ONCE UPON A BOOK, by Grace Lin and Kate Messner. Illustrated by Grace Lin. (Little, Brown, $18.99, ages 4 to 8.) The more engrossed a restless, curious girl named Alice becomes in her book, after literally climbing inside its pages, the more seamlessly she blends into its illustrations, in this visually inventive tribute to the wonderland of reading.
ELBERT IN THE AIR, by Monica Wesolowska. Illustrated by Jerome Pumphrey. (Dial, $18.99, ages 4 to 8.) This effervescent parable of a floating boy, about rising above when others want to keep you down, is whimsical and relatable, thanks to Wesolowska’s warm anecdotal language and Pumphrey’s lighthearted art.
THE MOTH KEEPER, by K. O’Neill. (Random House Graphic, $21.99, ages 8 to 12.) In few words and a style reminiscent of Miyazaki, the Eisner Award-winning O’Neill spins a luminous fantasy about a fox girl, entrusted with protecting her night-village, who wonders what it would be like to live in the light.
NEARER MY FREEDOM: The Interesting Life of Olaudah Equiano by Himself, by Monica Edinger and Lesley Younge. (Zest Books, paperback, $17.99, ages 10 and up.) This moving found-verse adaptation of the formerly enslaved Equiano’s 1789 memoir makes a seminal work of history accessible to young readers.
NOTHING STAYS PUT: The Life and Poetry of Amy Clampitt, by Willard Spiegelman. (Knopf, $38.) Spiegelman presents a thoughtful portrait of Clampitt, from her childhood in a Quaker family and her time working in publishing to her sudden acclaim as a poet at the age of 63.
ARCADIAN DAYS: Gods, Women, and Men From Greek Myths, by John Spurling. (Pegasus, $27.95.) The novelist and playwright retells five Greek myths focused on male-female pairs, including Odysseus and Penelope, Oedipus and Antigone, and Prometheus and Pandora.
LETTERS TO A WRITER OF COLOR, edited by Deepa Anappara and Taymour Soomro. (Random House, paperback, $17.) In essays by Kiese Laymon, Myriam Gurba and others, this collection grapples with how Western perspectives have shaped the “tenets of good writing” and imagines alternative approaches to fiction.
ARCHITECT, VERB: The New Language of Building, by Reinier De Graaf. (Verso, $26.95.) A Dutch architect reflects on the current state of his field, arguing that constraints on creative autonomy, overcommercialization and a poor understanding of good design have transformed “spaces of spontaneity into preprogrammed, overdetermined areas.”
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