New Release Round Up: August 23, 2022

It’s Tuesday, so that means we are looking at the new releases this week. We have a TON to look at, so I will get right to it!

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

This Little Voter by Ann Bonnie, Illustrated by Carol Herring

Celebrate voting in this election day-themed twist on the classic nursery rhyme “This Little Piggy”!

These little voters are busy getting ready to cast their ballots! They’re registering, marking the date, watching debates, and wishing readers a happy election day. Little ones will love this sweet twist on the classic nursery rhyme “This Little Piggy”!”

Picture Books

The Tree of Hope: The Miraculous Rescue of Puerto Rico’s Beloved Banyan by Anna Orenstein-Cardona, Illustrated by Juan Manuel Moreno

The true story of a beloved banyan tree and a community that fought to save it in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

On the tropical island of Puerto Rico, there was an ancient banyan tree. His enormous twisted trunk rose up beside the San Juan Gate. Long roots hung from his wide-spreading branches and his emerald, leafy crown greeted all who passed by. This beloved tree stood on the shore of the island for over a hundred years–until the fateful time when the biggest hurricane in Puerto Rico’s history slammed into the island, devastating communities and uprooting that very tree.

This lushly illustrated and evocatively written picture book tells the story of the majestic jagüey blanco, one of the most beloved trees in the city of Old San Juan. Puerto Rican author Anna Orenstein-Cardona weaves an epic tale based on the true story of this bearded watchdog of the island, how the tree was impacted by Hurricane Maria, and how a group of people rallied together to save it. With gorgeous illustrations by Juan Manuel Moreno, this picture book serves as an account of the devastating impact of Hurricane Maria and the strength of the people who continue to rebuild to this day.”

Brand-New Bubbe by Sarah Aronson, Illustrated by Ariel Landy

Jillian isn’t so sure she needs a third grandma now that her stepdad is joining the family, but can her brand-new Bubbe win her over?

When Jillian joins Bubbe for some mom-mandated matzo ball soup making, she realizes she has room in her heart (and stomach!) for one more grandmother. But how can she convince Noni and Gram she still loves them just as much? A super soup celebration, of course! Chaos in the kitchen leads to matzo ball soup, spicy gazpacho, meatball soup, and a trio of grandmas united in their love for their family.

Complete with all three soup recipes, Brand-New Bubbe captures the warmth of blended family and honors the joys of cooking with the ones you love.”

Sam’s Super Seats by Keah Brown, Illustrated by Sharee Miller

A joyful picture book about a disabled girl with cerebral palsy who goes back-to-school shopping with her best friends, from #DisabledandCute creator and The Pretty One author Keah Brown.

Sam loves herself, learning, and making her family and friends laugh. She also loves comfortable seats, including a graceful couch named after Misty Copeland and Laney, the sassy backseat of Mom’s car.

After a busy morning of rest, Sam and her friends try on cute outfits at the mall and imagine what the new school year might bring. It’s not until Sam feels tired, and the new seat she meets isn’t so super, that she discovers what might be her best idea all day.

With hilarious, charming text by Keah Brown and exuberant illustrations by Sharee Miller, Sam’s Super Seats celebrates the beauty of self-love, the power of rest, and the necessity of accessible seating in public spaces. Includes narrative description of art for those with low/limited vision.”

All Are Neighbors by Alexandra Penfold, Illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman

When a new family moves in, the whole neighborhood comes together to celebrate their diverse community in this uplifting new book from the bestselling creators of All Are Welcome!

Let’s go walking down our street.
Friends and neighbors here to greet.
There are oh so many folks to meet.
We all are neighbors here.

Moving to a new place can be hard, but when your neighbors welcome you with open arms, there are so many things to discover and celebrate. Come along with the kids from the bestsellers of All Are Welcome and Big Feelings as they introduce the new kid to a community where everyone has a place and is loved and appreciated—no matter what.”

If Your Babysitter Is a Bruja by Ana Siqueira, Illustrated by Irena Freitas

This bouncy, bilingual picture book is an enchanting, rollicking read-aloud for small ones with big imaginations.

On the night before Halloween, a new babysitter might be more than she appears. If she wears a black sombrero and cackles like a crow, she might just be a bruja! One little girl is determined not to fall victim to an evil witch or her cats. She knows bath time is really the bruja’s way of putting her in a boiling cauldron, and the only way to keep her at bay is with a magic potion—or is it?

With a boundless imagination and plenty of tricks up her sleeve, the young protagonist may just have the best night ever!”

A Day That’s Ours by Blake Nuto, Illustrated by Vyara Boyadjieva

For the parent and child, A Day That’s Ours slows down to explore the small wonders of our surroundings, and the emotions of sending a child to school.

In this heart-warming, poetic story, a father and child share the last few moments of quiet before the school year begins. They take the time to notice each detail as they spend their special day together – from making a special pancake breakfast to noticing each spider’s web and falling feather. A moving story for parents to share with their little ones as they take their first steps into school or nursery.”

Mister Rogers’ Gift of Music by Donna Cangelosi, Illustrated by Amanda Calatzis

“For a young Fred Rogers, music was a gift. It eased the pain of childhood illness and bullying and helped Fred express how he felt when words alone were difficult.

As an adult, he gifted his melodies to the world, showing children by example that they can express themselves, cope with negative feelings, and connect to each other through music.

This sensitive, life-affirming biography not only portrays the life of this beloved TV personality, but focuses on Fred’s most memorable songs and musical TV moments, and captures the enduring magic of his music in brilliantly colorful abstract illustration. Readers will not only learn about what music meant to Fred Rogers, but find the encouragement and inspiration to brighten their own lives with song.”

Cleopatra Tells All! by Chris Naunton, Illustrated by Guilherme Karsten

Cleopatra, the ultimate influencer, tells her version of events as the ruler of the last ancient Egyptian dynasty. 

What would happen if the famous people of ancient Egypt were given the opportunity to tell their version of historical events―in their own words? It would be incredible! In this highly entertaining and comically illustrated book, Cleopatra is brought back to life to tell her own version of history.

The politically savvy, multilingual, cosmopolitan ruler of Alexandria, Cleopatra reveals herself to be the world’s first influencer. Finally able to tell her own version of events, readers will reel at her amazing story, including how she created an army of mercenaries to counter her bullying brother and how she secured the support of two of the world’s most powerful men―Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. Witty, contemporary, and full of sass, this is Cleopatra #nofilter. “

Chapter Books

Aven Green Music Machine (Volume 3) by Dusti Bowling, Illustrated by Gina Perry

Aven Green, the remarkable heroine of Dusti Bowling’s Life of a Cactus series, marches to her own beat in this hilarious, upbeat, and unforgettable chapter book. 

“Realistic, affirming, and uplifting. ”—Kirkus Reviews 

Third-grader Aven Green is a real professional musician! She just needs to choose what instrument to play. When she decides to try the piano, Aven is disappointed when she can’t master Mozart in one whole day. To pick up Aven’s beat, her parents take her for a four-hour drive to see someone just like her play the guitar. With new inspiration and a special gift from her great-grandma, Aven is ready to take on the school talent show. Will she be ready in time? Or will she blow her big chance?”

Middle Grade

Kid Trailblazers: True Tales of Childhood from Changemakers and Leaders (Kid Legends) by Robin Stevenson, Illustrated by Allison Steinfeld

Inspiring, relatable, and totally true biographies tell the childhood stories of a diverse group of trailblazers including Kamala Harris, Greta Thunberg, Ai Weiwei, Benazir Bhutto, Elliot Page, and John Lewis, along with 10 other powerful figures.

Featuring kid-friendly text and full-color illustrations, Kid Trailblazers highlights contemporary figures who have led the way in government, social activism, environmental justice, and the arts. Middle-grade readers will learn how these figures got their start as kids just like them, with impactful stories and fun facts such as:

   • Angela Merkel once won a trip to Moscow, where she bought a Beatles album.
   • Stacey Abrams and her siblings played pretend as librarians for fun.
   • Al Gore lived in a hotel as a kid and liked to drop water balloons off the roof!

Kid Trailblazers
 explores the childhood stories of leaders who have taken on the most pressing issues of our time by expressing themselves and challenging the world.”

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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