40 Books to Help You Read Queer All Year

Pride Month is officially over, and you might have noticed that I didn’t post a booklist like the one I did last year. That’s because I’m doing something a bit different this year.

With the increased attacks on LGBTQ+ books it is more important than ever to ensure we are reading and supporting queer content and queer creators year round. So I am sharing a booklist today, on the day AFTER Pride, to encourage you all to continue doing just that. These are all titles that released after last year’s booklist was published, and a few upcoming releases I have my eye on. I also expanded the selection to a wider audience by including book from multiple genres and age groups this year.

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

The Pronoun Book by Chris Ayala-Kronos, Illustrated by Melita Tirado

They, she, he . . . all together, us! Join along in this vibrant board book’s joyful celebration of people and their pronouns.

How do you know what someone wants to be called? Ask!

This lively board book features eye-catching illustrations of a diverse cast of people and simple text that introduces their pronouns, perfect for readers both young and old.”

Being You: A First Conversation About Gender (First Conversations) by Megan Madison and Jessica Ralli, Illustrated by Anne/Andy Passchier

Based on the research that race, gender, consent, and body positivity should be discussed with toddlers on up, this read-aloud board book series offers adults the opportunity to begin important conversations with young children in an informed, safe, and supported way.

Developed by experts in the fields of early childhood and activism against injustice, this topic-driven board book offers clear, concrete language and beautiful imagery that young children can grasp and adults can leverage for further discussion.”

Bye Bye, Binary by Eric Geron, Illustrated by Charlene Chua

Fans of Feminist Baby by Loryn Brantz will love this board book about gender expression and being true to oneself.

“Is it a boy? Or a girl?” 

“WHAT’S IT TO YA?!”

Our little bundle of joy has arrived—to dismantle gender norms!

A joyful baby refuses to conform to the gender binary and instead chooses toys, colors, and clothes that make them happy. This tongue-in-cheek board book is a perfect tool to encourage children to love what they love and is also a great baby shower gift for all soon-to-be-parents.”

Picture Books

Love, Violet by Charlotte Sullivan Wild, Illustrated by Charlene Chua

Perfect for Valentine’s Day, Love, Violet by Charlotte Sullivan Wild and Charlene Chua is a touching picture book about friendship and the courage it takes to share your feelings.

Of all the kids in Violet’s class, only one leaves her speechless: Mira, the girl with the cheery laugh who races like the wind. If only they could adventure together! But every time Violet tries to tell Mira how she feels, Violet goes shy. As Valentine’s Day approaches, Violet is determined to tell Mira just how special she is.”

Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle by Nina LaCour, Illustrated by Kaylani Juanita

A little girl stays home with Mama when Mommy goes off on a work trip in this tender, inviting story that will resonate with every child who has missed a parent.

For one little girl, there’s no place she’d rather be than sitting between Mama and Mommy. So when Mommy goes away on a work trip, it’s tricky to find a good place at the table. As the days go by, Mama brings her to the library, they watch movies, and all of them talk on the phone, but she still misses Mommy as deep as the ocean and as high as an astronaut up in the stars. As they pass by a beautiful garden, the girl gets an idea . . . but when Mommy finally comes home, it takes a minute to shake off the empty feeling she felt all week before leaning in for a kiss. Michael L. Printz Award winner Nina LaCour thoughtfully renders a familiar, touching story of a child who misses a parent, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita, whose distinctive style brings charm and playfulness to this delightful family of three.”

Cinderelliot: A Scrumptious Fairytale by Mark Ceilley and Rachel Smoka-Richardson, Illustrated by Stephanie Laberis

A gay retelling of the classic fairy tale–a scrumptious love story featuring ungrateful stepsiblings, a bake-off, and a fairy godfather.

Cinderelliot is stuck at home taking care of his ungrateful stepsister and stepbrother. When Prince Samuel announces a kingdom-wide competition to join the royal staff as his baker, the stepsiblings insist that Cinderelliot bake their entries, leaving no time for he, himself, to compete. Fairy Godfather Ludwig appears and magically helps Cinderelliot bake his best chocolate cake, clean up, and get to the competition via limo. At the bake-off, Prince Samuel falls in love with Cinderelliot’s cake, but our hero has to run off as the clock strikes midnight, leaving behind his chef hat. The next day, Prince Samuel searches the kingdom for the owner of the hat and finds that it fits perfectly on Cinderelliot’s head. The prince is delighted to find not only his new baker but also the man of his dreams, and Cinderelliot creates a magnificent wedding cake–and the two live scrumptiously ever after.”

If You’re a Drag Queen and You Know It by Lil Miss Hot Mess, Illustrated by Olga De Dios Ruiz

Strike a pose. Blow a kiss. Mouth the words. A fun, sing-along book with a drag twist that encourage kids to embrace all the playfulness of drag culture written by a founding member of Drag Queen Story Hour.

If you’re a drag queen and you know it, let it show by winking, shaking your bum, laughing real big, twirling around, and more! Join a cast of fabulous drag queens as you sing along to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” in this playful celebration of expressing your brightest and boldest self. A perfect companion to The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish written by a board member of Drag Queen Story Hour.”

Twas the Night Before Pride by Joanna McClintick, Illustrated by Juana Medina

“This joyful picture-book homage to a day of community and inclusion—and to the joys of anticipation—is also a comprehensive history. With bright, buoyant illustrations and lyrical, age-appropriate rhyme modeled on “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” it tackles difficult content such as the Stonewall Riots and the AIDS marches. On the night before Pride, families everywhere are preparing to partake. As one family packs snacks and makes signs, an older sibling shares the importance of the march with the newest member of the family. Reflecting on the day, the siblings agree that the best thing about Pride is getting to be yourself. Debut author Joanna McClintick and Pura Belpré Award–winning author-illustrator Juana Medina create a new classic that pays homage to the beauty of families of all compositions—and of all-inclusive love.”

Miss Rita, Mystery Reader by Sam Donovan and Kristen Wixted, Illustrated by Violet Tobacco

“Daddy is the Mystery Reader at Tori’s school today, and he’s coming dressed as Miss Rita! Tori helps Daddy gloss, glitter, glamour, and glimmer to get ready. It takes time―because sparkle is serious business!

Tori loves helping Daddy become Miss Rita. But will the other kids at school love Miss Rita like Tori does? Luckily, a last-minute idea helps Daddy and Tori find a way to make story time sparkle for everyone.

This heartwarming and relatable family story celebrates drag queens, reading, and self-acceptance, teaching every kid to let their sparkle shine! And it includes back matter providing an overview of drag performance.”

The Meaning Of Pride by Rosiee Thor, Illustrated by Sam Kirk

“Every year in June, we celebrate Pride! But what does Pride mean? And how do you celebrate it?

This inspiring celebration of the LGBTQ+ community throughout history and today shows young readers that there are many ways to show your pride and make a difference.

Whether you want to be an activist or an athlete, a poet or a politician, a designer or a drag queen, you can show your pride just by being you!”

The Rainbow Parade by Emily Neilson

A sweet and celebratory story of a family’s first time at Pride

One day in June, Mommy, Mama, and Emily take the train into the city to watch the Rainbow Parade. The three of them love how all the people in the street are so loud, proud, and colorful, but when Mama suggests they join the parade, Emily feels nervous. Standing on the sidewalkis one thing, but walking in the parade? Surely that takes something special.
 
This joyful and affirming picture book about a family’s first Pride parade, reminds all readers that sometimes pride takes practice and there’s no “one way” to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community.”

Big Wig by Jonathan Hillman, Illustrated by Levi Hastings

In the spirit of Julián Is a Mermaid, this irrepressible picture book celebrates drag kids, individuality, and self-confidence from the perspective of a fabulous wig!

When a child dresses in drag to compete in a neighborhood costume competition, he becomes B. B. Bedazzle! A key part of B.B. Bedazzle’s ensemble is a wig called Wig. Together they are an unstoppable drag queen team! But Wig feels inadequate compared to the other, bigger wigs. When Wig flies off B. B.’s head, she goes from kid to kid instilling confidence and inspiring dreams in those who wear her.”

Strong by Rob Kearney and Eric Rosswood, Illustrated by Nidhi Chanani

A fresh, charming picture book that shows there are lots of ways to be STRONG.

Rob dreams of becoming a champion strongman. He wants to flip huge tires, lug boulders, and haul trucks — and someday be the strongest man in the world! But he feels like he can’t fit in with his bright leggings, unicorn T-shirts, and rainbow-dyed hair. Will Rob find a way to step into his true self and be a champion?   

With bold illustrations and an engaging, informative text, Strong introduces readers to Rob Kearney and his journey from an athletic kid trying to find his place to the world’s first openly gay professional strongman.”

Kind Like Marsha: Learning from LGBTQ+ Leaders by Sarah Prager, Illustrated by Cheryl Thuesday

For fans of Little Leaders and Pride comes a nonfiction picture book celebrating 14 incredible LGBTQ+ change makers and forward thinkers throughout history.

Kind Like Marsha celebrates 14 amazing and inspirational LGBTQ+ people throughout history. Fan favorites like Harvey Milk, Sylvia Rivera, and Audre Lorde are joined by the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Frida Kahlo, and more in this striking collection. With a focus on a positive personality attribute of each of the historical figures, readers will be encouraged to be brave like the Ugandan activist fighting for LGBTQ+ rights against all odds and to be kind like Marsha P. Johnson who took care of her trans community on the New York City streets.”

ABC Pride by Louie Stowell, Illustrated by Elly Barnes

A is for Acceptance! ! B is for Belonging! ! C is for Celebrate!

ABC Pride introduces little readers to the alphabet through the colorful world of Pride. Children can discover letters and words while also learning more about the LGBTQIA+ community and how to be inclusive.

Every letter of the alphabet is paired with fun, bold illustrations to support language learning, and a handy list of discussion points at the end gives adults the tools to spark further conversations and discussion. 
 
ABC Pride offers a simple yet powerful way to explain gender, identity, ability to children, while supporting diverse family units. Ideal for children to explore together with a caregiver, or in the classroom.”

Kapaemahu by Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson, Illustrated by Daniel Sousa

An Indigenous legend about how four extraordinary individuals of dual male and female spirit, or Mahu, brought healing arts from Tahiti to Hawaii, based on the Academy Award–contending short film.

In the 15th century, four Mahu sail from Tahiti to Hawaii and share their gifts of science and healing with the people of Waikiki. The islanders return this gift with a monument of four boulders in their honor, which the Mahu imbue with healing powers before disappearing.
 
As time passes, foreigners inhabit the island and the once-sacred stones are forgotten until the 1960s. Though the true story of these stones was not fully recovered, the power of the Mahu still calls out to those who pass by them at Waikiki Beach today.”

If You’re A Kid Like Gavin by Gavin Grimm and Kyle Lukoff, Illustrated by J Yang

“When you’re a kid like Gavin Grimm, you know yourself best. And Gavin knew that he was a boy—even if others saw him as a girl. But when his school took away his right to something as simple as using the boy’s restroom, Gavin knew he had a big decision to make.

Because there are always more choices than the ones others give you.

Gavin chose to correct others when they got his pronouns wrong. He asked to be respected. He stood up for himself. Gavin proved that his school had violated his constitutional rights and had the Supreme Court uphold his case—bringing about a historic win for trans rights. There are many kids out there, some just like Gavin Grimm, and they might even be you.”

Patience, Patches! by Christy Mihaly, Illustrated by Sheryl Murray

A sweet-new sibling story, perfect for gifting to expecting parents, big siblings to-be, and dog-loving families everywhere

Patches the puppy is very good at waiting–or at least that’s what he thinks. But his patience is put to the test when his two moms arrive home with an unexpected bundle. Is it a new toy? No! It’s a new baby. Suddenly,  everything Patches wants to do takes a little bit longer. But patience, it turns out, is a lesson worth learning.”

My Shadow Is Purple by Scott Stuart

“My Dad has a shadow that’s blue as a berry, and my Mom’s is as pink as a blossoming cherry. There’s only those choices, a 2 or a 1. But mine is quite different, it’s both and it’s none. A heartwarming and inspiring book about being true to yourself and moving beyond the gender binary, by best-selling children’s book creator Scott Stuart.”

A Costume for Charly by C.K. Malone, Illustrated by Alejandra Barajas

“Halloween is always tricky for Charly, and this year they are determined to find a costume that showcases both the feminine and masculine halves of their identity. Digging through their costume box, they explore many fun costumes. Some are masc. Some are femme. Some are neither. But all are lacking. As trick-or-treating looms, they must think outside the box to find the perfect costume–something that will allow them to present as one hundred percent Charly.”

Bathe The Cat by Alice B. McGinty, Illustrated by David Roberts

“It’s cleaning day, but the family cat will do anything to avoid getting a bath. So instead of mopping the floor or feeding the fish, the family is soon busy rocking the rug, vacuuming the lawn, and sweeping the dishes. Bouncy rhyme carries the story headlong into the growing hilarity, until finally Dad restores some kind of order—but will the cat avoid getting his whiskers wet?”

Every Body is a Rainbow: A Kid’s Guide to Bodies Across the Gender Spectrum by Caroline Carter, Illustrated by Mathais Ball

“A nonfiction picture book that celebrates the diversity of bodies, gender identities, and expressions, Every Body is a Rainbow offers a positive, inclusive, and factual approach for ALL families.

Every child has an amazing body that is all their own! Each one is a unique shape, size, and color and has a unique mix of parts, identities, and expressions. Every Body is a Rainbow: A Kid’s Guide to Bodies Across the Gender Spectrum celebrates the vast rainbow of bodies and identities—from non-binary, to intersex, to multiple genders and expressions—and shows readers that everybody is beautifully diverse and has value. This book is for kids and families of ALL genders, abilities, and expressions who want to understand themselves and learn more about the amazing bodies across the gender spectrum!”

A Song for the Unsung: Bayard Rustin, the Man Behind the 1963 March on Washington by Carole Boston Weatherford and Rob Sanders, Illustrated by Byron McCray

“On August 28, 1963, a quarter of a million activists and demonstrators from every corner of the United States convened for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. It was there and then that they raised their voices in unison to call for racial and economic justice for all Black Americans, to call out inequities, and ultimately to advance the Civil Rights Movement.

Every movement has its unsung heroes: individuals who work in the background without praise or accolades, who toil and struggle without notice. One of those unsung heroes was at the center of some of the most important decisions and events of the Civil Rights Movement.

That hero was a quiet man, a gay African American man. He was Bayard Rustin.

A Song for the Unsung is an inspiring story that answers one of our nation’s greatest calls to action by honoring one of the men who made it happen.”

Calvin by JR Ford and Vanessa Ford, Illustrated by Kayla Harren

In this joyful and impactful picture book, a transgender boy prepares for the first day of school and introduces himself to his family and friends for the first time.

Calvin has always been a boy, even if the world sees him as a girl. He knows who he is in his heart and in his mind but he hasn’t yet told his family. Finally, he can wait no longer: “I’m not a girl,” he tells his family. “I’m a boy–a boy in my heart and in my brain.” Quick to support him, his loving family takes Calvin shopping for the swim trunks he’s always wanted and back-to-school clothes and a new haircut that helps him look and feel like the boy he’s always known himself to be. As the first day of school approaches, he’s nervous and the “what-ifs” gather up inside him. But as his friends and teachers rally around him and he tells them his name, all his “what-ifs” begin to melt away.”

Middle Grade

LGBTQ+ Icons: A Celebration of Historical LGBTQ+ Icons in the Arts by David Lee Csicsko

For fans of Jasmine Warga and Thanhhà Lại, this is a stunning novel in verse about a young Taiwanese immigrant to America who is confronted by the stark difference between dreams and reality.

Anna can’t wait to move to the beautiful country—the Chinese name for America. Although she’s only ever known life in Taiwan, she can’t help but brag about the move to her family and friends.

But the beautiful country isn’t anything like Anna pictured. Her family can only afford a cramped apartment, she’s bullied at school, and she struggles to understand a new language. On top of that, the restaurant that her parents poured their savings into is barely staying afloat. The version of America that Anna is experiencing is nothing like her dreams. How will she be able to make the beautiful country her home?

This lyrical and heartfelt story, inspired by the author’s own experiences, is about resilience, courage, and the struggle to make a place for yourself in the world.

Blood Brothers by Rob Sanders

“Calvin Johnston’s secret is out. He and his brothers are tainted. Untouchable. And the bad blood flowing through their veins is threatening to kill them. So are some of their neighbors in Ashland, the “Friendliest Little Town” in Florida. The Johnston brothers are kicked out of everything―school, baseball, scouts, even church. Ashland’s anger has erupted into a fireball of hate. The only silver lining is that Calvin’s best friend Izzy lives 65 miles away at the beach, and has no idea about his secret. But news has a way of spreading. Calvin and his brothers are in the fight of their lives. As a matter of fact, they’re fighting for life itself.”

Small Town Pride by Phil Stamper

“Jake is just starting to enjoy life as his school’s first openly gay kid. While his family and friends are accepting and supportive, the same can’t be said about everyone in their small town of Barton Springs, Ohio.

When Jake’s dad hangs a comically large pride flag in their front yard in an overblown show of love, the mayor begins to receive complaints. A few people are even concerned the flag will lead to something truly outlandish: a pride parade.

Except Jake doesn’t think that’s a ridiculous idea. Why can’t they hold a pride festival in Barton Springs? The problem is, Jake knows he’ll have to get approval from the town council, and the mayor won’t be on his side. And as Jake and his friends try to find a way to bring Pride to Barton Springs, it seems suspicious that the mayor’s son, Brett, suddenly wants to spend time with Jake.

But someone that cute couldn’t possibly be in league with his mayoral mother, could he?”

The Language of Seabirds by Will Taylor

“A sweet, tender middle-grade story of two boys finding first love with each other over a seaside summer.

Jeremy is not excited about the prospect of spending the summer with his dad and his uncle in a seaside cabin in Oregon. It’s the first summer after his parents’ divorce, and he hasn’t exactly been seeking alone time with his dad. He doesn’t have a choice, though, so he goes… and on his first day takes a walk on the beach and finds himself intrigued by a boy his age running by. Eventually, he and Runner Boy (Evan) meet — and what starts out as friendship blooms into something neither boy is expecting… and also something both boys have been secretly hoping for.”

The One Who Loves You the Most by medina

“Twelve-year-old Gabriela is trying to find their place in the world. In their body, which feels less and less right with each passing day. As an adoptee, in their all-white family. With their mom, whom they love fiercely and do anything they can to help with her depression. And at school, where they search for friends.

A new year will bring a school project, trans and queer friends, and a YouTube channel that help Gabriela find purpose in their journey. From debut author medina comes a beautifully told story of finding oneself and one’s community, at last.”

Alice Austen Lived Here by Alex Gino

“From award-winning author Alex Gino comes a groundbreaking novel for children about how important the past can be those trying to create a different future.

Sam is very in touch with their own queer identity. They’re nonbinary, and their best friend, TJ, is nonbinary as well. Sam’s family is very cool with it … as long as Sam remembers that nonbinary kids are also required to clean their rooms, do their homework, and try not to antagonize their teachers too much.

The teacher-respect thing is hard when it comes to Sam’s history class, because their teacher seems to believe that only Dead Straight Cis White Men are responsible for history. When Sam’s home borough of Staten Island opens up a contest for a new statue, Sam finds the perfect non-DSCWM subject: photographer Alice Austen, whose house has been turned into a museum, and who lived with a female partner for decades.

Soon, Sam’s project isn’t just about winning the contest. It’s about discovering a rich queer history that Sam’s a part of – a queer history that no longer needs to be quiet, as long as there are kids like Sam and TJ to stand up for it.”

Pride: An Inspirational History of the LGBTQ+ Movement by Stella Calwell

“The LGBTQ+ community is so much more than rainbow flags and the month of June. In this beautifully designed dynamic book, young readers will learn about groundbreaking events, including historic pushes for equality and the legalization of same-sex marriages across the world. They will dive into the phenomenal history of queer icons from ancient times to the present and read about Harvey Milk, Marsha P. Johnson, Audre Lorde, and more.

Including several personal current essays from inspiring young, LGBTQ+ people, this book encourages readers to take pride in their identity and the identities of those around them. Don’t just learn about LGBTQ+ history – take pride in it!”

The Civil War of Amos Abernathy by Michael Leali

“Amos Abernathy lives for history. Literally. He’s been a historical reenactor nearly all his life. But when a cute new volunteer arrives at his Living History Park, Amos finds himself wondering if there’s something missing from history: someone like the two of them.

Amos is sure there must have been LGBTQ+ people in nineteenth-century Illinois. His search turns up Albert D. J. Cashier, a Civil War soldier who might have identified as a trans man if he’d lived today. Soon Amos starts confiding in his newfound friend by writing letters in his journal—and hatches a plan to share Albert’s story with his divided twenty-first century town. It may be an uphill battle, but it’s one that Amos is ready to fight.”

Too Bright To See by Kyle Lukoff

“It’s the summer before middle school and eleven-year-old Bug’s best friend Moira has decided the two of them need to use the next few months to prepare. For Moira, this means figuring out the right clothes to wear, learning how to put on makeup, and deciding which boys are cuter in their yearbook photos than in real life. But none of this is all that appealing to Bug, who doesn’t particularly want to spend more time trying to understand how to be a girl. Besides, there’s something more important to worry about: A ghost is haunting Bug’s eerie old house in rural Vermont…and maybe haunting Bug in particular. As Bug begins to untangle the mystery of who this ghost is and what they’re trying to say, an altogether different truth comes to light–Bug is transgender.”

This Is Our Rainbow: 16 Stories of Her, Him, Them, and Us by Katherine Locke and Nicole Melleby

“A boyband fandom becomes a conduit to coming out. A former bully becomes a first-kiss prospect. One nonbinary kid searches for an inclusive athletic community after quitting gymnastics. Another nonbinary kid, who happens to be a pirate, makes a wish that comes true–but not how they thought it would. A tween girl navigates a crush on her friend’s mom. A young witch turns herself into a puppy to win over a new neighbor. A trans girl empowers her online bestie to come out.

From wind-breathing dragons to first crushes, This Is Our Rainbow features story after story of joyful, proud LGBTQA+ representation. You will fall in love with this insightful, poignant anthology of queer fantasy, historical, and contemporary stories from authors including: Eric Bell, Lisa Jenn Bigelow, Ashley Herring Blake, Lisa Bunker, Alex Gino, Justina Ireland, Shing Yin Khor, Katherine Locke, Mariama J. Lockington, Nicole Melleby, Marieke Nijkamp, Claribel A. Ortega, Mark Oshiro, Molly Knox Ostertag, Aisa Salazar, and AJ Sass.”

Graphic Novels

History Comics: The Stonewall Riots: Making a Stand for LGBTQ Rights by Archie Bongiovanni, Illustrated by A. Andrews

Turn back the clock with History Comics! In this graphic novel, experience the Stonewall Riots firsthand and meet iconic activists like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera.

Three teenagers―Natalia, Jax, and Rashad―are magically transported from their modern lives to the legendary Stonewall Inn in the summer of 1969. Escorted by Natalia’s eccentric abuela (and her pet cockatiel, Rocky), the friends experience the police raid firsthand and are thrown into the infamous riots that made the struggle for LGBTQ rights front-page news.

Are you looking forward to any new releases that celebrate the LGBTQ+ Community throughout the remainder of the year? Be sure to share them in the comments!

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Review: Rosa’s Song

The creators of The Paper Kingdom are back with another beautiful picture book! Rosa’s Song by Helena Ku Rhee and Pascal Campion tells the story of a young immigrant from South Korea who finds community and friendship in an unfamiliar place.

Title: Rosa’s Song
Author: Helena Ku Rhee
Illustrator: Pascal Campion
Publisher: Random House Studio
Published: June 14, 2021
Format: Picture Book

Inspired by an incident from the author’s childhood as the daughter of immigrants, Rosa’s Song follows a young boy name Jae who misses his home. He doesn’t speak the language in his new home. His apartment feels empty until he makes friends with a young girl named Rosa and her colorful bird, Pollito, who she sings a song with. Rosa and Jae become fast friends as they spend the summer using their imaginations to visit Jae’s old village.

But one morning, Jae wakes up to find Pollito in his room. Rosa and her family had to move away, and Rosa left Pollito behind for Jae. Jae is understandably saddened by this turn of events, but eventually remembers Rosa fondly when Pollito sings her song. He and Pollito meet two other newly arrived kids in their building and welcome them the same way Rosa welcomed Jae.

Whether you’re looking for a window for young readers to see others’ experiences or a mirror for young readers to see their own, I highly recommend Rosa’s Song.

The illustrations are absolutely lovely. I especially appreciate the way they capture the nostalgia of childhood and the joy of spending summer with friends.

Rosa’s Song is available now wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. (Please note: Some links provided are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission for recommendations at no cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and to continue bringing content to you. I always appreciate your support!)

Thank you so much to Random House Kids and Blue Slip Media for sharing this fantastic book with me.

About the Author:

Helena Ku Rhee grew up in Los Angeles, but has also lived in various parts of the U.S., Asia and Europe. She has a soft spot for small, stout animals and loves to travel far and wide across this beautiful planet, counting among her favorite journeys a camping trip in the Sahara Desert, a swim with elephants in Thailand and a horseback-riding tour of Easter Island. Helena works at a movie studio by day, and dreams up story ideas in her spare time. She currently lives in Los Angeles. Visit her at helenakrhee.com or follow her on Twitter @Helenarhee.

About The Illustrator:

Pascal Campion is a prolific French-American illustrator and visual development artist whose clients include: DreamWorks Animation, Paramount Pictures, Disney Feature, Disney Toons, Cartoon Network, Hulu, and PBS. Working in the animation industry for over 15 years, he has steadily posted over 3,000 images of personal work to his “Sketches of the Day” project since 2005. He lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Follow him on Instagram (@pascalcampionart) or Twitter @pascalcampion.

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Review: The Pronoun Book

I can’t think of a better time than Pride Month to share an introduction to pronouns for the youngest readers! The Pronoun Book by Chris Ayala-Kronos and Melita Tirado is an amazing board book that does just that.

Title: The Pronoun Book
Author: Chris Ayala-Kronos
Illustrator: Melita Tirado
Published: April 5, 2022
Publisher: Clarion
Format: Board Book

This deceptively simple concept book is such a wonderful way to introduce pronouns to young readers. The Pronoun Book both encourages children to ask for pronouns, and depicts a visual representation of the diversity of folx that use each pronoun. With sparse text, the bright illustrations beautifully highlight the fact that there is no one correct way to present yourself to the world, no matter what your pronouns are.

If you are looking to add books that celebrate identity to your shelves, I would highly recommend The Pronouns Book! You can find a copy wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. (Please note: Some links provided are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission for recommendations at no cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and to continue bringing content to you. I always appreciate your support!)

Thank you to HarperCollins and Clarion for providing me with a review copy of The Pronoun Book. I’m so grateful to share this one with everyone today!

About The Author:

Chris Ayala-Kronos (she/they) has been a writer and editor in children’s book publishing for more than a decade. Chris shares a home with two cats, one dog, and a lovely partner in Boston.

About The Illustrator:

Melita Tirado (he/they) is a Peruvian-American digital illustrator. Originally from Maryland, he currently works from his home studio in Philadelphia.

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New Release Round Up: June 28, 2022 + GIVEAWAY

It’s Tuesday again, so we’re talking new release again, but this week we have a giveaway! Be sure to read to the end for details!

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.

Picture Books

Lupe Lopez: Rock Star Rules! by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo and Pat Zietlow Miller, Illustrated by Joe Cepeda

When a sassy drummer starts kindergarten, the rules of school cramp her style. What’s a young rock star to do?

When Lupe Lopez struts through the doors of Hector P. Garcia Elementary in sunglasses with two taped-up Number 2 pencils—drumsticks, of course—poking from her pocket, her confidence is off the charts. All day, Lupe drums on desks, tables, and chairs while Ms. Quintanilla reminds her of school rules. Lupe has her own rules: 1) Don’t listen to anyone. 2) Make lots of noise. ¡Rataplán! 3) Have fans, not friends. But with her new teacher less than starstruck, and fans hard to come by, Lupe wonders if having friends is such a bad idea after all. Can it be that true star power means knowing when to share the spotlight? With its spirited illustrations and a simple text threaded through with Spanish words, this picture book is proof positive that being a strong girl moving to her own beat doesn’t have to mean pushing others away.”

Mi Ciudad Sings by Cynthia Harmony, Illustrated by Teresa Martinez

“Summer is here and Heba is so excited to wear her new, yellow burkini to the community pool for the first time! She can’t wait to look like the other mermaid girls in her family and sparkle like the sun.
 
But when Heba arrives at the pool and her friends start asking her questions about her new special swimsuit, she feels like she’s standing out too much. Suddenly her burkini seems like a bad idea.
 
Luckily Mama helps Heba to find strength in the mermaid girls who came before her. Feeling more connected to the women of her family, Heba is ready to show her friends that she can do all the same things that they can do—handstands, summersaults, and dives off the diving board—even while wearing her yellow burkini.”

Over & Over: A Children’s Book to Soothe Children’s Worries by M. H. Clark, Illustrated by Beya Rebai

“Over and Over follows a young girl and her father as they enjoy life’s simple everyday pleasures–from sitting down for breakfast to gazing at the clouds to counting the stars before lying down to sleep. With gentle rhyming storytelling and captivating imagery, each page honors the daily routines that help a child feel safe within the world. This book is a beautiful bedtime read to soothe the anxious feelings of a child and strengthen a family bond.”

The Summer of Diving by Sara Stridsberg, Illustrated by Sara Lindberg, Translated by B.J. Woodstein

“Zoe’s dad isn’t home. She still sees him in photographs, laughing and playing tennis, but for now she can only visit him in a building where everyone looks sad and the walls are an ugly pink color. Some days Zoe’s dad is too sad to see her, but she goes to the hospital anyway. While waiting she meets Sabina who invites her to swim across the world. Zoe’s not sure it’s possible, but Sabina tells her, “A girl can do everything she wants.” Even though Sabina sometimes dives deep into her own thoughts, the two of them swim around the world many times that summer, until eventually Zoe’s dad is ready to come home.”

A Taste of Honey: Kamala Outsmarts the Seven Thieves; A Circle Round Book by Rebecca Sheir, Illustrated by Chaaya Prabhat

“In a village in the countryside lived a woman named Kamala who had the most delicious honey you’ve ever tasted. She collected honey from her hives to sell at the market, but business was slow, and she and her father were struggling to get by. Kamala knew she had to do something, so when she heard that the king’s son was getting married and all the villagers were invited to the party, she got an idea.

When Kamala’s first plan doesn’t exactly work out and seven tricky thieves try to steal from her, she has to rely on her own wits to outsmart them—and discovers a rather sweet reward.

The colorful illustrations of Chaaya Prabhat, who lives in Chennai, India complement Circle Round podcast host Rebecca Sheir’s original adaptation of this traditional Indian folktale. Specially designed to be read aloud and shared, the story is accompanied by questions and prompts for conversation, along with creative storytelling activities.”

The Tale of the Unwelcome Guest: Nasruddin Teaches the Town a Lesson; A Circle Round Book by Rebecca Sheir, Illustrated by Mert Tugen

“The town beside the sea was abuzz with the news. The governor was holding a grand banquet and everyone was invited—everyone! But no one was as excited as Nasruddin. 

On the day of the celebration, Nasruddin works hard in his vineyard picking and squishing grapes. He planned to wear his special long red silk coat, but at the end of the day it’s too late for him to go home and change! When he arrives at the banquet in his grape-juice-stained work clothes, he looks different from what the townspeople were expecting. But Nasruddin is a clever fellow—and he figures out a most delicious way to teach the town a lesson about judging people for the way they look.”

The Notebook Keeper: A Story of Kindness from the Border by Stephen Briseño, Illustrated by Magdalena Mora

Based on true events, this inspiring story follows a mama and her daughter who are denied entry at the U.S. border, and must find the refugee in charge of “the notebook,” an unofficial ledger of those waiting to cross into the U.S.

Before, the sun drenched the yard. Our neighbor’s laughter danced in the streets. Now, the streets are quiet. Papa is gone, and we are no longer safe here. We are leaving, too.

In this moving and stunningly-illustrated picture book, Noemi and Mama flee their home in Mexico, and head for the US border. There, they look for “The Notebook Keeper”– the person in charge of a ledger for those waiting to cross, and they add their names to the book. As the days turn into weeks, and hope dwindles,  the little girl looks for kindness around her– and inside herself. One day, when the Notebook Keeper’s own name is called to cross, Noemi and her Mama are chosen–for the generosity in their hearts– to take her place.”

Chapter Books

Build It! Jump It!: An Acorn Book (Racing Ace #2) by Larry Dane Brimner, Illustrated by Kaylani Juanita

“Where do you come from? Where does your family come from? For many children, the answers to these questions can transform a conversation into a journey around the globe.

In her first picture book, author Patrice Gopo illuminates how family stories help shape children, help form their identity, and help connect them with the broader world. Her lyrical language, paired with Jenin Mohammed’s richly textured artwork, creates a beautiful, stirring portrait of a child’s deep ties to cultures and communities beyond where she lays her head to sleep.

Ultimately, this story speaks a truth that all children need to hear: The places we come from are part of us, even if we can’t always be near them. All the Places We Call Home is a quiet triumph that encourages an awakening to our own stories and to the stories of those around us.”

Middle Grade

Valentina Salazar is Not a Monster Hunter by Zoraida Córdova

“It takes a special person to end up in detention on the last day of school.

It takes a REALLY special person to accidentally burn down the school yard while chasing a fire-breathing chipmunk.

But nothing about Valentina Salazar has ever been “normal.” The Salazars are protectors, tasked with rescuing the magical creatures who sometimes wander into our world, from grumpy unicorns to chupacabras . . . to the occasional fire-breathing chipmunk.

When Val’s father is killed during a rescue mission gone wrong, her mother decides it’s time to retire from their life on the road. She moves the family to a boring little town in upstate New York and enrolls Val and her siblings in real school for the first time.

But Val is a protector at heart and she can’t give up her calling. So when a mythical egg surfaces in a viral video, Val convinces her reluctant siblings to help her find the egg before it hatches and wreaks havoc. But she has some competition: the dreaded monster hunters who’ll stop at nothing to destroy the creature . . . and the Salazar family.”

High Score by Destiny Howell

“My name’s Darius James―but everyone calls me DJ. At my old school, I was the go-to guy for all kinds of tricky problems that needed creative solutions. But at my new school, Ella Fitzgerald Middle, I’m just trying to blend in.

Well, I was, anyway, until my best friend, Conor, got himself transferred to the Fitz too. Now Conor owes 100,000 arcade tickets to the biggest bully around―and he only has two weeks to make it happen. Impossible? Not with my head in the game.”

In The Beautiful Country by Jane Kuo

For fans of Jasmine Warga and Thanhhà Lại, this is a stunning novel in verse about a young Taiwanese immigrant to America who is confronted by the stark difference between dreams and reality.

Anna can’t wait to move to the beautiful country—the Chinese name for America. Although she’s only ever known life in Taiwan, she can’t help but brag about the move to her family and friends.

But the beautiful country isn’t anything like Anna pictured. Her family can only afford a cramped apartment, she’s bullied at school, and she struggles to understand a new language. On top of that, the restaurant that her parents poured their savings into is barely staying afloat. The version of America that Anna is experiencing is nothing like she imagined. How will she be able to make the beautiful country her home?”

Graphic Novels

Ghosts of Science Past by Joseph Sieracki and Jesse Lonergan

A teenager desperate to pass his Biology final is visited in the night, Christmas Carol-style, by the spirits of some of the greatest scientists in history.

Trevor suffers from an ailment common among high schoolers: apathy. He snoozes through science class, distrusts his teachers, and would rather stay up all night playing video games than studying for his upcoming science quiz. With an “F” in Biology looming ominously in Trevor’s near future unless he finds motivation, Trevor’s parents take away his video games for a week in an effort to make him buckle down and study. When he opens up his book, however, an epic adventure begins, and the greatest scientists in history become his guides—literally!”

I’m giving away 1 copy of Lupe Lopez: Rock Star Rules! by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo and Pat Zietlow Miller, Illustrated by Joe Cepeda to one lucky reader today! This giveaway will run until next Tuesday (July 5, 2022) and all you have to do is enter the RaffleCopter giveaway below by sharing your favorite release of 2022. There is also an extra entry for anyone who signs up for email notifications. (US entries only, please.) Good luck to you all! Can’t wait to see who wins!

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Review: Pauli Murray: The Life of a Pioneering Feminist & Civil Rights Activist

If you’re looking for an inspiring biography about an unsung hero of history, I have the perfect selection for you today! Pauli Murray: The Life of a Pioneering Feminist & Civil Rights Activist by Rosita Stevens-Holsey and Terry Catasús Jennings is a stunning middle grade biography in verse that recounts the life of Pauli Murray, a queer civil rights and women’s rights activist who was a champion for justice.

Title: Pauli Murray: The Life of a Pioneering Feminist & Civil Rights Activist
Author: Rosita Stevens-Holsey and Terry Catasús Jennings
Publisher: Little Bee Books
Published: January 4, 2022
Format: Middle Grade

Written by one of Pauli’s nieces, this book gives children ages 8-12 a personal look into Pauli Murray’s remarkable life. Pauli demanded fairness and justice throughout her entire life, from her childhood in Durham, North Carolina where she was raised my her aunts, to her career as a writer, lawyer, activist, and priest. She had a brilliant mind and was responsible for conceptualizing the arguments that would win Brown vs. Board of Education in 1944, as well as arguments that won equality for women in the workplace in 1964. She was a trailblazer who doesn’t often get the credit she deserves for the work she did, and I can’t wait to see how her story inspires young readers today.

Pauli Murray: The Life of a Pioneering Feminist & Civil Rights Activist is available wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. (Please note: Some links provided are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission for recommendations at no cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and to continue bringing content to you. I always appreciate your support!)

Thank you so much to Little Bee Books and Terry Catasús Jennings for sending me a review copy of this amazing book. I am so glad I got the opportunity to learn about such a remarkable historical figure, and I’m thrilled to share this story with everyone today.

About The Authors:

Rosita Stevens-Holsey is one of Pauli Murray’s nieces, and an ambassador for the Pauli Murray family. She feels it is an honor to be part of enhancing and promoting her aunt’s legacy, and her responsibility as a family member to do so. Rosita lives outside of Washington, D.C.

Terry Catasús Jennings came to the United States with her family after fleeing Cuba after the Bay of Pigs invasion. Today, Terry resides in Reston, Virginia with her family. She is the author of the upcoming picture book La Casita de Esperanza/The Little House of Hope and the Definitely Dominguita chapter book series.

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New Release Round Up: June 21, 2022

It’s Tuesday, so we are talking new releases again! What today’s round up lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality. We have some wonderful titles debuting 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.

Picture Books

Ally Baby Can: Be Feminist by Nyasha Williams, Illustrated by Jade Orlando

Ally Baby Can books introduce allyship to tiny change-makers! Perfect for shared reading with an adult.

Ally Baby Can: Be Feminist models how young kids can stand up for women and nonbinary people in the fight against sexism and gender inequality.

Extensive back matter includes important guidelines for allyship, a kid-friendly reading list, and other helpful resources for baby and you.

It is never too early to learn about ways to change our world.

BE SURE TO LOOK OUT FOR ALLY BABY CAN: BE ANTIRACIST!

The Big Book of Pride Flags by Jessica Kingsley, Illustrated by Jem Milton

“Celebrate and learn about the LGBTQIA+ community with this colourful book of Pride flags!

Featuring all the colours of the rainbow, this book teaches children about LGBTQIA+ identities through 17 different Pride flags. With fun facts, simple explanations and a short history of each flag accompanying beautiful illustrations, children will uncover the history of Pride and be introduced to different genders and sexual orientations. There’s also a blank Pride flag design at the back of the book so that children can create their very own Pride flag!

With a Reading Guide that provides a detailed History of the Pride Flag and questions for further discussion, this inspiring book is a must-have for every child’s bookshelf, library or classroom.”

Ice Cream Face by Heidi Woodward Sheffield

The Ezra Jack Keats Award–winning creator of Brick by Brick brings to delicious life the anxiety and elation involved in waiting in line to get ice cream.

As far as this ice-cream-loving kid is concerned, every meal should include ice cream. In any form, in every flavor, he loves it all. But what he doesn’t love is seeing other people with ice cream .  .  .  while he’s still waiting in line for his. That’s when he can get his mad, “no-ice-cream-yet, waiting-in-a-long-line face”–until he finally gets his cone, and his mad face melts into something sweet. Heidi Woodward Sheffield gently explores a range of emotions as they relate to this delicious, everyday experience.”

Twelve Days of Kindness by Irene Latham, Illustrated by Junghwa Park

Inspired by “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” this picture book illustrates the many different forms that kindness can take, from veteran picture book author Irene Latham.

On the first day of kindness,
I will give to you a hug that’s warm and true.

There are many ways to be kind. Follow one girl as she expresses gratitude through kind deeds all her own—a smile or encouraging word or even shared snacks—and discovers one act of kindness inspires another. In this heartwarming lyrical text, twelve acts of everyday kindness are set to the tune of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Along with vibrant and warm illustrations, this joyous read-aloud celebrates how small acts of kindness can be practiced at any age.”

American Desi by Jyoti Rajan Gopal, Illustrated by Supriya Kelkar

“A young girl longs to know where she fits in: Is she American? Or is she Indian? Does she have to pick or can she be both? With bright, joyful rhyme, and paired with an immersive art style using American and Indian fabrics, American Desi celebrates the experiences of young children growing up first and second generation Indian American: straddling the two cultural worlds they belong to, embracing all they love of both worlds and refusing to be limited by either.

This story is a powerful tribute to the joy of being South Asian and for every reader who aspires to bridge their worlds with grace, grit, and confidence.”

The Pet Potato by Josh Lacey, Illustrated by Momoko Abe

“Potatoes can’t do anything a pet should. They can’t learn tricks, or go for walks, or snuggle up with Albert.

But to Albert’s surprise, his potato begins to grow on him, and soon he can’t imagine having any other pet.

When the potato begins to rot, Albert is devastated. He buries it in his garden, and with a lot of care and a bit of patience, he discovers that his potato can do a great trick after all . . .

Josh Lacey and Momoko Abe have created a delightful, offbeat picture book about finding companionship in unlikely places.”

Tomatoes in My Lunchbox by Costantia Manoli, Illustrated by Magdalena Mora

“A child, newly arrived in another country, feels displaced, lonely, and a little scared on her first day of school. Her name doesn’t sound the way she’s used to hearing it. She knows she doesn’t fit in. And when she eats her whole tomato for lunch, she can feel her classmates observing her―and not quite understanding her.

But sometimes all it takes is one friend, one connection, to bring two worlds together, and gradually the girl, her tomato, and her full name, start to feel at home with her new friends and community.

This emotionally sweeping debut picture book by Costantia Manoli, with vibrant art by Magdalena Mora, artfully captures feelings of displacement and the joy that comes from forging new friendships.”

Middle Grade

Hana Hsu and the Ghost Crab Nation by Sylvia Liu

“Hana Hsu can’t wait to be meshed.

If she can beat out half her classmates at Start-Up, a tech school for the city’s most talented twelve-year-olds, she’ll be meshed to the multiweb through a neural implant like her mom and sister. But the competition is fierce, and when her passion for tinkering with bots gets her mixed up with dangerous junkyard rebels, she knows her future in the program is at risk.

Even scarier, she starts to notice that something’s not right at Start-Up—some of her friends are getting sick, and no matter what she does, her tech never seems to work right. With an ominous warning from her grandmother about being meshed, Hana begins to wonder if getting the implant early is really a good idea.”

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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Books for Summer Reading

Tomorrow marks the first official day of summer! Maybe it makes me a nerd, but one of my favorite parts of summer was the “Summer Reading List” our teachers sent us home with. With so many young readers taking time away from the classroom, I wanted to share my own list with you today. These are a few titles that have crossed my desk lately that I think perfectly capture the warmth and joy of summer.

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.

Together We Ride by Valerie Bolling, Illustrated by Kaylani Juanita

Hair Love meets bike rides in this loving portrait of a father-daughter relationship.

Learning to ride is no easy feat! But with a little courage, a guiding hand from her dad, and an enthusiastic bark from her pup, one brave girl quickly learns the freedom that comes from an afternoon spent outside on a bike.

Experience the fear, the anticipation, and the delight of achieving the ultimate milestone in this energetic, warm story that celebrates the precious bond between parent and child.”

Sand Between My Toes by Caroline Cross, Illustrated by Jenny Duke

“A family spends a day at the seaside, enjoying the smells and sensations that are unique to the coast. Evocative rhyming text immerses the reader in the experience of visiting a beach.”

My Book of Butterflies by Geraldo Valério

This stunning exploration of butterflies from around the world is a companion to My Book of Birds

Geraldo Valério grew up in Brazil, watching white butterflies visit the vegetable patch behind his house. As he got older, he learned more about these unique and beautiful insects, which can be found on every continent except Antarctica.

In this gorgeous album, Geraldo presents his favorite butterfly species from around the world. Paint and paper collage illustrations show the butterflies in flight, sipping nectar, laying eggs and resting among flowers and foliage. The text provides fascinating information about each species ― from familiar Monarchs and Giant Swallowtails, to dazzling Blue Morphos and tiny Snowflakes, from beautifully patterned European Peacocks to endangered Queen Alexandra’s Birdwings. Colorful endpapers, showing the butterflies as caterpillars and chrysalides, complete this beautiful book for budding young naturalists.”

Pool Party by Amy Duchêne and Elisa Parhad, Illustrated by Anne Bentley

A splashy story celebrating a fun-filled day at a public pool

Splash, dash! It’s time for a pool bash! Grab your swimsuits, inner tubes, noodles, and floats, and jump, belly flop, or dive into this wet and wild ode to swimming pool fun.”

A Park Connects Us by Sarah Nelson, Illustrated by Ellen Rooney

An ode to urban parks and the many ways they connect us to community and nature

This picture book excursion through a city park invites readers to discover how shared green spaces bring us together. Lyrical, upbeat text illuminates the abundant gifts the park offers. Vibrant mixed-media illustrations show a diverse group of visitors as they explore this communal space.”

Ice Cream Face by Heidi Woodward Sheffield

The Ezra Jack Keats Award–winning creator of Brick by Brick brings to delicious life the anxiety and elation involved in waiting in line to get ice cream.

As far as this ice-cream-loving kid is concerned, every meal should include ice cream. In any form, in every flavor, he loves it all. But what he doesn’t love is seeing other people with ice cream .  .  .  while he’s still waiting in line for his. That’s when he can get his mad, “no-ice-cream-yet, waiting-in-a-long-line face”–until he finally gets his cone, and his mad face melts into something sweet. Heidi Woodward Sheffield gently explores a range of emotions as they relate to this delicious, everyday experience.”

I Love You Like Yellow by Andrea Beaty, Illustrated by Vashti Harrison

“Love comes in many forms. It can feel tart as lemonade, or sweet as sugar cookies. Slow as a lazy morning, or fast as a relay race. Love is there through it all: the large and small moments, the good times and bad. And at the end of the day, love settles us down to bed with a hug and kiss goodnight.

With charming, rhyming text from bestselling author Andrea Beaty and lush, heartwarming illustrations by bestselling illustrator Vashti Harrison, I Love You Like Yellow celebrates the unconditional love that pulses through life’s profound and everyday moments—and the people who make them so special.”

Look What I Found at the Beach by Moira Butterfield, Illustrated by Jesus Verona

Open your senses to a world of wonder by taking a walk along the beach!

Set off on an adventure and find natural treasures, from spiraled seashells to discarded mermaid’s purses. Then learn more about the marine plants and creatures in this fact-filled guide to the outdoors.”

The World Belonged To Us by Jacqueline Woodson, Illustrated by Leo Espinosa

“It’s getting hot outside, hot enough to turn on the hydrants and run through the water–and that means it’s finally summer in the city! Released from school and reveling in their freedom, the kids on one Brooklyn block take advantage of everything summertime has to offer. Freedom from morning till night to go out to meet their friends and make the streets their playground–jumping double Dutch, playing tag and hide-and-seek, building forts, chasing ice cream trucks, and best of all, believing anything is possible. That is, till their moms call them home for dinner. But not to worry–they know there is always tomorrow to do it all over again–because the block belongs to them and they rule their world.”

When I Listen To Silence by Jean E. Pendziwol, Illustrated by Carmen Mok

When a child is asked to “Please, be quiet!” they sit silent … and their imagination sweeps them away on a breathtaking journey.

Through the window, the child can hear the trees breathe and watches them sway back and forth as they begin to dance. Then bears join in, accompanied by the child on their drum, making so much noise they wake up a dragon! The dragon’s smoky breath fills the sky, and the wind forms a knight on a steed that gallops through the stars. The child’s adventure continues, as one wonderful flight of fancy leads to the next, from pirates to mermaids to whales, until they find themselves sitting silent once again among the trees.”

Be a Good Ancestor by Leona Prince and Gabrielle Prince, Illustrated by Carla Joseph

Rooted in Indigenous teachings, this stunning picture book encourages readers of all ages to consider the ways in which they live in connection to the world around them and to think deeply about their behaviors.

Addressing environmental issues, animal welfare, self-esteem and self-respect, and the importance of community, the authors deliver a poignant and universal message in an accessible way: Be a good ancestor to the world around you. Thought-provoking stanzas offer a call to action for each one of us to consider how we affect future generations. Every decision we make ripples out, and we can affect the world around us by thinking deeply about those decisions.”

Expedition Backyard: Exploring Nature from Country to City by Rosemary Mosco and Binglin Hu

Join two best friends—a mole and vole—on their everyday expeditions to find beautiful plants, meet new animals, and learn more about the world all around them in this nonfiction graphic novel.

Each day, Mole and Vole venture out into the world – never forgetting their nature journal! – to see what they can find in their own backyard. From pigeons and jumping spiders to swamp milkweed and maple trees, these two explorers get to know every part of their local environment. But after an accidental move from the country to the city, Mole and Vole worry that everything will be different. As they explore, they discover plants to look at and animals to meet in their new home as well.”

Rooftop Garden by Danna Smith, Illustrated by Pati Aguilera, Narrated by Holly Turton

“A group of city friends work diligently together to grow herbs and vegetables in a rooftop garden. Set to a foot-tappin’ original tune, this rhythmic, rhyming story will have kids singing enthusiastically about the six stages of plant growth. The story concludes with a summer harvest and feast that celebrates the gardeners’ commitment.”

My Mommy, My Mama, My Brother, and Me: These Are the Things We Found By the Sea by Natalie Meisner, Illustrated by Mathilde Cinq-Mars

“Living by the sea offers myriad charms for the two young brothers in this poetic ode to beachcombing. When the fog disappears, the path to the beach beckons, with all the treasures it leaves behind: lobster traps, buoys, fused glass, urchins, a note in a bottle. But best of all is all the neighbours they meet along the way. An unforgettable instant classic for families of all shapes and sizes. Featuring glorious watercolours by Mathilde Cinq-Mars, which capture the warmth and magic of time spent with family by the sea.”

Choices by Roozeboos

“A girl considers her future while she people-watches at her local outdoor pool. Choices, both insignificant and life-changing, are all around us. Whether we want to make a splash or just dip our toes into new experiences, there’s always a decision involved. Profound and humorous, CHOICES encourages readers to value the power behind their thoughts and actions!”

I hope you’re all staying cool this summer, and soaking up the sun while it lasts. Be sure to share what you’re planning to read this summer in the comments below!

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New Release Round Up: June 14, 2022

It’s Tuesday again! Let’s dive into this week’s new releases.

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

Soccer Baby (A Sports Baby Book) by Diane Adams, Illustrated by Charlene Chua

The youngest of readers and the sports-loving grown-ups in their lives can now enjoy the world’s most popular sports–soccer–before going to bed a winner.

After putting on their gear and warming up, the Dolphins are ready for kick off! When the opposing team scores in the first half, a young girl and her teammates take an orange-slice break before getting back out there. This young girl scores the tying goal in the second half just before the final whistle and goes to sleep a winner.”

Picture Books

Today I’m Strong by Nadiya Hussain, Illustrated by Ella Bailey

“Most days, this little girl loves to go to school and play with her friends. But sometimes the schoolyard can feel like a battleground where she has to dodge mean words from a bully. Luckily, she always has her steadfast tiger by her side—even if she’s the only one who can see it. With the reminder that strength comes from within, she digs deep to believe in herself, no matter what anyone else says.
 
From the team behind My Monster and Me, Today I’m Strong is a tender story about finding the courage to hold your head high, with a powerful reminder to always be kind.”

Mi Ciudad Sings by Cynthia Harmony, Illustrated by Teresa Martinez

After experiencing a devastating earthquake, the spirit of a charming and vibrant Mexican neighborhood might be shaken, but it cannot be broken.

As a little girl and her dog embark on their daily walk through the city, they skip and spin to the familiar sounds of revving cars, clanking bikes, friendly barks, and whistling camote carts. But what they aren’t expecting to hear is the terrifying sound of a rumbling earthquake…and then…silence.
 
With captivating text and lively, beautiful illustrations, this heartwarming story leaves readers with the message that they can choose to be strong and brave even when they are scared, and can still find joy and hope in the midst of sadness.”

Arab Arab All Year Long! by Cathy Camper, Illustrated by Sawsan Chalabi

“Yallah! From January to December, join some busy kids as they partake in traditions old and new. There’s so much to do, whether it’s learning to write Arabic or looking at hijab fashion sites while planning costumes for a local comic convention. With details as vivid as the scent of jasmine and honeysuckle perfume (made to remind Mom of Morocco), children bond with friends, honor tradition, and spend loving timewith family. Accompanied by buoyant and charming illustrations, this portrait of Arab life and childhood zealis sure to bring joy all year round. Back matter includes an extensive glossary and notes to enrich the experience for readers of any culture.”

Ten Owies by Tony Johnston, Illustrated by Annabel Tempest

“From ice-cream induced brain freezes to bee stings to stubbed toes and bruises, ten children get ten owies that can only be cured by the following: a kiss, a hug, lots of love, and as many colorful Band-Aids as possible.

Full of rhythm, repetition, playful language, silliness, and love, Ten Owies introduces young readers to numbers from one to ten, as well as the notion that everyone gets a “boo-boo” every now and then. Tony Johnston’s silly text, combined with Annabel Tempest’s lively illustrations, captures all the drama of childhood while also offering plenty of humor, sympathy, and healing. The perfect book to share with a child needing a little tender love and care!”

The Little House of Hope by Terry Catasús Jennings, Illustrated by Raúl Colón

“When Esperanza and her family arrive in the United States from Cuba, they rent a little house, una casita. It may be small, but they soon prove that there’s room enough to share with a whole community.

“It was a little house. Una casita . . .
It was small.
It smelled like old wet socks. . .
But even though they were far from home,
The family was together.”

As Esperanza and her family settle into their new house, they all do their part to make it a home. When other immigrant families need a place to stay, it seems only natural for the family in la casita to help. Together they turn the house into a place where other new immigrants can help one another. Esperanza is always the first to welcome them to la casita. It’s a safe place in a new land.”

All the Places We Call Home by Patrice Gopo, Illustrated by Jenin Mohammed

“Where do you come from? Where does your family come from? For many children, the answers to these questions can transform a conversation into a journey around the globe.

In her first picture book, author Patrice Gopo illuminates how family stories help shape children, help form their identity, and help connect them with the broader world. Her lyrical language, paired with Jenin Mohammed’s richly textured artwork, creates a beautiful, stirring portrait of a child’s deep ties to cultures and communities beyond where she lays her head to sleep.

Ultimately, this story speaks a truth that all children need to hear: The places we come from are part of us, even if we can’t always be near them. All the Places We Call Home is a quiet triumph that encourages an awakening to our own stories and to the stories of those around us.”

A Is for Bee: An Alphabet Book in Translation by Ellen Heck

“What letter does the word bee start with?
If you said “B” you’re right – in English!
But in many, many languages, it actually starts with A.
Bee is Anū in Igbo,
Aamoo in Ojibwe,
Abelha in Portugese.
And Ari in Turkish.

Come and explore the gorgeous variations in the ways we talk about familiar things, unified and illuminated through Ellen Heck’s eye-catching, graphic scratchboard details and hidden letterforms.”

Rosa’s Song by Helena Ku Rhee, Illustrated by Pascal Campion

In this diverse picture book, a young immigrant from South Korea finds community and friendship in an apartment house filled with other newly arrived kids.

When Jae looks out the window of his new home, he wishes he could still see his old village, his old house, and his old friends. But his new apartment feels empty and nothing outside is familiar. Jae just arrived from South Korea and doesn’t even speak the new language. 

Yet, making friends is the same wherever you go and he soon meets a girl with a colorful bird perched on her shoulder. Rosa knows just how Jae feels and the two become fast friends. Not only does Rosa show Jae his new neighborhood but she shows him how his imagination can bring back memories of his old home.  Then Rosa leaves unexpectedly one night but leaves her parrot for Jae. He thinks about the song that Rosa would sing: “When I fly away, my heart stays here.” And when Jae meets two other newly arrived kids, he teaches them Rosa’s song and becomes their guide to this new world.

From the creators of the highly acclaimed The Paper Kingdom, comes a new book about the importance of community and demonstrates how a simple act of kindness can be passed along to others.”

Middle Grade

Righting Wrongs: 20 Human Rights Heroes Around the World by Robin Kirk

Many young people aren’t aware that determined individuals created the rights we now take for granted.

The idea of human rights is relatively recent, coming out of a post–World War II effort to draw nations together and prevent or lessen suffering. Righting Wrongs introduces children to the true stories of 20 real people who invented and fought for these ideas. Without them, many of the rights we take for granted would not exist.

These heroes have promoted women’s, disabled, and civil rights; action on climate change; and the rights of refugees. These advocates are American, Sierra Leonean, Norwegian, and Argentinian. Eleven are women. Two identified as queer. Twelve are people of color. One campaigned for rights as a disabled person. Two identify as Indigenous. Two are Muslim and two are Hindu, and others range from atheist to devout Christian. There are two journalists, one general, three lawyers, one Episcopal priest, one torture victim, and one Holocaust survivor.”



Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun by Tolá Okogwu

Black Panther meets X-Men in this action-packed and empowering middle grade adventure about a British Nigerian girl who learns that her Afro hair has psychokinetic powers—perfect for fans of Amari and the Night Brothers, The Marvellers, and Rick Riordan!

Onyeka has a lot of hair­—the kind that makes strangers stop in the street and her peers whisper behind her back. At least she has Cheyenne, her best friend, who couldn’t care less what other people think. Still, Onyeka has always felt insecure about her vibrant curls…until the day Cheyenne almost drowns and Onyeka’s hair takes on a life of its own, inexplicably pulling Cheyenne from the water.

At home, Onyeka’s mother tells her the shocking truth: Onyeka’s psycho-kinetic powers make her a Solari, one of a secret group of people with super powers unique to Nigeria. Her mother quickly whisks her off to the Academy of the Sun, a school in Nigeria where Solari are trained. But Onyeka and her new friends at the academy soon have to put their powers to the test as they find themselves embroiled in a momentous battle between truth and lies…ae led the way.”

The Sun Does Shine (Young Readers Edition): An Innocent Man, A Wrongful Conviction, and the Long Path to Justice by Anthony Ray Hinton, Lara Love Hardin, and Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich

The Sun Does Shine is an extraordinary testament to the power of hope sustained through the darkest times, now adapted for younger readers.

In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only 29 years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free.

But with a criminal justice system with the cards stacked against Black men, Hinton was sentenced to death . He spent his first three years on Death Row in despairing silence―angry and full of hatred for all those who had sent an innocent man to his death. But as Hinton realized and accepted his fate, he resolved not only to survive, but find a way to live on Death Row. For the next twenty-seven years he was a beacon―transforming not only his own spirit, but those of his fellow inmates. With the help of civil rights attorney and bestselling author of Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson, Hinton won his release in 2015.”

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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Review: The Hair Book

I’m thrilled to be sharing another one of my Most Anticipated Picture Books of 2022 with you all today! The Hair Book by Latonya Yvette and Amanda Jane Jones is a gorgeous concept book that celebrates all kinds of hair, and it lived up to all of my expectations!

Title: The Hair Book
Author: Latonya Yvette
Illustrator: Amanda Jane Jones
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
Published: May 3, 2022
Format: Picture Book and Board Book

Out now in both picture book and board book formats, this lovely concept book introduces the youngest readers to the diverse hair types found throughout the world. The alliterative text is paired with bright illustrations, capturing a unique character featuring each type of hair. I also really appreciated the inclusion of baldness and a couple of head coverings/hats of different faiths. The Hair Book encourages children to embrace and celebrate their hair; whether it is long or short, curly or straight, it is beautiful!

The illustrations are absolutely wonderful! The bold, colorful pages are sure to draw young readers in. Just look how fun these spreads are!

You can pick up your own copy of The Hair Book wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. (Please note: Some links provided are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission for recommendations at no cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and to continue bringing content to you. I always appreciate your support!)

Thank you so much to Union Square Kids for sharing this delightful book with me! I know I’ll be reading this one to my little one over and over again!

About the Author:

LaTonya Yvette is a Brooklyn, NY-born and -based writer, creative director, and founder of LY, an eponymous lifestyle site focused on style, motherhood, culture, and wellbeing. LaTonya’s first book Woman Of Color was published in 2019 (Abrams), and her next body of work is a collection of essays to be published by Dial Press. Learn more at: latonyayvette.com and on Instagram @latonyayvette.

About The Illustrator:

Amanda Jane Jones is an award-winning graphic designer and illustrator, and a mother of three. She is the author of Yum Yummy Yuck, the founding designer and co-creator of Kinfolk magazine, and the founder of Define Magazine. Learn more at: amandajanejones.com and on Instagram @amandajanejones.

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New Release Round Up: June 7, 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.

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

My First Learn-to-Talk Book: Written by an Early Speech Expert! by Stephanie Cohen

Created by an early speech expert, this interactive first words book filled with fun-to-read rhymes helps little ones learn to talk!

Each page features:

  • Simple, exciting sounds that are easy for little ones to imitate, and can be used to build bigger words
  • Rhythm and rhyme to encourage repetition and help keep babies engaged, even before they can understand the text
  • Real photographs that model correct mouth positions and support social emotional learning

Written by a speech-language pathologist, My First Learn-to-Talk Book is designed to help babies and toddlers master the skills they need as they learn to talk. Reading the book aloud helps caregivers easily model important aspects of communication for little ones―not only through sounds and words, but also with gestures, facial expressions and more!”

Splash! by Leslie Patricelli

Yippee! Towel, hat, sunglasses, sand toys . . . everyone’s favorite baby is off and running for a day at the beach—with a new friend.

Pack a beach bag and join Baby for that quintessential summer activity: a day at the seashore. With a new buddy in tow to join in the fun, it’s time to put on sunscreen (rubby, rubby), set up the umbrella (ouch, this sand is hot!), splash in the waves (run away from the big ones!), and build a sandcastle (extra hands help!). And don’t forget ice cream! Thankfully, there’s a shower for rinsing off that sandy, sticky stuff. There’s so much to do and see that it might be a challenge to get these babies back home! Little ones off on a summer vacation will soak up this fun adventure, and fans of the beloved Baby will be tickled to meet an adorable new character.”

Picture Books

Music Is a Rainbow in the United States  by Bryan Collier

The music turned into color and light and filled the room.

A young boy remembers quietly watching his father read the paper and sip a cup of coffee. He remembers his sweet momma, who lovingly pressed away the wrinkles on his clothes. Then one day, his father is gone and his momma falls ill. But through his love of music he feels his father’s warm hugs and his mother’s kisses. He learns to relax, shine, and dream as the music fills his soul.

From four-time Caldecott honoree Bryan Collier comes a moving and gorgeously illustrated exploration of healing the soul through music.”

A New Friend by Lucy Menzies, Illustrated by Maddy Vian

“It’s Joe’s first day at a new school. It’s big, scary and different. He misses his school, his old friends and his old life. Can’t he just go back to the way things were? 

When Mae hears that there’s a new kid starting school, she can’t wait to meet him. Is this her chance to make a true friend? 

A New Friend is the next book in the One Book, Two Stories format. With this innovative format,two books, telling two different stories, are bound together.

One book follows Joe on his first day at school, and the other shows Mae on her quest to make friends with the new kid. The stories can also be read side-by-side, as spreads from each book complement each other and are linked with corresponding page numbers. The final spread at the back of the book reveals a shared ending, in which Joe and Mae are united in the playground! “

Kapaemahu by Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Dean Hamer, and Joe Wilson, Illustrated by Daniel Sousa

An Indigenous legend about how four extraordinary individuals of dual male and female spirit, or Mahu, brought healing arts from Tahiti to Hawaii, based on the Academy Award–contending short film.

In the 15th century, four Mahu sail from Tahiti to Hawaii and share their gifts of science and healing with the people of Waikiki. The islanders return this gift with a monument of four boulders in their honor, which the Mahu imbue with healing powers before disappearing.
 
As time passes, foreigners inhabit the island and the once-sacred stones are forgotten until the 1960s. Though the true story of these stones was not fully recovered, the power of the Mahu still calls out to those who pass by them at Waikiki Beach today.

With illuminating words and stunning illustrations by Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson, and Daniel Sousa, KAPAEMAHU is a monument to an Indigenous Hawaiian legend and a classic in the making.”

Frances in the Country by Liz Garton Scanlon, Illustrated by Sean Qualls

A spirited girl visits her cousins in the country for a chance to break free from the clamor and crowd of life in the city.
 

Frances is a city kid, but it’s hard for her to fit in. City walls aren’t for climbing, city rooms aren’t for running, city shops and city yards are too crowded, and there are so many rules that Frances can’t seem to follow.

She takes a trip to visit her cousins in the country, where she finds cats for chasing, roads for racing down, ladders for leaping, and fields full of animals. When it’s time to go home, it’s not easy to leave her cousins, but she invites them to visit and see the sights and sounds, lights, thumps, beeps and shines of the city where she returns to her loving mom and sisters.”

Tomorrow is a Brand-New Day by Davina Bell, Illustrated by Allison Colpoys

The follow-up to bestselling All the Ways to be Smart by Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys.

Good or bad, the things you do
are all a part of being you ―
of learning how to take your boat
on stormy seas and stay afloat.

From the creators of All the Ways To Be Smart comes a message of hope: hard days come and go, but love is with us always. A healing and uplifting tribute to learning and growing ― to making mistakes and making amends.

  • The perfect gift for children embarking on new challenges
  • A wonderful educational tool for teachers and librarians helping children process big changes and big emotions
  • Just right for fans of I am Human by Susan Verde & Peter H. Reynolds and The Bad Seed by Jory John and Pete Oswald.”

Thundermaestro by Annemarie Riley Guertin, Illustrated by Maria Brzozowska

Rumble, grumble, groan, growl, whoosh, swoosh, 
creak, squeak, tip tap, pitter-patter, splitter, splatter.
The crescendo builds.

With baton in hand, a little girl conducts a majestic symphony with the sounds of a summer rainstorm. The whoosh of wind and the toccata of raindrops make a grand concert. With gorgeous mixed-media illustrations that juxtapose the gathering storm outside with the music inside the girl’s imagination, this celebration of the music of nature will leave readers breathless until the final bow.”

You Are My Favorite Color by Gillian Sze, Illustrated by Nina Mata

A lyrical story of parental love that celebrates and takes pride in the many shades of brown skin. Perfect for fans of I Am EnoughHey Black ChildHair Love, and Our Skin.


When you ask me why your skin is brown, I will tell you that you are my favorite color. I will say that your skin was decided long, long ago. Time was just waiting for you.   

So begins a mother’s celebration of her children’s brown skin, told through warm and vivid poetry. With sweeping descriptions of what brown skin means—it is the brawny bear whose paws know the ground of its home, the sequoia tree that reaches up and touches the sun, the glossy shell of roasted chestnuts—this is a book that empowers as it embraces, and that reminds young readers that they have shades of color that only they can discover and express.”

Gaudi – Architect of Imagination by Susan B. Katz Illustrated by Linda Schwalbe

Your dreams can change the world! 

Colorful mosaics, playful flowing forms, imaginative facades—Barcelona shines with the buildings of Antoni Gaudí. How did the son of a Catalan blacksmith become a world-famous architect? The first years of Gaudí’s life were challenging. Because of an illness, young Gaudí couldn’t attend school and was often alone. Many of his days were spent out in nature, which he would later call his great teacher. Even during his training as an architect in Barcelona, his teachers were puzzled, wondering: is he a “genius or a fool?” Many considered his unusual ideas eccentric, sometimes even crazy. But Gaudí was simply ahead of his time. His buildings are now a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Site.  

With an insightful eye into the world of an inspired genius, award-winning author Susan B. Katz tells of Gaudí’s life and work. Linda Schwalbe’s dazzling and powerful illustrations reflect the inventive, daring, and flamboyant style of Gaudí’s work.”

The Sublime Ms. Stacks by Robb Pearlman, Illustrated by Dani Jones

Miss Nelson is Missing meets Drag Race in this vibrant picture book about a drag queen librarian from #1 New York Times bestselling author Robb Pearlman.

Librarian Mr. Stephen is great at helping people find their books. But when it comes to crafts and storytime . . . well, he tries his best. Luckily, there’s a substitute librarian to liven up things-the sublime Ms. Stacks!

Ms. Stacks makes everything fun! And with a penchant for performing and a flair for the fabulous, she reminds everyone to be themselves and unleash their creativity. When Ms. Stacks is around, time in the library is never a drag! The kids only wish that Mr. Stephen could see this legendary librarian in action for himself . . . but maybe he did?

Bestselling author Robb Pearlman and illustrator Dani Jones offer a joyful celebration of reading, creating, and expressing your truest self.”

When the Wind Came by Jan Andrews, Illustrated by Dorothy Leung

“In this timely, poetic story of hope amid loss, acclaimed writer and storyteller Jan Andrews’s touching picture book reminds us how, even on the darkest days, light can always be found.

It’s a normal day, at first, for a girl on her family farm. But soon, the wind picks up. It blows harder and harder and harder. Her mother grabs her baby brother. Her father opens the door to the root cellar. The family piles in and sits in darkness. When they are finally able to emerge, their home is gone. Through a series of short sentences, many beginning with “I remember … ,” readers share with the girl her experience of shock, terror, sadness and, finally, hope.”

The Fossil Whisperer: How Wendy Sloboda Discovered a Dinosaur by Helaine Becker, Illustrated by Sandra Dumais

A captivating look at the life of a modern-day fossil hunter who makes the find of a lifetime told by award-winning author Helaine Becker.

Wendy has an eye for the unusual and is skilled at finding things that others don’t see. While on a school field trip at age 12, she spots one of those unusual things poking out of the ground, and it turns out to be a piece of fossilized coral that’s 100 million years old. Wendy’s thrilled! And soon, she gets hooked on finding fossils. When she grows up, Wendy turns her passion into her career and becomes a preeminent fossil hunter, known as the “fossil whisperer” around the world. But it’s on a dig close to home where Wendy makes her most important discovery: Wendiceratops!”

Saving the Butterfly: A Story About Refugees by Helen Cooper, Illustrated by Gill Smith

Two resourceful siblings begin a new life as refugees in a poetic picture book about thriving—in your own time—after great loss.

From an award-winning author and a talented debut illustrator comes a profound story about child refugees healing and building new lives. When rescuers meet the boat, there are only two people left—a big child and a little one. The big one, remembering the trip across the dark sea, hides indoors. The little one ventures out, making friends, laughing, growing strong. When he brings the outside in, in the form of a butterfly, will his sister find the courage to guide the winged creature back into the world where it belongs? Powerful illustrations dance between dark and light in a moving tale of empathy, resilience, and the universal need for home and safety.”

Itzel and the Ocelot by Rachel Katstaller

“A gorgeous picture book inspired by a traditional Central American Indigenous story about a snake with the power to bring the rain, told in lyrical language and evocative art, and subtly conveying an environmental theme.

Itzel listens as her nana tells the story of when the giant snake would be awakened from its sleep: “And first with a whisper that would rustle the leaves, and then with a deep thunderous cry, the giant snake would bring the arrival of the rainy season.” But now, since many no longer believe in the snake, her nana says, “It has returned to the place where the water is born.” Now, Itzel and her nana are desperate for rain to water their bone-dry crops. So Itzel decides she must find and awaken the snake herself. She sets out in the night alone, but soon she is joined by an ocelot, and a bevy of other jungle creatures in need of the rain. And Itzel worries, is she leading them on a fruitless journey?”

Zack and Ike Are Exactly Alike by Suzanne Bloom

Friendship is about far more than being alike in this simple yet satisfying story.

Zack and Ike are best friends who like to think they’re exactly alike.

They have the same backpack, the same bike, and the same kind hearts. But what happens when these best friends disagree? And what happens when they meet a new friend who is exactly different–or is she?

In this classic friendship story written by award-winning author Suzanne Bloom, readers will see that Zack and Ike are alike in some ways, but different in others–and that’s okay! Because you don’t have to be exactly alike to be friends.”

Sunflower Sisters by Monika Singh Gangotra, Illustrated by Michaela Dias-Hayes

A heartwarming celebration of all skin shades, from sun-browned to autumn-leaf-gold!

Amitra and Kiki are best friends and sunflower sisters. Amitra’s older sister is getting married, but when the elder relatives arrive, they start dispensing some old-fashioned and dubious advice. Luckily, Amitra’s mother has a lesson or two to teach about that! With the support and empowerment of their moms, the sunflower sisters are two strong, confident girls―one South Asian the other Nigerian―finding joy in their own skin.”

Up Your Nose by Seth Fishman, Illustrated by Isabel Greenberg

“Did you know that there are quadrillions of germs in the world? And that hundreds of billions of germs may be in the room around you—and inside you as well?

Acclaimed creators Seth Fishman and Isabel Greenberg explore the five main types of germs—bacteria, viruses, protozoa, fungi, and helminths—and the human immune system that protects us from them. Seth Fishman expertly breaks down this complex topic with humor—and with a large dose of wonder at the human body and the world around us. Isabel Greenberg’s signature bright, comic-style illustrations bring life to this microscopic landscape so that young readers can pore over each page.

Full of fascinating facts, Up Your Nose is perfect for curious children and classroom learning.”

Punky Aloha by Shar Tuiasoa

Meet Punky Aloha: a girl who uses the power of saying “aloha” to experience exciting and unexpected adventures!

Punky loves to do a lot of things—except meeting new friends. She doesn’t feel brave enough.

So when her grandmother asks her to go out and grab butter for her famous banana bread, Punky hesitates. But with the help of her grandmother’s magical sunglasses, and with a lot of aloha in her heart, Punky sets off on a BIG adventure for the very first time.

Will she be able to get the butter for grandma?

Punky Aloha is a Polynesian girl who carries her culture in her heart and in everything she does. Kids will love to follow this fun character all over the island of O’ahu.”

Chapter Books

She Persisted: Marian Anderson by Katheryn Russell-Brown, Illustrated by Gillian Flint

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

When renowned classical singer Marian Anderson wasn’t allowed to sing at a theater in Washington, DC, because she was Black, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt invited her to sing at the Lincoln Memorial, at a concert attended by thousands of people. Marian went on to sing around the world on behalf of the UN and the US State Department, and as a part of the Civil Rights Movement, she also performed at the March on Washington. She went on to win many awards, including the first ever Presidential Medal of Freedom and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award–and she inspired countless people along the way.

In this chapter book biography by award-winning author Katheryn Russell-Brown, readers learn about the amazing life of Marian Anderson–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 Marian Anderson’s footsteps and make a difference!”

Wednesday Wilson Fixes All Your Problems by Bree Galbraith, Illustrated by Morgan Goble

“In this second title in the early chapter book series about everyone’s favorite young entrepreneur, Wednesday Wilson is only trying to help her brother when her latest business idea strikes!

Sometimes the best business ideas pop up when you least expect them. Or that’s what happens to Wednesday Wilson, anyway, the morning her brother, Mister, locks himself in the bathroom because he’s nervous about a school presentation. When classmate Emmet convinces Mister that a worry stone will calm his nerves, Wednesday offers Mister her marble — with the promise that a Worry Marble will fix all his problems! But then Wednesday starts thinking about just how many things kids get nervous about. And, hmm, she does happen to have a whole collection of marbles. Has Wednesday just hit entrepreneurial gold?”

Middle Grade

Can You Believe It?: How to Spot Fake News and Find the Facts by Joyce Grant, Illustrated by Kathleen Marcotte

“For today’s tech-savvy kids, here’s the go-to resource for navigating what they read on the internet.

Should we believe everything we read online? Definitely not! And this book will tell you why. This fascinating book explores in depth how real journalism is made, what “fake news” is and, most importantly, how to spot the difference. It’s chock-full of practical advice, thought-provoking examples and tons of relevant information on subjects that range from bylines and credible sources to influencers and clickbait. It gives readers context they can use, such as how bias can creep into news reporting, why celebrity posts may not be truthful and why they should be suspicious of anything that makes them feel supersmart. Young people get most of their information online. This must-read guide helps them decide which information they can trust — and which they can’t.”

The Secret Battle of Evan Pao by Wendy Wan-Long Shang

“A fresh start. That’s all Evan Pao wants as he, along with his mother and sister, flee from California to Haddington, Virginia, hoping to keep his father’s notoriety a secret.

But Haddington is a southern town steeped in tradition, and moving to a town immersed in the past has its own price. Although Evan quickly makes friends, one boy, Brady Griggs, seems determined to make sure that as a Chinese American, Evan feels that he does not belong. When Evan finds a unique way to make himself part of the school’s annual Civil War celebration, the reaction is swift and violent. As all of his choices at home and at school collide, Evan must decide whether he will react with the same cruelty shown to him, or choose a different path.

Wendy Wan-Long Shang, the critically acclaimed author of Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association Award for Children’s Literature winner The Great Wall of Lucy Wu, weaves a timely and deeply moving portrait of all the secret battles Evan Pao must fight as he struggles to figure out how he fits into this country’s past and how he will shape its future.”

The Wonders We Seek: Thirty Incredible Muslims Who Helped Shape the World by Saadia Faruqi and Aneesa Mumtaz, Illustrated by Saffa Khan

In this biographical collection, with stunning portraits and illustrations by Saffa Khan, authors Saadia Faruqi and Aneesa Mumtaz highlight some of the talented Muslim physicians, musicians, athletes, poets, and more who helped make the world we know today.

A brilliant surgeon heals patients in the first millennium.

A female king rules the Indian subcontinent.

A poet pours his joy and grief into the world’s best-selling verses.

An iconic leader fights for civil rights.

And many, many more.

Throughout history—from the golden age of the empires of Arabia, Iraq, Persia, and India, up to modern day—Muslims have shaped our world in essential ways, with achievements in music, medicine, politics, human rights, literature, sports, technology, and more. Give this book to readers who are excited to learn about the great figures and thinkers in history!

The authors introduce their book with a personal letter to the reader, setting out their motivations and hopes for the stories they are telling. The backmatter includes a glossary and bibliography for readers’ further research and learning.”

The Do-Over by Jennifer Torres

“The Mendoza sisters need a do-over!

Raquel and Lucinda used to be inseparable. But ever since their parents split, Raquel has been acting like editor-in-chief of their lives. To avoid her overbearing sister, Lucinda spends most of her time with her headphones on, practicing her skating routine.

Then a pandemic hits, and the sisters are forced to spend the lockdown at their dad’s ranch house. Suddenly Raquel sees a chance to get back everything they’ve lost. If they can convince their mom to come along, maybe they can get their parents to fall in love again and give their family a second chance, a do-over.

But at the ranch, they get a not-so-welcome surprise: their dad’s new girlfriend and her daughter are already living there! Lucinda finds she actually likes them, which only makes Raquel more desperate to get rid of them. And as her Raquel’s schemes get more and more out of hand, Lucinda starts to wonder what they are really fighting for. Is trying to bring the Mendoza family back together really just tearing them further apart?”

The Civil War of Amos Abernathy by Michael Leali

A heartfelt debut novel about a boy’s attempt to find himself in the history he loves—perfect for fans of Dear Sweet Pea and From the Desk of Zoe Washington.

Amos Abernathy lives for history. Literally. He’s been a historical reenactor nearly all his life. But when a cute new volunteer arrives at his Living History Park, Amos finds himself wondering if there’s something missing from history: someone like the two of them.

Amos is sure there must have been LGBTQ+ people in nineteenth-century Illinois. His search turns up Albert D. J. Cashier, a Civil War soldier who might have identified as a trans man if he’d lived today. Soon Amos starts confiding in his newfound friend by writing letters in his journal—and hatches a plan to share Albert’s story with his divided twenty-first century town. It may be an uphill battle, but it’s one that Amos is ready to fight.

Told in an earnest, hilarious voice, this love letter to history, first crushes, and LGBTQ+ community will delight readers of Ashley Herring Blake, Alex Gino, or Maulik Pancholy. “

Alice Austen Lived Here  by Alex Gino

From the award-winning author of George, a phenomenal novel about queerness past, present, and future.

Sam is very in touch with their own queer identity. They’re nonbinary, and their best friend, TJ, is nonbinary as well. Sam’s family is very cool with it… as long as Sam remembers that nonbinary kids are also required to clean their rooms, do their homework, and try not to antagonize their teachers too much.

The teacher-respect thing is hard when it comes to Sam’s history class, because their teacher seems to believe that only Dead Straight Cis White Men are responsible for history. When Sam’s home borough of Staten Island opens up a contest for a new statue, Sam finds the perfect non-DSCWM subject: photographer Alice Austen, whose house has been turned into a museum, and who lived with a female partner for decades.

Soon, Sam’s project isn’t just about winning the contest. It’s about discovering a rich queer history that Sam’s a part of — a queer history that no longer needs to be quiet, as long as there are kids like Sam and TJ to stand up for it.”

Graphic Novels

Fibbed by Elizabeth Agyemang

“Everyone says that the wild stories Nana tells are big fibs. But she always tells the truth, as ridiculous as it sounds to hear about the troupe of circus squirrels stealing her teacher’s toupee. When another outlandish explanation lands her in hot water again, her parents announce that Nana will be spending the summer with her grandmother in Ghana.

She isn’t happy to be missing the summer camp she’s looked forward to all year, or to be living with family that she barely knows, in a country where she can’t really speak the native language. But all her worries get a whole lot bigger—literally—when she comes face-to-face with Ananse, the trickster spider of legend.

Nana soon discovers that the forest around the village is a place of magic watched over by Ananse. But a group of greedy contractors are draining the magic from the land, intent on selling the wishes for their own gain. Nana must join forces with her cousin Tiwaa, new friend Akwesi, and Ananse himself to save the magic from those who are out to steal it before the magic—and the forest—are gone for good.”

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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