The Kids Are All Right

New Children’s Book Releases for April 23, 2019!

Dear Kidlit Friends,

Today I have double the excitement for you: not only a list of fabulous new releases, but a cover reveal for Cassie Beasley’s newly repackaged Circus Mirandus and the companion novel, The Bootlace Magician

Sponsored by Dynamite Entertainment

Nancy Drew is seventeen and good at everything, but life hits a snag when a mysterious message drags her back to the hometown she left behind. There she’ll have to find out which of her friends are still her friends, which are enemies, and who exactly is trying to kill her…and (hopefully) stop them before they succeed.

First, let’s take a look at the new cover for Circus Mirandus. It’s so beautiful!

I had to opportunity to ask Cassie about her new book, The Bootlace Magician. Check out our conversation below; the cover will be revealed below at the end!

Karina Yan Glaser: Tell us about your new story, The Bootlace Magician.

Cassie Beasley: Out of everything I’ve written, The Bootlace Magician is my favorite.

It’s an invitation to explore the magical world with Micah. He’s an eleven-year-old who’s trying to fit in at a circus full of magicians who are all much more experienced than he is. And he’s learning a lot about his own knot-tying power in this story.

Which is a good thing, since the circus is being stalked by a dangerous villain.

It’s a big-hearted, action-packed fantasy, and I think readers of the first book who wanted more magic and more circus are going to be very, very happy.

KYG: How did it feel to return to the world of Circus Mirandus?

CB: It’s been so satisfying. I’ve always wanted readers to see all the nooks and crannies of the circus. I want them to get to know the magicians like I do. But that kind of exploration didn’t fit into the first novel. With The Bootlace Magician, I’m inviting you to fully experience the magic at last. The whole book is a backstage pass to Circus Mirandus, and I love it.

KYG: Had you always thought you would do a companion novel? If not, what convinced you to revisit this world?

CB: Circus Mirandus is a stand-alone, but the book’s final scene lets readers know that Micah’s life is about to get a whole lot more exciting. When I wrote that, I realized I couldn’t stop. Not when the best was yet to come. 

KYG: I am sure you have heard from a lot of fans about their love for your book. What has been the most interesting reaction from readers?

CB: The circus tickets! In the book, children get past the ticket-taker by offering him odd, found objects—a spool of thread, a lizard, a papaya, a fish. But I never realized kids would have strong feelings about what their own circus ticket would be if they visited. They write to tell me what they’ve chosen. A lot of schools reading the book together have had fun with the idea, too.

KYG: Do you have plans for another book in the Circus Mirandus world after The Bootlace Magician?

CB: The Bootlace Magician is its own story. No cliffhangers here. But I do know what Micah’s next adventure is, so future books are a possibility!

The Bootlace Magician, published by Penguin Young Readers, comes out on October 1, 2019!


New Releases!

And now for new releases! I am super excited about Rescuing Rialto: A Baby Sea Otter’s Story, because sea otters are my absolute favorites! I adored this book, and then I was led down a rabbit hole of looking up photos and videos of Rialto. Check out the Vancouver Aquarium’s Instagram account for super adorable photos and videos of him.

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.


Picture Book New Releases

❤ How I Learned to Fall Out of Trees by Vincent X. Kirsch

Roger and Adelia are the very best of friends. They’ve spent many springtimes collecting birds’ nests, autumns jumping into piles of colorful leaves, and winters building snowmen. When the time comes for Adelia to move away, the two friends must say good-bye. But Adelia has one parting gift for Roger: She will teach him, once and for all, how to climb a tree. Lyrical and colorful, the narrative flips between Adelia’s instructions (“hold on tight,” “move up when you’re ready”) and her packing list (things they loved to play with, things they were supposed to throw away). By the time the moving van pulls up, Roger is ready to start his climb. But now, he’s afraid of “letting go.”

Dear Boy, by Paris Rosenthal and Jason Rosenthal, illustrated by Holly Hatam

Dear Boy, is an open love letter to the special boy in your life. Boys, too, need a gentle reminder that they are cool, clever, compassionate, and one of a kind. With the same tenderness as Dear Girl,, Paris and Jason’s charming text and Holly Hatam’s stunning illustrations will make any boy reading this book feel that he’s amazing just the way he is—whether he’s offering a helping hand, singing in a choir, or reaching for the stars!

What Are You Doing, Benny? by Cary Fagan and Kady MacDonald Denton

Benny’s little brother is really good at a lot of things — making potions and paper airplanes, building forts, putting on puppet shows, even petting the neighbor’s cat (he has a special way of scratching her just behind the ears). But whenever he tries to join in Benny’s activities, all Benny ever says is “No.” Maybehis little brother can watch him do cool stuff, if he’s lucky. What is a little fox to do, except give Benny a taste of his own medicine?

I Will Be Fierce by Bea Birdsong, illustrated by Nidhi Chainani

It’s a brand new day, and a young girl decides to take on the world like a brave explorer heading off on an epic fairytale quest. From home to school and back again, our hero conquers the Mountain of Knowledge (the library), forges new bridges (friendships), and leads the victorious charge home on her steed (the school bus).

❤ Animalicious by Anna Dewdney and Reed Duncan, illustrated by Claudia Boldt

From A is for Anonymouse and I is for Incredibull, to K is for Kangarude and R is for Rocktopus, this ABC book will have readers laughing out loud as they learn the alphabet with animals they may never have seen–or even heard of–before.

Fearsome Giant, Fearless Giant by Paul Fleischman, illustrated by Julie Paschkis

In Fearsome Giant, Fearless Child, Newbery Medal winner Paul Fleischman and Julie Paschkis retell the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, combining many different cultural traditions to create one narrative.


Middle Grade New Releases

Chasing Helicity Into the Wind by Ginger Zee

When Helicity Dunlap flies for Texas to spend time with her best friend Mia she hopes to leave the tragedies of the devastating tornado and flash flood back in Michigan-at least for a little while. Her responsibilities at Mia’s Aunt Suze’s beachfront bed and breakfast are pretty simple and leave her lots of time to enjoy hunting for sea glass, sunbathing, and exploring a summer romance. But Helicity comes by her name honestly-Helicity means to spin-and her troubles from home follow her south. Her concerns about her older brother Andy intensify-even though he shows up to surprise her in Texas.


Nonfiction New Releases

❤ Rescuing Rialto: A Baby Sea Otter’s Story by Lynda V. Mapes, illustrated by Alan Berner (picture book)

On a sunny August morning in 2016, a baby sea otter was found washed up on the sand. Orphaned and sick, Rialto was taken to the Seattle Aquarium, where his dedicated caretakers nursed him back to health and taught him how to be an otter. Soon, the charming Rialto was stealing hearts as he played with toys made of ide, swam in his very own pool, ate tasty clams, and floated on his back.

❤ Sparky and Spike: Charles Schulz and the Wildest, Smartest Dog Ever by Barbara Lowell, illustrated by Dan Andreasen (picture book)

This charming book is a story about a boy nicknamed Sparky and his beloved dog, Spike. Spike is the most amazing dog ever. He inspires Sparky to draw. Someday, Sparky will be an artist. Based on the childhood of Charles Schulz, creator of the world-renowned Peanuts comic, and the dog who inspired the most beloved dog of all—Snoopy—this book will resonate with children everywhere. Sparky & Spikeincludes a biographical note, as well as archival photographs of Sparky and Spike and a letter Charles Schulz wrote to the book’s illustrator, Dan Andreasen, when Andreasen was a boy.

❤ Nine Months: Before a Baby is Born by Miranda Paul, illustrated by Jason Chin (picture book)

A soon-to-be big sister and her parents prepare for the arrival of a new baby in the family. Alternating panels depict what the family is experiencing in tandem with how the baby is growing, spanning everything from receiving the news about the new baby to the excitement of its arrival. In this pregnancy book unlike any other one out there, watch what’s actually happening through meticulously detailed, actual size illustrations, perfectly paired with a lyrical yet informative text, and culminating in a warm, joyful birth scene.

If You Had Your Birthday Party on the Moon by Joyce Lapin, illustrated by Simona Ceccarelli (picture book)

Have your birthday party on the moon and everyone will come! After all, who wouldn’t want to ride in a rocket and celebrate for a day that lasts as long as a month on Earth? Then, young partygoers could romp in a low-gravity playground; watch candles and balloons behave weirdly in the Moon’s atmosphere; and see why the “moon angels” they make in the thick carpet of lunar dust will last for thousands of years. With each discovery, kids learn the science behind the surprise, explained in terms they’ll understand.

Beyond Words: What Elephants and Whales Think and Feel (Young Reader’s Adaptation) by Carl Safina (middle grade book)

Follow researcher Carl Safina as he treks with a herd of elephants across the Kenyan landscape, then travel with him to the Pacific Northwest to track and monitor whales in their ocean home. Along the way, find out more about the interior lives of these giants of land and sea―how they play, how they fight, and how they communicate with one another, and sometimes with us, too.

Secret Soldiers: How the U.S. Twenty-Third Special Troops Fooled the Nazis by Paul B. Janeczko (middle grade book)

In his third book about deception during war, Paul B. Janeczko focuses his lens on World War II and the operations carried out by the Twenty-Third Headquarters Special Troops, aka the Ghost Army. This remarkable unit included actors, camouflage experts, sound engineers, painters, and set designers who used their skills to secretly and systematically replace fighting units — fooling the Nazi army into believing what their eyes and ears told them, even though the sights and sounds of tanks and war machines and troops were entirely fabricated.


Graphic Novel New Releases

Camp by Kayla Miller

Olive is sure she’ll have the best time at summer camp with her friend Willow – but while Olive makes quick friends with the other campers, Willow struggles to form connections and latches on to the only person she knows – Olive. It’s s’more than Olive can handle! The stress of being Willow’s living security blanket begins to wear on Olive and before long…the girls aren’t just fighting, they may not even be friends by the time camp is over. Will the two be able to patch things up before the final lights out?

Nico Bravo and the Hound of Hades by Mike Cavallaro

Got a problem? At Vulcan’s Celestial Supply Shop, you can find the magical merchandise to set things right. The seasoned staff―a kid named Nico Bravo, a sphinx named Lula, and a unicorn named Buck―pride themselves on providing “legendary service and expertise in all areas of the arcane.” But Nico’s world is about to be turned upside down, and it’s all thanks his latest customer: Eowulf, the pint-size descendant of the monster slayer Beowulf. Determined to carry on the family business, this would-be warrior plans to slay Cerberus, the terrifying, three-headed hound of Hades. There’s just one problem―Cerberus is the only thing preventing the hordes of the Underworld from entering the land of the living. Can Nico stop Eowulf from unleashing a zombie apocalypse?


I would love to know what you are reading this week! Find me on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email me at

Until next time!

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