The Kids Are All Right

Wildfires, Bookshelves, And More!

Happy Sunday, kidlit friends! Karina is on vacation in Montreal this week, so I’m taking over the newsletter today. I hope she’s having a blast! This week, I review four books about wildfires. The Books for Maui auction is now live, and I encourage everyone who can to check it out and bid on some fun auctions to benefit those affected by the Maui wildfires. You can also donate to United Way’s British Columbia wildfire fund or any of these Norwest Territory wildfire campaigns. Wishing everyone affected by the wildfires love, and I hope everyone stays safe.

Psst, let me tell you about Book Riot’s New Release Index! Delighting velocireaders since 2017, Book Riot’s New Release Index will keep you in the know about all the latest books. New books for days. Subscribe today — you won’t be able to read them all, but it’s fun to try!

Bookish Goods

Front Facing Bookshelf by Play Wilder Toys

Front Facing Bookshelf by PlayWilderToys

One of these days I’ll make room for a front-facing bookshelf. Until then, I’ll daydream about the pretty book pictures I could take if I had one. This one actually holds a decent number of books — 40-80. $163+

New Releases

As a content warning, the second book in the new release list deals with miscarriage.

Cover of Our Underwater World by Gallion

Our Underwater World: A First Dive Into Oceans, Lakes, and Rivers by Sue Lowell Gallion, illustrated by Lisk Feng (board book)

This globe-shaped nonfiction board book provides a super neat glimpse into how bodies of water work. One side of the page has a poem about water, while the other side provides more detailed information about what’s described in the poem and shown in the illustration. Readers can explore kelp-filled coves with otters, learn about coral reefs, and more. Two more board books have been released in this series, all shaped like a globe: Our Seasons and Our World.

Cover of Always Sisters by Mir

Always Sisters by Saira Mir, illustrated by Shahrzad Maydani (picture book)

This beautiful picture book addresses an important but rarely covered topic, at least in children’s books: miscarriage. Raya and her younger brother are so excited that their mother is expecting another little girl. Their new little sister will be named Nura, and Raya has all sorts of activities planned for Nura. But then Raya’s mother has to go to the hospital early, and when she returns, she tells Raya and her brother that Nura won’t be coming home after all. The family grieves for Nura and all the memories they were never able to create together. This is such a lovely, gentle book about miscarriage and grief.

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

Riot Recommendations

Wildfires are devastating both Maui and parts of Canada right now, and with the growing threat of climate change, I imagine they will be a constant threat. These four picture books address wildfires. In September, another excellent picture book about wildfires releases: They Hold the Line by Dan Paley, illustrated by  Molly Mendoza.

Cover of What to Bring by Nicholson

What to Bring by Lorna Schultz Nicholson, illustrated by Ellen Rooney

When a wildfire is spotted near her home, Malia and her family must evacuate. Her parents tell her to quickly pack what she can, but how can she pack everything important to her? It’s impossible. When they leave she realizes that her family and pet are what’s most important. This is a great book for kids facing an evacuation.

Cover of Wildfire! by Wolff

Wildfire! by Ashley Wolff

In this simple, poetic picture book, animals react as a wildfire starts in their forest and warn other animals to flee. Meanwhile, humans also spot the flames and begin to douse them via firefighters and aircraft. The beautiful, vibrant illustrations capture the animals’ panic as they journey to safety.

Cover of The Fox and the Forest Fire by Popvici

The Fox and the Forest Fire by Danny Popovici

When a boy moves from the city to the country, he initially misses his city life, but soon he comes to love nature and befriends a fox. One day, he spots a forest fire and the family evacuates. He worries about what will happen to the fox. After the fires have been put out, the family returns home to find their house in ruins. They rebuild, and when they do, the fox returns. By the way, Danny Popovici is a volunteer firefighter.

Cover of Fire Shapes the World by Cooke

Fire Shapes the World by Joanna Cooke, illustrated by Cornelia Li and Diana Renzina

This lyrical picture book is a bit different than the other three. Cooke looks at the history of fire and how it’s often essential to both human life and flora and fauna. Fires are indubitably dangerous, and Cooke addresses that, too, but they’re also essential to ecosystems. The illustrations are stunning.

Marian in the forest, the kids are all right

This past weekend we hiked a very overgrown trail on the Natchez Trace. We have many forests around us, but wildfires haven’t been much of a problem where we live; Middle Tennessee is more of a flood and tornado kind of place. In fact, I’m pretty sure the fallen tree in this picture happened during a recent severe storm.

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 Tuesday!

Margaret Kingsbury