As we head into the spring season, we are reminded of fresh starts and new growth. The flowers bloom and so do our ideas, goals and libraries. Our picks for March Book Corner range from a scared bear who faces his fears to a young girl immigrating to the US. This month’s books include themes like immigration, freedom, and bravery.
With Lots of Love
by Jenny Torres Sanchez, illustrated by André Ceolin
Inspired by the multigenerational love within her own family, Guatemalan-El Salvadoran author Jenny Torres Sanchez releases her first children’s picture book, “With Lots of Love.” The story follows Rocio, who moves from her home in Central America to the US. As she adjusts to a new way of living, Rocio misses her abuela, especially her cooking, piñata creations and warm hugs. With families experiencing more physical distance due to the pandemic, and given the emigration of Latinx individuals, “With Lots of Love” touches on the very real notion that love exists beyond borders. Recommended for ages 4-8.
Freedom is in Your Heart
By Lisa Kort, illustrated by Jeremy Wells
“Freedom is in Your Heart” is a self-published picture book by author, wife, and mother of two sons, Lisa Kort. Several years ago, Kort had a conversation with her son when he was about five years old. “What’s freedom?” he asked. In the book and to her son, she explains that freedom is the ability to make choices, from which sports to play to what foods to eat. Freedom has a unique meaning to each of us. Freedom means you can be anything you want to be. By the end of the conversation her son concludes that freedom is in your heart. “Freedom is in Your Heart” is an important conversation starter about freedom between children and their parents, caregivers and teachers.
From Little Tokyo, With Love
By Sarah Kuhn
Named one of PEOPLE Magazine’s Best Books of the Summer in 2021, “From Little Tokyo, With Love” follows Rika, a half-Japanese orphan has never felt like she truly belonged anywhere. When a series of clues all over L.A.’s Little Tokyo neighborhood seems to point to her mother not only being alive but also a Hollywood movie star, Rika has to take a leap of faith. Along with a cute actor Hank Chen, Rika embarks on an adventure of hope and happiness to find out if fairy-tale endings are actually possible in the real world. Recommended for ages 14 and up.
I’m Not Scared, You’re Scared
By Seth Myers, illustrated by Rob Sayegh Jr.
Emmy Award winning writer and comedian Seth Myers releases his debut children’s book, “I’m Not Scared, You’re Scared,” which is about a bear that is easily scared of a lot of things. Fortunately, Bear has one friend, Rabbit who is very brave. One day, Rabbit urges Bear to face his fears and embark on an adventure together. However, when things don’t go as planned, the two friends learn the true meaning of bravery and trying new things. This humorous and heartwarming children’s book awakens the adventurous spirit in all readers. On sale March 15. Recommended for ages 3-7.
A Girl’s Guide to Puberty and Periods
By Dr. Marni Sommer (DrPH, MSN, RN)
“A Girls Guide to Puberty and Periods” is a body-positive illustrated book that helps girls understand what to expect about puberty and everything that goes with it. An important point of differentiation from other popular puberty books is that this new offering provides “my first period” stories and advice from diverse girls across the U.S. to help young women understand that everything they’re going through is normal. Parents will appreciate that the book incorporates factual health content and practical tips developed by adolescent health experts at Columbia University. The goal is to empower girls to feel more confident and knowledgeable about their changing bodies.
Dr. Marni Sommer and her team also created a series of animated video shorts about puberty and periods that complement the content of “A Girl’s Guide to Puberty and Periods,” which available on the book website, www.agirlsguide.org. This book is recommended for ages 9-14.
Confessions of a Class Clown
By Arianne Costner
The author of “My Life is a Potato”, Arianne Costner debuts her newest middle grade novel, “Confessions of a Class Clown.” The protagonist, Jack, is a seventh-grade student with a hilarious MyTube channel that is gaining thousands of views and followers. Wanting his videos to be even more successful, Jack decides to seek a collaborator at his school. Since Jack does not have any friends, he decides to join the new after school club, Speed Friendshipping. Soon, Jack narrows down his potential collaborators to three students, with the potential of catapulting Jack to internet fame, but at what cost? “Confessions of a Class Clown” addresses themes like friendship, belonging, and the pressures of social media at a young age. On sale March 1. Recommended for ages 8 to 12.
The Not-So-Uniform Life of Holly-Mei
By Christina Matula
Inspired by her own experiences growing up as an immigrant child in Ottawa, Canada, author Christina Matula debuts the first in a middle grade series, “The Not-So-Uniform Life of Holly-Mei.” When her family moves to Hong Kong for her mother’s job, Holly-Mei could not be more excited, with her family’s gorgeous apartment and her new school being right on the beach. However, when Holly-Mei arrives, she finds herself balancing a new private school, frenemies and cultural differences. With determination and pride, Holly must learn to navigate the seventh grade and truly embrace her new life in Hong Kong. “The Not-So-Uniform Life of Holly Mei” is on sale April 5. Recommended for ages 8-12.
For more book suggestions, check out our February Book Corner.