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.
It’s Black History Month, and it’s also the fiftieth year of the landmark civil rights case “Loving Vs. Virginia,” which legalized the right for interracial marriages. In honor of that, a picture book documenting that important case has recently been published, Loving Vs. Virginia, written by Patricia Hruby Powell and illustrated by Shadra Strickland. Time For Kids interviewed Shadra about her artistic process in illustrating this book. Shadra discusses her inspiration, research process, and why she thinks this story is important and relevant in the modern world. Shadra told the Time interviewer, “It is very important for young people to read books like these where we see regular people who, in some cases, have very little power to stand up for themselves and fight a greater system.” To read the full interview, check it out on Time For Kids’ site here. You can purchase Loving Vs. Virginia online here.
This Saturday will be the 25th Annual African American Children’s Book Fair in Philadelphia. The African American Children’s Book Project is a non-profit formed to promote children’s literature written by and/or about African Americans. Every year they hold a book fair in Philadelphia, which is one of the largest events for African American children’s literature in the country. This year, illustrators Liz Zunon (The Legendary Miss Lena Horne) and Shadra Strickland (Loving Vs. Virginia) will be among the authors and illustrators participating in the event. They will be signing books from 1 to 4 pm. If you’re in the area, make sure to stop by and get a book signed! You can find out more details about the event here.
The School Library Journal wrote a starred review of upcoming picture book, Noah Webster’s Fighting Words, written by Tracy Nelson Maurer and illustrated by Mircea Catusanu. Noah Webster’s Fighting Words is a humorous biography of American icon Noah Webster, who compiled the first dictionary of English as spoken in America. The SLJ praised the “wonderfully clever and humorous depiction of Noah Webster,” and call the picture book, “engaging and amusing.” They praised Mircea’s illustrations as being an integral part of the book’s charm, writing, “The second element that makes the title so delightful is the collaged illustrations, which incorporate archival images and excerpts from primary documents in a visually appealing, lighthearted way.” Noah Webster’s Fighting Words comes out in April of 2017. You can pre-order it online here.
Angie Karcher, a children’s author and blogger, has nominated her top ten rhyming children’s books for 2016, and two books illustrated by our artists made the cut. Pirasaurs!, written by Josh Funk and illustrated by Michael Slack, tells in rhyme the story of a tiny piratical dinosaur. Mary Had a Little Glam, written by Tammy Sauer and illustrated by Vanessa B Newton, takes the story and rhyme scheme of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and retells it as a story of a fashionable little girl and her attempts to glamorize her classmates. Both have been praised for their fun story and playful rhymes as well as their bright, energetic illustrations. The final award announcements will be streaming on KidLitTV February 12th at 8 pm ET. Make sure to check it out! The full list of rhyming winners can be found on Angie Karcher’s blog here. Pirasaurs! can be purchased here and Mary Had a Little Glam here.
Huffington Post recently released a list of picture books and middle grade books that are great for helping children understand and empathize with the difficult issue of refugees. Included on this list is the picture book Lost and Found Cat, written by Doug Kuntz and Amy Shrodes and illustrated by Sue Cornelison. This touching story, based on real events, tells the story of an Iraqi refugee family who loses their beloved family cat, Kunkush, and the worldwide effort to reunite the cat and family. The full list of recommended books can be found here. Lost and Found Cat was released only yesterday and is now available for purchase! You can buy it online here.