The Kids Are All Right

New Year, Glaciers, And More!

Happy New Year, kidlit friends! This is my hundredth newsletter, which seems like a fitting way to start the New Year! Do you make New Year goals? This year, my spouse wants to start celebrating half-birthdays to add more joy to our lives. I’d like to start taking part in more professional development opportunities, and my daughter wants to lose more teeth, so the tooth fairy visits more. Everyone has their priorities!

2024 is the tenth year of the Read Harder Challenge! Join us as we make our way through 24 tasks meant to expand our reading horizons and diversify our TBRs. To get book recommendations for each task, sign up for the Read Harder newsletter. We’ll also keep you informed about other cool reading challenges, readathons, and more across the bookish internet. If you become a paid subscriber, you get even more recommendations plus community features, where you can connect with a community of passionate, like-minded readers in a cozy and supportive corner of the internet. Sign up today!

Bookish Goods

Reading Stamp Washi Tape by RobotDanceBattle

Reading Stamp Washi Tape by RobotDanceBattle

Crafters and journalers can add this adorable washi tape to their projects. $7

New Releases

Cover of Angela's Glacier by Jordan Scott, illustrated by Diana Sudyka

Angela’s Glacier by Jordan Scott, illustrated by Diana Sudyka

In this gorgeously illustrated picture book, a father introduces his new infant daughter, Angela, to the glacier they live near. Over the years, Angela visits the glacier and whispers to it all her joys and sorrows, and the glacier whispers back to her. As she gets older, she forgets about the glacier, and when she returns to it, she can no longer hear it. This is a lovely ode to nature and the relationships between people and the environment.

Cover of The Reckoning by Wade Hudson

The Reckoning by Wade Hudson

This contemporary middle grade novel provides a vital glimpse into how Black lives are devasted by continuing racial violence. Twelve-year-old Lamar has always wanted to be a filmmaker like Spike Lee. When a white driver murders his grandfather and claims it as self-defense, Lamar, his family, and his community demand justice. Lamar begins filming a documentary as a tribute to his grandfather.

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

These four unique activity books would be great for goal-setting kids.

Cover of A Year of Black Joy: 52 Black Voices Share Their Life Passions by Jamia Wilson, illustrated by Jade Orlando

A Year of Black Joy: 52 Black Voices Share Their Life Passions by Jamia Wilson, illustrated by Jade Orlando

This middle grade nonfiction inspired this list. Each month features 4 to 6 Black figures sharing about their life and work and giving an activity for readers to do. January, for example, has four sections. In the first, “The Joy of Choreography,” artistic director Davalois Fearon explains why she loves dancing and invites the reader to dance. The next section centers florist Hazel Gardiner and so on. Each page has colorful illustrations, and, as the title suggests, is a real joy and a great book to read over the course of the year.

Cover of 365 Days of Play: Activities for Every Day of the Year by Megan Hewes Butler, illustrated by Emily Balsley

365 Days of Play: Activities for Every Day of the Year by Megan Hewes Butler, illustrated by Emily Balsley

This collection of activities for kids ages 6 through 12 is a great one for caregivers to have on hand. It would also be fun to work through with a child! There are all sorts of activities included — cooking, science experiments, arts and crafts, indoor and outdoor play ideas, and more. Some of the activities require supplies, some don’t, but even when they do, the supplies are pretty basic.

Cover of Poetry Prompts by Coelho

Poetry Prompts by Joseph Coelho

My child isn’t quite at poetry-writing age yet, but I can’t wait to go through this book together! Actually, I might just go ahead and do these prompts on my own this year. 🙂 Coelho provides 41 poetry prompts — from one-word poems to favorite food poems — and each prompt is accompanied by illustrations from several children’s book artists, like Viola Wang. It’s another really joyful collection and would be great for classrooms or home.

Cover of Hiking Activity Book for Kids by by Amelia Mayer

Hiking Activity Book for Kids by Amelia Mayer

This is one I’d like to do with my daughter. We try to go on one hike a week, and I love the versatility of these 35 hiking projects, from scavenger hunts to water painting. If you have a goal of getting outside and hiking more this year, this might be a great way to entice reluctant young hikers to join you.

Marian on a muddy hill, The Kids Are All Right

My daughter is on winter break until January 8th, and I’ve been trying to spend as much time outside with her as possible. I love her public elementary school, and her teacher is amazing, but I am sad that she isn’t getting as much outdoor time now that she’s in kindergarten. Her preschool was almost entirely outdoors. In this picture, it was raining, but she was more than happy to play in the mud! I, on the other hand, am hanging out in a little cabin.

If you’d like to read more of my kidlit reviews, I’m on Instagram @BabyLibrarians, Twitter @AReaderlyMom, Bluesky, 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