The Kids Are All Right

Children’s Books Buzz at BookExpo and SLJ’s Day of Dialog

Hey Kid Lit Fans!

Whew! I am still recovering from the excitement of Book Expo and School and Library Journal’s Day of Dialog, both of which were great fun. So many books to look forward to!

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At Book Expo, I noticed that Wishtree by Katherine Applegate (author of Newbery award winning book The One and Only Ivan) was one of the most anticipated books for the fall (September 26, 2017, Feiwel & Friends). The publisher set up an area where people could write their wishes on leaf-shaped sticky notes and put it inside the knothole of a cardboard tree. For every wish submitted, the publisher will donate a copy of the book, which was such a sweet idea. I got in line early at Book Expo (I may have scheduled my entire day around getting this book!), had my copy signed, and read the entire book that night. Katherine Applegate’s story is so gorgeous and timely, and fans of her work will not be disappointed.

Another popular book was A Time to Act: John F. Kennedy’s Big Speech by Shana Corey and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie (published on April 4, 2017, NorthSouth Books). This book is the story of JFK and the impact of his landmark speech and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. R. Gregory Christie is the illustrator of the stunning Freedom in Congo Square, a Newbery Honor book in 2017, and his illustrations in A Time to Act are just as evocative and gorgeous.

Over in the Scholastic Booth, there was a lot of excitement for the next installment of The Baby-Sitter’s Club graphic novel, Dawn and the Impossible Three (September 26, 2017). This fifth book in the series continues Ann M. Martin’s incredible legacy and is illustrated by Gale Galligan. The previous four in the series were done by Raina Telgemeier, but it appears that the series is in great hands with graphic artist Gale Galligan.

Jason Reynolds was one of the stars of the week. Check out this ENORMOUS banner! The second book in his track series, Patina, will be released on August 19, 2017 by Atheneum. I cannot wait!

School and Library Journal’s Day of Dialog, which was held on May 31st, was a terrific librarian-only gathering. Keynote speakers included Gene Luen Yang, National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and author of American Born Chinese and the Secret Coders series; Megan Whalen, author of Thick as Thieves from the Queen’s Thief series; and Kwame Alexander, Newbery award winning author of The Crossover and author of the upcoming book Solo.

Gene Luen Yang was charming and awesome. He spoke about his Reading Without Walls challenge, which encourages readers to explore books of diverse voices, genres, and formats.

I don’t have space to talk about all the amazing Day of Dialog panels, but I did want to share that I was on a middle grade panel with the legendary Katherine Paterson, and she signed my copy of Jacob Have I Loved! She was so gracious and kind, which confirmed my belief that children’s book writers are the best people on the planet.

New Releases!

I’ve read so many awesome books this week!

Green Pants by Kenneth Kraegel, a picture book published in March by Candlewick Press, is the cutest story of a boy named Jameson who only wants to wear his green pants. No other color will do. When he is invited to be in his cousin’s wedding, he learns that he has to wear a tuxedo – and it is not green. What will Jameson do? Can he make the switch?

Have you followed Candlewicks’ Instagram account? How cute is this photo where the Candlewick team wore green pants to celebrate this book release?

Chelsea Clinton’s newest picture book, illustrated by Alexandra Boiger, is called She Persisted: Thirteen American Women Who Changed the World. It features legendary women in history like Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Clara Lemlich, Nellie Bly, Virginia Apgar, Maria Tallchief, Claudette Colvin, Ruby Bridges, Margaret Chase Smith, Sally Ride, Florence Griffith Joyner, Oprah Winfrey, and Sonia Sotomayor. A terrific and informative book about the women who broke barriers and changed history.

A fantastic new non-fiction book that I read this week is called A Dog in the Cave: The Wolves That Made Us Human by Kay Fryenborg, published in March by HMH. Did you know that the first human domestication of dogs was 26,000 years ago? And did you know that dogs and grey wolves are almost identical in their genetic make-up, so much that they can interbreed? I learned so much from this book, and was blown away by the evidence that humans and dogs evolved together over history to their mutual benefit.

The graphic novel If Found… Please Return to Elyse Gravel is available now, published by Drawn and Quarterly. I absolutely loved this book, which is basically a copy of Elyse Gravel’s sketchbook filled with funny creatures, drawing tips, and words of encouragement for the budding artist. The message reminded me of the wonderful picture book The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken.

I just finished reading The Best Man by Richard Peck out loud to my nine-year-old daughter. It was the third time I read this book, released by Dial Books last September. It just won an honor for the E.B. White Read Aloud Awards. It was the perfect bedtime read aloud for us; we laughed and cried while reading it, and every time I finished a chapter my daughter would hold her breath, hoping I would read another chapter. Now that is an indicator for a wonderful book!

Backlist Bump!

My husband and I have been reading Ramona and Her Father by Beverly Cleary as a bedtime read aloud to our seven-year-old daughter. That book explores such genuine emotions, especially the feelings of financial insecurity. It’s such an enduring classic and every chapter touches my heart. It’s still so relevant forty years after it was first published.


Other books I read out loud recently to both of my daughters was
The Search for Delicious and Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt. Oh, the beautiful language in those books! These were perfect bedtime readings because the lyrical language was soothing and almost meditative. This was nice for my older daughter in particular, who needs time to let her brain settle down after a long day. Both of my kids loved these stories, which speaks their timelessness and wisdom. Have you read these books lately?

I was browsing the picture book section of my local library, and I came across A Hole is to Dig by Ruth Krauss, with pictures by Maurice Sendak. Oh, how I loved reading this book to my kids when they were younger! It is a small, compact book, so it was a perfect size to put in my bag when we were on the subway. We must have read this book hundreds of times, and I never tire of the words or the illustrations.


And for those of you who want more book recommendations…

Check out my list of 100 must-read middle grade books for the summer!

Also, climate change. We have a children’s reading list for that.


That’s it for this week! I’d love to hear from you about the children’s books you’re reading and enjoying. Find me on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email me at Until next week!


Izzy exploring all the bookish goodies I brought home from BookExpo and SLJ’s Day of Dialog