Here are some newly released children’s books that I have loved. I suppose you could consider it a holiday guide.
Rulers of the Playground by Joseph Kuefler is essentially a book about being bossy. One morning Jonah decides he wants to be King of the Playground. But Lennox does not agree. She’s going to be Queen. And back and forth it goes. I loved the pictures, cartoon 1950s looking.
Stay : a girl, a dog, and a bucket list by Kate Klise. You may know the Klise’s from their Old Cemetery Road series. At first glance I thought this book was going to be about a dog that dies, which are books I do not read. But it’s not. And although the dog does not die it is about him getting older and it was still very emotional. Good as a conversation piece for pets you may have gotten as a couple before you became a family who are getting older as your real human kids are growing.
Littles : and how they grow by Kelly DiPucchio. This book is adorable. I have a go-to book for baby showers (Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox) but this one might become my back up. It would also be good as a book to purchase for siblings who are getting a new brother or sister since it talks a lot about what babies do. Love the illustrations and the diversity.
The Map of Good Memories by Fran Nuño. I remember reading this book and thinking it was wonderful and then I read even more about it and now think it’s amazing! This book is about Zoe who, due to war, flees the city she lived in her whole life for a new place. The night before her family leaves she illustrates a map with all of her favorite places so she can remember them. The thing that made this book amazing is that it’s made from stone paper. This means the pages use no trees, no water and no bleach. How can this be?! I have no idea, but it’s awesome. It also comes in Spanish and Arabic.
The Story Orchestra : The Nutcracker by Jessica Courtney-Tickle. This is just the best. They had a lot of these books when I was a kid. You turn the page and push a button and an animal sound comes out or a vehicle sound. This book has the sounds of the Nutcracker. I love the Nutcracker. The Story Orchestra seems to be a series and so far there is one other, The Four Seasons. So if you like classical music these might be good gifts.
I posted the previous Wrinkle in Time trailer here and then my review of the book (which I just read a few months ago). Check out the new trailer!
I read some graphic novels for kids recently and loved them!
Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani. I kept seeing this gorgeous cover at bookstores so I was very pleased to pick it up at the library. Pri and her mother live in California. Pri finds a pashmina in a secret trunk in her house that when worn takes you to see you desire. When Pri wears it, it takes her to India. Pri wants to know more about her father, who she thinks is in India but her mother refuses to talk about him or why she came to America. By mysterious circumstances her aunt calls and requests Pri come to India, and her mother relents. This story is about learning about yourself and what you want and even learning answers to questions you may have wish you never asked.
Swing it, Sunny! by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm. This is the second book about Sunny. The first is Sunny Side Up, where she is sent to her grandfather’s 55+ community for the summer. She’s not sure why she’s spending her summer there but she finds out that it’s because her brother Dale is acting out and he needs attention from her parents. In this second book Dale is sent away to what looks to be a military school. Sunny and her family have to change their dynamic now that one of the siblings is missing. These books are real life! I did just notice that on the Sunny Side Up cover she is in the same position as this cover but on a pool float and now she’s in a fall scene. Perhaps there will be winter and spring covers coming soon.
Jane by Aline McKenna is probably technically for young adults. It is a retelling of Jane Eyre through graphic novel and during current day rather than the 1800s. Now, I love Jane Eyre. I read The Flight of Gemma Hardy last year which is also (supposedly) a retelling of Jane Eyre. I did not enjoy it so I was a bit wary when picking this one up. However, this one was good! I loved the art, Jane in this book is an artist. I also liked the way they transferred the mother character. You can’t really claim insanity when locking someone up in an attic in 2017 so I think they did a good switch with that. I liked the relationship with Rochester. The only thing I didn’t like is the brother-in-law angle. It was a bit much. You’ll know what I mean if you read it.
I read The Gauntlet because I read Amina’s Voice and they’re both published by the Salaam Reads imprint from S&S. This is their vision.
“Salaam Reads is an imprint that aims to introduce readers of all faiths and backgrounds to a wide variety of Muslim children and families and offer Muslim kids an opportunity to see themselves reflected positively in published works. The imprint, which takes its name from the Arabic word for “peace,” plans to publish books for young readers of all ages, including picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and young adult.”
I liked this book, it was essentially a chapter book version of Jumanji. I quick skimmed some of it, and it’s very game heavy. I’m not sure kids even know what mancala is anymore let alone how to play. I like that it wasn’t all about technology but kids these days might not like that or understand the games they’re referring to. It was worth the read and did have a lot of references to other cultures and food, which I liked. Now I’m going to read Saints & Misfits.
Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017 : a book by a person of color
I read the book. It was only 100 something pages. Very quick. I liked it. I’m sad I didn’t read it as a kid because some people I talked to did and really enjoyed it. I probably would’ve enjoyed it more if I was a kid. Cynical adult view and all that nonsense. But I wanted to finish it before the movie. As a rule, that’s how I work. Annoyingly, as an adult, I noticed the book had some religious comments that I wasn’t prepared for – i.e. those who believe in God will prevail and no harm will come to you. That wouldn’t fly these days. Talking about God is not a normal thing in kids books and you’re immediately called out for it if you do. Even heavy handed morals aren’t really accepted these days. However, it was a good story and a quick read. In the vein of Lion Witch & the Wardrobe (which also religious undertones because – C.S. Lewis..) I wonder if L’Engle is the same as Lewis in that you should go in prepared for religious comments. I don’t know anything about her. I should look.
Side note. It has a corresponding graphic novel. It won the Newbery Award in 1963.
Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge 2017 : a Newbery award winner or honor book
I didn’t even know Wonderstruck was going to be a movie!
I’m a bad librarian and have not read this book, but will before next year!