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What’s New in Children’s Literature? December 2018

The gift of reading is both timeless and ageless, and these new releases are likely to be at the top of many wish lists!

By Lani Aquino

Reading can be a large part of any holiday season or ritual. Whether it’s cozying up to a seasonal classic or unwrapping a new read, making books and literature an integral part of holiday traditions offers another opportunity to build a lifelong love of reading. Teachers looking for a new title to add to the class library or their library wish list or parents looking for the title to complete the Want, Need, Wear, & Read Christmas list are always on the lookout for the next great read. These new releases offer something for everyone.

P is for Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever- Authors Raj Haldar (aka rapper Lusflife) and Chris Carpenter paired up with illustrator Maria Beddia to bring readers a delightful and downright confusing look at the English language. All those letters that start words and follow random rules are brought to light in this fun-filled read. This is an enjoyable way to introduce some of the quirkiness of words and letter sounds to kids of all ages, and hey, there’s a dinosaur on the cover.

Bold & Brave: Ten Heroes Who Won Women the Right to Vote- Senator Kirsten Gillibrand teamed up with illustrator Maira Kalman to share the stories of ten honorable suffragists who paved the way for bringing the right to vote to women. From well-known figures to lesser known fighters, these stories outline the seventy year struggle to achieve the rights women have today. As the 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment nears, this book offers a historical overview coupled with the inspiration to be a voice that is heard in today’s world.

The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs- America’s Test Kitchen Kids has created a great companion for the budding chef or families looking to create some memories in the kitchen. Recipes shared are kid-tested and approved. They run the gamut of everything from afterschool snacks to family meals. The scientific know-how and hands-on learning that accompany cooking make this both an educational and flavorful addition to any family’s bookshelf.

Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes- Eva Chen is an Instagram star turned author with her debut picture book for children. Illustrator Derek Desierto brings Juno’s quest for her favorite shoes to life in the book’s pages. Juno’s loss of her favorite, but not so flashy, shoes leads her on a journey of discovery that has her stepping into the shoes of a variety of famous females. Biographical information and an acceptance of self are at the heart of this entertaining read.

Mikey and the Dragons- Retired Navy SEAL officer Jocko Willink knows a thing or two about bravery, and he shares it in this rhyming story about Mikey overcoming his fears. In reading a story about a brave young prince who must face his fears to fight a dragon, Mikey learns to overcome his own fears. A great lesson for any child struggling with overcoming fears, but also an enjoyable read for all kids (and adults). Jon Bozak’s illustrations are the perfect accompaniment to this lesson-filled tale.

The Squirrel Manifesto- When an award-winning financial analyst, an author, and an illustrator get together, the result is a manifesto that teaches kids (and adults) about spending, saving, and giving. Ric and Jean Edelman, along with Dave Zaboski, share some valuable lessons in The Squirrel Manifesto that are great conversation starters about the importance of fiscal responsibility. Using the concept of a squirrel storing nuts for the winter, lessons about finances become a relatable topic to delve into with kids of all ages.

Five Feet Apart- Fans of The Fault in Our Stars will find another favorite in this new read by Rachael Lippincott. Two teens battling their own unique challenges find love, but finding themselves within close proximity could prove to be fatal. With Stella on the transplant list and Will a slave to clinical drug trials, up-close and personal interaction is forbidden. With a radius of six feet given, could narrowing the gap to five really be so detrimental? This tale of teenaged-love is soon to be a motion picture and another heartstring tugger for reading and viewing audiences.

The holidays offer a perfect opportunity to do some shopping for great reads. Finding just the right book can be all it takes to lay the foundation for a lifelong love of reading. Teachers, parents, and students may just find their next favorite page-turner that won’t spend any time collecting dust on the shelf in this list of new releases!

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