By: Sydney Spangler
Hello, Coastal Bend readers! We've put together a list of books that are new and upcoming this year. Each book is great for young readers and would be a wonderful addition to any reading collection.
"My Little Green Umbrella" by Sandy Little
Currently available in stores.
This story follows the adventures of a green umbrella that has the powers to transform with imagination.
When owned by a little girl, the umbrella becomes a great protector to a princess and a ship for a captain looking for treasure. Years later, when the umbrella is found by a young boy, it transforms into a sword to fight back mighty armies and turns into a guardian against monsters.
What I like most about "My Little Green Umbrella" is that it shows us both the power of imagination and that we'll continue to remember our childhoods even after we grow up.
This is a great picture book for readers of all ages.
"Peacock Is a Little Shy" by Xiaoyu Jin
Will be released on May 17, 2022.
Peacock is too shy to show his tail. But one day he goes into the forest and by helping others, he learns to love his feathers.
What I like most about "Peacock is a Little Shy" is Peacock's transformation. He begins the story afraid that his tail won't live up to his family's expectations and won't be beautiful. But after using his tail to help his friends, Peacock gains confidence. He begins to see the beauty in his feather through the acts of kindness he able to perform thanks to his tail.
The illustrations by Leying Li are gorgeous, full of lush detail, and the characterizations are adorable. I loved seeing Tortoise and his cute, little sunglasses!
This is an encouraging read for children ages 4 and up.
"Riley Reynolds Crushes Costume Day" by Jay Albee
Will be released on August 1, 2022.
Riley Reynolds is a nonbinary fourth grader and this week, Riley's biggest challenge is Dress Like Your Favorite Character Day.
Over the course of seven chapters, Riley and their friends decide on what costumes they'd like to wear, get crafty, casually confront binary gender roles, and finally reveal their finished costumes at the end of the week!
This latest installment to the Riley Reynolds series is a great introduction to LGBTQ+ themes. It's a wonderful chapter book for readers in early grades. Additionally, the book includes writing prompts and discussion questions to engage your little reader at the end of the story.
"Be a Bridge" by Irene Latham and Charles Waters
Will be released on August 8, 2022.
This picture book celebrates and encourages inclusivity, respect, and connection.
Children throughout the book are depicted to build bridges between them and their peers. One student stands up for their classmate. Another invites a kid they don't know as well to a play. The children show others respect and build bridges by being open-minded.
Nabila Adani's illustrations are full of vibrant color and animated details that serve to show the spectrum of people who reside in a community. There is representation of multiple cultures and bodies. Its warm, bright images create a welcoming aura.
At the end of the book, readers can find bridge builder activities and recommendations on more books that encourage connections. This is a delightful read and perfect for readers ages 4-9.
"Five Hiding Ostriches" by Barbara Barbieri McGrath
Will be released on August 9, 2022.
Five ostriches run, stomp, and hide from a sneaky lion... But a surprise ending reveals that the lion is only trying to play hide-and-seek!
This picture book is perfect to read aloud. The story's illustrated pacing and text rhythm builds suspense for the reader as the ostriches hide. Then, with the power of onomatopoeia, we are jolted with excitement when the lion announces, "You birds won hide-and-seek."
The back of the book includes five fun facts about ostriches and an idea for a game that will inspire your little readers to get moving, too. This is a great read for kids ages 3-7.