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What must a sequel do to gain our affection?
I think it needs to have the stuff we loved about the first, but then a new spin that makes it fresh. It should also be a good book in its own right. For whatever reason, that can be tough to pull off (in any genre). But I think these picture book sequels (or quasi-sequels) do just that.
In just out Zombie in Love 2+ 1, Mortimer and Mildred are new parents. Of course! Only having a non-zombie baby is pretty baffling. Until he starts to act more like them (aka shrieking and staying up all night). And then the whole family smiles, like this! (Remember that gag?!)
In honor of this brand new sequel, I give you 16 more spectacular picture book sequels!
There have been a lot of Scaredy Squirrel follow-ups and let’s face it: they’re all awesome! Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend is a personal favorite.
Mix It Up is proof that genius begets genius!
Not an exact sequel, but hats, right?! Also, the same ironic humor, the same visual clues.
This is Not My Hat is a favorite.
Pomelo Explores Color is just as fun-loving and sometimes hilariously awkward as the first.
I’m breaking some rules here. While these two aren’t related by character or much else necessarily, they’re just begging to be read side by side! If You Want to See a Whale by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Erin Stead.
The Loud Book is a perfect complement to the first magical installment. It naturally flows from it and relates to in strategy, specificity, and even the way some loud things are only loud when quiet surrounds them. Just perfect.
Same team, similar theme, and look at those covers. I’m gonna call sequel on fabulous Rosie Revere, Engineer.
Betty Bunny has had a number of installments, but this one might be my favorite. In Betty Bunny Wants a Goal, we get the great stuff about the original—Betty herself, the family characters, the laughs—in a new, inventive situation.
There are three in Stian Hole’s Garmann series and all as engagingly rendered in story and illustrations as one another. Garmann’s Street follows Garmann’s Summer perfectly going from first day of school fears to bullies and people who aren’t what they seem.
Sweetness for word-lovers times two. Rocket Writes a Story by Tad Hills.
All three in the Henry series by Saro O’Leary and Julie Morstad are charmers. When I Was Small is a wonderful denouement!
There’ve been a few bat books by Brian Lies, but Bats at the Ball Game, in my view, hits a home run.
This boy/penguin pair is charming in any story. It’s hard to follow such a perfect first book, but Up and Down by Oliver Jeffers satisfies.
I’m giving away a copy of ZOMBIE IN LOVE 2 + 1
over on twitter, courtesy of Atheneum.
Now you go! What’s your favorite from this list? Or any spectacular sequels I’ve left out?