Tracey Baptiste: Tuesday, September 3rd

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All The Wonders This Week w/ Tracey Baptiste: September 3, 2019


Book cover trends, the Brooklyn Book Festival, some exciting picture book collaborations, and an author with two new titles out today. We’ve got all this and more.  I’m Corrina Allen and this is All The Wonders This Week.

Joining me today to talk about all things exciting and new in the world of children’s literature is Tracey Baptiste -  a former elementary school teacher and author of the New York Times best-selling Minecraft: The Crash and the phenomenally creepy Caribbean series, The Jumbies.



  • The Library of Congress National Book Festival was this past weekend and they live-streamed all the authors who appeared on the main stage on their YouTube channel where you can still find them. You can also search all their videos to find previous interviews with tons of children’s book authors like Jewell Parker Rhodes and Christopher Paul Curtis.
  • E-books have always been something of an uncertainty in the publishing industry. There was widespread worry when people thought that e-books would mean the end of print, and there has been a recurring push and pull between publishers and libraries over e-lending. That dustup came to a head a few weeks ago when Macmillan CEO John Sargent basically blamed e-loans from libraries for devaluing authors.
  • The administration’s trade war with China is likely going to lead to an increase in book prices.  In the latest round of tariffs that went into effect on September 1st, there’s now a 10% tariff on all kinds of books and printed materials - paperbacks and hardcovers, textbooks, encyclopedias, art books, music, periodicals, and basically anything on paper. The tariff on children’s books starts December 1st. Maria Pallante, President of the American Association of Publishers, said the following “A tariff on books is a tax on information, and at odds with longstanding U.S. policy of not imposing tariffs on educational, scientific and cultural materials.”  

Upcoming Events

  • One event that should be on your radar this fall is the Brooklyn Book Festival which runs from September 16th -23rd and features dozens of incredible children’s authors. And of special note to our listeners, Children’s Day is Saturday, September 21st with author readings, art projects, and all kinds of events geared for children.

Today's New Releases

Picture Books

  • Also out today is a new Cale Atkinson book called Unicorns 101 and also a book about the power of a bad mood called Sweep by Louise Greig and illustrated by Julia Sarda.
  • A beautiful, lyrical picture book called Listen by Holly McGee and illustrated by Pascal Lemaitre is out today. You might know this team from their last picture book called Come With Me
  • Another picture book from this fall’s Indie Next List is The Scarecrow by Beth Ferry and illustrated by the Fan Brothers.  Beth Ferry is the author of Stick and Stone and the Fan Brothers, (Terry and Eric) wrote and illustrated The Night Gardener - so I’m really excited about this collaboration.
  • Laurel Snyder’s Hungry Jim is out today, which takes an unconventional turn when Jim eats mom and a bunch of others in the neighborhood. I promise you, it’s delicious!
  • A book that I will be looking for today is called There Was a Black Hole Who Swallowed a Universe - a parody of the whole “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” genre. But what interests me about this book is that there is a second story with secret artwork that is only revealed under blacklight! Plus - the book comes with a directions for a craft that will turn a regular cell phone camera light into a blacklight.  How cool!!!

Chapter Books / Middle Grade

Corrina: Of course - THE book I am excited to see out in the world today, Tracey - is YOURS!  The third book in your Jumbies series, The Jumbie God’s Revenge - is released today. Since we have you on the show today, would you mind telling us a bit about the book?

Tracey: It has been so much fun to dive into Caribbean folklore with the jumbies. This time, Corinne faces an out of season hurricane. At first she thinks it’s her nemesis, the main jumbie from the second book, Mama D’Leau, but when another sudden storm hits, she realizes that there is something even stronger and more dangerous than the jumbies at play. Enter the jumbie god, Huracan. Now Corinne has to team up with her usual band of friends, but also the jumbies (who can be tricky) to stop the angry god.


graphic novels

  • 7th Babysitters Club graphic novel - Boy-Crazy Stacey
  • I am also really excited for some of my favorite Ben Hatke characters to team up in Mighty Jack and Zita the Spacegirl!
  • And it’s not quite a graphic novel but I’m really excited to read Cece Bell’s new beginning reader storybook called Smell My Foot, which looks so fun!
  • And a new graphic novel that has been getting great reviews is The Okay Witch by Emma Steinkellner



    Other Media New Releases

    In the realm of other media, there are a lot of movie releases coming in the weeks ahead - but none for children.  However….

    TV Shows / MOVIES

    Corrina: Last week when Jarod Rosello and I were chatting about The Dark Crystal prequel on Netflix, there was this whole other part of the conversation about Stranger Things and The Never Ending Story that I ended up cutting out because I… wasn’t quite sure if they were actually muppets or how they were related. And anyway…. I  stumbled across the very useful term “Muppet-adjacent property” and I just had to share it with all of you. I really loved Fraggle Rock as a kid and just discovered that there is a Hulu Original animated series called Jim Henson’s The Doozers which intrigues me.

    Tracey: I loved the Doozers on Fraggle Rock! I had no idea there was a whole show dedicated to them. My kids are older now, so there aren’t a lot of kids shows they’re still into. They love Steven Universe, and they’re looking forward to the movie that premieres this week. It involves a time-skip and some new gems that are bent on Earth’s destruction. So, y’know. Drama.

    Currently Reading


    • I’m about to re-read Dhonielle Clayton’s The Belles because it’s so gorgeous with a frightening undercurrent. Pretty and dangerous is totally my jam. But I recently finished Lamar Giles’ The Last, Last Day of Summer, which feels perfect for this week. It’s a fantasy with alternate dimensions, weird creatures, time-travel, and two boys who need to stop a villain before he destroys their town. It’s like Scooby Doo meets Steven Universe.


    • I keep hearing fantastic things about that book! Right now I am reading a middle grade book about a middle school girl who winds up competing on a high school level swim team and social dynamics that results from that.  It’s called Up for Air by Laurie Morrison, and it’s great!



    On my mind this week is the trend I’m noticing in middle grade - of a TON of book covers in purples and greens. Both of the hot new graphic novels out this fall - Guts and Best Friends are purple. I’m always so fascinated about color trends and where they come from. If anyone listening has some insight in that area, please do let me know!


    I’m noticing many more anthologies coming out for kids, such as The Hero Next Door edited by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, Black Enough edited by Ibi Zoboi (which I have a story in) and Fresh Ink edited by Lamar Giles. I love these because kids get a taste of several authors. I wonder if there are going to be more of these for younger readers. Both Black Enough and Fresh Ink are for the YA audience, while The Hero Next Door is MG, but I’d like to see a chapter book version for younger kids. Maybe I should do one.

    Thank You

    Thank all of you for listening and sharing your Tuesday with us!

    You can find an outline of the show and links to all the books and topics we chatted about at  If you have a question or comment, I’d love to hear from you! You can contact me at or connect with me on Twitter or Instagram. And reviews on iTunes or Stitcher are always much appreciated.

    The All the Wonders This Week podcast is brought to you by All The Wonders, where children's books are for everyone. Journey beyond the page with podcasts, videos, crafts, and more at

    See you next week!

    About the Author

    Corrina Allen

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    Corrina Allen is a 5th grade teacher in Central New York. She hosts Books Between, a bi-weekly podcast to help teachers, librarians, and parents connect children between 8 and 12 to books they’ll love. You can connect with Corrina on Twitter at @corrinaaallen or Instagram at @Corrina_Allen.

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