The refugee crisis is on many people’s mind at present, and many parents and teachers are searching for books to help them explain the complex issue to their children. New York Magazine’s The Cut compiled an article on children’s books about refugees and immigrants, as recommended by booksellers and librarians. The recently released picture book, Lost and Found Cat: The True Story of Kunkush’s Incredible Journey, written by Doug Kuntz and Amy Shrodes and illustrated by Sue Cornelison, was one of these recommended books. This touching, true story tells of an Iraqi refugee family who loses their beloved cat, and the incredible world wide effort to help them reunite with their pet. The librarian who recommended Lost and Found Cat said that, “Books are a great way to explore complex subjects — they often give kids a way to identify by making the event or idea come to life.” The full list of recommended children’s books can be found here. Lost and Found Cat can be purchased here.
Lucía the Luchadora, a new picture book written by Cynthia Leonor Garza and illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez, is the story of a little girl who wants to prove that girls can be super heroes too. When she uncovers her grandmother’s secret past as a luchadora, she’s on her way to achieving that goal. Kirkus reviewed Lucía, giving it a starred review! They praised the story’s energy and enthusiasm, as well as its inventive use of page design and sound effects. They write of the illustration, “Bermudez’s colorful, buoyant illustrations radiate pure joy.” In all, they describe Lucía as, “A KA-POW kind of wonderful.” Kirkus’s full review can be read here. Lucía the Luchadora is coming out in early March, but it can be pre-ordered online here.
Michael Slack‘s newest addition to his rescue animal series, Turtle Tug to the Rescue, isn’t out for another month, but the praise is already pouring in! The picture book, which tells the story of Turtle Tug rescuing his ocean friends when a storm hits the sea, has received two new reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus. Publishers Weekly praises Michael Slack’s evocative rhymes and illustrations, writing, “the pictures may be the best in the series, with imaginative perspectives…and texturing that feels like a cross between painting and letterpress.” They call Turtle Tug a, “an unflashy but steady hero, [whose] steely determination to save the day is admirable and inspiring.” The full review can be found here. Kirkus was similarly impressed with the rhyming and also complimented Michae’s addition of advanced vocabulary. They commented on the admirable morals of the story, which comment both on selflessness and on environmental issues. Kirkus writes, “Fans will cheer Turtle Tug on in his mission,” and describe Turtle Tug as, “A role model for all.” Kirkus’s review can be read here. Turtle Tug to the Rescue will be released March 21st and can be pre-ordered here.
Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere by Elise Gravel is the humorous story of Olga, an aspiring naturalist, and her discovery of a mysterious, possibly brand new creatures she names Meh. Olga has always liked people more than humans, but she may need help to take care of her strange new friend, particularly when Meh goes missing! The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books wrote a review of Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere in their February 2017 issue. They praised the adorable, expressive characters of Olga and Meh, as well as the story’s humor. They write, “The style here will be an apt readalike for fans of Wimpy Kid, and Gravel deploys spot art, larger illustrations, word balloons, and chunks of text with great success in the layout.” In the end, they conclude that Olga is, “an obvious sell to fans of animals, but it will also hit a humorous note with anybody who has felt a little left behind by these things we call humans.” You can read the full review in the Bulletin’s February 2017 issue. Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere is coming out in March and can be pre-ordered online here.
Shorty and Clem, by Michael Slack, is an adorable new picture book about the adventures of a pair of best friends: Clem the quail and Shorty the green dinosaur. When a package arrives for Clem, Shorty knows he shouldn’t open it, but he can’t resist playing with the package itself, until it falls apart! Kirkus recently wrote a review of Shorty and Clem. They praise the picture book’s humor and “blocky minimalism,” as well as the feel good ending. In all, they call the book, “a funny, sympathetic read.” Kirkus’s full review can be found here. Shorty and Clem will be coming out in April and can be pre-ordered online here.
Mae and June and the Wonder Wheel, written by Charise Mericle Harper and illustrated by Ashley Spires, is a early reader chapter book coming out soon. It tells the story of the new friendship of two young girls and a talking dog. With the help of a spinning wheel that helps them decide what to do every day, they set out to have fun and adventures. Amazon chose this cheerful chapter book as one of its Editors Picks of the Month for ages 6 to 8 for the month of June. Mae and June and the Wonder Wheel is coming out in just a few days on February 7th! You can pre-order it online here. Amazon’s full list of picks of the month for ages 6 to 8 can be found here.