Butler Bookshelf

This week on the Butler Bookshelf we are featuring recent and coming soon titles! It’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month so we are featuring some books authored by members of the AAPI community. Winnie Zeng Unleashes a Legend by Kaite Zhao is an epic fantasy novel based on Chinese mythology, about family, school, and embracing the power within you.

Check it out along with the other titles below!

Bright
Written by Jessica Jung
Published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Available Now!

Foul Lady Fortune
Written by Chloe Gong
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Available September 27th!

Her Rebel Highness
Written by Diana Ma
Published by Amulet Books
Available Now!

The Last Mapmaker
Written by Christina Soontornvat
Published by Candlewick Press
Available Now!

Maizy Chen’s Last Chance
Written by Lisa Yee
Published by Random House Children’s Books
Available Now!

Winnie Zeng: Unleashes a Legend
Written by Katie Zhoa
Published by Random House Children’s Books
Available Now!

Do Monsters Dream of Were-Sheep: A Review of Let the Monster Out

Bones is the new boy in town. With a chip on his shoulder, a hair-trigger, and a fastball that could knock you over, he’s making waves on the local baseball team. But then the adults in the sleepy small town of Langille start to act strangely. Then Bones and his new teammate Kyle save a mysterious man with a conspiracy theory-filled notebook from drowning. The duo decides it’s up to them and a group of new friends to investigate the strange happenings and free Langille from the mysterious and terrifying grip of the mega-corporation Fluxcorp. The team consists of Bones; Kyle, the neuro-atypical smart kid; Marcus, the most popular boy in town, part of the only black family besides Bones’ family, and youngest in a family of 6; and finally, Albert, the nervous one. The text alternates the point of view between primary narrators Bones and Kyle as they learn how to be each other’s best friend and how to grow out of fear. Author Chad Lucas takes on several difficult topics, like Bones’ abusive father and Kyle’s autism. Lucas presents them in an appropriate way for children without overly sanitizing. Kyle’s autism is handled particularly well, with the help of sensitivity readers, Lucas writes the condition as complex, depicting it as neutral, not good or bad.

A funny, spooky, and never subtle entry in the “kids save a small town” genre, with a few surprises along the way.

Butler Bookshelf

This week on the Butler Bookshelf we are featuring recent and coming soon titles! Enter the magical world of the Salazars, firebreathing chipmunks, grumpy unicorns, and chupacabras need rescuing! This fun and funny family adventure by Zoraida Cordova pits the Salazar family versus terrible monster hunters who will stop at nothing to destroy magic.

Check it out along with the other titles below!

At the Pond
Written by David Elliot and Illustrated by Amy Schimler-Safford
Published by Candlewick Press
Available May 24th!

City of Magic
Written by Avi
Published by Scholastic Press
Available June 28th!

Girls Who Green the World: Thirty-Four Rebel Women Out to Save Our Planet
Written by Diana Kapp and Illustrated by Ana Jaren
Published by Delacorte Press
Available Now!

Mako & Tiger: Two Not-So-Friendly Sharks
Written by Scott Rothman and Illustrated by Mika Song
Published by Random House Studio
Available Now!

Meet Me in Mumbai
Written by Sabina Khan
Published by Push
Available August 2nd!

Valentina Salazar is Not a Monster Hunter
Written by Zoraida Cordova
Published by Scholastic Press
Available June 28th!

Butler Bookshelf

This week on the Butler Bookshelf we are featuring recent and coming soon titles! We are looking at some non-fiction books on how plants and animals shape the world! Built by Animals written by Christiane Dorion and illustrated by Yeji Yun, teaches kids about how humans are inspired in design, industry, and engineering by animals!

Check it out along with the other titles below!

Billy Loves Birds: A Fact-Filled Nature Adventure Bursting with Birds!
Written by Jess French and Illustrated by Duncan Beedie
Published by Happy Yak
Available Now!

Built by Animals: Meet the Creatures who Inspire Our Homes and Cities
Written by Christiane Dorion and Illustrated by Yeji Yun
Published by Wide Eyed Editions
Available today!

Celia Planted a Garden: The Story of Celia Thaxter and Her Island Garden
Written by Phyllis Root & Gary D. Schmidt and Illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Published by Candlewick Press
Available May 17!

A Rose Named Peace: How Francis Meilland Created a Flower of Hope for a World at War
Written by Barbara Carroll Roberts and Illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
Published by Candlewick Press
Available May 17!

Super Gross: Going Buggy!
Written by Patty Micheals and Illustrated by Alison Hawkins
Published by Simon Spotlight
Available today!

A World Full of Nature Stories: 50 Folk Tales and Legends
Written by Angela McAllister and Illustrated by Hannah Bess Ross
Published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
Available today!

Growing a Reader: Garden Pictures Books for Spring 2022

Spring has sprung! Or I’m sure it will any time now. And with it comes the chance to get outside (finally!) and enjoy nature, feel the sunshine, and play in the garden. This spring the publishing world has supplied us with a bumper crop of titles to inspire gardeners of all ages. With picture books and board books, fiction and nonfiction, there is something to inspire all of us to grab our garden tools and start digging. Happy reading (and planting)!

BOARD BOOKS:

My Garden: My World in 100 Words
Happy Yak, illustrated by Marijke Buurlage
Quarto
Published April 12, 2022
Ages Birth to 3

This bright and bouncy vocab primer explores the seasons and fun to be had in nature with simple word to illustration connections. Broken into easy to interpret categories, each spread includes object, action, and emotion words, and with a nod to social emotional learning, color-coded dots indicate actions and emotions.

PICTURE BOOKS:

Behold Our Magical Garden: Poems Fresh from the School Garden
Allen Wolf, illustrated by Daniel Duncan
Candlewick
Published March 8, 2022
Ages 8-12

Part poetry collection, part gardening guide, and all fun. Wolf’s poetry and thoughtful end notes weave English language arts lessons, with STEM topics in verses full of curiosity, wonder, and interesting biology facts. The diverse class groups and detailed digital drawings are an engaging combination sure to inspire garden clubs to start planning.

The Fairy Garden
Georgia Buckthorn, illustrated by Isabella Mazzanti
Quarto
Published April 5, 2022
Ages 4-7

Mimi dreams of a fairy garden and works diligently to plant, prune, and tidy her garden until it’s perfect—for people, not fairies. With a little encouragement from its former inhabitants, she lets go and grows a beautiful and wild garden for the fairies to thrive. Lovely, soft-focused, colored pencil illustrations evoke a magical setting for dreaming of fairy-folk. Illustrated endnotes include rules for creating a fairy-friendly garden, adorable housing included.

NONFICTION PICTURE BOOKS:

Little Homesteader: A Spring Treasury of Recipes, Crafts, and Wisdom
Angela Ferraro-Fanning, illustrated by AnneliesDraws
Quarto
Published March 22, 2022
Ages 6-8

A fun and fact-filled celebration of spring’s natural wonders. Full of wholesome, hands-on ways to enjoy the foods, plants, and holidays that make spring so lovely, including crafts, recipes, and gardening tips. Vibrant colored pencil illustrations of veggies, bugs, and animals also include two rosy-cheeked children enjoying all the fun.

The Gardener of Alcatraz: A True Story
Emma Bland Smith, illustrated by Jenn Ely
Charlesbridge
Published April 5, 2022
Ages 7-10

Elliott Michener, sent to Alcatraz as a convicted counterfeiter, changed both his life and the island prison when he discovered a passion for gardening. Without white-washing Michener’s crimes or intentions, Bland Smith treats his story with empathy and his transformation from criminal to landscaper with dignity. Ely’s thoughtful use of color swings from dreary to cheerful (and back) in attentive accordance to the mood of the text. Back matter includes a dual timeline for Alcatraz Island and Michener, extensive notes on both, and a bibliography and author’s note.

Planting a Garden in Room 6: From Seeds to Salad
Caroline Arnold
Charlesbridge
Published March 15, 2022
Ages 3-7

With a little help from their teacher, the students in room 6 will learn how to plant and tend a garden. Step-by-step explanations and photos cover everything from seed sprouting to planting to harvesting and taste-testing. A tool guide, Q&A, vocabulary terms, and both digital and hard copy resources complement the extremely detailed text. Planting a Garden in Room 6 is the third book in the collaborative series between Arnold and kindergarten teacher, Jennifer Best.


Which titles would you add to this list?

Butler Bookshelf

This week on the Butler Bookshelf we are featuring recent and coming soon titles! With spring well underway, and Earthday just behind us, we are featuring We Have A Dream written by Dr. Mya-Rose Craig and illustrated by Sabrena Khadija. Profiling 30 young Indigenous people and people of color on how they, as members of groups most affected by climate change, fight for the future of the planet.

Check it out along with the other titles below!

All From a Walnut
Written by Ammi-Joan Paquette and Illustrated by Felicita Sala
Published by Abrams Books For Young Readers
Available Now!

The Flower Garden
Written and Illustrated by Renée Kurilla
Published by Amulet Books
Available Now!

Osmo Unknown and the Eightpenny Woods
Written by Catherynne M. Valente
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Available Today!

The Rainbow Hunters
Written by Andrea Farotto and Illustrated by Martina Tonello
Published by Milky Way Picture Books
Available Now!

Spring Parade
Written by Camelia Kay and Illustrated by Allyn Howard
Published by Cameron Kids
Available Now!

We Have a Dream: Meet 30 Young Indigenous People and People of Color Protecting the Planet
Written by Dr. Mya-Rose Craig and Illustrated by Sabrena Khadija
Published by Magic Cat Publishing
Available Now!

Butler Bookshelf

This week on the Butler Bookshelf we are featuring recent and coming soon titles! The Waiting Place by Dina Nayeri is a look at the lives of 10 refugee children from Afghanistan and Iran. Check it out along with the other titles below!

Chasing Rainbows
Written and Illustrated by Gabby Grant
Published by Tate Publishing
Available today!

Karthik Delivers
Written by Sheela Chari
Published by Amulet Books
Available now!

My Sister’s Big Fat Indian Wedding
Written by Sajni Patel
Published by Amulet Books
Available now!

Twas the Night Before Pride
Written by Joanna McClintick and Illustrated by Juana Medina
Published by Candlewick
Available May 3rd!

The Waiting Place: When Home is Lost and a New One Not Yet Found
Written by Dina Nayeri and Photography by Anna Bosch Miralpeix
Published by Candlewick
Available May 3rd!

Wildseed Witch
Written by Marti Dumas
Published by Amulet Books
Available May 10th!

Butler Bookshelf

This week’s Butler Bookshelf features recently released and coming soon titles! Abdul’s Story is a colorful story about how Abdul, with a little help from his teacher, learns that it’s okay to make mistakes when writing stories. Written by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, Illustrated by Tiffany Rose. Check it out along with the other titles below!

Abdul”s Story
Written by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow and Illustrated by Tiffany Rose
Published by Salaam Reads
Available today!

Always Jane
Written by Jenn Bennett
Published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Available today!

A Spring Treasury of Recipes, Crafts, and Wisdom
Written by Angela Ferraro-Fanning and Illustrated by Anneliesdraws
Published by Ivy Kids
Available now!

Professor Figgy’s Professor Figgy’s Weather & Climate Science Lab for Kids
Written by Jim Noonan
Published by Quarry Books
Available April 12th

So This Is Ever After
Written by F.T. Lukens
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Available today!

Trigger
Written by N. Griffin
Published by Atheneum
Available today!

From Boring Summer Vacation to Surprise Quinceañera: A Review of Miss Quinces

Miss Quinces
Kat Fajardo
Scholastic
May 3, 2022
Ages 8 to 12

This coming of age graphic novel follows Suyapa Gutierrez, a young Latin-American girl who reluctantly journeys to Honduras for her summer vacation, only to receive an unwelcome surprise. Learning that she has to draw a comic over the summer break, Suyapa believes that her trip to Honduras will lead to boredom with no cell service or friends. However, during her stay in Honduras, Suyapa’s mom surprises her by planning a quinceañera. Reluctantly, Suyapa begins to enjoy the planning of the party and her Latina heritage. Blindsided by a close death in the family, but determined to honor the family, Suyapa perseveres and ultimately does have fun participating in the quinceañera. In the end, she completes her travelogue comic, giving insights into her trip and the importance of her cultural heritage.

The novel contains text that is mainly in English with some Spanish words throughout, but they can be interpreted easily in the contents of the English dialogue. As Suyapa’s family in Honduras only speaks Spanish, the speech bubbles reflect that language when the text is a different color. As speaking Spanish is important to Suyapa’s family and quinceañera traditions, this distinction is important as Suyapa begins the novel refusing to speak it but gradually ends up only speaking Spanish. The plot is fast-paced as Suyapa’s Honduras trip does happen within a month of time, which influences the fast development of the characters, especially the main character. Suyapa is portrayed as journeying through girlhood to womanhood as she transitions from disinterested in her family and Latin American roots to becoming culturally appreciative. The novel is efficient in its progression of actions within panels and its simplistic illustrations, moving from a darker scheme to vibrant colors engaging readers in the cultural heritage of Honduras and the traditions of the quinceañera. Miss Quinces will appeal to young readers looking for a fast-paced novel and those who struggle with the weirdness of identity and the cultural importance of traditions.

It’s the End of the World as We Know it

It’s the End of the World and I’m in My Bathing Suit
Justin A. Reynolds
Scholastic Press 
April 5th, 2022
Grades 4 to 6
In Justin Reynolds’ love letter to the stories of his childhood, we follow Eddie. This charming and quick-witted 12-year-old black boy has been grounded on the most important day of the year, Beach Bash. In vain, he sweet talks his stepdad into vouching for him, but Eddie made a deal with his mom. If he takes care of himself, he can do what he wants over the summer. So, Eddie is stuck doing the laundry he hasn’t done in a month and a half, wearing the only clean clothes he has left, his bathing suit. Reynolds’ writing, through the delightful narration of Eddie, twists and turns through memories, tangents, side notes, and assurances that it’s better, in Eddie’s words, “to take your time, to take the scenic route, to take chances.” This style keeps the story feeling fast-paced, fun, and light, making even the task of doing the laundry entertaining. Fortunately, Reynolds doesn’t push that statement too far as Eddie’s house has a blackout, making it impossible to finish his chores. Instead, Eddie ventures out into the quiet suburban neighborhood where he meets up with his friends: Xavier; the wet blanket who was in the middle of giving himself a haircut when the power cut out; Sonia, Eddie’s best friend and the smart one; Trey, the star athlete; and Sage, the precocious younger sister of Trey. Getting into the type of shenanigans 12-year-olds dream about when they are free of parent supervision—candy mountain included. But it’s not all fun and games. The streetlights kick on, the sun sets, but no one in the entire neighborhood returns home. The group of 5 friends must overcome challenges and learn a little about themselves. This novel revels in its dialog, narration, and character interaction. This focus affects the plot as the story barely begins by its last page and ends on a cliffhanger with the group driving off to see what happened at Beach Bash.

A fun, fast-paced, and character-focused novel that is more like the first act than the complete story.