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    children's books, cover reveal, diverse books

    EXCLUSIVE COVER REVEAL My Busy, Busy Brain: The ABCDs of ADHD by Nicole Russell

    Today I’m excited to reveal the cover of a forthcoming 2021 picture book for bestselling author Nicole Russell. In addition to being an author, Nicole is a lead advocate for mental health and the well-being of children. She serves as the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Precious Dreams Foundation, the non-profit teaching children in foster care and homeless shelters to self-comfort globally.

    Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing
    On Sale Date: April 13, 2021
    Written by: Nicole Russell, illustrated by: Antoinette Thomas
    Reading Level: 5 – 8 years 
    Grade Level: Kindergarten-Third Grade
    Pages: 24
    Link to Purchase: My Busy, Busy Brain: The ABCDs of ADHD

    Synopsis
    Nicole has ADHD and a busy, busy brain! Her special brain makes Nicole good at art, daydreaming, and exploring. Some days feel like a mental trip to outer space, on a rainbow carpet ride, with talking bumblebees . . . but sometimes, Nicole has a hard time concentrating in school. With a little courage, she learns how to get help for herself and use her voice to speak up for others.

    My Busy, Busy Brain
     provides practical tools for children struggling with controlling their emotions, impulses, and concentration. This book is a beginner course for children curious about mental health and the challenges we feel but can’t see.

    Short Summary: A resource for kids, parents, educators, and everyone else looking for insight into the experience of children with ADHD.

    About the Author


    Nicole Russell is a bestselling author and lead advocate for mental health and the well-being of children. She serves as the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Precious Dreams Foundation, the non-profit teaching children in foster care and homeless shelters to self-comfort globally. Russell uses her non-profit and creative tools to serve and advocate for youth through every aspect of her career.

    Her bestselling self-help book, Everything a Band-aid Can’t Fix, is highly regarded as a must-have for teens everywhere and has been added to the curriculum of middle and high schools nationwide. Nicole’s accolades include GLAMOUR’s “Everyday Hero of the Year”, Observer’s “Top 20 Heroes Under 40”, Walmart’s “Community Playmaker Award” as well as a featured piece recognizing her efforts in O, The Oprah Magazine.

    In 2020, Nicole was recognized by NBC and Essence as an essential hero for her efforts to serve and support the mental health needs of thousands of youth in the U.S. shelter system during the pandemic.

    Nicole aspires to teach the world how to properly serve, with a focus on teaching young people how to advocate for themselves. My Busy, Busy Brain, Nicole’s first children’s book, is inspired by her personal experience with ADHD.

    Connect with Nicole! Website | Instagram | Twitter

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    EXCLUSIVE COVER REVEAL: What’s Inside Your Backpack? by Jessica Sinarski + A Giveaway!

    Today I’m excited to reveal the cover of a forthcoming 2021 picture book for one of my fellow bookish friends, Jessica Sinarski. You may be familiar with Jessica’s book Riley the Brave and her resource and training platform, Brave Brains. Her forthcoming book, What’s Inside Your Backpack? scheduled to publish February 4, 2021.

    PublisherNational Center for Youth Issues
    On Sale Date: February 4, 2021
    Written by Jessica Sinarski illustrated by Joanne Lew Vriethoff
    Reading Level: 4 – 7 years
    Grade Level: Preschool – 2
    Pages: 32

    Synopsis
    All around us, children are carrying backpacks that are heavy with more than just textbooks. Each day, they also bear the weight of difficult life experiences and intense feelings.

    Zoey Harmon just wants to feel light-hearted and carefree. Unfortunately, she keeps getting weighed down by pesky “books” in her backpack, like Worry and Shame. Much to her surprise, she’s not the only one! Zoey learns that the adults in her life deal with difficult feelings too! Luckily, they have some ideas that can help her set aside the books she’s not meant to carry. Will it be enough to help her unload the heaviest book of all?

    While there are no quick fixes for all of life’s complex problems, What’s Inside Your Backpack? highlights some of the ways we can nurture resilience in body and mind. Using the metaphor of books and bookmarks, author Jessica Sinarski offers gentle, effective strategies to help children impacted by trauma. By sharing their burdens with people they trust, kids can lighten their load and realize just how strong and courageous they really are!

    About the Author
    Jessica Sinarski, LPCMH equips parents and professionals to be healers for hurting children. Weaving user-friendly brain science into everything she does, Jessica ignites both passion and know-how in audiences. Extensive post-graduate training and 15+ years as a clinician, consultant, and parent educator led her to create BraveBrains, a resource and training platform for home, school, and community. She is also the author of the Riley the Brave picture books.

    Jessica partners with school districts and child welfare agencies across the country to better incorporate effective trauma-sensitive practices into their work. She also shares her expertise as a contributor to magazines, blogs, and podcasts. When not writing and training, she continues to work as a bilingual therapist and clinical supervisor at an innovative adoption support agency. Jessica lives in Delaware with her husband and three busy boys. Find her on Instagram.

    The Giveaway!
    Jessica is giving away two copies of What’s Inside Your Backpack? to two lucky winners. Enter for your chance to win one of two copies below. Good Luck!

    What’s Inside Your Backpack? Book Giveaway

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    children's books, cover reveal, diverse books, middle grade

    Exclusive Cover Reveal: Maya and the Robot by Eve L. Ewing

    Publisher: Kokila
    Publication Date: July 13, 2021 (Available for pre-orders now!)
    Pages: 224
    Age Range: 6 – 9 years
    Grade Level: 1 – 4

    Today I’m thrilled to share with you the cover of a new book by award-winning author Eve L. Ewing!  In addition to her work as a writer, Ewing is a sociologist of education whose research is focused on racism, social inequality, and urban policy, and the impact of these forces on American public schools and the lives of young people.

    MAYA AND THE ROBOT is an illustrated middle grade novel about a forgotten homemade robot who comes to life just when aspiring fifth-grade scientist Maya needs a friend—and a science fair project. The cover and interior art are by Christine Almeda, a Filipina American freelance illustrator and character designer.

    Synopsis
    Maya’s nervous about fifth grade. She tries to keep calm by reminding herself she knows what to expect. But then she learns that this year won’t be anything like the last. For the first time since kindergarten, her best friends Jada and MJ are placed in a different class without her, and introverted Maya has trouble making new friends.

    She tries to put on a brave face since they are in fifth grade now, but Maya is nervous! Just when too much seems to be changing, she finds a robot named Ralph in the back of Mr. Mac’s convenience store closet. Once she uses her science skills to get him up and running, a whole new world of connection opens up as Ralph becomes a member of her family and Maya begins to step into her power.

    “It’s hard for me to look at Christine’s cover without tearing up. I’m so excited for the world to get a first look at Maya and Ralph and for the ways the cover gives little glimpses into the story to come!” – Eve L. Ewing

    Eve L. Ewing is the award-winning author of Electric Arches1919, and Ghosts in the Schoolyard. She also wrote the acclaimed Ironheart and Champions series for Marvel Comics. Her work has appeared in many venues, including the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Washington Post, and Vanity Fair. Born and raised in Chicago, she was a middle school teacher before completing her doctorate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Currently she is an assistant professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration.

    Christine Almeda is a Filipina American freelance illustrator, character designer, and lover of sunshine. She graduated from Montclair State University with a BFA focused on character design and children’s media. She believes in the power of creativity, diverse storytelling, and that art can make life more beautiful.

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    COVER REVEAL: Anita and the Dragons by Hannah Carmona and Anna Cunha

    Anita and the Dragons

    Today, I’m excited to partner with our friends at Lantana Publishing for another exciting picture book cover reveal. Lantana Publishing is an award-winning children’s book publisher and social enterprise with a mission to publish inclusive books by under-represented voices celebrating every kind of child and family. Check out the cover of one of their latest forthcoming releases Anita and the Dragons and read the brief synopsis below.

    PublisherLantana Publishing
    On Sale Date: February 2021 (UK) April 2021 (US & Canada) available for pre-orders now!
    Written by Hannah Carmona illustrated by Anna Cunha
    Reading Level: 7 -9 years
    Grade Level: 2 – 4
    Pages: 32

    Anita watches the dragons high above her as she hops from one cement roof to another in her village in the Dominican Republic. But being the valiant princesa she is, she never lets them scare her. Will she be brave enough to enter the belly of the beast and take flight to new adventures?

    About the Author

    Hannah Carmona is a writer, actor, and director. Hannah’s previous titles include Dazzling Travis and Beautiful, Wonderful, Strong Little Me. Hannah is a mother of two, co-founder of Collective Art School of Tennessee, and a YouTuber. She lives in Tennessee.

    About the Illustrator

    Anna Cunha is an award-winning Brazilian artist who has illustrated more than 20 books. Her work has been shortlisted for the Jabuti Prize and received a Joao-de-Barro Prize honorable mention.

    Your turn: Are you looking forward to reading this book with your little readers? Feel free to share in the comments.

    Anita and the Dragons
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    COVER REVEAL: The Electric Slide and Kai by Kelly J. Baptist and Darnell Johnson

    Where are all my electric slide fans? Whenever the Electric Slide comes on at a wedding, club or social event I have to get up and dance! Anyone else?

    The origins of “The Electric Slide” began with the song “Electric Boogie.” “Electric Boogie” was written in 1976 by Neville “Bunny Wailer” Livingston for singer Marcia Griffiths. Choreographer Richard Silver created the original electric slide, a 22-step dance to go along with the song. Over the years, different versions of the dance have surfaced.

    The remixed version of the song “The Electric Slide” from the year 1989, made the Electric Slide an international dance craze. This song has proven staying power and it remains the highest-selling single by a female Reggae singer of all time.

    Today, I’m excited to reveal the cover of a forthcoming 2021 picture book The Electric Slide and Kai.

    PublisherLee & Low
    On Sale Date: March 2, 2021 available for pre-orders now!
    Written by Kelly J. Baptist illustrated by Darnell Johnson
    Reading Level: 4 – 8 years
    Grade Level: 1 – 2
    Pages: 40

    Kai’s aunt is getting married, and everyone in the Donovan family is excited about the wedding … except Kai. The highlight of every Donovan occasion is dancing the electric slide–a groovy line dance with footwork that Kai can’t quite figure out. More than anything, he wants to prove that he can boogie with the rest of his family and earn a cool nickname from his granddad. Can Kai break through his nerves and break it down on the dance floor?

    Told with humor and heart by author Kelly J. Baptist and lively illustrations from debut picture book artist Darnell Johnson, The Electric Slide and Kai is a funky celebration with all the right moves! Coming March 2, 2021

    The Electric Slide and Kai

    About the Author
    Kelly J. Baptist grew up in southwest Michigan, and after living in Alabama, Florida, and Minnesota, she is happy to be right back home in Berrien Springs! She works as a social emotional learning interventionist and is the author of the middle grade novel Isaiah Dunn Is My Hero. Kelly keeps busy with her five amazing children, who often play loud music that leads to epic family dance parties. You can visit her on Twitter @kellyiswrite and online at kellyiswrite.com.

    About the Illustrator
    Darnell Johnson is a Miami native who discovered his passion for art while watching Saturday morning cartoons as a kid. Currently he resides in Alpharetta, Georgia, with his beautiful wife and newborn son. Darnell pulled inspiration from his childhood, family, and friends to draw life into the characters for The Electric Slide and Kai. He hopes the lines, colors, and shapes he makes sparks the imagination of young readers. You can visit him online at artofdarnelljohnson.com.

    Your turn: Are you looking forward to reading this book with your little readers? What are your feelings of the dance and its staying power after so many years?  Sound off in the comments, or be social on social media!  I’d love to hear from you!

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    COVER REVEAL: When Lola Visits by Michelle Sterling and Aaron Asis

    Today I’m excited to reveal the cover of a forthcoming 2021 picture book for one of my fellow bookish friends, Michelle Sterling. You may be familiar with Michelle’s popular Instagram accounts Avery & Augustine and Books for Diversity. Her book, When Lola Visits is tentatively scheduled to publish in the Spring of 2021.

    PublisherHarper Collins
    On Sale Date: May 18, 2021 available for pre-orders now!
    Written by Michelle Sterling illustrated by Aaron Asis
    Reading Level: 4 – 8 years
    Grade Level: Preschool – 3
    Pages: 40

    Synopsis
    For one young girl, summer is the season of no school, of days spent at the pool, of picking golden limes off the trees. But summer doesn’t start until her Lola—her grandmother from the Philippines—comes for her annual visit. Summer is special. For her Lola fills the house with the aroma of mango jam, funny stories of baking mishaps, and her quiet sweet singing in Tagalog. And in turn, her granddaughter brings Lola to the beach, to view fireworks at the park, and to catch fish at their lake. When Lola comes, the whole family gathers to cook and eat and share in their happiness of another season spent together. Yet as summer transitions to fall, her Lola must return home—but not without a surprise for her granddaughter to preserve their special summer a bit longer.

    In an evocative tale brimming with the scents, tastes, and traditions that define summer for one young girl, debut author Michelle Sterling and illustrator Aaron Asis come together to celebrate the gentle bonds of familial love that span oceans and generations.

    About the Author
    Michelle Sterling is a writer, photographer and speech-language pathologist. Her debut picture book When Lola Visits will be illustrated by Aaron Asis and publishes on May 18, 2021, from HarperCollins. You can find her sharing the latest children’s books at Avery & Augustine and Books for Diversity.

    Your turn: Are you looking forward to reading this book with your little readers? Feel free to share in the comments.

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    EXCLUSIVE COVER REVEAL: A Teacher Like You by Frank Murphy and Barbara Dan

    A Teacher Like You by Frank Murphy and Barbara Dan

    Following the success of A Boy Like You and A Girl Like You comes the next book in series that celebrates teachers. This time, Frank Murphy teams up with experienced educator Barbara Dan.

    I already knew how important teachers were, but COVID-19 made us all take a step back and really understand just how vital teachers are to our society. Like many others, I now have an overwhelming appreciation of teachers and what their job actually involves.

    Teachers have always been the heart of the learning process for children. That’s never been more true than it is now, as teachers strive to implement remote learning plans and support families on how to guide at-home learning for kids. Today, teachers must balance their own childcare and household needs while also connecting with each of their students to maintain growth and progress. That is no small task.

    Teachers, we salute you! The forthcoming picture book, A Teacher Like You is dedicated to you and all you do to educate and nurture the children of our future.

    PublisherSleeping Bear Press
    On-sale Date: March 15, 2020 available for pre-orders now!
    Written by Frank Murphy & Barbara Dan illustrated by Kayla Harren
    Reading Level: 5 – 7 years
    Grade Level: Kindergarten – 2

    Synopsis
    Teachers have the power to change the life of a child with every new school day. Whether they’re discovering math or reading, practicing a new instrument or a new sport, or learning about our wonderful, diverse world, students can count on the kindness, innovation, and patience of a teacher. This is a wonderful celebration of all the ways teachers help their student’s bloom.

    Mark your calendars for this March 2021 release!

    About the Authors

    Frank Murphy is a teacher who writes and a writer who teaches. He has taught a wide variety of grades at the elementary for more than 27 years. A history buff, former basketball coach & Sixers fan, and popular speaker, Frank is the author of many fun historical fiction/biography books for young readers, including several popular Random House Step into Reading History Readers – including the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio 2006 Best Book Award Winner Ben Franklin & the Magic Squares. As a teacher and father, Frank is committed to creating children’s books that expand readers’ knowledge of history and help inspire discussions about kindness, leadership, citizenship, growing up, and more.

    Barbara Dan is an elementary school teacher with over 15 years of experience. She strives to expose her students to a diverse collection of books. Discussions in her classroom with students cover topics such as: perseverance, kindness, acceptance, failure, family structure, exploration, emotions, diversity and different abilities.

    About the Illustrator
    Kayla Harren graduated from the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City with a BFA in illustration. Books she has illustrated include A BOY LIKE YOU (winner of the 2019 EUREKA gold award) and THE BOY WHO GREW A FOREST (winner of the EUREKA silver award.) Her work has been featured in the Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, Communication Arts, 3×3 Magazine, and she won the Highlights for Children Pewter Plate Award.

    Kayla love animals, playing volleyball, hiking, and eating cookies with frosting. She lives in Minnesota with her husband, Peter Harren, and their adorable dogs. Visit Kayla’s website by clicking here.

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