Timeout New York Kids

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New fall books

Five new titles for autum. Plus: Where city kids can meet the authors. 

  • Photograph: Cinzia Reale-Castello

    Chocolate Me by Taye Diggs

  • Photograph: Cinzia Reale-Castello

    Moo by Matthew Van Fleet

  • Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

  • Photograph: Catherine Hnatov

    Building Stories

  • Photograph: Cinzia Reale-Castello

    You Will Be My Friend by Peter Brown

Photograph: Cinzia Reale-Castello

Chocolate Me by Taye Diggs

1. YOU WILL BE MY FRIEND
Peter Brown's latest revisits the lovable but sometimes clueless baby bear Lucy. This time around, the young cub announces to her mom that she's going to make a friend no matter what, and sets off into the woods with a winning optimism—winning, that is, until she encounters potential playmates who recoil from her overeagerness. Considering that lesson's almost as tough for little ones to learn as little bears, we have a feeling this one's destined to become a kid fave. Little Brown, $17; ages 4 to 8
Meet the author reads at powerHouse Arena on Sept 24 4--5pm.

2. MOO
Matthew Van Fleet's Moo introduces tots to mom, dad and baby critters (sow, boar and piglet; stallion, mare and foal) with photos of adorable animals and simple, often funny rhymes. As in the author's Tail and DOG, interactive surprises (like a farmer squirting cow's milk into the mouth of a cat) and touch-and-feel elements mean this book could wear out long before it's outgrown. Simon & Schuster, $17; ages 2 and up
Meet the author reads at Barnes & Noble Tribeca on Sept 6 at 11am.

3. WONDERSTRUCK
Like Brian Selznick's Caldecott-winning debut, The Invention of Hugo Cabret (about to become a Martin Scorcese--directed movie), Wonderstruck flouts convention, mixing up elements of the graphic novel, the storybook and even cinema to tell two alternating childhood sagas. Inspired by a documentary on the experience of being deaf, it recounts one story entirely in pictures and the other in words. The tales intersect, of course—and we're guessing that's when wonder strikes. Scholastic, $30; ages 9 and up
Meet the author Brian Selznick reads at on Sept 20 at 6pm.

4. CHOCOLATE ME
Following in the footsteps of fellow actors Julianne Moore and Jamie Lee Curtis, Taye Diggs (Private Practice, Broadway's Rent) makes his children's book scribe debut with Chocolate Me, an inspired homage to self-esteem and the power of Mom's words. Told in cadenced prose with the help of poignant illustrations by Shane W. Evans, the story chronicles the struggles of a young boy who has to deal with harsh words from his peers about his skin color and nose—and vanquish his desire to be just like them. Feiwel & Friends, $17; ages 4 to 8
Meet the author reads at Books of Wonderr on Sept 28 5--7pm.

5. BUILDING STORIES
New York photographer Isabel Hill's Building Stories captures fanciful details of city architecture that open kids' eyes to the often unseen marvels of their hometown. Each spread has a close-up—a fire hydrant, several baboons—on the left, and a wider shot on the right that puts the image into context. Charming couplets make the connection between the detail and the building's purpose crystal clear: "Lions, monkeys and elephants, to name a few/Of the characters on these buildings of a famous zoo." Star Bright, $18; ages 4 to 8
Meet the author reads at the Center for Architecture on Sept 10 11am--1pm, 2--4pm.

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