New Release Round Up: May 17, 2022

It’s Tuesday again, and I’ve got you covered on 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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Picture Books

Some Daddies by Carol Gordon Ekster, Illustrated by Javiera Maclean Alvarez

Every daddy is different–and that makes them even more special!

“Some daddies teach you about the world. Others attend tea parties. Some help turn blankets into forts. Others hold you steady while you pedal.”

This rollicking showcase of daddies celebrates the incredible diversity of modern fathers. The inclusive cast of characters–including a two-dad family, a single dad, and a stay-at-home dad–highlights the bond between daddy and child as they play, learn, comfort, and laugh their way through everyday life. This open-hearted ode to fatherhood will give readers new appreciation for how their own fathers and father-figures shine in their own unique ways.

Some Daddies is the perfect gift for a new dad, Father’s Day, or any occasion for parents and educators to read with their kids. Carol Gordon Ekster’s playful text is illustrated with the quirky, colorful artwork of Javiera Maclean Alvarez, making this picture book a wonderful read-aloud.”

Tisha and the Blossoms by Wendy Meddour, Illustrated by Daniel Egnéus

Tisha and Mommy are always having to hurry up. What would happen if they slowed down? A gentle, gorgeously illustrated story of mindfulness—and sharing the small moments.

Tisha was catching a blossom in her backyard.
“Hurry up,” cried Mommy. “You’ll be late for school.”

Tisha has spent the entire day rushing. She has to hustle for the bus in the morning, though she wants to stop and listen to the sounds around her. She has to quickly put her crayons away at school, though she’s not finished with her drawing. She even has to speed through recess so she doesn’t miss lunch. So when Mommy picks her up, Tisha asks if they can please “have a little slowdown.” What if they walked instead of taking the bus? What if they counted cars and seagulls, umbrellas and hats? What if they simply sat on a bench in the sunshine and gave names to the pigeons in the park? From the creators of Grandpa’s Top Threes comes a beautifully illustrated, tenderly told story about taking the time to experience the world around us, listen to one another, and enjoy the little things in life.”

A Rose Named Peace: How Francis Meilland Created a Flower of Hope for a World at War by Barbara Carroll Roberts, Illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline

Beautifully illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline, an inspirational biography of the Peace rose and its creator digs deep into world history, botany, and the rewards of perseverance.

From a young man’s experiments in cross-pollination to the rose that became an international symbol of hope, this gentle picture book biography, beautifully illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline, is a quiet epic of war and peace. Francis Meilland was passionate about roses. He loved their rich perfume, their buds unfurling in the summer sun, and their petals, soft as lambs’ ears. Like his father and grandfather before him, Francis cultivated flowers on the family farm in France. In his teens, he set about grafting and experimenting, determined to create a rose no one had seen before, and as the world braced for World War II, he rushed cuttings to rose-growing friends around the globe. Six patient years later, word reached him: his rose had not only flourished; people were calling it the Peace Rose. An ideal gift for science and history buffs and for gardeners of all ages, this life story of a special flower is also a love song to living a dream from beginning to end, through sun and through storm.”

Ali and the Sea Stars by Ali Stroker, Illustrated by Gillian Reid

Tony Award-winning actress Ali Stroker captures the magic and community of theater in her debut picture book, about a spirited girl in a wheelchair who stages a show for her hometown. Based on the pivotal summer Ali performed in her first musical by the Jersey Shore!

Ali loves to dance, sing, and act. But she had never thought of putting on her own show until her neighbor asks, “Why wait?” Immediately energized, Ali gets to work.

There’s so much to do before showtime—choosing the right musical, auditions, rehearsal, costume and set design—but Ali can do anything with her family and friends. When a storm threatens to undo all their hard work, Ali must use her imagination and adapt so the show can go on!

Includes an inspiring letter from Ali to readers on how she developed confidence while on-stage and how theater encourages teamwork and creativity.”

Lettuce Get in Trouble (Sara Little Trouble Maker) by Linda Kuo, Cynthia Benjamin, and Paula Rees, Illustrated by Mariana Rio

Sara Little Turnbull was a designer, an observer, a mentor, and not afraid to cause a little trouble while making the world a better place. As a global traveler, she made connections between people and found wonder in the everyday objects they hold dear.

As a very petite female designer in the world of large men, Sara used her unique perspective and curiosity to design a wide range of revolutionary products–from facemasks to cookware to astronaut suits–and to encourage others to see the world through new eyes. Sara was a mentor to designers of all ages and in Lettuce Get in Trouble, she helps children understand the basics of design: observing the world around them, asking questions, and trying out new things. One day, the Ministry of Food asks Sara Little to convince the children to eat more vegetables. Instead of offering a stern lecture, however, Sara Little brings her young friends to her Little Lab in New York City to explore the colors and shapes of food and why we eat anything at all. Together they design a grand event, inviting children to gather, play, and design tasty new creations.”

Nature is an Artist by Jennifer Lavallee, Illustrated by Natalia Colombo

For kids who love to draw and create, this captivating picture book fosters an appreciation for nature and features craft ideas to inspire young artists.

Kids will be inspired to create: 

  • Fingerprint bumblebees
  • Sculptures made of sand
  • Rainbow colored jars
  • And more! 

Nature is an Artist explores different art forms that kids can find in the natural world. In the book, a group of children follow Nature—the most inspiring of teachers—as they discover the world’s greatest art show hidden in plain sight. As they witness beautiful landscapes, stunning vistas, and unusual creatures, each child is inspired to recreate their own fine work of art. 

With charming, rhythmic text from Jennifer Lavalee and vivid, eye-catching illustrations from Natalia Colombo, Nature is an Artist celebrates nature’s beauty and variety, and instills kids with:

  • The confidence to see themselves as artists! 
  • Respect and appreciation for nature. After reading, kids will appreciate the art in their own outdoor surroundings.”

Middle Grade

Pauli Murray: Shouting for the Rights of All People by Deborah Nelson Linck, Illustrated by Angela Corbin

The first introductory and illustrated biography of the civil rights icon.

The untold story of Pauli Murray, activist, lawyer, poet, and Episcopal priest, who broke records and barriers throughout her life. Friend to Eleanor Roosevelt, colleague to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and student of Thurgood Marshall, Pauli Murray’s life was nevertheless not always an easy one. Her commitment to fighting for the rights of women and all places her firmly in history. A celebration of her life and its significance, including the role of gender identity in her own journey. Deborah Nelson Linck’s book introduces Murray to children ages 6 to 12.”

Kiki Kallira Conquers a Curse by Sangu Mandanna

This thrilling sequel to Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom reimagines classic mythology for today’s readers who love action and adventure! Perfect for fans of Aru Shah and The Serpent’s Secret.
 
With just a flick of her pencil, Kiki can bring her drawings of Indian legends to life…but when a mysterious curse threatens her newly created kingdom and friends, how can she use her powers to save them?

Fresh from the exciting discovery that the beautiful kingdom and band of rebel kids she drew in her sketchbook exists in another world, Kiki Kallira has an unexpected visitor. One of those rebel kids has come into the real world to ask for her help—the river Kaveri that is Mysore’s only source of water has suddenly vanished! With no water to drink or grow food, Kiki’s kingdom is doomed. 

Kiki returns to Mysore and quickly learns that drawing a new river doesn’t work. In her search for answers, she stumbles upon the origin of the Kaveri: it’s actually a princess from long ago who was transformed into water by a terrible curse! It’s up to Kiki and her friends to restore the river without sacrificing the princess again—easier said than done! And with her mounting anxiety, enemies seeking to stop her, and a city growing weaker by the minute, Kiki’s confidence falters. Will she be able to unravel the curse and save her kingdom before it’s too late?”

Twelfth by Janet Key

Better Nate Than Ever meets The Parker Inheritance in this heartwarming mystery about finding your people and accepting others as they are.

Twelve-year-old Maren is sure theater camp isn’t for her. Theater camp is for loud, confident, artsy people: people like her older sister, Hadley—the last person Maren wants to think about—and her cinema-obsessed, nonbinary bunkmate, Theo. But when a prank goes wrong, Maren gets drawn into the hunt for a diamond ring that, legend has it, is linked to the camp’s namesake, Charlotte “Charlie” Goodman, a promising director in Blacklist Era Hollywood.

When Maren connects the clues to Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, she and her new friends are off searching through lighting booths, orchestra pits and costume storages, discovering the trail and dodging camp counselors. But they’re not the only ones searching for the ring, and with the growing threat of camp closing forever, they’re almost out of time.”

Caprice by Coe Booth

From the groundbreaking author of Tyrell, an astonishing middle-grade novel about a girl overcoming the secrets and abuse of her past.

This should be an exciting time for Caprice. She has been offered a place at the school of her dreams, where she’s just had a fantastic summer. But this great opportunity coincides with a lot of internal doubt and the disturbing news that her long-estranged grandmother has fallen ill and may be near death. As Caprice tries to figure out her future, she is pulled back toward her past, and the abuse she endured from her uncle when she was little — an abuse she’s never told anyone about.

With extreme sensitivity and honesty for middle-grade readers, Coe Booth has written a painful but ultimately healing novel about finding support from your parents and friends, articulating your truth, and choosing your own path.”

Join the Club, Maggie Diaz by Nina Moreno, Illustrated by Courtney Lovett

This humorous and heartfelt middle-grade debut by Nina Moreno with illustrations by Courtney Lovett is perfect for fans of Celia C. Pérez and Terri Libenson, and any reader still deciding what their passion in life is.

“MAYBE I’M GOOD AT SOMETHING I DON’T EVEN KNOW ABOUT YET.”

Everyone in Maggie Diaz’s life seems to be finding their true passion. The one thing that defines them as a person. Her best friends Zoey and Julian are too busy to hang out after school thanks to band and comics club. Mom is finishing her last semester in college. And Maggie’s perfect older sister Caro is perfectly-perfect at sports and tutoring.

So Maggie cooks up a plan to join every club she can! But trying to fit in with type-A future leaders, gardening whizzes, and the fearless kids in woodshop is intimidating, exhausting, and seriously confusing. And juggling homework, friends, and all of her after-school activities is way harder than it looks.

Seventh grade is all about figuring out who you are — good thing Maggie Diaz has the perfect plan!”

Graphic Novels

Swim Team by Johnnie Christmas

“A splashy, contemporary middle grade graphic novel from bestselling comics creator Johnnie Christmas!

Bree can’t wait for her first day at her new middle school, Enith Brigitha, home to the Mighty Manatees—until she’s stuck with the only elective that fits her schedule, the dreaded Swim 101. The thought of swimming makes Bree more than a little queasy, yet she’s forced to dive headfirst into one of her greatest fears. Lucky for her, Etta, an elderly occupant of her apartment building and former swim team captain, is willing to help.

With Etta’s training and a lot of hard work, Bree suddenly finds her swim-crazed community counting on her to turn the school’s failing team around. But that’s easier said than done, especially when their rival, the prestigious Holyoke Prep, has everything they need to leave the Mighty Manatees in their wake.

Can Bree defy the odds and guide her team to a state championship, or have the Manatees swum their last lap—for good?”

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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