New Release Round Up – March 30, 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

Who Was Jackie Robinson by Lisbeth Kaiser, Illustrated by Stanley Chow (Bookshop | Amazon)

“The #1 New York Times Bestselling Who Was? series expands into the board book space, bringing age-appropriate biographies of influential figures to readers ages 2-4.

The chronology and themes of Jackie Robinson’s meaningful life are presented in a masterfully succinct text, with just a few sentences per page. The fresh, stylized illustrations are sure to captivate young readers and adults alike. With a read-aloud biographical summary in the back, this age-appropriate introduction honors and shares the life and work of one of the most influential professional baseball players of our time.”

Who Is Jane Goodall? by Lisbeth Kaiser, Illustrated by Stanley Chow (Bookshop | Amazon)

“The #1 New York Times Bestselling Who Was? series expands into the board book space, bringing age-appropriate biographies of influential figures to readers ages 2-4.

The chronology and themes of Jane Goodall’s meaningful life are presented in a masterfully succinct text, with just a few sentences per page. The fresh, stylized illustrations are sure to captivate young readers and adults alike. With a read-aloud biographical summary in the back, this age-appropriate introduction honors and shares the life and work of one of the most influential scientists of our time.”

Picture Books

Zonia’s Rain Forest by Juana Martinez-Neal (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Zonia’s home is the Amazon rain forest, where it is always green and full of life. Every morning, the rain forest calls to Zonia, and every morning, she answers. She visits the sloth family, greets the giant anteater, and runs with the speedy jaguar. But one morning, the rain forest calls to her in a troubled voice. How will Zonia answer?
Acclaimed author-illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal explores the wonders of the rain forest with Zonia, an Asháninka girl, in her joyful outdoor adventures. The engaging text emphasizes Zonia’s empowering bond with her home, while the illustrations—created on paper made from banana bark—burst with luxuriant greens and delicate details. Illuminating back matter includes a translation of the story in Asháninka, information on the Asháninka community, and resources on the Amazon rain forest and its wildlife.”

You can also read my full review of Zonia’s Rain Forest for more information.

Be A Tree by Maria Gianferrari, Illustrated by Felicita Sala (Bookshop | Amazon)

“A lyrical, gorgeously illustrated look at the majesty of trees—and what humans can learn from them.

Stand tall.
Stretch your branches to the sun.
Be a tree!
We are all like trees: our spines, trunks; our skin, bark; our hearts giving us strength and support, like heartwood. We are fueled by air and sun.
And, like humans, trees are social. They “talk” to spread information; they share food and resources. They shelter and take care of one another. They are stronger together.

In this gorgeous and poetic celebration of one of nature’s greatest creations, acclaimed author Maria Gianferrari and illustrator Felicita Sala both compare us to the beauty and majesty of trees—and gently share the ways in which trees can inspire us to be better people.”

The Water Lady: How Darlene Arviso Helps A Thirsty Navajo Nation by Alice B McGinty, Illustrated by Shonto Begay (Bookshop | Amazon)

“This inspiring picture book tells the true story of a woman who brings desperately needed water to families on the Navajo reservation every day.

Underneath the New Mexico sky, a Navajo boy named Cody finds that his family’s barrels of water are empty. He checks the chicken coop– nothing. He walks down the road to the horses’ watering hole. Dry. Meanwhile, a few miles away, Darlene Arviso drives a school bus and picks up students for school. After dropping them off, she heads to another job: she drives her big yellow tanker truck to the water tower, fills it with three thousand gallons of water, and returns to the reservation, bringing water to Cody’s family, and many, many others. Here is the incredible and inspiring true story of a Native American woman who continuously gives back to her community and celebrates her people.”

Watercress by Andrea Wang, Illustrated by Jason Chin (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Driving through Ohio in an old Pontiac, a young girl’s parents stop suddenly when they spot watercress growing wild in a ditch by the side of the road. Grabbing an old paper bag and some rusty scissors, the whole family wades into the muck to collect as much of the muddy, snail covered watercress as they can.

At first, she’s embarrassed. Why can’t her family get food from the grocery store? But when her mother shares a story of her family’s time in China, the girl learns to appreciate the fresh food they foraged. Together, they make a new memory of watercress.

Andrea Wang tells a moving autobiographical story of a child of immigrants discovering and connecting with her heritage, illustrated by award winning author and artist Jason Chin, working in an entirely new style, inspired by Chinese painting techniques. An author’s note in the back shares Andrea’s childhood experience with her parents.”

Mindful Moves by Nicole Cardoza, Illustrated by Marta Antelo (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Mindfulness is proven to boost children’s physical, mental, and socio-emotional development, but establishing the practice requires making it a part of daily life. With delightful illustrations and kid-friendly language, Mindful Moves introduces kids to simple mindfulness activities that are fun, easy to remember, and available for kids to turn to any time the need arises, no matter where they are. Check Your Inner Weather encourages children to tune into how they feel in the moment and accept their feelings without judgement. Pose like a Superhero helps fill kids with inner strength and confidence, while Breathe like a Walrus helps them channel frustration or anger through breath and facial relaxation. Each of the meditation, mindfulness, yoga, and movement activities is designed to help kids stay calm, be present, and feel focused and happy. Whether it’s before a busy day at school, in the backseat of the car, during a test, or heading off to bed, this is a guide kids can refer to again and again!”

Game, Set, Sisters! by Jay Leslie, Illustrated by Ebony Glenn (Bookshop | Amazon)

“A stirring picture book biography of Venus and Serena Williams that celebrates their achievements…and their sisterhood.

This is the story of two sisters…
who took the tennis world by storm,
who achieved everything possible in the sport…and then some,
and who stood by one another through thick and thin.

Featuring illustrations by Ebony Glenn, Jay Leslie’s Game, Set, Sisters! The Story of Venus and Serena Williams tells the inspirational story of two of the most beloved athletes in history. It takes us from their beginnings on a crumbling Compton tennis court to their shining achievements on the most prestigious stages and shows us that despite being served the most challenging hardships in life―illness, family, loss, racism―Venus and Serena always continued to swing back stronger.”

Fatima’s Great Outdoors by Ambreen Tariq, Illustrated by Stevie Lewis (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Fatima Khazi is excited for the weekend. Her family is headed to a local state park for their first camping trip! The school week might not have gone as planned, but outdoors, Fatima can achieve anything. She sets up a tent with her father, builds a fire with her mother, and survives an eight-legged mutant spider (a daddy longlegs with an impressive shadow) with her sister. At the end of an adventurous day, the family snuggles inside one big tent, serenaded by the sounds of the forest. The thought of leaving the magic of the outdoors tugs at Fatima’s heart, but her sister reminds her that they can keep the memory alive through stories–and they can always daydream about what their next camping trip will look like.

Ambreen Tariq’s picture book debut, with cheerful illustrations by Stevie Lewis, is a rollicking family adventure, a love letter to the outdoors, and a reminder that public land belongs to all of us.”

Don’t miss my full review of Fatima’s Great Outdoors for more detail.

Chapter Books

Ellie Tames The Tiger (The Critter Club #22) by Callie Barkley, Illustrated by Tracy Bishop (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Ellie is paired up with a classmate, Paul, on a special dance number for the school play. But right from the start, Paul gives her the cold shoulder! Will Ellie and Paul be able to patch things up in time to take the stage together?

Meanwhile, Marion, Ellie, Liz, and Amy rescue an adorable kitten named Tiger…but he can’t stop causing mischief in the Critter Club barn! Can the girls team up to help Tiger—and find him a new home?

With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, The Critter Club chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.”

Ada Lace Adventures Collection (The Complete Set) by Emily Calandrelli, Illustrated by Renee Kurilla (Bookshop | Amazon)

“From Emily Calandrelli—host of Emmy-nominated Xploration Outer Space, correspondent on Bill Nye Saves the World, and graduate of MIT—comes the first four novels in a fun illustrated chapter book series about an eight-year-old girl with a knack for science, math, and solving mysteries with technology—now available in a collectible boxed set!

Third grader and inventor extraordinaire Ada Lace uses her love of science and technology to solve problems and mysteries in her new neighborhood.

This collection includes:
Ada Lace, on the Case
Ada Lace Sees Red
Ada Lace Take Me to Your Leader
Ada Lace and the Impossible Mission”

Middle Grade

Horse Girl by Carrie Seim (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Wills is a seventh grader who’s head-over-hoof for horses, and beyond excited when she gets the chance to start training at the prestigious Oakwood Riding Academy. But Amara–the Queen of the #HorseGirls–and her posse aren’t going to let the certifiably dork-tagious Wills trot her way into their club so easily. Between learning the reins of horse riding, dealing with her Air Force pilot mom being stationed thousands of miles from home, and keeping it together in front of (gasp!) Horse Boys, Wills learns that becoming a part of the #HorseGirl world isn’t easy. But with her rescue horse, Clyde, at her side, it sure will be fun.

Complete with comedic, original hoof notes to acquaint the less equestrian among us, Horse Girl delivers everything a young readers wants: mean girls, boy problems, and embarrassingly goofy dad jokes. And it does so on the back of a pony,”

Fans In The Stands (The Kicks #12) by Alex Morgan (Bookshop | Amazon)

“From FIFA World Cup Champion, Olympic gold medalist, and bestselling author Alex Morgan comes the twelfth and final book in an empowering and fun-filled middle grade series about soccer and friendship.

There’s only two games separating the Kicks from the regional championship title. And with the Kentville Kangaroos boys’ team also on their way to the championship, Devin can’t contain her excitement for her friends!

That is until Steve, Devin’s crush, admits that he doesn’t think girl soccer players are as good as the boys.

Devin’s certain that the only want to prove him wrong is to work hard and player harder, like she’s always done. Instead, the Kicks and the Kangaroos place a bet: Whoever can get the most fans in the stands at their games is clearly the better team.

But when their plans to bring in spectators puts both of their championship games in jeopardy, Devin has to make a choice. Is beating the boys worth risking the title the Kicks have played so hard for?”

That’s all I have for today. Hopefully you found one or two to add to your young reader’s shelves!

Did I miss any releases you’re excited for? Don’t forget to share in the comments below!

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