The books Southern indie booksellers are recommending to readers everywhere!

Children

Pizza! by Greg Pizzoli

Okay, here is the non-fiction picture book I’ve been craving… I mean, it’s Pizza! A Slice of History! I can’t imagine any kid turning this one down for it’s subject matter alone, but topped with the vibrant illustrations of award-winning favorite, Greg Pizzoli? A real treat.

Pizza! by Greg Pizzoli, (List Price: $18.99, Viking Books for Young Readers, 9780425291078,  August 2022)

Reviewed by Cristina Russell, Books and Books in Coral Gables, Florida

The Mouse Who Carried a House on His Back by Jonathan Stutzman

Whimsical and sweet, The Mouse Who Carried a House on His Back is about acts of kindness and generosity. Beautifully illustrated, and written like a classic fable, this one will make a lovely read-aloud and gift. We should all be so lucky to come across the mouse with boots on his feet, a hat on his head, and a house on his back when we’re in need.

The Mouse Who Carried a House on His Back by Jonathan Stutzman, (List Price: 18.99, Candlewick, 9781536216790, August 2022)

Reviewed by Cristina Russell, Books & Books in Coral Gables, Florida

J.R. Silver Writes Her World by Melissa Dassori

Take a Mary Poppins-esque teacher who definitely knows more than she’s letting on, her inherited collection of seemingly magical New Yorker covers that are supposed to inspire creative writing projects, and a pair of best friends whose friendship is changing as they start middle school and you’ve got J.R. Silver Writes Her World. I loved all the little nods in here to “From the Mixed-Up Files” and the Met.

J.R. Silver Writes Her World by Melissa Dassori, (List Price: 6.99, Christy Ottaviano Books, 9780316331456, July 2022)

Reviewed by Melissa Taylor, E. Shaver, Bookseller in Savannah, Georgia

My Pet Feet by Josh Funk

An August 2022 Read This Next! Title

Giggle. Tee-hee. Josh Funk and Billy Yong have created a new treasure chock-full of wordsmith fun. Scrabblers, grab a pencil, puzzlers, get your puz-mug on, My Pet Feet is a feat of genius, from our pals Funk & Yong. No doubt, inspired by Letterman, a 1970s PBS educational show called The Electric Company, this book follows a child through the day as the world goes topsy-turvy, letter by letter. Very cool. I have missed this game. Illustrations are top notch. Lots of extra linguistic mysteries and visual treats to unravel. Bravo.

My Pet Feet by Josh Funk, Billy Yong (Illus.), (List Price: $18.99, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 9781534486003, August 2022)

Reviewed by Jilleen Moore, Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi

Mimi and the Cutie Catastrophe: A Graphix Chapters Book (Mimi #1) by Shauna J. Grant

Cuteness explosion! This precious kid’s graphic novel follows gap-toothed, pigtails-wearing Mimi and her magical toy dog Penelope. Mimi is all things cute, yellow rain boots, pink tutus, and bows and hearts and she loves it! Until it starts to get in the way, you can’t be cute and help, you can’t be cute and get messy when you play, and Mimi has had enough of the cute! Her solution? Become a superhero of course! Can Mimi prove everyone wrong and show that you can be cute and also be the best superhero in the universe?

Mimi and the Cutie Catastrophe: A Graphix Chapters Book (Mimi #1) by Shauna J. Grant, (List Price: $17.99, Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 9781338766660, July 2022)

Reviewed by Grace Sullivan, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

Everything in Its Place by Pauline David-Sax

This is a quiet and sweet story that’s perfect for readers of all ages; it truly feels like a picture book for any reader. It perfectly captures the way books can cure loneliness. I loved the combination of collage and colored-pencil illustrations.

Everything in Its Place by Pauline David-Sax, (List Price: $17.99, Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 9780593378823, July 2022)

Reviewed by Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

That’s Not My Name! by Anoosha Syed

I love this book!! And I’m so glad it exists. My first grader is having all kinds of big thoughts about her name and how it is spelled or pronounced and the same for all of her friends’ names, too. It’s a great conversation starter for discussing how fun and vibrant it is to embrace our differences and how important it is to ask for and give respect to each other, too..

That’s Not My Name! by Anoosha Syed, (List Price: $17.99, Viking Books for Young Readers, 9780593405178, July 2022)

Reviewed by Cristina Russell, Books & Books in Coral Gables, Florida

The Star That Always Stays by Anna Rose Johnson

One of the best things about reading is when you discover a book that brings back wonderful memories of childhood favorites. The Star That Always Stays made me remember two of my favorite books: Heidi and The Girl of the Limberlost. Norvia, the young heroine of The Star That Always Stays, and the young girls from these older stories long for love, acceptance and a true home. They face adversity and feel despair at times at a lack of control over their lives. Yet their strong faith, persistence in pursuing an education, and kind words from others around them sustain them and help them overcome the hardships in their lives. Norvia’s Ojibwe family and the pre-WWI setting provide a great background to this young woman growing up in 1914 Michigan. This is a new classic in the making and I hope we will have more stories about Norvia and her extended family.

The Star That Always Stays by Anna Rose Johnson, (List Price: $17.99, Holiday House, 9780823450404, July 2022)

Reviewed by Mary Patterson, The Little Bookshop in Midlothian, Virginia

Etta Invincible by Reese Eschmann

Kids turned superheroes. A lost dog. A magical train. A friendship that can save the city. Etta Invincible, told in scenes of written chapters and comic book pages, tells the story of Etta and Eleazar as they search for a lost dog and face the overwhelming sights and sounds, quirky characters, and magical foes all in their city of Chicago.

Etta Invincible by Reese Eschmann, (List Price: $17.99, Aladdin, 9781534468375, July 2022)

Reviewed by Cat Chapman, Oxford Exchange in Tampa, Florida

Berry Song by Michaela Goade

A July 2022 Read This Next! Title

This beautiful ode to family and land and the indelible connection between them is a delight to read. Rhythmic text and soft, bright illustrations bring the foraging Tlingit family’s love for each other and the land they inhabit to vivid life. Berry Song is full of love, gratitude, and reciprocity, and is an essential book for all ages.

Berry Song by Michaela Goade, (List Price: $18.99, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316494175, July 2022)

Reviewed by Hannah DeCamp from Avid Bookshop in Athens, GA

Brave Every Day by Trudy Ludwig

A great reminder that our hearts are bigger than our worries. As adults we sometimes forget how kids struggle with big feelings they don’t always understand. This book is great to start the conversation about emotional awareness and other social emotional skills that are important for kids to be successful in school and life.

Brave Every Day by Trudy Ludwig, (List Price: $18.99, Knopf Books for Young Readers, 9780593306376, June 2022)

Reviewed by Lupe Penn, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Free at Last by Sojourner Kincaid Rolle

Such an important message, beautifully told in Free at Last, A Juneteenth Poem. I hope this picture book depicting such an important part of our history is shared widely in homes and schools.

Free at Last by Sojourner Kincaid Rolle, (List Price: $17.99, Union Square Kids, 9781454943747, June 2022)

Reviewed by Jessica Nock from Main Street Books in Davidson, NC

Rosie and the Pre-Loved Dress by Leanne Hatch

I love the concept behind this adorable story. We’re big fans of recycling, reusing and giving new life to old things in our household, and I think anyone open to the idea would enjoy having this book in their at-home story time rotation.

Rosie and the Pre-Loved Dress by Leanne Hatch, (List Price: $17.99, G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, 9780593354483, June 2022)

Reviewed by Cristina Russell, Books & Books in Coral Gables, Florida

I Am a Baby by Bob Shea

A June 2022 Read This Next! Title!

If ever a book has gotten new parenthood spot on, its " I am a Baby." This one should be a required gift at every baby shower, because when there’s a new baby around, you’ve got to laugh at all the ways the world changes for everyone!

I Am a Baby by Bob Shea, (List Price: 17.99, Candlewick, 9781536218329, 9781536218329, June 2022)

Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, North Carolina

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