Newbery Honoree Cece Bell, which might as well be her full name to all her friends and fans, released two children’s books this fall to vast acclaim. “Chick and Brain: Smell My Foot,” a wacky illustrated book for young readers, was praised by the great Kate DiCamillo (“Because of Winn-Dixie,” “The Tale of Despereaux”), who named it one of her favorite kids’ books of 2019 for an article on

DiCamillo called the book: “Laugh-out-loud funny. Welcomes new readers with big laughs, and funny, smellable (not really, but it was fun to say it) art.”

Bell, an author and artist who lives in Montgomery County, earned a Newbery Honor for her 2014 graphic novel, “El Deafo.” Her latest book, “You Loves Ewe,” the sequel to 2015’s “I Yam a Donkey,” came out at the end of November. Kirkus gave the book a starred review, saying that “the combination of language and images will have young readers in fits of giggles.”

More kids’ books

Several Roanoke Valley authors have published children’s books this year. Josh Eagan, who runs the magazine Roanoke Valley Family (formerly known as Growing Up in the Valley) with his wife, Andrea, wrote “The Adventures of Ninja and Luche: The Great Piggy Rescue.” The book is illustrated by the Eagans’ daughter, Ani, and was released by the family’s own company, MoFat Publishing.

Botetourt County author Cathy D. Dudley’s “Faith, Family & Fun” is a Christian-themed activity book that includes coloring pages and spiritual lessons for families. The book is illustrated by Roanoke artist Kyle Edgell. Dudley’s “Toddler Theology,” illustrated by Matt Ramsey, came out in 2018.

Roanoke County resident David Arthur published his first children’s book earlier this year. “Princess Bella Squirrel Saves the Fairies” is a story that Arthur said he made up on the spot for his children one night at bedtime. Most of these kids’ books are available at Book No Further, located at 112 Market St. in Roanoke.

Ralph Berrier Jr. has worked at The Roanoke Times since 1993, was the paper’s music reporter from 2000-2007 and he currently writes the Dadline parenting column and is a general assignment features reporter.

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