Eagerly awaited. 

Nora at Night by April dela Noche Milne

Kids Can Press, 2026

A creative girl who is sensitive to the noisy chaos daytime brings finds joy and comfort in the softer nighttime sounds. Illustrator April dela Noche Milne makes her author-illustrator debut with this beautiful picture book. 

Benten School of Esoterics by ila Nguyen-Hayama 

Abrams/Amulet, 2026

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! 

The Gallaudet Eleven: The Story of NASA's Deaf Bioastronauts written by Kerry O'Malley Cerra and illustrated by Kristina Gehrmann 

Hachette/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Winter 2026  

This nonfiction picture book tells the true story of 11 deaf men whose immunity to motion sickness helped them play a vital role in NASA's bioresearch and helped the U.S. win the space race.  

The Book of Candles written by Laurel Snyder and illustrated by Leanne Hatch

HarperCollins Children's Books, Fall 2025 

This picture book, told in a collection of poems, illuminates a child's first understanding of Hanukkah, and puts a non-traditional spin on the traditions of the holiday. 

Rus and Moose by Chuchu Wang

Restless Books, Fall 2025

Inspired by the author's travels around the U.S. in a semi-truck, this author-illustrated picture book debut tells the story of a hardworking truck driver and a moose who journey from Maine to Florida and back again, seeing things Moose has never seen before and having many adventures together. 

Tenacious Won't Give Up written by Pam Vaughan and illustrated by Leanne Hatch 

Penguin Random House/Knopf Books for Young Readers, Summer 2025

A girl named Tenacious lives up to her name as she tackles learning to ride a bike, and ultimately discovers that it's about trying smarter as well as harder.

Grace Lee Boggs: Gardens of Hope written by Songju Ma Daemicke and illustrated by Li Lin

Albert Whitman, March 2025

A picture book biography about Chinese American activist Grace Lee Boggs, who co-founded Detroit Summer to inspire young people to work together for positive social change.

The Gift of Eid written by Shifa Saltagi Safadi and illustrated by Aaliya Jaleel

Holiday House, February 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. 

Hedgehog Whodunit written by Heather Preusser and illustrated by Gal Weizman

Andrews McMeel, October 2024

Hitch the Hedgehog wants nothing more than to nap. But when his informant, Vinnie the Rat, reveals the City Zoo’s panda has gone missing, Hitch is (reluctantly) on the case. Author Heather Preusseur expertly weaves witty and playful text in this chapter book series opener with black-and-white illustrations by renowned illustrator Gal Weizman.

All Hitch the Hedgehog wants to do is nap, but there’s a mystery to solve. Someone changed the sign at the panda exhibit of the City Zoo. Instead of “please feed the panda,” it says, “please free the panda,” and well . . . it’s pandemonium for Hitch! Along with his cohort, partner, and informant Vinnie the Rat, Hitch embarks on an adventure to catch the cagey culprit and return the panda to its bear-y perfect spot.

With hardboiled humor, fun animal facts, and a plethora of puns, Hitch and Vinnie’s detective shenanigans are full of hilarity and heart. This joyful series opener also has over 50 charming black-and-white illustrations, maps, and hidden clues! This book is perfect for fans of Leila and Nugget Mysteries, Enola Holmes, and The Critter Club.

cover art © Ash Roy

Make a Little Wave by Kerry O'Malley Cerra

Lerner/Carolrhoda Books, October 2024

Swim with the current, or go against the flow?

Savannah has been feeling out of place ever since her family moved to Sandy Dune, Florida. She finds it easier to make friends with animals than people. Plus, everyone in Sandy Dune seems to love spending time in the ocean, and Sav never feels comfortable leaving the shore.

When her classmate Tanner invites her to the opening of his family’s restaurant, Sav’s excited―until she’s served a bowl of shark fin soup. Sav has always been scared of sharks, but she’s horrified that they’re inhumanely killed for this expensive delicacy. Especially as she learns more about these surprisingly gentle creatures and discovers that some shark species are being hunted to the point of endangerment. Tanner’s family brushes off her concerns, but Sav resolves to stop them from serving the soup.

To do that, she’ll have to learn how to use her voice and face her biggest fears. 

cover art © Oriol Vidal

Kareem Between by Shifa Saltagi Safadi 

Penguin Random House/Putnam Children's, September 2024

This heartfelt coming-of-age novel in verse tells the powerful story of a seventh grade Syrian-American boy and his struggles, big and small, as he navigates middle-school.

Seventh grade begins and Kareem’s fall should be off to a great start. But he’s already fumbled it.

His best friend moved away, he bungled his tryout for the football team, and because of his heritage, he was voluntold to show the new kid – a Syrian refugee with a thick and embarrassing accent – around school. Just when Kareem thinks his middle school life has imploded, the hot-shot QB promises to get Kareem another tryout for the squad. There’s a catch: to secure that chance, Kareem must do something he knows is wrong.

Then like a surprise blitz, Kareem’s mom returns to Syria to bring her aging parents out of a war zone and to the United States. But a new executive order prevents her from coming home. If Kareem could throw a penalty flag on the fouls of his school and home life, it would be for Unnecessary Roughness.

Kareem is stuck between. Between countries. Between friends, between football, between parents—and between right and wrong. It’s up to him to step up, find his confidence, and navigate the beauty and hope found somewhere in the middle. 

A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

Kirkus Starred Review

Ready to be loved.

Leo and the Pink Marker by Mariyka Foster

Peachtree, May 2024

This delightful debut from author-illustrator Mariyka Foster celebrates family and creativity!

Leo LOVES doodling away with his pink marker, but coloring inside the lines isn’t any fun. So when Mom and Mama aren’t looking, he finds an opportunity to liven up the dusty, gray scrapyard. A splash of pink would look great on that crunched-up convertible, and that magnet crane...and the family cat. Uh-oh! Leo got carried away. Will his moms be upset?

This playful ode to Harold and the Purple Crayon casually explores a LGTBQ+ family and is filled with vibrant illustrations that pop from the page. Pick this one up for any child that loves the color pink!

My Thoughts Have Wings written by Maggie Smith and illustrated by Leanne Hatch 

HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray

Leanne Hatch and Maggie Smith, bestselling author of the viral poem “Good Bones” and the memoir You Could Make This Place Beautiful, deliver a lyrical and reassuring picture book perfect for calming active minds at bedtime (or anytime).

At bedtime, when lights go out…sometimes thoughts stay on.

Scary things and worries flutter and flap around. It’s so hard to sleep!

But a little imagination (and a lot of love) can create a cozy nest for happy thoughts—and sweet dreams for little ones.

Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

cover art © Marco Guadalupi

Shira & Esther's Double Dream Debut by Anna E. Jordan 

Chronicle Books

The switcheroo fun of The Parent Trap meets the showbiz spirit of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel in this timeless coming-of-age story about family, friendship, and following your dreams.  

When Shira and Esther first meet, they can hardly believe their eyes. It’s like looking in a mirror! But even though they may look identical, the two girls couldn’t be more different. Shira dreams of singing and dancing onstage, but her father, a stern and pious rabbi, thinks Shira should be reading prayers, not plays. Esther dreams of studying Torah, but her mother, a glamorous stage performer, wishes Esther would spend more time rehearsing and less time sneaking off to read books. Oy vey! If only the two could switch places . . .

Would Shira shine in a big-time televised talent show? Would Esther’s bat mitzvah go off without a hitch? What’s a little deception, when it means your dreams might finally be within reach? One thing is certain: Shira and Esther are going to need more than a little chutzpah to pull this off. But if they do, their double dream debut is sure to be the performance of a lifetime. 

Publishers Weekly Best Books 2023-Middle Grade  

Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2023-Best Middle Grade Books of the Year            

Tablet Magazine Best Jewish Children's Books of 2023

Publishers Weekly Starred Review

Kirkus Starred Review

Bank Street Best Books of the Year 2024 List - with Outstanding Merit

Our World: China written by Songju Ma Daemicke and illustrated by Jam Dong 

Barefoot Books

Nǐ hǎo! Let's spend a day in China! Fly kites in the square, buy sweet lychee at the market and go paddle boating at the lake. Author Songju Ma Daemicke and illustrator Jam Dong draw on their personal experiences growing up in China to create this appealing board book as part of the Our World Series for very young readers.

 School Library Journal Starred Review

The Brand-New, Never-Used, Perfect Crayons by Leanne Hatch 

Holiday House/Margaret Ferguson Books

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.

Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

Society of Illustrators Original Art Show 2023 Selection

Bank Street Best Books of the Year 2024 List

cover art © Robert Sae-Heng

Hear Me by Kerry O'Malley Cerra

Lerner/Carolrhoda Books

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.

Florida Association for Media in Education Sunshine State Young Readers Award List 2024-2025

SCBWI Crystal Kite Award SE Region Finalist

Rosie and the Pre-loved Dress by Leanne Hatch

Penguin Random House/Putnam Children's

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.

Bank Street Best Books of the Year 2023 List

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.

CBC Teacher Favorites Award 2023 List 

CBC Librarian Favorites Award 2023 List

Tu Youyou's Discovery: Finding a Cure for Malaria written by Songju Ma Daemicke and illustrated by Lin

Albert Whitman

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.

AAAS/Subaru 2023 Children's Science Picture Book Award Finalist 

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 

Rockridge Press

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

Tilbury House

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