Reissues Give Authors the Chance to Find a New Audience

Whether it's the 80th birthday of a beloved author, new information that necessitates a surgical revision, new printing processes that bring clarity to a book's dated look, or all new art, the definition of "reissue" brings a lot of old books to a brand new audience, who don't seem to mind a bit that they are reading an "old" book. 

Plato said, "There is no harm in repeating a good thing," and when your readership is constantly renewing itself, a good book is evergreen.

Whether it's the 80th birthday of a beloved author, new information that necessitates a surgical revision, new printing processes that bring clarity to a book's dated look, or all new art, the definition of "reissue" brings a lot of old books to a brand new audience, who don't seem to mind a bit. Children outgrow books, and theories fall out of favor.

Some of Gail Gibbons's reissues are even more valuable now, in a STEAM-driven era, to educators than when they first appeared; publishers such as Holiday House have spruced them up accordingly, with sensitivity readings, up-to-date experts, and other revisions aimed at the readers who were not born when she wrote them. The ethereal works of Bernadette Watts have been, in some cases, reillustrated and in others newly reproduced in honor of her 80th birthday.

Sometimes the reissue comes in the (awkward? smooth? leave your opinions in the comments) reformatting of picture books to board book formats and vice versa—is this a reissue or a masterstroke? Do lapsitters even care? Our chewed-up board book of Goodnight, Moon would never have lasted in its original picture book incarnation.


Picture Book Fiction

The Willow Pattern Story by Allan Drummond. illus. by author. NorthSouth. ISBN 9780735845121.
PreS-Gr 1–Drummond called upon a Chinese fable to tell the story of the legend depicted on beloved blue china plates. Almost 30 years later, children still listen raptly to the tale as it unfolds in the limited palette across the pages. 

I Love You, Mouse by John Graham. illus. by Tomie dePaola. S. & S. ISBN 9781534494893.
PreS-K-A young boy tells his animal friends just how much he loves them, starting with a little mouse who deserves a warm nest and a nibble of cheese and ending when his own father tucks him lovingly into bed.

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins (Gift Edition) by Eric A. Kimmel. illus. by Trina Schart Hyman. Holiday House. ISBN 9780823452552.
K–Gr 4–For more than thirty years, this clever story of a folk hero outwitting dreadful goblins has been a staple of family Hanukkah celebrations. A haunting tale with a warm heart, Hershel of Ostropol arrives at a village on the first night of Hanukkah but finds the villagers too afraid to light a single candle! 

Book cover of Mother Goose figuresThe Arnold Lobel Book of Mother Goose by Arnold Lobel. S. & S./Paula Wiseman. ISBN ‎9781534474352.
PreS-Gr 1–When George and Martha creator James Marshall was speaking at Arnold Lobel's funeral in 1987, he said of this version of Mother Goose, "It's madnessin the best way possible." It is. This is a loosened up Ms. Goose, with mayhem as its hallmark. 

On Market Street by Arnold Lobel. illus. by Anita Lobel. S. & S./Paula Wiseman. ISBN 9781534468153.
PreS-Gr 1–Inspired by French engravings from the 17th century, the then-married Lobels created an award-winning tour of a marvelous street, rendering scene after scene in a structure that happens to follow an ABC.

Hooray for Spring by Kazuo Iwamura. illus. by author. NorthSouth. ISBN 9780735845213.
PreS-Gr 2–Time to celebrate spring, in 2023, with this reissue to welcome it. Mick, Mack, and Molly—adorable squirrel siblings—explore the woods. They discover that caterpillars like to eat leaves and bees like to suck nectar from the blossoms, but what can they feed a hungry young chick?

Scary Stories by Tony Johnston. illus. by Tomie dePaola. S. & S./Paula Wiseman.  ISBN 9781665904315.
PreS-Gr 4–Four spine-tingling tales as told by an imp, a goblin, and a scalawag; they may be the scariest stories these three can think of, but combined with dePaola's illustrations, are just the sort of bedtime fare that little monsters need.

Alice Nizzy Nazzy by Tony Johnston. illus. by Tomie dePaola. S. & S./Paula Wiseman. ISBN 9781665904292.
PreS-Gr 1-A child-eating witch straight out of Russian folklore comes to the American Southwest, thanks to Johnston and dePaola, who put Strega Nona into an adobe hut and create a landscape that includes prickly pear cacti. Readers beware: If you fall into Alice Nizzy Nazzy's cooking pot, remember that good children taste bad to witches.

Tomie dePaola's Favorite Nursery Tales by Tomie dePaola. illus. by author. S. & S. ISBN 9781534494831.
PreS-Gr 1-Favorite childhood stories like The Billy Goats Gruff, Rumpelstiltskin, and classic fairytales from Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm.

[Read: Of Race and Reprints]

Mom's Hugs and Kisses by Christophe Loupy. illus. by Eve Tharlet. NorthSouth. ISBN 9780735845145.
PreS-K–To be reissued in 2023, almost 20 years after it was first published, this is a story about a puppy named Hugs who decides to visit each animal on the farm to find out which one gives the best kiss. From duck, to rabbit, to butterfly, and pig and horse, he goes. All are happy to oblige. The pup discovers that the best kiss of all is the one he gets from his loving mother.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. & John Archambault. illus. by Lois Ehlert. Little Simon. ISBN 9781665913980.
PreS-Gr 1–Never out of print, this story hour favorite now has a spiral binding so that the book can be folded in half and easily read aloud to an audience, where the text faces the reader and the illustrations face the listeners. This format is specifically designed for a smooth and successful read-aloud experience in classrooms, libraries, and living rooms.

All the famous Charles Schultz Peanuts characters in a square green boxI Need All the Friends I Can Get by Charles M. Schulz. illus. by author. Penguin Workshop. ISBN 9780593519677.
Gr 3 Up–First published in 1964, this classic Peanuts book features Charles Schulz's original drawings of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, and the rest of the Peanuts gang as they try to answer the question: What is the meaning of friendship? The gang ends up discovering that friends can be found in the unlikeliest of places.

I'll Fix Anthony by Judith Viorst. illus. by Arnold Lobel. S. & S./Paula Wiseman. ISBN ‎9781534404823.
PreS-Gr 1–Older brothers like Anthony are the very worst, but in time, when the little brother grows up enough, he'll fix Anthony once and for all. This classic tale has been reissued for a new generation of siblings of any gender to love and cherish.

Stories for Christmas by various authors. illus. by Bernadette Watts. NorthSouth. ISBN ‎9780735844674.
Gr 1-4–Eight heart-warming tales for the Christmas season, including The Little Snowflake, The Star Child, The Snow Queen, The Little Drummer Boy, Shoemaker Martin, The Little Donkey, The Christmas Story and Varenka.

[Read: The Return of Mary Poppins and More]


Picture Book Nonfiction

Groundhog Day! (New & Updated Edition) by Gail Gibbons. illus by author. Holiday House. ISBN 9780823450909.A groundhog popping up its head on a snowy landscape, a book cover with large typeface saying
PreS-Gr 3–What does a groundhog have to do with the weather? Every year on February 2nd, people all across America watch groundhogs come out of their burrows—especially in the town of Punxsutawney, PA—trying to figure out if the weather will stay cold or begin to warm up.

Penguins (New & Updated Edition) by Gail Gibbons. Holiday House. ISBN 9780823452545.
PreS-Gr 3–In this new edition vetted by experts, learn about some of the seventeen different kinds of penguins. With bright watercolor illustrations and kid-friendly language, Gibbons introduces young readers to zoology concepts, describing where and how penguins live, what they eat, and how they hatch their young. 

Wolves (New & Updated Edition) by Gail Gibbons. Holiday House. ISBN 9780823452538.
PreS-Gr 3–A kid-friendly, illustrated guide with the latest facts from experts. Modern research has proven wolves are not the dangerous threat many thought them to be. This new edition presents the latest scientific information on wolves in language accessible for young readers.

Trees by Tony Johnston. illus. by Tiffany Bozic. S. & S./Paula Wiseman. ISBN 9781534475175.
PreS-Gr 3-Part poetry, part celebration of nature, each page of this stunning book brings readers deeper into the majestic world of trees.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing