The Kids Are All Right

Women Writers, Book Stars & Stairs, And More!

Happy Tuesday, kidlit friends! This week is spring break for my preschooler. I mistakenly thought her break was one week, but it turns out to be two weeks. How exactly I’m supposed to work full time with no childcare for two weeks I couldn’t say. I also still haven’t started my taxes! But I am grateful none of us are currently sick and that the weather is decent. Today I have some picture books about women writers to recommend, as well as two great new releases from Charlesbridge.

Before we get to those reviews, are you looking for fascinating stories, informed takes, useful advice, and more from experts in the world of books and reading? Subscribe to Book Riot’s newest newsletter, The Deep Dive, to get exclusive content delivered to your inbox. Subscribe and choose your membership level today at

Bookish Goods

A Wrinkle in Time Book Quote Print by AKAFoils

A Wrinkle in Time Book Quote Print by AKAFoils

This beautiful Madeleine L’Engle print would pair perfectly with one of the books I’m reviewing below! $34+

New Releases

Cover of April & Mae and the Animal Shelter by Lambert

April & Mae and the Animal Shelter by Megan Dowd Lambert, illustrated by Briana Dengoue (early reader)

My daughter (5) loves the April & Mae reader series. Each one takes place on one of the seven days of the week. In the Thursday book, best friends April and Mae help to raise funds for an animal shelter. These friendship-themed stories are really great for burgeoning readers.

Cover of No World Too Big by Metcalf

No World Too Big: Young People Fighting Global Climate Change edited by Lindsay H. Metcalf, Jeanette Bradley, and Keila V. Dawson, illustrated by Jeanette Bradley (picture book)

These three editors first teamed up on No Voice Too Small: Fourteen Young Americans Making History. Both books give mini biographies of kids enacting change accompanied by a poem and a beautiful illustration. No World Too Big features 14 kids who are climate change activists, like Maya Penn, who created her own upcycled clothing line when she was eight, and Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, who raps about climate change. The accompanying poems are by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, Traci Sorell, JaNay Brown-Wood, and more. Both books are beautiful and inspiring.

On my March children’s book release list for Book Riot, I also review A Beautiful House for Birds, Ramen for Everyone, One Day, Aniana Del Mar Jumps In, and Hoops.

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

Riot Recommendations

It’s Women’s History Month, so I thought I would recommend some picture book biographies about some of my favorite women writers.

Cover of A Book, Too, Can be a Star by Voiklis

A Book, Too, Can Be a Star by Charlotte Jones Voiklis and Jennifer Adams, illustrated by Adelina Lirius

Like a lot of newsletter readers I imagine, I loved A Wrinkle in Time when I was a kid, at least partially because I shared a name with the protagonist, though mostly because it’s such a magical book. This picture book written by L’Engle’s granddaughter frames Madeleine L’Engle’s biography with her love of asking questions. Writing came to be the way she set about answering and exploring the answers.

Cover of Maya's Song by Watson

Maya’s Song by Renée Watson, illustrated by Bryan Collier

This is one of the most beautiful picture book biographies I’ve ever read, from the stunning illustrations to the moving biographical poems. Watson chronicles Angelou’s life from her joyful but also traumatic childhood through her adulthood, ending when Angelou recited a poem at Bill Clinton’s inauguration. As a content warning, one poem does address Angelou’s childhood sexual assault, though it doesn’t detail specifically what happened. I had a chance to hear Angelou speak a few years before her death, and it was such an amazing experience.

Cover of A Most Clever Girl by Stirling

A Most Clever Girl by Jasmine A. Stirling, illustrated by Vesper Stamper

As a child, Jane Austen delighted in telling funny stories to her family about the people they encountered, and that mischievous storytelling spark would later form the basis for her novels. This lovely picture book depicts Jane’s humor and where she found inspiration for her stories, and can help young writers experiment with their own storytelling style! I still have the battered copy of her complete works on my bookshelf, a gift from my mother in my early teens.

Cover of Jump at the Sun

Jump at the Sun by Alicia D. Williams, illustrated by Jacqueline Alcántara

This picture book bio about Zora Neale Hurston is such a good read aloud, with prose as vivid as the illustrations. As a child, Hurston’s mother told her to jump at the sun. Williams uses that phrase as a refrain as Hurston’s joy for folklore and storytelling sends her jumping off toward college and talking to everyone to learn their stories. I studied her folklore collections in grad school, and I loved how this focused on her love of folklore.

Book stairs, The Kids Are All Right

Sometimes my daughter makes structures out of books. Usually she makes roads around the house, but this time she decided to make stairs. It’s pretty much impossible to keep any kind of bookshelf organization, but I do love her creativity.

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