New Release Round-Up: January 24, 2022

It’s Tuesday, so you know what that means! I’ve got all the best new releases today!

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.

Please Note: This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission from purchases made, with no additional cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and continue bringing content to you.

Board Books

A is for Aretha by Leslie Kwan, Illustrated by Rachelle Baker

An exciting ABC board book featuring Black women musicians whose artistry and activism globally changed the way we hear and interact with music, one song at a time.

Spotlighting 26 Black women in music, A is for Aretha is a celebration of the contributions they made not only within their industry but also of the social causes that often underpinned their music. Within these pages are women whose music encouraged joy and self-love, advocated for racial justice, buoyed civil rights protests, and trailblazed paths for Black creatives that are still felt to this day.

This board book is a perfect gift for a baby shower or the youngest music fan.

Friendship Carousel by Suzy Ultman

Hop on board! Are you ready to ride? Part board book, part toy, the Friendship Carousel is complete fun!


Readers are invited to flip the pages of this playful carousel book for a ride that celebrates friends, both big and small. Then tie the ribbon for merry-go-round fun that never ends!

Picture Books

Just Like Grandma by Kim Rogers, Illustrated by Julie Flett

In this lyrical picture book by Kim Rogers (Wichita), with illustrations by Boston Globe-Horn Book Honoree Julie Flett (Cree-Métis), Becca watches her grandma create, play, and dance—and she knows that she wants to be just like Grandma.

Becca loves spending time with Grandma. Every time Becca says, “Let me try,” Grandma shows her how to make something beautiful.

Whether they are beading moccasins, dancing like the most beautiful butterflies, or practicing basketball together, Becca knows that, more than anything, she wants to be just like Grandma.

And as the two share their favorite activities, Becca discovers something surprising about Grandma. 

Cut!: How Lotte Reiniger and a Pair of Scissors Revolutionized Animation by C. E. Winters, Illustrated by Matt Schu

Long before Walt Disney, a young woman revolutionized the landscape of animation using light, a pair of scissors, and her imagination. From acclaimed author C. E. Winters and debut illustrator Matt Schu, STEM meets the arts in this engaging nonfiction picture book biography about Lotte Reiniger. Cut! is an exceptional choice for classrooms and for fans of Hidden Figures, I Dissent, and the Questioneers books. 

In the 1920s, when young women had limited opportunities, Lotte Reiniger used her curiosity and ingenuity to change the landscape of animation forever. Inspired by the films of her youth, and encouraged by teachers and mentors working in film at the time, Lotte Reiniger honed her skills in cutting out paper silhouettes to use in stop-motion animation.

Eventually, her talent and her drive led her to invent the multiplane camera, which allowed her to give her animation depth of field. With her small team, Lotte designed and directed the oldest full-length animated film in existence.

Oona in the Arctic by Kelly DiPucchio, Illustrated by Raissa Figueroa

New York Times bestselling author Kelly DiPucchio and Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award winner Raissa Figueroa are back with another gorgeous and grand tale from the big sea’s littlest mischief-maker, Oona!

Oona is on a mission! A baby beluga whale has lost her way from her family and needs help getting back to her icy arctic home!

But Oona and her best friend Otto have never traveled from their warm ocean waters before. Will old ship maps and a compass be enough to lead them through the dangerous storms ahead?

Oona may be a little mermaid, but she is determined to see this big adventure through! With a bit of bravery and help from some new friends, they’ll do all they can to reunite this baby whale with her pod once more.

Passover: A Celebration of Freedom by Bonnie Bader, Illustrated by Joanie Stone

Learn why and how Jewish people celebrate Passover with this beautifully illustrated Big Golden Book!

Celebrate Passover by reading about how Moses helped lead the Israelites to freedom. In addition to the story of Passover, which includes the Ten Plagues, the Burning Bush, and the Parting of the Red Sea, preschoolers will also learn about the Passover Seder and how Jewish people celebrate today. Filled with colorful illustrations and simple, yet informative text, this Big Golden Book is perfect to share with your family this Passover!

Stanley’s Secret by John Sullivan, Illustrated by Zach Manbeck

The award-winning author of Kitten and the Night Watchman is back with an inspiring and poignant picture book about a boy learning the self-confidence to fulfill his dream of dancing in front of his peers.

The only audience shy, quiet Stanley dances in front of is his pet mice, Squeaker and Nibbles. He also practices when he’s alone in empty classrooms or the gym when he helps the janitor after school, tap dancing shuffle, tippy-tap, tippy-tap. “Talent should be shared,” encourages Principal Reynolds. Can Stanley find the courage to perform in the school talent show?

Yuna’s Cardboard Castles by Marie Tang, Illustrated by Jieting Chen

Fold, fit, tuck . . .

Yuna and her family have just moved to the United States, and she doesn’t speak English yet. At first, her attempts to catch the attention of the neighborhood kids get lost in translation, but when she shows that she can do something very special with paper, a whole new world unfolds.

Marie Tang and Jieting Chen have brought Yuna’s origami creations to life in this whimsical, magical picture book, where the language of play can bridge the language barrier and build new friendships. Back matter includes information about the origin of origami and instructions for kids to fold their own paper boat.

Love without Bounds: An IntersectionAllies Book about Families by Chelsea Johnson, LaToya Council, and Carolyn Choi, Illustrated by Ashley Seil Smith

This follow-up to the critically acclaimed IntersectionAllies: We Make Room for All honors the diversity of family life and what family can mean based on our intersecting identities and experiences.

Written by three celebrated women of color sociologists, Love without Bounds: An IntersectionAllies Book about Families is a joyful, heartwarming celebration of family in all its forms: multicultural families; LGBTQ+ families; adoptive and foster care families; single-parent and blended families; transnational families; families impacted by incarceration, detention, and deportation; chosen families; military families; and more. By focusing on the choices families make to persistently love and care for one another in the face of inequality and inequity, Love without Bounds is a necessary resource to make sure all kids feel seen and loved for who they are in community with each another.

Chapter Books

The Doggie Defendant: Judge Kim and the Kids’ Court #3 by Milo Stone, Shawn Martinbrough, and Joseph P Illidge, Illustrated by Christopher Jordan

Judge Kim presides over a case against her beloved pet dog in this second book in the Judge Kim and the Kids’ Court Level 3 Ready-to-Read Graphics series!

When Neil’s extravagant birthday party is ruined, he blames the mess on Kim and Miles’s dog, Digger! Can Miles defend Digger and prove his innocence—or is Digger not the good boy that Kim thought he was?

Ready-to-Read Graphics books give readers the perfect introduction to the graphic novel format with easy-to-follow panels, speech bubbles with accessible vocabulary, and sequential storytelling that is spot-on for beginning readers. There’s even a how-to guide for reading graphic novels at the beginning of each book.

Middle Grade

The Many Fortunes of Maya by Nicole D. Collier

In this lyrical novel that will appeal to fans of Meg Medina, Maya turns to her trusty “wheel of fortunes” for guidance on the toughest questions—like why her best friend suddenly feels far away, or when her Daddy will move back home. But can Maya find the courage to write her own fortune? 

Maya J. Jenkins is bursting with questions:

  • Will she get the MVP award at this year’s soccer banquet?
  • Who will win the big grill off between Daddy and Uncle J?
  • When will she pass the swim test and get a green bracelet?

For answers and a dose of good luck, 12-year-old Maya turns to her Wheel of Fortunes, a cardboard circle covered with the small slips of wisdom she’s collected from fortune cookies.

But can the fortunes answer her deep-down questions? The ones she’s too scared to ask out loud? Like, where did Mama’s smile go, the real one that lit up everything around her? When will Daddy move back home? And most of all, does she have enough courage to truly listen to the voice in her heart?

Which new releases have you been looking forward to? Be sure to share in the comments below!

You Might Also Like:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: