12 New October picture books to wake your brain cells

Here are twelve of the upcoming picture books releasing in October that include favorite authors, new names, fiction and nonfiction. Enjoy!

Cover for Art Is Everywhere

Art Is Everywhere: A Book about Andy Warhol by Jeff Mack

Cover for Everybody in the Red Brick Building

Everybody in the Red Brick Building by Anne Wynter, illustrated by Oge Mora

Cover for Forty Winks

Forty Winks by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Lita Judge

Cover for From the Tops of the Trees

From the Tops of the Trees by Kao Kalia Yang, illustrated by Rachel Wada

Cover for Inside Cat

Inside Cat by Brendan Wenzel

Cover for The Longest Letsgoboy

The Longest Letsgoboy by Derick Wilder, illustrated by Catia Chien

Cover for The Message

The Message by Michael Emberley

Cover for Off-Limits

Off-Limits by Helen Yoon

Cover for Red

Red by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Cover for Room for Everyone

Room for Everyone by Naaz Khan, illustrated by Mercè López

Cover for Sonny Rollins Plays the Bridge

Sonny Rollins Plays the Bridge by Gary Golio, illustrated by James Ransome

Cover for Sweater Weather

Sweater Weather by Matt Phelan

The Genius under the Table: Growing Up behind the Iron Curtain by Eugene Yelchin

Cover image for The Genius under the Table.

The Genius Under the Table: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Eugene Yelchin (9781536215526)

Yevgeny only seems to disappoint his parents who are rather desperate for him to find a natural gift that will let him escape Soviet Russia. They already know he’s not much of an athlete, unlike his older brother who is going to be a famous ice skater. When his mother takes him to see Mikhail Baryshnikov dance, Yevgeny tries to become a ballet dancer, practicing the movements in their tiny shared apartment. But what he truly loves to do is draw. Since he sleeps under the huge table, he steals his father’s pencil and draws on the bottom of the table where no one can see. Could those small doodles be the talent that his family has been waiting for? And what about the KGB agent who lives down the hall? And what happened to the grandfather whose pictures have been removed from the family album and no one speaks about? There are so many questions to be answered, but Yevgeny must be willing to start insisting on answers.

In this hilarious and touching book for middle grade readers, Yelchin shares a memoir of his own childhood in Russia during the Cold War. Yevgeny is a wonderful naïve protagonist, who doesn’t understand the immense political and social pressures hovering over his family and the entire Russian people. His misunderstandings of this and his growing desire for answers add tension to the story as readers will understand far more than he does.

As Yevgeny covers the bottom of the table with drawings, readers are shown Yelchin’s illustrations of his family and others in his life. They are humorous and filled with a wry charm that shows Yevgeny’s point of view.

Filled with an honesty about life in Cold War Russia, family expectations, and one gifted child. Appropriate for ages 9-12.

Reviewed from ARC provided by Candlewick.