New Release Round Up – March 16, 2021

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.

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Board Books

Our Skin: A First Conversation About Race by Megan Madison and Jessica Ralli, Illustrated by Isabel Roxas (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Based on the research that race, gender, consent, and body positivity should be discussed with toddlers on up, this read-aloud board book series offers adults the opportunity to begin important conversations with young children in an informed, safe, and supported way.

Developed by experts in the fields of early childhood and activism against injustice, this topic-driven board book offers clear, concrete language and beautiful imagery that young children can grasp and adults can leverage for further discussion.

While young children are avid observers and questioners of their world, adults often shut down or postpone conversations on complicated topics because it’s hard to know where to begin. Research shows that talking about issues like race and gender from the age of two not only helps children understand what they see, but also increases self-awareness, self-esteem, and allows them to recognize and confront things that are unfair, like discrimination and prejudice.

This first book in the series begins the conversation on race, with a supportive approach that considers both the child and the adult. Stunning art accompanies the simple and interactive text, and the backmatter offers additional resources and ideas for extending this discussion.”

Leo Loves Daddy by Anna McQuinn, Illustrated by Ruth Hearson (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Every day is fun with Leo and his daddy!

Perfect for Father’s Day or every day, this sweet companion to Leo Loves Mommy and spin-off of the best-selling Lola Reads series celebrates the love between young children and their dads. Leo and Daddy love to make pancakes for breakfast, dance to the beat, and go to the park together. When it’s time to sleep, Daddy’s hugs are the snuggliest.”

Leo Loves Mommy by Anna McQuinn, Illustrated by Ruth Hearson (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Every day is fun with Leo and his mommy!

Perfect for Mother’s Day or every day, this sweet companion to Leo Loves Daddy and spin-off of the best-selling Lola Reads series is sure to delight. Leo and Mommy love to build forts, do yoga, and make splashy art together. At the end of the day, Mommy’s hugs are the comfiest.”

Picture Books

Bindu’s Bindis by Supriya Kelkar, Illustrated by Parvati Pillai (Bookshop | Amazon)

“A companion to Kelkar’s The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh, this picture book features a little girl named Bindu whose bindis connect her to family and help her find courage to compete in the school talent show.

This charming picture book is about a little girl who loves her bindis (and the many creative shapes they come in!). The bindis are also a connection to her Nani who lives in India. When Nani comes to visit Bindu and brings the bindis to her, it is just in time to wear something new to the school talent show. Bindu and Nani work together to shine their brightest and embrace their sparkle, even when they stand out from the crowd.”

Coqui In The City by Nomar Perez (Bookshop | Amazon)

“A heartfelt picture book based on the author-illustrator’s own experiences, about a boy who moves to the U.S. mainland from Puerto Rico and realizes that New York City might have more in common with San Juan than he initially thought.

Miguel’s pet frog, Coquí, is always with him: as he greets his neighbors in San Juan, buys quesitos from the panadería, and listens to his abuelo’s story about meeting baseball legend Roberto Clemente. Then Miguel learns that he and his parents are moving to the U.S. mainland, which means leaving his beloved grandparents, home in Puerto Rico, and even Coquí behind. Life in New York City is overwhelming, with unfamiliar buildings, foods, and people. But when he and Mamá go exploring, they find a few familiar sights that remind them of home, and Miguel realizes there might be a way to keep a little bit of Puerto Rico with him–including the love he has for Coquí–wherever he goes.”

Malala Yousafzai (Little People, Big Dreams #57) by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara, Illustrated by Manal Mirza (Bookshop | Amazon)

“In this book from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of Malala Yousafzai, the incredible activist for girls’ education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate​.

When Malala was born in Mingora, Pakistan, her father was determined she would have every opportunity that a boy would have. She loved getting an education, but when a hateful regime came to power, girls were no longer allowed to go to school. Malala spoke out in public about this, which made her a target for violence. She was shot in the left side of her head and woke up in a hospital in England. Finally, after long months and many surgeries, Malala recovered, and resolved to become an activist for girls’ education. Now a recent Oxford graduate, Malala continues to fight for a world where all girls can learn and lead. This powerful book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the activist’s life.”

When A Dragon Comes To Stay by Caryl Hart, Illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Little dragon visits her toddler friends. Will she behave herself? Of course! Dragons do their best to have good manners. But sometimes, everyone needs a reminder of how important they are. It will be hard for readers not to fall in love with the adorable dragon as she charms her friends and helps them learn their manners.”

I Do Not Like Yolanda by Zoey Abbott (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Bianca likes stamps and writing letters and going to the post office. . . she does not like Yolanda, who works there. A relatable story about facing your fears and giving people a second chance for fans of Miss Nelson Is Missing and My Teacher is a Monster.

When Bianca gets stuck in Yolanda’s line at the post office, she expects the worst: scowls, claws, teeth . . .

This is what she gets for having a five-letter day.

She might not survive . . .

Or will Yolanda surprise her?

This hilarious story explores fear and kindness, in that order, when Bianca decides to overcome her terror and ask Yolanda very nicely how her weekend was… and learns that Yolanda is not scary, she’s a delight! A truly lovely book about questioning your assumptions and reaching out to another person, no matter how scary they might be.”

My Day With The Panye by Tami Charles , Illustrated by Sara Palacios (Bookshop | Amazon)

“A young girl in Haiti is eager to learn how to carry a basket to market in an exuberant picture book with universal appeal.

“To carry the panye, we move gracefully, even under the weight of the sun and the moon.”

In the hills above Port-au-Prince, a young girl named Fallon wants more than anything to carry a large woven basket to the market, just like her Manman. As she watches her mother wrap her hair in a mouchwa, Fallon tries to twist her own braids into a scarf and balance the empty panye atop her head, but realizes it’s much harder than she thought. BOOM! Is she ready after all? Lyrical and inspiring, with vibrant illustrations highlighting the beauty of Haiti, My Day with the Panye is a story of family legacy, cultural tradition, and hope for the future. Readers who are curious about the art of carrying a panye will find more about this ancient and global practice in an author’s note at the end.”

Middle Grade

Soul Lanterns by Shaw Kuzki (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Twelve-year-old Nozomi lives in the Japanese city of Hiroshima. She wasn’t even born when the bombing of Hiroshima took place. Every year Nozomi joins her family at the lantern-floating ceremony to honor those lost in the bombing. People write the names of their deceased loved ones along with messages of peace, on paper lanterns and set them afloat on the river. This year Nozomi realizes that her mother always releases one lantern with no name. She begins to ask questions, and when complicated stories of loss and loneliness unfold, Nozomi and her friends come up with a creative way to share their loved ones’ experiences. By opening people’s eyes to the struggles they all keep hidden, the project teaches the entire community new ways to show compassion.

Soul Lanterns is an honest exploration of what happened on August 6, 1945, and offers readers a glimpse not only into the rich cultural history of Japan but also into the intimate lives of those who recognize–better than most–the urgent need for peace.”

We Are Explorers by Kari Herbert (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Join fourteen incredible female explorers on their journeys around the world, and learn about the life-changing discoveries they made against all odds.

Women have always explored the globe, but their stories aren’t always well-known. In We Are Explorers, fourteen intrepid women and their incredible adventures finally get their due. These fearless explorers trekked across deserts in search of the source of the Nile, crept through jungles to discover rare butterflies, journeyed into the Arctic, and so much more.

From the famed travels of Sacagawea to the lesser-known achievements of pioneers in aviation, botany, and mountain climbing, this book dives deep into the lives of women who changed the world. They hailed from places as varied as the United States, Japan, Germany, and New Zealand, but all of them followed their curiosity far from home― astronaut Mae Jemison traveled into space! Critically praised author and illustrator Kari Herbert, herself the daughter of a celebrated polar explorer, brings these adventurers to life with an engaging narrative style and richly painted portraits.

Readers will love stepping into the shoes of those who hiked, sailed, and flew to places few people―male or female―had been before. We Are Explorers is the perfect inspiration for any child who dreams of travel and adventure.”

Comics

Martian Ghost Centaur by Mat Hagerty, Illustrated by Steph Mided (Bookshop | Amazon)

“The town of Southborough used to be a major tourism destination, drawing folks from all over in the hopes they’d spot the famous Sasquatch, reportedly seen in the town many times over the years. But it’s been ages since anyone’s spotted the ‘squatch, and tourism is starting to dry up. A tech company called Start-up.com (a start-up that helps people start their own start-ups) decides to begin buying up places all over town in order to build their techie headquarters, driving out all the local townspeople. Luckily, Southborough is also home to Louie O’Connor, firm believer in the Sasquatch’s existence and all-around, mega ’squatch fan.

When Louie’s dads’ restaurant, Squatch Burger, starts to go under and fall prey to the techie start-up, Louie and her best friend Felix decide they’ll do whatever it takes to save the town from losing all the people and places that make it special. In hopes that convincing people the Sasquatch is real and to drive back tourism, Louie and Felix plan an elaborate hoax in hopes of saving the town from the dot-com takeover. But when Felix starts talking about leaving their hometown for college in LA, Louie will have to face some tough questions about herself, her future career, and her place in her beloved hometown.”

Secrets of Camp Whatever Volume 1 by Chris Grine (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Perfect for fans of Lumberjanes and Brain Camp, there’s more than mosquitos at Camp Whatever and Willow will need to face truths about herself and her family as summer camp dread goes head to head with the supernatural.

Eleven year-old Willow doesn’t want to go to her dad’s weird old summer camp any more than she wants her family to move to the weird old town where that camp is located. But her family—and fate itself—seem to have plans of their own. Soon Willow finds herself neck-deep in a confounding mystery involving stolen snacks, suspected vampires, and missing campers, all shrouded in the sinister fog that hides a generation of secrets at Camp … Whatever it’s called.”

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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