New Release Round-Up: September 13, 2022

It’s Tuesday, and I’ve got all the new releases for you, so let’s dive right in!

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

I Am One: A Book of Action by Susan Verde, Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

Discover the power of activism in this board book companion to New York Times bestsellers I Am Human and I Am Love

One seed to start a garden, one note to start a melody, one brick to start breaking down walls: Every movement and moment of change starts with purpose, with intention, with one. With me. With you.
 
From the #1 New York Times bestselling team behind I Am Yoga, I Am Peace, I Am Human, and I Am Love comes a powerful call to action, encouraging each reader to raise their voice, extend a hand, and take that one first step to start something beautiful and move toward a better world.”

Happy All-idays! by Cindy Jin, Illustrated by Rob Sayegh Jr.

All Season’s Greetings and Happy ALL-idays! Learn how different families celebrate the winter season with this holiday card-inspired board book that captures the meaning of Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, and more!

Whether it’s putting up the Christmas tree, lighting the menorah, or getting ready for Kwanzaa, this story proves that the holiday season is a special time for everyone and a great way to learn about different winter holidays and send cheer to everyone you know!”

The Highlights Kindness Library by Highlights

An illustrated boxed set of books that highlight all the small but meaningful ways young children can show kindness every day. Includes an activity booklet and a kindness poster.

The perfect gift for new parents and children ages 2–5, this hardcover collection will help young readers understand empathy, cooperation, and gratitude by showing many examples of kindness at home and out in the world. Children can easily put these examples to practice in everyday moments that call for kindness.”

Picture Books

Finding My Dance by Ria Thundercloud, Illustrated by Kalila J. Fuller

In her debut picture book, professional Indigenous dancer Ria Thundercloud tells the true story of her path to dance and how it helped her take pride in her Native American heritage.

At four years old, Ria Thundercloud was brought into the powwow circle, ready to dance in the special jingle dress her mother made for her. As she grew up, she danced with her brothers all over Indian country. Then Ria learned more styles–tap, jazz, ballet–but still loved the expressiveness of Indigenous dance. And despite feeling different as one of the only Native American kids in her school, she always knew she could turn to dance to cheer herself up.”

Until Someone Listens: A Story About Borders, Family, and One Girl’s Mission by Estela Juarez and Lissette Norman, Illustrated by Teresa Martínez

“Estela’s family lives together in a happy home full of love. Or, at least, they used to… until their home was torn apart.

My mom had to go back,
to the other side of the river,
because she wasn’t born in this country.

For years her family fought and fought for permission for her to stay in the U.S. But no one listened. When Estela was eight, her mother was deported to Mexico.

Estela knew she had to do something. So she wrote letters: to local newspapers, Congress, the President, and anyone else who could help. She wrote and wrote and wrote until, finally… someone listened.”

Our Story Starts in Africa by Patrice Lawrence, Illustrated by Jeanetta Gonzales

A sensitively told and vibrantly illustrated story of Black history from its very ancient origins to its dynamic future

When Paloma goes to visit her family in Trinidad, she doesn’t feel that she fits in. But Tante Janet has a story to tell her: An ancient story of warrior queens and talking drums, of treasures and tales that span thousands of years . . . a story that Paloma shares in, because her story, too, starts in Africa.

Join Tante and her inquisitive niece as they share the story of how her family came to the Caribbean, through the dark days of colonization and enslavement, to the emergence of a thriving, contemporary community of many faces, places and successes.”

Over and Under the Waves by Kate Messner, Illustrated by Christopher Neal

Explore the wonders and beauties of the ocean’s kelp forests in this latest addition to the acclaimed Over and Under series.

Award-winning duo Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal return in this latest addition to the Over and Under picture book series, this time exploring the rich, interconnected ecosystem of the ocean!

Over the waves, the sea lions bark and seagulls wheel and call. The bay is smooth and bright in the sun. But under the waves, there’s a whole hidden forest, full of whales and wolf eels, sardines and sea bass, leopard sharks and luminous jellies, as well as the waving kelp that shelters them all. Discover the magical depths of the kelp forest, and all the fascinating creatures living just a paddle’s length away—over and under the waves.”

Season of Light: A Christmas Picture Book by Jess Redman, Illustrated by Ramona Kaulitzki

A luminous picture book about Christmas traditions that make the season a time of joy, love, faith, and light.

Under star-filled winter skies, with homes and trees aglow, with candles lit and hearts so full, our love will shine and grow.

From paper snowflakes to silver bells, reindeer to wise men, Christmas is a season of faith and song, giving and serving, loved ones and light that can last the whole year through. With Jess Redman’s beautiful poetic text and Ramona Kaulitzki’s luminous illustrations, Season of Light is sure to be a holiday favorite for years to come.”

No Peeking at Presents by Alastair Heim, Illustrated by Sara Not

Holiday hijinks abound in this very merry Christmas story about three siblings who can’t resist sneaking a peek under the tree before it’s time, for fans of How to Catch Santa and 5 More Sleeps.

Everyone knows there’s no peeking at presents before Christmas morning. But what if there’s a very, very good reason to take a look?

It’s Christmas Eve and the three kids in this story are trying their best to go to sleep, but something keeps waking them up. And it’s not just their excitement for gifts. Or, at least, not only because they’re excited for gifts.

This irresistible Christmas story, equal parts hilarious and charming, captures all the delicious anticipation of the holiday, especially celebrating it with siblings.”

Annette Feels Free: The True Story of Annette Kellerman, World-Class Swimmer, Fashion Pioneer, and Real-Life Mermaid by Katie Mazeika

Discover the incredible true story of “The Original Mermaid,” Annette Kellerman, a girl who wanted to dance, swim, and feel free—and who grew into a woman who fought for the right to do just that!

Annette loved to dance and twirl and pirouette. But when she got sick and had to start wearing braces on her legs, Annette stopped dancing. Until, one day, her dad took her swimming. Annette could finally dance again—in the water! She water danced her way to England, where she performed water ballets, attempted daring dives, and competed in swim races. When she competed against men (and won!), she realized it wasn’t fair that women had to swim in full skirts, so she made her own swimsuit, and fought for the right to wear it.

Experience the journey of an independent and determined young woman, who swam, danced, dove, and designed so she could live her life feeling free.”

Who Will Kiss the Crocodile?: A Snappy Twist on Sleeping Beauty by Suzy Senior, Illustrated by Claire Powell

In this hilarious retelling of Sleeping Beauty, an angry fairy casts a spell that turns baby Princess Liss into a crocodile who will fall into a deep sleep, only to be woken by a kiss. But who will kiss the crocodile and break the spell?

In this hilarious spin on the traditional fairy tale Sleeping Beauty, a certain fairy is not invited to the party for baby Princess Liss. So the angry fairy shows up at the party and casts a spell on the baby. The spell turns her into a crocodile and sends her into a deep sleep when she’s 15, only to be woken by a kiss. But who would dare to kiss a crocodile? The talented team behind the popular book Octopants offers up a fun take on the traditional fairy tale with rhyming text and energetic illustrations.”

Kumom: The Bashful Cloud by Kyo Maclear, Illustrated by Nathalie Dion

The uplifting journey of a bashful cloud (“kumo” in Japanese) who discovers the rewards of feeling seen.

Kumo is a cloud whose only wish is to float unseen. When she’s assigned cloud duty for the day, she feels overwhelmed by self-doubt and her fear of being noticed. But after learning that closing your eyes isn’t a good solution to your troubles, Kumo pulls her fluff together and does her duties — drifting, releasing rain and providing shelter — meeting some new friends along the way and inspiring the imagination (and capturing the heart) of a small daydreamer like her. 

Kyo Maclear’s sweetly humorous and lyrical parable about shyness, vividly brought to life by Nathalie Dion’s ethereal illustrations, is an affirmation of the pleasures of community and the confidence that can arise from friendship and visibility.”

The Moon from Dehradun: A Story of Partition by Shirin Shamsi, Illustrated by Tarun Lak

In time for the 75th anniversary of the Partition of British India, this picture book is a stirring account of the harrowing journey faced by millions of migrants in the aftermath of the division of India and Pakistan.

Azra knows that wherever she goes, her doll Gurya will follow. Even if it’s on a train that will take her far away from the house her family has lived in for generations. Even if there is a new flag flying in Dehradun, and no place left in it for Azra. At least she will be taking a piece of home with her.

But when Abba comes home and says they must leave right now, Gurya gets left behind in the scramble. Will Azra be strong enough to face the long journey alone? And what will happen to Gurya, now hundreds of miles behind them?”

Mae Jemison (Little People, BIG DREAMS #81) by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara, Illustrated by Janna Morton

In this book from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of Mae Jemison, scientist, astronaut, and the first ever black woman in space.

When Mae Jemison was a little girl, she dreamed of blasting off into space on a rocket ship. She was so excited as she watched the Apollo Moon landings, but she wondered… why none of the astronauts were women?

Mae loved science and was so bright that she started college at just 16, and was training to be a doctor by the age of 20. She joined the Peace Corps, using her medical knowledge to help people in countries all around the world. Upon returning to the United States, she was accepted into NASA’s astronaut program.”

Middle Grade

Meet Me Halfway by Anika Fajardo

When new classmates Mattie and Mercedes meet and realize they have the same Colombian dad, the two team up in a Parent Trap–inspired misadventure to meet him for the first time in this sharp and poignant middle grade novel about the bonds that make a family.

Mattie Gomez feels directionless after being uprooted from her beloved Minnesota and forced to move in with her new stepfamily in California. So when she meets a girl at her new middle school who looks exactly like her, she’s not sure what to make of it.

But her doppelganger, the popular Mercedes Miller, doesn’t like it one bit.”

Maya and the Lord of Shadows by Rena Barron

In the thrilling third and final book in the acclaimed Maya and the Rising Dark trilogy that Kirkus calls “truly #BlackGirlMagic,” Maya must face off with the Lord of Shadows to save the human world from impending war with the Dark.

War is coming. Despite everything Maya and her father have done, the veil that protects the human world is failing. The Lord of Shadows has raised an army powerful enough to challenge the orishas. And it’s only a matter of time before he breaks through the veil and destroys Maya’s neighborhood and the rest of the world.”

Pippa Park Crush at First Sight by Erin Yun

“Korean American Pippa Park picks up right where she left off . . . trying to balance basketball, school, friends, working at the struggling family laundromat, and fitting in. Eliot, her math tutor—and the cutest boy at school—is finally paying attention to her. And Marvel—her childhood friend—is making her required volunteering much more interesting. But things with the Royals, her new friends and teammates who rule the school, still feel a bit rocky. Especially because Caroline, a head Royal, would like nothing more than to see Pippa fail.

So when Pippa is faced with hosting the annual Christmas Eve party that could make or break her social life, how can she say no? Will Pippa make enough money to cover the costs while juggling crushes and everything else? With courage and determination, Pippa sets out to host the party, find the perfect dress, pick the right boy, and stay true to her real self.”

Iveliz Explains It All by Andrea Beatriz Arango

“Seventh grade is going to be Iveliz’s year. She’s going to make a new friend, help her abuela Mimi get settled after moving from Puerto Rico, and she is not going to get into any more trouble at school. . . .

Except is that what happens? Of course not. Because no matter how hard Iveliz tries, sometimes people say things that just make her so mad. And worse, Mimi keeps saying Iveliz’s medicine is unnecessary—even though it helps Iveliz feel less sad. But how do you explain your feelings to others when you’re not even sure what’s going on yourself?”

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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