New Release Round-Up: October 4, 2022

It’s time to talk about new releases again, and we’ve got plenty this week, so let’s 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

Our Little Kitchen by Jillian Tamaki

Tie on your apron! Roll up your sleeves!
Pans are out, oven is hot, the kitchen’s all ready!
Where do we start?

In this lively, rousing picture book from Caldecott Honoree Jillian Tamaki, a crew of resourceful neighbors comes together to prepare a meal for their community. With a garden full of produce, a joyfully chaotic kitchen, and a friendly meal shared at the table, Our Little Kitchen is a celebration of full bellies and looking out for one another. Bonus materials include recipes and an author’s note about the volunteering experience that inspired the book.

The Baby Loves Books Collection by Abrams Appleseed

Learn about Baby’s world in this interactive and photographic board book series—now in a gifty box set! 

This collection of bright and interactive board books presents key concepts to little ones. Baby will explore emotions with Making Faces; first words with Baby Loves; and opposites in Baby Up, Baby Down. With fun and adorable photography, these books are the perfect introduction to Baby’s world.

We Love Books! by Ingela P. Arrhenius

Discover a world of books and stories and learn first words with this adorable Bookscape Board Book!

Explore a cozy bookstore, visit a library, and learn all about books in this sweet board book by celebrated illustrator Ingela P Arrhenius. Each uniquely shaped page overlaps with the next to create a complete landscape when closed—and an immersive world to explore with each turn of the page when open.
Simple text and jubilant illustrations introduce babies and toddlers to a word of books and usher in an early appreciation for reading! Delightfully petite, Bookscape Board Books’ chunkiness and unique layers give them a tactile, toylike quality that begs to be picked up—making each book in the series a memorable and irresistible gift.

ADORABLE ARTWORK: Ingela P Arrhenius has a unique eye for color and design that has made her a beloved creator of books for the youngest readers. Step into her world of books with this specially crafted board book.
GIFTABLE: Shaped, chunky pages and bright illustrations make this an excellent choice for hands-on reading and play. Bookscape Board Books make ideal baby shower or birthday gifts!
COLLECT THEM ALL! Each of the Bookscape Board Books offers a tiny world to treasure and explore—from a museum’s exhibits to a forest through the seasons. Perfect for collecting and displaying, this series makes a stylish addition to any nursery collection

Who is Greta Thunberg? by Lisbeth Kaiser, Illustrated by Stanley Chow

The latest addition to the Who HQ program: board book biographies of relevant and important figures, created specifically for the preschool audience!

The #1 New York Times Bestselling Who Was? series expands into the board book space, bringing age-appropriate biographies of influential figures to readers ages 2-4.

The chronology and themes of Greta Thunberg’s inspirational life are presented in a masterfully succinct text, with just a few sentences per page. The fresh, stylized illustrations are sure to captivate young readers and adults alike. With a read-aloud biographical summary in the back, this age-appropriate introduction honors and shares the life and work of one of the most influential environmental activists of our time.

WHO WAS? BOARD BOOKS bring inspiring biographies to the youngest readers in an accessible and memorable way.

Picture Book

Me and the Family Tree by Carole Boston Weatherford, Illustrated by Ashleigh Corrin

A celebration of family roots from award-winning children’s author Carole Boston Weatherford!

I’ve got my brother’s ears

And my sister’s big bright eyes.

I’ve got my grandpa’s hands

Though mine are a smaller size.

As a young girl reflects on the characteristics she shares with her family, she also notices and appreciates what makes her unique. This adorably sweet book reminds children of the love and security of family and celebrates the wonderful diversity among the people that make up our families and who love us so much!

Where We Live: Mapping Neighborhoods of Kids Around the Globe by Margriet Ruurs, Illustrated by Wenjia Tang

This fascinating look at 16 children’s neighborhoods around the world broadens readers’ understanding of global cultures.

This unique illustrated map book explores the neighborhoods of 16 real children from around the world. Author Margriet Ruurs, who met many of these children in her travels, tells the story of each child’s neighborhood by highlighting the places that are important to them, such as where they live, go to school and play, as well as interesting facts about their lives, including the food they eat, their religious practices and the sights and smells they encounter every day. From big cities, such as Amsterdam and Beijing, to small communities, such as Salt Spring Island in Canada and the village of Komanyana in Zambia, each place is special to the children who live there.

We Are Many by Dave Cameron, Illustrated by Suharu Ogawa

A quirky story with a kid’s-eye view of the curious ways people behave in groups.

In a field outside the city, a group of children are playing a simple game. They run after a kicked ball, then throw themselves on top of the ball in a laughing heap. Then the adults arrive. Lots of adults. They want to join the “people pile.” But as more and more people join the pile, some of them become uncomfortable. Others have questions. Lots of questions. Like, how big is their pile? Are they a mountain? And when a disruption causes the one pile to become two piles, is that better? All the while, the children are confused. What are all these adults doing? Can’t they just get back to their game?

Award-winning journalist Dave Cameron has created an unconventional, one-of-a-kind story to introduce young readers to some big ideas about societies, group mentality and group dynamics. It’s an excellent choice to encourage critical thinking about how people interact with each other in groups and could jump-start any number of wide-ranging discussions about societal structures, equality and fairness. The story’s open-ended yet positive resolution reassures readers that societies are always growing, changing and reinventing themselves, and that, ultimately, no one is better than anyone else and all are welcome and can be accommodated. Suharu Ogawa’s playful art is full of humorous and fun details that children will enjoy poring over, discovering something new with each read.

Ride, Roll, Run: Time for Fun! by Valerie Bolling, Illustrated by Sabrena Khadija

A joyful, rhyming picture book that is an ode to community and outdoor play

Pedal, pump.
Speed bump!
Ride, roll, run.
Friends and fun!

This energetic picture book celebrates community and friendship, following children as they play their way through their vibrant neighborhood. Author and educator Valerie Bolling’s rhyming text makes for an exciting read-aloud and is paired with stunning illustrations by Sabrena Khadija.

Going Places: Victor Hugo Green and His Glorious Book by Tonya Bolden, Illustrated by Eric Velasquez

In the vein of Hidden Figures comes a nonfiction picture book about the Green Book, a travel guide by Victor Hugo Green, a Black postal worker from Harlem, made to help African Americans stay safe while traveling during segregation.

As a mail carrier, Victor Hugo Green traveled across New Jersey every day. But with Jim Crow laws enforcing segregation since the late 1800s, traveling as a Black person in the US could be stressful, even dangerous.

So in the 1930s, Victor created a guide—The Negro Motorist Green-Book—compiling information on where to go and what places to avoid so that Black travelers could have a safe and pleasant time. While the Green Book started out small, over the years it became an expansive, invaluable resource for Black people throughout the country—all in the hopes that one day such a guide would no longer be needed.

Award-winning author Tonya Bolden and acclaimed illustrator Eric Velasquez shine a light on this little-known history of Victor Hugo Green and the deep impact of his incredible book on generations of Black families in America.

Indigo Dreaming by Dinah Johnson, Illustrated by Anna Cunha

A gorgeous, imagination-sparking introduction to the beauty and interconnectedness of the Black diaspora.

A young girl living on the coast of South Carolina dreams of her distant relatives on the shores of Africa and beyond. Indigo Dreaming is a poetic meditation between two young girls—on different sides of the sea—who wonder about how they are intricately linked by culture, even though they are separated by location. The girls’ reflections come together, creating an imaginative and illuminating vision of home, as well as a celebration of the Black diaspora.

This gorgeous lyrical tale engages the senses and evokes childlike curiosity and wonder.

Mariana and Her Familia by Monica Mancilla, Illustrated by Erika Meza

A heartwarming picture book about a young girl on her first trip to visit family in Mexico, who learns there is no language barrier when it comes to love—from debut author Mónica Mancillas and rising star illustrator Erika Meza. Perfect for fans of Where Are You From? and Mango, Abuela, and Me.

Mariana is visiting her abuelita and extended family in Mexico for the first time. Her tummy does a flip as she and Mami cross the frontera.

There are all new sights, smells, and sounds. And at Abuelita’s house, Mariana is overwhelmed by new faces and Spanish phrases she doesn’t understand.

But with a story, some kindness, and a few new words from Abuelita, Mariana discovers that the love of family knows no cultural divide.

Hold Them Close: A Love Letter to Black Children by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow


When happy things come to you, hold them close and never let go.

From celebrated author of Your Name Is a Song Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, fine artist Patrick Dougher, and photographer Jamel Shabazz, Hold Them Close is a picture book celebration of Black past, present, and future—a joyful love letter to Black children.

As affirming as it is touching and warm, Hold Them Close encourages young children to hold close their joy, the words of their ancestors and elders, as well as their power to change the world. A perfect book for shared story time, this book will inspire young people to march forth with pride, glow, and happiness. 

Bus Stop by Angela H. Dale, Illustrated by Lala Watkins

In the spirit of The Snowy Day, a group of kids from A to Z arrive at the bus stop only to discover that the bus is a no-show—snow day!

It’s time for school, and all the neighborhood kids, from Antoine to Mahmoud to Zoey, gather one by one in the frosty dawn to wait for the school bus. But something more thrilling arrives first. Snowflakes fall, transforming the bus stop into a winter wonderland—and an official snow day. No school!

Family by Ariel Andres Almada, Illustrated by Sonja Wimmer

A heartening addition to the awarded series Family Love. An unbreakable bond and a red thread that connects us to our loved ones will guide us into this magical love story.

Family means a world of colors, scents, moments and shared dreams. It is our refuge, our home, a place where everything can be solved with love. From the creators of this award-winning saga (Daughter and Son) comes this new emotional yet funny picture book Familia. The perfect read for the little ones in the house (and the not so little ones!) to recognize themselves in the colorful, magical illustrations created by the German artist Sonja Wimmer. Family is one of those treasures to keep in our libraries, and to read and reread over again as a way of expressing grattitude to the universe for having united us in this life.

An inclusive book for all types of family constellations. It has been made with great care and delicacy in order to contemplate the different families that exist in the world, and is designed to highlight the unconditional love and gratitute towards life.

Calling the Wind by Trudy Ludwig, Illustrated by Kathryn Otoshi

Inspired by the Wind Telephone in Japan, this poignant story explores the stages of grief, the healing power of hope, and the unbreakable family bonds that connect us all. From the acclaimed author of The Invisible Boy and the award-winning illustrator of One.

In a small village in Japan, a family mourns the loss of their loved one. Each family member grieves in their own way, but it is not until they discover an old-fashioned telephone booth on a windswept hill that they begin to heal. Through the telephone, they are able to express feelings long bottled up–speaking directly to their loved one and also to each other. Slowly but surely, the pain subsides, and hope blossoms anew.

Inspired by Itaru Sasaki’s Wind Telephone, which brought healing to the people of Japan in the wake of an Earthquake and tsunami this story explores grief and loss, and how we move forward by finding meaningful ways to connect with the family and friends we’ve lost, as well as those who are still with us.

Rock That Vote by Meg Fleming, Illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins

An interactive, joyful celebration of classroom elections and the power of voting.

Fins, paws, wings, or claws? With so many choices for a new class pet, these kids has the big task of picking a critter to become part of their classroom family. To make sure it’s all fair and square, they put it to a vote! As the students make posters to support their choice and excitedly submit their ballots, readers can join the chants and cheers to make sure everyone rocks that vote!

Payden’s Pronoun Party by Blue Jaryn, Illustrated by Xochitl Cornejo

“I’m not sure I’m a boy… so maybe he is not best for me.”

Payden has always used he/him pronouns, until one day Payden realizes those words might not fit. Payden’s parents promise to throw a big party to introduce whatever pronouns Payden chooses―but which pronouns are the best match? On a colorful quest, Payden talks to friends about a rainbow of possibilities: heshetheyze, and so many more! The right pronouns are just waiting to be tried on.

Put on your party hats and learn about the magical variety of pronouns in this thoughtful story that imagines a world of unquestioning support for gender exploration, celebrates all the different ways a person can present, and provides a blueprint for people of any age who are pondering what gender means to them.

Chapter Book

She Persisted: Wilma Mankiller by Traci Sorell, Illustrated by Gillian Flint

Inspired by the #1 New York Times bestseller She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton and Alexandra Boiger, a chapter book series about women who spoke up and rose up against the odds–including Wilma Mankiller!

The descendant of Cherokee ancestors who had been forced to walk the Trail of Tears, Wilma Mankiller experienced her own forced removal from the land she grew up on as a child. As she got older and learned more about the injustices her people had faced, she dedicated her life to instilling pride in Native heritage and reclaiming Native rights. She went on to become the first woman Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

In this chapter book biography by award-winning author Traci Sorell, readers learn about the amazing life of Wilma Mankiller–and how she persisted
 
Complete with an introduction from Chelsea Clinton, black-and-white illustrations throughout, and a list of ways that readers can follow in Wilma Mankiller’s footsteps and make a difference!
 
And don’t miss out on the rest of the books in the She Persisted series, featuring so many more women who persisted!

Middle Grade

Boys Will Be Human by Justin Baldoni

WARNING: THIS MIGHT BE THE MOST HONEST BOOK YOU’VE EVER READ

Have you ever noticed that there are unwritten rules that tell boys how to act, think, and feel? Nobody knows where they came from, but one day—BAM!—you suddenly feel these invisible forces, pushing you to follow the rules of masculinity, even if they don’t make you happy.

This book isn’t about learning the rules of the boys’ club, it’s about UNLEARNING them. It’s a get-real guidebook that will show you how to be:

  • Brave enough to reveal who you really are
  • Smart enough to ask questions
  • Cool enough to feel all your emotions
  • Confident enough to know your worth
  • Strong enough to speak your truth

—and much, much more.

Be prepared: This book is raw and surprising. There is no subject off-limits or lies detected. Sometimes things might get a little uncomfortable, but that’s an important part of getting to know—and believe in—yourself.

Don’t worry, you’re not on this journey alone, so let’s jump in together to become the smartest, bravest, strongest HUMANS we can be!

Shad Hadid and the Alchemists of Alexandria by George Jreije

You are invited to the Alexandria Academy . . .

Twelve-year-old Shad Hadid has never quite fit in. The other kids at school don’t understand him, so he spends most of his time alone, cooking for his teta and daydreaming of opening his own Arabic bakery full of tasty treats. But when Shad is attacked by a shadowy monster, he learns his late baba was an alchemist with the ability to mix charms, elixirs, and mists—and he’s one too!

Then Shad receives an invitation to the mysterious Alexandria Academy, a fabled school for alchemists, where he hopes he’ll find safety and learn more about the ancient science. But when he arrives, no one at the school seems to know what alchemy is! As Shad digs deeper into the mystery, he discovers a sinister evil lurking in the shadows, and only he holds the key to stopping—or fulfilling—their plans.

With danger at every turn and the fate of the alchemy world on the line, can Shad save his friends and defeat this sinister foe?

The Antiracist Kid by Tiffany Jewell, Illustrated by Nicole Miles

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of This Book Is Anti-Racist, Tiffany Jewell, with art by Eisner-nominated illustrator Nicole Miles, The Antiracist Kid is the essential illustrated guide to antiracism for empowering the young readers in your life!

What is racism? What is antiracism? Why are both important to learn about? In this book, systemic racism and the antiracist tools to fight it are easily accessible to young readers.

In three sections, this must-have guide explains:

  • Identity: What it is and how it applies to you
  • Justice: What it is, what racism has to do with it, and how to address injustice
  • Activism: A how-to with resources to be the best antiracist kid you can be

This book teaches young children the words, language, and methods to recognize racism and injustice—and what to do when they encounter it at home, at school, and in the media they watch, play, and read.

Graphic Novel

Alcatoe and the Turnip Child by Isaac Lenkiewicz

Welcome to Plum Woods, where spells come alive and witches gather for the Annual Harvest Festival to celebrate the season! Perfect for fans of Aster and the Accidental Magic and Hilda.


Alcatoe the town witch and the local children of Plum Woods are up to some witchy business…like casting spells and growing a prize-winning turnip.  But after their grouchy neighbor Mr. Pokeweed chases them out of his garden, the kids decide to take action and ask Alacatoe for help to win the Annual Harvest Festival Vegetable Pageant. From cursed fruit salad to potions filled with the sneeze of a donkey and the tail hair of a copy cat, Alcatoe knows all the right ingredients to make the magic happen. 

But when their prize-winning vegetable comes alive, their home-grown food soon becomes a friend, in danger of being prepared for the feast. Will they save Turnip Child in time? 

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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