The books Southern indie booksellers are recommending to readers everywhere!

Childrens

Sunday Pancakes by Maya Tatsukawa

The thing I love about a great picture book is the way anything can become magical. (Please note: this is not a book about literal magic pancakes. It’s a book about the magic of friendship while making pancakes together!) Cat, Rabbit, and Moonbear spend the day together making pancakes, eating pancakes, and taking a post-pancakes nap. The simplicity of their shared day reminds me of the power of sharing a special tradition with friends, even one as simple as Sunday pancakes.

Sunday Pancakes by Maya Tatsukawa, (List Price: $17.99, Dial Books, 9780593406632, May 2022)

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

Golden Girl by Reem Faruqi

I loved this new middle grade coming of age story told in verse. Faruqi is able to capture so much about Aafiyah’s life and what it means to be a preteen in America. She uses careful precision and economy of words to tell us about the Qamar family, their privilege and love for each other, their heritage and sorrows. I love a novel in verse for the author’s ability to express a depth of feeling that is not possible in prose novels. I think this is the perfect form to tell this story and think kids will be effected by the nuance of the writing.

Golden Girl by Reem Faruqi, (List Price: $16.99, HarperCollins, 9780063044753,  February 2022)

Reviewed by Jamie Southernr from Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Isla to Island by Alexis Castellanos

This wordless, gorgeous graphic novel is stunning in its delivery of a story that lives so close to my heart: exile and assimilation after leaving 1960s Cuba. On a personal level, this book’s very existence feels like a major triumph but I think it will reach any reader who picks it up. Hand Isla to Island to fans of Victoria Jamieson & Nidhi Chanani. I can’t wait for more work from Alexis Castellanos!

Isla to Island by Alexis Castellanos, (List Price: $12.99, Atheneum Books for Young Readers 9781534469235,  March 2022)

Reviewed by Cristina Russell from Books & Books in Coral Gables, FL

I Love You Because I Love You by Muon Thi Van

I Love You Because I Love You is a sublime psalm to the ways in which love manifests and changes us for the better. Love’s soft, expressive illustrations are a perfect match for the heartfelt text, displaying a beautiful variety of relationships in which love abounds. A perfect gift for baby showers, weddings, graduation, Valentine’s Day, or any day—because every day is a good day to say, “I love you.”

I Love You Because I Love You by Muon Thi Van, (List Price: $17.99, Katherine Tegen Books, 9780062894595, January 2022)

Reviewed by Hannah DeCamp, Avid Bookshop in Athens, Georgia

The Legend of the Christmas Witch by Dan Murphy

The Legend of the Christmas Witch tells the tale of Kris Kringle and his twin sister Kristtorn. Who is the Christmas witch? Is she evil and determined to destroy Christmas, or is she a friend of Christmas who is misunderstood and mistreated. Read the tale, and decide for yourself. The Legend of the Christmas Witch is a wonderfully imaginative tale about Christmas and Yuletide that will delight readers of every age.

The Legend of the Christmas Witch by Dan Murphy, (List Price: 18.99, Viking Books for Young Readers, 9780593350805, November 2021)

Reviewed by Gretchen Shuler, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina


Cat Dog by Mem Fox & Mark Teague

A delightfully silly picture book highlighting the differences between cats and dogs, Cat Dog follows a cat who is busy chasing a mouse around the house, while the dog…stays asleep all afternoon. A quirky, entertaining book for all cat and dog lovers.

Cat Dog by Mem Fox, (List Price: 17.99, Beach Lane Books, 9781416986881, October 2021)

Reviewed by Jen Minor, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes and Gordon C. James (Illus.)

A 2021 Southern Book Prize Winner!

I just cannot stop talking about this book. And I am dead-serious when I claim I am on a mission to get this in the hands of EVERYONE. I Am Every Good Thing is a book that encourages readers to celebrate everything that makes them the person they are. Kids learn they can be a leader, an explorer, the life of the party, and an undisputed champion. They also learn it’s okay to make mistakes, to get back up when they fall down, and to be a shoulder to cry on when needed. It is also story that celebrates joy – specifically Black joy. We need more stories that feature Black children being celebrated and feeling joyful. This affirming book will leave kids (and adults) feeling like they can achieve anything. . And the illustrations are gallery worthy creations on every single page. A beautiful message with stunning images that help all children remember how special and truly loved they are.

I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes and Gordon C. James (Illus.) (List Price: $17.99, Nancy Paulsen Books, 9780525518778, September 2020)

Reviewed by Ashley Bryan, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes and Gordon C. James (Illus.)

A 2021 Southern Book Prize Winner!

I AM EVERY GOOD THING written by Derrick Barnes with illustrations by Gordon C. James is a beautiful book that celebrates Black Boy Magic and it is spectacular. It is a celebration of all that Black boys are and can become. Highly recommend.

I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes and Gordon C. James (Illus.) (List Price: $17.99, Nancy Paulsen Books, 9780525518778, September 2020)

Reviewed by Rachel Watkins, Avid Bookshop in Athens, Georgia

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