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.
Publisher: Harper 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.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Scholastic, Inc. in exchange for an honest review. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.
Synopsis Discover this poignant, timely, and emotionally stirring picture book, an ode to black and brown children everywhere that is full of hope, assurance, and love.
Tami Charles pens a poetic, lyrical text that is part love letter, part anthem, assuring readers that they always have, and always will, matter. This powerful, rhythmic lullaby reassures readers that their matter and their worth is never diminished, no matter the circumstance: through the joy and wonder of their first steps and first laughs, through the hardship of adolescent struggles, and the pain and heartbreak of current events, they always have, and always will, matter. Accompanied by illustrations by renowned artist Bryan Collier, a four-time Caldecott Honor recipient and a nine-time Coretta Scott King Award winner or honoree, All Because You Matter empowers readers with pride, joy, and comfort, reminding them of their roots and strengthening them for the days to come.
Reflection “They say that matter is all things that make up the universe: energy, stars, space…If that’s the case, then you, dear child, matter.”
We all matter. Each person on Earth has something worth noticing and appreciating. This forthcoming October 2020 release written by Tami Charles and illustrated by Bryan Collier is a beautiful and affirming tribute to children.
Our kids deserve to be fully seen by their grown-ups’ accepting eyes. Their presence, thoughts, and words should also be acknowledged at all times. This book is filled with so much heart, hope and joy that can be used as a conversation starter to help kids understand how extraordinary they are and how much their lives matter.
Most people don’t realize how amazing they are, and our children are no exception. In fact, many of us often look for permission and acceptance from others to bring our full brilliance to the table.
I think after reading this book, many adults will want to pull their little readers close, look them in the eye and let them know how much they believe in them and their abilities.
When we believe in children, acknowledge them, validate their ideas and feelings, and encourage them to believe in themselves, we hand them the keys to their own power and brilliance. Wouldn’t you agree?
“I wrote All Because You Matter to provide parents with a starting point for conversations about the racial climate in our country today. These are issues that should be discussed in all families, of all backgrounds, if we are to raise empathetic future leaders.” —Tami Charles
“I tried to capture the musicality, rhythm, and bounce of the text as it takes readers on a journey that zooms through time and space shouting All Because You Matter. And I wanted to remind readers when they walk into a room, all those voices, faces and ancestors walk with them. You are not alone.” —Bryan Collier
About the Author Former teacher. Wannabe chef. Tami Charles writes books for children and young adults. Her middle grade novel, Like Vanessa, earned Top 10 spots on the Indies Introduce and Spring Kids’ Next lists, three starred reviews, and a Junior Library Guild selection. Her recent titles include a humorous middle grade, Definitely Daphne, picture book, Freedom Soup, and YA novel, Becoming Beatriz. When Tami isn’t writing, she can be found presenting at schools both stateside and abroad.
About the Illustrator Bryan Collier is an American writer and illustrator known best for illustrating children’s books. He won both the Coretta Scott King Award, as illustrator, and the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award for UPTOWN, the first book he both wrote and illustrated. He has won six King Awards as illustrator and he is a four-time Caldecott honor recipient. For his lifetime contribution as a children’s illustrator, Collier is U.S. nominee for the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2014.
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.
Publisher: Sleeping 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.
In creating the Ty’s Travels series, author Kelly Starling Lyons wanted to make something that in her words “embodied Black Boy Joy.”
This is the first I Can Read series that features a Black family. These Guided Reading Level I books are great early readers ages 4 – 8 learning to read. They contain basic language, adorable illustrations, simple sentences and word repetition. Readers will enjoy Ty’s first train adventure and his first race car adventure. I think this is such a delightful series showing kids being everyday kids and having joyful experiences. We’re looking forward to reading the forthcoming books in the series as they are released.
Join Ty on his imaginative adventures in Ty’s Travels: All Aboard!, a My First I Can Read series by acclaimed author and illustrator team Kelly Starling Lyons and Nina Mata. Family time and imagination and play are highlighted in this fun story, perfect for sharing with children 3 to 6.
Ty wishes his family would play with him, but everyone is too busy before dinnertime. Luckily, Ty knows just what to do… Time for fun. Celebrate the power of imagination in All Aboard!
Ty can’t wait to ride his brand-new scooter at the park. Other kids zip and zoom by like race cars, but all Ty can do is wobble! Ty wants to give up, but a new friend helps Ty give it another try.
Celebrate imagination and the power of persistence in Ty’s Travels: Zip, Zoom! by the acclaimed author and illustrator team Kelly Starling Lyons and Nina Mata.
About the Author & Illustrator Kelly Starling Lyons is a founding member of The Brown Bookshelf (thebrownbookshelf.com). Her acclaimed picture books include Ellen’s Broom, Going Down Home with Daddy, and Sing a Song: How “Lift Every Voice and Sing” Inspired Generations.
Nina Mata is a New York Times bestselling illustrator and received her degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She has illustrated many books, including American gymnast Laurie Hernandez’s She’s Got This, NBA superstar LeBron James’s I Promise, and the Ty’s Travels I Can Read series. Nina currently lives in New Jersey with her husband, their daughter, and Tabitha, their cat. Visit her online at beautifique.org.
The Giveaway! One (1) lucky winner will win 1 copy of Ty’s Travels: Zip, Zoom! AND 1 copy of Ty’s Travels: All Aboard!. Must be a US resident age 18 and over to enter. Good Luck!
Who can forget the viral video of three- year-old Ayaan Diop reciting his daily affirmations while walking to school? With his backpack on his back and a banana in-hand, Ayaan repeated the positive thoughts on his walk with his mother, who posted a video on her Instagram account.
Ayaan Diop’s viral affirmation video taken by his mom Alissa Holder (video here), received hundreds of thousands of views on social media. Ayaan’s affirmation, I Am Smart, I Am Blessed, I Can Do Anything, was met with excitement from viewers everywhere including the Today Show, CBS This Morning, and Ellen Degeneres. Check out the synopsis of the book from the publisher written below.
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers On-sale Date: December 29, 2020 available for pre-orders now! Written by Alissa Holder and Zulekha Holder-Young, illustrated by Nneka Myers
Based on a viral video comes the story of one boy’s positive energy and how a sunny outlook can turn everything around.
It’s a new day and Ayaan has woken up on the wrong side of the bed, where nothing feels quite right. What if he doesn’t know the answer at school? What if he messes up? But as he sets out that morning, all it takes is a few reminders from his mom and some friends in the neighborhood to remind him that a new day is a good day because… HE IS SMART, HE IS BLESSED, AND HE CAN DO ANYTHING!
Mark your calendars for this December 2020 release.
About the Authors
Alissa is graduate of the State University of New York at Albany, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology. She has always had a passion for working with children and is currently working as teacher at a child care center in New York City. Alissa has always had a love for reading and a goal of writing her own children’s books. She is the mother of Ayaan Diop and Ayaan’s little sister.
Zulekha is a graduate of Spelman College, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in economics. She has always loved reading and has passed that love along to her three children Amari, Amir, and Aria. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, children, and furry Dogter Mochi.
About the Illustrator Nneka Myers is an illustrator and character designer based in Toronto, Canada. Since graduating with a BAA in animation from Sheridan College, her vibrant illustrations and designs have been published in several children’s books and in animated preschool shows.
Visit Nneka’s website here to see some of her work.
Age Range: 5 – 7 years Grade Level: Kindergarten – 2 Hardcover: 32 pages Publisher: Capstone Editions
Synopsis It’s time for the first science lab, and nobody can agree on an experiment. But why pick just one when Bear is around? Bears makes the best science buddies, and Bear proves it by helping each group use the scientific method for its special experiment. This fourth picture book in Carmen Oliver’s Bears Make the Best…series will bring the excitement of science to a new level. One of the four experiments used in the book is detailed in the back matter.
Reflection When you stop and think about it, all kids are natural born scientists. From a very young age, they start experimenting with different things to see what will happen next. Once they are old enough to talk, they start asking, “why?” to everything.
I love that this book allows kids to nurture their spirit of curiosity. Children will see a diverse group of students with faces that match their own and learn the proper way to conduct a science experiment.
In addition to learning all the important safety protocols to conducting a science experiment, kids will also learn the four steps in the scientific method:
1. Observe 2. Make a Hypothesis 3. Experiment 4. Analyze Results
Bears Make the Best Science Buddies is perfect for aspiring scientists and classroom read-alouds. As a fun added bonus, this book also features one of the four science experiments to try on your own in the back matter.
Be sure to check out the other books in the series too!
Carmen Oliver is the author of picture books A Voice for the Spirit Bears: How One Boy Inspired Millions to Save a Rare Animal, a Junior Library Guild spring 2019 pick, Bears Make the Best Reading Buddies and Bears Make the Best Math Buddies. She’s also the author of the forthcoming picture books Bears Make the Best Writing Buddies, Bears Make the Best Science Buddies, The Twilight Library (North-South Books, 2021) and The Favio Chavez Story (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers).
Carmen’s work has been shortlisted for the Rainforest of Reading Award, The Writers’ League of Texas Awards and the CLEL Bell Picture Book Awards for Early Literacy. In 2014, she founded the Booking Biz, a boutique style agency that brings award-winning children’s authors and illustrators to schools, libraries, and special events. She also teaches writing at the Writing Barn and The Highlights Foundation and loves speaking at schools, conferences, and festivals.
Today, I am thrilled to collaborate with author/illustrator Sharee Miller to reveal the cover of her forthcoming picture book Michelle’s Garden. This is reveal is especially exciting because Former First Lady Michelle Obama will be debuting her podcast on Spotify later this week! Check out the synopsis from the publisher written below.
About the Book A tribute to Former First Lady Michelle Obama and her contributions in building a healthier future for all children from acclaimed author and illustrator Sharee Miller.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama had an idea. A big, inspiring, and exciting idea! She would grow the largest kitchen garden ever at the White House. This wouldn’t be easy, since she’d never gardened before: Where should she start? What tools did she need? What would she plant?
Everyone needs help when they’re learning something for the first time, even the first lady of the United States. So she gathered the help of local students, the White House staff, and even President Barack Obama. Together, they wouldn’t just grow a garden — they would inspire a nation!
Mark your calendars for this March 2021 release.
About Sharee Miller
Sharee Miller lives and works in Jersey City with her husband and their two cats, Pumpkin and Spice. Her illustrations combine bright colors, patterns, and expressive characters to tell the stories she wishes she had as a kid. She is the author of Princess Hair and Don’t Touch My Hair!
Visit Sharee’s website here to see some of her work.
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