Here we round up new and forthcoming children’s titles, including a middle grade ghost-hunting adventure, a guide to puberty, a picture book about playing hide-and-seek, and a slug’s silly attempts at becoming a snail.

The Haunted House Next Door by Andres Miedoso, illus. by Victor Rivas. Little Simon, $5.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-1038-1. The first book in the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol series is narrated by Andres, a nervous “normal-boring” Latino boy whose new neighbor Desmond runs a ghost-hunting business. Luckily so, as Andres’s house turns out to be haunted, and he’ll need Desmond’s help.

Bunk 9’s Guide to Growing Up: Secrets, Tips, and Expert Advice on the Good, the Bad, and the Awkward by Adah Nuchi, illus. by Meg Hunt. Workman, $12.95; ISBN 978-0-7611-9359-3. The conceit behind this guide to puberty is that it’s written by nine girls who spend their summers at Camp Silver Moon. Left behind to educate future campers, the book covers topics that include menstruation, breasts, deodorant, hair removal, and hygiene; a scrapbook layout on lined-paper pages underscores the “found notebook” idea. The book earned a starred review from PW.

Buster and the Baby by Amy Hest, illus. by Polly Dunbar. Candlewick, $15.99; ISBN 978-0-7636-8787-8. In this picture book, a white terrier named Buster and an unnamed toddler embrace their roles as hider and seeker with comical cunning. The title earned a starred review from PW.

Norman the Slug with the Silly Shell by Sue Hendra. Aladdin, $14.99; ISBN 978-1-4814-9032-0. The titular slug in this picture book attempts to transform into a snail by trying on a variety of potential—and increasingly absurd—shells: a tennis ball proves “too bouncy,” an alarm clock is “too noisy,” and a worm-infested apple is “already taken.”

For more children’s and YA titles on sale throughout the month of December, check out PW’s full On-Sale Calendar.

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