Nick Bruel and Bad Kitty Tour!

Saturday, December 20th, 2014 / Share your comments...


In celebration of PUPPY’S BIG DAY, author Nick Bruel and Bad Kitty are going on tour! If you are in the area be sure to go see one of them at the locations below!

Book Description:

Bad Kitty’s in a bad mood . . . a very bad mood, and Puppy is not helping.
Enter Uncle Murray, who’s tasked with taking care of Puppy for the day, but that’s when the trouble begins. When they go on a walk through the park, Uncle Murray almost gets himself arrested while Puppy ends up in the pound, where he meets some very peculiar new pals.
Tour Dates:
Tuesday, January 6 2015 5:00 PM
Nick Bruel at Linden Tree Books in Los Altos, CA!
Wednesday, January 7 2015 6:30 PM
Nick Bruel at The Alameda Free Library in Alameda, CA!
Thursday, January 8 2015 7:00 PM
Nick Bruel at Barnes & Noble Northwest Las Vegas, NV!
Thursday, January 8 2015 10:00 AM
Bad Kitty at Village Books in Bellingham, WA!
Friday, January 9 2015 6:30 PM
Nick Bruel at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, WA!
Wednesday, January 14 2015 3:00 PM
Bad Kitty at The Reading Bug in San Carlos, CA!
Friday, January 16 2015 4:00 PM
Nick Bruel at Watchung Booksellers in Montclair, NJ!
Saturday, January 17 2015 2:00 PM
Nick Bruel at The Voracious Reader in Larchmont, NY!
Saturday, January 17 2015 2:00 PM
Bad Kitty at Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park, CA!
Tuesday, January 20 2015 4:30 PM
Nick Bruel at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, NC!
Wednesday, January 21 2015 10:30 AM
Nick Bruel at Politics & Prose in Washington, DC!
Wednesday, January 21 2015 7:30 PM
Nick Bruel at Takoma Park Library in Takoma Park, MD!
Thursday, January 22 2015 4:30 PM
Nick Bruel at The Ivy Bookshop in Baltimore, MD!
Friday, January 23 2015 4:30 PM
Nick Bruel at Children’s Book World in Haverford, PA!
Sunday, January 25 2015 3:00 PM
Bad Kitty at Once Upon a Time in Montrose, CA!
Tuesday, January 27 2015 5:30 PM
Bad Kitty at Boulder Bookstore in Boulder, CO!
Saturday, January 31 2015 TBD
Nick Bruel at Books of Wonder in New York City!


Visit the BAD KITTY Website!


Winter Wonderland of Books

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 / Share your comments...

HolidayCategoryPage1There’s nothing better than getting cozy, sipping on a cup of hot cocoa and reading a book to get you in the warm and fuzzy spirit of the holidays! We’ve gathered some of our favorite winter and holiday themed picture books for your enjoyment.

We encourage you to cuddle up with your loved ones and enjoy one of our holiday reads. So grab that cup of hot chocolate, your favorite blanket and one of our winter books and enjoy the season. Click on the photo for a full list of our seasonal titles!



Friday, December 12th, 2014 / Share your comments...

Tomorrow, RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER will air at 8pm on CBS.  And this past Saturday was the 50th anniversary of the actual date that the movie first aired on television (when I was negative eight years old).

While I was doing the first reading/signing for my recently-published graphic novel THE ISLAND OF MISFIT TOYS on Saturday (a fun coincidence), I was telling the children in attendance that when I watched the movie every year as a kid (which I did, fervently), you couldn’t DVR it, you couldn’t watch it online… you either saw it when it aired or you had to wait a whole year to see it again, no matter how agonizing that prospect was.

So, back in the day, I made it a point to be downstairs in our TV room (aka basement) every year well before the movie started.  (And if you had to go to the bathroom during the next hour, you had about two minutes during the commercials to go upstairs and take care of business.  There was no “pause” button back then – this was even before VHS!)

There was (and still is) something special about that movie.  It’s by far, at least for me, the best holiday TV special ever made.  There’s something about it that just resonates… the idea of not fitting in, of struggling with the sense of self, of the power of fear and growth. And honestly, it wasn’t even Rudolph that I liked the most as a kid.  If asked, I would have called it a straight-up three-way tie between the Misfit Toys, the Bumble (aka the Abominable Snow Monster), and Yukon Cornelius.  Those characters captured my imagination and held on for years, for decades.

So, when I got a chance to write an all-new, original ISLAND OF MISFIT TOYS graphic novel, to create a new adventure for the characters I love, I jumped at the chance.

In the movie, after Rudolph leaves Misfit Island, you don’t see those toys again until the end of the movie.  I had always wondered…what was going on with them while Rudolph was off finding himself? What kind of crazy adventures were they getting up to? What were they like when they weren’t pining for Santa to come rescue them? Why did Cowboy ride an ostrich?

I decided to tell the story that you don’t see during the second half of RUDOLPH, the story of the Misfit Toys and the story of how Yukon and the Bumble became friends, and how those two stories intersect. If you’re watching the movie tomorrow, you can pause it (a luxury I never had as a kid) right after Rudolph leaves the Island of Misfit Toys, read the graphic novel, and then go back to the movie. I’ve endeavored to make it a seamless, fun storytelling experience.

It was an honor to write these characters (and scripting Yukon is one of the highlights of my career – that dude is hilarious). Not everyone believes in Santa (I kind of still do) and Christmas is not celebrated by everyone, but we all feel like misfits now and then, like we don’t belong or aren’t loved. But all it takes is someone to let you know that you’re not alone, that you are loved. And that’s about as deep and meaningful as things get, no matter what time of year it is.

(Oh, and as a bonus, in the graphic novel, you’ll find out what happened to the Bird Who Can’t Fly, who is thrown out of Santa’s sleigh by an elf at the end of the movie… with no umbrella!)


When It Snows

Thursday, December 11th, 2014 / Share your comments...

It’s getting colder and some of us have already seen the first blanket of snow this season. WHEN IT SNOWS by Richard Collingridge takes readers on a magical journey filled with elves, fairies, and so much more.

This beautiful picture book will show children that imagination is key WHEN IT SNOWS. So grab this debut picture book from Richar Collingridge and snuggle up with your little one this winter, perfect for ages 3-6.

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Don’t forget your middle-grader this holiday season!

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 / Share your comments...

Thanksgiving is over and December has finally arrived! You know what that means – decorations have sprouted in living rooms and storefronts, seasonal music has taken over every radio station, and peppermint mochas have replaced pumpkin spice lattes. But with the holidays so fast approaching, it’s also a time too often defined by gift-giving stress! Good thing we have your back ;) Here are just a few perfect present ideas for the middle-grader in your life:


  • Jack Gantos’ JOEY PIGZA series is always popular for middle-graders. Joey is a hyperactive, often distracted, essentially good kid who tackles the world and its challenges with all the quirkiness he can muster. The second book in the series, Joey Pigza Loses Control, was even a Newbury honor book! The last book in the series The Key that Swallowed Joey Pigza came out this September.


  • For your mystery-lover, try Julie Berry’s THE SCANDALOUS SISTERHOOD OF PRICKWILLOW PLACE. This highly entertaining book follows the adventures of seven prim and proper girls as they attempt to simultaneously investigate and cover up the mysterious poisoning of their headmistress at Sunday dinner. And isn’t that cover beautiful?
  • Shelley Tougas’ middle-grade debut, THE GRAHAM CRACKER PLOT, is a nail biter. Main character Daisy Bauer’s dad has been imprisoned, and she’s certain it’s all a mix-up. Now she and her sometimes-friend, Graham, have a far-fetched plot to break him out!
  • For your language-loving, dog-loving, literature-loving little one, pick up a copy of Ann M. Martin’s RAIN REIGN. This heartwarming book is titled for both main character Rose Howard’s beloved dog, Rain, and for her obsession with homonyms. When Rose’s single father lets Rain outside along during a huge storm and the poor dog becomes lost, Rose will stop at nothing to find her canine best friend and bring her home.

Holiday Pin to Win!

Monday, December 8th, 2014 / Share your comments...


It’s that time of year again! You’ve decorated the tree, hung the lights, and shopped till you’ve dropped!

To reward yourself, you should hop on over to Pinterest and enter our Holiday Pin to Win sweepstakes. All you have to do is follow MacKidsBooks on Pinterest, re-pin three or more of your favorite holiday images from our Perfect Present board to your Pinterest, and finally fill out the form here. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

And you could win one $100 Target gift card, one copy of Love Monster and the Perfect Present, one copy of Bad Kitty Chirstmas, one copy of Pout-Pout Fish Tank, one copy of Lift-the-Flap Rudulph, one copy of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, and one copy of The Spirit of Christmas. Contest runs from Monday, December 01, 2014 and ends at 11:59 PM ET on Wednesday, December 17, 2014!

Happy holidays and happy pinning from your friends at MacKidsBooks!



Gifts for the littlest readers in your life

Friday, December 5th, 2014 / Share your comments...

You’re all ready for the holidays… gingerbread cookies abound, you’ve stocked up on candy-canes, and the presents are all ready to be wrapped and ribboned (that’s totally a word). But what’s this? You’ve forgotten something for the littlest one in your life? Not to worry, because we have a few adorable picture books that would be perfect last-minute gifts!


  • Internationally renowned blogger Brandon Stanton’s LITTLE HUMANS is sure to please your littlest human! It’s an ode to little ones worldwide, an original narrative paired with 40 pages of children’s portraits just bursting with personality and warmth.
  • Deborah Dieson’s THE POUT-POUT FISH series is a constant favorite! It’s full of bright, colorful illustrations of undersea life, coupled with a clever story-in-verse that kids will love. Choose from several Pout-Pout Fish adventures: The original The Pout-Pout Fish, Smile Pout-Pout Fish!, or Sweet Dreams Pout-Pout Fish among others.
  • For your little animal lovers, try Nick Bruel’s A BAD KITTY CHRISTMAS, which follows everyone’s favorite naughty feline on a Christmas caper full of rhyming mayhem and Christmas cheer. Find out if Bad Kitty will learn the true meaning of Christmas with this fun book! And if you enjoy this Bad Kitty title, check out the entire collection!
  • Or, celebrate the 50th anniversary of Rudolph’s original television appearance with RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER: THE CLASSIC STORY, and follow the unique little reindeer as he adventures to the Island of Misfit Toys, encounters the Abominable Snow Monster, and saves Christmas! Be sure to check out all six of our Rudolph titles and our activity guides on our Rudolph website.

MacKids on Best Books of 2014 lists!

Thursday, December 4th, 2014 / Share your comments...

Macmillan Children’s is happy to announce a number of our titles have been chosen to the 2014 “Best Books of the Year” lists circulating the media industry. Here is the list thus far! (More to come as lists are released!)


See the complete Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2014 List here.


See the complete School Library Journal Best Books of 2014 List here.



The First Day of Winter

Thursday, December 4th, 2014 / Share your comments...
Winter is fast approaching, with most people already experiencing the first snow of the season. We thought this would be the perfect time to highlight one of our favorite winter titles, THE FIRST DAY OF WINTER by Denis Fleming.


A cozy, cumulative book to warm a cold winter day

Alive with swirling snow and lots of outdoor fun, the first ten days of winter bring special gifts for a special friend. This cumulative tale will have children chanting along as they discover all the trimmings needed for the most perfect snowman ever!

By: Denise Fleming

If you want more seasonal books check out our Winter Wonderland website!


Fall into a Good Book

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014 / Share your comments...

While winter may feel like it’s already here we still have a while until it truly hits us. Just look out your window or take a stroll through the park and you’ll see fall is all around you. Whether you read these titles in the park while the leaves on the trees change or curled up under the covers watching the rain fall down outside, we promise you’ll enjoy these delightful Fall reads.



Autumn is awesome! Leaves change color. Animals fly south or get ready to hibernate. People harvest crops and dress up as scary creatures for Halloween. And then there are pickup football games to play, Thanksgiving foods to eat, leaf piles to jump in—all the amazing things that happen as the air turns crisp and cool. With colorful photographs, lively explanations, and classic craft ideas, Bruce Goldstone has created a festive and fascinating exploration of autumn’s awesomeness.


It was almost winter and Bear was getting sleepy.

But first, Bear had a story to tell…

Bear found his friend Mouse, but Mouse was busy gathering seeds and didn’t have time to listen to a story. Then Bear saw his friend Duck, but Duck was getting ready to fly south. What about his friend Toad? He was busy looking for a warm place to sleep. By the time Bear was through helping his friends get ready for winter, would anyone still be awake to hear his story?

This endearing story of friendship and patience is a worthy companion to Philip and Erin Stead’s last collaboration, A Sick Day for Amos McGee, winner of the 2011 Caldecott Medal.

Bear Has a Story to Tell is a Kirkus Reviews Best Children’s Book of 2012


Bobby and his friends wait all day for school to end and for their chance to play outdoors in the fall weather. Flying leaves, swirling colors, and crisp air make the perfect setting for a game of football with Sparky the dog.

The kids are surprised by how quickly it gets dark, and even more surprised when it begins to snow. But there’s no need to worry—the chilly nights ahead will mean watching football on the couch with family, tucked under a cozy blanket.


Deep in the woods in an old white cabin, three friends make their pumpkin soup the same way every day. The Cat slices up the pumpkin, the Squirrel stirs in the water, and the Duck tips in just enough salt. But one day the Duck wants to stir instead, and then there is a horrible squabble, and he leaves the cabin in a huff. It isn’t long before the Cat and the Squirrel start to worry about him and begin a search for their friend. Rendered in pictures richly evoking autumn, Helen Cooper’s delightful story will resonate for an child who has known the difficulties that come with friendship. Included at the end is a recipe for delicious pumpkin soup.