New Release Round Up – January 12, 2021

Happy Tuesday, Everyone! It’s time to talk about new releases again!

Today I have another line up of my top picks being released. As always, these titles will have inclusive characters (think racial and cultural diversity, LGBTQ+ representation, diverse family structures, disability representation, and more) and fall into a range of genres in both fiction and nonfiction categories.

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Board Books

Baseball Baby by Diane Adams, Illustrated by Charlene Chua (Bookshop | Amazon)

“This original board book series, which begins with America’s favorite pasttime–baseball–is sure to be a homerun with the youngest of readers and the sports-loving grown-ups in their lives.

A toddler spends an afternoon at the park with his family where he is introduced to baseball for the first time. He makes a few mistakes as he warms up, takes the field, and goes to bat, but he keeps going until he scores the final run of the day and goes to bed a winner.”

Picture Books

Off To See The Sea by Nikki Grimes, Illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon (Bookshop | Amazon)

“From Children’s Literature Legacy Award-winning author Nikki Grimes and acclaimed illustrator Elizabeth Zunon comes an adventurous bath time story.

Bath time is full of magic.

The faucet flows like a waterfall, the bathroom floor is a distant shore, toy boats sail against the waves. An imagination-fueled adventure on the high seas is just what it takes to get little one clean.”

Be sure to read my full review of Off To See The Sea.

Jump at the Sun: The True Life Tale of Unstoppable Storycatcher Zora Neale Hurston by Alicia D. Williams, Illustrated by Jacqueline Alcántara (Bookshop | Amazon)

“From the Newbery Honor–winning author of Genesis Begins Again comes a shimmering picture book that shines the light on Zora Neale Hurston, the extraordinary writer and storycatcher extraordinaire who changed the face of American literature.

Zora was a girl who hankered for tales like bees for honey. Now, her mama always told her that if she wanted something, “to jump at de sun”, because even though you might not land quite that high, at least you’d get off the ground. So Zora jumped from place to place, from the porch of the general store where she listened to folktales, to Howard University, to Harlem. And everywhere she jumped, she shined sunlight on the tales most people hadn’t been bothered to listen to until Zora. The tales no one had written down until Zora. Tales on a whole culture of literature overlooked…until Zora. Until Zora jumped.”

I Love You, Baby Burrito by Angela Dominguez (Bookshop | Amazon)

“From Pura Belpre honoree Angela Dominguez, I Love You Baby Burrito is a modern classic picture book celebrating the act of swaddling a newborn into a “baby burrito.”

¡Hola, bebé! Mi hermosa, my beautiful!

It’s time to swaddle you–tucking in each piernita, each bracito . . . everything except your sweet carita.

Welcome home, mi baby burrito. We promise to love you forever.

With gentle text, simple Spanish words, and irresistible illustrations, this new baby book is delectable.”

The Whole Hole Story by Vivian McInerny, Illustrated by Ken Lamug (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Zia is used to the hole in her pocket—she frequently fills it with frogs and other objects. And as it gets bigger and bigger, she starts to wonder what might happen . . . if she fell right through. Would she cover it with a blanket to catch an elephant, or dig a tunnel to the other side of the world? The possibilities are endless, and readers will love following Zia’s adventurous imagination from beginning to end.

With hilarious wordplay paired with Ken Lamug’s bright and colorful illustrations, The Whole Hole Story will appeal to kids’ divine sense of silliness. Perfect for fans of Du Iz Tak?, and They All Saw a Cat.”

Oona by Kelly DiPucchio, Illustrated by Raissa Figueroa (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Oona and her best friend Otto love to search for treasure…and often find trouble instead.

Messy trouble.

Tricky trouble.

Even shark-related trouble.

That’s never stopped them before, though!

After all, no proper treasure hunt is without some adventure. But when the grandest treasure yet is stuck in a deep, dark rift, Oona’s not sure if she can dive right in. What might be waiting for her in those unknown waters?”

This Small Blue Dot by Zeno Sworder (Bookshop | Amazon)

“A little girl explores all of the funny, strange, and wonderful things that make living on Earth so special in this beautifully illustrated children’s story.

With a strong message of hope, interconnectedness, and empowerment, This Small Blue Dot features a little girl explaining the world to her baby sister. She hits on small wonders, big lessons, and everything in between, from sharing the joy of silly dances to contemplating the nature of this “small blue dot” we all live on.”

Don’t miss my full review of This Small Blue Dot.

Time For Kenny by Brian Pinkney (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Two-time Caldecott Honor artist and Coretta Scott King Medalist Brian Pinkney’s Time for Kenny is simple, direct, and pitch-perfect for emerging readers. This vibrant, family-oriented picture book is full of boundless energy, action, and unlimited love. A timeless choice for fans of Laura Vaccaro Seeger, Christian Robinson, and Oge Mora.

Time for Kenny to get up and enjoy the day with his family! In four deceptively simple stories, Brian Pinkney guides readers through a young child’s day. First, Kenny must get dressed. Maybe he can wear his mom’s shoes? And his grandpa’s hat seems to fit perfectly on his head. Luckily, with the help of his family, Kenny is finally set to go. Then he must overcome his fear of the monstrous vacuum cleaner, learn to play soccer with his big sister, and—after all that fun—get ready for bedtime.”

We Are The Supremes by Zoë Tucker, Illustrated by Salini Perera (Bookshop | Amazon)

“This inspiring picture book tells the story of the friendship between Flo, Mary, and Diana, and how by supporting each other they overcame hardship to become international superstars.

Friends Change the World is a series of picture books that celebrates the power of friendship. From musical greats to sports champions, scientists and explorers to artists and activists, these are the true stories of real friends who achieved amazing things. Whether best friends since school or thrown together by a chance encounter, they supported and inspired each other to make their shared dreams come true. This charming series shows 4- to 7-year-olds how togetherness, respect, and friendship can make the world a better place.”

You can also read my full review of We Are The Supremes posted earlier this week.

Chapter Books

Journey to the Moon #1 (Astronaut Girl) by Cathy Hapka and Ellen Vandenberg, Illustrated by Gillian Reid (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Can Astronaut Girl save the day with a little help from science? Find out as she and her space crew make their debut in this chapter book series!

Val, aka Astronaut Girl, is just your typical eight-year-old scientist. She has her own laboratory and conducts experiments with her crew–her cat and baby brother. She loves science and knows everything about outer space. That’s why she’s surprised to learn that her new neighbor Wallace would rather talk about a fake space show than about real missions. But when Astronaut Girl, Wallace, and the Astro crew get lost on their own lunar adventure, they must all work together to find their way back home.

Exciting, easy-to-read books are the stepping stone a young reader needs to bridge the gap between being a beginner and being fluent.”

The Protest by Samantha Thornhill, Illustrated by Shirley Ng-Benitez (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Five friends from diverse backgrounds learn how to navigate common childhood challenges, new experiences, and the world around them in the realistic and kid-friendly Confetti Kids early chapter books. In this story, Lily learns that the community garden is going to be torn down and made into a parking lot. Lily and her friends are upset by the news. They decide to form a protest and call on friends, neighbors, and reporters to participate and save their beloved garden. On the morning of the protest, Lily is unsure if their efforts will work. After all, she and her friends are just kids, and no one is going to listen to them. . . . Or can they prove that kids can make a difference too?”

Mia Mayhem and the Super Switcheroo by Kara West, Illustrated by Leeza Hernandez (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Mia’s best friend, Eddie, becomes SUPER in this tenth adventure of the Mia Mayhem chapter book series!

One day, Mia wakes up to find that none of her superpowers work. She can’t fly, she doesn’t have superspeed, and she definitely can’t lift an elephant anymore. Not only that, it turns out that her best friend, Eddie, who’s always been just a regular kid, wakes up to be totally SUPER! With Mia and Eddie now in each other’s shoes, will they be able to work together to get through this super switcheroo?”

Middle Grade

Stella Diaz Dreams Big by Angela Dominguez (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Stella is happy as a clam in fourth grade. She’s the president of the Sea Musketeers conservation club, she starts taking swim lessons, and she joins a new art club at school. But as her schedule fills up, school gets harder, too. Suddenly the tides have turned, and she is way too busy!

Stella will be in an ocean of trouble if she can’t keep her head above water. But with her trusty Sea Musketeers by her side, she hops to make her big dreams come true!

Based on the author’s experiences growing up Mexican-American, this infectiously charming character comes to life through relatable storytelling including simple Spanish vocabulary and adorable black-and-white art.”

The Stem Night Disater by Dr. Kate Biberdorf (Bookshop | Amazon)

“The third installment of the Kate the Chemist series that shows kids that everyone can be a scientist!

Kate’s school is having their first-ever STEM Night and the prizes are incredible! Kate is determined to win and comes up with the perfect experiment. But as she and her best friend, Birdie, start preparing, they find that Kate’s project keeps getting messed up. Will Kate be able to use her science know-how to find out who is behind the STEM night sabotage? And will she fix her project before it’s too late?”

Welcome to Your Period by Yumi Stynes and Dr. Melissa Kang, Illustrated by Jenny Latham (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Getting your period for the first time can be mortifying, weird, and messy—and asking questions about it can feel even worse. But it doesn’t have to be that way. This taboo-free guide is packed with honest advice and big-sisterly wisdom on all the things girls need to know: from what cramps feel like to whether you can feel blood coming out, to what you should do if your pad leaks onto your clothes. Welcome to Your Period includes case studies, first-person accounts, questions from real teens, and answers from health journalist Yumi Stynes and adolescent health specialist Melissa Kang, MD. Cheerful illustrations keep the tone fun, and help with how-tos on different period supplies. There are even suggestions for throwing a first-period party. With its inclusive, body-positive message, pocket size, and reassuring vibe, this must-have menstruation manual will make girls feel not only normal but proud.”

Graphic Novels

We Found A Monster by Kirk Scroggs (Bookshop | Amazon)

“There’s a reason scary movie fan and master of the macabre Casey Clive looks ten times paler and more exhausted than the average sixth-grader: MONSTERS! He’s got tons of them! For the last…er…unusual year, monsters have been arriving on Casey’s doorstep needing a place to stay, something to eat, and lots and lots of attention. It’s getting impossible to keep these haunted houseguests a secret, much less get a good night’s sleep. Casey has to find a solution, and fast!”

I hope you all enjoyed reading about these new releases, and hopefully you found one or two to add to your young reader’s shelves.

Did I miss any releases you’re excited for? Be sure to share in the comments below!

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