The books Southern indie booksellers are recommending to readers everywhere!
Alma y cómo obtuvo su nombre trata sobre una niña a la que no le gusta lo largo que es su nombre, y su padre que le cuenta la historia de quién viene. Una gran historia del legado que cada niño lleva consigo y la historia que solo ellos pueden contar sobre sus propias vidas.
Alma y cómo obtuvo su nombre por Juana Martinez-Neal, (List Price: $8.99, Candlewick, 9781536220438, septiembre 2023)
Reseña escrita por Jessica Nock, Main Street Books en Davidson, North Carolina
This could just as easily be called "Empanadas from Everyone" — doesn’t every culture have some form of dumpling or meat (or meatless) pastry? Hubs once had a coworker describe what I would call potstickers as "Chinese ravioli", and frankly, they’re not wrong! I love how the community came together to share the secrets of their cultures’ empanadas, samosas, patties, pierogies, & jiaozi. Food shared builds love and community.
Empanadas for Everyone by Jackie Azúa Kramer, (List Price: $18.99, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 9781665914581, August 2023)
Reviewed by Lisa Yee Swope, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Alma and How She Got Her Name is about a little girl who doesn’t like how long her name is, and her father who tells her the story of who she comes from. A great story of the legacy that each child carries with them and the story that only they can tell about their own lives. Highly recommend!
Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal, (List Price: $8.99, Candlewick, 9781536220438, September 2023)
Reviewed by Jessica Nock, Main Street Books in Davidson, North Carolina
This picture book is so sweet. It would make the perfect book for a child whose family is going through same changes (in this case, making room for a grandfather coming to live with them). I love the message that it is ok to feel a sense of loss for the parts of life that will be different, but that making space for those we love sometimes requires us to give up things we loved in the past and replace them with things we can learn to like even more. Both the story and the pictures are filled with heart!
There’s Always Room for One More by Robyn McGrath, (List Price: $18.99, Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, 9781665925372, August 2023)
Reviewed by Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
A beautiful and light-hearted story for every kind of fanciful and imaginative kid! Jessica Love’s illustrations are absolutely gorgeous and so easily portray Julian’s wish to be a magical creature. This is a delightfully simple story that explores gender expression and individuality. Careful details also help communicate Julian’s fear of revealing his identity to his Abuela, an important representation that kids need for all kinds of situations.
Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love, (List Price: $17.99, Candlewick, 9780763690458, April 2018)
Reviewed by Johanna Albrecht, McIntyre’s Books in Pittsboro, North Carolina
Super cute picture book for the holidays that is laugh-out-loud funny for kids and their grown-ups. Written in the style of a graphic novel, younger kids will gravitate towards this format that makes them feel like they’re reading a big kid book. Behind all the humor, this book has a great message of appearances aren’t everything.
Elves Are the Worst! by Alex Willan, (List Price: 18.99, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 9781665921794, September 2023)
Reviewed by Jamie Southern, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
I picked up this book based purely on the gorgeous cover. The lyrical story told by the mother to the child at bedtime is just so sweet, and each page is full of beautiful detail. I really loved how the differences between the two dragons are celebrated, but their similarities are also highlighted. An enriching celebration of multicultural identity.
The Truth About Dragons by Julie Leung, (List Price: 18.99, Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), 9781250820587, August 2023)
Reviewed by Chelsea Stringfield, Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee
Remy Lai continues to be one of the best and most thoughtful creators working in children’s literature today. In her graphic novel Ghost Book, Lai gives us the loveable characters of July Chen who can see ghosts all around her and William, a boy whose not quite dead. Filled with vibrant images, mythology, and heart – Ghost Book proves once again that no one can weave together fun and deep emotion like Remy Lai!
Ghost Book by Remy Lai, (List Price: 14.99, Henry Holt and Co. BYR Paperbacks, 9781250810434, August 2023)
Reviewed by Caleb Masters, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Fortunately, one of the adorable squirrels was learning to read and write. Their futures were bright, and cookies were just a few words away. If only they could think their way into the fortune cookie writer’s block. Darling and silly, this graphic novel is perfect for beginning readers of all ages.
One Smart Cookie by Mika Song, (List Price: 12.99, Random House Graphic, 9780593479759, August 2023)
Reviewed by Jilleen Moore, Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi
Absolutely astoundingly gorgeous illustrations in this charming picture book that celebrates the natural world. A Kangaroo Rat meets a Kangaroo, a Spider Monkey greets a monkey; each of these mini poems and paintings celebrates the vibrancy and diversity of life on our planet and is a perfect gift for kids obsessed with animals.
You Stole My Name by Dennis Mcgregor, (List Price: 18.99, Blue Star Press, 9781941325988, August 2023)
Reviewed by Caleb Masters, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Artwork was good but a bit simplistic. I enjoyed following Mia’s story as she tries to reconnect with her father and learn to balance her Hebrew and Native American heritages. Anyone dealing with divorced parents and different cultural backgrounds will enjoy this book.
Two Tribes by Emily Bowen Cohen, (List Price: 15.99, Heartdrum, 9780062983589, August 2023)
Reviewed by Krista Roach, E. Shaver Bookseller in Savannah, Georgia
An August 2023 Read This Next! Book
The Lost Library by Rebecca Stead and Wendy Mass is a middle grade mystery that celebrates the power of a good book. Evan has grown up in a town without a library and none of the adults talk about the fire that destroyed such a beloved place. A librarian, a cat, a few ghosts, and a handful of mice put in motion an unraveling of a collective puzzle that may make you gasp! Highly recommend.
The Lost Library by Rebecca Stead, (List Price: 17.99, Feiwel & Friends, 9781250838810, August 2023)
Reviewed by Rachel Watkins, Avid Bookshop in Athens, Georgia
I literally jumped up and down when we received this! Bruce’s friends don’t know why he doesn’t want to celebrate Halloween. But they get him to give out candy and have fun in only the way that Grumpy Bears can have. The Bruce books are a favorite. This time for a grumpy, hilarious Halloween picture book that will keep you in stitches. Bruce’s friends don’t know why he doesn’t want to celebrate Halloween. But they get him to give out candy and have fun in only the way that Grumpy Bears can have. The Bruce books are a favorite
Bruce and the Legend of Soggy Hollow by Ryan T. Higgins, (List Price: 18.99, Disney Hyperion, 9781368059589, July 2023)
Reviewed by Suzanne Lucey, Page 158 Books in Wake Forest, North Carolina
The Best Bad Day Ever is a precious children’s book about how even on the worst days, things can turn around for the better. For Wolfie, everything is going wrong today: his cookies are short on chocolate chips, his toothpaste tingles his tongue too much, the sky is "full" of clouds, and even his sidekick Pepito is grumpy. No one understands Wolfie, except for a new friend named Penguin who may just turn the day around. Between the tender message and the adorable yet hysterical illustrations, this is truly the definition of a warm and fuzzy read.
The Best Bad Day Ever by Marianna Coppo, (List Price: $18.99, Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 9780711283343, July 2023)
Reviewed by Grace Sullivan, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia
A July 2023 Read This Next! Book
Beautiful music is in the ear of the beholder and in this stunning picture book from the author/illustrator of LaLa’s words, that ear is a chorus of cats! Both a celebration of music and of new musicians, this one is sure to become a storytime favorite.
When Rubin Plays by Gracey Zhang, (List Price: $18.99, Orchard Books, 9781338648263, July 2023)
Reviewed by Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, North Carolina