The Kids Are All Right

Ganesh Chaturthi, Dyslexia, And More!

Happy Tuesday, kidlit friends! I hope everyone had a good long weekend. Today is exciting—I’m returning to teaching as an adjunct and today is my first day of classes! It’s all online so very different from teaching in person. I know many schools start today, so I wish everyone a good school year!

Today I review two new releases about Indian culture and picture books with dyslexic characters. Before I get to those reviews, Book Riot’s editorial team is writing for casual and power readers alike over at The Deep Dive! During the month of September, all new free subscribers will be entered to win Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler plus 5 mystery books from The Deep Dive. To enter, simply start a free subscription to The Deep Dive. No payment method required!

Bookish Goods

Readosaurus T-shirt by Dreamers Bay

Readosaurus T-Shirt by DreamersBay

My daughter goes through periodic dinosaur phases and right now is one of them! This T-shirt is so adorable. $24+

New Releases

Cover of Ganesha Goes Green by Thamizhmani

Ganesha Goes Green by Lakshmi Thamizhmani, illustrated by Debasmita Dasgupta (picture book)

The Ganesh Chaturthi festival is on September 19th, and this picture book about the festival comes out just in time to read it ahead of time! Prema and her family had to leave her previous town when it became too polluted and her mother became ill because of it. She’s passionate about keeping the river clean, and she knows the Ganesha statues people use for the festival will pollute the river. She comes up with an idea to make the statues using clay, and other children in her town help when the adults won’t listen. In this way, they’re able to celebrate the festival while keeping the river clean. Back matter includes more about the festival and how to make a clay statue.

Cover of Masala Chai, Fast and Slow by LaRocca

Masala Chai, Fast and Slow by Rajani LaRocca, illustrated by Neha Rawat

This intergenerational picture book is so sweet and also about Indian culture. Aarav loves spending time with his grandfather, but they have very different personalities. Aarav is fast and loves zooming, while Thatha is careful and patient. Thatha makes delicious masala chai and instructs Aarav that the secret is in letting it simmer and not rushing the process. When Thatha falls and hurts himself, Aarav is determined to make him masala chai to cheer him up. But can Aarav be patient and careful enough to make it just like Thatha’s? Back matter includes a recipe for masala chai.

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

Riot Recommendations

With most schools being in session now, I thought it would be a good time to recommend some picture books with dyslexic characters. Dyslexia is a very common learning disability, and these four books would be great additions to elementary school libraries.

Cover of The Dancing Letters by Fournier

The Dancing Letters by Evelyne Fournier, illustrated by Aurélien Galvan

Most picture books depict boys with dyslexia, so I was very happy to see this one releasing today, about a little girl with dyslexia trying to write a story for her grandmother’s birthday. It’s a sweet story, and the back matter includes ideas to help kids with dyslexia. For another picture book about dyslexia featuring a girl main character, check out Brilliant Bea.

Cover of Abdul's Story by Thompkins-Bigelow

Abdul’s Story by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, illustrated by Tiffany Rose

Abdul loves stories but struggles to write down his own. He thinks, because his writing is so messy and because he never sees kids like himself in stories, that he shouldn’t be a writer. Then a real writer visits his classroom, Mr. Muhammad, and shows the class that everyone makes mistakes, and that good stories come from good editing. Encouraged, Abdul realizes that anyone can be a storyteller, including himself. While this picture book doesn’t specify that Abdul has dyslexia, it is adjacent.

Cover of A Walk in the Words by Talbott

A Walk in the Words by by Hudson Talbott

This beautifully illustrated picture book is one of my favorites. It’s based on the author’s childhood experiences. Hudson loves drawing and stories, but he reads very slowly, and he gets frustrated and embarrassed by how long it takes him to read. When he learns about other people who read slowly, he gives himself permission to read slowly and continue to relish the books he loves.

Cover of Aaron Slater, Illustrator by Beaty

Aaron Slater, Illustrator by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts

Like Hudson, Aaron loves stories and art, but words jumble up whenever he tries to read or write, and he struggles to make sense of them. When Ms. Greer assigns the class a storytelling project, Aaron despairs. But with a little ingenuity, he finds a unique way to tell a story. Like the rest of The Questioneers series, this is written in rhyming verse. It’s such a fun read aloud.

Marian as a cat washing dishes, the kids are all right

We spent the entire day dressed as cats over the weekend. Yes, me too. Completely normal. I’m glad this cat was willing to get her paws wet and help wash the dishes.

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

All the best,

Margaret Kingsbury