New Release Round Up – July 13, 2021

Happy Tuesday, everybody! It feels like it’s been about a year since the last round up, but I’ve got a great list for you today.

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

Nerdy Babies: Dinosaurs by Emmy Kastner

Nerdy Babies is a series that will ignite curiosity in even the youngest readers and encourage them to ask questions and explore the world around them.

In Nerdy Babies: Dinosaurs, follow our intrepid babies into the Mesozoic Era. Experience the different shapes, sizes, and colors of the reptiles that roamed the Earth before us. Plus, learn about how dinosaurs evolved over millions of years until becoming extinct in this simple text written in question-and-answer format.

With bright artwork by Emmy Kastner, Nerdy Babies is a series that the very littlest nerds will want to return to again and again.

Stay curious. There’s more to learn about everything!”

Nerdy Babies: Transportation by Emma Kastner

“In Nerdy Babies: Transportation, follow our intrepid babies when they’re on the go. Experience skating on rollerblades, flying on air balloons, exploring underwater in a submarine, and riding cross-country on a car. Plus, learn about how different air, land, and sea travel can be in this simple text written in question-and-answer format.

With bright artwork by Emmy Kastner, Nerdy Babies is a series that the very littlest nerds will want to return to again and again.

Stay curious. There’s more to learn about everything!”

Up, Up, Up, Down! by Kimberly Gee

This action-packed toddler’s day with Dad is full of opposites–and now in board!

From his first demand to be picked up and then immediately put down, opposites pop up all day long for this energetic boy. Breakfast is no, no, no, yes! At the sandbox, it’s make, make, make, break! And jumping into the pool goes from can’t, can’t, can’t, to can!

Kimberly Gee’s expressive illustrations emphasize the loving connection between a boy and his father in this clever concept book about everyday highs and lows is now in sturdy board, ready to become a staple in toddlers’ hands and bookshelves’.”

Picture Books

El Cucuy is Scared, Too! by Donna Barba Higuera, Illustrated by Julian Perdomo

A boy and his monster confront their mutual fears in this unlikely friendship story that’s rooted in Mexican folklore

Ramón is a little boy who can’t sleep. He is nervous for his first day at a new school.
And El Cucuy is the monster who lives in Ramón’s cactus pot. He can’t sleep, either.
It turns out that El Cucuy is scared, too!
This gentle, perceptive story explores the worries that can accompany moving to a new place and beginning a new journey—and reveals how comfort, bravery, and strength can be found through even the most unexpected of friendships.”

Be sure to check out our full review here!

Listen by Gabi Snyder, Illustrated by Stephanie Graegin

In the tradition of Tomie dePaola’s Quiet and Scott Magoon’s Breathe comes this lyrical, meditative picture book about listening and mindfulness.

BEEP!
WOOF!
VROOM!

Isn’t the world a noisy place?
But what if you
stop, close your eyes,
and LISTEN?

Can you hear each sound?
Can you listen past the noise
and hear the quiet, too?

Beautifully illustrated and poignant, this lovely picture book follows a girl through her school day as she listens to sounds across the city: caws of crows, shouts across the playground, and finally, the quiet beating of her heart and whispered goodnights.”

What Do You Know? by Aracelis Girmay and Ariana Fields

“What Do You Know? is an introspective, poetic picture book about the acts of questioning and listening. Asked by Love itself, the questions wonder aloud, seeking the knowing of an array of very different, yet interconnected, entities and beings. Instead of pointing and naming, here the asker seeks to know the world by listening to it. Tell me, land, farmer, well, rock, fruit bat, courage––what do you know? Across these pages, children will wonder at what we can learn, when we open ourselves up to listening to the world.”

Bella’s Recipe for Success by Ana Siqueira, Illustrated by Geraldine Rodríguez

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Bella wants to find out what she’s good at. But she quits everything she (barely) tries because she’s a disaster at it. Her somersaults are like clumsy jirafas rolling downhill, her piano playing like elephant feet. When she decides to learn how to bake with her wise old abuela, her first attempt at dulce de leche frosting looks like scaly cocodrilo skin. She must learn it’s okay to try again or she won’t be good at anything. Peppered with Spanish vocabulary and set in an intergenerational Latinx home, Bella’s Recipe for Success will show all kids the value of practicing to learn a new skill, and that it’s okay to make mistakes along the way.”

Don’t forget to check out the full review here!

Frankenslime by Joy Keller, Illustrated by Ashley Belote

A young slime scientist is surprised when her latest creation comes to life in Frankenslime, a funny and clever picture book twist on Frankenstein.

Victoria Franken is a slime scientist.

Her experiments lead to amazing slimes. Until, one dark and stormy night, her latest experiment goes awry and her newest creation COMES TO LIFE!

Joy Keller’s clever text and Ashley Belote’s humor-filled art combine to create a fun picture book twist on horror movies like Frankenstein and The Blob, that also explores the scientific method and the importance of recording observations and results. The author has also included a couple of Victoria’s best slime recipes, although you’ll notice the secret formula that brought her slime to life is missing.”

Let’s Go For a Walk by Ranger Hamza, Illustrated by Kate Kronreif

Walking in the country, by the sea, or in the town, so many wonderful things to see if you stop and look around! Go on your very own walk guided by Ranger Hamza with this book that can be used again and again.

Take this book with you on any walk, wherever you live, with suggestions from Ranger Hamza for things to look out for. Can you see a red thing? A tall thing? Can you find something smooth, and something rough? What can you smell, and what can you hear? As well as things to spot on the walk, each spread contains fascinating Hamza facts

  • Turn every walk, long or short, into an interactive, playful, learning adventure.
  • Can be used on any kind of walk, in any location, and any duration, over and over again.
  • Will help young hikers look at the world around them in a new way.
  • Can also be read at home, with readers spotting the details in the beautiful illustrations.

Perfect for families looking to make their regular outings more fun, whether in the city or the country: Let’s Go For a Walk!

My Voice Is a Trumpet by Jimmie Allen, Illustrated by Cathy Ann Johnson

From rising country star Jimmie Allen comes a lyrical celebration of the many types of voices that can effect change.

From voices tall as a tree, to voices small as a bee, all it takes is confidence and a belief in the goodness of others to change the world. Coming at a time when issues of social justice are at the forefront of our society, this is the perfect book to teach children that they’re not too young to express what they believe in and that all voices are valuable.”

Middle Grade

Maya and the Robot by Eve L. Ewing, Illustrated by Christine Almeda

From award-winning author Eve L. Ewing comes an illustrated middle grade novel about a forgotten homemade robot who comes to life just when aspiring fifth-grade scientist Maya needs a friend — and a science fair project.

Maya’s nervous about fifth grade. She tries to keep calm by reminding herself she knows what to expect. But then she learns that this year won’t be anything like the last. For the first time since kindergarten, her best friends Jada and MJ are placed in a different class without her, and introverted Maya has trouble making new friends.

She tries to put on a brave face since they are in fifth grade now, but Maya is nervous! Just when too much seems to be changing, she finds a robot named Ralph in the back of Mr. Mac’s convenience store closet. Once she uses her science skills to get him up and running, a whole new world of connection opens up as Ralph becomes a member of her family and Maya begins to step into her power. In this touching novel, Eve L. Ewing melds together a story about community, adapting to change, and the magic of ingenuity that reminds young readers that they can always turn to their own curiosity when feeling lost.”

Ten Thousand Tries by Amy Makechnie

A middle school soccer whiz’s determination to keep things from changing is tested when his father’s ALS symptoms worsen in this touching story about growing up and facing loss, perfect for fans of Shouting at the Rain.

Twelve-year-old Golden Maroni is determined to channel his hero, soccer superstar Lionel Messi, and become captain of his soccer team and master of his eighth grade universe…especially since his home universe is spiraling out of orbit. Off the field, Golden’s dad, once a pro soccer player himself, is now battling ALS, a disease that attacks his muscles, leaving him less and less physically able to control his body every day. And while Mom says there’s no cure, Golden is convinced that his dad can beat this, just like any opponent, they just have to try.

Golden knows that if you want to perfect a skill you have to put ten thousand tries in, so he’s convinced if he can put that much effort in, on and off the field, he can stop everything from changing. But when his dad continues to decline and his constant pushing starts to alienate his friends and team, Golden is forced to confront the idea that being master of your universe might not mean being in control of everything. What if it means letting go of the things you can’t control so you can do the most good for the things you can?”

Margie Kelly Breaks the Dress Code by Bridget Farr

A timely and thought-provoking novel about one girl’s fight against gender inequality at her middle school and the lessons about her own privilege she learns along the way.

Margie Kelly’s perfect skirt was dress coded on her very first day of middle school. Upset and embarrassed, Margie spends the whole day wearing oversized gym shorts. So much for starting sixth grade with confidence!

But when Margie realizes that the dress code is only applied to the female students and not the boys, Margie gets mad. Really mad.

The dress code is keeping girls stuck in detention all day and away from learning. The boys act like they own the school. And the teachers turn a blind eye to the hypocrisies taking place in the halls, classrooms, and clubs. Something has to change! And Margie knows just how to do it. She’ll plan a school-wide protest with her best friend, Daniela, and fellow classmates Jamiya and Gloria.

But as Margie moves forward with her plans, she comes to realize some hard truths about herself. Will Margie recognize her own privilege and make meaningful change for all students?”

Graphic Novels

ParaNorthern: And the Chaos Bunny A-hop-calypse by Stephanie Cooke, Illustrated by Mari Costa

A witch named Abby and her three friends—a wolf-girl, a ghost, and a pumpkinhead—band together to try and save their supernatural town from an invasion of rabid (but adorable!) chaos bunnies in this enchanting middle-grade graphic novel for fans of Making Friends, The Okay Witch, and Lumberjanes.

It’s fall break in the supernatural town of North Haven, and young witch Abby’s plans include pitching in at her mom’s magical coffee shop, practicing her potion making, and playing board games with her best friends—a pumpkinhead, a wolf-girl, and a ghost. But when Abby finds her younger sister being picked on by some speed demons, she lets out a burst of magic so strong, it opens a portal to a realm of chaos bunnies. And while these bunnies may look cute, they’re about to bring the a-hop-ocalypse  (and get Abby in a cauldronful of trouble) unless she figures out a way to reverse the powerful magic she unwittingly released. What’s a witch to do?

In this deliciously humorous, cozy, and bewitching graphic novel, sometimes the most of powerful magic comes from our connections to family and friends (but kicking bunny butt is great, too).”

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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