New Release Round Up – February 23, 2021

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

I’m so excited to share all the new releases I am most looking forward to this week with you all. 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

An ABC OF Families by Abbey Williams, Illustrated by Paulina Morgan (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Whether you have two dads, an adopted brother, three stepsisters, or divorced parents, every family is the perfect family. This important book helps the youngest children explore complicated concepts in an accessible, fun, and memorable way. Each entry is explained with clear, simple language, and teaches kids about important concepts in a way that’s easy to understand. Bright, colorful artwork shows people of all different kinds, in all different types of families.
A is for Adoption. You didn’t come from me, but you were made for me.
B is for Blended family. Yours, mine, and ours, blended together to create one family.
C is for Co-parenting. Parenting together, but apart.
A sister title to An ABC of Equality, this book shows us how to celebrate our differences, share kindness, and understand the world.”

Picture Books

What Little Girls Are Made Of? by Jeanne Willis, Illustrated by Isabelle Follath (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Think you know your nursery rhymes? Then think again! In this witty reworking of some nursery rhymes, Georgie Porgie doesn’t dare to make the girls cry, Little Bo-Peep’s sheep are all present and accounted for, thank you, and it’s a female doctor, of course, who fixes Humpty Dumpty. With the combination of clever rhymes and charming, witty illustrations, this remixed nursery rhyme collection is the perfect gift book for any child (or adult!), to read aloud or enjoy alone.”

You can also read my full review of What Are Girls Made of for more detail.

An Equal Shot by Helaine Becker, Illustrated by Dow Phumiruk (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Helaine Becker’s An Equal Shot is a nonfiction picture book introduction to the history and importance of Title IX as civil rights legislature, featuring illustrations by Dow Phumiruk.

You’ve likely heard of the law Title IX. It protects the equal rights of students, athletes, and professionals in America regardless of gender. But do you know about the women who fought to enact this new law?

Here is the rousing account of how Title IX was shaped at the hands of brave politicians who took risks to secure women’s dreams and their futures under the Constitution. From the creative team that brought you Counting on Katherine and told in simple, commanding prose, An Equal Shot celebrates the power of words to defend and unite vulnerable people.”

There Goes Patti McGee: The Story of The First Women’s National Skateboard Champion by Tootie Nienow, Illustrated by Erika Medina (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Tootie Nienow’s There Goes Patti McGee! is an uplifting picture book biography of the first-ever professional female skateboarder and winner of the 1964 National Skateboard Championship for Women.

Brought to life by Erika Medina’s dynamic and joyful illustrations, There Goes Patti McGee! walks us through Patti first place win in the women’s division of the 1964 National Skateboard Championship. She wowed the judges with with what would become her signature move―the rolling handstand. Inspiring and unapologetic, Patti McGee proves that anyone can skate.”

Stay This Way Forever by Linsey Davis, Illustrated by Lucy Fleming (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Inspired by the endearing qualities she sees in her own son, Linsey Davis, ABC News correspondent and bestselling author of The World Is Awake and One Big Heart, has written another beautiful book that parents and grandparents can share with their little ones to let them know how special they are. With charming illustrations from bestselling artist Lucy Fleming paired with playful and heartwarming read-aloud rhymes, this book can help make a lasting impact on young minds as they discover their own unique qualities.”

G My Name Is Girl: A Song of Celebration from Argentina to Zambia by Dawn Masi (Bookshop | Amazon)

“A, my name is ALBA and my sister’s name is AYELÉN. We come from ARGENTINA and we are ADVENTUROUS.

Girls from 26 different countries—Argentina to Zambia—are beautifully and thoughtfully represented in this A to Z tribute to global girlhood. Children will enjoy reading about each girl’s name, empowering chracter trait, and country, while learning how we are all connected.

Globally-minded kids can also find the countries on a map at the back of the book and dream of places they’d like to visit.”

Home Is In Between by Mitali Perkins, Illustrated by Lavanya Naidu (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Shanti misses the warm monsoon rains in India. Now in America, she watches fall leaves fly past her feet.

Still, her family’s apartment feels like a village: Mama cooking luchi, funny stories in Bangla, and Baba’s big laugh. But outside, everything is different – trick-or-treating, ballet class, and English books.

Back and forth, Shanti trudges between her two worlds. She remembers her village and learns her new town. She watches Bollywood movies at home and Hollywood movies with her friends. She is Indian. She is also American. How should she define home?”

Sato The Rabbit by Yuki Ainoya, Translated by Michael Blaskowsky (Bookshop | Amazon)

“One day, Haneru Sato became a rabbit. He’s been a rabbit ever since.” With these surrealist, yet matter-of-fact opening lines, we are transported to a world very much like our own, yet one that is imbued with an added dimension of wonder and curiosity. In Sato’s world, ordinary objects and everyday routines can lead to magical encounters: a rain puddle, reflecting the sky, becomes a window that can be opened and peered through. A walnut is cracked open to reveal a tiny home, complete with a bathtub and a comfy bed. During a meteor shower, Sato catches stars in a net, illuminating the path home for a family taking an evening walk. This whimsical tale is the first in a trilogy from Japan.”

You can also read my full review of Sato The Rabbit for more detail.

Chapter Books

JD and The Great Barber Battle by J. Dillard, Illustrated by Akeem S. Roberts (Bookshop | Amazon)

“J.D. has a big problem–it’s the night before the start of third grade and his mom has just given him his first and worst home haircut. When the steady stream of insults from the entire student body of Douglass Elementary becomes too much for J.D., he takes matters into his own hands and discovers that, unlike his mom, he’s a genius with the clippers. His work makes him the talk of the town and brings him enough hair business to open a barbershop from his bedroom. But when Henry Jr., the owner of the only official local barbershop, realizes he’s losing clients to J.D., he tries to shut him down for good. How do you find out who’s the best barber in all of Meridian, Mississippi? With a GREAT BARBER BATTLE!

From the hilarious and creative mind of J. Dillard, an entrepreneur, public speaker, and personal barber, comes a new chapter book series with characters that are easy to fall for and nearly impossible to forget. Akeem S. Roberts’ lively illustrations make this series a must-buy for reluctant readers.”

Cooking Club Chaos (Pheobe G. Green #4) by by Veera Hiranandani, Illustrated by Christine Almeda (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Phoebe G. Green has never given much thought to food, but when a new French classmate enters the cafeteria with a lunchbox full of unusual foods, a new love is born. Spunky and likable, Phoebe is a budding foodie who’s sure to win over your heart–and stomach!

Phoebe’s best friend, Sage, has the same lunch every day: a turkey sandwich, a cheese stick, and a bag of popcorn. Phoebe doesn’t understand why he won’t try new things, and is determined to convince him to. She and Camille come up with the perfect solution: a cooking club to show Sage how many exciting foods there are! But will it be enough to convince Sage? Or will it spoil their friendship?”

Middle Grade

Latinitas: Celebrating 40 Big Dreamers by Juliet Menendez (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Discover how 40 influential Latinas became the women we celebrate today! In this collection of short biographies from all over Latin America and across the United States, Juliet Menéndez explores the first small steps that set the Latinitas off on their journeys. With gorgeous, hand-painted illustrations, Menéndez shines a spotlight on the power of childhood dreams.

From Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to singer Selena Quintanilla to NASA’s first virtual reality engineer, Evelyn Miralles, this is a book for aspiring artists, scientists, activists, and more. These women followed their dreams―and just might encourage you to follow yours!”

Reckless, Glorious, Girl by Ellen Hagan (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Beatrice Miller may have a granny’s name (her granny’s, to be more specific), but she adores her Mamaw and her mom, who give her every bit of wisdom and love they have. But the summer before seventh grade, Bea wants more than she has, aches for what she can’t have, and wonders what the future will bring.

This novel in verse follows Beatrice through the ups and downs of friendships, puberty, and identity as she asks: Who am I? Who will I become? And will my outside ever match the way I feel on the inside?

A gorgeous, inter-generational story of Southern women and a girl’s path blossoming into her sense of self, Reckless, Glorious, Girl explores the important questions we all ask as we race toward growing up.”

The Sea Ringed World: Sacred Stories of the Americas by María García Esperón, Translated by David Bowles, Illustrated by Amanda Mijango (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Fifteen thousand years before Europeans stepped foot in the Americas, people had already spread from tip to tip and coast to coast. Like all humans, these Native Americans sought to understand their place in the universe, the nature of their relationship with the divine, and the origin of the world into which their ancestors had emerged.

The answers lay in their sacred stories.

Author María García Esperón, illustrator Amanda Mijangos, and translator David Bowles have gifted us a treasure. Their talents have woven this collection of stories from nations and cultures across our two continents—the Sea-Ringed World, as the Aztecs called it—from the edge of Argentina all the way up to Alaska.”

Graphic Novels

Forever Home by Jenna Ayoub (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Willow’s nomadic childhood takes a surprising turn as her military parents bring her to the historic Hadleigh House, where her chances of finding her permanent home aren’t looking good when she meets some unexpected occupants—GHOSTS!

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE (A HAUNTED) HOME.

Willow has never had a place she can call home. With two parents in the military and a nomadic childhood, finding a place to make her own has become a total pipe dream. And when the family arrives at their latest stop—the historic Hadleigh House—Willow encounters something that doesn’t help her chances of staying put…GHOSTS!

Hadleigh House’s spectral occupants have been scaring off would-be residents for decades, and they intend to keep the house to themselves. But Willow’s not about to let some nagging spirits force her to move for the millionth time. It’s just a matter of convincing Willow’s parents that this old house is the one for them—ghosts and all…

Acclaimed cartoonist Jenna Ayoub (Adventure Time) presents a heartfelt graphic novel about discovering new friends and new happiness in the place you least expect it.”

Power Up by Sam Nisson, Illustrated by Darnell Johnson (Bookshop | Amazon)

“This inventive graphic novel that unfolds online and IRL takes readers from the halls of middle school, to epic robot video game battles, and back again.

Miles and Rhys know each other only as Gryphon and Backslash, and in the video game Mecha Melee they’re an unstoppable team. They’re the best friends they’ve got, online or in the real world, and they don’t even realize they go to the same middle school.

But real-life wrongdoing blasts their duo into a crater the size of Arcticon. With life online and off a complete mess and BattleCon—and the Every Game Ever tournament—just weeks away, can the boys play their way back to each other?”

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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