Hi Kid Lit Friends,
The weather is finally starting to warm up a tiny bit, so next week I plan to give you a little round-up of spring books. We could all use a little warmth and color these days, right?
Lots of new releases today, including some super sweet picture books! As always, if I’ve had the chance to read one of these books and loved it, I marked it with a . Please note that all descriptions come from the publisher.
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Board Book New Release
Pigs in a Blanket by Hans Wilhelm, illustrated by Erica Salcedo
Three little piglets are all bundled up and as cozy as can be. Open the “blanket” flaps of this novelty board book and help the piglets start their day! Young readers will follow their wacky antics and ever-changing wardrobes as these energetic pigs jump, prance, and dance through a fun-filled day before finally climbing back into bed again.
Picture Book New Releases
How to Two by David Soman
A quiet day at the playground turns into a boisterous park-wide adventure as one boy on the slide becomes two kids on the see-saw, then three jumping rope. Before long, ten new friends are playing like they’ve known one another forever.
Power Up: Your Incredible, Spectacular, Supercharged Body by Seth Fishman, illustrated by Isabel Greenberg
This captivating and educational picture book from Seth Fishman and Isabel Greenberg introduces young readers to basic facts about energy and the human body. Fun, informative and accessible, Power Up is perfect for classroom and family sharing.
Pepper and Frannie by Catherine Lazar Odell
This charming, energetic story shows the power of friendship through the teamwork of a lovably mismatched pair. Confident Frannie convinces cautious Pepper to give skateboarding a try, but Pepper’s attempts are not all smooth sailing. Luckily, she has a supportive and enthusiastic friend to cheer her on and help her realize her potential. This story is a relatable look at the ups and downs of trying something new, with an encouraging message about the importance of persevering.
Let’s Have a Dog Party! by Mikela Prevost
Kate and Frank are best friends. To celebrate Frank’s birthday, Kate throws him a party with all her favorite things: lots of friends, dancing in circles, loud singing, and sparkly confetti everywhere. But best friends don’t always have the same taste in parties. Frank prefers quiet, sun-drenched naps on his favorite rug. So he hides. Kate must find a way to bring Frank back to the party–on his own terms.
Poetree by Shauna LaVoy Reynolds, illustrated by Shahrzad Maydani
The snow has melted, the buttercups are blooming, and Sylvia celebrates winter’s end by writing a poem. She ties her poem to a birch tree, hoping that it doesn’t count as littering if it makes the world more beautiful. But when she returns, a new poem is waiting for her. Could the tree really be writing back? Sylvia decides to test her theory, and so begins a heartwarming poetic correspondence…as well as an unexpected new friendship.
I Can Only Draw Worms by Will Mabbitt
This is part counting book, part introduction to worms, but all superbly silly. The fact that the author/illustrator can only draw worms will not take anything away from the laugh-out-loud adventure readers will have as they turn the pages of this slightly subversive picture book.
Apples for Little Fox by Ekaterina Trukhan
Fox loves to read mysteries—he wants to be a detective someday! He goes to the library every morning and collects delicious apples to eat on his way home. But one day, all the apples are missing! What could have happened to them? Fox is so excited to crack his first case. Follow along as he searches for clues and discovers a BIG surprise!
Chapter Book New Releases
Didi Dodo Future Spy: Recipe for Disaster by Tom Angleberger, illustrated by Jared Chapman
In this series opener, Koko Dodo the cookie chef has a big problem. Today is the day of the royal cookie contest, and someone has stolen his top-secret fudge sauce! Luckily, a spy enters the scene just in time (or rather, crashes in on her roller skates): Didi Dodo! This might be Didi’s first case ever, but she has a daring plan to help Koko. Koko would prefer a safe, simple, sure-to-work plan, but without another option, he and the amateur sleuth take off on a wacky caper full of high-speed chases and big belly laughs that could only come from the mind of the inimitable Tom Angleberger.
Middle Grade New Releases
Sweeping Up the Heart by Kevin Henkes
Amelia Albright dreams about going to Florida for spring break like everyone else in her class, but her father—a cranky and stubborn English professor—has decided Florida is too much adventure. Now Amelia is stuck at home with him and her babysitter, the beloved Mrs. O’Brien. The week ahead promises to be boring, until Amelia meets Casey at her neighborhood art studio. Amelia has never been friends with a boy before, and the experience is both fraught and thrilling. When Casey claims to see the spirit of Amelia’s mother (who died ten years before), the pair embarks on an altogether different journey in their attempt to find her.
Tangled in Time: The Portal by Kathryn Lasky
Life used to be great for Rose: full of friends, a loving mom, and a growing fashion blog. But when her mother dies in a car crash, Rose is sent away to live with a strange grandmother she hardly knows and forced to attend a new school where mean girls ridicule her at every turn. The only place Rose finds refuge is in her grandmother’s greenhouse. But one night she sees a strange light glowing from within it. She goes to investigate…and finds herself transported back five hundred years to Hatfield Palace, where she becomes servant and confidant of the banished princess Elizabeth, daughter of King Henry VIII.
The Backstagers and the Theater of the Ancients by Andy Mientus, illustrated by Rian Sygh
After all the backstage ghost drama during Phantasm, things are quiet for the Backstagers of the St. Genesius School Drama Club. Too quiet. But when that quiet is filled by a mysterious voice that haunts the Backstagers day and night, they set off on a globetrotting adventure to discover the ancient secrets of the legendary artifacts of the theater. Can they solve the mystery in time to open their production of the rock musical Tammy?
The Afterwards by A.F. Harrold
Ember and Ness are best friends, completely inseparable. Ember can’t imagine what life would be without Ness. Until Ness dies, in a most sudden and unexpected way. Ember feels completely empty. How can this even be real? Then Ember finds a way into the afterworld-a place where the recently dead reside. She knows there must be a way to bring Ness back, so she decides to find it. Because that’s what friends do: rescue each other. But the afterworld holds its own dangers. How far will Ember go to make things the way they were again?
The Great Jeff by Tony Abbott
Life hasn’t been great for Jeff Hicks. After years at his beloved St. Catherine’s, he’s forced to spend eighth grade in the public middle school, which he hates. He’s no longer speaking to his former best friend, Tom Bender, because of “that burned girl” Jessica Feeney. But worst of all, his family is changing, and it’s not for the better. When his mom comes home announcing that she’s lost her job, Jeff begins to worry about things far beyond his years: How will they pay the rent? Will his absentee dad step up and save the day? Is his mom drinking too much? And ultimately, where will they live?
Nonfiction New Releases
The Crayon Man: The True Story of the Invention of Crayola Crayons by Natascha Biebow, illustrated by Steven Salerno
What child doesn’t love to hold a crayon in their hands? But children didn’t always have such magical boxes of crayons. Before Edwin Binney set out to change things, children couldn’t really even draw in color. Here’s the true story of an inventor who so loved nature’s vibrant colors that he found a way to bring the outside world to children – in a bright green box for only a nickel! With experimentation, and a special knack for listening, Edwin Binney and his dynamic team at Crayola created one of the world’s most enduring, best-loved childhood toys – empowering children to dream in COLOR!
Dancing Through Fields of Color: The Story of Helen Frankenthaler by Elizabeth Brown, illustrated by Aimee Sicuro
They said only men could paint powerful pictures, but Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011) splashed her way through the modern art world. Channeling deep emotion, Helen poured paint onto her canvas and danced with the colors to make art unlike anything anyone had ever seen. She used unique tools like mops and squeegees to push the paint around, to dazzling effects. Frankenthaler became an originator of the influential “Color Field” style of abstract expressionist painting with her “soak stain” technique, and her artwork continues to electrify new generations of artists today.
Bach to the Rescue by Tom Angleberger, illustrated by Elio
Every famous piece of art has an origin story—even Bach’s Goldberg Variations! When the richest dude in town can’t sleep, he hires a much-less-rich dude named Johann Gottlieb Goldberg to play him lullabies on the harpsichord. Goldberg does an OK job, but as the Rich Dude hollers for Goldberg each night, he wakes up the whole town in the process. As the town gets sleepier and sleepier and grumpier and grumpier, Goldberg worries he may be out of a job soon. But then, the one and only Bach enters the scene with a series of lullabies composed specifically for the Rich Dude. And, thus, the Goldberg Variations are born!
The Tornado Scientist by Mary Kay Carson, photographs by Tom Uhlman
Robin Tanamachi has been captivated by tornadoes and extreme weather her entire life. When she realized people researched weather for a job, she was hooked. She now studies tornadogenesis, or how tornadoes form, and what causes them to get weaker versus strengthen. For her, driving around in a Doppler radar truck aiming towards storms is a normal day in the office. The data she collects is then modeled and studied on computers—with math, physics, and computer science working hand in hand with meteorology. At the end of the day, knowing exactly how, when, and where these violent storms happen can give more warning time for everyone involved.
Until next time!
Izzy sends greetings!
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