Hello and welcome to another New Release Round-Up, where I bring you the latest and greatest in inclusive children’s books. In this week’s post, I’m thrilled to share a collection of new releases that are sure to become fast favorites in your home library. From heartwarming stories about family and friendship to exciting adventures that take your child on a journey of discovery, there’s something for everyone in this selection of books.
As always, these titles cover a broad range of genres and age groups, and all have inclusive themes or characters because every child deserves to see themselves reflected in the stories they read. So, grab a cup of coffee and get ready to discover the stories that will broaden your child’s horizons and inspire their imaginations. Let’s dive in!
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The Bright Side by Chad Otis
This endearing picture book about making the most of any situation is also a heartfelt and meaningful portrait of houselessness that’s just right for young children.
Sometimes it’s hard to stay positive: when you live in an old school bus instead of a normal house; when you have mostly just bread and ketchup to eat; and especially when you have to go to a new school where all the other kids already have friends. But the sweet and creative boy in this story discovers that he can do things he never thought possible, by using the skills his parents have taught him: imagining . . . and trying . . . and finding a way to look on the bright side.
This honest, accessible, and compassionate story is based on the author’s own childhood. Its message about resourcefulness and courage will resonate with every reader.
Elbert in the Air by Monica Wesolowska, Illustrated by Jerome Pumphrey
A heartwarming story about unconditional love and rising above those who stand in the way of being who you are.
Shortly after he is born, Elbert floats up into the air. Before long, his mother must stand on her tip toes to reach him and toss toys into the air at playtime. While everyone in town, from the school nurse to the mayor, is full of advice for keeping her boy down, Elbert’s mother knows her son is meant to float. And so, she lets him.
But as life becomes more and more difficult for a floating boy, and people understand him less and less, Elbert has to make a decision: Stay bound to the ground or float higher in the hopes of finding the world—and community—he’s always wished for.
Bravo, Little Bird! by Annie Silvestro, Illustrated by Ramona Kaulitzki
Perfect for fans of Ocean Meets Sky and Drawn Together, this lyrical, “heartwarming” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) picture book about a special friendship between an old man and a little bird celebrates the power of music, family, and the legacies our loved ones leave behind.
From this moment on, Little Bird and the old man are inseparable. Together, they make music and share their gifts with their families. But over time, the old man starts to grow tired…until the day comes when his piano playing stops altogether. As Little Bird looks for a special way to honor the old man’s memory, she soon discovers that her friend isn’t truly gone after all—he lives on in their music.
You Are a Story by Bob Raczka, Illustrated by Kristen & Kevin Howdeshell
Celebrating the supportive relationship between a child and her dog, this story shows how we can all be brave and achieve things in our own time.
Billie prefers playing quietly, but the beach is a noisy place. Her energetic dog, Bean, is happy to explore the sand and water. When Billie does try going for a swim, she has a painful surprise and heads back to shore. But Bean digs up something that can help Billie get back in the water where she soon discovers a whole world of quiet solitude and spectacular color beneath the surface.
Plastic Problem and Finding Ways to Fix It by Dee Romito, Illustrated by Ziyue Chen
Learn how and why a useful, 5000-year-old invention has become a threat to our planet–and what you can do about it–in this history of the simple straw.
From reeds used by ancient Sumerians to bendy straws in World War II hospitals, people have changed the straw to fit their needs for 5000 years. Today however, this useful tool is contributing to the plastic problem polluting our oceans. Once again, the simple straw needs a reinvention.
With bright illustrations and well-researched text, children can read about the inventors behind the straw’s technological advancements, including primary sources like patents, as well as how disposable plastic harms the environment. See the newest solutions, from plastic straw alternatives to activism by real kids like Milo Cress who started the Be Straw Free campaign when he was 11 years old.
Black Beach: A Community, an Oil Spill, and the Origin of Earth Day by Shaunna & John Stith, Illustrated by Maribel Lechuga
In 1969, Union Oil caused an oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara that would change the world. Hazardous crude oil from the blowout flooded the Pacific Ocean, harming wildlife and devastating habitats. But from this ecological disaster sprang a new wave of environmental activism that continues to this day.
Based on actual events, Black Beach: A Community, an Oil Spill, and the Origin of Earth Day follows Sam and her classmates as they fight back. Sam initially feels powerless watching her parents and neighbors try to clean up the oil spill. But as her awareness grows, she learns she’s not alone in caring for the Earth. The impact of the spill seeps into living rooms and classrooms across the nation. People everywhere are motivated to act, and a movement to protect and celebrate the environment is born.
Dear Earth…From Your Friends in Room 5 by Erin Dealey, Illustrated by Luisa Uribe
A monthly exchange of ideas between the kids and Earth becomes a lasting friendship in this affectionate story about how to be an Earth Hero, lyrically written by Erin Dealey and gorgeously illustrated by Dilys Evans Founder Award-winning illustrator Luisa Uribe.
Young readers will learn about environmental conservation, along with simple things they can do to help care for the planet—like recycling and reducing energy consumption. There is even a reversible jacket cover that features a poster printed on the inside with twelve months of Earth Hero activities. These fun and interactive activities will encourage children to help protect our planet, not just in honor of Earth Day but year-round.
Wei Skates On by Nathan Chen, Illustrated by Lorraine Nam
Olympic gold medalist and three-time World Champion Nathan Chen delivers an inspirational picture book about facing your fears and finding the joy in sports, no matter the outcome.
Wei has loved ice-skating ever since his first visit to the rink. He loves gliding across the ice, taking flight on jumps, and moving with the music—there’s nothing else like it!
But as Wei’s first big competition draws near, he begins to worry. He’s been training hard, but what if he doesn’t win? With help from Mom, can Wei find a way to handle his nerves? What would it feel like to skate without the pressure of winning?
As the first Asian American man to win gold in figure skating, Nathan Chen is a celebrated role model for kids who want to shine on and off the ice. His uplifting message of positivity and perseverance makes this story the perfect choice for social emotional learning at home or in the classroom.
Wallflowers by Mackenzie Joy
People call you a wallflower.
Sometimes they call you shy. Sometimes they call you quiet, or maybe even scared. People think these are bad things, because sometimes they are LOUD.
But you are happy just the way you are. And maybe you don’t need to learn to be loud, they just need to learn to listen.
Mackenzie Joy beautifully pairs her gorgeous illustrations with minimalist text in this heartwarming book that doesn’t just acknowledge shy children, but celebrates them—because every wallflower deserves their chance to grow.
Izzy at the End of the World by K.A. Reynolds
Ever since Izzy Wilder’s mom died, she’s wanted life to feel normal. She plays video games with her little sister, helps her grandparents around the house, and takes care of her best dog, Akka. But losing her mom is far from normal, and for Izzy, who is autistic, it feels like the end of the world.
When mysterious lights flash across the mountains outside Izzy’s house one night, and suddenly everyone except her and Akka seem to have disappeared in an instant, Izzy is more alone than ever. But Izzy is a fighter and she won’t lose anyone else in her family, even if it means battling terrifying gray, ugly monsters and decoding cryptic messages that seem a lot like her mom talking to her from beyond the grave.
In the face of disaster, Izzy and Akka embark on an epic adventure filled with nail-biting suspense, unexpected allies, and life’s greatest mysteries as they uncover the true endurance of the human spirit and save the world.
The Enchanted Life of Valentina Mejía by Alexandra Alessandri
Twelve-year-old Valentina wants to focus on drawing the real world around her and hopefully get into art school in Bogotá one day, but Papi has spent his life studying Colombia’s legendary creatures and searching for proof of their existence. So when Papi hears that a patasola—a vampire woman with one leg—has been sighted in the Andes, Valentina and her younger brother Julián get dragged along on another magical creature hunt.
While they’re in the Andes, a powerful earthquake hits. Valentina and Julián fall through the earth…and find an alternate Colombia where, to Valentina’s shock, all the legends are real.
To get home, Valentina and Julián must make a treacherous journey to reach this land’s ruler: the madremonte, mother and protector of the earth. She controls the only portal back to the human world—but she absolutely hates humans, and she’ll do anything to defend her land.
Breaking the Mold: Changing the Face of Climate Science by Dana Alison Levy
Sixteen scientists. Protecting our planet. Making science more equitable.
Scientists who collect microbes from surfers’ skin, who use radar sensors to gather data miles away, who combat inequality by pushing for cleaner air policies. Each with their own story, all working to make life better for future generations.
Celebrated author Dana Alison Levy profiles 16 people, all studying different elements of the earth’s landscape, animals, and climate, who defy stereotypes of who can be a scientist. From analytical chemists to volcanologists, from global experts to recent graduates, these scientists share what they were like as young people, how they got where they are now, and what they—and the rest of us—can do to help the planet.
Which new releases have you been looking forward to? Be sure to share in the comments below!
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