Happy Tuesday, everybody! It’s time to talk about new releases again!
I’m so excited to share 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.
It’s officially March, which means spring is coming, and it’s an extremely busy time for children’s publishing. We have a SO MANY new books to talk about, so I will get right to it.
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You Are Enough: A Book About Inclusion by Margaret O’Hair and Sophia Sanchez, Illustrated by Sofia Cardoso (Bookshop | Amazon)
“It can be hard to be different whether because of how you look, where you live, or what you can or can’t do. But wouldn’t it be boring if we were all the same? Being different is great! Being different is what makes you YOU.
This inclusive and empowering picture book from Sofia Sanchez an 11-year-old model and actress with Down syndrome reminds readers how important it is to embrace your differences, be confident, and be proud of who you are. Imagine all of the wonderful things you can do if you don’t let anyone stop you! You are enough just how you are.
Sofia is unique, but her message is universal: We all belong. So each spread features beautiful, full-color illustrations of a full cast of kid characters with all kinds of backgrounds, experiences, and abilities.
This book also includes back matter with a brief bio of Sofia and her journey so far, as well as additional information about Down syndrome and how we can all be more accepting, more inclusive, and more kind.”
You can also read my full review of You Are Enough for more detail.
Code Breaker, Spy Hunter: How Elizebeth Friedman Changed the Course of Two World Wars by Laurie Wallmark, Illustrated by Brooke Smart (Bookshop | Amazon)
“In this picture book biography, young readers will learn all about Elizebeth Friedman (1892-1980), a brilliant American code breaker who smashed Nazi spy rings, took down gangsters, and created the CIA’s first cryptology unit. Her story came to light when her secret papers were finally declassified in 2015. From thwarting notorious rumrunners with only paper and pencil to counter-spying into the minds and activities of Nazis, Elizebeth held a pivotal role in the early days of US cryptology. No code was too challenging for her to crack, and Elizebeth’s work undoubtedly saved thousands of lives. Extensive back matter includes explanations of codes and ciphers, further information on cryptology, a bibliography, a timeline of Elizebeth’s life, plus secret messages for young readers to decode.”
The Stuff Between the Stars: How Vera Rubin Discovered Most of the Universe by Sandra Nickel, Illustrated Aimée Sicuro (Bookshop | Amazon)
“An inspired biographical picture book about a female astronomer who makes huge discoveries about the mysteries of the night sky and changed the way we look at the universe
Vera Rubin was one of the astronomers who discovered and named dark matter, the thing that keeps the universe hanging together. Throughout her career she was never taken seriously as a scientist because she was one of the only female astronomers at that time, but she didn’t let that stop her. She made groundbreaking and incredibly significant discoveries that scientists have only recently been able to really appreciate—and she changed the way that we look at the universe. A stunning portrait of a little-known trailblazer, The Stuff Between the Stars tells Vera’s story and inspires the youngest readers who are just starting to look up at the stars.”
Laxmi’s Mooch by Shelly Anand, Illustrated by Nabi H. Ali (Bookshop | Amazon)
“A joyful, body-positive picture book about a young Indian American girl’s journey to accept her body hair and celebrate her heritage after being teased about her mustache.
Laxmi never paid much attention to the tiny hairs above her lip. But one day while playing farm animals at recess, her friends point out that her whiskers would make her the perfect cat. She starts to notice body hair all over–on her arms, legs, and even between her eyebrows.
With her parents’ help, Laxmi learns that hair isn’t just for heads, but that it grows everywhere, regardless of gender. Featuring affirming text by Shelly Anand and exuberant, endearing illustrations by Nabi H. Ali, Laxmi’s Mooch is a celebration of our bodies and our body hair, in whichever way they grow.”
The Old Boat by Jarrett Pumphrey and Jerome Pumphrey (Bookshop | Amazon)
“The creators of The Old Truck set sail with an old boat and an evocative, intricately crafted exploration of home and family.
Off a small island,
an old boat sets sail
and a young boy
Together, boy and boat ride the shifting tides, catching wants and wishes until fate calls for a sea change. Brothers and collaborators Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey’s newest picture book is a masterfully crafted celebration of the natural world and tribute to the families we make and the homes that we nurture.”
Peace by Baptiste Paul and Miranda Paul, Illustrated by Estelí Meza (Bookshop | Amazon)
“Peace is on purpose. Peace is a choice. Peace lets the smallest of us have a voice.
From a hello and pronouncing your friend’s name correctly to giving more than you take and saying I’m sorry, this simple concept book explores definitions of peace and actions small and big that foster it.
Award-winning authors, Baptiste Paul and Miranda Paul, have teamed up with illustrator Estelí Meza—winner of the ‘A la Orilla del Viento’ the premier Picture Book Contest Award in Mexico—to create an inspiring look at things we can all do to bring peace into our lives and world.”
You can also read my full review of Peace for more detail.
The Floating Field: How a Group of Thai Boys Built Their Own Soccer Field by Scott Riley, Illustrated by Nguyen Quang and Kim Lien (Bookshop | Amazon)
“On the island of Koh Panyee, in a village built on stilts, there is no open space. How will a group of Thai boys play soccer?
After watching the World Cup on television, a group of Thai boys is inspired to form their own team. But on the island of Koh Panyee, in a village built on stilts, there is no open space. The boys can play only twice a month on a sandbar when the tide is low enough. Everything changes when the teens join together to build their very own floating soccer field.
This inspiring true story by debut author Scott Riley is gorgeously illustrated by Nguyen Quang and Kim Lien. Perfect for fans of stories about sports, beating seemingly impossible odds, and places and cultures not often shown in picture books.”
Big Feelings by Alexandra Penfold, Illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman (Bookshop | Amazon)
“The newest picture book from the creators of All Are Welcome to help children navigate BIG FEELINGS!
I have big feelings
You have them too.
How can I help?
What can we do?
In their bestselling picture book All Are Welcome, Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman celebrate kindness, inclusivity, and diversity. Now with Big Feelings, they help children navigate the emotional challenges they face in their daily lives.
What should we do when things don’t go to plan? We may feel mad, frustrated, or overwhelmed, but by talking it through, compromising, and seeing another point of view, we can start fresh, begin anew.”
Sunday Rain by Rosie J. Pova, Illustrated by Amariah Rauscher (Bookshop | Amazon)
“Elliott has just moved into a new house. He spends his days with his fictional friends, immersed in a book. When an inviting Sunday rain gathers the local kids to play in the puddles, Elliott longs to join in, but he’s too shy to go outside. Soon, Elliott discovers that new friendships are like a new book―you just have to plunge into the adventure.”
Graduation Groove by Kathryn Heling and Deborah Hembrook, Illustrated by Addy Rivera Sonda (Bookshop | Amazon)
“It’s time to graduate from kindergarten!
This book celebrates all of the things that make kindergarten great. From classmates to projects, teachers to pets, kindergarten is full of amazing experiences. Graduating from kindergarten and starting first grade is an important milestone in every kid’s life. Whether you’re excited or nervous, this book is perfect for your special day and will help you dance to first grade!”
The Lost Package by Richard Ho, Illustrated by Jessica Lanan (Bookshop | Amazon)
“The heartwarming story of a package that gets lost, then found and an in-depth behind the scenes look at what happens at the post office, in Richard Ho and Jessica Lanan’s The Lost Package…”
Michelle’s Garden: How the First Lady Planted Seeds of Change by Sharee Miller (Bookshop | Amazon)
“From an acclaimed author and illustrator: Enjoy this tribute to Former First Lady Michelle Obama and her contributions to building the healthy future that America’s children deserve.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama had an idea. A big, inspiring, and exciting idea! She would grow the largest kitchen garden ever at the White House. This wouldn’t be easy, since she’d never gardened before: Where should she start? What tools did she need? What would she plant?
Everyone needs help when they’re learning something for the first time, even the first lady of the United States. So she gathered the help of local students, the White House staff, and even President Barack Obama. Together, they wouldn’t just grow a garden—they would inspire a nation!”
Let Liberty Rise by Chana Stiefel, Illustrated by Chuck Groenink (Bookshop | Amazon)
“On America’s 100th birthday, the people of France built a giant gift! It was one of the largest statues the world had ever seen — and she weighed as much as 40 elephants! And when she arrived on our shores in 250 pieces, she needed a pedestal to hold her up. Few of America’s millionaires were willing to foot the bill.
Then, Joseph Pulitzer (a poor Hungarian immigrant-cum-newspaper mogul) appealed to his fellow citizens. He invited them to contribute whatever they could, no matter how small an amount, to raise funds to mount this statue. The next day, pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters poured in. Soon, Pulitzer’s campaign raised enough money to construct the pedestal. And with the help of everyday Americans (including many thousands of schoolchildren!) the Statue of Liberty rose skyward, torch ablaze, to welcome new immigrants for a life of freedom and opportunity!
Chana Stiefel’s charming and immediate writing style is perfectly paired with Chuck Groenink’s beautiful, slyly humorous illustrations. Back matter with photographs included.”
She Persisted: Sally Ride by Atia Abawi, Illustrated by Gillian Flint (Bookshop | Amazon)
“Inspired by the #1 New York Times bestseller She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton and Alexandra Boiger comes a chapter book series about women who stood up, spoke up and rose up against the odds!
As the first American woman in space, Sally Ride broke barriers and made her dreams come true. But she wanted to do even more! After leaving NASA, she created science and engineering programs that would help other girls and women make their dreams come true as well.”
Knight of the Cape – Definitely Dominguita #1 by Terry Catasus Jennings, Illustrated by Fatima Anaya (Bookshop | Amazon)
“All Dominguita wants to do is read. Especially the books in Spanish that Abuela gave to her just before she moved away. They were classics that Abuela and Dominguita read together, classics her abuela brought with her all the way from Cuba when she was a young girl. It helps Dominguita feel like Abuela’s still there with her.
One of her favorites, Don Quixote, tells of a brave knight errant who tries to do good deeds. Dominguita decides that she, too, will become a knight and do good deeds around her community, creating a grand adventure for her to share with her abuela. And when the class bully tells Dominguita that girls can’t be knights, Dom is determined to prove him wrong. With a team of new friends, can Dominguita learn how to be the hero of her own story?”
Too Small Tola by Atinuke, Illustrated by Onyinye Iwu (Bookshop | Amazon)
“In a trio of droll stories, award-winning author and storyteller Atinuke debuts an endearing and enduring character with plenty to prove. Tola lives in an apartment in the busy city of Lagos, Nigeria, with her sister, Moji, who is very clever; her brother, Dapo, who is very fast; and Grandmommy, who is very bossy. Tola may be small, but she’s strong enough to carry a basket brimming with groceries home from the market, and she’s clever enough to count out Grandmommy’s change. When the faucets in the apartment break, it’s Tola who brings water from the well. And when Mr. Abdul, the tailor, has an accident and needs help taking his customers’ measurements, only Tola can save the day. Atinuke’s trademark wit and charm are on full display, accompanied by delightful illustrations by Onyinye Iwu. Too Small Tola evokes the urban bustle and rich blending of cultures in Lagos through the eyes of a little girl with an outsize will—and an even bigger heart.”
Peter Lee’s Notes From The Field by Angela Ahn, Illustrated by Julie Kwon (Bookshop | Amazon)
“Eleven-year-old Peter Lee has one goal in life: to become a paleontologist. But in one summer, that all falls apart. Told in short, accessible journal entries and combining the humor of Timmy Failure with the poignant family dynamics of Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Peter Lee will win readers’ hearts.
Eleven year-old Peter Lee has one goal in life: to become a paleontologist. Okay, maybe two: to get his genius kid-sister, L.B., to leave him alone. But his summer falls apart when his real-life dinosaur expedition turns out to be a bust, and he watches his dreams go up in a cloud of asthma-inducing dust.
Even worse, his grandmother, Hammy, is sick, and no one will talk to Peter or L.B. about it. Perhaps his days as a scientist aren’t quite behind him yet. Armed with notebooks and pens, Peter puts his observation and experimental skills to the test to see what he can do for Hammy. If only he can get his sister to be quiet for once — he needs time to sketch out a plan.”
Simon B. Rhymin by Dwayne Reed (Bookshop | Amazon)
“A humorous and heartwarming bounce-to-the-beat underdog story about a young rapper whose rhymes help bring his community together.
Eleven-year-old Simon Barnes dreams of becoming a world-famous rapper that everyone calls Notorious D.O.G. But for now, he’s just a Chicago fifth grader who’s small for his age and afraid to use his voice.
Simon prefers to lay low at school and at home, even though he’s constantly spitting rhymes in his head. But when his new teacher assigns the class an oral presentation on something that affects their community, Simon must face his fears.
With some help from an unexpected ally and his neighborhood crew, will Simon gain the confidence to rap his way to an A and prove that one kid can make a difference in his ‘hood?”
Becoming: Adapted For Young Readers by Michelle Obama (Bookshop | Amazon)
“Michelle Robinson was born on the South Side of Chicago. From her modest beginnings, she would become Michelle Obama, the inspiring and powerful First Lady of the United States, when her husband, Barack Obama, was elected the forty-fourth president. They would be the first Black First Family in the White House and serve the country for two terms.
Most important, this volume for young people is an honest and fascinating account of Michelle Obama’s life led by example. She shares her views on how all young people can help themselves as well as help others, no matter their status in life. She asks readers to realize that no one is perfect, and that the process of becoming is what matters, as finding yourself is ever evolving. In telling her story with boldness, she asks young readers: Who are you, and what do you want to become?”
Allergic: A Graphic Novel by Megan Wagner Lloyd, Illustrated by Michelle Mee Nutter (Bookshop | Amazon)
“A coming-of-age middle-grade graphic novel featuring a girl with severe allergies who just wants to find the perfect pet!
At home, Maggie is the odd one out. Her parents are preoccupied with the new baby they’re expecting, and her younger brothers are twins and always in their own world. Maggie thinks a new puppy is the answer, but when she goes to select one on her birthday, she breaks out in hives and rashes. She’s severely allergic to anything with fur!
Can Maggie outsmart her allergies and find the perfect pet? With illustrations by Michelle Mee Nutter, Megan Wagner Lloyd draws on her own experiences with allergies to tell a heartfelt story of family, friendship, and finding a place to belong.”
You can also read my full review of Allergic for more detail.
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!