A novel-in-verse for young adults but it transcends an age group. A meditation on loss, grief, depresson and finding one's place in the world. Truly a collection of poems, not just a short story written in verse form. A melancholy beauty.
Phoebe Robinson is poppin' on the pop culture landscape right now with her TV series Everything's Trash, her standup routine and her latest book. The book is her third and it's a collection of observational essays. While tighter editing would have helped in some instances, Robinson uses humor to bring up thought-provoking ideas. Why is motherhood considered the crowning achievement for a cis gender woman? Where are the BIPOC role models in business for an African American woman boss? And when are white folk truly allies and when are they just putting on a good show? Robinson gives you plenty to think about between laughs.
Apparently I'm late to the party -- by about 10 years. Dragons Love Tacos is celebrating its 10th birthday and I'm just glad I finally found the taco party. The text is kid-friendly, hilarious and the drawings add to the fun. The idea of dragons dancing to accordians makes me smile every time I think of it. Add the adorable little stuffed animals package that has three dragons holding tiny tacos and I am all in. Beware, family and friends. I suspect there are dragons and tacos in your near future.
Speak Up! is a graphic novel about a middle schooler with autism who leads a secret life online. Mia is 12 and navigating the cruel world of middle school where her autism makes her the target of a group of bullies. But the girls who bully her don't realize that Mia and her best friend, Charlie, are really the enigmatic band Elle-Q who has become an online sensation. The book does a great job of letting readers know that autism covers a wide spectrum of behaviors. Mia grows, takes chances and learns to speak up for herself. Since autism is just one aspect of Mia's story, it should have wide appeal to any young person facing the perils and joys of standing up for oneself.
A family is quietly leading their lives in a seashore town when one morning they discover an octopus on their roof. The octopus turns out to be surprisingly handy. It's a delightfully silly story with illustrations reminiscent of 1960s childrens' book illustrations. I now desperately want an octopus to live on my house!
Internalized homophobia doesn't sound like the topic of a children's book, but this joyful little picture book takes on the topic in a way that's easy for little ones to understand. The Prince and Knight married at the end of the first book in the series but they must deal with a shadow king threatening their happy kingdom in the second book. Spoiler alert: Love wins.
Ruby Bridges tells her story for school-aged children (@ grades 1-3) in a clear, non-judgmental way. She emphasizes her eagerness to learn and it's obvious that her child's eyes were unable to see how monumental her segregating that Louisiana elementary school was. She just wanted to learn and be a good student. That's something any child can understand.
The second book in the Maybe Marisol series has her playing nerdy word games with her best friend, going to school and dreading the upcoming kickball unit in gym. Marisol is a typical, multi-faceted grade schooler. This is a good, modern fit for parents and grandparents who loved Beverly Cleary books. It also works well as a stand-alone book for readers who haven't read the first book yet.
A little boy wants a dog and a stray dog wants a home. How these two find each other is a touching story of a boy showing his dads he can be responsible, his parents understanding his desire for a dog and a dog's willingness to love and be loved. With beautiful black and white drawings, the book is wordless yet says so much. I adore this book.
Halloween is coming and There's a Ghost in This House will get little ones ready. A young girl narrates the tour of a supposedly haunted house, but she can't see any ghosts. Thanks to translucent overlays, though, the reader will be able to see little ghosts hidden all over the house. A fun book and a great chance to interact with your young reader.
Elections are close and this picture book isn't just a biography of Stacey Abrams. It's also an overview of voter suppression narrated by activist superstars like Sojourner Truth and Fannie Lou Hamer. A children's book that will also appeal to progressive adults.
These are anxious times and this book has reassuring text and gentle pictures that reminds the reader that life goes on and ultimately all is well. Readers can all use that message, no matter their age.
Sort of a "Goodnight Moon" for small, independent bookstores, this picture book features sweet text, colored pencil drawings and multi-racial characters. It'll be like a bedtime hug from Carmichael's Kids.
What a beautifully illustrated book! Almost as beautiful as an Ann Lowe dress. A picture book biography of African American dress designer Ann Lowe, this book does not gloss over the struggle she had to find work as a black woman. It celebrates her success and the beauty and color she brought to designs such as Jackie Kennedy's wedding dress. The story and the fabric collage-like illustrations are a delight.
Celebrity authors can be less than stellar and I'm a big fan of HGTV's Home Town so I approached this book warily. Fortunately, this picture book by Erin Napier does not disappoint. It's a sweet story about the life of an older house. The text is reminiscent of Virginia Lee Burton's classic "The Little House." The art is by Mississippi artist Adam Trest making this book a visual treat with a kind heart.
Oh, the heartbreak of losing a grandparent. This book, however, focuses on Marjorie looking for a new friend who loves knitting, baking shows and gardening, which leads to her disguising herself as an old woman and infiltrating the Senior Citizens Group. A great, funny story that reminds readers that everyone has something to offer, no matter their age.
Louisvillians love our hometown hero and it's no wonder. In this picture book based on a true story, the Champ steps up and helps a mother and son who want to hear him speak at a high school. It's a reminder that Ali lived what he preached and his influence reached far.
Too cute, this tale of a mousey little mouse who finds her voice just in time features humor and adorable drawings. You can't help but love little Mousetta and her classmates.
Indigenous female dancer Ria Thundercloud tells her story of falling in love with dance when she was four and how all the forms of dance she learned help her express her emotions. A shy child found her way in the world and a way to stay in touch with the spirits of her ancestors through dance.