New Release Round Up: February 8, 2022

It’s Tuesday again, so we have all the 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

ABC for Me: ABC Bedtime by Erica Harrison, Illustrated by Isabel Roxas

Through engaging but calming illustrations and text, ABC Bedtime provides an alphabet of ways to get kids to cooperate in getting ready for bed.

All bedtime routines look a little different, but whether we are big or small, we all have a bedtime. Some people give hugs and kisses, and others will sing lullabies or read a story. Some people will wish on a star, and others will do deep breathing to wind down. Pairing aspects of various bedtime routines with each letter of the alphabet, ABC Bedtime is a sweet read for both caregiver and child. This book is not only perfect for teaching toddlers their ABCs, but also for encouraging them to acknowledge that it’s bedtime, get ready, and calm down their bodies and minds before going to bed. The book begins at A with the feeling of being wide awake and active, but after going through the calming A-to-Z bedtime routine, it ends at with being sound asleep and catching those ZZZs.

Picture Books

I am Muhammad Ali (Ordinary People Change the World) by Brad Meltzer, Illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos

The American boxing champ and vocal civil rights activist Muhammad Ali is the 27th hero in the New York Times bestselling picture book biography series for ages 5 to 8.

Muhammad Ali was the leading heavyweight boxer of the 20th century and a charismatic, beloved public figure. His objection to the military draft during the Vietnam War made him an icon for a generation, and his impact in sports and the Civil Rights movement is still felt today.
 
This friendly, fun biography series inspired the PBS Kids TV show Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum. One great role model at a time, these books encourage kids to dream big.

I am Malala Yousafzai (Ordinary People Change the World) by Brad Meltzer, Illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos

The youngest ever Nobel Prize laureate, Pakistani women’s rights activist Malala Yousafzai, is the 26th hero in the New York Times bestselling picture book biography series for ages 5 to 8.

Malala Yousafzai won the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 17 for speaking out against injustice even when it was terrifying to do so. She was an ordinary Muslim girl who wanted to attend school, and she refused to stop protesting for her rights even after being attacked by a powerful group in Pakistan who wanted women to remain in the shadows. She continues to fight for women’s rights and free education for children all over the world.

Powwow Day by Traci Sorell, Illustrated by Madelyn Goodnight

In this uplifting, contemporary Native American story, River is recovering from illness and can’t dance at the powwow this year. Will she ever dance again?

River wants so badly to dance at powwow day as she does every year. In this uplifting and contemporary picture book perfect for beginning readers, follow River’s journey from feeling isolated after an illness to learning the healing power of community.

Additional information explains the history and functions of powwows, which are commonplace across the United States and Canada and are open to both Native Americans and non-Native visitors. Author Traci Sorell is a member of the Cherokee Nation, and illustrator Madelyn Goodnight is a member of the Chickasaw Nation.

Born Hungry: Julia Child Becomes “the French Chef” by Alex Prud’homme, Illustrated by Sarah Green

How did Julia Child become one of America’s most celebrated and beloved chefs? Her grandnephew reveals her story in this picture book that Jacques Pepin calls a “vivid portrait . . . an enjoyable read.” Julia’s kid-friendly recipe for Oeufs Brouillés (Scrambled Eggs) is included!

Julia Child was born hungry, but she was not born a chef. In fact, Julia didn’t discover her passion for cooking until she had a life-changing luncheon in France and became determined to share her newfound love of food with everyone.

In Paris, Julia devoured recipe books, shopped in outdoor markets, consumed all kinds of foods, and whipped through culinary school. And although she wasn’t always successful in the kitchen, she was determined to “master the art” of French cooking. Through perseverance and grit, Julia became a chef who shared her passion with the world, making cooking fun, and turning every meal into a special event.

Alex Prud’homme’s firsthand knowledge paired with Sarah Green’s vibrant and energetic illustrations showcases Julia’s life and celebrates her enduring legacy.

I’ll Hold Your Hand by Maggie C. Rudd, Illustrated by Elisa Chavarri

This sweet picture book celebrates the unbreakable bond of a parent’s support for a child though life’s milestones, from learning to walk to the first day of school and all the highs and lows in between.

From the night you arrive to your first night away,
from learning to crawl to healing a broken heart,
and for all the highs and lows in between. . .
through every season, every challenge, and every joy, you are loved.

With sweet, lyrical text and stunning art, I’ll Hold Your Hand celebrates the unbreakable bond of family, and all the ways our actions can say “I love you” louder than words.

Meet the Hamantaschen by Alan Silberberg

You’ve met the latkes, you’ve met the matzah…now it’s time to meet the hamantaschen in this zany Purim story!

There’s a problem with Purim!

The Purim play is about to start, but the megillah is missing! Without the scroll that recounts the Purim story, how can the show go on? Never fear: three determined hamantaschen—

DETECTIVES!

Right. Three determined DETECTIVES are on the case. With the help of a mysterious stranger and a few disguises, the detectives uncover the facts so the true story of Purim can be told.

In this companion to Meet the Latkes and Meet the Matzah, holiday mistellings have never been so fun.

Middle Grade

Rebel Girls Powerful Pairs: 25 Tales of Mothers and Daughters by Rebel Girls

What do Beyoncé and Blue Ivy and Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst have in common? What about Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton and Karen E. Laine and Mina Starsiak Hawk? They’re all incredible mother-daughter duos who have used their creativity, cleverness, and unique talents to do something remarkable—and they are all featured in Rebel Girls Powerful Pairs: 25 Tales of Mothers and Daughters.

Readers will celebrate the strength of family bonds through the inspiring fairytale-like stories of authors, activists, skiers, dancers, pilots, hikers, humanitarians, entrepreneurs, and more. Powerful Pairs is part of the award-winning Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls series.

Celebrate singing and songwriting with Beyoncé and Blue Ivy. Save frontline soldiers with Marie Curie and Irene Joliot-Curie. And swim across the English Channel with Leena and Bhakti Sharma. Rebel Girls Powerful Pairs showcases many of the wonderful ways mothers and daughters work together to make the world a better, healthier, and more vibrant place.

This collection of 25 stories follows in the footsteps of the best-selling series Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls. It is illustrated by female and nonbinary artists from around the world.

Dream, Annie, Dream by Waka T. Brown

In this empowering deconstruction of the so-called American Dream, a twelve-year-old Japanese American girl grapples with, and ultimately rises above, the racism and trials of middle school she experiences while chasing her dreams.

As the daughter of immigrants who came to America for a better life, Annie Inoue was raised to dream big. And at the start of seventh grade, she’s channeling that irrepressible hope into becoming the lead in her school play.

So when Annie lands an impressive role in the production of The King and I, she’s thrilled . . . until she starts to hear grumbles from her mostly white classmates that she only got the part because it’s an Asian play with Asian characters. Is this all people see when they see her? Is this the only kind of success they’ll let her have—one that they can tear down or use race to belittle?

Disheartened but determined, Annie channels her hurt into a new dream: showing everyone what she’s made of.

Waka T. Brown, author of While I Was Away, delivers an uplifting coming-of-age story about a Japanese American girl’s fight to make space for herself in a world that claims to celebrate everyone’s differences but doesn’t always follow through.

Pauli Murray: The Life of a Pioneering Feminist and Civil Rights Activist by Terry Catasús Jennings and Rosita Stevens-Holsey

Pauli Murray was a trailblazer who spent her life fighting for civil rights and women’s rights. Writer, lawyer, activist, priest, Pauli was a champion for justice. Her extraordinary life is immortalized in this riveting biography told in verse.

Pauli Murray was a thorn in the side of white America demanding justice and equal treatment for all. She was a queer civil rights and women’s rights activist before any movement advocated for either–the brilliant mind that, in 1944, conceptualized the arguments that would win Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka; and in 1964, the arguments that won women equality in the workplace.

Throughout her life, she fought for the oppressed, not only through changing laws, but by using her powerful prose to influence those who could affect change. She lived by her convictions and challenged authority to demand fairness and justice regardless of the personal consequences. Without seeking acknowledgment, glory, or financial gain for what she did, Pauli Murray fought in the trenches for many of the rights we take for granted. Her goal was human rights and the dignity of life for all.

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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