Thanks to the release of a beautifully illustrated edition, the time is right to share one of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tales with the children in your life. Follow the travails of heroine Gerda as she searches for her friend Kay, who has been poisoned by an evil goblin and captured by The Snow Queen (A-Ba-Ba Haus, $19.95). Gerda searches high and low for him, putting herself in danger countless times. Ultimately, it is her love for Kay that proves to be the key to his rescue. Vladyslav Yerko’s visual interpretation of this classic tale is rich in color and detail, jeweled and shining like the eponymous Snow Queen herself. Ages 7-10.
Purdy and Barker are a cat and a dog who live together in a house atop a hill. Purdy is a lazy feline with an outsized imagination that has him dreaming of Bicycling to the Moon (Gecko, $16.99); Barker is a down-to-earth dog and finds great pleasure in farm work and fishing. Timo Parvela, courtesy of Ruth Urbom’s translation, shows that different personalities can make the best of friends and housemates. Each chapter is a self-contained story, delightfully illustrated by Virpi Talvitie, and together they paint a complete portrait of a beautiful friendship. Ages 7-10.
Sefia has been on the run from her father’s assassins for years with only her Aunt Nin for company. When Nin is captured and Sefia suddenly finds herself utterly alone, she decides that learning more about the mysterious object she carries with her that her pursuers so desperately desire might help her rescue Nin and avenge her father. Teens will be amused by Sefia’s puzzlement over the rectangular object with patterns of black lines printed on its pages, easily recognizable as a book. In her debut novel The Reader (Putnam, $19.99), Traci Chee weaves Sefia’s tale with that of other characters to provide a full picture of a world in which words are magic, literacy is nonexistent, and the powerful want to keep it that way. Ages 13-16.