New Release Round Up – June 22, 2021

It’s Tuesday, so we all know what that means. Time to talk about new releases again!

I’m so excited to share the new releases I am most looking forward to this week with you all. 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

I Like To Share by Stephen Krensky, Illustrated by Sara Gillingham (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Celebrate the joys of learning to share in this exuberant board book from the Empowerment series!

I kept snacks to myself.
Now I give some away.
Once I hogged the whole swing.
Now I let others play.

With relevant and charming specifics, Stephen Krensky and Sara Gillingham address the joy we feel from giving back.

The Empowerment series addresses the small victories of growing up and starting to embrace the world on your own terms with encouraging text and retro-fresh illustrations. Celebrate the milestones of toddlerhood with the whole series.”

Let’s Say Hello by Giselle Ang, Illustrated by Erica Sirotich (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Teach babies to greet others in twelve different languages with this adorable multilingual board book!

Get ready, everyone! LET’S SAY…HELLO.

A perfect companion to Disney’s “It’s a Small World” and Shirley Ng-Benitez’s How Do You Say series, Let’s Say board books teach tiny tots warm and friendly words/phrases in several languages. Each book features:

twelve diverse languages: American Sign Language, Arabic, French, German, Haitian Creole, Hausa, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Spanish
vibrant and colorful illustrations
easy-to-read pronunciations/demonstrations
kid-friendly illustrations of everyday babies from around the world
An ideal baby shower or first-day-of-school gift!”

ABC for Me: ABC Let’s Celebrate You & Me by Sugar Snap Studio (Bookshop | Amazon)

“ABC Let’s Celebrate You & Me presents 26 things—from A to Z—that make us special and that are worth celebrating!

From our bodies and our emotions to our interests and hobbies, there is so much to celebrate about ourselves! We all have different talents, ideas, and things to say, but we are more similar than we are different. ABC Let’s Celebrate You & Me presents a whole alphabet full of positive attributes kids can celebrate, including their bodies, skin, eyes, and hair, on the outside, as well as inner qualities, such as their interests, kindness, and personalities.

ABC Let’s Celebrate You & Me features colorful illustrations, as well as thoughtful text that gets kids thinking about who they are and how all people are unique, special, and worthy of love and happiness. Each letter of the alphabet is paired with either a physical or character attribute, and each page promotes self-love and kindness to others. This book shows that when we work together and respect each other, we can do great things!”

Picture Books

Making A Baby by Rachel Greener, Illustrated by Clare Owen (Bookshop | Amazon)

“This inclusive guide to how every family begins is an honest, cheerful tool for conversations between parents and their young ones.

To make a baby you need one egg, one sperm, and one womb. But every family starts in its own special way. This book answers the “Where did I come from?” question no matter who the reader is and how their life began. From all different kinds of conception through pregnancy to the birth itself, this candid and cozy guide is just right for the first conversations that parents will have with their children about how babies are made.”

Thank You, Dr. Salk!: The Scientist Who Beat Polio and Healed the World by Dean Robbins, Illustrated by Mike Dutton (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Dr. Jonas Salk finds the cure for polio in this inspiring, educational, and timely nonfiction picture book.

Jonas Salk wasn’t seen as a brave hero―not at first. As a child he was quiet and unassuming, but Jonas dreamed of tikkun olam, the Jewish phrase for “healing the world.” He saw the polio virus strike his city, and he knew that with determination and hard work, he could be the one to stop its spread. So he grew up to study medicine, ultimately creating the polio vaccine that saved untold numbers of lives―and healed the world!

With Dean Robbins’s inspiring text and Mike Dutton’s dynamic illustrations, Thank You, Dr. Salk! is a true and timely story of trials, triumph, and what it takes to achieve your dreams. An author’s note provides additional insight into Dr. Salk’s life and influences, and the history of vaccines.”

How To Wear A Sari by Darshana Khiani, Illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Sparkling with voice and charm, this picture book about a fashionable kid out to prove she’s not as small as everyone thinks is perfect for kids eager to grow up, and for those who love to play dress-up.

Being a little kid isn’t always fun and games. Sometimes, it’s downright annoying.

When a little girl tires of being treated like she’s TOO little, she sets out to prove to her family that she can do ANYTHING she puts her mind to . . .

. . . including putting on a colorful, twinkly, silky sari. Sure, they’re long and unwieldy—but that only means her family will be even more impressed when she puts it on all by herself.

Naturally, there are some hiccups along the way, but she discovers that she’s not the only one in her family who has set out with something to prove, with hilariously chaotic results. That’s what photo albums are for!”

Indelible Ann: The Larger-Than-Life Story of Governor Ann Richards by Meghan P. Browne, Illustrated by Carlynn Whitt (Bookshop | Amazon)

“A folksy, larger-than-life picture book biography about Ann Richards, the late governor of Texas who has inspired countless women in politics today.

Dorothy Ann Willis hailed from a small Texas town, but early on she found her voice and the guts to use it.

During her childhood in San Diego and her high school years back in Texas (when she dropped the “Dorothy”), Ann discovered a spark and passion for civic duty. It led her all the way to Washington, DC, where she, along with other girls from around the country, learned about the business of politics. Fast forward to Ann taking on the political boys’ club: she became county commissioner, then state treasurer, and finally governor of Texas. In this stunning picture book biography, full of vim, vigor, and folksy charm, two Texan creators take us through the life of the legendary “big mouth, big hair” governor of Texas, a woman who was inspired by Eleanor Roosevelt, and in turn became an inspiration to Hillary Clinton and countless others.”

It’s Raining Tacos! by Parry Gripp, Illustrated by Peter Emmerich (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Wildly fun and full of laugh-out-loud antics, this interactive sing-along is a zany romp sure to capture fans of Giraffes Can’t Dance and Dragons Love Tacos. Shell we dance?

Taco-bout irresistible! Jam out to the catchy, toe-tapping tune “Raining Tacos” from YouTube sensation Parry Gripp, featuring everyone’s favorite treat!

This spec-taco-ular, goofy song, with new, never-before-sung lyrics, is perfect for sharing, so grab a few friends—young or old—and get ready to crunch your way to a good time!

It’s raining tacos, from out of the sky.

Tacos, no need to ask why.

Just open your mouth and close your eyes.

It’s raining tacos!”

Darcy’s First Sleepover by Julie Fortenberry (Bookshop | Amazon)

“A gently reassuring picture book about the milestone of a first sleepover, for fans of The Invisible String by Patrice Karst and Wemberly Worries by Kevin Henkes.

Every night at home, Darcy brushes her teeth with strawberry toothpaste; she snuggles in bed with Little Cat; and she falls asleep to the sound of her dad washing the dishes. But tonight, Darcy is having her very first sleepover! Even though it’s at her cousin Kayla’s house, it still feels a little daunting. Kayla has peppermint toothpaste, a baby bear named Charlotte, and howling winds outside her window. Darcy misses her dad and her own cozy bedroom. Should she ask her aunt to take her home?

This rewarding tale celebrates the excitement of new experiences and the power of quiet growth. Backmatter also included shedding light on steps parents can take when helping kids prepare for their first sleepover!”

All We Need by Kathy Wolff, Illustrated by Margaux Meganck (Bookshop | Amazon)

“For fans of All the World and Love, a poetic story that celebrates the littlest things we all need to be happy — and the beauty of sharing with others when we have more to give.

Each bustling day in our busy world, we can take a moment to appreciate the little things. From the simplest essentials like air and water to the wonderful warmth of family, friends, and neighbors, there is so much in life to be thankful for.

Kathy Wolff’s melodic verse and Margaux Meganck’s lush and cozy city scenes follow three families through moments of daily discovery and joy, culminating in a celebration of community and giving.

When we have all we need, plus a little to spare, the only need left . . . is to share.”

Middle Grade

Ahmed Aziz’s Epic Year by Nina Hamza (Bookshop | Amazon)

“This hilarious and poignant tween debut about dealing with bullies, making friends, and the power of good books is a great next read for fans of Merci Suárez Changes Gears and John David Anderson.

Ahmed Aziz is having an epic year—epically bad.

After his dad gets sick, the family moves from Hawaii to Minnesota for his dad’s treatment. Even though his dad grew up there, Ahmed can’t imagine a worse place to live. He’s one of the only brown kids in his school. And as a proud slacker, Ahmed doesn’t want to deal with expectations from his new teachers.

Ahmed surprises himself by actually reading the assigned books for his English class: Holes, Bridge to Terabithia, and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Shockingly, he doesn’t hate them. Ahmed also starts learning about his uncle, who died before Ahmed was born. Getting bits and pieces of his family’s history might be the one upside of the move, as his dad’s health hangs in the balance and the school bully refuses to leave him alone. Will Ahmed ever warm to Minnesota?”

She Shoots, She Scores!: A Celebration of Women’s Soccer by Catriona Clarke, Illustrated by Sarah Long (Bookshop | Amazon)

“With a foreword by England captain Steph Houghton, She Shoots, She Scores! tells the incredible story of the BEST sport in the world, women’s soccer―from the men who tried to ban it to the superstars of today’s game, including Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe. Read on to find out about . . .

– The girl who had to play soccer in secret but grew up to become a goal-scoring legend
– The 13-year-old who shot to international fame but didn’t get a mention in the school assembly
– The greatest women’s soccer player ever, who scored in FIVE World Cups

Written by acclaimed YA novelist Catriona Clarke, the book is packed with facts and stats about the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the Olympics, plus pocket profiles of the world’s top players―from Marta to Wendie Renard―and record-breaking teams, including the U.S. Women’s National Team and Olympique Lyonnais. What’s more, discover the key skills you’ll need to become a great goalkeeper, a tough-tackling defender, or the world’s next superstar striker!”

Graphic Novels

Jukebox by Nidhi Chanani (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Grab some coins for the jukebox, and get ready for a colorful, time-traveling, musical tale about family and courage.
A mysterious jukebox, old vinyl records, and cryptic notes on music history, are Shaheen’s only clues to her father’s abrupt disappearance. She looks to her cousin, Tannaz, who seems just as perplexed, before they both turn to the jukebox which starts…glowing?

Suddenly, the girls are pulled from their era and transported to another time! Keyed to the music on the record, the jukebox sends them through decade after decade of music history, from political marches, to landmark concerts. But can they find Shaheen’s dad before the music stops? This time-bending magical mystery tour invites readers to take the ride of their lives for a coming-of-age adventure.”

Athena by Imogen and Isabel Greenberg (Bookshop | Amazon)

“A spunky, feminist take on the myth of Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, war, and courage

From the moment she sprung from Zeus’s head, Athena was extraordinary. Even though some doubted her as a young goddess, Athena never backed down from a fight. Poseidon wants to be the patron god of a nearby city? Well, so does Athena! And she’s going to outwit him and found Athens. Perseus doesn’t know how to defeat Medusa? No problem! Athena can give him the knowledge (and shield) he needs to take off her head. Odysseus is lost at sea, seemingly doomed? Not anymore! Athena can get him home. Follow the goddess of wisdom through her adventures with gods and mortals, discover the perils of crossing her, and see how she eventually learned to better understand and aid the human race.”

Chunky by Yehudi Mercado (Bookshop | Amazon)

“In this full-color middle grade graphic memoir for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Jerry Craft, Yehudi Mercado draws inspiration from his childhood struggle with his weight while finding friendship with his imaginary mascot, Chunky, as he navigates growing up in a working class Mexican-Jewish family.

Hudi needs to lose weight, according to his doctors. Concerned about the serious medical issue Hudi had when he was younger, his parents push him to try out for sports. Hudi would rather do anything else, but then he meets Chunky, his imaginary friend and mascot. Together, they decide to give baseball a shot.

As the only Mexican and Jewish kid in his neighborhood, Hudi has found the cheerleader he never had. Baseball doesn’t go well (unless getting hit by the ball counts), but the two friends have a great time drawing and making jokes. While Hudi’s parents keep trying to find the right sport for Hudi, Chunky encourages him to pursue his true love—comedy.

But when Hudi’s dad loses his job, it gets harder for Hudi to chart his own course, even with Chunky’s guidance. Can Chunky help Hudi stay true to himself or will this friendship strike out?”

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!

Did I miss any releases you’re excited for? Be sure to share in the comments below!

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Jenny Mei Is Sad

Jenny Mei Is Sad by Tracy Subisak is a heartfelt picture book that discusses the complexities of sadness and how friends support one another through hard times. With each spread averaging one sentence, this is a deceptively simple book with so much heart!

In Jenny Mei Is Sad, our narrator introduces us to her friend Jenny Mei and explains that it’s not always easy to tell when she’s sad. Some days, Jenny plays well with others; other days, not so much. But luckily our narrator knows how to support a friend in need. Whether it’s waiting patiently while Jenny talks to an adult or sharing her favorite food on the long walk home, the narrator provides a wonderful example of friendship for young readers.

The illustrations are absolutely wonderful. They beautifully capture all the complex emotions we feel throughout a single day, “the fun and not-fun and everything in between”.

Jenny Mei Is Sad is the perfect selection to teach young readers about friendship, empathy, and caring for the people they love. It officially releases tomorrow (June 15, 2021), 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!)

Tracy Subisak is an author and illustrator based in the Pacific Northwest. Though she has illustrated many books, Jenny Mei Is Sad is her author/illustrator debut. To learn more about her and her work, please visit her website at tracysubisak.com.

Many thanks to Little Brown Books for Young Readers for generously providing me with a review copy of Jenny Mei Is Sad. It is such an important lesson for young readers, and I’m so grateful to be able to share it today.

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All Sorts – A Book About Sorting Yourself Out

Those of you who know me know I love organization and sorting more than most people—believe it or not, I actually relieve stress by reorganizing my bookshelves—so when I heard about All Sorts by Pippa Goodhart, I knew I had to read it!

This precious picture book follows a young girl named Frankie who loves to sort things. From toys to animals, Frankie sorts everything out by size, shape, and color.

But one day Frankie tries to sort people, which can be very confusing, especially when sorting oneself. Frankie finds herself questioning her place in the world when she realizes she is the only version of herself. Fortunately, she learns some things are just meant to be all mixed up.

The illustrations by Emily Rand are what my children’s book dreams are made of, with bright bold pages packed with detail. This is definitely a book to pause and point out all the colorful objects with young readers. I really enjoyed All Sorts and would recommend it to anyone looking for a book that embraces both the beauty of being unique and the diversity of our world.

All Sorts is available wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon, so be sure to grab your copy today. (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!)

For more information about Pippa Goodhart and her work, please visit her website at pippagoodhart.co.uk.

To learn more about Emily Rand and her work, please visit her website at emilyrand.com.

I also want to thank Nobrow Press and Flying Eye Books for generously providing me with a review copy of this delightful book. I look forward to many rereads with my little one.

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Peace – A Big Concept For Small Readers

With all the division we see in our world these days, I think we can agree that we could all use a little more peace. So I am thrilled to share Peace by Baptiste Paul and Miranda Paul with you all today.

This picture book takes a huge concept like peace and makes it completely approachable for young readers.

Peace explores the many definitions of peace and all the small steps we can take to help bring peace to ourselves, our communities, and the world. From pronouncing our friends name correctly to saying “I’m sorry”, our small actions can have a huge impact.

I really appreciate the authors’ message that our inner peace reflects back out into the world and can affect others, including animals and the earth. As someone who is often overwhelmed by the idea of peace and how to bring it to the world, this message really resonated with me and reminded me that I have to start with myself.

I love the illustrations by Estelí Meza, especially all the different animals included. There is also a really fun foldout spread on the last page, which was a lovely surprise.

Peace is officially released next week (March 2, 2021), but you can preorder it 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 continue bringing content to you. Your support is always appreciated!)

Baptiste Paul is an environmentalist, activist, and award-winning author who grew up in St. Lucia. To learn more about him and his work, please visit his website at baptistepaul.net.

Miranda Paul is a founding member of We Need Diverse Books and an award winning children’s book author based in Wisconsin. To learn more about her and her work, please visit her website at mirandapaul.com.

Estelí Meza is an award-winning illustrator based in Mexico City. To learn more about her and her work, please visit her website at estelimeza.com.

I want to thank North South Books for generously sending me a review copy of Peace. I’m so happy to be able to share such a lovely book with you all.

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10 Children’s Books To Celebrate World Day Of Social Justice

In 2007 The United Nations declared that February 20th would be celebrated every year as World Day Of Social Justice. Today is all about promoting the need for social justice, which include human rights, poverty, gender equality, unemployment, and more. In honor of this observance, I want to share a few of my favorite titles to inspired the next generation of change makers.

I tried to include something for all age groups (with the exception of young adult, because that’s just not my area of expertise). I should also note that I tried to steer away from picture book biographies for this list, because there are so many amazing stories of people fighting for change that I couldn’t pick favorites. This list is focused on titles that will encourage young readers to raise their voice, and speak up for the issues that are most important to them.

That being said, let’s get into my 10 picks for World Day of Social Justice.

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.

Say Something by Peter H. Reynolds (Bookshop | Amazon)

“In this empowering new picture book, beloved author Peter H. Reynolds explores the many ways that a single voice can make a difference. Each of us, each and every day, have the chance to say something: with our actions, our words, and our voices. Perfect for kid activists everywhere, this timely story reminds readers of the undeniable importance and power of their voice. There are so many ways to tell the world who you are… what you are thinking… and what you believe. And how you’ll make it better. The time is now: SAY SOMETHING!”

Get Up, Stand Up by Bob Marley, Adapter by Cedella Marley, and Illustrated by John Jay Cabuay (Bookshop | Amazon)

“A heartfelt and meaningful book that brings Bob Marley’s music to life in a new way: As a young girl goes on with her day in school, she comes across several instances of teasing and intimidation. But with loving action and some help from her friends, she’s able to make things right for herself and others. This cute children’s book includes the impactful lyrics of Bob Marley’s song ‘Get Up, Stand Up’ that has inspired millions of listeners around the world with messages of peace, love, and truth.”

Peaceful Fights For Equal Rights by Rob Sanders, Illustrated by Jared Andrew Schorr (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Protesting. Standing up for what’s right. Uniting around the common good—kids have questions about all of these things they see and hear about each day. Through sparse and lyrical writing, Rob Sanders introduces abstract concepts like “fighting for what you believe in” and turns them into something actionable. Jared Schorr’s bold, bright illustrations brings the resistance to life making it clear that one person can make a difference. And together, we can accomplish anything.”

Equality’s Call by Deborah Diesen, Illustrated by Magdelena Mora (Bookshop | Amazon)

“A right isn’t right
till it’s granted to all…

The founders of the United States declared that consent of the governed was a key part of their plan for the new nation. But for many years, only white men of means were allowed to vote. This unflinching and inspiring history of voting rights looks back at the activists who answered equality’s call, working tirelessly to secure the right for all to vote, and it also looks forward to the future and the work that still needs to be done.”

Sometimes People March by Tessa Allen (Bookshop | Amazon)

“With a spare, inspiring text and gorgeous watercolor illustrations, this is a timeless and important book for activists of all ages. This hardcover picture book is perfect for sharing and for gifting.

Sometimes people march
to resist injustice,
to stand in solidarity,
to inspire hope.

Throughout American history, one thing remains true: no matter how or why people march, they are powerful because they march together.”

Love Is Powerful by Heather Dean Brewer, Illustrated by LeUyen Pham (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Mari is getting ready to make a sign with crayon as the streets below her fill up with people. “What are we making, Mama?” she asks. “A message for the world,” Mama says. “How will the whole world hear?” Mari wonders. “They’ll hear,” says Mama, “because love is powerful.” Inspired by a girl who participated in the January 2017 Women’s March in New York City, Heather Dean Brewer’s simple and uplifting story, delightfully illustrated by LeUyen Pham, is a reminder of what young people can do to promote change and equality at a time when our country is divided by politics, race, gender, and religion.”

If You’re Going To A March by Martha Freeman, Illustrated by Violet Kim (Bookshop | Amazon)

“As more and more children attend the growing number of marches across the country, this cheerful guide serves as a great reference tool and conversation starter for youthful participants. Inspired by author Martha Freeman’s own experiences, this picture book addresses many of the questions kids might have: What should I wear? How will I get there? Where will I be able to go to the bathroom? Is it okay to dance? (Yes, it is!). All the while the text stays focused on the fact that the right to assemble is a Constitutional part of our life as Americans . . . whatever our political point of view.”

Together We March by Leah Henderson, Illustrated by Tyler Feder (Bookshop | Amazon)

“March through history and discover twenty-five groundbreaking protest movements that have shaped the way we fight for equality and justice today in this stunningly illustrated and sweeping book!
For generations, marches have been an invaluable tool for bringing about social change. People have used their voices, the words on their signs, and the strength in their numbers to combat inequality, oppression, and discrimination. They march to call attention to these wrongs and demand change and action, from a local to a global scale.
Whether demanding protective laws or advocating for equal access to things like voting rights, public spaces, and jobs, the twenty-five marches in this book show us that even when a fight seems impossible, marching can be the push needed to tip the scales and create a movement. This gorgeous collection celebrates this rich and diverse history, the often-overlooked stories, and the courageous people who continue to teach us the importance of coming together to march today.”

No Voice Too Small by Lindsey H. Metcalf, Keila Dawson, and Jeanette Bradley (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Mari Copeny demanded clean water in Flint. Jazz Jennings insisted, as a transgirl, on playing soccer with the girls’ team. From Viridiana Sanchez Santos’s quinceañera demonstration against anti-immigrant policy to Zach Wahls’s moving declaration that his two moms and he were a family like any other, No Voice Too Small celebrates the young people who know how to be the change they seek. Fourteen poems honor these young activists. Featuring poems by Lesléa Newman, Traci Sorell, and Nikki Grimes. Additional text goes into detail about each youth activist’s life and how readers can get involved.”

Kid Activists by Robin Stevenson, Illustrated by Allison Steinfeld (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Every activist started out as a kid—and in some cases they were kids when their activism began! But even the world’s greatest champions of civil liberties had relatable interests and problems–often in the middle of extraordinary circumstances. Martin Luther King, Jr. loved fashion, and argued with his dad about whether or not dancing was a sin. Harvey Milk had a passion for listening to opera music in different languages. Dolores Huerta was once wrongly accused of plagiarizing in school. Kid Activists tells these childhood stories and more through kid-friendly texts and full-color cartoon illustrations on nearly every page. The diverse and inclusive group encompasses Susan B. Anthony, James Baldwin, Ruby Bridges, Frederick Douglass, Alexander Hamilton, Dolores Huerta, Helen Keller, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Iqbal Masih, Harvey Milk, Janet Mock, Rosa Parks, Autumn Peltier, Emma Watson, and Malala Yousafzai.”

I hope this list helps you all find a few extra titles to encourage your young readers to speak up for the issues closest to their hearts.

What are your favorite books about activism and social justice? Be sure to leave them in the comments below!

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A Girl’s Bill Of Rights – An Empowering Picture Book About Human Rights

Happy Galentine’s Day Everyone!

Galentine’s Day is the brilliant creation of Leslie Knope, a lovable character on the show Parks and Rec. While the horrible behavior of two actors on the show may have ruined re-watching the show for me, I won’t let them take away Galentine’s Day. Galentine’s Day comes every year on the day before Valentine’s Day, and it’s a day dedicated to showing your love for all the women and girls in your life that support you day to day. So in the spirit of celebrating women, I want to share A Girl’s Bill Of Rights by Amy Mucha with you all.

This picture book is all about girls standing up for their right to confidence, freedom, and consent. A Girl’s Bill Of Rights reads a bit like a lyrical affirmation, and to be honest, it has a few lines I should probably be speaking into the mirror every once in a while. This book pushes back on the many societal expectations women, girls, and other femmes are faced with, like the pressure to avoid making people “uncomfortable” with your feelings, or to shy away from being proud of your achievements.

Despite the depth of the subject matter, the illustrations by Addy Rivera Sonda are so fun, and I love that they depict such a diverse cast of characters.

I also love that A Girl’s Bill Of Rights can be used to teach children both how they deserve to be treated, and how they should be treating others. While this is a great book for encouraging girls to stand up for themselves and speak up about how they feel, I think it is an equally important read for boys. I can’t wait to start reading this book to my son so he will know from an early age how I expect him to treat women.

If you’re looking for an empowering book to introduce human rights, I would highly recommend A Girl’s Bill of Rights. It is available now wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. (Please note: These 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 continue bringing content to you. Your support is always appreciated!)

Amy Mucha is a children’s book author based in Chapel Hill, NC who is passionate about empowering women and girls. To learn more about her and her work, please visit her website at amybmucha.com.

Addy Rivera Sonda is an illustrator, animal lover, vegan, and avid activist in various animal rights groups like Animal Save, Anti-Speciesist Action, and Casa Animal “Animal House”. To learn more abotu her and her work, please visit her website at addyriverasonda.wixsite.com.

Thank you so much to Beaming Books for sending me a review copy of A Girl’s Bill of Rights. It was an absolute delight to read!

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I Am A Kindness Hero – A New Kind Of Role Model For Boys

As a mother who has a son, I’m always on the lookout for picture books encouraging kindness and gentleness, especially “for boys”.

This isn’t because my son is particularly unkind, or because I think boys in general have a tendency to be unkind, but rather that I believe society doesn’t expect kindness from boys in the same way we expect it from young girls.

While my husband and I do not buy into gender stereotypes, I am very aware that the world will tell my son all about the dangers of being “soft”. He has lived a pretty secluded first year thanks to COVID, so there’s no one to tell him he shouldn’t gently hug his stuffed animals and make that sweet little “MMmm” sound. However, I know the day is coming when those kinds of behaviors will be ridiculed because they don’t mirror societal expectations of masculinity.

To get ahead of this negative message, we love a book that provides positive examples of boys being tender. I Am A Kindness Hero by Jennifer Adams depicts this role model perfectly.

A companion to I Am A Warrior Goddess, this book follows a young boy practicing kindness. Whether he is helping someone cross the street, standing up to bullies on the playground, or just helping his little sister tie her shoe, our main character reminds us to lead with patience, love, and kindness.

The illustrations by Carme Lemniscates are fantastic. I especially love the warmth of the colors, and how they mirror the warmth we associate with kindness.

I would highly recommend this book for any young reader, because its message is truly universal. I don’t believe the world can ever have too much kindness.

I Am A Kindness Hero will officially be available next week (January 26, 2021), but you can preorder it today wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. (Please note: These 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 continue bringing content to you. Your support is always appreciated!)

Jennifer Adams is an editor and accomplished author (with 50 books published!) who lives in Salt Lake City with her husband, who is also a writer. You can learn more about her and her work by visiting her website at jennifer-adams.com.

Carme Lemniscates is an author, illustrator, designer, and the founder of Lemniscates Studio. To learn more about her and her work you can visit her website at lemniscates.com.

I would like to thank Sound True for providing me with a review copy of I Am A Kindness Hero. I know I will read this one to my son for many years to come, in hopes it will encourage him to stay sweet and kind forever,

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Remembering The Issues on Inauguration Day

Today, as we celebrate the Inauguration of Joe Biden as our 46th president and Kamala Harris as our first female (and Black, and South Asian) Vice President, I want to encourage everyone to remember, the fight is not over.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t be celebrating, but I have already seen folks losing steam. The conviction we had to fight injustices over the summer seems to have dwindled in the wake of good news. But the fight has not been won with one election. Let’s not forget it was just last week the Department of Health and Human Services finalized a rule that removed LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections.

So today, in honor of the change in office and all the positive change I hope it brings our nation, I want to highlight a few books to help discuss a few of the issues our country still faces with the next generation. These books will show young readers how far we have come, and open doors to conversations about how far we still have left to go.

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. Your support is always appreciated!

LGBTQ+ Rights

Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders, Illustrated by Steven Salerno (Bookshop | Amazon)

“In this deeply moving and empowering true story, young readers will trace the life of the Gay Pride Flag, from its beginnings in 1978 with social activist Harvey Milk and designer Gilbert Baker to its spanning of the globe and its role in today’s world. Award-winning author Rob Sanders’s stirring text, and acclaimed illustrator Steven Salerno’s evocative images, combine to tell this remarkable – and undertold – story. A story of love, hope, equality, and pride.”

Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution. by Rob Sanders, Illustrated by Jamey Christoph (Bookshop | Amazon)

“From Rob Sanders, author of the acclaimed Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag, comes this powerful and timeless true story that will allow young readers to discover the rich and dynamic history of the Stonewall Inn and its role in the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement–a movement that continues to this very day. Movingly narrated by the Stonewall Inn itself, and featuring stirring and dynamic illustrations, Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution is an essential and empowering civil rights story that every child deserves to hear.”

When You Look Out the Window: How Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin Built a Community by Gayle E. Pitman, Illustrated by Christopher Lyles (Bookshop | Amazon)

“When You Look Out the Window tells the story of Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin, one of San Francisco’s most well-known and politically active lesbian couples. Describing the view from Phyllis and Del’s window, this book shows how one couple’s activism transformed their community — and had ripple effects throughout the world.”

Racial Justice

Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by Jonah Winter, Illustrated by Shane W. Evans (Bookshop | Amazon)

“As Lillian, a one-hundred-year-old African American woman, makes a “long haul up a steep hill” to her polling place, she sees more than trees and sky—she sees her family’s history. She sees the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment and her great-grandfather voting for the first time. She sees her parents trying to register to vote. And she sees herself marching in a protest from Selma to Montgomery. Veteran bestselling picture-book author Jonah Winter and Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award winner Shane W. Evans vividly recall America’s battle for civil rights in this lyrical, poignant account of one woman’s fierce determination to make it up the hill and make her voice heard.”

We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom, Illustrated by Michaela Goade (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, We Are Water Protectors issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth’s water from harm and corruption―a bold and lyrical picture book written by Carole Lindstrom and vibrantly illustrated by Michaela Goade.”

Write to Me: Letters from Japanese American Children to the Librarian They Left Behind by Cynthia Grady, Illustrated by Amiko Hirao (Bookshop | Amazon)

“When Executive Order 9066 is enacted after the attack at Pearl Harbor, children’s librarian Clara Breed’s young Japanese American patrons are to be sent to prison camp. Before they are moved, Breed asks the children to write her letters and gives them books to take with them. Through the three years of their internment, the children correspond with Miss Breed, sharing their stories, providing feedback on books, and creating a record of their experiences. Using excerpts from children’s letters held at the Japanese American National Museum, author Cynthia Grady presents a difficult subject with honesty and hope.”

Environmental Conservation

Our House Is On Fire by Jeanette Winter (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Learn the story of TIME PERSON OF THE YEAR Greta Thunberg, the sixteen-year-old climate activist who has sparked a worldwide student movement and is demanding action from world leaders who refuse to address climate change—from acclaimed picture book creator Jeanette Winter.”

One Earth by Eileen Spinelli, Illustrated by Rogério Coelho (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Kids can count reasons to love the planet and ways to protect it in the pages of this conservation-themed book. Gentle verse reminds the reader of Earth’s beauties–starting with “one wide sweeping sky, two honey bees” and continuing all the way to “ten fields to plow.” The text then starts counting backwards, listing simple ways children can help, such as reducing waste and reusing items. The conclusion takes us back to number one with the book’s key message: “One Earth so beautiful. Remember–only one.” At once celebration and challenge, this book will encourage children to take better care of the planet.”

The Mess That We Made by Michelle Lord, Illustrated by Julia Blattman (Bookshop | Amazon)

“The Mess That We Made explores the environmental impact of trash and plastic on the ocean and marine life, and it inspires kids to do their part to combat pollution. Simple, rhythmic wording builds to a crescendo and the vibrant digital artwork captures the disaster that is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Children can imagine themselves as one of the four multi-ethnic occupants of the little boat surrounded by swirling plastic in the middle of the ocean, witnessing the cycle of destruction and the harm it causes to plants, animals, and humans.”

Disability Rights

All the Way to the Top: How One Girl’s Fight for Americans with Disabilities Changed Everything by Annette Bay Pimentel, Illustrated by Nabi H Ali (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Jennifer Keelan was determined to make a change―even if she was just a kid. She never thought her wheelchair could slow her down, but the way the world around her was built made it hard to do even simple things. Like going to school, or eating lunch in the cafeteria.

Jennifer knew that everyone deserves a voice! Then the Americans with Disabilities Act, a law that would make public spaces much more accessible to people with disabilities, was proposed to Congress. And to make sure it passed, Jennifer went to the steps of the Capitol building in Washington DC to convince them.”

Helen’s Big World by Doreen Rappaport, Illustrated by Patrick William Connally (Bookshop | Amazon)

“This picture book biography is an excellent and accessible introduction for young readers to learn about one of the world’s most influential luminaries. With her signature style of prose laced with stirring quotes, Doreen Rappaport brings to life Helen Keller’s poignant narrative. Acclaimed illustrator Matt Tavares beautifully captures the dynamism and verve of Helen Keller’s life and legacy, making Helen’s Big World an unforgettable portrait of a woman whose vision for innovation and progress changed America-and the world-forever.”

Ed Roberts: Champion of Disability Rights by Diana Pastora Carson, Illustrated by Patrick William Connally (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Children know about Civil Rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Cesar Chavez. But many have yet to learn about the transformational work of Ed Roberts, hailed as the “Father of Independent Living.” Ed Roberts: Champion of Disability Rights is a biography about Edward Verne Roberts, who, at age 14, became a quadriplegic as a result of Polio. The life he lived post-Polio was one of transformation, both for himself, and for society’s image of people with disabilities.

Ed became empowered through his determination, his education, and his advocacy for supports and services that enabled him to become an independent citizen. Ed knew he was not disabled by Polio as much as he was disabled by societal responses to his disability. He fought for his own rights and the civil rights of all people with disabilities. His legacy continues to inspire access, equity, and life quality, both in the United States and abroad. This book describes his life in mission in terms that children will understand and adults will connect to. The bold and detailed artwork of the late Patrick William Connally graces each page with poetic representations of disability civil rights history.”

Immigration

We Came To America by Faith Ringgold (Bookshop | Amazon)

“From the Native Americans who first called this land their home, to the millions of people who have flocked to its shores ever since, America is a country rich in diversity. Some of our ancestors were driven by dreams and hope. Others came in chains, or were escaping poverty or persecution. No matter what brought them here, each person embodied a unique gift—their art and music, their determination and grit, their stories and their culture. And together they forever shaped the country we all call home. Vividly expressed in Faith Ringgold’s sumptuous colors and patterns, We Came to America is an ode to every American who came before us, and a tribute to each child who will carry its proud message of diversity into our nation’s future.”

Mama’s Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation by Edwidge Danticat, Illustrated by Leslie Staub (Bookshop | Amazon)

“After Saya’s mother is sent to an immigration detention center, Saya finds comfort in listening to her mother’s warm greeting on their answering machine. To ease the distance between them while she’s in jail, Mama begins sending Saya bedtime stories inspired by Haitian folklore on cassette tape. Moved by her mother’s tales and her father’s attempts to reunite their family, Saya writes a story of her own—one that just might bring her mother home for good.”

American Immigration: Our History, Our Stories by Kathleen Krull (Bookshop | Amazon)

“With its rich historical text, fascinating sidebars about many immigrants throughout time, an extensive source list and timeline, as well as captivating photos, American Immigration will become a go-to resource for every child, teacher, and librarian discussing the complex history of immigration.

America is a nation of immigrants. People have come to the United States from around the world seeking a better life and more opportunities, and our country would not be what it is today without their contributions.

From writers like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, to scientists like Albert Einstein, to innovators like Elon Musk, this book honors the immigrants who have changed the way we think, eat, and live. Their stories serve as powerful reminders of the progress we’ve made, and the work that is still left to be done.”

Women’s Rights

Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History . . . and Our Future! by Kate Schatz, Illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl (Bookshop | Amazon)

“The book includes an introduction that discusses what it means to be “rad” and “radical,” an afterword with 26 suggestions for how you can be “rad,” and a Resource Guide with ideas for further learning and reading.

American history was made by countless rad—and often radical—women. By offering a fresh and diverse array of female role models, we can remind readers that there are many places to find inspiration, and that being smart and strong and brave is rad.”

How Women Won The Vote by Susan Campbell Bartoletti, Illustrated by Ziyue Chen (Bookshop | Amazon)

“From Newbery Honor medalist Susan Campbell Bartoletti and in time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in America comes the page-turning, stunningly illustrated, and tirelessly researched story of the little-known DC Women’s March of 1913.

Bartoletti spins a story like few others—deftly taking readers by the hand and introducing them to suffragists Alice Paul and Lucy Burns. Paul and Burns met in a London jail and fought their way through hunger strikes, jail time, and much more to win a long, difficult victory for America and its women.”

Ruth Bader Ginsberg: The Case of RBG and Inequality by Jonah Winter, Illustrated by Stacy Innerst (Bookshop | Amazon)

“To become the first female Jewish Supreme Court Justice, the unsinkable Ruth Bader Ginsburg had to overcome countless injustices. Growing up in Brooklyn in the 1930s and ’40s, Ginsburg was discouraged from working by her father, who thought a woman’s place was in the home. Regardless, she went to Cornell University, where men outnumbered women four to one. There, she met her husband, Martin Ginsburg, and found her calling as a lawyer. Despite discrimination against Jews, females, and working mothers, Ginsburg went on to become Columbia Law School’s first tenured female professor, a judge for the US Court of Appeals, and finally, a Supreme Court Justice.”

While this is not an exhaustive list of the many issues facing our nation, I hope this list can serve as a gentle reminder to us all that there is still lots of work to be done, even as we celebrate our victory today.

Did I miss some of your favorite titles on these important issues? Please share them in the comments below! I always love to hear about great books from you.

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The Aquanaut – Encouraging Children To Dream Big

As soon as I heard about The Aquanaut by Jill Heinerth and illustrated by Jaime Kim, I knew I had to have a copy!

A children’s book written by a traiblazing female cave diver and underwater explorer, illustrated by a NYT bestselling illustrator?

Yes! Sign me up.

At first glance, I thought this book would be another empowering picture book biography focusing on girl power. (Now, don’t get me wrong! This is one of my favorite types of books, but you have to admit, there are A LOT out there these days.) I was pleasantly surprised to learn that The Aquanaut is empowering in a very different way.

Instead of encouraging readers to overcome gender specific obstacles society may present them, this book gently encourages children to dream big, and to follow those dreams. Jill tells young readers about the big dreams she had as a child. Each spread detailing her dream is followed by a wordless spread with magnificent illustrations by Jaime Kim showing us an adult Jill achieving those dreams, metaphorically speaking.

The Aquanaut is the perfect pick to encourage imagination, while also reminding young readers they don’t have to wait until they’re grown to achieve all of their dreams. If they dream of helping others, they can start today!

The illustrations in this book are absolute perfection! Somehow Jaime Kim perfectly captures the comparisons of Young Jill’s dreams and Adult Jill’s achievements, while simultaneously creating the perfect calming atmosphere for young readers to reflect on their own dreams. It’s genius!

On top of being a writer, Jill Heinerth is also an award-winning cave diver, as well as an underwater explorer, photographer, and filmmaker. To learn more about her and her work, be sure to visit her website at intotheplanet.com.

Jaime Kim is an extremely talented illustrator whose debut picture book Take Heart, My Child was a #1 New York Times Bestseller. To learn more about her and her work, visit her website at jaimekim.com.

The Aquanaut officially releases next week (January 19, 2021), but you can preorder it today at Bookshop, Amazon, and anywhere else you purchase books. (Please note: These are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to earn a small commission from purchases made at no additional cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site, and continue bringing content to you.)

Many thanks to Tundra Books for providing me with a copy of The Aquanaut. I am so grateful to have had the chance to review such a brilliant book!

New Release Round Up – January 12, 2021

Happy Tuesday, Everyone! It’s time to talk about new releases again!

Today I have another line up of my top picks being released. 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

Baseball Baby by Diane Adams, Illustrated by Charlene Chua (Bookshop | Amazon)

“This original board book series, which begins with America’s favorite pasttime–baseball–is sure to be a homerun with the youngest of readers and the sports-loving grown-ups in their lives.

A toddler spends an afternoon at the park with his family where he is introduced to baseball for the first time. He makes a few mistakes as he warms up, takes the field, and goes to bat, but he keeps going until he scores the final run of the day and goes to bed a winner.”

Picture Books

Off To See The Sea by Nikki Grimes, Illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon (Bookshop | Amazon)

“From Children’s Literature Legacy Award-winning author Nikki Grimes and acclaimed illustrator Elizabeth Zunon comes an adventurous bath time story.

Bath time is full of magic.

The faucet flows like a waterfall, the bathroom floor is a distant shore, toy boats sail against the waves. An imagination-fueled adventure on the high seas is just what it takes to get little one clean.”

Be sure to read my full review of Off To See The Sea.

Jump at the Sun: The True Life Tale of Unstoppable Storycatcher Zora Neale Hurston by Alicia D. Williams, Illustrated by Jacqueline Alcántara (Bookshop | Amazon)

“From the Newbery Honor–winning author of Genesis Begins Again comes a shimmering picture book that shines the light on Zora Neale Hurston, the extraordinary writer and storycatcher extraordinaire who changed the face of American literature.

Zora was a girl who hankered for tales like bees for honey. Now, her mama always told her that if she wanted something, “to jump at de sun”, because even though you might not land quite that high, at least you’d get off the ground. So Zora jumped from place to place, from the porch of the general store where she listened to folktales, to Howard University, to Harlem. And everywhere she jumped, she shined sunlight on the tales most people hadn’t been bothered to listen to until Zora. The tales no one had written down until Zora. Tales on a whole culture of literature overlooked…until Zora. Until Zora jumped.”

I Love You, Baby Burrito by Angela Dominguez (Bookshop | Amazon)

“From Pura Belpre honoree Angela Dominguez, I Love You Baby Burrito is a modern classic picture book celebrating the act of swaddling a newborn into a “baby burrito.”

¡Hola, bebé! Mi hermosa, my beautiful!

It’s time to swaddle you–tucking in each piernita, each bracito . . . everything except your sweet carita.

Welcome home, mi baby burrito. We promise to love you forever.

With gentle text, simple Spanish words, and irresistible illustrations, this new baby book is delectable.”

The Whole Hole Story by Vivian McInerny, Illustrated by Ken Lamug (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Zia is used to the hole in her pocket—she frequently fills it with frogs and other objects. And as it gets bigger and bigger, she starts to wonder what might happen . . . if she fell right through. Would she cover it with a blanket to catch an elephant, or dig a tunnel to the other side of the world? The possibilities are endless, and readers will love following Zia’s adventurous imagination from beginning to end.

With hilarious wordplay paired with Ken Lamug’s bright and colorful illustrations, The Whole Hole Story will appeal to kids’ divine sense of silliness. Perfect for fans of Du Iz Tak?, and They All Saw a Cat.”

Oona by Kelly DiPucchio, Illustrated by Raissa Figueroa (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Oona and her best friend Otto love to search for treasure…and often find trouble instead.

Messy trouble.

Tricky trouble.

Even shark-related trouble.

That’s never stopped them before, though!

After all, no proper treasure hunt is without some adventure. But when the grandest treasure yet is stuck in a deep, dark rift, Oona’s not sure if she can dive right in. What might be waiting for her in those unknown waters?”

This Small Blue Dot by Zeno Sworder (Bookshop | Amazon)

“A little girl explores all of the funny, strange, and wonderful things that make living on Earth so special in this beautifully illustrated children’s story.

With a strong message of hope, interconnectedness, and empowerment, This Small Blue Dot features a little girl explaining the world to her baby sister. She hits on small wonders, big lessons, and everything in between, from sharing the joy of silly dances to contemplating the nature of this “small blue dot” we all live on.”

Don’t miss my full review of This Small Blue Dot.

Time For Kenny by Brian Pinkney (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Two-time Caldecott Honor artist and Coretta Scott King Medalist Brian Pinkney’s Time for Kenny is simple, direct, and pitch-perfect for emerging readers. This vibrant, family-oriented picture book is full of boundless energy, action, and unlimited love. A timeless choice for fans of Laura Vaccaro Seeger, Christian Robinson, and Oge Mora.

Time for Kenny to get up and enjoy the day with his family! In four deceptively simple stories, Brian Pinkney guides readers through a young child’s day. First, Kenny must get dressed. Maybe he can wear his mom’s shoes? And his grandpa’s hat seems to fit perfectly on his head. Luckily, with the help of his family, Kenny is finally set to go. Then he must overcome his fear of the monstrous vacuum cleaner, learn to play soccer with his big sister, and—after all that fun—get ready for bedtime.”

We Are The Supremes by Zoë Tucker, Illustrated by Salini Perera (Bookshop | Amazon)

“This inspiring picture book tells the story of the friendship between Flo, Mary, and Diana, and how by supporting each other they overcame hardship to become international superstars.

Friends Change the World is a series of picture books that celebrates the power of friendship. From musical greats to sports champions, scientists and explorers to artists and activists, these are the true stories of real friends who achieved amazing things. Whether best friends since school or thrown together by a chance encounter, they supported and inspired each other to make their shared dreams come true. This charming series shows 4- to 7-year-olds how togetherness, respect, and friendship can make the world a better place.”

You can also read my full review of We Are The Supremes posted earlier this week.

Chapter Books

Journey to the Moon #1 (Astronaut Girl) by Cathy Hapka and Ellen Vandenberg, Illustrated by Gillian Reid (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Can Astronaut Girl save the day with a little help from science? Find out as she and her space crew make their debut in this chapter book series!

Val, aka Astronaut Girl, is just your typical eight-year-old scientist. She has her own laboratory and conducts experiments with her crew–her cat and baby brother. She loves science and knows everything about outer space. That’s why she’s surprised to learn that her new neighbor Wallace would rather talk about a fake space show than about real missions. But when Astronaut Girl, Wallace, and the Astro crew get lost on their own lunar adventure, they must all work together to find their way back home.

Exciting, easy-to-read books are the stepping stone a young reader needs to bridge the gap between being a beginner and being fluent.”

The Protest by Samantha Thornhill, Illustrated by Shirley Ng-Benitez (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Five friends from diverse backgrounds learn how to navigate common childhood challenges, new experiences, and the world around them in the realistic and kid-friendly Confetti Kids early chapter books. In this story, Lily learns that the community garden is going to be torn down and made into a parking lot. Lily and her friends are upset by the news. They decide to form a protest and call on friends, neighbors, and reporters to participate and save their beloved garden. On the morning of the protest, Lily is unsure if their efforts will work. After all, she and her friends are just kids, and no one is going to listen to them. . . . Or can they prove that kids can make a difference too?”

Mia Mayhem and the Super Switcheroo by Kara West, Illustrated by Leeza Hernandez (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Mia’s best friend, Eddie, becomes SUPER in this tenth adventure of the Mia Mayhem chapter book series!

One day, Mia wakes up to find that none of her superpowers work. She can’t fly, she doesn’t have superspeed, and she definitely can’t lift an elephant anymore. Not only that, it turns out that her best friend, Eddie, who’s always been just a regular kid, wakes up to be totally SUPER! With Mia and Eddie now in each other’s shoes, will they be able to work together to get through this super switcheroo?”

Middle Grade

Stella Diaz Dreams Big by Angela Dominguez (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Stella is happy as a clam in fourth grade. She’s the president of the Sea Musketeers conservation club, she starts taking swim lessons, and she joins a new art club at school. But as her schedule fills up, school gets harder, too. Suddenly the tides have turned, and she is way too busy!

Stella will be in an ocean of trouble if she can’t keep her head above water. But with her trusty Sea Musketeers by her side, she hops to make her big dreams come true!

Based on the author’s experiences growing up Mexican-American, this infectiously charming character comes to life through relatable storytelling including simple Spanish vocabulary and adorable black-and-white art.”

The Stem Night Disater by Dr. Kate Biberdorf (Bookshop | Amazon)

“The third installment of the Kate the Chemist series that shows kids that everyone can be a scientist!

Kate’s school is having their first-ever STEM Night and the prizes are incredible! Kate is determined to win and comes up with the perfect experiment. But as she and her best friend, Birdie, start preparing, they find that Kate’s project keeps getting messed up. Will Kate be able to use her science know-how to find out who is behind the STEM night sabotage? And will she fix her project before it’s too late?”

Welcome to Your Period by Yumi Stynes and Dr. Melissa Kang, Illustrated by Jenny Latham (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Getting your period for the first time can be mortifying, weird, and messy—and asking questions about it can feel even worse. But it doesn’t have to be that way. This taboo-free guide is packed with honest advice and big-sisterly wisdom on all the things girls need to know: from what cramps feel like to whether you can feel blood coming out, to what you should do if your pad leaks onto your clothes. Welcome to Your Period includes case studies, first-person accounts, questions from real teens, and answers from health journalist Yumi Stynes and adolescent health specialist Melissa Kang, MD. Cheerful illustrations keep the tone fun, and help with how-tos on different period supplies. There are even suggestions for throwing a first-period party. With its inclusive, body-positive message, pocket size, and reassuring vibe, this must-have menstruation manual will make girls feel not only normal but proud.”

Graphic Novels

We Found A Monster by Kirk Scroggs (Bookshop | Amazon)

“There’s a reason scary movie fan and master of the macabre Casey Clive looks ten times paler and more exhausted than the average sixth-grader: MONSTERS! He’s got tons of them! For the last…er…unusual year, monsters have been arriving on Casey’s doorstep needing a place to stay, something to eat, and lots and lots of attention. It’s getting impossible to keep these haunted houseguests a secret, much less get a good night’s sleep. Casey has to find a solution, and fast!”

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.

Did I miss any releases you’re excited for? Be sure to share in the comments below!

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