Available for pre-order from online booksellers is Gary’s Adventures in Chess Country by Igor Sukhin, with an introduction by Susan Polgar (publication date June 2009). Chess Country has striking artwork, design, and overall production quality. The main characters are manga-style children; chess pieces and pawns have an elaborate medieval appearance.
Chess diagrams and background colors are prominent. Unlike many trade books, which are bound only with glue, Chess Country has stitching along the binding. It is a hardcover book. Because of long words (such as, in just one paragraph, “curiosity…magnificent…inhabiting”), parents, teachers, or librarians will need to read Chess Country to children younger than fourth grade. The storyline appeals to elementary (rather than middle- or high-) school children. In the story, Gary leaves his babysitter and meets a new chess piece or pawn in each chapter. He solves puzzles about each chessman, with the help of his new friends in this magical chess country. Some of the puzzles are difficult, but an answer key is provided. Chess Country would be a good addition to a school or public library chess collection. Disclaimer: I have edited a different book for Chess Country’s publisher, Mongoose Press.