New Release Round Up – February 16, 2021

Happy Tuesday, everyone! 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.

Picture Books

Seven Special Somethings by Adib Khorram, Illustrated by Zainab Faidhi (Bookshop | Amazon)

“A picture book celebrating Persian New Year by award-winning author Adib Khorram

Kian can’t wait for Persian New Year! His family has already made a haft-seen, and Kian’s baba and maman told him that all the things on it start with S and will bring them joy in the new year. Kian wonders if he could add just one more S, to make his family even happier. Hmm . . . Sonny the cat’s name starts with S–but Sonny knocks the whole table over! Can Kian find seven special somethings to make a new haft seen before his family arrives for their Nowruz celebration?”

Nathan’s Song by Leda Schubert, Illustrated by Maya Ish-Shalom (Bookshop | Amazon)

“The Jewish immigrant experience in the early 1900s is touchingly and joyfully portrayed in this picture book based on the author’s own grandfather.

Growing up in a shtetl in Russia, Nathan is always singing, and when he hears a famous opera soloist perform in a nearby town one day, he realizes that music could be his future. But he’ll need to travel far from his loved ones and poor village in order to pursue that cherished goal. With his family’s support he eventually journeys all the way to New York City, where hard work and much excitement await him. His dream is coming true, but how can he be fully happy when his family is all the way across the ocean?”

I See You See by Richard Jackson, Illustrated by Patrice Barton (Bookshop | Amazon)

“When a brother and sister go for a walk, their imaginations turn the ordinary into the extraordinary in this sweet and whimsical picture book.

Pup is pulling, Maisie is pushing, and Jonah is looking and listening as the three of them set off on their daily dog walk. But what begins as a chore becomes an unexpected celebration of imagination as their neighborhood transforms. Maisie sees butterfly; Jonah sees a popsicle garden! Maisie sees the postman; Jonah sees a sky slide! And…is that…a tree of cats?!

Differences are what brings richness to the everyday in gorgeous homage to the wonders of the world around us—and the worlds we can create—if only we stop to look and listen.”

Rectangle Time by Pamela Paul, Illustrated by Becky Cameron (Bookshop | Amazon)

“This spunky, self-assured cat has always loved Rectangle Time–when the boy and the man he lives with curl up with their rectangle and read aloud from it. The cat knows how helpful he is during Rectangle Time, of course–his presence is vital to the very ritual! But when the rectangle starts to get smaller, the stories start to get quieter, and worst of all, the boy no longer needs the cat’s “help,” the cat must find a way to reclaim his part in Rectangle Time, even if slightly different from before.

In this fun, funny, and ultimately sweet story about growing up, embracing change, and the ways we all can misread social cues, we see the power of stories to bring everyone together–there’s always room for everyone at story time.”

My First Day by Phung Nguyen Quang, Illustrated by Huynh Kim Lien (Bookshop Amazon)

“A visually stunning story of resilience and determination by an award-winning new author-illustrator team.

This is no ordinary first journey. The rainy season has come to the Mekong Delta, and An, a young Vietnamese boy, sets out alone in a wooden boat wearing a little backpack and armed only with a single oar. On the way, he is confronted by giant crested waves, heavy rainfall and eerie forests where fear takes hold of him. Although daunted by the dark unknown, An realizes that he is not alone and continues to paddle. He knows it will all be worth it when he reaches his destination.”

Little People Big Dreams Megan Rapinoe by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara, Illustrated by Paulina Morgan (Bookshop | Amazon)

“In this book from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of Megan Rapinoe, the world record–breaking soccer player and activist.

Growing up in Redding, California, Megan discovered her calling chasing a ball on the school playground. Even if she didn’t always fit in at school, she was a star on the field—and her teammates thought so too. Her passion, skill and leadership took Team USA to Olympic Gold and a World Cup victory, while she continues to champion women’s and LGBTQ+ rights and representation in sports, in the US and across the world. This inspiring book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the US co-captain’s life.”

A House For Every Bird by Megan Maynor, Illustrated by Kaylani Juanita (Bookshop | Amazon)

“A young artist’s drawings rebel against her when she tries to put her sketched birds in houses that match how they look, but not how they feel in this hilarious picture book perfect for readers of Julian is a Mermaid and The Big Orange Splot.

A young artist has drawn birds and bird houses in corresponding colors. Now it’s time to match them up. The blue bird goes in the blue house, the orange bird in the orange house, and so on. But wait! The birds don’t agree with the narrator’s choices and, much to her distress, are rebelling by swapping houses. Can the narrator make the birds see sense? Or is it possible that you just can’t tell a bird by its feathers?”

Middle Grade

Kingston and The Magician’s Lost and Found by Rucker Moses and Theo Gangi (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Twelve-year-old Kingston has just moved from the suburbs back to Echo City, Brooklyn—the last place his father was seen alive. Kingston’s father was King Preston, one of the world’s greatest magicians. Until one trick went wrong and he disappeared. Now that Kingston is back in Echo City, he’s determined to find his father.

Somehow, though, when his father disappeared, he took all of Echo City’s magic with him. Now Echo City—a ghost of its past—is living up to its name. With no magic left, the magicians have packed up and left town and those who’ve stayed behind don’t look too kindly on any who reminds them of what they once had.

When Kingston finds a magic box his father left behind as a clue, Kingston knows there’s more to his father’s disappearance than meets the eye. He’ll have to keep it a secret—that is, until he can restore magic to Echo City. With his cousin Veronica and childhood friend Too Tall Eddie, Kingston works to solve the clues, but one wrong move and his father might not be the only one who goes missing.”

Project Startup #1 (Eat Bugs) by Heather Alexander, Laura D’Asaro, and Rose Wang, Illustrated by Vanessa Flores (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Inspired by the true story of two friends who landed a deal on Shark Tank. Sixth-grade students-turned-entrepreneurs are on a mission to save the world, one bug at a time!

Hallie and Jaye are both sixth graders at Brookdale Middle School, but they couldn’t be more different. Jaye is one of the popular kids who’ll do almost anything to maintain her status. Hallie’s only friend has moved away, and she couldn’t care less what anyone thinks of her. So when the two girls are paired up as partners for a pitch competition held by their Business Education and Entrepreneurship class, it’s not exactly a perfect match. After all, Jaye doesn’t want to be seen with the kid who was dubbed “Bug Girl” after eating a fried cricket during a class trip to the zoo!

But the pair are stuck together, and soon enough Jaye is also stuck with Hallie’s idea: finding creative ways to sell bugs as food. Jaye’s not thrilled but is willing to give it a shot, since winners get to compete in the county competition, potentially followed by states and nationals. And Jaye wants to win.

As the competition heats up, can Hallie and Jaye make the judges say “Bug appétit!” or will they only hear crickets?
Based on the true story of a sustainable protein start-up company, this illustrated novel is a reimagining for a middle-grade reader. Chirps founders Rose Wang and Laura D’Asaro met as freshmen at Harvard University and cooked up the concept of selling chips made with cricket flour to help Americans feel more comfortable eating bugs. Together, Rose and Laura appeared on the TV show Shark Tank to pitch their idea and landed a deal with Mark Cuban. Chirps chips are now sold in stores across the nation.”

The Deepest Breath by Meg Grehan (Bookshop | Amazon)

“11-year-old Stevie is an avid reader and she knows a lot of things about a lot of things. But these are the things she’d like to know the most:

  1. The ocean and all the things that live there and why it’s so scary
  2. The stars and all the constellations
  3. How phones work
  4. What happened to Princess Anastasia
  5. Knots

Knowing things makes Stevie feel safe, powerful, and in control should anything bad happen. And with the help of her mom, she is finding the tools to manage her anxiety.

But there’s one something Stevie doesn’t know, one thing she wants to understand above everything else, and one thing she isn’t quite ready to share with her mom: the fizzy feeling she gets in her chest when she looks at her friend, Chloe. What does it mean and why isn’t she ready to talk about it?

In this poetic exploration of identity and anxiety, Stevie must confront her fears to find inner freedom all while discovering it is our connections with others that make us stronger.”

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

“Moving, funny, and totally true childhood biographies of Bill Gates, Madam C. J. Walker, Hedy Lamarr, Walt Disney, and 12 other international innovators.

Throughout history people have experimented, invented, and created new ways of doing things. Kid Innovators tells the stories of a diverse group of brilliant thinkers in fields like technology, education, business, science, art, and entertainment, reminding us that every innovator started out as a kid. Florence Nightingale rescued baby mice. Alan Turing was a daydreamer with terrible handwriting. And Alvin Ailey felt like a failure at sports. Featuring kid-friendly text and full-color illustrations, readers will learn about the young lives of people like Grace Hopper, Steve Jobs, Reshma Saujani, Jacques Cousteau, the Wright Brothers, William Kamkwamba, Elon Musk, Jonas Salk, and Maria Montessori.”

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!

You Might Also Like:

New Release Round Up – January 19, 2021

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

I’m so excited to share the all 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.

Picture Books

A Thousand White Butterflies by Jessica Betancourt-Perez and Karen Lynn Williams, Illustrated by Gina Maldonado (Bookshop | Amazon)

“As if being new to the United States wasn’t hard enough, Isabella’s first day of school is canceled due to snow!

Isabella has recently arrived from Colombia with her mother and abuela. She misses Papa, who is still in South America. It’s her first day of school, her make-new-friends day, but when classes are canceled because of too much snow, Isabella misses warm, green, Colombia more than ever. Then Isabella meets Katie and finds out that making friends in the cold is easier than she thought!”

Don’t miss my full review of A Thousand White Butterflies here.

The Passover Guest by Susan Kusel, Illustrated by Sean Rubin (Bookshop | Amazon)

“It’s the Spring of 1933 in Washington D.C., and the Great Depression is hitting young Muriel’s family hard. Her father has lost his job, and her family barely has enough food most days, let alone for a Passover Seder. They don’t even have any wine to leave out for the prophet Elijah’s ceremonial cup.

With no feast to rush home to, Muriel wanders by the Lincoln Memorial, where she encounters a mysterious magician in whose hands juggled eggs become lit candles. After she makes a kind gesture, he encourages her to run home for her Seder, and when she does, she encounters a holiday miracle, a bountiful feast of brisket, soup, and matzah. But who was this mysterious benefactor? When Muriel sees Elijah’s ceremonial cup is empty, she has a good idea.”

She Caught The Light by Kathryn Lasky, Illustrated by Julianna Swaney (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Ever since Williamina Fleming was little she was curious, and her childhood fascination with light inspired her life’s work. Mina became an astronomer in a time when women were discouraged from even looking through telescopes. Yet Mina believed that the universe, with its billions of stars, was a riddle—and she wanted to help solve it.

Mina ultimately helped to create a map of the universe that paved the way for astronomers. Newbery Honor–winning Kathryn Lasky shares her incredible true story.”

Alabama Spitfire: The Story Of Harper Lee and To Kill A Mockingbird by Bethany Hegedus, Illustrated by Erin McGuire (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Nelle Harper Lee grew up in the rocky red soil of Monroeville, Alabama. From the get-go she was a spitfire.

Unlike most girls at that time and place, Nelle preferred overalls to dresses and climbing trees to tea parties. Nelle loved to watch her daddy try cases in the courtroom. And she and her best friend, Tru, devoured books and wrote stories of their own. More than anything Nelle loved words.

This love eventually took her all the way to New York City, where she dreamed of becoming a writer. Any chance she had, Nelle sat at her typewriter, writing, revising, and chasing her dream. Nelle wouldn’t give up—not until she discovered the right story, the one she was born to tell.”

Maryam’s Magic: The Story of Mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani by Megan Reid, Illustrated by Aaliya Jaleel (Bookshop | Amazon)

“As a little girl, Maryam Mirzakhani was spellbound by stories. She loved reading in Tehran’s crowded bookstores, and at home she’d spend hours crafting her own tales on giant rolls of paper.

Maryam loved school, especially her classes in reading and writing. But she did not like math. Numbers were nowhere near as interesting as the bold, adventurous characters she found in books. Until Maryam unexpectedly discovered a new genre of storytelling: In geometry, numbers became shapes, each with its own fascinating personality—making every equation a brilliant story waiting to be told.

As an adult, Maryam became a professor, inventing new formulas to solve some of math’s most complicated puzzles. And she made history by becoming the first woman—and the first Iranian—to win the Fields Medal, mathematics’ highest award.”

Ambitious Girl by Meena Harris, Illustrated by Marissa Valdez (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Anyone who’s ever been underestimated or overshadowed will find inspiration in this empowering new picture book from Meena Harris, New York Times-bestselling author of Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea, which is based on a true story about her aunt, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, and her mother, Maya Harris.

When a young girl sees a strong woman on TV labeled as “too assertive” and “too ambitious,” it sends her on a journey of discovery through past, present, and future about the challenges faced by women and girls and the ways in which they can reframe, redefine, and reclaim words meant to knock them down.”

The Aquanaut by Jill Heinerth, Illustrated by Jaime Kim (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Through beautiful, spare text, Jill Heinerth tells her story about a girl who feels too young, too little and too far away from her dreams. But you don’t need to wait to grow up. It doesn’t take much to imagine all the things you can do and be. What if your bedroom were a space station? What would it be like to have flippers or tusks? In your own home you can explore new worlds and meet new friends.

Jaime Kim’s luminous art transports readers back and forth through time to see how Jill’s imagination as a young girl laid the pathway to her accomplishments and experiences as an underwater explorer.”

You can also read my full review of The Aquanaut here.

Rainbow Boy by Taylor Rouanzion, Illustrated by Stacey Chomiak (Bookshop | Amazon)

“A story about a boy with a heart too big for one color alone.

A little boy attempts to answer one of grown-ups’ all-time favorite questions: “What’s your favorite color?” But with so many wonderful colors to choose from, he doesn’t know how to answer. He loves his pink sparkly tutu, bright red roses, soft yellow baby doll pajamas, and big, orange basketball. How will he ever pick?”

You can also read my full review of Rainbow Boy for more detail.

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.”

Chapter Books

Mr. Summerling’s Secret Code (The Treasure Troop #1) by Dori Hillestad Butler, Illustrated by Tim Budgen (Bookshop | Amazon)

“From Edgar Award Winner Dori Hillestad Butler comes a new chapter book mystery series, The Treasure Troop! Join Marly, Isla, and Sai, three code-cracking kids on the hunt for an old neighbor’s hidden treasure.

Marly always knew Mr. Summerling as her friendly neighbor living in the big, old house next-door. Sure, he walked around with a metal detector and talked about being a “treasure hunter,” but she didn’t think much of it. But when news of Mr. Summerling’s death arrives at her doorstep, Marly is brought into a treasure hunt of her own. In Mr. Summerling’s will, he’s left a treasure for Marly and her two classmates, Isla and Sai. The catch? They have to solve a series of riddles, puzzles, and clues to find its location. And not only that, they have to work together on it — which Marly is not looking forward to. But with no other choice, she, Isla, and Sai set off on the hunt. Can the three kids come together to crack the code? And even if they do solve the clues… what could Mr. Summerling possibly have left them?”

Middle Grade

The Comeback by E. L. Shen (Bookshop | Amazon)

“E. L. Shen’s The Comeback is a heartfelt, #OwnVoices middle-grade debut about a young girl trying to be a champ―in figure skating and in life.

Twelve-year-old Maxine Chen is just trying to nail that perfect landing: on the ice, in middle school, and at home, where her parents worry that competitive skating is too much pressure for a budding tween. Maxine isn’t concerned, however―she’s determined to glide to victory. But then a bully at school starts teasing Maxine for her Chinese heritage, leaving her stunned and speechless. And at the rink, she finds herself up against a stellar new skater named Hollie, whose grace and skill threaten to edge Maxine out of the competition. With everything she knows on uneven ice, will Maxine crash under the pressure? Or can she power her way to a comeback?”

Amari & The Night Brothers by B. B. Alston (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Amari Peters has never stopped believing her missing brother, Quinton, is alive. Not even when the police told her otherwise, or when she got in trouble for standing up to bullies who said he was gone for good.

So when she finds a ticking briefcase in his closet, containing a nomination for a summer tryout at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she’s certain the secretive organization holds the key to locating Quinton—if only she can wrap her head around the idea of magicians, fairies, aliens, and other supernatural creatures all being real.

Now she must compete for a spot against kids who’ve known about magic their whole lives. No matter how hard she tries, Amari can’t seem to escape their intense doubt and scrutiny—especially once her supernaturally enhanced talent is deemed “illegal.” With an evil magician threatening the supernatural world, and her own classmates thinking she’s an enemy, Amari has never felt more alone. But if she doesn’t stick it out and pass the tryouts, she may never find out what happened to Quinton.”

Ghosted by Michael Fry (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Larry’s got a few problems. In school, he’s one of those kids who easily gets lost in the crowd. And Grimm, Larry’s best friend in the whole world, has ghosted him. Literally. One minute Grimm was saving a cat in a tree during a lightning storm, and the next, he’s pulling pranks on Larry in his new ghostly form.

When the two best friends realize that there’s something keeping Grimm tethered to their world, they decide that finishing their Totally To-Do bucket list is the perfect way to help Grimm with his unfinished business. Pulling hilarious pranks and shenanigans may be easier with a ghostly best friend, but as Larry and Grimm brave the scares of seventh grade, they realize that saying goodbye might just be the scariest part of middle school.”

Magic’s Most Wanted by Tyler Whitesides (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Magic is closer than you ever thought possible in this madcap middle grade adventure perfect for fans of James Riley and Chris Grabenstein.

For Mason Mortimer Morrison, life isn’t so magical.

His dad was just sent to jail, his grades have been plummeting from meh to yikes, and, oh yeah, two officers from some organization called Magix just showed up to arrest him in the middle of fourth period.

Talk about bad luck.

Mason knows he’s innocent. But in order to clear his name, he’s going to need the help of a plucky Magix junior detective and a cantankerous talking bunny—and a little bit of magic.”

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!

You Might Also Like:

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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New Release Round Up – January 5, 2021

This year, I want to try to something a little different when it comes to sharing new books I’m excited about.

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.

The number of children’s books being published can be overwhelming, and I know it can be difficult to stay on top of new titles coming out and when they are released. If you are also looking to sift through those new releases to find inclusive titles, it can be extremely daunting. But don’t worry! I’ve already done the work for you.

Every Tuesday I will be sharing the new releases I am most excited about. These titles will always have inclusive characters (think racial and cultural diversity, LGBTQ+ representation, diverse family structures, disability representation, and more), but will have a variety of themes in both fiction and nonfiction.

I hope this feature will save you all a bit of time researching new titles and allow you to spend more quality time reading those books with your little ones!

So let’s get into today’s new releases, shall we?

Board Books

The Cuddle Book by Mifflin Lowe, Illustrated by Delia Ciccarelli (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Everyone knows cuddling can reduce stress levels and release endorphins, but kids know that, most importantly, cuddling is FUN! With adorable, hand-painted illustrations and Dr. Seuss-like rhymes and humor, The Cuddle Book is sure to be a bedtime favorite. So snuggle up with this padded board book and let the cuddling commence!”

Festival of Colors by Kabir by Surishtha Sehgal and Kabir Sehgal, Illustrated Vashti Harrison (Bookshop | Amazon)

“It’s time for the Indian festival of Holi, a celebration of the start of spring, of new beginnings, and of good over evil. Friends, families, and neighbors wear white clothing and toss handfuls of brightly colored powders at one another until they’re all completely covered from head to toe!

Young readers will love following the young siblings gathering flowers to make the colorful powders for the big day until—poof!—it’s time for the fun to begin.”

Picture Books

Most Days by by Michael Leannah, Illustrated by Megan Elizabeth Baratta (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Good things happen in the ordinary minutes of an ordinary day.”

“This is a book about mindfulness. About relishing the magic of the here and now. About enjoying the extraordinary unfoldings of an ordinary day. Moving from morning to night, the narrator becomes, by turns, boy or girl, of ever-changing ethnicity and ability, inhabiting city, country, or suburb. They are all children everywhere, opening themselves to the gift of time.”

And don’t miss my full review of Most Days.

Kate’s Light by Elizabeth Spires, Illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Illustrated by a Caldecott Medalist, Kate’s Light shares the exciting true story of Katherine Walker and her long, heroic career as one of the first woman lighthouse keepers on the Eastern Seaboard.

With watercolor and ink illustrations which perfectly capture the salty spray of the sea, Kate’s Light brings the turn of the century New York Harbor to life, with a focus on one of its little known but most crucial attendants.”

Eyes That Kiss In The Corners by Joanna Ho, Illustrated by Dung Ho (Bookshop | Amazon)

“A young Asian girl notices that her eyes look different from her peers’. They have big, round eyes and long lashes. She realizes that her eyes are like her mother’s, her grandmother’s, and her little sister’s. They have eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea, crinkle into crescent moons, and are filled with stories of the past and hope for the future.

Drawing from the strength of these powerful women in her life, she recognizes her own beauty and discovers a path to self-love and empowerment. This powerful, poetic picture book will resonate with readers of all ages.”

The Highest Tribute: Thurgood Marshall’s Life, Leadership, and Legacy by Kekla Magoon, Illustrated by Laura Freeman (Bookshop | Amazon)

“A brilliant picture book biography about Thurgood Marshall, who fought for equality during the Civil Rights Movement and served as the first Black justice on the Supreme Court, from Coretta Scott King Honor winners Kekla Magoon and Laura Freeman.

Readers will be inspired by Kekla Magoon’s concise text and Laura Freeman’s luminous illustrations, which bring Thurgood Marshall’s incredible legacy and achievements to life.”

Ten Little Dumplings by Larissa Fan, Illustrated by Cindy Wume (Bookshop | Amazon)

“If one son is lucky, then ten must be great luck indeed! But where does that leave an only daughter? Based on a true family story, this inspiring picture book about a different perspective tells the tale of a girl determined to be seen, who finds her own voice and makes her own luck.

Based on a short film made by the author, inspired by her father’s family in Taiwan, Ten Little Dumplings looks at some unhappy truths about the place of girls in our world in an accessible, inspiring and hopeful way.”

You can also read my full review of Ten Little Dumplings.

A Sled for Gabo by Emma Otheguy, Illustrated by Ana Ramírez González (Bookshop | Amazon)

“The Snowy Day meets Last Stop on Market Street in this heartwarming classic in the making about a young boy who is in a new town and doesn’t have much, but with the help of a loving community discovers the joys of his first snowy day.

On the day it snows, Gabo sees kids tugging sleds up the hill, then coasting down, whooping all the while. Gabo wishes he could join them, but his hat is too small, and he doesn’t have boots or a sled.

But he does have warm and welcoming neighbors in his new town who help him solve the problem in the sweetest way possible!”

Outside, Inside by LeUyen Pham (Bookshop | Amazon)

“From Caldecott honoree LeUyen Pham, Outside, Inside is a moving picture book celebrating essential workers and the community coming together to face the challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Something strange happened on an unremarkable day just before the season changed.

Everybody who was outside . . .

. . . went inside.”

Over The Shop by JonArno Lawson, Illustrated by Qin Leng (Bookshop | Amazon)

“A lonely little girl and her grandparent need to fill the run-down apartment in their building. But taking over the quarters above their store will mean major renovations for the new occupants, and none of the potential renters can envision the possibilities of the space—until one special couple shows up. With their ingenuity, the little girl’s big heart, and heaps of hard work, the desperate fixer-upper begins to change in lovely and surprising ways. In this bustling wordless picture book, JonArno Lawson’s touching story and Qin Leng’s gentle illustrations capture all angles of the building’s transformation, as well as the evolving perspectives of the girl and her grandparent. A warm and subtly nuanced tale, Over the Shop throws open the doors to what it means to accept people for who they are and to fill your home with love and joy.”

Chapter Books

She Persisted: Harriet Tubman by Andrea Davis Pinkney (Bookshop | Amazon)

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

Born enslaved, Harriet Tubman rose up to become one of the most successful, determined and well-known conductors of the Underground Railroad. With her family’s love planted firmly in her heart, Harriet looked to the North Star for guidance–and its light helped guide her way out of slavery. Her courage made it possible for her to help others reach freedom too.”

And don’t miss my full review of She Persisted: Harriet Tubman.

The First Wish: Jeanie and Genie, Vol. 1 by Trish Granted, Illustrated by Manuela Lopez (Bookshop | Amazon)

“In the first book of the Jeanie and Genie series, new student Willow Davis turns fellow second grader Jeanie Bell’s life upside down with her unbelievable, magical secret!

For Jeanie Bell, things at Rivertown Elementary are nice, normal, and totally average—just the way she likes it. But when a new girl, Willow Davis, joins the school, all of a sudden strange things start happening. Will Willow’s big secret ruin the girls’ friendship—and change life in Rivertown forever?

With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Jeanie & Genie chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.”

Stars of the Show: The Adventures of Allie and Amy 3 by Stephanie Calmenson and Joanna Cole, Illustrated by James Burks (Bookshop | Amazon)

“From Stephanie Calmenson and Magic School Bus author Joanna Cole comes the third story about the adventures of Allie and Amy, two friends who have to save their favorite playground in this silly, fun-to-read Aladdin QUIX chapter book that’s perfect for emerging readers!

Best, best friends Amy and Allie do absolutely everything together. But when Allie gets sick, she can’t perform their duet at a fundraiser to save the local playground! Will Amy have to sing alone?”

Middle Grade

Shaking up The House by Yamile Saied Méndez (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Ingrid and Winnie López have lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for eight years, but their friends Skylar and Zora Williams—the new first daughters—are about to move into the White House with their mom, the president-elect. What the Williamses don’t know is that incoming presidents’ families are often pranked by the folks they’re replacing, and Ingrid and Winnie take that tradition very seriously.

But when the four girls get wrapped up in an ever-escalating exchange of practical jokes and things spiral out of control, can they avoid an international incident? Or will their battle go down in American history and ruin their friendship forever?”

Root Magic by Eden Royce (Bookshop | Amazon)

“It’s 1963, and things are changing for Jezebel Turner. Her beloved grandmother has just passed away. The local police deputy won’t stop harassing her family. With school integration arriving in South Carolina, Jez and her twin brother, Jay, are about to begin the school year with a bunch of new kids. But the biggest change comes when Jez and Jay turn eleven— and their uncle, Doc, tells them he’s going to train them in rootwork.

Jez and Jay have always been fascinated by the African American folk magic that has been the legacy of their family for generations—especially the curious potions and powders Doc and Gran would make for the people on their island. But Jez soon finds out that her family’s true power goes far beyond small charms and elixirs…and not a moment too soon. Because when evil both natural and supernatural comes to show itself in town, it’s going to take every bit of the magic she has inside her to see her through.”

Goldie Vance: The Hocus-Pocus Hoax by Lilliam Rivera (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Marigold “Goldie” Vance lives and works at the Crossed Palms Resort Hotel in Florida with a whole slew of characters: her dad, Art, the manager of the joint; Cheryl Lebeaux, the concierge and Goldie’s best friend; and Walter Tooey, the hired hotel detective. Her mom, Sylvie, works nearby at the Mermaid Club.

Prepare to be amazed by Goldie’s second middle-grade adventure! The Crossed Palms is hosting the first ever League of Magical Arts Convention, bringing the world’s most renowned and emerging magicians to the resort, including an overeager part-time magician and detective named Derek Von Thurston. When some of the magic starts to go awry, Goldie — and Derek — are on the case! Can Goldie uncover the saboteur before the final act goes live?

Based on Hope Larson and Brittney Williams’s critically acclaimed Goldie Vance comic, this thrilling novel explores a never-before-seen caper and features 8 full-color comic pages essential to unraveling the mystery.”

The Sea In Winter by Christine Day (Bookshop | Amazon)

“In this evocative and heartwarming novel for readers who loved The Thing About Jellyfish, the author of I Can Make This Promise tells the story of a Native American girl struggling to find her joy again.

It’s been a hard year for Maisie Cannon, ever since she hurt her leg and could not keep up with her ballet training and auditions.

Her blended family is loving and supportive, but Maisie knows that they just can’t understand how hopeless she feels. With everything she’s dealing with, Maisie is not excited for their family midwinter road trip along the coast, near the Makah community where her mother grew up.

But soon, Maisie’s anxieties and dark moods start to hurt as much as the pain in her knee. How can she keep pretending to be strong when on the inside she feels as roiling and cold as the ocean?”

Unleashed by Amy McCullough (Bookshop | Amazon)

“The Golden Compass for the digital age in this action-packed sequel to Jinxed.

When Lacey Chu wakes up in a hospital room with no memory of how she got there, she knows something went really wrong. And with her cat baku, Jinx, missing in action and MONCHA, the company behind the invention of the robot pet, threatening her family, she isn’t sure who to turn to for answers.

When Lacey is expelled and her mom starts acting strangely after the latest update from MONCHA, Lacey and her friends work together to get to the bottom of it and discover a sinister plot at the heart of the corporation.

Lacey must use all her skills if she has a chance of stopping MONCHA from carrying out their plans. But can she take on the biggest tech company in North America armed with only a level 1 robot beetle and her friends at her side?”

Legacy by Nikki Grimes, Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, Cozbi A. Cabrera, Nina Crews, Pat Cummings, Laura Freeman, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Ebony Glenn, April Harrison, Vashti Harrison, Ekua Holmes, Cathy Ann Johnson, Keisha Morris, Daria Peoples-Riley, Andrea Pippins, Erin Robinson, Shadra Strickland, Nicole Tadgell, and Elizabeth Zunon (Bookshop | Amazon)

“For centuries, accomplished women–of all races–have fallen out of the historical records. The same is true for gifted, prolific, women poets of the Harlem Renaissance who are little known, especially as compared to their male counterparts.

In this poetry collection, bestselling author Nikki Grimes uses “The Golden Shovel” poetic method to create wholly original poems based on the works of these groundbreaking women-and to introduce readers to their work.

Each poem is paired with one-of-a-kind art from today’s most exciting female African-American illustrators.”

Graphic Novels

Oh My Gods by Stephanie Cooke and Insha Fitzpatrick, Illustrated by Juliana Moon (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Oh My Gods!, the first in a new middle grade graphic novel series, reads as if Raina Telgemeier and Rick Riordan teamed up to write a comic, and offers a fresh and funny spin on Greek mythology. When an average girl moves to Mt. Olympus, she discovers her new classmates are gods and mythological creatures are actually real—as if junior high isn’t hard enough!

Karen is just an average thirteen-year-old from New Jersey who loves to play video games with her friends and watch movies with her mom. But when she moves to Greece to live with her eccentric, mysterious father, Zed, suddenly everything she thought about herself—about life—is up in the air.”

After The Rain by Nnedi Okorafor, Adapted by John Jennings, Illustrated by David Brame (Bookshop | Amazon)

“During a furious storm a young woman’s destiny is revealed . . . and her life is changed forever

After the Rain is a graphic novel adaptation of Nnedi Okorafor’s short story “On the Road.” The drama takes place in a small Nigerian town during a violent and unexpected storm. A Nigerian-American woman named Chioma answers a knock at her door and is horrified to see a boy with a severe head wound standing at her doorstep. He reaches for her, and his touch burns like fire. Something is very wrong. Haunted and hunted, Chioma must embrace her heritage in order to survive. John Jennings and David Brame’s graphic novel collaboration uses bold art and colors to powerfully tell this tale of identity and destiny.”

I hope you all enjoyed reading about these new releases, and hopefully you found one or two for your young readers.

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

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