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Find more Booklist Editors' Choice
Committed to providing a broad selection of outstanding books that mixes popular appeal with literary excellence, the Books for Youth editorial staff has chosen the titles below as its favorite nonfiction, fiction, and picture-book offerings.
Better Than We Found It: Conversations to Help Save the World. By Frederick Joseph and Porsche Joseph. Candlewick, $19.99 (9781536224528). Gr. 8–11.
The husband-and-wife author take turns narrating chapters that acknowledge the impact of a range of social issues (gun violence, Indigenous-land theft, homophobia, etc.), offer personal narratives, and suggest alternate behaviors. Specific problems are defined in a global context, with ample background information that explains the far-reaching consequences.
Freedom! The Story of the Black Panther Party. By Jetta Grace Martin and others. Levine Querido, $19.99 (9781646140930). Gr. 8–12.
This comprehensive and extensively documented history of the Black Panther Party traces the organization’s development through the turbulent 1960s to its eventual demise in 1982. The narrative addresses the prejudicial treatment the party received from the traditionally white media and the social conditions that led to its creation.
Gender Queer: A Memoir, Deluxe Edition. By Maia Kobabe. Art by the author. Oni, $24.99 (9781637150726). Gr. 9–12.
This deluxe edition adds valuable context to Kobabe’s eloquent, vulnerable, and thoughtfully drawn graphic memoir about the sometimes rocky path toward feeling comfortable with eir gender identity and sexuality.
The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee (Young Readers Adaptation): Life in Native America. By David Treuer and Sheila Keenan. Viking, $19.99 (9780593203477). Gr. 7–12.
Alongside Keenan, Leech Lake Ojibwe author Treuer adapts his adult book—part history, part memoir—for a teen audience. While the primary focus is on the period since the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee, Treuer’s account highlights how Native culture is not just history but alive and well today.
Murder among Friends: How Leopold and Loeb Tried to Commit the Perfect Crime. By Candace Fleming. Random/Anne Schwartz, $19.99 (9780593177426). Gr. 8–12.
Fleming brings depth and nuance to this account of the infamous Leopold and Loeb case, describing the men’s crime, the sensational news coverage, and the landmark trial, all while never losing sight of the devastating impact on the victim’s family and friends.
Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America (Young Reader’s Edition). By Candacy Taylor. Abrams, $22.99 (9781419749490). Gr. 7–12.
Chronicling the history of The Green Book, an annual publication for Black travelers in the U.S., this well-researched volume focuses primarily on the Jim Crow era. A fascinating, detailed account of racial injustice countered with information and ingenuity.
Queer Ducks (and Other Animals): The Natural World of Animal Sexuality. By Eliot Schrefer. Illus. by Jules Zuckerberg. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen, $17.99 (9780063069497). Gr. 9–12.
In a groundbreaking publication that includes much research previously repressed or ignored, Schrefer documents same-gender sexual activity in animals. Examples come from throughout the animal kingdom and range from spontaneous hookups to lifelong relationships. Schrefer offers accessible science, personal anecdotes, and insights into the social landscape of science.
Seen and Unseen: What Dorothea Lange, Toyo Miyatake, and Ansel Adams’s Photographs Reveal about the Japanese American Incarceration. By Elizabeth Partridge. Illus. By Lauren Tamaki. Chronicle, $21.99 (9781452165103). Gr. 6–9.
In 1942, three photographers—two white and free; one Japanese and imprisoned—documented the forced removal and incarceration at Manzanar, one of 10 federal prison camps housing imprisoned Japanese Americans. This deftly designed resource highlights their work, their insights, and where each diverged during a troubling time in American history. (Top of the List Winner—Youth Nonfiction)
Victory. Stand! Raising My Fist for Justice. By Tommie Smith and Derrick Barnes. Art by Dawud Anyabwile. Norton/Young Readers, $22.95 (9781324003908). Gr. 9–12.
In this powerful graphic memoir, track-and-field gold medalist Smith tells what led him to protest racial injustice by raising his black-gloved fist on the podium at the 1968 Olympic Games. This compelling book illuminates an iconic moment and its aftermath.
Bottle Tops: The Art of El Anatsui. By Alison Goldberg. Illus. by Elizabeth Zunon. Lee & Low, $20.95 (9781620149669). Gr. 2–5.
Ghanian artist El Anatsui’s dynamic artwork composed of salvaged bottle tops comes alive in Zunon’s impressive collage illustrations, while Goldberg’s text thoughtfully traces how El Anatsui developed his unique art and some of the meaning behind his work.
Free at Last: A Juneteenth Poem. By Sojourner Kincaid Rolle. Illus. by Alex Bostic. Union Square Kids, $17.99 (9781454943747). Gr. 1–4.
With soulful illustrations portraying events in a dignified, momentous style, this picture book celebrates Rolle’s poem “Free at Last: A Juneteenth Poem,” explaining how it is linked to the annual celebration and how Juneteenth became the symbolic representation of freedom.
Going Places: Victor Hugo Green and His Glorious Book. By Tonya Bolden. Illus. by Eric Velasquez. HarperCollins/Quill Tree, $17.99 (9780062967404). Gr. 1–4.
In descriptive text—occasionally featuring alliteration and rhyme—and an upbeat voice, Bolden recalls the Black mail carrier from Harlem who assembled the Green Book after recognizing that, following the Great Depression, highways were being built and Black Americans were going places.
How Science Saved the Eiffel Tower. By Emma Bland Smith. Illus. by Lia Visirin. Capstone, $17.99 (9781684464784). Gr. 2–5.
Gustave Eiffel designed, financed, and supervised construction of the Eiffel Tower in 1889. Unwilling to remove it 20 years later, he worked to save the landmark. This engaging picture book celebrates his imaginative approach to problem solving.
Just a Girl: A True Story of World War II. By Lia Levi. Illus. by Jess Mason. Tr. by Sylvia Notini. Harper, $16.99 (9780063065086). Gr. 3–6.
A quiet Jewish Italian child uprooted by WWII proves resilient in this endearing, accessible memoir for young readers—adapted from Levi’s award-winning book for adults—while charming illustrations of round-faced characters convey the innocence Lia maintains throughout her ordeal.
Maya’s Song. By Renée Watson. Illus. by Bryan Collier. Harper, $19.99 (9780062871589). Gr. 2–5.
Using spare, powerful poetry to describe key moments of Maya Angelou’s life, Watson explores the poet’s influences and artistry. Collier’s large, full-bleed paintings accompany each poem with beautiful, resonant imagery.
Serengeti: Plains of Grass. By Leslie Bulion. Illus. by Becca Stadtlander. Peachtree, $18.99 (9781682631911). Gr. 1–4.
In a series of connected utendi stanzas (a four-line poetic form common in Swahili), naturalistic illustrations depicting panoramic views combine with the text to document the migrations of Africa’s grassland-dwelling herbivores and the interconnectedness of the habitat’s species.
Unbreakable: The Spies Who Cracked the Nazis’ Secret Code. By Rebecca E. F. Barone. Holt, $19.99 (9781250814203). Gr. 5–8.
This taut, lively narrative introduces the brilliant cryptologists in Poland, France, and England who worked tirelessly to replicate the Germans’ Enigma machine, crack their codes, and learn their secrets.
The Woman Who Split the Atom: The Life of Lise Meitner. By Marissa Moss. Abrams, $19.99 (9781419758539). Gr. 5–9.
Moss introduces Lise Meitner, a Jewish, Austrian physicist who was working on nuclear fission in 1938, when she fled to Sweden to escape Nazi persecution. Moss offers a very readable account of Meitner’s life and her significant accomplishments.
A Is for Bee: An Alphabet Book in Translation. By Ellen Heck. Illus. by the author. Levine Querido, $17.99 (9781646141272). K–Gr. 3.
The animals in this abecedary are familiar, but the order is not: each page features one or more words in a language other than English for the pictured creature, and Heck’s stunning scratchboard illustrations cleverly hide each page’s letter in or around the animal. (Top of the List Winner—Picture Book)
A Bear Far from Home. By Susan Fletcher. Illus. by Rebecca Green. Random/Anne Schwartz, $18.99 (9780593181898). K–Gr. 3.
Evoking medieval artwork through gold borders and flowery flourishes, Green’s marvelous illustrations bring to life the true story of a white bear’s journey from Norway to London after being gifted to King Henry III.
Just like Jesse Owens. By Andrew Young and Paula Young Shelton. Illus. by Gordon C. James. Scholastic/Orchard, $17.99 (9780545554657). Gr. 1–3.
This moving family story tells of Andrew Young’s childhood experiences in New Orleans during the 1930s, his admiration for runner Jesse Owens, and his father’s sage advice regarding racism. A memorable picture book with vibrant illustrations.
Luminous: Living Things That Light Up the Night. By Julia Kuo. Illus. by the author. Greystone Kids, $18.95 (9781771648882). PreS–Gr. 2.
Arresting artwork steals the show in this introduction to bioluminescence in nature. Two explorers find examples in a forest, in a cave, and particularly in the ocean, where three quarters of animals produce their own light.
A Perfect Fit: How Lena “Lane” Bryant Changed the Shape of Fashion. By Mara Rockliff. Illus. by Juana Martinez-Neal. Clarion, $17.99 (9780358125433). K–Gr. 2.
This beautifully illustrated book introduces a Lithuanian immigrant who supported herself as a seamstress. Starting her own innovative company, she made fashion more affordable and offered ready-to-wear clothes for women of varied shapes and sizes.
The Tower of Life: How Yaffa Eliach Rebuilt Her Town in Stories and Photographs. By Chana Stiefel. Illus. by Susan Gal. Scholastic, $18.99 (9781338225891). Gr. 1–3.
When tapped by President Jimmy Carter to create an exhibit in the new Holocaust Memorial Museum, Yaffa Eliach collected photographs from members of her Lithuanian shtetl, creating a three-story display that pays tribute to their lives as individuals and as part of the Jewish community.
All My Rage. By Sabaa Tahir. Razorbill, $19.99 (9780593202340). Gr. 10–12.
After Salahudin’s mother dies, Salahudin is confronted with the possibility of the loss of the family’s motel. Meanwhile, his former friend Noor faces the loss of the future she’s been working toward ever since an earthquake in Pakistan killed the rest of her family. Complex, electrifying, and unforgettable. (Top of the List Winner—Youth Fiction)
Alone out Here. By Riley Redgate. Disney/Hyperion, $18.99 (9781368064729). Gr. 9–12.
When the end of the world comes early, only the 53 children of the world’s diplomats survive. Leigh Chen, First Daughter of the U.S., takes command as their potentially doomed ship enters deep space. The tense, understated narrative explores the mundanity of fear and the limits of humanity.
And They Lived . . . By Steven Salvatore. Bloomsbury, $17.99 (9781547608195). Gr. 9–12.
Chase Arthur excitedly begins his dream animation program, though college is daunting. His growing confusion over his gender identity is complicated, too, by body dysmorphia and his eating disorder. As he falls in love with closeted poet Jack, their romance and his relationship with himself enhances his art.
Diamond Park. By Phillippe Diederich. Dutton, $17.99 (9780593354254). Gr. 9–12.
A simple trip to buy a used convertible goes sideways when Magaña’s friend is wrongfully accused of crime, prompting Magaña to follow the real perpetrator into Mexico. A gritty coming-of-age story that paints a complex picture of teenage life beneath the weight of racism.
The Epic Story of Every Living Thing. By Deb Caletti. Random/Labyrinth Road, $18.99 (9780593485507). Gr. 9–12.
When Harper discovers not only that she’s the child of a sperm donor but that she has dozens of half-siblings, she makes a spontaneous decision to track the donor down with the help of three of her sibs and, in the process, learns important things about herself.
Heartbreak Symphony. By Laekan Zea Kemp. Little, Brown, $17.99 (9780316460385). Gr. 9–12.
Both Aarón and Mia have lost parents, and music, after a failed audition, brings them together as a way to heal their wounds. Aarón is haunted by a robot DJ while Mia struggles with ongoing stage fright. This story of personal and community grief offers space for healing.
Hell Followed with Us. By Andrew Joseph White. Peachtree Teen, $18.99 (9781682633243). Gr. 9–12.
Fleeing the apocalypse-obsessed cult in which he was raised to be a weapon of hate, 16-year-old trans boy Benji finds allies in a group of LGBTQ+ teens. Pulse-pounding action and grotesque body horror fuel this indictment of white supremacy while celebrating queer love.
Kiss and Tell. By Adib Khorram. Dial, $18.99 (9780593325261). Gr. 10–12.
A member of Canadian boy band Kiss & Tell, Hunter Drake is both conscious of his rich, white, cis privilege and desperate for gay community, especially after a public breakup. As a publicity stunt relationship with Iranian American drummer Kayvan turns real, Hunter navigates love, loss, and celebrity.
Man Made Monsters. By Andrea L. Rogers. Illus. by Jeff Edwards. Levine Querido, $19.99 (9781646141791). Gr. 10–12.
Rogers’ haunting horror collection follows the Wilsons, a Cherokee family in the American South, and the monsters they encounter, from vampires in 1839 to a horde of zombies in 2039. In the two centuries between, the stories examine intergenerational traumas and the endurance of a family.
Nothing Burns as Bright as You. By Ashley Woodfolk. HarperCollins/Versify, $18.99 (9780358655350). Gr. 9–12.
This elegantly constructed, blistering novel in verse follows two 16-year-old girls, both Black and queer, as they share a final, combustible day together following two-and-a-half years of friendship that bled into a messy, passionate, undefinable romance.
Only on the Weekends. By Dean Atta. HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray, $17.99 (9780063157989). Gr. 9–12.
Mack struggles to navigate his fragile relationship with closeted K when his filmmaker father moves him to Scotland for three months. Things grow only more complicated when Mack meets confident trans activist and star Finlay on the shoot. An authentic, multifaceted novel in verse.
Our Crooked Hearts. By Melissa Albert. Flatiron, $18.99 (9781250826367). Gr. 9–12.
In chapters alternating between teenager Ivy’s present and her mother’s teen years, Ivy discovers that her mother is a witch, unravels the secrets that haunt their life, and fights to resolve the consequential mistakes of the bygone past.
Self-Made Boys: A Great Gatsby Remix. By Anna-Marie McLemore. Feiwel and Friends, $18.99 (9781250774934). Gr. 9–12.
In this retelling of The Great Gatsby, Nicolás Caraveo, a 17-year-old Mexican American trans man, is sucked into the glitzy world of the infamous Jay Gatsby, who is also trans. A deft exploration of class divides, capitalism, and the racial divides of the roaring twenties.
Squire. By Nadia Shammas and Sara Alfageeh. Art by Sara Alfageeh. HarperCollins/Quill Tree, $21.99 (9780062945853). Gr. 8–11.
Aiza is a second-class citizen, and she knows that her best path to full citizenship is enlisting in the Bayt-Sajji. The training is tough, especially since she has to conceal her heritage, but learning a powerful secret puts in even more danger in this immersive graphic novel.
This Place Is Still Beautiful. By Xixi Tian. HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray, $18.99 (9780063086029). Gr. 9–12.
Two Chinese-American sisters react quite differently after an offensive term is painted on their garage. Alternating as narrators, they have shifting viewpoints concerning the initial experience, an appropriate response, and a way forward for their family. An impressive first novel.
Torch. By Lyn Miller-Lachmann. Carolrhoda, $19.99 (9781728415680). Gr. 10–12.
In 1960 Czechoslovakia, Soviet oppression leads teenaged Pavol to take his life. The narrative charts the heartbreaking impact Pavol’s death has on three of his closest friends, while pulling no punches in showing the atrocities suffered by Czechoslovakians. An astonishing novel of revolutionary hope.
All Four Quarters of the Moon. By Shirley Marr. Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (9781534488861). Gr. 4–7.
In a touching story taken from the author’s own experiences, two Chinese sisters, 11-year-old Peijing and 5-year-old Biju, grapple with new family roles and find themselves trying to find a new normal after relocating from Singapore to Australia.
Different Kinds of Fruit. By Kyle Lukoff. Dial, $17.99 (9780593111185). Gr. 4–7.
After Annabelle meets nonbinary Bailey and her dad comes out as trans, she learns about queer communities and how they’re treated locally. Themes of inclusion and privilege are integrated into the story of a kid’s first crush and a focus on ways communities can keep everyone safe.
Ellen Outside the Lines. By A. J. Sass. Little, Brown, $16.99 (9780759556270). Gr. 4–7.
In this tender coming-of-age story that brilliantly includes protagonist Ellen’s autism, LGBTQ+ identity, and Judaism in an engaging scavenger-hunt plot, Ellen goes on a class trip to Barcelona and comes to terms with a new understanding of the world and herself.
Jennifer Chan Is Not Alone. By Tae Keller. Random, $17.99 (9780593310526). Gr. 4–7.
Keller gets to the heart of middle-grade friendships in this story about Korean American Mallory and the new girl, Chinese American Jennifer, whose belief in aliens is a liability at their mostly white school. When Jennifer disappears, Mallory faces the realities of her own actions.
Lily and the Night Creatures. By Nick Lake. Illus. by Emily Gravett. Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (9781534494619). Gr. 3–5.
In the tradition of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline (2002), this creepy story follows a sickly girl’s efforts to banish the evil, imposter family that has taken up residence in her home. Though leavened by the addition of talking-animal characters, shivers abound in this atmospheric, illustrated tale.
Little Monarchs. By Jonathan Case. Art by the author. Holiday/Margaret Ferguson, $22.99 (9780823442607). Gr. 5–8.
Evie and her guardian, Flora, scour their postapocalyptic world for monarch butterflies, which are the key to a life-saving vaccine. Case’s densely detailed and sophisticated artwork beautifully renders their world, and Evie’s search for her parents gives the story its emotional core.
Love in the Library. By Maggie Tokuda-Hall. Illus. by Yas Imamura. Candlewick, $18.99 (9781536204308). Gr. 1–4.
Telling how the author’s grandparents fell in love in a Japanese incarceration camp during WWII, the gentle text and expressive artwork capture the resilience of human dignity and optimism despite challenging, disheartening circumstances.
Maizy Chen’s Last Chance. By Lisa Yee. Random, $16.99 (9781984830258). Gr. 4–7.
Historical information is interwoven with fiction in the story of Maizy, who helps out at her grandparents’ restaurant when she’s not keeping her ailing grandfather company and listening to his tales about her Chinese-American heritage. A moving, multilayered narrative.
My Aunt Is a Monster. By Reimena Yee. Art by the author. Random/RH Graphic, $20.99 (9780593125465). Gr. 4–7.
When Safia’s parents die, she’s sent to live with Auntie Whimsy, a renowned but retired adventurer who’s been turned into a dragonlike monster—but Safia, who’s blind, doesn’t know the truth. Yee’s rollicking quest drawn in a playful, arresting midcentury style twists and turns to many enchanting places. (Top of the List Winner—Youth Graphic Novel)
Oh, Sal. By Kevin Henkes. Illus. by the author. Greenwillow, $16.99 (9780063244924). Gr. 2–5.
Four-year-old Sal has been a big sister for just a week. Small worries loom large as she makes the adjustment along with other family members. A captivating chapter book with gentle humor and a memorable main character.
The Patron Thief of Bread. By Lindsay Eagar. Candlewick, $19.99 (9781536204681). Gr. 5–8.
A gang of pickpockets takes up residence in an abandoned cathedral as they implement a delicious long con: youngest member Duck will keep them fed by becoming a baker’s apprentice. The plan hits a snag, however, when Duck finds herself developing affection for the kindly baker.
A Rover’s Story. By Jasmine Warga. HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray, $17.99 (9780063113923). Gr. 4–6.
A sentient rover, Resilience, narrates this heartening, emotional story about finding purpose, which follows the robot from tests and training in the lab on Earth to launching into space on its mission to Mars to using its ingenuity to truly explore.
The Sheep, the Rooster, and the Duck. By Matt Phelan. Illus. by the author. Greenwillow, $16.99 (9780062911001). Gr. 3–6.
In eighteenth-century France, 10-year-old Emile joins a team of undercover animal guardians to foil a plot to steal Ben Franklin’s notebook of inventions and turn the gadgets into weapons. A little bit of history, a touch of mystery, and heaps of fun.
Swim Team. By Johnnie Christmas. Art by the author. HarperAlley, $21.99 (9780063056770). Gr. 4–7.
When Bree moves to Florida, she discover swim-team culture is huge, only she can’t swim. Her neighbor teaches her, though, and soon she’s conquering her fears and the rival school’s swim team. Christmas presents a classic middle-school story that artfully touches on the intersection of swimming and Black culture.
Those Kids from Fawn Creek. By Erin Entrada Kelly. Greenwillow, $17.99 (9780062970350). Gr. 4–7.
Fawn Creek, aka Yawn Creek, is a tiny, tight-knit company town in Louisiana, where the seventh-graders are used to living within the confines of their cliques. When unconventional and unpredictable Orchid floats into town, everyone is thrown for a loop.
Unfadeable. By Maurice Broaddus. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen, $16.99 (9780062796349). Gr. 5–8.
After uncovering something fishy with the city’s finances, unhoused graffiti artist Bella, aka Unfadeable, teams up with unlikely new friends to investigate and fight the misuse of their neighborhood’s resources. Equal parts action and mystery with a nod to 2000s street lit.
Worser. By Jennifer Ziegler. Holiday/Margaret Ferguson, $17.99 (9780823449569). Gr. 4–7.
William Orser, called Worser by his classmates, grapples with grief and upheaval after his widow mother has a stroke and his aunt Iris moves in. Worser’s only outlet is his Masterwork, a secret lexicon that he has compiled over the years, until he finds refuge in his school’s Lit Club.
Agatha May and the Anglerfish. By Nora Morrison and Jessie Ann Foley. Illus. by Mika Song. Dial, $18.99 (9780593324752). Gr. 1–3.
Agatha May has never been the most attentive student in science class, but when she gives an oral report on the bioluminescent deep-sea anglerfish, she leaves her classmates electrified. Sketchy drawings of the toothy undersea terror accompany slightly more finished sketches of its untidy but charismatic champion.
Berry Song. By Michaela Goade. Illus. by the author. Little, Brown, $18.99 (9780316494175). PreS–Gr. 2.
A young Tlingit girl and her grandmother say thank you—Gunalchéesh!—as they forage the forest for wild berries on their island in Alaska. Lustrous deep-toned pictures illustrate the alliterative text, which expresses the Tlingits’ spiritual connection with the land.
Butterfly Child. By Marc Majewski. Illus. by the author. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen, $18.99 (9780063021556). PreS–Gr. 2.
Tender and exuberant, this ode to following one’s joy centers on a butterfly-obsessed boy who finds the courage to ignore taunts from neighborhood children as he plays outside wearing monarch wings. A loving portrait of defying gender norms and being true to oneself.
The Depth of the Lake and the Height of the Sky. By Jihyun Kim. Illus. by the author. Floris, $17.95 (9781782507420). PreS–Gr. 2.
A city boy explores the countryside and marvels at the sights surrounding him, from the bottom of a lake to the stars twinkling above his head. Subtle shifts in color wordlessly convey his simple yet awe-inspiring experiences, evoking wonder and an appreciation for nature.
Farmhouse. By Sophie Blackall. Illus. by the author. Little, Brown, $18.99 (9780316528948). K–Gr. 3.
Captivating collage spreads depict a warm farmhouse and the bustling family that occupies it, until the family departs, having left their mark, and the house falls into disrepair. Bouncing free verse and a thought-provoking focus on creativity and memory complete this superb book from the ever-reliable Blackall.
Kat Hats. By Daniel Pinkwater. Illus. by Aaron Renier. Abrams, $17.99 (9781419751943). K–Gr. 3.
When Chickarina disappears up a mountain without her witch’s hat, her son worries that she may have succumbed to brain freeze. Fear not! Kat Hats’ star feline springs into action, shape shifting into a variety of chapeaux as he makes his way to Chickarina, ultimately becoming a cozy conjurer’s cap.
Luli and the Language of Tea. By Andrea Wang. Illus. by Hyewon Yum. Holiday/Neal Porter, $18.99 (9780823446148). PreS–Gr. 2.
Ten young children, each speaking a different language, play separately in a classroom until Luli, a Chinese-American girl, invites them to gather for tea and cookies. Delicate illustrations accompany the narrative in this rewarding picture book.
Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle. By Nina LaCour. Illus. by Kaylani Juanita. Candlewick, $17.99 (9781536211511). PreS–Gr. 2.
A little girl loves the routine she shares with Mama and Mommy, but when Mommy leaves for a work trip, the girl struggles to find the same comfort with just Mama. This understanding and gentle book gets a homey, lived in look thanks to Jaunita’s pleasantly cluttered and cheerful artwork.
Mina. By Matthew Forsythe. Illus. by the author. Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman, $17.99 (9781481480413). PreS–Gr. 2.
Mina the mouse is generally unbothered by her eccentric father’s exploits, until he brings home what he insists is a squirrel. Both Mina and Forsythe’s soft, cozy illustrations know it’s a cat. Mina’s father insists everything will be fine, but when he collects two more “squirrels,” high jinks ensue.
The Queen in the Cave. By Júlia Sardà. Illus. by the author. Candlewick Studio, $19.99 (9781536220544). K–Gr. 3.
After dreaming of a queen hiding in a cave, three sisters sneak out at night to find her. Their fantastical adventure, depicted in intricate illustrations that blend beauty and eeriness, taps into the wondrous imagination of childhood and hints at what lies beyond.
Sir Ladybug. By Corey R. Tabor. Art by the author. HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray, $12.99 (9780063069060). Gr. 1–3.
Geisel medalist Tabor kickstarts a new graphic-reader series with this darling title, which sees Sir Ladybug and companions Pell (a roly-poly) and Sterling (a snail) comically answering a call to rescue a beetle from a monster.
Tiny Dino. By Deborah Freedman. Illus. by the author. Viking, $17.99 (9780593352649). PreS–Gr. 1.
An enthusiastic hummingbird tries to persuade its skeptical animal pals that it is related to dinosaurs. Scientific sketches and facts are cleverly incorporated into the endearing watercolor scenes as the small but mighty bird makes her case.
Together We Ride. By Valerie Bolling. Illus. by Kaylani Juanita. Chronicle, $16.99 (9781797212487). PreS–K.
Learning to ride a bike is a common but monumental childhood experience, and in this adorable story, a father coaches his daughter through its ups and downs. Spare, rhyming text appears atop beautiful, candy-colored illustrations filled with thoughtful details.
With Lots of Love. By Jenny Torres Sanchez. Illus. by André Ceolin. Philomel, $17.99 (9780593205006). K–Gr. 3.
Con mucho amor. By Jenny Torres Sanchez. Illus. by André Ceolin.Philomel, $17.99 (9780593205037). K–Gr. 3.
Whether encountering this story in English or Spanish, readers will feel Rocio’s heartache upon moving to the U.S. without her extended family. Dreamlike illustrations fold the girl’s fond memories into her new life, and a surprise package from Abuela reminds Rocio that their love can bridge any distance.
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