New Release Round Up – July 6, 2021

Happy Tuesday, everybody! My Tuesday is feeling a lot like a Monday with the long weekend, but I’ve got my coffee and I’m ready to tell you all about this week’s new releases.

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

What’s My Super Power? by Aviaq Johnston, Illustrated by Tim Mack

“Nalvana feels like all of her friends have some type of superpower. She has friends with super speed (who always beat her in races), friends who can fly (or at least jump from a swing and seem to fly across the playground), and friends who are better than her at a million other things. But when her mom shows Nalvana that she is unique and special, she realizes that her superpower was right in front of her all along.”

You’re So Nice, Baby: Teaching Positive Affirmations to Children by Molly Dresner, Illustrated by Valentina Jaskina

“You’re So Nice, Baby is a unique board book that teaches tots to use their body through positive affirmations. It is never too early to teach little ones the power that they hold. All babies and toddlers will test us, the boundaries, and their own capabilities; this book guides them in the right direction.

Look at those hands baby,

Ready to help and hold

You have NICE hands baby,

Hands that do as they’re told!

Your baby will learn about his or her body parts and their functions through sing-song rhythm and rhyme. Molly Dresner uses encouraging language and repetition to reinforce these big life lessons in a sweet and simple package that everyone will love!”

ABC: Everyday Heroes Like Me by Sugar Snap Studios

“For little kids with big dreams, ABC Everyday Heroes Like Me spotlights the heroes who are all around us—from A to Z.

There are heroes everywhere! With this fun approach to learning the alphabet, kids can learn how to spot the hidden superheroes all around us. This board book from Walter Foster Jr encourages young kids to see the hero in everyday people (and even themselves!) by presenting a colorful variety of heroic behaviors, talents, and career paths. Talented illustrator Jessie Ford of Sugar Snap Studio artfully pairs the letters of the alphabet with vibrant, eye-catching illustrations that paint an inspiring picture for budding heroes everywhere.”

Picture Books

Lala’s Words by Gracey Zhang

“From debut author-illustrator Gracey Zhang comes a timeless and timely picture book that celebrates the unassuming power of kind words.
Oh, there goes Lala! She carries a pot of water around the corner, down the block, and over the fence, to a patch of dirt and concrete where tiny weeds sprout. “Hello, hello, friends!” she whispers. Lala waters the plants every day, but it is her kind words that make them sway and nod.

Lala’s wild nature and quiet compassion enchant in this evergreen story about the power of kind words and the magic of being loved for who you are.”

Be sure to check out the full review here!

Not Little by Maya Myers, Illustrations by Hyewon Yum

“Dot is the smallest person in her family and at school; even her name is small! People often mistake her for being younger than she is, but not when she tells them the square root of sixty-four is eight, nor when she orders from the grown-up menu at restaurants or checks out the hard books at the library. She may be small, but she’s not little.

When a new boy named Sam joins Dot’s class, she wonders if he’s even smaller than she is. But when she sees him getting bullied by a mean kid twice his size, she knows she has to do the big thing and stand up for him.

Maya Myers’s debut picture book has a pitch-perfect voice that captures the inimitable Dot in all her fierceness, and Hyewon Yum’s delightful pastel-hued artwork is its perfect complement.”

Shhh! The Baby’s Asleep by JaNay Brown-Wood, Illustrated by Elissambura

“Celebrate the silliness that comes with a big family in this playful read aloud about a big brother, a sleeping baby, and a very noisy family.

Baby is finally asleep. But everyone is much too loud! Can Mom, Daddy, Grammy, Pop Pop, Shae, Dante, Rover the dog, and even the neighbor keep quiet? Just when they think they can rest—oh no. The baby’s awake. One savvy little narrator knows just the way to make his baby sister fall back asleep: by reading her a good book!

A hilarious cast of characters will keep readers laughing throughout this amusing celebration of early literacy and intergenerational family relationships.”

Chirri and Chirra: The Rainy Day by Kaya Doi, Translated by David Boyd

“As is each of their adventures, this one is completely magical and full of wonder. It is also set in a world where, as if by magic (though perhaps it’s the force of the creative imagination?), they always find what they need. Pedaling along, they discover a shop. What luck! The sign says it’s only open on rainy days. How perfect. Chirri & Chirra order tea. Each is served tea with a bowl of sweet ice rocks. It’s a shop for watching the rain while drinking tea! Later, when they feel as if they’re floating, they discover that the rain is falling up, from below. They are sailing along on nothing less than upside down rain. And what do they discover in the upside-down rain? A happy scene, of course. Because their world is one of harmony, peace, lightness, and discovery. It is a vision of what life on earth––if we gave love and respect to all humans, animals, and the natural world––might be.”

Chapter Books

The Secret Explorers and the Missing Scientist by SJ King

“Learn all about polar expeditions and the Arctic in this climate-related installment of DK Books’ new educational fiction series for children.

Meet the Secret Explorers – a band of brainiac kids from all around the world. Everyone in this diverse group of young experts has a speciality, from outer space to dinosaurs, and each story follows a character who gets chosen for a “secret exploration”.

In this fun, fact-filled children’s book, engineering expert Kiki and Connor the marine biologist are sent on a mission to the Arctic. There they discover a research vessel studying the effects of climate change that has become trapped in the sea ice.

To make matters worse, one of the ship’s scientists who went to find help at a nearby research station hasn’t returned. It’s up to the Secret Explorers to find the scientist, free the ship, and save the day! Kids will love turning the pages to find out if the Secret Explorers manage to succeed in their mission!”

The Kids of Cattywampus Street by Lisa Jahn-Clough, Illustrated by Natalie Andrewson

“In this delightful chapter book filled with black-and-white pictures, you’ll meet Jamal, Lindalee, Hans, Matteo, and others–the kids who live on Cattywampus Street, not far from the Waddlebee Toy Store.

Each of the eleven chapters in this magical, mysterious, silly, scary, happy, and sometimes sad chapter book tells an utterly unforgettable tale about one of the kids. Whether it’s about Jamal and his magic ball, which knows how to find him after its been stolen away; or Charlotta, who shrinks so small that she can fit inside her dollhouse; or Rodney, whose pet rock becomes the envy of all the kids on Cattywampus Street, here are stories sure to charm, captivate, and engage all readers of chapter books, even the most reluctant.”

Middle Grade

Josephine Against The Sea by Shakirah Bourne

“Eleven-year-old Josephine knows that no one is good enough for her daddy. That’s why she makes a habit of scaring his new girlfriends away. She’s desperate to make it onto her school’s cricket team because she’ll get to play her favorite sport AND use the cricket matches to distract Daddy from dating.

But when Coach Broomes announces that girls can’t try out for the team, the frustrated Josephine cuts into a powerful silk cotton tree and accidentally summons a bigger problem into her life . . .

The next day, Daddy brings home a new catch, a beautiful woman named Mariss. And unlike the other girlfriends, this one doesn’t scare easily. Josephine knows there’s something fishy about Mariss but she never expected her to be a vengeful sea creature eager to take her place as her father’s first love! Can Josephine convince her friends to help her and use her cricket skills to save Daddy from Mariss’s clutches before it’s too late?”

Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom by Sangu Mandanna

“Kiki Kallira has always been a worrier. Did she lock the front door? Is there a terrible reason her mom is late? Recently her anxiety has been getting out of control, but one thing that has always soothed her is drawing. Kiki’s sketchbook is full of fanciful doodles of the rich Indian myths and legends her mother has told her over the years.

One day, her sketchbook’s calming effect is broken when her mythological characters begin springing to life right out of its pages. Kiki ends up falling into the mystical world she drew, which includes a lot of wonderful discoveries like the band of rebel kids who protect the kingdom, as well as not-so-great ones like the ancient deity bent on total destruction. As the one responsible for creating the evil god, Kiki must overcome her fear and anxiety to save both worlds–the real and the imagined–from his wrath. But how can a girl armed with only a pencil defeat something so powerful?”

Forever This Summer by Leslie C. Youngblood

“Georgie has no idea what to expect when she, Mama, and Peaches are plopped down in the middle of small town USA–aka Bogalusa, Louisiana–where Mama grew up and Great Aunt Vie needs constant care.

Georgie wants to help out at the once famous family diner that served celebrities like the Jackson 5 and the Supremes, but everyone is too busy to show her the ropes and Mama is treating her like a baby, not letting her leave her sight. When she finally gets permission to leave on her own, Georgie makes friends with Markie–a foster kid who’d been under Aunt Elvie’s care–who has a limb difference and a huge attitude.

Then Markie asks Georgie to help her find her mom, and suddenly summer has a real purpose. But as Georgie and Markie’s histories begin to entwine, Georgie becomes more desperate to find the truth. But words spoken cannot be taken back and once Georgie knows the truth, she may even find a way to right past wrongs and help Aunt Vie and Markie out after all.”

Comics

The Okay Witch and the Hungry Shadow by Emma Steinkellner

“In this hilarious and heartwarming sequel to the bestselling and critically acclaimed graphic novel, The Okay Witch, half-witch Moth Hush uses magic to boost her confidence with disastrous results—perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Molly Ostertag!

Moth Hush is starting to settle into her newfound witch heritage and powers, but life at school continues to be rough. Even her best friend, Charlie, doesn’t entirely understand what it’s like for her to always be the one who gets mocked, and things only get worse when Moth’s mom starts dating one of the dorkiest teachers in the school! Then Moth gets hold of a mysterious charm that can unleash another version of herself—one who is confident, cool, and extremely popular. What could possibly go wrong?”

That’s all I have for today. 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!

Which titles have you been looking forward to the most? Be sure to share in the comments below!

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