New Release Round Up – August 24, 2021

Happy Tuesday, everybody! It’s new release day again! As always, I rounded up the titles I am most excited about to share with y’all today, and there are a LOT to talk about this week.

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

The Life Of Basquiat by Patty Rodriguez and Ariana Stein, Illustrated by Citlali Reyes

“Introduce your little ones to the famous graffiti artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat, in both English and Spanish.

Known for his contributions to graffiti and neo-expressionism, Jean-Michel Basquiat became one of the youngest household names in the world of art. The Haitian-Puerto Rican prodigy used his obsessive scribbling and skull designs to paint his legacy through New York—and worldwide.

Parents will discover this biography book on Basquiat to be an encouraging story to their little ones hoping to express themselves through creativity, imagination, and, most importantly, perseverance.”

Families Grow by Dan Saks, Illustrated by Brooke Smart

“A rhyming, light-hearted celebration of the different ways a family can grow.

A wish began your journey
And now that you are here
Our family has grown with love
With love for you, my dear.

This warm appreciation of love invites the youngest readers to share in the joy and excitement of expecting families. The lyrical, rhyming text subtly references pregnancy, surrogacy, and adoption, gently touching on the different ways a family can grow. The book’s celebratory yet comforting tone incites both appreciation and understanding, leaving readers with a lasting message of unconditional familial love. Includes a simple glossary at the end.”

Picture Books

Yefferson, Actually by Katherine Trejo and Scott Martin-Rowe, Illustrated Karla Monterrosa

“On his first day as the new kid in school, shy Yefferson’s name is consistently mispronounced to his discomfort and embarrassment. With his family’s support, Yefferson finds the courage to stand up for himself and his namesake.

Yefferson, Actually is wonderful new picture book to embrace in the pantheon of classic Back to School stories. Follow sweet and unassuming Yefferson – proudly pronounced with the sound the Y makes in Spanish, not the J in English – as learns to overcome what is a common, but often undiscussed hurdle for all shy kids entering a new school year: correctly teaching people how to say your name correctly.

In a picture book market that too often doesn’t highlight Latinx boys as the main characters of their own stories, Yefferson stands up and stands out for his kindness, gentleness, and strength when he treats others how he wants to be treated. Perfect for lovers of King of Kindergarten and Alma and How She Got Her Name, Yefferson, Actually is the debut picture book for both authors and the illustrator, and the first book in a new series centered on Yefferson and his friends’ adventures.

This back-to-school book is the perfect addition for your little one’s at-home library, as it will motivate them to stand up for themselves and realize that their familial roots came from growing seeds of pride and history.”

Iris Apfel (Little People, Big Dreams #64) by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara, Illustrated by Kristen Barnhart

“In this book from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of Iris Apfel, the vivacious (and accidental) fashion icon.

Growing up in Queens, New York, little Iris was the only child at family events. Her grandmother would open a giant bag of fabric, filled with every color and pattern, and let her play with fabric scraps. This inspired a lifelong love of fashion. Famous for her eclectic style, built around oversized glasses, bright colors, and bold jewelry, Iris was the subject of an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art when she was just 84 years young. This inspiring 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 style icon’s life.”

Where Three Oceans Meet by Rajani LaRocca, Illustrated by Archana Sreenivasan

“A child, mother, and grandmother travel all the way to the end of the earth in this picture book that celebrates multigenerational love—perfect for fans of Drawn Together and Alma.

“I want to see what’s at the end of the earth!”

Sejal, Mommy, and Pati travel together to the southern tip of India. Along the way, they share meals, visit markets, and catch up with old friends.
For Pati, the trip retraces spaces she knows well. For Mommy, it’s a return to the place she grew up. For Sejal, it’s a discovery of new sights and sounds. The family finds their way to Kanyakumari, where three oceans meet, and delight in making it to the end of the earth together.
This own voices picture book celebrates the beauty of India and the enduring love of family.”

Chapter Books

She Persisted: Ruby Bridges by Kekla Magoon, Illustrated by Gillian Flint

“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!

In this chapter book biography by NAACP Image Award-winning author and Coretta Scott King Honor recipient Kekla Magoon, readers learn about the amazing life of Ruby Bridges–and how she persisted.

As a first grader, Ruby Bridges was the first Black student to integrate William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans, Louisiana. This was no easy task, especially for a six-year-old. Ruby’s bravery and perseverance inspired children and adults alike to fight for equality and social justice. Perfect for back-to-school reading!

Complete with an introduction from Chelsea Clinton, black-and-white illustrations throughout, and a list of ways that readers can follow in Ruby Bridges’s footsteps and make a difference!”

Middle Grade

Carry Me Home by Janet Fox

“Twelve-year-old Lulu and her younger sister, Serena, have a secret. As Daddy always says, “it’s best if we keep it to ourselves,” and so they have. But hiding your past is one thing. Hiding where you live—and that your Daddy has gone missing—is harder.

At first Lulu isn’t worried. Daddy has gone away once before and he came back. But as the days add up, with no sign of Daddy, Lulu struggles to take care of all the responsibilities they used to manage as a family.

Lulu knows that all it takes is one slip-up for their secret to come spilling out, for Lulu and Serena to be separated, and for all the good things that have been happening in school to be lost.

But family is all around us, and Lulu must learn to trust her new friends and community to save those she loves and to finally find her true home.”

Graphic Novels

The Little Wooden Robot and The Log Princess by Tom Gauld

“For years, the king and queen tried desperately to have a baby. Their wish was twice granted when an engineer and a witch gave them a little wooden robot and an enchanted log princess. There’s just one catch, every night when the log princess sleeps, she transforms back into an ordinary log. She can only be woken with the magic words “Awake, little log, awake.”

The two are inseparable until one day when the sleeping log princess is accidentally carted off to parts unknown. Now it’s up to her devoted brother to find her and return her safely to the kingdom. They need to take turns to get each other home, and on the way, they face a host of adventures involving the Queen of Mushrooms, a magic pudding, a baby in a rosebush, and an old lady in a bottle.”

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!

Did I miss any releases you’re excited for? Be sure to share in the comments below!

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