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What’s New in Children’s Literature? March 2019

With spring on the horizon, springing into a great read is a breeze with these new releases.

By Lani Aquino

Gathering a variety of titles to spark a love of reading is a great way to get kids engaged in literature. A go-to list of newly released titles is a perfect place to find some inspiration. These 8 newcomers offer a variety of topics and reading levels to make it easy to choose a title or two to don a home or classroom bookshelf.

We Are the Gardeners- Fixer Upper star and all around design and crafting guru Joanna Gaines has stepped into the children’s literature realm with this new release. By teaming up with her kids and illustrator Julianna Swaney, a journey through the creation of the Gaines’ family garden is shared. The book takes readers through failed attempts, encountered roadblocks, and finally their recipe for success in creating a bountiful garden. Through their family’s struggles and perseverance with gardening, there are also a lot of lessons about dealing with obstacles and challenges that can be encountered in everyday life.

Big Nate: Payback Time- Lincoln Pierce adds another hilarious installment to his bestselling series. In this newest collection of comics, Nate continues to navigate the ins and outs of middle school life. Readers will find him developing a new allergy, engaging in an epic snowball fight, taking a newbie in detention under his wing, and more. With lots of antics and laughs, school crushes, wedgies, and after-school showdowns are just a few of factors that make a hilarious impact on the life of Nate.

Because- In this latest Mo Willems release, he teams up with illustrator Amber Ren to delight readers through a story of how all the little events and inspirations encountered build upon one another and lead to greatness. Willems was inspired at a musical performance to create a story that shared how “…when people agree that something is important enough to work on together, they can inspire and change lives.” Not only did the story of a young musician develop from this revelation and the illustrations bring the story to life, but Hilary Purrington, a young composer, was also brought on board to create an accompanying musical score. There are so many levels to this book and its messages.

Circle- Circle rounds out Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen’s Shape Trilogy. Triangle and Square team up with Circle for another sharp-witted tale. When Circle makes a new rule, it doesn’t take long for Triangle to break it. This leads to a necessary rescue and another dose of life lessons and fun from this award-winning, story-telling duo. A perfect read for kids and adults, and a great way to add some more literature options with a mathematical connection.

The 104-Story Treehouse: Dental Dramas & Jokes Galore!- As the treehouse continues to grow, so do the laughs in this eighth installment of The Treehouse Books. Author Andy Griffiths and illustrator Terry Denton add thirteen stories to the treehouse, and readers won’t’ be disappointed in the additions. The antics encountered center around putting together the funds to buy a Joke Writer 2000™ when Andy’s toothache leaves him unable to craft any funny material for the new book. Of course, a trip to their money-making machine will solve the problem, but life can never be that simple.

Ronan Boyle and the Bridge of Riddles- Series lovers in the middle grades will be eager to get their hands on Book One of this new series by writer and actor Thomas Lennon and illustrator John Hendrix. Lennon’s dream of creating a funny, fantasy novel unfolds on the pages of this new release. The story is set in both the human and mythical creature realms of Ireland, and fourteen-year-old Ronan Boyle finds himself tasked with crossing between these two realms to prove the innocence of his jailed parents. Leprechauns, harpies, and hidden monsters all stand in his way, but this youngest and lowliest recruit to the secret Garda hilariously takes on the challenge.

How to Catch a Unicorn- Young readers will enjoy the latest edition in the How to Catch… series from author Adam Wallace and illustrator Andy Elkerton. The story offers some creative fun as a variety of unicorn traps are constructed to catch one of these popular, mythical creatures. Will the unicorn be able to elude the traps, or has the perfect plan been devised? An enjoyable series for younger grades and a great way to spark creativity in building.

Tiny T-Rex and the Impossible Hug- Anyone that’s taken the time to look at a T-rex has likely pondered over the short stature of the dinosaur’s arms. Author Jonathan Stutzman and illustrator Jay Fleck delve into the issue in this new picture book about Tiny T-rex and his quandary over how to bring his best friend out a slump by giving him a huge hug. It’s just not t-rex possible, or is it? This delightful story points to the importance of heart and intention as Tiny T-rex works to solve his huggable problem.

Finding the right book can be priceless when it unlocks a love of reading in a student. This month’s new releases are heavy on series, both new and old. Stocking the bookshelf with great reads just got a lot easier with What’s New in Children’s Literature?

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