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.
Publisher: Lantana 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 Carmonais 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.
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.
Publisher: Lee & 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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cover reveals are always exciting around here! Today, I am pleased to collaborate with debut author Joanna Ho to reveal the cover of her forthcoming picture book Eyes That Kiss in the Corners. The book is illustrated by Dung Ho. Check out the synopsis from the publisher written below.
Publisher: Harper Collins On-sale Date: January 5, 2021, available for pre-orders now!
About the book:
Some people have eyes like sapphire lagoons with lashes like lace trim on ballgowns, sweeping their cheeks as they twirl. Big eyes, long lashes.
I have eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea.
That’s the opening lines to this forthcoming January 2021 picture book release from #ownvoices debut author Joanna Ho. Check out the synopsis below from the publisher.
This picture book tells a story about learning to love and celebrate your Asian-shaped eyes.
A young Asian girl notices that her eyes look different from her peers’. They have big, round eyes and long lashes. She realizes that her eyes are like her mother’s, her grandmother’s, and her little sister’s. They have eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea, crinkle into crescent moons, and are filled with stories of the past and hope for the future.
Drawing from the strength of these powerful women in her life, she recognizes her own beauty and discovers a path to self love and empowerment.
This powerful, poetic picture book will resonate with readers of all ages and is a celebration of diversity.
Visit Joanna’s website here to see some of her work.
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