New Release Round Up: April 26, 2022

It’s Tuesday again, and you know what that means…NEW BOOKS! Let’s dive into this weeks 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

Bloom by Ruth Forman, Illustrated by Talia Skyles

From the author of Curls and Glow comes a joyfully poetic board book that delivers an ode to African American girls as naturally beautiful in our human garden.

those girls bloom
these do too

we bloom like flowers
how about you?

Introduce young readers to the idea of self-love in a simple, playful rhythm with this luminous story where each little girl is as unique and beautiful as a blossoming flower.”

Picture Books

Together We Ride by Valerie Bolling, Illustrated by Kaylani Juanita

Hair Love meets bike rides in this loving portrait of a father-daughter relationship.

Learning to ride is no easy feat! But with a little courage, a guiding hand from her dad, and an enthusiastic bark from her pup, one brave girl quickly learns the freedom that comes from an afternoon spent outside on a bike.

Experience the fear, the anticipation, and the delight of achieving the ultimate milestone in this energetic, warm story that celebrates the precious bond between parent and child.”

Bailey and Blanket by Emily House

A heartwarming read-aloud about the special relationship between a child and their best friend in all the world… a soft, cozy blanket.

Everywhere Bailey goes, Blanket goes too. They love to adventure together. Until an uninvited guest joins the family picnic, and… disaster strikes.

What will life be like without Blanket? Determined to keep the duo on their path of adventure, Dad crafts a plan.

Lilting, lyrical text and comically detailed illustrations tell an uplifting tale about resilience, ingenuity and love.

Blue Dot Kids Press books are printed with vegetable inks on responsibly-sourced paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council™. From the sale of every book, we donate to environmental causes through our membership with 1% for the Planet. Through our annual Earth Day Initiative with our partner One Tree Planted, readers have the opportunity to plant trees—over 1,000 trees planted to date!”

Joy Ride by Sherri Duskey Rinker, Illustrated by Ana Ramírez González

“Needing something to fill up her summer days, Joy seeks out her granddad, who also likes to tinker, for something to do. Together they find the perfect project: sprucing up an old bike for Joy. From hardware stores to garage sales, the two find everything they need to transform this bike, little by little, into something that’s truly one of a kind. Ornamented with sparkles, a basket, and a brand-new bell, the bike is finally ready for Joy to ride it all over the neighborhood, filling the air with her own kind of music that exudes JOY.

But when a few kids take notice of Joy’s bike, and not in a good way, Joy makes an impulsive decision that ruins the dazzling bike she and Granddad worked so hard on. Joy realizes quickly, however, that trying to fit in can be boring, and it doesn’t make her feel JOY. Just maybe, with a heartfelt apology and Granddad’s help, she can get back on track to being true to herself. This touching story, told by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Ana Ramírez González, addresses the moments of uncertainty when trying to fit in with the crowd, and exclaims the joyful exuberance of self-expression.”

The Boy with Flowers in His Hair by Jarvis

Jarvis offers a moving tale of friendship, kindness, and acceptance, softly touching on the subjects of illness or hardship in a way that young children can understand.

Everyone likes David, the boy with flowers in his hair. He’s sweet and gentle, just like his colorful petals. David and his best friend have a great time together, finding the good puddles, making up songs, and running away from the bees. But one day David comes to school wearing a hat, and he is quiet. When he takes off the hat, his bright petals flutter down like butterflies. Now, where his flowers were looks twiggy and prickly, causing the other children to stay away. But David’s best friend has an idea—a way to help David get his color back, wielding paintbrushes and plenty of love. Sensitively told and simply illustrated, Jarvis’s story invites even the youngest children to talk about difficult subjects in an age-appropriate way—and feel inspired to support others when they face trying times.”

Book of Questions by Pablo Neruda, Illustrated by Paloma Valdivia, Translated by Sara Lissa Paulson

“This bilingual Spanish-English edition is the first illustrated selection of questions, 70 in all, from Pablo Neruda’s original poem (320 questions) The Book of Questions

Holding the wonder and mystery of childhood and the experience and knowing that come with growing up, these questions are by turns lyrical, strange, surreal, spiritual, historical and political. They foreground the natural world, and their curiosity transcends all logic; and because they are paradoxes and riddles that embrace the limits of our ability to know, they engage with human freedom in the deepest way, removing the burden and constraint that somehow, we are meant to have answers to every question. 

Gorgeously, cosmically illustrated by Paloma Valdivia, here Neruda’s questions, already visual in themselves, gain a double visuality that makes them even more palpable and resonant. So clearly rooted in Chilean landscapes as they are, the questions are revealed as a communion with nature and its mysteries.”

Middle Grade

The Code Breaker — Young Readers’ Edition: Jennifer Doudna and the Race to Understand Our Genetic Code by Walter Isaacson and Sarah Durand

“When Jennifer Doudna was a sixth grader in Hilo, Hawaii, she came home from school one afternoon and found a book on her bed. It was The Double Helix, James Watson’s account of how he and Francis Crick had discovered the structure of DNA, the spiral-staircase molecule that carries the genetic instruction code for all forms of life.

This book guided Jennifer Doudna to focus her studies not on DNA, but on what seemed to take a backseat in biochemistry: figuring out the structure of RNA, a closely related molecule that enables the genetic instructions coded in DNA to express themselves. Doudna became an expert in determining the shapes and structures of these RNA molecules—an expertise that led her to develop a revolutionary new technique that could edit human genes.

Today gene-editing technologies such as CRISPR are already being used to eliminate simple genetic defects that cause disorders such as Tay-Sachs and sickle cell anemia. For now, however, Jennifer and her team are being deployed against our most immediate threat—the coronavirus—and you have just been given a front row seat to that war.”

Zia Erases the World by Bree Barton

“Zia remembers the exact night the Shadoom arrived. One moment she was laughing with her best friends, and the next a dark room of shadows had crept into her chest. Zia has always loved words, but she can’t find a real one for the fear growing inside her. How can you defeat something if you don’t know its name?
 
After Zia’s mom announces that her grouchy Greek yiayia is moving into their tiny apartment, the Shadoom seems here to stay. Until Zia discovers an old family heirloom: the C. Scuro Dictionary, 13th Edition.
 
This is no ordinary dictionary. Hidden within its magical pages is a mysterious blue eraser shaped like an evil eye. When Zia starts to erase words that remind her of the Shadoom, they disappear one by one from the world around her. She finally has the confidence to befriend Alice, the new girl in sixth grade, and to perform at the Story Jamboree. But things quickly dissolve into chaos, as the words she erases turn out to be more vital than Zia knew.
 
In this raw, funny, and at times heartbreaking middle grade debut, Bree Barton reveals how—with the right kind of help—our darkest moments can nudge us toward the light. “

In the Key of Us by Mariama J. Lockington

From the author of the critically acclaimed novel For Black Girls Like Me, Mariama J. Lockington, comes a coming-of-age story surrounding the losses that threaten to break us and the friendships that make us whole again.

Thirteen-year-old Andi feels stranded after the loss of her mother, the artist who swept color onto Andi’s blank canvas. When she is accepted to a music camp, Andi finds herself struggling to play her trumpet like she used to before her whole world changed. Meanwhile, Zora, a returning camper, is exhausted trying to please her parents, who are determined to make her a flute prodigy, even though she secretly has a dancer’s heart.

At Harmony Music Camp, Zora and Andi are the only two Black girls in a sea of mostly white faces. In kayaks and creaky cabins, the two begin to connect, unraveling their loss, insecurities, and hopes for the future. And as they struggle to figure out who they really are, they may just come to realize who they really need: each other.

In the Key of Us is a lyrical ode to music camp, the rush of first love, and the power of one life-changing summer.”

Kiara Fights Back (The Spyglass Sisterhood #3) by Marilyn Kaye

A secret bully and a chance to bring him to justice. Can Kiara and the Spyglass Sisterhood deliver?

Kiara, traditionally a loner, doesn’t hesitate to say exactly what’s on her mind. But she’s found good friends among the Spyglass Sisterhood members who appreciate her keen observations and incredible smarts.

When a fellow classmate starts to get bullied online, Kiara is determined not only to find the perpetrator(s), but also to bring them to justice. To do that, she’ll need help from her friends and from the Sisterhood’s magical spyglass to gather evidence and put the pieces together.

The best-selling author behind the Gifted series and the Replica books, Marilyn Kaye delivers a story filled with light magic and heart in this third book in the Spyglass Sisterhood series. Centered on four best friends–Ellie, Kiara, Rachel, and Alyssa–and a magic spyglass that reveals people’s feelings, the Spyglass Sisterhood series mixes classic friendship themes with fresh conversations on community and responsibility. Each girl takes a turn at the spyglass, confronting fears and sticking up for her peers.”

Graphic Novels

Thunderous by M. L. Smoker and Natalie Peeterse, Illustrated by Dale Ray Deforest

“If Aiyana hears one more traditional Lakota story, she’ll scream! More interested in her social media presence than her Native American heritage, Aiyana is shocked when she suddenly finds herself in a magical world-with no cell coverage!

Pursued by the trickster Raven, Aiyana struggles to get back home, but is helped by friends and allies she meets along the way. Her dangerous journey through the Spirit World tests her fortitude and challenges her to embrace her Lakota heritage. But will it be enough to defeat the cruel and powerful Raven?”

Sci-Fu Vol. 2: It Takes 2 by Yehudi Mercado

The highly anticipated sequel to SCI-FU is jam-packed with all kinds of hip-hop, sci-fi, and kung-fu goodness!

Wax, aspiring DJ and sci-fu master-in-training, made it back safely from the alien robot planet of Discopia, where he defeated the Five Deadly Dangers and became the rightful king of Discopia. He doesn’t want the crown, though. He just wants things to go back to normal. Wax and his crew thought the robot trouble was behind them, but strange creatures have been showing up in Brooklyn, and Wax is determined to take care of them once and for all. Little does he know, there’s a new villain in Discopia, and she’ll do anything to take the crown from Wax. Wax starts to worry he doesn’t have what it takes to protect his family, friends, and all of Brooklyn from the new threats. Wax will need to kick his hip-hop and sci-fu training into high gear—and learn to rely on his family and friends for help—if he’s going to have a shot at saving his neighborhood.

From legendary cartoonist Yehudi Mercado comes the much-anticipated followup to his hit Sci-Fu: Kick it Off. With a second volume jam-packed with all kinds of hip-hop, sci-fi, and kung-fu goodness, Sci-Fu: It Takes 2 spins the perfect track of friends working together to protect their home.”

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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