About 40 children’s or young-adult books by Maine authors and illustrators have come out this year, according to the Maine Library Association. Below is a sampling of 10, compiled with help from local librarians and book sellers. It’s a good start for anyone putting together a holiday shopping list of Maine books. To find more, ask at your local library or bookstore.

“Hattie & Hudson,” by Chris Van Dusen, Candlewick Press

Van Dusen, who lives in Camden, wrote and illustrated this book aimed at 4- to 8-year-olds. The story focuses on a little girl’s friendship with a friendly lake monster, who seems to terrify everybody else in town. His other books include “If I Built a House,” “If I Built a Car” and “Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee.” He has collaborated with Newbery Medal-winning author Kate DiCamillo on the “Mercy Watson” series, about a pet pig.


“Red & Lulu,” by Matt Tavares, Candlewick Press

Red and Lulu are a pair of cardinals who live in beautiful, tall evergreen. When that tree is chosen to be the Christmas centerpiece at Rockefeller Center, the two are separated and struggle to be reunited. The book was written and illustrated by Tavares, who lives in Ogunquit, and is geared to ages 3 to 7. Tavares has also done biographical picture books, including “Growing Up Pedro,” about Hall of Fame Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez.

“Cricket in the Thicket: Poems About Bugs,” by Carol Murray, illustrated by Melissa Sweet, Christy Ottaviano Books

Sweet, a Portland illustrator and author with a national reputation, created collage-inspired mixed-media illustrations about all manner of insects for this poetry book, aimed at ages 6 to 10. She is a past winner of the Maine Library Association’s Katahdin Award for lifetime achievement. Sweet also illustrated another picture book out this year, “Baabwa & Wooliam” (Candlewick), about two sheep who, because one is well-read, recognize the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing.

“I’m Afraid Your Teddy Is in Trouble Today,” by Jancee Dunn, illustrated by Scott Nash, Candlewick Press

What does a teddy, and do all your toys, do when your back is turned? They create mischief, of course. And that’s the focus of this picture book, aimed at ages 3 to 7, which features toys coloring on the walls, dressing up in Mom’s clothes and having a bubble bath. Nash, who lives on Peaks Island, was the illustrator for the “Flat Stanley” series, about a boy who can mail himself around the world.


“Snappsy the Alligator and His Best Friend Forever (Probably),” by Julie Falatko, illustrated by Tim Miller, Penguin Random House

In a follow up to last year’s “Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book),” the hero is trying to spend a quiet evening by himself when he encounters a chicken who wants to be his BFF. The chicken is pushing friendship bracelets and matching shirts on him. Snappsy doesn’t want any of this, but he finds he might like it. The book is aimed at ages 4 to 8, and Falatko had her launch party at the South Portland Public Library.

“Mystery of the Bear Cub,” by Tamra Wight, Islandport Press

Wight runs Poland Spring Campground in Poland with her family and writes mysteries about a group of boys having adventures at the family campground. In this, the fourth in the “Cooper & Packrat” series, the boys try to find out who is dumping trash on the family’s property. The book is aimed for middle-grade readers, roughly ages 8 to 12.

“Good and Gone,” by Megan Frazer Blakemore, Harper Teen

In this young-adult novel due out this month, teenager Lexi Green grapples with something an ex-boyfriend did to her. Her brother hasn’t left the couch since his girlfriend dumped him, so when he goes on a road trip to find a famous musician who is missing, Lexi joins him. The trip becomes a journey of self-discovery. Blakemore, who lives in Kennebunk and works as a librarian at Dyer School in South Portland, writes both middle-grade books and YA novels. In September, Bloomsbury released her middle-grade novel “The Daybreak Bond,” about friends who escape the “perfect society” in which they live.

The Door to January,” by Gillian French, Islandport Press

In this young-adult novel, 16-year-old Natalie Payson has moved away from her Maine town (the fictional Bernier) and is having nightmares. The nightmares eventually draw her back to Bernier and into a tangle of small-town bullies, unsolved murders and time travel. French, who lives in Hermon, had another book out this year from Harper Teen, “Grit,” about the secrets in a small town.

The Rattled Bones,” by Shannon M. Parker, Simon & Schuster

This book, which was on several lists of the most-anticipated YA novels coming out this year, is about a young woman from Maine named Rilla Brae, who is dealing with the sudden death of her father. She’s also haunted by a girl she hears singing on a nearby uninhabited island. With the help of a University of Southern Maine archeology student, she explores the island to learn its shameful history. This is the second novel by Parker, who lives in Damariscotta. “The Girl Who Fell,” about a high school senior swept off her feet and into a volatile romance with the new boy in school, came out last year.

In the Shadow of the Sun,” by Anne Sibley O’Brien, Scholastic

Known for her picture books, O’Brien wrote this novel about Mia, a girl adopted from South Korea who goes on vacation with her aid-worker father to repressive North Korea. Her father is arrested, and Mia and her brother are left to escape the country and try to rescue their father. O’Brien, who lives on Peaks Island, grew up in South Korea with parents who were medical missionaries. She’s a past winner of the Maine Library Association’s Katahdin Award for lifetime achievement.