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The Kids Are All Right

Día de Los Muertos, Corn Mazes, Digestion, And More!

Happy Tuesday, kidlit friends! We are back from vacationing in the Smoky Mountains and wow do I wish we could’ve stayed longer! It’s gorgeous this time of year. I wish I could hike in the mountains every day. We also went to Dollywood, and my daughter had an absolute blast. This was her first time riding a roller coaster and she is definitely a fan! I enjoyed it too, but I have to say waiting in long lines for roller coasters is no longer particularly fun, especially now that I get dizzy so easily!

Bookish Goods

Bookwork Ghost Magnet by EmilyCromwellDesigns

Bookworm Ghost Magnet by EmilyCromwellDesigns

This magnet is so adorable, and while yes it’s Halloween related, I would not hesitate to have it on my refrigerator all year long. $5

New Releases

Cover of Digestion! The Musical by Rex

Digestion: The Musical by Adam Rex, illustrated by Laura Park (picture book)

This picture book is so inventive and hilarious. It teaches children about digestion through a musical setting. Lil’ Candy is starring in their first play with four baby carrot backup singers. Some of the body doesn’t want to give Lil’ Candy a chance because candy isn’t healthy. But the tongue argues otherwise, and once Lil’ Candy is swallowed, the digestive journey begins. It turns out Lil’ Candy has more to offer the human body than appearances might suggest! I have spoiled my daughter by singing this entire picture book. She now won’t let anyone else read it to her. So warning: get your singing voices ready!

Cover of How the Stars Came to Be by Mistry

How the Stars Came to Be by Poonam Mistry (picture book)

This stunningly illustrated folktale explains how the stars came to be. A fisherman’s daughter loves both the moon and the sun, but when the moon disappears a few days out of every month, she mourns for the moon’s light. The sun has a clever idea to provide light at night for the fisherman’s daughter. This is a simply told, beautiful picture book.

For a more comprehensive list, check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

Día de Los Muertos begins in one week, so I thought I would give some recommendations for new children’s books about the holiday!

Cover of Little Monster: What Pan Dulce Do You Want? by Esparza

Little Monster, What Pan Dulce Do You Want??/ ¿Monstruito, que pan dulce quieres? (board book)

This cute English/Spanish bilingual board book features hungry monsters and delectable sweets. Each page offers a new monster a different, sweet Mexican treat, but the monsters keep turning them down! What do these picky monsters want? Pan de Muerto, of course! The back of the book offers descriptions of all the desserts mentioned in the book.

Cover of Dia de los Muertos by Pajaro

Día de los Muertos by Rosie Pajaro, illustrated by Gaby Zermeño (board book)

This second new board book has a cute little skull finger puppet for kids to play with. It’s a counting book featuring common items on Día de los Muertos, like three skeletons leading a parade and nine family photographs on the altar. It’s a vibrantly illustrated, interactive board book perfect for toddlers.

Cover of Our Day of the Dead Celebration by Aranda

Our Day of the Dead Celebration by Ana Aranda (picture book)

Mar is really excited to welcome dead family members when they visit on The Day of the Dead. With the help of her parents and Abuela, she remembers family members who have passed, what they enjoyed, and tries to incorporate those likes into the holiday preparations so that their spirits will be happy. This is a sweet picture book about honoring ancestors and celebrating their memories.

Marian in a corn maze, The Kids are All Right

The day before we left for our mountain vacation, we went to our first corn maze. I had never been to a corn maze before! It was a lot of fun, though very dusty. They had an adult and children’s corn maze, and we actually found our way out of the adult maze faster than the children’s, go figure!

If you’d like to read more of my kidlit reviews, I’m on Instagram @BabyLibrarians, Twitter @AReaderlyMom, and blog irregularly at Baby Librarians. You can also read my Book Riot posts. If you’d like to drop me a line, my email is kingsbury.margaret@gmail.com.

Until next Tuesday!

Margaret Kingsbury

Categories
The Kids Are All Right

Corgi Butt Bookmark, Poetry Books, and More!

Hi Kid Lit Friends,

As I’m writing this, I’m helping prepare my dog Lalo for a therapy dog evaluation. By the time this newsletter goes out, we will know whether Lalo has passed the test! It has been a really fun six weeks of learning about therapy animals and training Lalo, and I’m crossing my fingers that he will pass. I’ll include an update next week!

Bookish Goods

Corgi butt felted bookmark

Corgi Butt Felted Bookmark by BenMcFuzzylugs

I mean, come on. How can you resist such a cute bookmark? Also, corgi butts are the cutest. $18

New Releases

Puppy Life cover

Puppy Life: The First Eight Weeks of Bonding, Playing, and Growing by Traer Scott

If you need a little pick me up, pick up this book! My daughter and I looked through it when we were both feeling a little tired, and the book definitely woke us up (probably because with every page turn we had to say “Awwwwww!”). This book follows six different breeds of puppies from birth to eight weeks.

Paws Gabby Gets it Together cover

PAWS: Gabby Gets It Together by Michele Assarasakorn and Nathan Fairbairn

In this Babysitter’s Club-esque graphic novel, three friends, who for different reasons can’t have their own dogs, decide to start a dog walking business. They’ll get to hang out with dogs everyday after school and make money doing it! What could go wrong?

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

A wonderful poem can evoke the strongest emotions. Here are four picture books that use poetry in creative and beautiful ways.

Awe-some Days cover

Awe-some Days: Poems about the Jewish Holidays by Marilyn Singer, illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte

This lovely collection follows a family that decides to celebrate all the Jewish holidays within one year — the holidays they know and the ones they aren’t so familiar with. Join them as they explore new traditions and the history behind them.

Hip Hop Speaks to Children cover

Hip Hop Speaks to Children: A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat edited by Nikki Giovanni, illustrated by Alicia Vergel de Dios, Damian Ward, Kristen Balouch, Jeremy Tugeau, and Michele Noiset

This wonderful collection, edited by the great Nikki Giovanni and illustrated by a number of incredible artists, is sure to get kids excited by rhythm and rhyme. The included CD is a wonderful way to enjoy the poems and is a reminder that poetry is meant to be shared and spoken.

The Hill We Climb cover

The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman

I love this book and have given it to many people. It is a story of inspiration and aspiration, written by the now famous Amanda Gorman who delivered this poem at the presidential inauguration of President Joseph Biden.

Poetry for Young People Langston Hughes cover

Poetry for Young People: Langston Hughes edited by David Roessel and Arnold Rampersand, illustrated by Benny Andrews

I adore this collection of Langston Hughes’ poetry combined with the gorgeous illustrations by Benny Andrews. There is also a wonderful forward by acclaimed author Renée Watson.

What are you reading these days?

Let me know! Find me on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email me at KarinaBookRiot@gmail.com.

Until next time,

Karina

*If this e-mail was forwarded to you, follow this link to subscribe to “The Kids Are All Right” newsletter and other fabulous Book Riot newsletters for your own customized e-mail delivery. Thank you!*

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The Kids Are All Right

New Diwali Books, Curly Hair Love, And More!

Happy Tuesday, kidlit friends! My daughter and I spent the morning at the library where I caught up with a friend of mine who recently started working as a teen librarian there while my daughter ran around playing at their block table, on the computer, and coloring. We love our library!

Bookish Goods

Diwali Coloring Book by CrispyDoodles

This adorable children’s Diwali coloring book is a perfect accompaniment to the holiday. $10

New Releases

Tiny Spoon vs. Little Fork by Constance Lombardo, illustrated by Dan and Jason (picture book)

This is one of my daughter’s most-read picture books of the year. It’s a hilarious story about a spoon and fork arguing over which one is more important to Baby. Then Baby stomps in and promptly throws both. How will the two make it back to Baby? Can they work together? This is a really fun one to read aloud.

Cover of Frizzy by Ortega

Frizzy by Claribel A. Ortega, illustrated by Rose Bousamra (middle grade)

This awesome middle grade graphic novel celebrates curly hair and self-love. Now that Marlene is in middle school, her mother Paola wants her to grow up and start straightening her super curly hair. But Marlene hates going to the hair salon. Inspired by her Tía Ruby, who keeps her hair natural, Marlene decides to defy her mother’s expectations and give her curls free reign.

For a more comprehensive list, check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

Diwali is celebrated on October 24th, so I thought I’d recommend some new Diwali picture books!

Diwali in My New Home by Shachi Kaushik, illustrated by Aishwarya Tandon (picture book)

Priya loves Diwali, but this year is different. This year, Priya and her family have moved from India to the United States, and it seems like no one celebrates Diwali here. Priya misses the fireworks and festivities in the streets. However, as she makes rangoli art, her neighbors stop by and ask if they can celebrate Diwali with her. Maybe Diwali looks different in the United States, but it can still be celebrated with friends.

Cover of It's Diwali! by Sehgal

It’s Diwali! by By Kabir Sehgal and Surishtha Sehgal, illustrated by Archana Sreenivasan (picture book)

This vibrantly illustrated picture book follows the tune to “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe.” “One, two, mehndi for you,” the opening pages say. From yummy jalebis to colorful fireworks and zooming rickshaws, this is a super fun Diwali sing-along for younger kids.

Cover of My Diwali Light by Mirchandani

My Diwali Light by Raakhee Mirchandani, illustrated by Supriya Kelkar (picture book)

Devi’s favorite holiday is Diwali. This sweet picture book follows Devi through the day as she celebrates with her mama, papa, and nani and visits friends and family who celebrate as well. Every family has a different way of honoring the day, from plentiful samosas to chow down on to hiring a DJ and breaking out in dance. But Devi loves helping with the Diwali puja ritual most of all.

Cover of Let's Celebrate Diwali by Joshi

Let’s Celebrate Diwali by Anjali Joshi, illustrated by Tim Palin (picture book)

Harini is excited to share everything she knows about Diwali during circle time at school, but when she arrives at school she’s surprised to find that other kids are dressed up for Diwali too. It turns out that Harini isn’t the only student who celebrates the holiday, and as each student takes turns sharing Diwali history during circle time, Harini learns many things about the holiday. This is a great introduction to the holiday.

Marian reading, the kids are all right

Marian started reading last year, but she’s just now started reading completely by herself, as in, she grabs a book, finds a comfy spot (like an upside-down Sesame Street couch), and reads to herself. It’s delightful! I love seeing how much she loves books. I always turn my phone on silent before snapping a picture, so she doesn’t realize I’m snooping on her. 🙂

If you’d like to read more of my kidlit reviews, I’m on Instagram @BabyLibrarians, Twitter @AReaderlyMom, and blog irregularly at Baby Librarians. You can also read my Book Riot posts. If you’d like to drop me a line, my email is kingsbury.margaret@gmail.com.

Until next Tuesday!

Margaret Kingsbury

Categories
The Kids Are All Right

New Picture Book Biographies, a Fabulous Library Pin, and More!

Hi Kid Lit Friends,

It definitely feels like autumn around here. We went apple picking last weekend, and this week I baked pumpkin maple muffins and apple pie. The kids are excitedly talking about Halloween costumes and candy. The leaves on the trees are beginning to change in New York City. It’s a fun time!

Bookish Goods

Support Public Libraries pin

Support Public Libraries Pin by MariahDrawsThings

All of my bags are adorned with pins, and I definitely need to add this one to my collection! $13

New Releases

The Area 51 Files cover

The Area 51 Files by Julie Buxbaum

This hilarious and fun middle grade book follows Sky Patel-Baum as she goes to live with her uncle. What she does not expect is to live in Area 51, where her neighbors are aliens and her mac and cheese has eyeballs in it. But something mysterious is afoot in Area 51 when aliens — called Break Throughs — start going missing…and people start pointing fingers at Sky. Can she clear her name and find the missing Break Throughs?

Jasmine Toguchi Brave Explorer cover

Jasmine Toguchi: Brave Explorer by Debbi Michiko Florence, illustrated by Elizabet Vukovic

This Tuesday, the new Jasmine Toguchi book comes out. Hooray! In the fifth book in this delightful chapter book series, Jasmine is ready to board a plane and head to Japan! But traveling is not very fun when your sister is a grump, and then Jasmine realizes that Japan is very different from where she grew up and she keeps on making mistakes and feeling foolish. Is Jasmine brave enough to explore a new country?

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

I have been getting so many wonderful picture book biographies lately! This is definitely one of my favorite genres, and I have learned so much from these books already.

Bessie the Motorcycle Queen cover

Bessie the Motorcycle Queen by Charles R. Smith Jr., illustrated by Charlot Kristensen

In 1929, when she was 19 years old, Bessie got on her motorcycle and traveled the country. She would flip a penny on a map to decide where she was going. She learned how to service her own motorcycle and faced discrimination and danger on the road. But despite the setbacks, she continued to ride and founded the Iron Horse Motorcycle Club to connect with other riders.

A Life of Service The Story of Senator Tammy Duckworthy cover

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

In this picture book biography, Thai creators Christina Soontornvat and Dow Phumiruk tell the inspiring story of Tammy Duckworth. Born in Thailand, Tammy grew up moving from place to place because of her dad’s job at the United Nations. But when her dad loses his job, they use the last of their savings to move to Hawaii. Through hard work and perseverance, she finished college and graduate school and enlisted in the army to serve her country. In Baghdad, her helicopter was hit, and her injuries were nearly fatal. After a long and painful recovery, Tammy wanted to continue serving her country and she eventually became the first Thai American woman elected to Congress.

Dressing Up the Stars: The Story of Movie Costume Designer Edith Head by Jeanne Walker Harvery, illustrated by Diana Toledano

I loved this story of Edith Head. As a young girl, she grew up in the small mining town of Searchlight, Nevada. She spent her days in the desert dressing up her toys, pets, wild animals, and even a cactus! When she grew up and moved to California for high school, Edith continued to make costumes, eventually landing jobs in Hollywood and dressing the most famous stars of her time.

I Am Ruby Bridges cover

I Am Ruby Bridges by Ruby Bridges, illustrated by Nikkolas Smith

In her own words, Ruby Bridges tells her story of what it was like to be the first African American student to integrate the school system in the south at the age of 6. I loved Nikkolas Smith’s stunning and moving illustrations in this new picture book that shares an incredible and important part of American history.

The Girl Who Built an Ocean cover

The Girl Who Built an Ocean by Jess Keating, illustrated by Michelle Mee Nutter (Knopf, October 25)

This vividly illustrated picture book tells the story of Jeanne Villepreux-Power, a dressmaker in Paris who found a deep connection with the ocean. When observing sea creatures, she realized that it would be so much better to bring a piece of the ocean back with her so she could study it more. She ended up building the world’s first aquarium, paving the way for scientists to study the ocean in a new way.

Tri-color corgi lying on couch and giving the side eye

Do you have a favorite book that you think should be on Matilda’s reading list?

Matilda, the character in Roald Dahl’s famous book of the same name, is getting her own Netflix musical! To celebrate, between October 1 and November 13, 2022, educators and families are invited to visit https://bit.ly/MatildaReadingList to make the case for which of their favorite books Matilda should read next. The final reading list will be announced in late November 2022.

Find me on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email me at KarinaBookRiot@gmail.com.

Until next time!

Karina

*If this e-mail was forwarded to you, follow this link to subscribe to “The Kids Are All Right” newsletter and other fabulous Book Riot newsletters for your own customized e-mail delivery. Thank you!

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The Kids Are All Right

Dinosaurs, Halloween, And More!

Happy Tuesday, kidlit friends! As you read this, I should be either driving to the Smoky Mountains or already there. We were originally going to go to the beach two weeks ago, but alas Hurricane Ian ruined those plans. I love the Smoky Mountains though, and we’re looking forward to visiting Dollywood and getting in some good mountain scenery! It should be beautiful this time of year; I will share a picture when I’m back!

Bookish Goods

Dinosaur Book Pins by MThorle

Dinosaur Book Pins by MThorle

My kid loves dinosaurs, as do I, and these bookish ones are right up our alley! $3+

New Releases

Cover of Undercover Latina by de León

Undercover Latina by Aya de León (middle grade)

Prepare to have your socks knocked off by this awesome new middle grade novel that manages to pack so much into a thoroughly entertaining story. 14-year-old Andréa Hernández-Baldoquín works as a spy for a BIPOC spy organization that focuses on uncovering white supremacist terrorists. Her first solo assignment is to pose as a white student and get close enough to the son of a terrorist to see if she can uncover his father’s whereabouts. To develop a friendship with him, she learns how to play a card game, and in so doing, starts to fall for her target’s best friend and roommate, Rámon. With action-packed scenes, cosplay, romance, and thought-provoking discussions of race, this powerful middle grade is one of my favorites from the year.

Cover of Pop-Up Topics: Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Creatures by Roi

Pop-Up Topics: Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Creatures by Arnaud Roi, illustrated by Charlotte Molas

This pop-up dinosaur book is super neat. It probably would not hold up long in a public library, but if you’re giving any gifts to preschool dinosaur lovers over the holidays, definitely keep this one in mind. Each page features a new dinosaur pop-up, from the Tyrannosaurus Rex on the cover (my daughter’s favorite dinosaur) to the Argentinosaurus and Quetzalcoatlus. I watched the most recent Jurassic World movie over the weekend and I was able to identify many of the dinosaurs in the movie thanks to books like this!

For a more comprehensive list, check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

Halloween is right around the corner so if you haven’t already, get those Halloween books out and start reading! These are four of my favorite new Halloween or spooky-themed children’s books.

Monsters Play . . . Peekaboo by Flavia Z. Drago (board book)

This adorable interactive board book is the perfect Halloween read for toddlers. I love Flavia Z. Drago’s vibrant illustrations, and this even includes a surprise guest from her previous picture book Gustavo, the Shy Ghost. It also encourages readers to make spooky sounds with each of the monsters. Be prepared to read this one 20 times in a row.

A Friend for Ghost by Suzanne Kaufman (picture book)

I am a sucker for cute ghost illustrations, and the ghost in this picture book is one of the more adorable ones I’ve seen. The glasses! *heart eyes* Ghost is lonely, and wants to play with friends, but no one can see Ghost, which makes it a little hard. Then Ghost meets Balloon and finds a ready and willing friend. But when a hide-and-go-seek game goes wrong, Ghost loses Balloon. Don’t worry, this one has a happy ending! You can see a couple of images from the book on my Instagram! I lucked out and brought it along to a pumpkin stand for pictures and it just so happened that the stand was ghost-themed!

The Most Haunted House in America by Jarrett Dapier, illustrated by Lee Gatlin (picture book)

This fun read-aloud features a skeleton band performing at the White House for our favorite presidential family — the Obamas. While all is fun and games outside, when the band moves inside, they find the White House haunted! Thankfully, even the ghosts on the inside know how to rock. This is delightfully rhythmic and would make a great segue into talking about the White House!

Freddie Vs. The Family Curse by Tracy Badua (middle grade)

This is a non-scary middle grade about family curses and evil spirits. Freddie and his family are well known for their bad luck and clumsiness, which has earned Freddie the nickname of Faceplant Freddie. When he discovers an amulet from the Philippines, he thinks his luck has changed, but then it turns out the amulet is haunted by his bad-tempered great-granduncle Ramon, and that the evil spirits who murdered him have returned. With lots of adventure, friendship, and breakdancing (yes, breakdancing), this novel is a super fun read, and perfect for the Halloween season.

Halloween puppet craft the kids are all right

If you’re looking for an easy Halloween craft, Marian and I made these stick puppets using popsicle sticks, crayons, construction paper, and tape (glue works just as well). She’s currently at the playground with her Daddy putting on puppet shows with them! We drew our own characters and cut them out (it might be hard to tell with our excellent art skills, lol).

If you’d like to read more of my kidlit reviews, I’m on Instagram @BabyLibrarians, Twitter @AReaderlyMom, and blog irregularly at Baby Librarians. You can also read my Book Riot posts. If you’d like to drop me a line, my email is kingsbury.margaret@gmail.com.

Until next Tuesday!

Margaret Kingsbury

Categories
The Kids Are All Right

New Middle Grade Fantasy, Jasmine Warga’s New Middle Grade (!!!), and More!

Hi Kid Lit Friends!

I hope you are all enjoying the start of October! For us, autumn means apple picking, maple pumpkin muffins, apple pies, and trying to see as much of the beautiful New England foliage as possible. It is the best season!

Bookish Goods

Mug with a Ghost Reading

Bookish Halloween Coffee Mug by MelioraStore

As the weather cools, I always reach for the warm beverages: tea, apple cider, and hot chocolate! Get in the Halloween spirit with this great mug. $10+

New Releases

The Real Dada Mother Goose cover

The Real Dada Mother Goose: A Treasury of Complete Nonsense by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Julia Rothman

If you like upside down nursery rhymes, this is the book for you! Jon Scieszka outdoes himself with a collection of truly strange and wonderful takes on classic nursery rhymes. Paired with Julia Rothman’s fantastic illustrations, this is a great addition to any library.

A Rover's Story cover

A Rover’s Story by Jasmine Warga

I adore Jasmine Warga’s books, and this one is no exception. Res the Rover was built to explore Mars, and he was not meant to have human emotions. But as he is being built, he starts to have human feelings. And when he lands on Mars, he finds it filled with peril. Will he live up to all of the expectations of the millions of people watching him from Earth?

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

There have been so many fantastic middle grade fantasy books hitting the shelves this year. Here are just a few of the notable ones that have crossed my desk! (There are so many more!)

Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun cover

Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun by Tolá Okogwu

This adventure stars a British Nigerian girl who learns that her hair has psychokinetic powers. When her mom discovers Onyeka’s powers, she is shipped to the Academy of the Sun in Nigeria. But as often happens when attending a school for people with magical powers, nothing is what it seems, and it’s up to Onyeka to find out the truth.

The Lost Ryu cover

The Lost Ryū by Emi Watanabe Cohen

Kohei Fujiwara knows all about the big ryū, dragons that disappeared from Japan after World War II. But Kohei has never seen one before, and when his grandfather is sick, Kohei knows he needs to find a big ryū before it’s too late.

A Taste of Magic cover

A Taste of Magic by J. Elle

When Kyana discovers she’s a witch, she begins to attend Park Row Magick Academy on Saturdays, which is hidden in the back of a local beauty shop. But trouble brews when the school might lose their funding, and Kyana needs to figure out how to make money, and fast. If the school disbands, they could all lose their magic forever.

Crown of Flames cover

Crown of Flames by Sayantani DasGupta

In the second book of the Kingdom Beyond series, Pinki is back, only this time she is called to be the leader of the resistance. Pinki, however, definitely does not want to be a leader. Can she summon the courage to step up and fight evil? This is another thrilling series from bestselling author Sayantani DasGupta!

A corgi and a cat sleeping next to each other on a couch

What are you reading these days?

Let me know! Find me on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email me at KarinaBookRiot@gmail.com.

Until next time,

Karina

*If this e-mail was forwarded to you, follow this link to subscribe to “The Kids Are All Right” newsletter and other fabulous Book Riot newsletters for your own customized e-mail delivery. Thank you!*https://www.instagram.com/karinaisreadingandwriting/

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The Kids Are All Right

Hurricanes, Kittens, Litter, And More!

Happy Tuesday, kidlit friends! It is gorgeous outside here in Tennessee. My desk window looks out to a beautiful tree whose leaves are turning orange, and it’s such a lovely view. This past week has seen no new illnesses (yay!), and I made a huge donation of picture books to my daughter’s preschool. It’s been a nice week, and I’m looking forward to spending the weekend outside! However, while it’s been lovely here, I know many areas have been devastated by recent hurricanes. I hope everyone is safe and that cleanup and recovery happen swiftly!

Bookish Goods

Stamp Washi Tape Book Lovers by RobotDanceBattle

Stamp Washi Tape – Book Lovers by RobotDanceBattle

This washi tape is too cute. My daughter would manage to use it all up within ten minutes. $6

New Releases

Book cover of The Antiracist Kid by Jewell

The Antiracist Kid by Tiffany Jewell, illustrated by Nicole Miles (middle grade)

Written by a Black Montessori educator and anti-racist activist, this nonfiction for upper elementary and middle school ages is an engaging, accessible, and essential read. Jewell defines terms, provides real-life scenarios where anti-racist tactics are needed, shows kids how to spot racism in a variety of settings and forms, and more. The illustrations are so fun and engaging, and I love that it includes brief comic sections.

Cover of This Story is Not About a Kitten by Seve

This Story is Not About a Kitten by Randall de Sève, illustrated by Carson Ellis (picture book)

My daughter and I are suckers for cat books, and this picture book is one of my favorites of the year. When a girl, a mom, and their dog discover a kitten under a car, they unknowingly set off a chain of events that will not only help the kitten find a new home but will also bring a community together. It’s beautifully illustrated by Carson Ellis, and the repeated lines of the story make it a really engaging read aloud.

For a more comprehensive list, check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

After the recent hurricanes devastating parts of Florida, Puerto Rico, and Canada, I know many kids will have questions about hurricanes. These four books all address hurricanes in various ways.

Hurricane by John Rocco (picture book)

A young boy’s favorite place in the world is the dock near his house, where he fishes and enjoys watching nature. When a hurricane hits his town, the dock is decimated. He sets out to rebuild the dock by himself, but as neighbors notice his efforts, they lend a hand until a new dock is built. This beautifully illustrated picture book also includes backmatter about how hurricanes are formed.

Cover of Up and Adam by Zapata

Up and Adam by Debbie Zapata, illustrated by Yong Ling Kang (picture book)

After Adam, who has down syndrome, hears the mayor on TV ask everyone to pitch in on clean-up efforts around town after a major storm, Adam loads up his wheel barrel, calls for his dog, and sets out to pitch in and help. Everyone is so worried, and Adam finds many ways he can lend a hand. While this picture book doesn’t specify what kind of storm wrecks Adam’s town, the story definitely applies to the aftermath of a hurricane.

Cover of Hear the Wind Blow by Doyle

Hear the Wind Blow by Doe Boyle, illustrated by Emily Paik (picture book)

This lyrical nonfiction picture book describes the Beaufort wind scale, from a gentle wind to a tumultuous hurricane. After the hurricane, the community comes together to rebuild. Backmatter includes more information about the scale and wind speeds. It’s a lovely STEM picture book.

Cover of Ninth Ward by Rhodes

Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes (middle grade)

This award-winning middle grade novel takes place during Hurricane Katrina. Twelve-year-old Lanesha lives with Mama Ya-Ya in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward. Both have magical abilities despite being unrelated: Mama Ya-Ya can see into the future, and Lanesha can see ghosts. Days before Hurricane Katrina hits, Mama Ya-Ya predicts its arrival. Now it’s up to Lanesha to help her community.

A letter about littering for The Kids are All Right

I had a very proud mama moment today. Marian and I were discussing what the word “disgusted” meant, and after giving her a few examples and showing her people’s disgusted faces on Google images, she declared, “I’m disgusted by litter.” She then immediately demanded we write letters asking our neighbors not to litter, and to make it fun, she taped a valentine on top so it could be a lift-the-flap letter, lol! The handwriting pictured here is my own; her words and her illustration. We made 10 letters in all. This afternoon she wants to hand them out. I’m thinking we’ll head toward the library and hand them out there. Her first act of activism! The kids truly are all right.

If you’d like to read more of my kidlit reviews, I’m on Instagram @BabyLibrarians, Twitter @AReaderlyMom, and blog irregularly at Baby Librarians. You can also read my Book Riot posts. If you’d like to drop me a line, my email is kingsbury.margaret@gmail.com.

Until next Tuesday!

Margaret Kingsbury

Categories
The Kids Are All Right

Great New Chapter Books, a Bookish Tie, and More!

Hi Kid Lit Friends!

Welcome to October! This is probably one of my favorite months. In New York City, the leaves are beginning to change and that crisp air wakes me up after the hot weather sluggishness of summer. Also, it’s apple cider donut season!

Bookish Goods

Library Due Date Men's Tie

Library Due Date Tie by Cyberoptix

I love getting holiday shopping done early, and I already have an idea of who I’m giving this to! $40+

New Releases

Brown is Beautiful cover

Brown is Beautiful by Supriya Kelkar, illustrated by Noor Sofi (picture book)

I love this picture book of a young Indian-American girl who celebrates the color brown as she goes on a nature walk.

A Library cover

A Library by Nikki Giovanni, illustrations by Erin K. Robinson

Check out this gorgeous cover! This lyrical picture book is an ode to the power of a library as a gateway to other worlds and as a place that celebrates the power of words. Each page turn is a thing of beauty!

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

Chapter books are a wonderful thing. The time when we first get introduced to chapter books is often the stage in a person’s life when they fall in love with books, and these new chapter books are a great addition to any library. These chapter books are the perfect read aloud books and are also great for newly independent readers.

Too Small Tola and the Three Fine Girls cover

Too Small Tola and the Three Fine Girls by Atinuke, illustrated by Onyinye Iwu

In the city of Lagos in the country of Nigeria, Too Small Tola and her two siblings and Grandmummy live together and have lots of adventures. In this set of three stories, Tola is given a great gift from her grandmother and finds joy in helping her family every day.

A Sliver of Moon and a Shard of Truth cover

A Sliver of Moon and a Shard of Truth: Stories from India by Chitra Soundar

In a follow up to Mangoes, Mischief, and Tales of Friendship, these stories based on Indian folklore follow Prince Veera and his best friend Suku as they encounter secrets, tricksters and riddles. This is a fun book to read aloud or for newly independent readers! (The illustrations are so fun!)

Rica Baptista Llamas Iguanas and My Very Best Friend cover

Rica Baptista: Llamas, Iguanas, and My Very Best Friend by Janet Costa Bates, illustrated by Gladys Jose

This book is right up my alley because it’s about kids who want PETS! Rica really wants a pet— anything will do, she’s not picky!— but her parents are strongly opposed. Can Rica convince her parents that she has everything it takes to care for an animal?

Ways to Share Joy cover

Ways to Share Joy by Renee Watson

This is the third book in the Ryan Hart series, and I just love Ryan Hart and her imaginative mind and her positive attitude! In this book, Ryan finds herself in the middle with her family and her friends. She tries to make everyone happy, which strangely enough makes no one happy! Can Ryan find ways to share joy even when nothing seems to be going right?

Corgi puppy sleeping on his back

What are you reading these days?

Let me know! Find me on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email me at KarinaBookRiot@gmail.com.

Until next time,

Karina

*If this e-mail was forwarded to you, follow this link to subscribe to “The Kids Are All Right” newsletter and other fabulous Book Riot newsletters for your own customized e-mail delivery. Thank you!*

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The Kids Are All Right

Witches, Climate Change, Fall Feelings, And More!

Happy Tuesday, kidlit friends! I believe this is the first week since school started that none of us have been sick! Though I did get my 5th Covid booster and a flu shot and had some mild side effects. I’m super excited about the updated booster and hope everyone gets boosted.

Bookish Goods

Amara's Farm Book Activity Pack by DramaMamaReads

Amara’s Farm Book Activity Pack by DramaMamaReads

Amara’s Farm is one of my favorite fall picture books (it’s one of my favorite posts I made for the gram), and this set of activities would be a perfect companion to the book. I follow Naima, the creator behind DramaMamaReads, on Instagram, and her account is a joy. $7

New Releases

Cover of Haven Jacobs Saves the Planet by Dee

Haven Jacobs Saves the Planet by Barbara Dee (middle grade)

This year has seen several great books focusing on climate change for children, but this new middle grade novel is one of my favorites. I so relate to protagonist Haven Jacobs’s eco-anxiety, and I love how she finds a way to be an active agent of change in her community. It’s a nuanced take on how individuals can help the environment, with excellent secondary characters.

Cover of Yellow Dog Blue by Duncan

Yellow Dog Blues by Alice Faye Duncan, illustrated by Chris Raschka (picture book)

This picture book makes the blues come alive with rhythmic lyrics and unique canvas embroidery illustrations. As a Southerner, I can’t help but put on my full Southern drawl when I read this one aloud. The story follows a young boy who’s searching for his missing yellow dog. As he searches, he encounters famous places from blues history, from Dockery Farms where Muddy Waters played all the way to Beale Street in Memphis. Backmatter includes a brief history of jazz and the places seen in the book.

For a more comprehensive list, check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

Spooky season is upon us; my favorite time of year! Several excellent witchy picture books have released this year, so I thought I’d review a few of my favorites.

Cover of Leila the Perfect Witch by Drago

Leila, the Perfect Witch by Flavia Z. Drago

In this adorable picture book, Leila, who is usually perfect at all witchy pursuits, struggles to bake the most perfect cake for the Magnificent Witchy Cake-off. Baking is hard, even with the help of her froggy companion! Thankfully, with the help of three supportive sisters, she finally figures out the trick to baking. Does she win the contest? Nope. But winning isn’t everything.

Cover of If Your Babysitter is a Bruja by Siqueira

If Your Babysitter Is a Bruja by Ana Siqueira, illustrated by Irena Freitas

This super fun read-aloud has Spanish words scattered throughout the rhythmic prose. Told in the second person, this picture book gives advice about what to do if you realize your babysitter is a bruja. The colorful illustrations depict a little girl in just such a predicament. But in the end, it turns out that a bruja babysitter is an absolute blast.

Cover of Witch Hazel by Idle

Witch Hazel by Molly Idle (October 11)

Ah, this nostalgic, bittersweet picture book made me cry. It’s about a little girl named Hilda who helps the witch Hazel around the house. Witch Hazel tells stories from her past as she sweeps dust away, and the dust magically recreates her memories. When Witch Hazel dies, Hilda despairs, until a little sweep of dust recreates a memory of Hilda and Hazel together, and she knows Witch Hazel will never be truly gone as long as she remembers her. *wipes away tears*

cover of A Spoonful of Frogs by Casey Lyall, illustrated by Vera Brosgal

A Spoonful of Frogs by Casey Lyall, illustrated by Vera Brosgol

In this hilarious picture book, a witch on a cooking show attempts to demonstrate how to make frog soup to her viewers. However, these frogs aren’t about to congenially allow themselves to be spooned into a soup. No thanks. They take off every which way, and this cooking show witch is left to scramble after them. This picture book gets big belly laughs from my little witch.

Marian in the pool The Kids are All Right

Our condo’s pool has officially closed, and we made sure to get in a good swim on the last day it was open. Today is the first day it actually feels and looks like fall. Leaves are changing colors, and the temperature was brisk on my morning walk. I love it!

If you’d like to read more of my kidlit reviews, I’m on Instagram @BabyLibrarians, Twitter @AReaderlyMom, and blog irregularly at Baby Librarians. You can also read my Book Riot posts. If you’d like to drop me a line, my email is kingsbury.margaret@gmail.com.

Until next Tuesday!

Margaret Kingsbury

Categories
The Kids Are All Right

Middle Grade Novels in Verse, Book Earrings, and More!

Hi Kid Lit friends,

I write this from the middle of book tour, where I am hopping on planes, checking into hotels, and meeting thousands of kids and awesome librarians and teachers. It is so fun to celebrate a new book this way!

Bookish Goods

Book earrings

Book Earrings by ArtsyYellowRoom

I adore these book earrings! They are just what you need to show your love for books! $16

New Releases

Sweet and Sour book

Sweet and Sour by Debbi Michiko Florence (middle grade)

Debbi Michiko Florence is a master of tween lit, and her new novel is no exception! Sweet and Sour is all about the friendship turmoil that can happen in the pre-teen years. This is a story of Mai and her used-to-be-best-friend Zach. When they are thrown together again one summer, they both have to face the incident that caused their friendship to fall apart.

Berry Song book

Berry Song by Michaela Goade (picture book)

Michaela Goade is one of my favorite illustrators, and this is her first self-authored picture book. Berry Song is a love letter to life on an island and the seasons that bring gifts from the forest.

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

Novels-in-verse are some of my favorite books. Check out these middle grade books and let me know what you think.

Planet Middle School cover

Planet Middle School by Nikki Grimes

No one does novels-in-verse like Nikki Grimes! In this beautiful book set in middle school, 12-year-old Joylin Johnson finds her world in disarray. Her friends are suddenly flirting with each other, basketball isn’t the same, and a new kid arrives that gives Joy all sorts of feelings. Will Joy survive middle school?

Jordan J and the Truth About Jordan J cover

Jordan J and the Truth About Jordan J by K.A. Holt

In the third book in The Kids Under the Stairs series, Jordan J *might* have made enemies of the entire school dance team due to his honest reviews of their dances in the school paper. But with his goal of making it onto his favorite dance show, he needs help and appeals to the only dance team member who is still talking to him. Can Jordan make his dream come true?

Red, White, and Whole cover

Red, White, and Whole by Rajani LaRocca

Newbery Honoree Rajani LaRocca pens a beautiful novel-in-verse about Reha, the only Indian American student at her school. Reha is torn between her family, with their traditions and high expectations of her, and school, where she feels different and unable to share who she really is. But when her mom gets really sick, she knows she needs to do everything in her power to help her mom get better.

In the Beautiful Country by Jane Kuo

Anna leaves her home in Taiwan for the “beautiful country,” the Chinese word for America. But moving to a new place is so much harder than she ever dreamed, especially when her parents struggle with making enough money and Anna struggles with the language and encounters bullies at school. This is an honest book about the challenges of being an immigrant in America.

A Seed in the Sun cover

A Seed in the Sun by Aida Salazar (Dial, 10/25/22)

In this compelling story by Aida Salazar, a young girl named Lula Viramontes is a farm worker alongside her family in California in 1965. Her dreams include joining a Mexican traveling circus, but such dreams seem far away when she spends her days in dangerous working conditions. When she meets labor rights activists, she realizes that she might have bigger dreams than she ever realized.

Tri-color corgi wearing a bow tie looking up for a treat

What are you reading these days?

Let me know! Find me on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email me at KarinaBookRiot@gmail.com.

Until next time,

Karina

*If this e-mail was forwarded to you, follow this link to subscribe to “The Kids Are All Right” newsletter and other fabulous Book Riot newsletters for your own customized e-mail delivery. Thank you!*