Here we round up new and forthcoming children’s titles including a picture book about the wondrous natural world, a mystery-solving parrot/pigeon duo, a grandmother and her grandchild who become jaguars, a novel that melds Filipino mythology with reality, and more.
The Wonder Walkers by Micha Archer. Penguin/Paulsen, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-593-10964-9. Asking good questions is at the heart of discovery when the protagonists of this picture book go on a wonder walk, investigating the natural world around them. Archer’s sumptuous artwork employs collaged textured and patterned paper to represent rich expanses of sea and sky alongside the individual petals of black-eyed Susans. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Homer on the Case by Henry Cole. Peachtree, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-68263-254-3. In this illustrated middle grade mystery, an intrepid homing pigeon teams up with a pampered parrot to solve a series of crimes.
We Became Jaguars by Dave Eggers, illus. by Woodrow White. Chronicle, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-4521-8393-0. In this picture book, a grandmother’s visit delivers danger and freedom instead of cozy reassurance when she and the narrator imagine that they are jaguars. The middle grade book earned a starred review from PW.
We Belong by Cookie Hiponia Everman. Dial, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-593-11220-5. Filipino mythology intertwines with a personal immigration story in this free verse novel. Half-Filipino, half-white Stella, nine, and her younger sister Luna request a bedtime story from their mother, while their daily life mirrors the myth, in which Elsie and her family are forced to leave their homeland during the violence of Ferdinand Marcos’s presidency. The middle grade book earned a starred review from PW.
Shaped by Her Hands: Potter Maria Martinez by Anna Harber Freeman and Barbara Gonzales, illus. by Aphelandra. Albert Whitman, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-8075-7599-4. This latest installment in the She Made History series features Tewa potter Maria Povika, who learned “the centuries-old tradition of san-away,” or hand-built clay pots made from clay, water, and volcanic ash, from her aunt in 19th-century San Ildefonso, N.Mex.
Be a Tree! by Maria Gianferrari, illus. by Felicita Sala. Abrams, $19.99; ISBN 978-1-4197-4422-8. “Stand tall. Stretch your branches to the sun.” Gianferrari writes a hymn to attributes shared by humans and trees, guiding readers through lessons to be learned from their arboreal brethren. The book earned a starred review from PW.
All You Knead Is Love by Tanya Guerrero. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-374-31423-1. Twelve-year-old Alba Green leaves New York City to spend the summer in Barcelona with Abuela Lola when her emotionally distant mother sends her off. Difficult topics, such as the effects of abuse and child neglect, are handled authentically through the eyes of a preteen girl.
With You All the Way by Cynthia Hand. HarperTeen, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-06-269319-8. Things start going wrong for “quiet, nerdy” Ada, 16, just as her family prepares to travel from Silicon Valley to Hawaii for a conference that her surgeon mother attends annually. The YA novel is a thoughtful ode to consent and to taking sex seriously.
The Happiness of a Dog with a Ball in Its Mouth by Bruce Handy, illus. by Hyewon Yum. Enchanted Lion, $18.95; ISBN 978-1-59270-351-7. With this loose collection of turnabouts, Handy (Wild Things, for adults) and Yum (Lion Needs a Haircut) meditate on the way moments of disgrace, loss, and worry can resolve into something better. At the book’s start, a brown-skinned child side-eyes the sun while waking: “The slowness of two eyes opening.” The book earned a starred review from PW.
You Have to Read This Book! by Bruce Eric Kaplan. Simon & Schuster, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-6286-1. When Morris, a bowtie-wearing bear father, secures a copy of his favorite childhood book, Tom, the Angry Truck, he insists that his cub Benny love it as much as he does. But Benny doesn’t, and an epic battle of wills begins, with Dad bringing an instantly recognizable, annoyingly indefatigable energy to the table.
The Smile Shop by Satoshi Kitamura. Peachtree, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-68263-255-0. Kitamura (Hat Tricks) captures the endless interest of a bustling environment as an East Asian child with a fistful of coins wanders alone through a city’s various market and shops, planning “to buy myself something for the very first time.”
A Garden to Save the Birds by Wendy McClure, illus. by Beatriz Mayumi. Albert Whitman, $16.99; 978-0-8075-2753-5. Narrated by Callum, a bespectacled child with warm brown skin and wavy hair, this inspiring picture book relays how a bird’s accidental collision into a window galvanizes a family to learn about helping birds.
The Water Lady: How Darlene Arviso Helps a Thirsty Navajo Nation by Alice B. McGinty, illus. by Shonto Begay. Random House/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-52-564500-9. Through the story of a fictional Diné boy named Cody, McGinty introduces Darlene Arviso, known as the Water Lady, who delivers water to Navajo Nation families that do not have running water (40%, per an author’s note).
The Lost Little Bird by David McPhail. Holt/Godwin, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-250-22291-6. The confused bird who stars in this latest creation by McPhail (I Hug) is a stumpy, personable fellow with a glittering eye who, having hit his head, can’t remember what kind of bird he is, opening up a picture book perfect for exploring differences in nature.
Fatima’s Great Outdoors by Ambreen Tariq, illus. by Stevie Lewis. Kokila, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-984816-95-5. Debut author Tariq, founder of social media initiative @BrownPeopleCamping, creates an authentic, affectionate portrait of how outdoor spaces can offer a saving grace and a sense of belonging in this picture book about an Indian American family’s first camping trip.
The King’s Golden Beard by Klaas Verplancke. mineditionUS/Russo, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-66265-039-0. This clever, biting fable looks on as a vain ruler passes a series of laws to protect “his kingly self and his beautiful beard.”
Watercress by Andrea Wang, illus. by Jason Chin. Holiday House/Neal Porter Books, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-8234-4624-7. This multilayered autobiographical picture book told in free verse illuminates Wang’s experience as a child of Chinese immigrants in Ohio. The book earned a starred review from PW.
For more children’s and YA titles on sale throughout the month of April, check out PW’s full On-Sale Calendar.