dealers—no one is who they appear to be. Least of all Kendall.

Pub date: 15 May 2018

Happy Spring-Reading!

Flora has some new friends!

Flora is back with two new feathered friends.Flora and the Peacocks

This time Flora has two dance companions. As the two elegant peacocks vie for Flora’s attention, she realises that the push-and-pull between three friends can be a delicate dance.

Flora & the Peacocks
© 2016 by Molly Idle.
Flora & the Peacocks
© 2016 by Molly Idle.
Flora & the Peacocks
© 2016 by Molly Idle.
Flora & the Peacocks
© 2016 by Molly Idle.


Molly Idle’s gorgeous art combines with clever flaps to reveal that no matter the challenges, true friends will always find a way to dance, leap, and soar—together.

Flora and the Peacocks will be dancing their way onto bookshelves this May. 

Dog Years

Dog Years: Faithful Friends, Then & Now

From young pups to old friends.

Dog Years is a heartwarming look at the lives and stories of 30 dogs.

With portraits of each dog as a puppy and again as an older dog, photographer Amanda Jones reveals the unique spark of personality that lasts a lifetime. Accompanying these images are reflections from loved ones on the lives they share with their furry companions.

The result? A celebration of each dog and a tribute to the relationships we share with our four-legged friends.


I have the great fortune to work with what are, in my eyes, the most beautiful creatures on earth: dogs. In all shapes, sizes, colors, and personalities, the joy these creatures bring us is timeless.

During the twenty years that I have been photographing dogs I’ve had the opportunity to work with hundreds of them at various points in their lives and in many cases throughout their lives. From adorable mischievous puppies to wise old souls, capturing these moments is my life work.

A dog’s life is a span that marks so much in our lives. We get them as puppies and they are cute and goofy, driving us crazy with constant chewing on furniture and shoes, as well as making a mess of the house. Then we teach them and they learn to behave better (sometimes). The connection over time deepens, and as our dogs age, the tides shift and we tend to learn more from their teachings—to relax, to be joyful, to throw caution to the wind, and enjoy the simple pleasures of everyday life. Life really is better with a dog by your side.

This book is about that time. A dog’s life starts off small and then grows to include many different humans, other dogs, new tricks, and new experiences.

My inspiration for putting this book together came from my very first dog, Lily. Lily is a longhaired Dachshund. She came into my life after I began photographing dogs. When I met a trio of longhaired Dachshunds at one of my early shoots, I knew instantly that was the breed for me. It took a few years to be in the right housing situation where I could have a dog, but as soon as that opportunity opened up, I welcomed her into my life. What a joy it was!

Running into the middle of a girls’ soccer practice at the local park and causing total havoc, chasing her on the beaches of Maine, and watching her chase after moths in tall grass were just a few of the pleasures she brought us in her early years.

Lily was with us for sixteen wonderful years. In that time my husband and I moved across the country and back. We bought a house, had a baby, and through it all dear Lily was there with us—passing the time, being by our sides, joining us in our adventures of life.

My time spent with these dogs on the set and in their homes has been an amazing journey and learning experience. I now feel that I am part dog-portrait photographer, part dog psychiatrist, and part dog trainer, all of it coming from years working with dogs and their owners. My shoots are about so much more than the photographs; they are about the dogs and the people who love them. They are about honesty and trust. There is a deep understanding that these are more than just animals. They are partners by our sides as we travel through life.

In working on this book, I rejoined dogs, couples, and families who I had worked with years ago. Some dogs had been lost to illness and accidents. Most are living amazingly long, happy lives in perfect surroundings. Owners and dogs had aged, become gray, wrinkled in the eyes, and less spry. The visual impact of comparing the young and the old varies greatly from dog to dog, just as it does from person to person. Some don’t seem to age at all, yet others show the signs quite openly in their eyes, their jowls, and their gray hair. It is this semblance of ourselves and our souls in their eyes that gives us such a deep connection with dogs.

One thing that remains constant is the love people and dogs have for each other. That does not change, no matter how many dog years go by.


Lily | 8 Months
Lily | 8 Months
Lily | 15 Months
Lily | 15 Months



Lily is a complex dog. A little aloof and independent, definitely self-serving, this little dog knows what she wants and doesn’t give up until she gets it. She can charm the pants off anyone. I love how she poses the same way for each shoot we did together. Anything for a treat. Her favorite one is a raw baby carrot.

We call her “Last Word Lily Jones.”


Olive & Mochi | 9 Years
Olive & Mochi | 9 Years
Olive & Mochi | 2 Years
Olive & Mochi | 2 Years

Olive & Mochi


I’ve always had a happy life. But when I look back at the ten years we have had the dogs, that happiness is multiplied like a thousand times. It’s funny, you think you’re happy and then someone or something comes into your life and you think, “Oh, I am so much happier now.” They are such a huge part of my life.


Dog Years
Faithful Friends, Then & Now
Amanda Jones

Chronicle Books

Copyright © 2015 by Amanda Jones. All rights reserved.