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Little Smokey enters the world August 6th 2019!

My new book, “Little Smoky” will be published August 6th. There’s an entry describing the process in my blog (liner notes). The first review is in from Kirkus, and it describes the book really pretty well:

The little spotter plane that could. Channeling old Disney shorts, Neubecker sets his tale among the aerial firefighters of the National Interagency Fire Center. When it comes to forest fires, the water-scooper and air-tanker planes have clearly defined jobs to do. One little plane, who hasn't even "earned her name" yet, yearns to help her companions, but her every attempt is denied. Then one day, a fire starts that can only be reached by someone small, fast, and brave, and the rest is history. The story of a little vehicle that could has been done before, but this book stands apart. Fully half the emergency planes featured are identified as female (including the biggest tanker and the titular heroine). Meanwhile, watercolor, pencil, and computer illustrations create thick evergreens engulfed in swirls of orange and red flames as white and gray smoke permeates the space that is left. So enthralling are these landscape scenes that they feel positively cinematic. Angled views often present the planes with just one eyeball instead of the two that are clearly present when seen face on, but this inconsistency is only mildly unnerving. Copious backmatter discusses how wildfires start, who fights them, who the crews are, what aerial firefighting is, what readers can do, and where readers can go for more wildfire information. This book may look like a classic, but with forest fires ever more frequent and intense, it's truly timely. (Picture book. 3-6)

Here’s a link to my PBS interview where I talk about Smokey and other books that I’ve written…

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