Marcia Strykowski

New Candlewick Press Books

I haven’t blogged about new children’s books in a while and when I received these first two in the mail to review I knew it was time for a special post. For reasons stated below, this post will be dedicated to Candlewick Press. Here’s a bit of history from their website:

In 1992, Candlewick Press opened its doors as an independent children’s publisher, and we remain an independent publisher today. As part of Walker Books Group, Candlewick Press enjoys a unique ownership structure which includes more than 75 of the employees in our US office, staff in our UK and AUS offices, plus more than 150 authors and illustrators.

Candlewick Press arrived on the scene with some of the highest-quality picture books anywhere. And in the years since then, our offerings have grown to encompass all ages, from board books to e-books, high-end novelty to cutting-edge fiction. What hasn’t changed is our goal of excellence, our model of independence, and our commitment to the authors and illustrators who create our books and the readers who love them.
Two decades and more than 2,000 awards and accolades later, we are as committed as ever to independent thinking and primed for a future that looks brighter than ever.

First up we have two super duper board books from Nosy Crow, an imprint of Candlewick Press.

100 First Words illustrated by Edward Underwood is a huge 9 ½” by 11 ½” fourteen-page book loaded with flaps to lift. Under each flap is an unexpected surprise along with a new word. For example, a hidden owl peeks through a window behind a pair of curtains. This brightly illustrated book is perfect for infants up through toddlers and is a step up from smaller books of a similar theme. SPOILER ALERT! A group of pedestrians (and a dog) smiling up at the bus passing by is hidden under the bus flap in the below picture.

Alphabet Street written by Jonathan Emmett and illustrated by Ingela P. Arrhenius is also a large board book—8” x 12”—and when this fold-out book is fully opened it spreads to an amazing eight feet wide! Each page features a new shop with two big flaps for little fingers to open, revealing more delightful illustrations and words underneath. This fun book would make a clever backdrop for imaginative play with small dolls and/or cars. A pretty ribbon keeps the book shut for travel or storage.

In my usual big stack of new picture books that arrived at my library I noticed a pattern. Not only did there happen to be four books about a grandfather and his grandchild, but three with that particular theme were by Candlewick. With each monthly order, this publisher continuously stands out. What else could I do but decide this would be a Candlewick post. So here’s to beautiful books and grandfathers everywhere!

Our Favorite Day was written and illustrated by Joowon Oh. A debut author/illustrator, Joowon has created the sweetest book ever! The simple story of the strong bond between grandparent and child is gorgeously illustrated with a combination of cut paper, water color, and gouache. The expressions of love between the characters plus their surprise activity makes for a beautiful well thought out story you’ll want to read over and over again. 

Looking for Yesterday was written and illustrated by Alison Jay. A young boy tries a variety of impossible methods to repeat the day he experienced the day before. Lovely story of a grandfather who teaches his grandson about the importance of enjoying each new day while still maintaining fond memories of past adventures. Illustrations were created using alkyd oil paints. 

Grandpa’s Top Threes was written by Wendy Meddour and illustrated by Daniel Egnéus. Main character Henry misses the closeness he shared with his grandfather, but then helps him through the grieving process in a way only children can do. Illustrations were done in watercolor and assembled digitally. Also, the style of the type caught my eye in this book; the font is called Mountains of Christmas. 🙂

That’s a wrap. Wrap yourself up cozy and enjoy these delightful books!



  1. Candlewick Press publishes some awesome books.


  2. pierrmorgan

    Wonderful post, Marcia. Wonderful books! I’ve always admired Candlewick. Their books do stand out as unique. Thank you for including their history too.


  3. I enjoyed your descriptions of these books. My husband has a very close relationship with our grandsons, so these appealed to me.


    • I’m sure your grandsons have wonderful memories of both of you from when they were small and with more memory making adventures to come!


      • John took care of our grandsons more than I did, because he was working locally and I was commuting. We have equal time now.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. These books all sound wonderful, Marcia.


  5. Yvonne V

    Thanks for the round-up!


  6. Wonderful post and book reviews, Marcia! I’m looking forward to reading these books. Many of my favorite authors, like Kate DiCamillo, are published by Candlewick Press.


  7. Bette Norton

    What a nice selection of books! I love the books about the grandpas. The illustrations are beautiful! A great post! 🙂


  8. Sharon Barrow Wilfong

    I love children’s books. I feel I should get some and give them to the kids next door.


    • Hi Sharon, sounds like a fun gift idea. Although way behind on commenting, I enjoy finding your blog posts in my email. Your reviews, music selections, travels, and birds are always interesting!


  9. Ashley

    These books are wonderful. And the board books look super fun!!


  10. Hello Marcia! All the books are beautiful and thank you for sharing with us your nice reviews and the history of Candlewick.😍


    • Hi Lilly, so nice to hear from you! I’m way behind on blogging and seeing what everyone else is up to, but I hope to catch up one of these days. Hope everything is going well with you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Me too, Marcia! Other than that, all is well. Hope all is good at your end!😊


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