Christine Emery’s The Black Cloud Blues

Written by Christine A. Emery and illustrated by Kellie R. Emery, The Black Cloud Blues does the important work of acknowledging childhood depression. In doing so it makes a valuable contribution to children’s literature. Kellie Emery’s deliberate illustrations provide access to the unnamed narrator’s feelings as he takes readers on […]

Terry Lynn Johnson’s Lost!

Terry Lynn Johnson’s Lost! is the first book in the Survivor Diaries series. Two recently introduced children vacationing with their families at a resort in Costa Rica get lost in the rainforest. They survive through will, wit, and a little luck. In the first chapter, one of the two protagonists, […]

Elise Gravel’s You Can Be

Elise Gravel’s board book, You Can Be, subtly rejects gender stereotypes while introducing very young readers to a range of characteristics through images of diverse children embodying them. Steely-blue and bright-red images leap off the glossy-white background of each page. The cover features the back of a young child with […]

Bai Phi’s A Different Pond

In A Different Pond, author, Bao Phi, and illustrator, Thi Bui, both Vietnamese Americans, create a necessary and impactful story that is both a tribute to their working-class new immigrant childhoods and a valuable #OwnVoices contribution to children’s literature. The story is anchored in a purposeful fishing trip a father […]

Paul Czajak’s The Book Tree

Written by Paul Czajak and illustrated by Rashin Kheiriyeh, The Book Tree reads like a love letter to books in all their sensual glory. Czajak lingers on descriptions of the scent and sound of books as his story of a tyrant’s failed attempt to destroy all books, and a boy’s […]

Anna Humphrey’s Megabat

In Anna Humphrey’s Megabat, a boy named Daniel leaves his friends, school, and home behind when his family moves to a new city. He is unenthusiastic about his creaky, kind of creepy, new house and resolutely refuses to try to make friends; that is, until he is jolted out of […]