The Kids Are All Right

New Soman Chainani, First Edition Onesie, and a Farewell

Hi readers!

I hope you all had the most restful of holiday weekends. This week I’ve got some great reads for you all, and some sad news. This will be my last newsletter. It’s been a great ride, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being able to introduce new and great books to so many people. I hope you were able to find even just a couple of new favorites from my iteration of this newsletter, and will only find more to come when Margaret takes over next week.

first edition onesie

First Edition Onesie

Introduce the world to a new first edition with this cute onesie. It also comes in other colors! $29

New Releases

cover of singing with elephants by margarita engle

Singing With Elephants by Margarita Engle

This novel-in-verse is set in 1947 California, where homesick Oriol, grieving the loss of her grandmother, begins writing poetry to cope. Along the way, Oriol begins a petition to save a baby elephant that’s been separated from her mother and twin.

cover of rise of the school for good and evil by soman chainani

Rise of the School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

In this prequel to the School for Good and Evil series, two brothers (one good and one evil) are the ones who watch over the woods and choose students for the school—until something happens that throws everything into question.

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

Riot Recommendations

Amari and the Night Brothers by B. B Alston: This fun middle grade adventure follows Amari, who’s always known her missing brother is alive, discovers a lead to where he may have gone: an invitation to an audition at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs.

Perfectly Pegasus by Jessie Sima: From the author of Not Quite Narwhal comes this companion book about Nimbus, a lonely pegasus. With the help of Kelp (oh I made a rhyme!), the unicorn from Narwhal, Pegasus might just find the friends she’s been looking for.

Anansi and the Golden Pot by Taiye Selasi and Tinuke Fagborun: This picture book is a modern retelling of the legend of trickster Anansi. A boy nicknamed Anansi for his own mischievousness encounters the actual Anansi one day and discover a magical pot they can fill with whatever they want.

Farewell, readers!

The Kids Are All Right

Jane Austen Baby Blankets, A Confidence-Boosting Book for Kindergartners, and More

Hey readers! I’ve decided it’s summertime (it’s so hot here) so now’s the perfect time to get some summer reading in. This week I have for you a couple of great summertime reads, plus a couple of this week’s most exciting new releases.

picture of pride and prejudice baby blanket

Pride and Prejudice Baby Blanket

For my fellow Mr. Darcy lovers, if you’re wanting to share said love with the world’s newest humans, give them this adorable and cozy baby blanket that’s also a map of key Pride and Prejudice locations. It also comes in other colors. $20

New Releases

cover of the queen of kindergarten by derrick barnes and vanessa newton brantley

The Queen of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes and Vanessa Brantley-Newton

This is the companion to King of Kindergarten, this one focused on MJ, who brings herself and her tiara to the first day of school.

cover of fight + flight by jules machias

Fight + Flight by Jules Machias

After a too-realistic active shooter drill, Avery and Sarah are bonded in friendship. Avery’s been struggling after a medical diagnosis has her fearing her independent life is over and coping with insensitive comments from people around her. Meanwhile Sarah’s been having panic attacks her parents insist can be cured by prayer. After the drill, Avery and Sarah lean on one another and discover their strength.

Riot Recommendations

Jules vs the Ocean by Jessie Sima: For a perfect summertime read, try this picture book about a girl determined to impress her older sister by building a huge sandcastle. But when the ocean continues to knock down her creations, Jules has to stand up to it.

The Emperor’s Riddle by Kat Zhang: Mia Chen’s sent sent on a Grand Adventure to China for the summer, the only upside to leaving behind her friends the chance to explore with her beloved aunt. But then Mia’s aunt mysteriously disappears, just as her former nemesis reemerges, and Mia and her older brother must embark on a treasure hunt to reunite with their aunt.

Until next week!


The Kids Are All Right

Joining Clubs (and Teams!), Crocheted Characters, and More

Hey readers! This week I’m bringing you some quality bookish characters you can have specially crocheted and some great new reads.

picture of crochet pete the cat dolls

Crocheted Characters by Mary Mahan Makes

These crocheted dolls make for perfect gifts for little ones, and the crochet makes for a texture that’s a little less common for plush figures. Even if you’re not a fan of Pete the Cat, this shop will also do other characters on request. $30

New Releases

cover of join the club maggie diaz by nina moreno and courtney lovett

Join the Club, Maggie Diaz by Nina Moreno and Courtney Lovett

In this illustrated middle grade, Maggie’s feeling left out as all of her friends and classmates start to find their passions. Looking for her own, Maggie decides to join every club she can but soon learns juggling her school work, friends, and a long list of extracurriculars is harder than it seems.

Riot Recommendations

Grumpy Monkey by Suzanne Lang and Max Lang: This is one of my favorite picture books, about the titular grumpy monkey whose jungle friends keep looking for ways to cheer him up. Until finally, the grumpy monkey and his friends simply accept that today is going to be a grumpy day, and he may feel better tomorrow.

The Year We Learned to Fly by Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael Lopez: This is a warm and inspiring picture book about a pair of kids stuck inside on a rainy day. At their grandmother’s encouragement they use their imaginations to relieve their boredom, much like their ancestors did before them.

Until next week!


The Kids Are All Right

Creole Magic School and Chinese Folklore Meets Videogames and More

Hey readers! I hope the warm weather is treating you nicely. If the outdoors are particularly alluring to you right now, grab a book and a blanket, I’ve got some good picks for you this week.

two children's books cut into the shape of the capital letter R

Letter Book

This Etsy shop repurposes discarded books and turns them into cute decor. You can stick with one for a cute first initial decoration or go all out and spell an an entire name, or some other adorable message. $15

New Releases

cover of wildseed witch by marti dumas

Wildseed Witch by Marti Dumas

This is a fun, fresh series-starter about a Hasani, a girl in New Orleans who learns she’s a witch when a burst of emotion, prompted by her father’s growing relationship with his new girlfriend, reveals her witchy powers. Heading off to a magic school based off Creole magic seems like a good way to distract Hasani from her parents’ split, but it’s not turning out to be what she expected either.

cover of zachary ying and the dragon emperor by xiran jay zhao

Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor by Xiran Jay Zhao

If you’re looking for a fun, rollicking fantasy look no further than this new one that combines Chinese folklore and videogames. Zack hasn’t had a lot of chances to learn about Chinese myth, so he’s not prepared when he learns he’s destined to host the spirit of the First Emperor of China. So of course things go wrong and the Emperor ends up linking to Zack’s gaming headset instead.

Riot Recommendations

cover of Knight Owl by Christopher Denise, showing an illustration of a small own dressed in knight's armor holding a lance

Knight Owl by Christopher Denise

For a painfully cute picture book, please look no further than this one about an owl who aspires to knighthood. While on patrol, Owl has to defend the castle, and despite his tiny size, he brings all of his bravery and all of his wit to a noble defense.

cover of Watercress by Andrea Wang and Jason Chin, showing illustrations of a young girl gathering watercress by the side of the road

Watercress by Andrea Wang and Jason Chin

When a young girl’s parents stop by the side of the road in Ohio to forage for watercress, the girl is embarrassed and worried someone will see. But her embarrassment recedes as her mom tells her about the food scarcity endured in their homeland of China, and the young girl forges a new connection with her heritage.

Until next week!


The Kids Are All Right

New Shapeshifting Fantasy Adventure, a Perfect Baby Shower Gift, and Picture Books for Grads

Hey readers,

Happy May! As we head into graduation season, here’s to hoping everyone finds something to be inspired by. I’m a personal fan of picture books as gifts for adults, both young and old, and I’ve included some options for you this time around.

picture of bookish swaddling blanket

Bookish Swaddling Blanket

Every season is baby shower season, and this cute blanket is perfect for bookish loved ones looking to share their love of the written word with little ones who don’t know what that is just yet. $32

New Releases

cover of shine on luz veliz by rebecca balcarcel

Shine On, Luz Veliz by Rebecca Balcarcel

This is an inspiring coming-of-age story about the titular Luz, a soccer star whose injury looks to have taken her off the field for good. Struggling for identity after the loss of something so important to her, Luz finds a lifeline in coding instead, and hopes excelling in it will give her something else to make her parents proud. But when she discovers her dad has a daughter in Guatemala, who comes to live with them, Luz’s life is thrown even further into disarray.

Riot Recommendations: Picture Books for Grads

the cover of Maybe

Maybe by Kobi Yamada

This is one of my favorite Kobi Yamada books: sweet, poignant, and inspiring. A perfect glimpse at all the possibilities for each and every one of us.

the cover of What the Road Said

What the Road Said by Cleo Wade and Lucie de Moyencourt

This book from activist and poet Cleo Wade is both inspiring and comforting. It doesn’t promise everything will always go perfectly, but promises all roads, even the ones that are a little more winding than others, can lead to good destinations.

the cover of The Magical Yet

The Magical Yet by Angela DiTerlizzi and Lorena Alvarez

If you want something a little more on the fun side, try out this more rollicking read about how frustrating it can be to be small and not able to do everything…yet.

Until next week!

The Kids Are All Right

New Queer Coming of Age Novel, A Cute Book Tote, First Time Camping Trips, and More

Hey readers!

It’s rain nonstop here right now, but the temperature is going way up. I’m an indoor girl at heart, nothing irks me more than warm weather so I’ll be snuggling up in my air conditioning (yes, I turned mine on!) and doing some reading.

childen's book tote bag

Kids’ Book Tote

If your little one needs a bag to cart all their precious books in, look no further than this one, which is too cute and the perfect size. $30

New Releases

cover of hunters of the lost city by kali wallace

Hunters of the Lost City by Kali Wallace

This is an adventurous middle grade fantasy set in Vittoria, said to be the last city after a magical war destroyed the others. The only thing left beyond the walls are terrible monsters. But when Octavia meets another girl beyond the walls, someone who isn’t from Vittoria, she has to question everything she knows.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

Riot Recommendations

We Do Not Eat Our Classmates by Ryan Higgins: I just recommended this to someone this week who’s reading with her son, and now I shall do the same to you because you really can’t go wrong with this adorable and hilarious read about a little t-rex going to school for the first time. When Penelope realizes her classmates are humans, she doesn’t know what to do with them. Besides eat them. It’s not as dark as it sounds (the kids are all spit up and unharmed) but no one wants to be friends with Penelope).

When Life Gives You Mangos by Kereen Getten: This is a compelling middle grade set on a small island in the Caribbean where, after a hurricane the previous summer, Clara’s memory isn’t the same and her bet friend isn’t acting like much of one anymore.

Fatima’s Great Outdoors by Ambreen Tariq, illustrated by Steve Lewis: For the outdoorsy among you, this cheerful picture book follows Fatima and her family on their first ever camping trip.

Until next week!


The Kids Are All Right

Meet Our New Format!

Hey readers!

Welcome to the all new The Kids Are All Right newsletter format! We’ve switched up a few things to bring you even more kid lit content, so take a look around! In addition to new releases and recommendations in every send, you’ll also see a roundup of the latest in children’s content up on Book Riot, plus a bookish kid lit gift item we think you might love.

I hope you’re all enjoying your springs. As I write this, we’ve got a bunch of stormy weather coming our way, which makes for a perfect reading mood (assuming the power lines prevail). Take a look at this week’s recs and find something good to curl up with. Or, if your weather is better than mine, something to bask in the sun with.

a pair of animal-themes personalized children's bookends

If you’re looking for something cute for someone (every season is baby shower season!), these adorable personalized book ends are perfect. I’m partial to tiny animals, but there are multiple options from this same Etsy shop that are equally cute.

New Releases

cover of a home named walter by chelsea lin wallace

A Home Named Walter by Chelsea Lin Wallace and Ginnie Hsu

In this sweet picture book, a home by the name of Walter tries to warm up to to its new family after its previous owners move out.

cover of pride by stella caldwell

Pride: An Inspirational History of the LGBTQ+ Movement by Stella Caldwell

This nonfiction read is a wonderful primer on queer history packed with colorful illustrations and photos. It’s not only a celebration of queer history but also of the young, queer people of today who have contributed essays to the book.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

Riot Recommendations

Harriet Gets Carried Away by Jessie Sima: One of my personal favorites when it comes to picture books (Jessie Sima is a genius if you ask me) about the absolutely adorable Harriet, who loves wearing costumes and, on her birthday, dresses up as a penguin only to be mistaken for one and…get carried away.

Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol: The Haunted House Next Door by Andrés Miedoso, illustrated by Víctor Rivas: For lovers of the spooky, the funny, and intriguing new neighbors is this rollicking chapter book series about a boy who moves next door to the ultra-brave Desmond Cole.

Pepper’s Rules for Secret Sleuthing by Brianna Mcdonald: An intriguing (and queer!) middle grade mystery about the titular Pepper who turns her private eye on her own family after the mysterious death of her Aunt Florence.

Until next time,


The Kids Are All Right

New Children’s Book Releases for April 12, 2022

Happy new release day, readers! I’m back with another batch of new kids’ books.

cover of mommy's hometown by hope lim

Mommy’s Hometown by Hope Lim and Jaime Kim

In this sweet picture book, a young boy finally gets to visit his mom’s hometown after years of only hearing about in her stories. But things aren’t as he expected, until he gets to visit his mom’s beloved river, and he can then see the magic she spoke of.

cover of different kinds of fruit by kyle lukoff

Different Kinds of Fruit by Kyle Lukoff

In this funny, warm middle grade novel, Annabelle’s expecting another humdrum year in the sixth grade. But when she meets new student Bailey, that begins to change. But so does Bailey’s home life, as she learns her father has something in common with Bailey: he’s trans.

cover of the last mapmaker by christina soontornvat

The Last Mapmaker by Christina Soontornvat

This Thai-inspired fantasy follows Sai, who’s managed her way onto a ship that she hopes will take her away from her past. Sai is keeping a secret: though she’s played the role of genteel lady, her father’s a con man, a fact that could doom Sai in a world where one’s ancestors determine what their position in the world will be.

cover of moonwalking by zetta elliot and lyn miller-lachmann

Moonwalking by Zetta Elliot and Lyn Miller-Lachmann

This historical novel-in-verse is set during the 1980s in Brooklyn. Told by dual narrators, two boys—JJ and Pie—become unlikely friends, bonding over their shared love of art. But a run-in with police threatens to destroy their new bond.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

Until next week!


The Kids Are All Right

New Children’s Books for April 5, 2022

Hey readers!

I’m back with another batch of new books for kids!

cover of i color myself different by colin kaepernick

I Color Myself Different by Colin Kaepernick and Eric Wilkerson

This inspiring picture book from Colin Kaepernick is a sweet story of self-esteem and self love, set after Kaepernick was asked to draw his family.

cover of a hundred years of happiness by thanha lai

A Hundred Years of Happiness by Thanhhà Lai and Nguyen Quang

In this sweet picture book, a girl and her grandfather come up with a plan to help her grandmother, who often gets confused and lost in her memory. They get to work on their garden, growing gấc seeds to make grandmother’s favorite dish from her wedding.

cover of a duet for home by karina yan glaser

A Duet for Home by Karina Yan Glaser

In this heartfelt middle grade, June and Tyrell are kids living in a homeless shelter. June’s a new arrival struggling with her new life at Huey House, and Tyrell helps her adjust, showing her the good things about their new home. Then, as a new housing policy puts homeless families at risk, June and Tyrell work together to find a solution.

cover of witchlings by claribel ortega

Witchlings by Claribel Ortega

In this fun adventure middle grade, young witches hoping to be sorted into a powerful coven are shocked to instead be named as Spares. But when not even their Spare coven can be sealed, Seven and the other Spares embark on an impossible task to preserve their magic and become full-fledged witches.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

Until next week!


The Kids Are All Right

New Children’s Books for March 29, 2022

Hey readers, I’m back with another batch of new releases!

cover of mama and mommy and me in the middle by nina lacour

Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle by Nina Lacour and Kaylani Juanita

In this sweet picture book (the picture book debut of YA author Nina Lacour), a child struggles with one of their moms going on a trip for a few days. The change in their routine is stressful and saddening, until they come up with the perfect way to welcome their mom home.

cover of perfectly pegasus by jessie sima

Perfectly Pegasus by Jessie Sima

From the author of Not Quite Narwhal, also known as one of the cutest picture books ever written (please also try Harriet Gets Carried Away), comes this sweet story of Nimbus, a Pegasus who wishes on a star to find friends like her. What she finds is a Unicorn named Kelp and a few other creatures who open her eyes to so much more than she was looking for.

cover of goldie's guide to grandchilding by clint mcelroy

Goldie’s Guide to Grandchilding by Clint McElroy and Eliza Klimt

In this silly picture book, Goldie knows plenty about being the best grandchild and puts all her know-how to work with her grandpa, who also has a well of knowledge about grandparenting.

cover of cress watercress by gregory mcguire

Cress Watercress by Gregory McGuire and David Litchfield

In this animal adventure, Cress and her family move into a new apartment when their dad doesn’t return home from one of his expeditions. In their rowdy new home, Cress tries to figure out if this strange place, without her dad, can ever be a real home.

cover of wave of diana farid

Wave by Diana Farid

This novel-in-verse is set in 1980s California, where Persian-American Ava loves to listen to music and surf with her best friend Phoenix. When Phoenix’s lymphoma reemerges, and Ava starts volunteering at the hospital at her mom’s direction, Ava has to find a way to keep her head above water.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

Until next week!