The Kids Are All Right

Summer Picture Books, Narnia Bookmark, and More!

Hi, Kid Lit Friends!

What a couple of weeks we’ve had in New York City. Two weeks ago, the city was blanketed with smoke from Canadian wildfires, setting off stay-at-home orders. My daughter’s high school went virtual, and people wore masks outside. This felt so eerily familiar! I’m glad the air cleared up within a few days. My 10K race even went forward that Saturday as scheduled, despite the weather looking like this a few days earlier:

the signs for the Broadway show "Parade."

On the day that New York City recorded the worst air quality in the world, I had gone to see a matinee performance of Parade, the wonderful Broadway revival starring Ben Platt and Michaela Diamond. It was an intense musical, but it was powerful and beautiful storytelling. I highly recommend!

Speaking of stories, if you’re looking for informed takes and useful advice drawn from Book Riot’s collective experience as power readers, teachers, librarians, booksellers, and bookish professionals, subscribe to The Deep Dive, a biweekly newsletter to inform and inspire readers, delivered to your inbox! Your first read (The Power Reader’s Guide to Reading Logs & Trackers) is on the house. Check out all the details and choose your membership level at I particularly like the newsletter where Vanessa broke down Mexican history via Like Water For Chocolate.

Bookish Goods

Silver bookmark that says "I always check closets for Narnia"

Narnia Bookmark by BlockandHammer

I resonate with this so much! Isn’t that the magic of children’s books? $18+

New Releases

Pigs Can't Look Up cover

Pigs Can’t Look Up by Vincent D’Onofrio, illustrated by Shelly Cunningham

Originally a viral story written by Vincent D’Onofrio, a poet, on Twitter, this lovely picture book is lovingly illustrated by Shelly Cunningham. I am such a big fan of pigs, so it’s not a surprise that I really enjoyed this picture book. It’s so sweet!

Words of Wonder cover

Words of Wonder from Z to A by Zaila Avant-Garde, illustrations by Keisha Morris

In this delightful picture book by Scripps National Spelling Bee champ Zaila Avant-Garde, words for every letter of the alphabet teach young readers about the power of Music, Kindness, Laughter, and Nature. This is such a fun alphabet book to add to a classroom or home library.

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

Riot Recommendations

Summer is here, and what better way than to celebrate with picture books! Check these out and let me know what you think!

The Nature Journal cover

The Nature Journal by Savannah Allen

As you know, I love journals and journaling, and this cute picture book is all about Tim and his love for being outside and recording his observations in his nature journal. When his dad is too busy for Tim one day, Tim goes up to the attic and finds his dad’s journals, filled with stories of adventure and exploration.

Sari-Sari Summers cover

Sari-Sari Summers by Lynnor Bontigao

When I first opened this book and saw that the end papers were paintings of mangoes, I knew I was going to love it. Nora spends her summers with her lola in the Philippines, and she loves helping at her grandmother’s store. When it becomes too hot for anyone to go outside, Nora wants to figure out a way to use the large mango tree outside the store to make treats for the neighborhood.

Together We Swim cover

Together We Swim by Valerie Bolling, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita (8/15/23, Chronicle Books)

This book captures all the fears and joys of swimming for the first time. I love the facial expressions on all of the characters — they are filled with life and joy!

Our Pool cover

Our Pool by Lucy Ruth Cummins

Oh, I relate to this city story about going to the pool so much! When my kids were younger, we were one of the many families heading to the NYC public pools on hot summer days. I love how this story depicts what it’s like to go swimming in a city pool.

Two tri-color dogs walking

So…we might have adopted another dog…

Last week we went to an adoption event called Catherine’s Butterfly Party, an annual event created in honor of Catherine Violet Hubbard, a 6-year-old who lost her life in the Sandy Hook Elementary Tragedy. She was a lover of animals, and every year, animal rescue groups gather at the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary for a huge adoption event. We met a dog named Wallace, and since we were already approved adopters at Hearts and Bones Rescue, we got to take him home. He’s getting along great with Lalo and seems to be settling in nicely.

Let me know! Find me on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email me at

Happy reading!