Here we round up new and forthcoming children’s titles including a picture book guide to ballet school, the story of South Korean deep-sea divers, a counting book that takes readers on a hike, a primer on the provenance of babies, and many more.
Welcome to Ballet School by Ashley Bouder, illus. by Julia Bereciartu. Frances Lincoln, $19.99; ISBN 978-0-71125-128-1. Bouder, a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, offers a kid-friendly introduction to ballet in this depiction of five children’s first experiences of class.
The Ocean Calls: A Haenyeo Mermaid Story by Tina Cho, illus. by Jess X. Snow. Kokila, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-984814-86-9. Grandma is part of an island community of haenyeo—South Korean deep-sea divers. She and her fellow divers, all older women, venture without oxygen deep into the ocean to gather abalone, sea urchins, and other treasures. This nonfiction picture book earned a starred review from PW.
Curious EnCOUNTers: 1 to 13 Forest Friends by Ben Clanton, illus. by Jessixa Bagley. Little Bigfoot, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-63217-274-7. Wondering “where the trail will lead,” a child embarks on a hike, commencing not a calm commune with nature but a enumerative romp through 13 outdoor scenes.
How Do You Make a Baby? by Anna Fiske. Gecko, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-77657-285-4. A frank, conversational narrative and playful illustrations convey information about conception, gestation, and birth in this picture book introduction to an often-taboo topic: babies’ provenance.
The Summer We Found the Baby by Amy Hest. Candlewick, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-7636-6007-9. Hest (Letters to Leo) interlaces three perspectives in this middle grade novel about two families living in a Long Island seaside town during WWII.
Butterflies Belong Here: A Story of One Idea, Thirty Kids, and a World of Butterflies by Deborah Hopkinson, illus. by Meilo So. Chronicle, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-4521-7680-2. Following an earlier, similarly structured picture book by this team (Follow the Moon Home) about a child gaining self-assurance while working on an environmental project, Hopkinson and So introduce a girl whose confidence grows as she organizes her class to start a milkweed garden for migrating monarchs.
Thanks to Frances Perkins: Fighter for Workers’ Rights by Deborah Hopkinson, illus. by Kristy Caldwell. Peachtree, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-68263-136-2. Opening with an interactive framing device, this picture book biography of the first female presidential cabinet member encourages young readers to appreciate the groundwork laid for modern American workers’ rights.
Mister Invincible: Local Hero by Pascal Jousselin, trans. from the French by David Bryon and Ivanka T. Hahnenberger. Magnetic, $15.99; ISBN 978-1-9423-6761-1. Mr. Invincible, grounded and irreverent of his status as a major superhero, exudes infectious charm in this retro-stylized middle grade graphic novel. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Beetle & the Hollowbones by Aliza Layne. Atheneum, $21.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-4154-5. Though Beetle’s formidable grandmother has long taught her goblin magic at home—all bones, potions, and ancient family practices—the green-eared girl yearns for and idolizes sorcery, which society deems the more powerful craft. The middle grade novel earned a starred review from PW.
I’m Not a Girl: A Transgender Story by Maddox Lyons and Jessica Verdi, illus. by Dana Simpson. Roaring Brook, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-374-31068-4. In this picture book memoir, Maddox Lyons learns to embrace his true self as he learns more about transgender identity. Lyons’s mother shares that he wrote this book to fill a gap “for and about kids like him.”
More Than Just a Pretty Face by Syed M. Masood. Little, Brown, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-3164-9235-5. Masood’s debut spotlights the ever-optimistic 19-year-old Danyal Jilani, a confident Pakistani American aspiring chef who has long harbored a crush on a classmate, and seizes an opportunity to spend more time with her when he is nominated for a competition.
Randy, the Badly Drawn Horse by T.L. McBeth. Holt/Godwin, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-250-18590-7. McBeth’s (Ducks!) meta-comedy picture book is filled with three-dimensional illustrations, and the grandiosity shared by the narrating artist and the resulting Randy of the title should inspire stirring, if silly, readalouds.
Paola Santiago and the River of Tears by Tehlor Kay Mejia. Disney/Riordan, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-368-04917-7. Twelve-year-old Paola Santiago has always been more comfortable with science and logic than with her mother’s ghost stories, especially due to her history of vivid nightmares. When her friend Emma vanishes near the banks of Silver Spring, Ariz.’s Gila River, she and friend Dante investigate, only to be sucked into a realm where monsters out of her mother’s stories stalk them. The middle grade novel earned a starred review from PW.
The Invisible Bear by Cécile Metzger. Tundra, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-7352-6687-2. In this picture book, an invisible bear helps his well-to-do neighbor, and their newfound friendship transforms each of them.
Birrarung Wilam: A Story from Aboriginal Australia by Aunty Joy Murphy and Andrew Kelly, illus. by Lisa Kennedy. Candlewick, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5362-0942-6. Woiwurrung is a language spoken by the Wurundjeri people of Australia’s Yarra River Valley, around present-day Melbourne. Wurundjeri elder Murphy and Yarra riverkeeper Kelly offer readers a door into the Woiwurrung language in this picture book that closely observes the Australian natural world. The book earned a starred review from PW.
A Map to the Sun by Sloane Leong. First Second, $24.99; ISBN 978-1-25014-668-7. In a color palette like a Venice Beach sunset, Leong makes an ensemble of diverse, struggling teens shine in this uplifting and visually explosive graphic novel.
Cattywampus by Ash Van Otterloo. Scholastic Press, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-338-56159-3. Deftly weaving elements of magic and nature with a story of adolescent change, debut author Van Otterloo conjures a timeless contemporary fantasy that blends Appalachian folklore with an old family feud.
Three Squeezes by Jason Pratt, illus. by Chris Sheban. Roaring Brook, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-250-31345-4. In this lyrical picture book, the titular “three squeezes” refers to the many different kinds of embraces between a loving father and his son.
Jefferson Measures a Moose by Mara Rockliff, illus. by S.D. Schindler. Candlewick, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-7636-9410-4. Kids obsessed with asking “How many?” and “How much?” will find a kindred spirit in the relentlessly inquisitive Thomas Jefferson portrayed in this picture book about the founding father’s “mania for math.”
She Was the First!: The Trailblazing Life of Shirley Chisholm by Katheryn Russell-Brown, illus. by Eric Velasquez. Lee & Low, $18.95; ISBN 978-1-62014-346-9. Tracing the remarkable Shirley Chisholm’s life from her childhood in Brooklyn and Barbados to her work as a teacher and community activist, Russell-Brown builds to her groundbreaking political career: member of the New York State Assembly, first Black woman elected to Congress, and 1972 presidential campaigner—the first Black person to run for the office.
Born by John Sobol, illus. by Cindy Derby. Groundwood, $18.95; ISBN 978-1-77306-169-6. This picture book provides a thought experiment that may interest younger readers: imagining what being born feels like.
A Bowl Full of Peace: A True Story by Caren Stelson, illus. by Akira Kusaka. Carolrhoda, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5415-2148-3. Stelson (Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story) opens this picture book biography of a Japanese peace activist before the start of WWII.
Silli’s Sheep by Tiffany Stone, illus. by Louis Thomas. Random House/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-9848-4852-9. Silli, a small gray-haired gentleman with a bright red nose, eager eyes, and a can-do attitude, lives a solitary but happy life in a mountain meadow in this picture book.
Nana Says I Will Be Famous One Day by Ann Stott, illus. by Andrew Joyner. Candlewick, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-7636-9560-6. At the heart of this picture book about a puppy and his doting grandmother is how we love those closest to our hearts, even when they’re far from perfect.
War at the Snow White Motel and Other Stories by Tim Wynne-Jones. Groundwood, $16.95; ISBN 978-1-77306-047-7. Each thought-provoking short story in this collection by Wynne-Jones (The Starlight Claim) features a different boy navigating a decisive situation with grace and resolve.
For more children’s and YA titles on sale throughout the month of August, check out PW’s full On-Sale Calendar.