The Gift of Eid written by Shifa Saltagi Safadi and illustrated by Aaliya Jaleel
Holiday House, Winter 2025
In this Syrian twist on O. Henry's "The Gift of the Magi" set in Souq al-Hamidiyyeh and in the Ummayad Mosque of Damascus, Yasmine wants to buy her mother a beautiful mosaic box for her bracelet but must give up something precious to raise the money.
Benten School of Esoterics by ila Nguyen-Hayama
In this magical boarding school story set in Japan and drawing on Asian myths and folklore, an ordinary Tokyo girl discovers her powers and her best friend, a Korean fox spirit, battles prejudiced suspicions as they hunt the evil spirit attacking students. ila Nguyen-Hayama's debut graphic novel!
Make a Little Wave written by Kerry O'Malley Cerra
Lerner/Carolrhoda Books, Fall 2024
A middle grade novel about animal lover and cochlear implant wearer Sav, who is determined to stop a local restaurant from serving shark fin soup. When her activism grows increasingly reckless, Sav must face the consequences and find new ways to use her voice for shark conservation.
My Thoughts Have Wings written by Maggie Smith and illustrated by Leanne Hatch
HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, Winter 2024
A bedtime story about replacing the insecurity, fear, and sadness that sometimes surface at night with good thoughts, happy memories and things to look forward to. The first picture book from award-winning poet Maggie Smith.
Our World: China written by Songju Ma Daemicke and illustrated by Jam Dong
Barefoot Books, Fall 2023
A board book about flying kites in the square, snacking on dim sum, and visiting pandas and tigers at the zoo. Part of a series introducing first words and everyday life around the world, drawing on the creators' personal experiences.
Shira and Esther Double the Wonder by Anna E. Jordan
Chronicle Books, October 2023
Anna E. Jordan's debut middle grade novel, pitched as The Prince and the Pauper meets The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. A rabbi's daughter and a performer's daughter who share a remarkable resemblance swap places to pursue their forbidden dreams of the theater stage and the synagogue bima, until they must team up to save the theater from closing and bring their families together.
The Brand-New, Never-Used, Perfect Crayons by Leanne Hatch
Holiday House/Margaret Ferguson Books, August 2023
Nothing is better than a brand new box of crayons. Violet loves hers so much that she refuses to share them, or even to use them, but maybe her little sister is on to something . . .
Violet is ecstatic when she earns her very own super big box of eighty-four crayons all matching in length, perfectly pointed, each in their smooth, uniform wrapper. There’s even one with her name on it. She can’t stop imagining all the wonderful things she can draw with them.
But when it comes time to get busy, she can’t seem to do it—she doesn’t want to ruin all that perfection. It isn’t until her little sister takes matters into her own hands that Violet is able to let go and have fun drawing all the things she dreamed up when she first got her box of brand-new, never-used, perfect crayons.
With The Brand-New, Never-Used, Perfect Crayons, Leanne Hatch taps into the joy of sharing, creating, and letting go of perfectionism. Adorable art set alongside textured crayon sketches reminiscent of classics like Harold and the Purple Crayon makes this a book perfectly suited for the shelves of young creatives everywhere.
A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
Ready to be loved.
cover art © Robert Sae-Heng
Hear Me by Kerry O'Malley Cerra
One year after being diagnosed with hearing loss, Rayne's hearing keeps getting worse, even with aids. It's a struggle to maintain friendships and keep up in school, surfing is now a wipeout, and she can't understand her favorite singer's lyrics. But worst of all, Rayne's parents are pushing for her to get cochlear implants, a surgery Rayne's not convinced is worth the risks and challenges.
Rayne begs her parents to consider other options, but they're not budging. With the surgery looming, Rayne sets off on a bus journey that forces her to face her own assumptions about what her hearing loss means and what kind of life she could have. With the help of some new friends, Rayne realizes that even though her ears may be broken, she is not.
Rosie and the Pre-loved Dress by Leanne Hatch
Penguin Random House/Putnam Books for Young Readers
A sweet picture book about a girl who finds a special dress at a thrift store and imagines who may have owned the dress before her.
When Rosie finds the most beautiful yellow dress at her local thrift store, the first thing she notices when she brings it home is a name written on the tag: Mila. Rosie wonders if Mila liked any of the same things she did, and what amazing things Mila might have done in the dress.
The dress makes Rosie feel like her best self–like she can do anything. But soon it’s time to donate the dress so someone else can make their own memories with it. Letting it go is hard, but Rosie smiles when she wonders what the dress’s next owner will do while wearing it….
The joy and wonder of recycled clothing is brought to life by Leanne Hatch’s charming text and whimsical illustrations.
Have You Eaten?: A Story of Food, Friendship, and Kindness by Su Youn Lee
Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends
A charming, heartfelt picture book debut from Su Youn Lee, Have You Eaten? celebrates one of the many ways we show love, by sharing food.
Coco loved sweet potatoes, and she loved to share them with everyone around her.
Coco the chipmunk is known for asking, "Have you eaten?" and sharing sweet potatoes. The other animals find Coco's question odd, but one day she shares her food with some animals who could use a friend. When Coco falls ill, her new friends come to care for her in the same way she taught them—by sharing food.
Inspired by a Korean greeting, this heartwarming story offers a fresh take on friendship and kindness.
Tu Youyou's Discovery: Finding a Cure for Malaria written by Songju Ma Daemicke and illustrated by Lin
Tu Youyou had been interested in science and medicine since she was a child, so when malaria started infecting people all over the world in 1969, she went to work finding a treatment. Trained as a medical researcher in college and healed by traditional medicine techniques when she was young, Tu Youyou started experimenting with natural Chinese remedies. The treatment she discovered through years of research and experimentation is still used all over the world today.
A Mighty Girl's 2021 Books of the Year
Unraveled by Leanne Hatch
Holiday House/Margaret Ferguson Books
A baby blanket is a very special gift, but what happens when you grow up and it comes undone? Is it time to let go, or to make something new?
While Cole’s mama waits for his arrival, she knits him a baby blanket. After he is born, the bond between baby and blanket is instant. So much so that as Cole grows older, the two are inseparable, until the day he notices the blanket is slowly coming unraveled.
Cole tries playing with it the way he always had but it doesn’t work and he decides to let go of what is now a bundle of yarn. But Mama isn’t quite ready to let go and knits the yarn into something new–a sweater–delighting Cole. The bond is once again instant.
Leanne Hatch brings this story of growing up and taking things with us in new ways to life with her warm text and richly textured art.
A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
Booklist Starred Review
This Pup Steps Up!: A Dog Book for Kids by Anna E. Jordan
Pups are perfect friends, it’s true! See what else a dog can do in this early-learning book for ages 0 to 3
This Pup Steps Up! is a fun rhyming romp through the world of dogs, full of cute and colorful photos to help your little one learn more about their four-legged friends. Your toddler or pre-K child will love discovering all the different things dogs can do―from working as service animals, herding sheep, and leading sleds to just being the perfect cuddle buddies. Of all the dog books for kids, this one is a paws-itively delightful introduction to one of their favorite animals!
This fun and engaging dog book for kids includes:
Photos of various dog breeds and different life stages
A narrative designed to engage toddlers and pre-K kids
Basic fun facts about dogs
When it comes to dog books for kids, this one will get their tails wagging!
Rubio and Julienne: A Sweet and Cheesy Tale written by Dan Paley and illustrated by Lauren Gallegos
Rubio Fromage sat in his father’s cheese shop and longed to taste the beautiful fruits in the window of the fruit shop across the street. Julienne Chéri sat in her mother’s fruit shop and longed to taste the delectable wheels and savory wedges in the window of the cheese shop across the street. But Rubio’s father hated fruit and Julienne’s mother hated cheese, and the children were forbidden to speak to each other. But one day while making deliveries, they collided on a street corner. Rubio’s cheeses and Julienne’s fruits flew skyward and fell on their heads, creating spontaneous juicy pairings that they couldn’t help but taste. The forbidden combinations were out of this world. Nothing could ever be the same. Fortunately for Rubio and Julienne, their forbidden adventures end more happily than Romeo and Juliette’s, though not before our heroes overcome a few obstacles and accidents, one of which prompts a mortified Rubio to exclaim, “What cheese through yonder window breaks?” A backmatter menu of delicious fruit-cheese combinations augments the story.
A Symphony of Cowbells written by Heather Preusser and illustrated by Eileen Ryan Ewen
Sleeping Bear Press
Petra just loves spring in Gimmelwald. Each season she and her family lead their prize dairy cows into the pastures to graze and each cow wears her own jingling, jangling, clanging bell. What a symphony! But when Petra's favorite cow, Elfi, loses her bell the whole herd is out of harmony and refuses to move. Will Petra be able to find Elfi's bell before it's too late? With charming illustrations, this whimsical story is sure to delight children and adults alike.
Paper Hearts by Meg Wiviott
Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry Books
An act of defiance.
A statement of hope.
A crime punishable by death.
Making a birthday card in Auschwitz was all of those things. But that is what Zlatka did, in 1944, for her best friend, Fania. She stole and bartered for paper and scissors, secretly creating an origami heart. Then she passed it to every girl at the work tables to sign with their hopes and wishes for happiness, for love, and most of all—for freedom.
Fania knew what that heart meant, for herself and all the other girls. And she kept it hidden, through the bitter days in the camp and through the death marches. She kept it always.
This novel is based on the true story of Fania and Zlatka, the story of the bond that helped them both to hope for the best in the face of the worst. Their heart is one of the few objects created in Auschwitz, and can be seen today in the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre.
Christopher Award Winner
ALA Amelia Bloomer Project
ALA/YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults - Top Ten
Bank Street Best Books of the Year - with Outstanding Merit
Cybils Award Finalist