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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.

Bookish Goods

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

The Donut Trap by Juliet Tieu

After graduating college and having no job prospects, Jasmine returns home to work in her family’s donut shop. When a rent increase threatens the future of her family business, she turns to Alex, her old college crush, for help. Sparks fly and there seems to be hope of a future romance until a disastrous dinner date shatters preconceptions and puts both sets of parents against the match. Will Julie be able to pull it all together to save her family business and the hope of a future with Alex?

Cover of The Singles Table

The Singles Table by Sara Desai

After a terrible break-up, Zara makes a new rule to only be the matchmaker and not the matched. One wedding, she is sat at the same table as Jay, and they strike up a bargain; if he introduces her to his celebrity clients, she will find him his perfect match. However, as the spend the wedding season together, they begin to wonder if they’re avoiding the happily ever after staring them in the face.

Until next week!
Chelsea

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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.

Bookish Goods

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.

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,

Chelsea

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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 Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

Until next week!

Chelsea

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The Kids Are All Right

Children’s Books About Homes

Hi Kid Lit Friends,

I love books centered around home, and there have been some really great books published recently that explore the idea of home and houses. Check these out and let me know what you think!

cover of tia fortuna's new home by ruth behar

Tia Fortuna’s New Home: A Jewish Cuban Journey by Ruth Behar, illustrated by Devon Holzwarth

When Tia Fortuna has to move from her little pink casita at the Seaway, Estrella visits one last time and listens to Tia Fortuna’s memories from living there for decades. They say goodbye to the house and head to La Casa de los Viejitos where Tia Fortuna meets new people and sets up her new home where new memories will be born.

cover of the view from the very best house in town

The View from the Very Best House in Town by Meera Trehan

The first thing that drew me to this book was the cover. Isn’t it amazing? I love a cover with a cool house on it! In this middle grade story, Asha’s dream house is Donnybrooke, a mansion that sits on the highest hill in Coreville. When her best friend Sam is accepted into a new school and starts spending all his time with Prestyn (who actually lives at Donnybrooke), Asha feels lost. This story is told in the points of view of Asha, Sam, and Donnybrooke itself!

cover of The Ramble Shamble Children

The Ramble Shamble Children by Christina Soontornvat, illustrated by Lauren Castillo

Merra, Locky, Roozle, Finn, and little Jory love their ramble shamble house. They spend their days taking care of the chickens, making mud pies, and tending the garden. But when they come across a picture of a “proper” house in a book, they wonder if their little house is so great after all. They set out to make their house just like the one in the book until they discover that maybe their ramble shamble house is the perfect place for them just as it is.

cover of A Synagogue Just Like Home

A Synagogue Just Like Home by Alice Blumenthal McGinty (August 9)

Rabbi Ruben takes a look around the synagogue and realizes it could use some sprucing up. So he sets out to fix the creaky floorboards, the drafty windows, and the leaking faucet. But when his efforts don’t quite succeed, the congregation pitches in to make the synagogue feel like home.

cover of Poppy's House

Poppy’s House by Karla Courtney, illustrated by Madeline Kloepper (July 12)

I just love this picture book about a young girl and her grandfather who lives in Newfoundland. When the young girl visits, she has to take a ferry to his home where they explore the docks and green hills specked with puffins and read at night by the lantern light. I love the Canadian landscape, so I was a huge fan of this picture book!

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


What are you reading these days? Let me know! Find me on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email me at KarinaBookRiot@gmail.com.

Until next time,
Karina

Corgi puppy looking at a lamb

*If this e-mail was forwarded to you, follow this link to subscribe to “The Kids Are All Right” newsletter and other fabulous Book Riot newsletters for your own customized e-mail delivery. Thank you!*

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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 Audiobooks.com with a free trial!


Until next week!

Chelsea

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The Kids Are All Right

Children’s Books and Nature!

Hi Kid Lit Friends,

We just got back from a road trip down to North Carolina. We left New York City where it was lightly snowing, drove through Pennsylvania where a foot of snow covered the ground, then through Virginia where snow was melting, and then to North Carolina where daffodils were blooming. It was quite amazing to see the change in weather as we made our way south, and it made me very excited about SPRING and NATURE! Here are some great books for all of you looking forward to warmer weather.

cover of Once Upon a Forest by Pam Fong

Once Upon a Forest by Pam Fong

This gorgeous, wordless picture book follows a marmot who sees part of his home destroyed by wildfires. He (adorably) sets out to replant the forest, taking care of his baby trees and enduring windstorms and winter. This marmot is probably the most adorable creature I’ve seen!

cover of All From A Walnut by Ammi-Joan Paquette, illustrated by Felicita Sala

All From A Walnut by Ammi-Joan Paquette, illustrated by Felicita Sala

This intergenerational picture book begins with a grandfather’s story of leaving his home country as a young child with just one small bag and one nut. When he arrived in the new country, he planted it in a pot and watched it grow. When he bought a house, he moved it to the backyard and watched it grow. And from that tree came more walnuts, which his granddaughter collected… I loved this story so much!

cover of Saving Earth: Climate Change and the Fight for our Future by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich

Saving Earth: Climate Change and the Fight for our Future by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich (April 5, 2022)

This informative non-fiction book for middle grade readers tells the human story of the climate change conversation from the recent past into the present day. It wrestles with the long shadow of our failures, what might be ahead for today’s generation, and crucial questions of how we understand the world we live in—and how we can work together to change the outlook for the better. 

cover of Parks for the People: How Frederick Law Olmstead Designed America by Elizabeth Partridge

Parks for the People: How Frederick Law Olmstead Designed America by Elizabeth Partridge, illustrated by Becca Stadtlander (April 5, 2022)

I really enjoyed this non-fiction picture book about Frederick Law Olmstead. I am familiar with him because he designed a lot of NYC’s parks, including the park I got married in (Fort Tryon Park!). It was wonderful to learn more about his life and the vast number of projects he undertook all throughout America.

cover of Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood by Tony Hillery

Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood by Tony Hillery, illustrated by Jessie Hartland

This picture book is set right in my neighborhood! Years ago, Tony Hillery invited a group of students from an underfunded school to transform a vacant lot into a beautiful and abundant farm. By getting their hands dirty, these kids turned an abandoned space into something beautiful and useful while learning about healthy, sustainable eating and collaboration. The author’s portion of proceeds from the sale of this book directly benefits the non-profit organization Harlem Grown.

cover of 50 States 500 Campgrounds, published by National Geographic

50 States 500 Campgrounds, published by National Geographic

If you’re planning summer camping trips, I highly recommend 50 States 500 Campgrounds, published by National Geographic. Filled with great information and photos, this is a must have book if you’re researching where to go and where to stay.

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


Did you know that I have a new middle grade book coming out on Tuesday? It’s called A Duet for Home and it’s set in a homeless family shelter in the Bronx. It’s told in two voices: one is June, who is just entering the shelter, and the other is Tyrell, who has lived at the shelter for three years. I look forward to hearing what you think about it!

What are you reading these days? Let me know! Find me on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email me at KarinaBookRiot@gmail.com.

Until next time,
Karina

Corgi dog next to box of books

*If this e-mail was forwarded to you, follow this link to subscribe to “The Kids Are All Right” newsletter and other fabulous Book Riot newsletters for your own customized e-mail delivery. Thank you!*

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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 Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

Until next week!

Chelsea

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The Kids Are All Right

Interview with John Schu, the author of This is a School!

Hi Kid Lit Friends,

I am so pleased to have the author of This is a School (Candlewick, 3/29/22) on the newsletter today! John Schu has made a career out of advocating for the people and things he cares about most: kids, books, and the people that connect them. He was named a Library Journal Mover and Shaker for his dynamic interactions with students and his passionate adoption of new technologies as a means of connecting authors, illustrators, books, and readers.

Karina: This is a School is a beautiful love letter to school communities. 

Do you remember the moment you wrote the first lines for this book? Where were you and what got you excited about this idea?

John: Hello, Karina! Thank you for inviting me to this space to discuss This Is a School. I must admit it feels strange not to interview you. As you know, I’m a SUPER fan of The Vanderbeekers series. 

This Is a School is a companion to This Is a Story (Candlewick, spring ’23). This Is a School is my debut picture book, but I wrote This Is a Story first. The opening stanza in both books follows a similar structure. I used This Is a Story as a mentor text for This Is a School. Thanks to Story, the opening line of School came to me right away: This is a kid. Working on both stories was a truly joyful experience. 

Where was I when I wrote the first line of This Is a School? I was at 1901 Vine Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania! Look up the address on Google Maps! 

Karina: You are quite famous in the kidlit community! Your infectious laughter and your unending enthusiasm for children’s books makes you a favorite among teachers and librarians… and authors! 

John: You’re very kind! Thank you for mentioning my laugh. I visited Kendall Elementary School in Naperville, Illinois, regularly before the pandemic. A few days ago, I stopped by for the first time in over two years. One of the teachers said, “I knew Mr. Schu was in the building. I heard his—your—instantly recognizable laugh traveling up and down the hallways.”

author photo of John Schu, a white man wearing a checkered button-down shirt

Karina: What is it like to be able to share your debut picture book with the world?

John: I go back and forth from feeling super excited to a little nervous, but mostly excited. I hope This Is a School makes students smile. I hope it shows everyone in a school how important Veronica Miller Jamison and I think they are. 

book cover of This is a School showing families of all ethnicities in front of a brick building

Karina: What was your reaction when you found out that Veronica Miller Jamison was illustrating This is a School?

John: OH MY GOODNESS!!!! I was so, so, so, so happy! I sent Karen Lotz, the brilliant editor of This Is a School, an email message that contained a lot of exclamation marks and excited emojis! Veronica’s illustrations are so warm and inviting. She’s brilliant! 

Karina: What other projects are you working on?

John: Two projects were recently announced: Louder Than Hunger, my debut novel-in-verse for older readers (Candlewick, fall ’23) and The Poetry Place Is Our Space illustrated by Holly Hatam (Candlewick, spring ’24). 

I’m currently working on a story that keeps showing up in my notebooks and dreams. Recently, I shared my story idea with a third grader at a school in Mesa, Arizona. I asked her if should keep working on it. She said, “Yes, keep writing!” Her feedback was exactly what my heart needed to hear. 

Karina: Has there been anything you’ve found surprising about the writing process?

John: Yes! So many things surprise me about my writing process, especially how each story pours out of me in a different way. I keep my ears and heart open and let the story guide me. 

Karina: What are some things or activities that spark your creativity?

John: School visits, walking, music, and live musical theatre spark my creativity. They feed my heart and soul. 

Karina: Approximately how many Broadway shows do you see a year?

John: Yay! A Broadway question! Thank you! I always look for you when I’m wandering around Midtown. 

To answer your question, as many as I possibly can! I’ve seen Waitress on Broadway 24 times. 

Karina: Wow! 24 times! I love that musical too, but I’ve only seen it once.

Okay, we really need to know what your cat, Lou Grant, thinks about This is a School.

John: Mr. Grant loves the endpapers. Here he is walking across them. 

sandy colored cat paw on endpapers of This is a School

John: Thank you, Karina! 

Karina: Thank you, John!

This is a School will be published on March 29th!


What are you reading these days? Let me know! Find me on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email me at KarinaBookRiot@gmail.com.

Until next time,
Karina

one orange cat and one black and white cat sleeping on a yellow chair.

*If this e-mail was forwarded to you, follow this link to subscribe to “The Kids Are All Right” newsletter and other fabulous Book Riot newsletters for your own customized e-mail delivery. Thank you!*

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New Children’s Book Releases for March 22, 2022

Hey readers, I’m back with another batch of new kid’s books for you!

cover of girl dad by sean williams

Girl Dad by Sean Williams and Jay Davis

This fun, colorful picture book is loaded with charming rhymes and an upbeat mood, celebrating all the dads raising amazing daughters.

cover of i love you blue by barroux

I Love You, Blue by Barroux

In this picture book, a small sailor develops a friendship with a whale called Blue. When Blue doesn’t appear one day, the sailor goes looking and discovers Blue is feeling ill after accidentally swallowing a bunch of plastic.

cover of let's do everything and nothing by julia kuo

Let’s Do Everything and Nothing by Julia Kuo

This lyrical picture book celebrates all of life’s magical moments but also celebrates the small, mundane moments made special by the presence of people we love.

cover of troublemaker by john cho

Troublemaker by John Cho

In this middle grade novel from actor John Cho, twelve year old Nigel finds his life, and his city, turned upside down after the acquittal of cops filmed brutalizing Rodney King, and the shooting of a Black teen Latasha Harlins by a Korean shop owner. As Los Angeles spirals into chaos, Nigel’s dad heads to their family store, and Nigel and his friends make their own journey to join him, and they’re forced to reckon with the racism infecting and affecting their community.

cover of sir fig newton and the science of persistence by sonja thomas

Sir Fig Newton and the Science of Persistence by Sonja Thomas

In this heartfelt novel, twelve year old Mira faces a downer of a summer with her best friend moved away, her dad out of work, and her nemesis now living nearby. When she learns her beloved cat Fig Newton is diabetic, Mira is determined to scrounge up the money needed for his insulin shots.

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

Until next week!

Chelsea

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The Kids Are All Right

New Books for Emerging Readers

Hi Kid Lit Friends,

I hope everyone is doing well this week and adjusting well to “springing forward”. Every year, adjusting to this time change gets harder for me. But it’s so nice that the weather is trending warmer, and I’m grateful for spring coming! Today, I’m very happy to share some new books for emerging readers with you. These books are actually really difficult to write because they are meant for readers who are just starting to read independently. Check out the books below and let me know what you think!

I'm On It! by Andrea Tsurumi cover

I’m On It! by Andrea Tsurumi

Goat and Frog are friends; Goat likes to lead, and Frog likes to follow. But Goat starts jumping on it, along it, above it, inside it, beside it, around it, and under it. It’s a lot, and Frog doesn’t know if he can keep up. Can their friendship survive this?

The Hunger Heroes: Missed Meal Mayhem by Jarrett Lerner  cover

The Hunger Heroes: Missed Meal Mayhem by Jarrett Lerner

Meet an unlikely group of heroes: Toots the Bean, Chip Ninja, Tammy the Tomato, and Leonard, a wedge of cheddar cheese. But as strange as these heroes might be, they’re the only ones who can save kids all over the world (even the annoying ones). When they get a call that a kid in Ms. Sternbladder’s class missed breakfast and isn’t allowed to have snacks, they know he needs to eat something or he can’t do all the things he needs to do that day! Can the Hunger Heroes save the day?

Cornbread and Poppy by Matthew Cordell cover

Cornbread and Poppy by Matthew Cordell

This sweet friendship book by Caldecott Medalist Matthew Cordell reminds me of books I loved reading with my kids when they were younger: Frog and Toad, The Fire Cat, and Little Bear. In this new story, Cornbread loves planning and Poppy does not. When winter approaches, Cornbread is completely prepared but Poppy is not! What will Poppy do?

Meet Yasmin! by Saadia Faruqi, illustrated by Hatem Aly  cover

Meet Yasmin! by Saadia Faruqi, illustrated by Hatem Aly

Yasmin and her multi-generational Pakistani American family are endlessly entertaining in this early chapter book series. I love Yasmin and her energy and all the ways she creatively solves problems. There are plenty of books in this series, which is great for newly independent readers!

The Itchy Book! by LeUyen Pham  cover

The Itchy Book! by LeUyen Pham

I love LeUyen Pham’s illustrations, and this new book for burgeoning readers is no exception. In this book, a bunch of dinosaurs have an itch: Triceratops, Pterodactyl, Brontosaurus, AND T-Rex! But DINOSAURS DO NOT SCRATCH. Right?

It's a Sign! by Jarrett Pumphrey and Jerome Pumphrey cover

It’s a Sign! by Jarrett Pumphrey and Jerome Pumphrey (Hyperion, May 10, 2022)

One, Two, Kat, and Four are really good at doing lots of things… but one thing they are not good at is naming clubs! Will they be able to find the perfect name before it’s too late?


What are you reading these days? Let me know! Find me on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email me at KarinaBookRiot@gmail.com.

Until next time,
Karina

orange cat sitting in a yellow reading chair with a bookcase full of picture books in the background

*If this e-mail was forwarded to you, follow this link to subscribe to “The Kids Are All Right” newsletter and other fabulous Book Riot newsletters for your own customized e-mail delivery. Thank you!*