Children's Book Previews


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Love, Ish, by Karen Rivers
         
My name is Mischa “Ish” Love, and I am twelve years old. I know quite a lot about Mars.

Mars is where I belong. Do you know how sometimes you just know a thing? My mom says that falling in love is like that, that the first time she saw Dad, she just knew. That’s how I feel about Mars: I just know.

I’m smart and interesting and focused, and I’m working on getting along better with people. I’ll learn some jokes. A sense of humor is going to be important. It always is. That’s what my dad always says. Maybe jokes will be the things that will help us all to survive. Not just me, because there’s no “me” in “team,” right? This is about all of us. Together.

What makes me a survivor? Mars is going to make me a survivor.

You’ll see.


*

In Karen Rivers’s riveting new novel, Ish’s dreams for a future on Mars go heartbreakingly awry when an unexpected diagnosis threatens to rewrite her whole future.



Lighter Than Air Matthew , by Clark Smith
         
Take to the skies with the beautifully told tale of Sophie Blanchard — a woman meant for the air — as she discovers the incomparable sensation of flight.

Behold the story of Sophie Blanchard, an extraordinary woman who is largely forgotten despite her claim to being the very first female pilot in history. In eighteenth-century France, "balloonomania" has fiercely gripped the nation . . . but all of the pioneering aeronauts are men. The job of shattering that myth falls to a most unlikely figure: a shy girl from a seaside village, entirely devoted to her dream of flight. Sophie is not the first woman to ascend in a balloon, nor the first woman to accompany an aeronaut on a trip, but she will become the first woman to climb to the clouds and steer her own course. The words of Matthew Clark Smith bring Sophie’s story to light after so many years, while Matt Tavares’s atmospheric art and unique perspectives take her to new heights.



Short Stories for Little Monsters , by Marie-Louise Gay
      
This hilarious collection of illustrated stories gives us a glimpse into the things children wonder about every day.

What do cats really see? What do trees talk about? Should you make funny faces on a windy day? Do worms rule the world? Do mothers always tell the truth? Do snails have nightmares?

These short stories are illustrated in vibrant watercolor and collage in cartoon style. They are rich in detail and tiny humorous subplots that will delight all little sharp-eyed monsters.



Big Cat, Little Cat , by Elisha Cooper
         

There was a cat 
who lived alone.
Until the day
a new cat came . . .

And so a story of friendship begins, following two cats through their days, months, and years until one day, the older cat has to go. And he doesn’t come back.

This is a poignant story, told in measured text and bold black-and-white illustrations about life and the act of moving on.




Amina's Voice , by Hena Khan
         
A Pakistani-American Muslim girl struggles to stay true to her family’s vibrant culture while simultaneously blending in at school after tragedy strikes her community in this sweet and moving middle grade novel from the award-winning author of It’s Ramadan, Curious George and Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns.

Amina has never been comfortable in the spotlight. She is happy just hanging out with her best friend, Soojin. Except now that she’s in middle school everything feels different. Soojin is suddenly hanging out with Emily, one of the “cool” girls in the class, and even talking about changing her name to something more “American.” Does Amina need to start changing too? Or hiding who she is to fit in? While Amina grapples with these questions, she is devastated when her local mosque is vandalized.

Amina’s Voice brings to life the joys and challenges of a young Pakistani American and highlights the many ways in which one girl’s voice can help bring a diverse community together to love and support each other.



Hello Universe , by Erin Entrada Kelly
         

Acclaimed and award-winning author Erin Entrada Kelly’s Hello, Universe is a funny and poignant neighborhood story about unexpected friendships. Told from four intertwining points of view—two boys and two girls—the novel celebrates bravery, being different, and finding your inner bayani (hero), and it’s perfect for fans of Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Thanhha Lai, and Rita Williams-Garcia.

In one day, four lives weave together in unexpected ways. Virgil Salinas is shy and kindhearted and feels out of place in his crazy-about-sports family. Valencia Somerset, who is deaf, is smart, brave, and secretly lonely, and she loves everything about nature. Kaori Tanaka is a self-proclaimed psychic, whose little sister, Gen, is always following her around. And Chet Bullens wishes the weird kids would just stop being so different so that he can concentrate on basketball. They aren’t friends, at least not until Chet pulls a prank that traps Virgil and his pet guinea pig at the bottom of a well. This disaster leads Kaori, Gen, and Valencia on an epic quest to find the missing Virgil. Sometimes four can do what one cannot. Through luck, smarts, bravery, and a little help from the universe, a rescue is performed, a bully is put in his place, and friendship blooms. The acclaimed author of Blackbird Fly and The Land of Forgotten Girls writes with an authentic, humorous, and irresistible tween voice that will appeal to fans of Thanhha Lai and Rita Williams-Garcia.




Priscilla Gorilla , by Barbara Bottner
         
When a whole class goes gorilla, they learn the importance of balancing passion and creativity with cooperation in this charmer of a picture book from the New York Times bestselling duo, Barbara Bottner and Michael Emberley.

The day Priscilla gets a book about gorillas, she instantly becomes obsessed. She dances like them, eats like them, and wears her gorilla costume 24–7! There are so many things to love about gorillas, but what Priscilla loves best is how they seem to always get their way.

So when Mr. Todd tells all his students to dress up like their favorite animal, Priscilla’s choice is obvious. But dancing around and beating her chest when it’s not her turn sends Priscilla straight to the Thinking Corner. She is of course outraged—nobody tells a gorilla what to do!—and as her attitude spreads, soon the thinking corner is full of her classmates. Is Priscilla really channeling her inner gorilla, or is she just a troublemaker in ape’s clothing?



Pup the Sea Otter , by Jonathan London
      

Watch Pup grow from his birth to first dive and from rambunctious play with other pups to a frightening encounter with a predator.

Bestselling author Jonathan London tells Pup’s story in sparse, poetic text with vivid vocabulary while luminous illustrations by London’s son, Sean London, bring the adorable Pup and his loving mother to life within the swirling sea around them.

London’s newest creation in his picture book collection about baby animals (including The Seasons of Little Wolf, Little Puffin’s First Flight, and Honey Paw and Lightfoot―about a bear cub) will entertain children with a combination of learning and fun. An author’s note at the end shares fascinating facts about this popular keystone species.




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