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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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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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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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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20 Books to Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Year Round

I’m sure many of you are aware that May is National Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in the US. Last year, I celebrated by sharing a booklist at the beginning of the month, but this year I had something else in mind.

This year, I want to share a few titles that have crossed my desk recently, as well as a few releases I’m looking forward to. I hope this list inspires you to keep reading widely throughout the year, and remember that Asian American and Pacific Islander voices are important year-round, and not just during the month we celebrate them. So without further ado, here are 20 books to help you bring AAPI titles to the rest of your year, in no particular order.

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.

Gibberish by Young Vo

“It’s Dat’s first day of school in a new country! Dat and his Mah made a long journey to get here, and Dat doesn’t know the language. To Dat, everything everybody says – from the school bus driver to his new classmates – sounds like gibberish. How is Dat going to make new friends if they can’t understand each other?

Luckily there’s a friendly girl in Dat’s class who knows that there are other ways to communicate, besides just talking. Could she help make sense of the gibberish?”

I Am an American: The Wong Kim Ark Story by Martha Brockenbrough and Grace Lin, Illustrated by Julia Kuo

“When American-born Wong Kim Ark returns home to San Francisco after a visit to China, he’s stopped and told he cannot enter: he isn’t American. What happens next would forever change the national conversation on who is and isn’t American. After being imprisoned on a ship for months, Wong Kim Ark takes his case to the Supreme Court and argues any person born in America is an American citizen.
 
I am an American: The Wong Kim Ark Story is an important picture book that introduces young readers to the young man who challenged the Supreme Court for his right to be an American citizen and won, confirming birthright citizenship for all Americans.”

Kesar and the Lullaby Birds by Aditi Oza, illustrated by Debasmita Dasgupta

Kesar’s baby sister Kamal will not sleep. Their entire village in the Great Rann of Kutch is kept awake by the infant’s cries and her parents are exhausted. When Kesar and Kamal’s ba comes to visit, her stories give Kesar a wonderful idea. Perhaps what Kesar needs to put her baby sister to sleep is a little bit of desert magic!

A vibrant celebration of traditional artisans from India, this picture book is a sweet sibling bedtime story at heart, featuring a big sister who figures out how to care for her baby sister with some help from her grandmother’s lovingly made gifts.

Amy Wu and the Warm Welcome by Kat Zhang, Illustrated by Charlene Chua

Amy Wu does her best to make her new classmate feel welcome in this warmhearted and playfully illustrated follow-up picture book to Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao and Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon.

Amy’s class has a new student from China! Amy tries hard to make Lin feel included, but she can’t draw him out of his shell. Then she sees Lin chattering happily in Chinese with his family. The gears in her head start to turn, and a plan blossoms. Step one: invite Lin to her dumpling party…

​With a little help from her grandma and a shiny new banner, can Amy give Lin the warmest welcome?

Yes We Will: Asian Americans Who Shaped This Country by Kelly Yang, Illustrated by Nabi H. Ali, Fahmida Azim, Marcos Chin, Sally Deng, Shereya Gupta, Julia Kuo, Julie Kwon, Nhung Le, Kitkat Pecson, Dow Phumiruk, Sujean Rim, Dan Santat, Yuko Shimizu, Yuewei She, and Yao Xiao

From creating beautiful music like Yo-Yo Ma to flying to outer space like Franklin Chang-Díaz; from standing up to injustice like Fred Korematsu to becoming the first Asian American, Black and female vice president of the United States like Kamala Harris, this book illuminates the power of Asian Americans all over the country, in all sorts of fields.
 
Each spread is illustrated by a different renowned Asian American or Asian artist. Alongside the poetic main text, Yes We Will includes one-line biographies of the person or historical moment featured on the page, with extended biographies at the end. Readers of different ages and needs can use the book in different ways, from classroom discussions to bedtime readalouds and more.
 
Yes We Will answers the question, can we accomplish whatever we dream? With love, courage, determination, and lots of imagination, we can—and we will!

A Life of Service: The Story of Senator Tammy Duckworth by Christina Soontornvat, Illustrated by Dow Phumiruk

Given Tammy Duckworth’s personal heroism as an Army veteran, her stunning recovery from injuries sustained in the line of duty, and her subsequent career as an influential US senator, it’s easy to see why Joe Biden earmarked her as a possible running mate during his Democratic presidential campaign. Senator Duckworth has logged a long list of firsts during her tenure as the first Thai American member of Congress, including being the first woman with a disability to serve in the House and Senate. But it is her tireless determination to keep going against staggering odds that will rivet readers of all ages. Christina Soontornvat’s narrative biography of this groundbreaking military veteran and rising political star will inspire readers to dream and achieve. Evoking Senator Duckworth’s spirited nature with sensitivity and joy, this dramatic account of a life lived in the service of others includes a time line and suggestions for further reading.

I Am Golden by Eva Chen, Illustrated by Sophie Diao

This joyful and lyrical picture book from New York Times bestselling author Eva Chen and illustrator Sophie Diao is a moving ode to the immigrant experience, as well as a manifesto of self-love for Chinese American children.

What do you see when you look in the mirror, Mei? Do you see beauty?

We see eyes that point toward the sun, that give us the warmth and joy of a thousand rays when you smile. We see hair as inky black and smooth as a peaceful night sky. We see skin brushed with gold.

Punky Aloha by Shar Tuiasoa

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.

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.

Shapes, Lines, and Light: My Grandfather’s American Journey by Katie Yamasaki

Katie Yamasaki’s newest picture book celebrates the life of her grandfather, the acclaimed Japanese American architect Minoru Yamasaki.

Minoru Yamasaki described the feeling he sought to create in his buildings as “serenity, surprise, and delight.” Here, Katie Yamasaki charts his life and work: his childhood in Seattle’s Japanese immigrant community, paying his way through college working in Alaska’s notorious salmon canneries, his success in architectural school, and the transformative structures he imagined and built. A Japanese American man who faced brutal anti-Asian racism in post–World War II America and an outsider to the architectural establishment, he nonetheless left his mark on the world, from the American Midwest to New York City, Asia, and the Middle East.

This striking picture book renders one artist’s work through the eyes of another, and tells a story of a man whose vision, hard work, and humanity led him to the pinnacle of his field.

Let’s Do Everything and Nothing by Julie Kuo

Let’s Do Everything and Nothing is a lush and lyrical picture book from Julia Kuo celebrating special moments―big and small―shared with a child.

Will you climb a hill with me?
Dive into a lake with me?
Reach the starry sky with me,
and watch the clouds parade?

Love can feel as vast as a sky full of breathtaking clouds or as gentle as a sparkling, starlit night. It can scale the tallest mountains and reach the deepest depths of the sea.

Standing side by side with someone you love, the unimaginable can seem achievable.
But not every magical moment is extraordinary. Simply being together is the best journey of all.

Fall Down Seven Times, Stand Up Eight: Patsy Takemoto Mink and the Fight for Title IX y Jen Bryant, Illustrated by Toshiki Nakamura

The only picture book biography about unsung hero Patsy Takemoto Mink, the first Asian American woman elected to Congress.

From a young age, Patsy Takemoto Mink learned that striving for goals came with challenges. But she also learned to never give up. As the Japanese proverb says: fall down seven times, stand up eight.

That spirit helped Patsy through school. She wanted to become a doctor, but at the time, medical schools didn’t admit women. So Patsy carved her own path. She went to law school, ran for a seat in the United States Congress, and helped create Title IX, the law that requires federally funded schools to treat boys and girls equally. Although many people tried to knock her down, Patsy—a historic trailblazer who spent her life fighting for fairness—always got up again!

From award-winning author Jen Bryant and illustrator Toshiki Nakamura comes an inspiring picture book biography that brings Patsy Takemoto Mink’s incredible legacy to life.

Amah Faraway by Margaret Chiu Greanias, Illustrated by Tracy Subisak

Kylie is nervous about visiting her grandmother-her Amah-who lives SO FAR AWAY.
When she and Mama finally go to Taipei, Kylie is shy with Amah. Even though they have spent time together in video chats, those aren’t the same as real life. And in Taiwan, Kylie is at first uncomfortable with the less-familiar language, customs, culture, and food. However, after she is invited by Amah-Lái kàn kàn! Come see!-to play and splash in the hot springs (which aren’t that different from the pools at home), Kylie begins to see this place through her grandmother’s eyes and sees a new side of the things that used to scare her. Soon, Kylie is leading her Amah-Come see! Lái kàn kàn!-back through all her favorite parts of this place and having SO MUCH FUN! And when it is time to go home, the video chats will be extra special until they can visit faraway again.

Backmatter includes author and illustrator notes and a guide to some of the places and foods explored in Taiwan.

Hundred Years of Happiness by Thanhhà Lai, Illustrated by Nguyen Quang and Kim Lien

A stunning picture book debut, showcasing the love between grandparents and grandchildren, the challenges of memory loss, and the joy that sweet reminders of a faraway home can bring, from award-winning, bestselling author Thanhhà Lại.

This sweet and emotional picture book will resonate with readers who love A Big Mooncake for Little StarLadder to the Moon, and Thank You, Omu!

An’s grandmother Bà sometimes gets trapped in her cloudy memories. An and her grandfather, Ông, come up with a plan to bring her back to a happy moment: they grow gấc fruits so they can make xôi gấc, Bà’s favorite dish from her wedding in Việt Nam many years ago.

An and Ông work together in the garden, nurturing the gấc seeds. They must be patient and wait for the seeds to grow, flower, and turn into fruit. When the xôi gấc is finally ready, An is hopeful that her grandmother will remember her wedding wish with Ông: hundred years of happiness.

Striking and vivid illustrations bring this tender story of a loving, intergenerational Vietnamese family to life.

Middle Grade

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 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.

A Is for Asian American: An Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Alphabet

The fabric of America is made up of countless threads weaving together different backgrounds and cultures. Using poetry and expository text, A is for Asian American: An Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Alphabet celebrates the cultures of and contributions from Asian Americans throughout our country’s history. Letter topics include traditions in food, family, and social celebrations, as well as key moments in history and milestone achievements. A is for Asian American illuminates the amazing and ongoing role the Asian American community has played in the shaping of America. Front and back matter provides additional information, including a glossary.

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.

We Are Here: 30 Inspiring Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Who Have Shaped the United States by Naomi Hirahara, Illustrated by Illianette Ferandez

A stunning anthology licensed in partnership with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, We Are Here celebrates 30 of the most inspiring Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in U.S. history.

There are more than 23 million people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent living in the United States. Their stories span across generations, as well as across the world. We Are Here highlights thirty Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and the impact they’ve had on the cultural, social, and political fabric of the United States.

Days of Infamy: How a Century of Bigotry Led to Japanese American Internment by Lawrence Goldstone

In another unrelenting look at the iniquities of the American justice system, Lawrence Goldstone, acclaimed author of Unpunished Murder, Stolen Justice, and Separate No More, examines the history of racism against Japanese Americans, exploring the territory of citizenship and touching on fears of non-white immigration to the US — with hauntingly contemporary echoes.

Asian American Women in Science: An Asian American History Book for Kids by Tina Cho

Stories of amazing Asian American women who broke barriers in science—for kids ages 8 to 12

Kazue Togasaki was one of the first Japanese American women to become a doctor. Chien-Shiung Wu was a Chinese American physicist who worked on top-secret projects. Isabella Aiona Abbott became an expert on the marine plant life of her native Hawaii. Asian American women are a huge part of scientific discovery, and this collection of biographies for kids explores 15 brilliant women, and how they used their intelligence and determination to overcome challenges and succeed.

Open up this Asian American children’s book and meet some of the scientists who helped:

  • Pave the way—Find out how people like inventor Alice Min Soo Chun and computer programmer Josephine Jue designed amazing new technology and spent time educating others.
  • Heal the sick—Learn about doctors like Joan Block and Jacqueline Whang-Peng who revolutionized how we treat diseases like hepatitis B and cancer.
  • Explore new worlds—Discover how botanist Roseli Ocampo-Friedmann and mathematician Angelita Castro-Kelly changed the way we think about outer space.

Dive into a world of inspiring women with this science-focused entry into Asian American books for kids.

Are you looking forward to any new releases that celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islanders throughout the remainder of the year? Be sure to share them in the comments!

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Review: I Am Able to Shine

I’m sure many of you already know that May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. To kick off the celebrations, I am sharing I Am Able to Shine by husband and wife duo Korey Watari and Mike Wu. Inspired by Korey’s own experiences growing up as a young Asian American girl in Los Angeles, I Am Able to Shine is an empowering picture book about embracing your identity and finding your voice

Title: I Am Able to Shine
Author: Korey Watari
Illustrator: Mike Wu
Publisher: Two Lions
Published: May 1, 2022
Format: Picture Book

I Am Able to Shine follows a young girl names Keiko who wants to shine and change the world. But sometimes Keiko feels invisible. With the love and support of her family, Keiko learns that she is enough by just be being herself. Her confidence blooms and she stands tall, proud of herself and her heritage all the way into her adult life where she achieves great things.

Korey Watari wrote this inspiring picture book for her daughters, and it shows in the very best way. You can see the love on every single page.

The backmatter contains a heartfelt author’s note as well as further detail about aspects of Japanese life that are mentioned throughout the book. I love that this book is both a mirror for young Japanese American readers, and a window for young readers who are less familiar with Japanese culture.

Mike Wu’s illsutrations bring Keiko’s story to life beautifully. His artwork has been described as “reminiscent of classics like Harry the Dirty Dog and Curious George”, and I can absolutely see why. I was instantly transported back to my childhood, and I loved the nostalgia of it all.

I Am Able to Shine officially released yesterday, so 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 so much to Two Lions for sharing this beautiful book with me. I’m so grateful to share it with everyone today!

About the Creators:

Husband-and-wife team Korey Watari and Mike Wu live in the San Francisco Bay area in California with their two lively daughters. This is their first picture book together.


Korey is a sansei, or third-generation Japanese American, born and raised in Los Angeles. She played basketball for a Japanese American league, graduated from the University of California, Riverside, and studied at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. Korey has worked in the animation and fashion industries for companies such as Disney and the Gap. This is her first picture book. Learn more at http://www.koreywatari.com or on Twitter at @tinyteru.


Mike is the author and illustrator of the acclaimed, bestselling Ellie series, the first picture book of which was named one of NPR’s best books of the year. He is also a Pixar artist and has worked on films including The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Up, Toy Story 3, Coco, and Soul. His illustrations have been hailed as “reminiscent of classics like Harry the Dirty Dog and Curious George.” Visit him at http://www.theartofmikewu.com or on Instagram at @wudog23.

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Review: Same Here! The Differences We Share

Today I’m sharing a creative picture book that celebrates the many unique ways people across the globe live. Same Here! The Differences We Share by Susan Hughes and Sophie Casson shares a glance into the day-to-day lives of young kids around the world, offering young readers a window into the lives of others.

Title: Same Here! The Differences We Share
Author: Susan Hughes
Illustrator: Sophie Casson
Publisher: Owl Kids
Published: April 15, 2022
Format: Illustrated Middle Grade

While Same Here! highlights the many many differences children’s lives may have, such as different cultures, socio-economic realities, and access to health and education, it also highlights the commonalities in everyone’s life. Each section is titled with the things we all need, like communication, food, shelter, and community. In these sections, Susan Hughes shares thought-provoking snapshots of the lives of young children drawn from her extensive research, encouraging children to draw connections between their own lives and those of other children in different countries.

The illustrations by Sophie Casson are wonderful. I loved the the bright colors used, but I especially appreciated the way the colors are consistent throughout, providing visual reminders of the similarities in the children’s lives.

Same Here! would be perfect for the classroom, and I would highly recommend it to fans of One Day, Many Ways, Who am I?, and This is How We Do It. This one will be officially released tomorrow (April 15, 2022), but you can preorder your copy today 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!)

Many thanks to Owl Kids for sending me a review copy of this amazing book! I was delighted to learn about the experiences of children across the world, and I’m so grateful to share it with you all today.

About The Author:

SUSAN HUGHES has written many books, both fiction and nonfiction, for children of all ages, including Carmen and the House That Gaudí Built, What Happens Next, and Off to Class. Susan is a freelance editor, writer, and story coach. She lives in Toronto, Canada.

About the Illustrator:

SOPHIE CASSON has illustrated a number of children’s books, including The Artist and Me, a finalist for the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, and Helen’s Birds. Her highly acclaimed illustrations have also appeared in many international publications, including The Globe and Mail, The New York Times, and The Financial Times. Sophie lives in Montreal, Quebec.

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Review: Only One

If you’re looking for a book for Earth Day next week, I’ve got the perfect selection for you today. Only One by Deborah Hopkinson and Chuck Groenink is a wonderful nonfiction picture book that introduces young readers to our planet and the precious life that can be found on Earth.

Title: Only One
Author: Deborah Hopkinson
Illustrator: Chuck Groenink
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
Published: April 5, 2022
Format: Picture Book

Following our narrator, a young girl, readers learn about the universe, the galaxy, and, of course, our planet. Starting with a BIG BANG and working her way all the way down to the microscopic life here on earth, she simply introduces lots of complex ideas in a way young readers can easily digest. Our narrator also reminds us that there is only one. One universe, one galaxy, and one planet that we inhabit. This is a great book to open conversations about the importance of caring for our family and the many ways we can do that.

The backmatter has lots of resources for further learning, including NASA Climate Kids, where parents and educators can find a variety of activities for different age groups to inspire the next generation to take care of our one and only Earth.

The illustrations by Chuck Groenink are absolutely delightful. I loved the warm colors throughout, but I especially appreciated the way the concepts become more tangible as the focus narrows to earth. The universe and galaxy are presented as ideas the children dream about, and then suddenly they are on Earth in nature, reminded that our planet is a part of something bigger. I thought it was a really lovely way to make the concepts easier to process for young readers.

Only One 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 Random House Children’s Books and Blue Slip Media for sharing Only One with me! I can’t wait to share it with my little one on Earth Day.

About the Author:

Deborah Hopkinson is the author of many highly acclaimed picture books, including A Letter to My Teacher, which received two starred reviews, and the modern classic Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt, which the New York Times called “inspiring.” Her other books include Sky Boys: How They Built the Empire State Building, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book; and Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek: A Tall, Thin Tale, an ALA-ALSC Notable Children’s Book. She lives in Oregon with her family. Visit her at deborahhopkinson.com.

About the Illustrator:

Chuck Groenink is the illustrator of 16 Words by Lisa Rogers, which the New York Times described as “warm and cozy,” as well as Hank’s Big Day by Evan Kuhlman, which received three starred reviews. His other picture books include William’s Winter Nap by Linda Ashman, which PW described “as adorable as it gets” in a starred review. Chuck graduated from the Artez Institute of Visual Arts in 2004. Visit him on the web at chuckgroenink.com or on Twitter at @ChuckGroenink.

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