Here we round up new and forthcoming children’s titles, including a middle grade novel about identity, the story of a romance blossoming between friends, a mythic high fantasy novel, and a close up on honeybees.
King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender. Scholastic Press, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-338-12933-5. Callender (Hurricane Child) returns to middle grade in this powerful tale of grief, intersectional identity, and love set in Louisiana. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $19.99; ISBN 978-0-06-293704-9. Once childhood friends, deeply shy Jamie Goldberg, who is Jewish and white, and stability-loving Maya Rehman, who is Pakistani-American and Muslim, reconnect when pressured into working on the campaign of a progressive Senate hopeful.
The Queen’s Assassin by Melissa de la Cruz. Putnam, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-525-51591-3. The first volume in this planned duology is a mythology-rich romance alongside an action-packed quest for magical scrolls.
Honeybee: The Busy Life of APIs Mellifera by Candace Fleming, illus. by Eric Rohmann. Holiday House/Porter, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-8234-4285-0. The brief but complex life of a worker honeybee is explored with depth in this richly detailed picture book. The book earned a starred review from PW.
The Secret Deep by Lindsay Galvin. Chicken House, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-338-56739-7. After their single mother dies from cancer, orphaned sisters Aster, 13, and Poppy, 11, who are multiracial (their mother was black and Korean; their father was white), are sent from England to live with their aunt Iona, a noted oncologist now living in New Zealand.
Give Us the Vote!: Over Two Hundred Years of Fighting for the Ballot by Susan Goldman Rubin. Holiday House, $19.99; ISBN 978-0-8234-3957-7. Rubin (Coco Chanel) presents a detailed history of voting in America and the numerous battles to garner this right for people other than white, male property owners.
No More Naps!: A Story for When You’re Wide-Awake and Definitely Not Tired by Chris Grabenstein, illus. by Leo Espinosa. Random House, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5247-7128-7. The protagonist of this picture book learns that a nap is a terrible thing to waste.
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson. Delacorte, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-9848-9636-0. Jackson caps her suspenseful YA mystery novel with a few twists that readers likely won’t see coming.
Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen: The Body Under the Piano by Marthe Jocelyn, illus. by Isabelle Follath. Tundra, $15.99; ISBN 978-0-7352-6546-2. Child sleuths investigate a poisoning in this middle grade whodunit based on Agatha Christie’s childhood.
Dictionary for a Better World: Poems, Quotes, and Anecdotes from A to Z by Irene Latham and Charles Waters, illus. by Mehrdokht Amini. Carolrhoda, $19.99; ISBN 978-1-5415-5775-8. Each term in this unconventional middle grade dictionary receives a four-part exploration alongside Amini’s eclectically illustrated spreads: a poem, an inspirational quote, a first-person anecdote from the authors, and suggested “Try It!” actions. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Snapdragon by Kat Leyh. First Second, $21.99; ISBN 978-1-250-17111-5. This intersectional, layered YA graphic novel offers joyful and affirming depictions of social outsiders and comfortably complicated families.
Ohana Means Family by Ilima Loomis, illus. by Kenard Pak. Holiday House/Porter, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-8234-4326-0. This “The House That Jack Built”–style poem explores the importance of poi, the Hawaiian staple that, an author’s note reports, “no celebratory lu’au is complete without.”
Chirp by Kate Messner. Bloomsbury, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-5476-0281-0. When Mia’s grandma has a mild stroke, the middle schooler’s family moves from Boston to Burlington, Vt., to help her grandmother sell her cricket farm. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet by Zanib Mian, illus. by Nasaya Mafaridik. Putnam, $13.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-593-10921-2. Mian’s illustrated middle grade debut follows Omar as he navigates school, his Muslim faith at home, and prejudice in an indomitable tone.
Astronauts: Women on the Final Frontier by Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks. First Second, $19.99 (176p) ISBN 978-1-62672-877-6. This graphic novel examines the hurdles, triumphs, politics, and prejudices surrounding the first women astronauts. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Here in the Real World by Sara Pennypacker. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-06-269895-7. When Ware’s grandmother falls and breaks her hip, the idle summer that the relentlessly scheduled 11-and-a-half-year-old was looking forward to is canceled. The middle grade novel earned a starred review from PW.
Leave It to Abigail by Barb Rosenstock, illus. by Elizabeth Baddeley. Little, Brown, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-316-41571-2. This biographical picture book bills Abigail Adams as a woman who rose to every challenge.
Straw by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illus. by Scott Magoon. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-48474955-5. In this peppy companion to Spoon and Chopsticks, bendable paper Straw, who “has a great thirst for being first,” delights in boasting to his friends when he empties his glass well before they can complete their innate tasks. “Done!” he brags, as a funnel, sand timer, and eyedropper, still plugging along, look on chagrined.
Being Frog by April Pulley Sayre. Beach Lane, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-2881-2. Focused on frogs’ essential frog-ness rather than anthropomorphized interpretations of amphibian life, Sayre uses rich photographs and evocative language to explore how frogs might understand and experience their environments. The picture book novel earned a starred review from PW.
Brown Sugar Babe by Charlotte Watson Sherman, illus. by Akem. Boyds Mills, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-63592-138-0. When a brown-skinned child proclaims that their skin color is pink, their mother rejoins with a rhyming poem that celebrates the beauty of brown in myriad forms in this picture book.
Agent Lion by David Soman and Jacky Davis. HarperCollins, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-06-286917-3. Dressed in a trench coat and fedora, Agent Lion has a cheery disposition and an ardent love for jelly doughnuts—but as a detective, he’s got some shortcomings.
Parked by Danielle Svetcov. Dial, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-399-53903-9. Svetcov’s debut is alternately narrated by two introspective 12-year-olds living radically different lives near San Francisco.
Emily Writes: Emily Dickinson and Her Poetic Beginnings by Jane Yolen, illus. by Christine Davenier. Holt/Ottaviano, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-250-12808-9. Yolen and Davenier portray Dickinson as a small child in this imagined picture book account of a moment in the author’s childhood.
For more children’s and YA titles on sale throughout the month of February, check out PW’s full On-Sale Calendar.