When facing hardships with family or friends, it can be difficult to relax and envision a beautiful future ahead. Our picks for April Book Corner show us that during adversity, there is beauty in embracing differences, and appreciating the world in which we live in.
Howie Blend – Playdate Adventures with Family and Friends
By Jennie Guay, Illustrated by C. Bryce
In the United States, 40% of families are blended, with 16% of children living in a blended household. Inspired by her own experiences raising children in a blended family, LGBTQ+ author Jennie Guay releases “Howie Blend – Playdate Adventures with Family and Friends,” the first of the “Howie Blend” series. This children’s book follows the Howie and five of his friends that also come from blended families: Joshua, Liza, Flora, Henry and Oliver. With “Howie Blend,” Guay aims to increase diversity and representation in children’s literature and showcase how healthy blended family dynamics work. Recommended for ages 4-10.
A Persian Passover
By Etan Basseri, Illustrated by Rashin Kheiriyeh
With Passover this month, author Etan Basseri and award-winning illustrator Rashin Kheiriyeh team up to release Basseri’s debut children’s book, “A Persian Passover.” In this book, siblings Ezra and Rosa immerse readers into the sights, smells, sounds and preparations made for Passover. Often overlooked, “A Persian Passover” highlights the traditions of Iranian Jews and how local customs such as Nowuz, the Persian new year, are also combined into their own celebrations. Both Basseri and Kheiriyeh aim to not only showcase the diversity of Jewish community but acknowledge strength and hope within the community as well. The book also includes notes and a glossary explaining the Passover holiday and Persian customs, and a recipe for Persian-style Passover charoset (hallaq). Recommended for ages 6-11.
This is the Tree We Planted
By Kate McMullan, Illustrated by Alison Friend
Through vibrant imagery and enticing text, author Kate McMullan and illustrator Alison Friend highlight the importance of ecosystems in “This is the Tree We Planted.” The children’s book explores school children planting a tree in their playground. As they watch the tree grow the children watch the animals, like robins, squirrels, spiders and hawks that depend on the tree for their survival. With Earth Day around the corner, “This is the Tree We Planted” encourages children to observe the world around them and cultivate a love for nature. Recommended for ages 4-7.
Stella and the Dinos… Alive in Space
By Peyton Gulley, Illustrated by Desi Moore
In his debut children’s book, author Peyton Gulley takes readers out of this world with “Stella and the Dinos…Alive in Space.” The story follows Stella, a young dinosaur on a mission to save the dinosaur species from extinction by taking all the dinosaurs to live in outer space. Filled with rhymes and vibrant illustrations, “Stella and the Dinos…Alive in Space” encourages readers of all ages to remain determined and curious about the world.
Wild for Winnie
Bby Laura Marx Fitzgerald, Illustrated by Jeannie Løvlie
Inspired by her own experience raising her two children, Laura Marx Fitzgerald’s “Wild for Winnie” aims to help neurotypical children understand classmates with autism and other sensory processing disorders. The story follows Winnie, a young girl with autism at her new school and her classroom teacher. In an effort to view the world from Winnie’s perspective, Winnie’s teacher encourages the entire class to complete activities such as playing on the jungle gym and cozying up for story time. On sale April 5.
Show the World
By Angela Dalton, Illustrated by Daria Peoples
Author of the award-winning children’s book, “If You Look Up to the Sky “, Angela Dalton releases her newest children’s book, “Show the World!” The story follows a young narrator as she journeys through her neighborhood highlighting different ways of self-expression. Whether through painting, slam poetry, peaceful protesting, or engineering, Dalton and Peoples encourage readers to find spaces and opportunities to find their voice in the world. “Show the World” is on sale April 5.
The List of Things That Will Not Change
By Rebecca Stead
Newbery Medal winner Rebecca Stead releases her newest middle grade novel, “The List of Things That Will Not Change.” After her parents’ divorce, ten-year-old Bea could not be more ecstatic that her father and his boyfriend, Jessie decide to get married. As the wedding approaches, Bea looks forward to meeting Jesse’s daughter, Sonia, and is excited to become a blended family. Inspired by her own life, Stead’s novel explores topics such as divorce, anxiety, family and marriage. Recommended for ages 8-12. On sale April 5.
by Doug Salati
Perfect for dog lovers of all ages, critically acclaimed creator Doug Salati releases his summery picture book “Hot Dog.” On a hot summer day, a pup and his owner decided to escape the hustle of the city life and take a day trip to the beach. With lyrical text and fluid art, “Hot Dog” shows readers how to relax and appreciate the small joys in life. On sale April 26.
For more book suggestions, check out our March Book Corner.