The Kids Are All Right

Black History Month, Bravery, And More!

Happy Tuesday, kidlit friends! This week has been a constant deluge of medications and coughing so I’m going to skip right to the good stuff — AKA books. Today I recommend two cool new releases and some books to read for Black History Month (and beyond).

But first, are you looking for the perfect Valentine’s gift for your bookish boo? Gift Tailored Book Recommendations. Your boo will tell our professional booknerds about what they love and what they don’t, what they’re reading goals are, and what they need more of in their bookish life. Then, they sit back while our Bibliologists go to work selecting books just for them. TBR has plans for every budget. Surprise your bookish boo with Tailored Book Recommendations this Valentine’s and visit

Bookish Goods

Giclee Print War Games by MirDinara

Giclee Print, War Games by MirDinara

I review a new picture book by Dinara Mirtalipova — the artist behind this Etsy shop — below, so I thought I’d share one of her prints. She has several other folkloric pieces on Etsy, though this is the only child-centered one. $26

New Releases

Cover of Find Your Brave by Stott

Find Your Brave by Apryl Stott (picture book)

Coco and Bear from Share Some Kindness, Bring Some Light reunite in this sweet new picture book. Usually Coco is brave and Bear is shy, but when the two are preparing for a dance for the forest’s summer festival, Coco loses her brave. She’s too scared to perform during the dress rehearsal! Can Bear help Coco find her brave?

Cover of Woven of the World by Howes

Woven of the World by Katey Howes, illustrated by Dinara Mirtalipova (picture book)

In this stunningly illustrated picture book, a young girl learns how to weave from her family and in the process learns about her family’s history. Each illustration is like a tapestry, textured and richly colored, and the lyrical language makes it a lovely read aloud. Back matter includes more history of weaving as well as author and illustrator notes about their connection to the topic.

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

Riot Recommendations

This month is Black History Month in the United States, so I wanted to share four new children’s books about Black history as well as a list of some I’ve already reviewed in previous newsletters.

Cover of Lift Every Voice and Change by Gordon

Lift Every Voice and Change by Charnaie Gordon, illustrated by Aeron Cargill

This is a really neat children’s biography collection of 12 Black Americans where kids can press a button on every page to hear an excerpt from one of the subject’s speeches. The sound clips are from primary source audio files. The mini-biographies include profiles of James Baldwin, Stacey Abrams, John Lewis, Jay-Z, and more, and each biography is illustrated. It’s a great read for later elementary school and middle school readers.

Cover if Choosing Brave by Joy

Choosing Brave by Angela Joy, illustrated by Janelle Washington (picture book)

This searing picture book biography of Mamie Till-Mobley, the mother of Emmett Till, recently won a Caldecott Honor and the Coretta Scott King Award for best illustrations. Mamie Till-Mobley left the South to live in Chicago, and after leaving her abusive husband, she taught her son Emmett how to whistle to help him when he stuttered. After her son’s brutal murder, she become an activist and spoke out against hate crimes.The paper collage illustrations are beautiful and powerful. This is a book to share with older kids.

Cover of Marvelous Mabel by Hubbard

Marvelous Mabel by Crystal Hubbard, illustrated by Alleanna Harris (picture book)

This picture book biography tells the story of Mabel Fairbanks and her determination to learn how to figure skate in the 1930s, and how she eventually became the first Black figure skating star. A child orphan, Mabel struggled to find a place to live, eventually being taken in by handyman Uncle Wally (of no relation to her). She longed to skate, but most public places in New York City wouldn’t let Black folks skate, so Uncle Wally built her a mini ice rink at home, where she would practice on too-large skates. Eventually she mustered up the courage to skate in the whites-only Central Park rink, and while some tried to kick her out, the manager was so impressed by her skill he let her stay, ordering others to allow her in to skate. It’s a lovely biography of a little-known figure.

Cover of A Flag for Juneteenth by Taylor

A Flag for Juneteenth by Kim Taylor (picture book)

I adore Kim Taylor’s quilted illustrations in this celebratory picture book history of the first Juneteenth. It is Huldah’s 10th birthday when she wakes up on a plantation in Texas to the news that she is now free. She and her community celebrate their freedom and sew a quilt to commemorate the day. It’s a vibrant addition to the growing collection of Juneteenth picture books.

In previous newsletters, I’ve reviewed these new children’s books about Black history: Ice Cream Man: How Augustus Jackson Made a Sweet Treat Better, The Green Paino: How Little Me Found Music, Love Is Loud: How Diane Nash Led the Civil Rights Movement, An American Story, and We Are Here.

Marian at the library computer, The Kids Are All Right

There was a brief week-long period where I felt well enough to leave the house this winter, and my daughter and I trekked to our local library and had a lovely mommy-daughter day. I was surprised by how expert she is at using a computer now. She doesn’t really use a lot of technology at home and none at preschool, but she plopped right down at one of our library’s children’s computers and started playing away without needing my help at all.

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

Until next Tuesday!Margaret Kingsbury