International Cat Day 2021

August 8 is international cat day! Here are the purr-fect book picks to celebrate these sassy pets.

100 Cats: Cute Kitties to Count
By Michael Whaite
32 Pages | Ages 2-5 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593308332 | Random House BFYR
CATS RULE! Can there really be 100 cats behaving in oh-so familiar cat-like ways packed into the pages of this picture book? Caring cat, sharing cat, stood still staring cat. . . . Follow Michael Whaite’s fun and lively rhyme as it weaves its way through long cats, silly cats, frizzy cats . . . 100% hilarious cats. Speaking of 100, you can count them all! This romp of a read-aloud is bursting with amusing details to spot and funny felines that cat-lovers won’t be able to resist.

A Cat Named Tim and Other Stories
By John Martz
60 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735270985 | Tundra Books
In Tim’s world, cats can paint on the ceiling and a cheerful porcine couple can wait months for the bus. A duck and a mouse can fly . . . a plane, of course. In “Doug & Mouse,” the first of four stories, a plucky duck and mouse pair embark on a globe-spanning journey by plane, jungle vine, horse, skis, skates, paraglider, boat, and submarine, but they’re sure to make it home in time for pizza and tunes. In “Tim,” the titular cat lives his nine lives to the fullest – he’s a basketball star (sort of), a scientist (but not a very good one), a painter (very lifelike), and an all-terrain golfer. In “Connie,” a plucky rabbit follows her line of inquiry wherever it leads. And in the final story, “Mr. and Mrs. Hamhock,” an amiable pig couple wait months and months for the bus, only to realize that they’ve forgotten something important behind at home.

ABC Cats: An Alpha-Cat Book
By Leslea Newman
Illustrated by Isabella Kung
26 Pages | Ages 2-5 | Board Book
ISBN 9781536209945 | Candlewick
A beguiling array of felines from A to Z makes learning the alphabet the cat’s pajamas. From curious to elegant, grouchy to inquisitive, rowdy to tangled to . . . well, unusual (who says cats don’t swim in the tub?), these twenty-six charming felines interact with oversize alphabet letters on rhyming spreads. Author Lesléa Newman and illustrator Isabella Kung offer a cat’s-eye concept book that makes the ABCs go down easy – and is sure to inspire many a repeat viewing.

Bad Cat! 
By Nicola O’Byrne
32 Pages | Ages 2-5 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536217285 | Nosy Crow
Fluffykins is a perfect cat. He wouldn’t do anything naughty . . . would he? But what’s this? He’s knocked over the flowers, tangled up all the yarn, bent the blinds, and scratched the sofa . . . and he won’t apologize. What a bad cat! Whatever will Fluffykins do next? This witty and perfectly paced story by award-winning author-illustrator Nicola O’Byrne revels in all the mayhem of living with a bad cat.

Cat Likes Red
By Christopher Russo
32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780823445875 | Holiday House
Cat learns colors and meets new friends! Cat meets a red ladybug. Turn the page: Cat and Cat’s new friend are outdoors in an all-red scene, chock full of details. Cat meets more friends – including a green lizard, a blue fish, and a yellow bee.

Cat Problems
By Jory John
Illustrated by Lane Smith
48 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593302132 | Random House Studio
Just like most cats, this cat lives an extremely comfortable life. But he has his problems too! The sun spot he’s trying to bathe in won’t stop moving. He keeps getting served dry food instead of wet. And don’t even get him started on the vacuum – it’s an absolute menace! – and the nosy neighbor squirrel that just can’t seem to mind its own business. Will this cat ever find the silver lining?

Dear Beast
By Dori Hillestad Butler
Illustrated by Kevan Atteberry
96 Pages | Ages 6-9 | Paperback
ISBN 9780823448432 | Holiday House
Simon has taken care of his owner, Andy, for many years. He’s a good cat. Clean, responsible, and loyal. What more could a boy want? Even when Andy’s dad moves out, Simon is certain that Andy doesn’t need another pet. So why would Andy’s dad adopt a DOG?! To make matters worse, the animal is a rude, rowdy troublemaker. Simon’s job is clear: the beast has got to go. He decides to write him a letter. Strongly worded, of course. But when the dog’s response sets off an unexpected correspondence, Simon realizes the beast may be here to stay. Can he make room for another pet in Andy’s life?

Home Is Where the Heart Is
By Emma Dodd
24 Pages | Ages 2-5 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536217124 | Templar
Just what IS it that makes home such a special place to be?
Home’s an extra special space
you hold within your heart
to keep you very close to me
when we must be apart.
A charming celebration of what home means to all of us, featuring a wise cat and an adorable little kitten who discover that there really is no place like home.

Katie the Catsitter
By Colleen AF Venable
Illustrated by Stephanie Yue
224 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Paperback
ISBN 9781984895639 | Random House BFYR
Katie is dreading the boring summer ahead while her best friends are all away at camp – something that’s way out of Katie and her mom’s budget, UNLESS Katie can figure out a way to earn the money for camp herself. But when Katie gets a job catsitting for her mysterious upstairs neighbor, life get interesting. First, Madeline has 217 cats (!) and they’re not exactly . . . normal cats. Also, why is Madeline always out EXACTLY when the city’s most notorious villain commits crimes?! Is it possible that Katie’s upstairs neighbor is really a super villain? Can Katie wrangle a whole lot of wayward cats, save a best friendship (why is Beth barely writing back? And who’s this boy she keeps talking about?!), AND crack the biggest story in the city’s history? Some heroes have capes . . . Katie has cats!

Max Meow Book 1: Cat Crusader
By John Gallagher
240 Pages | Ages 7-10 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593121054 | Random House BFYR
Max is just a regular cat in Kittyopolis, trying to make it big as a podcaster UNTIL he accidentally takes a bite of an RADIOACTIVE SPACE MEATBALL at his best friend, scientist Mindy’s, SECRET LAB. Then before you can say MEOWZA, Max becomes . . . (drum roll!) . . . The CAT CRUSADER! Being a super hero is fun (Super strength? Check! Flying? YES!!!) – but not if you get so cocky, you forget your best friend! Will Max learn to listen? Will he and Mindy make up? And together, can Max and Mindy save Kittyopolis from the evil Agent M and BIG BOSS?! Find out in Max Meow: Cat Crusader – a laugh out loud, furr-ociously funny, action-packed new series filled with so many twists, turns, and terrific jokes it makes bad guys FLEA and kids cheer with glee! BONUS: Includes how to draw Max Meow!

Rectangle Time
By Pamela Paul
Illustrated by Becky Cameron
32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593115114 | Philomel Books
This spunky, self-assured cat has always loved Rectangle Time – when the boy and the man he lives with curl up with their rectangle and read aloud from it. The cat knows how helpful he is during Rectangle Time, of course – his presence is vital to the very ritual! But when the rectangle starts to get smaller, the stories start to get quieter, and worst of all, the boy no longer needs the cat’s “help,” the cat must find a way to reclaim his part in Rectangle Time, even if slightly different from before. In this fun, funny, and ultimately sweet story about growing up, embracing change, and the ways we all can misread social cues, we see the power of stories to bring everyone together – there’s always room for everyone at story time.

Books for Pride Month

June is Pride month when the spotlight is on celebrating and honoring all types of love – to start, here’s a list of everything from picture books to middle grade that recognize people’s different orientations.

Almost Flying
By Jake Maia Arlow
352 Pages | Ages 10-14 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593112939 | Dial BFYR
Would-be amusement park aficionado Dalia only has two items on her summer bucket list: (1) finally ride a roller coaster and (2) figure out how to make a new best friend. But when her dad suddenly announces that he’s engaged, Dalia’s schemes come to a screeching halt. With Dalia’s future stepsister Alexa heading back to college soon, the grown-ups want the girls to spend the last weeks of summer bonding – meaning Alexa has to cancel the amusement park road trip she’s been planning for months. Luckily Dalia comes up with a new plan: If she joins Alexa on her trip and brings Rani, the new girl from her swim team, along maybe she can have the perfect summer after all. But what starts out as a week of funnel cakes and Lazy River rides goes off the rails when Dalia discovers that Alexa’s girlfriend is joining the trip. And keeping Alexa’s secret makes Dalia realize one of her own: She might have more-than-friend feelings for Rani.

Big Bob, Little Bob
By James Howe
Illustrated by Laura Ellen Anderson
32 Pages | Ages 4-6 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536215922 | Candlewick
It’s not easy to become friends with someone who is nothing like you – but surprising things can happen when you give it a try. Despite the fact that they share a name, Big Bob and Little Bob are different. Big Bob likes trucks and throwing balls and being loud. Little Bob likes dolls and jingling bracelets and being quiet. No matter what they do, they do not do it the same. Could they possibly be friends despite these differences? With humor and tenderness, James Howe and Laura Ellen Anderson beautifully depict the struggles and rewards that come when friendships are forged between different kinds of people.

Born Ready: The True Story of a Boy Named Penelope
By Jodie Patterson
Illustrated by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593123638 | Crown BFYR
Jodie Patterson, activist and Chair of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation Board, shares her transgender son’s experience in this important picture book about identity and acceptance. Penelope knows that he’s a boy. (And a ninja.) The problem is getting everyone else to realize it. In this exuberant companion to Jodie Patterson’s adult memoir, The Bold World, Patterson shares her son Penelope’s frustrations and triumphs on his journey to share himself with the world. Penelope’s experiences show children that it always makes you stronger when you are true to yourself and who you really are.

Ho’onani: Hula Warrior
By Heather Gale
Illustrated by Mika Song
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735264496 | Tundra Books
Ho’onani feels in-between. She doesn’t see herself as wahine (girl) OR kane (boy). She’s happy to be in the middle. But not everyone sees it that way. When Ho’onani finds out that there will be a school performance of a traditional kane hula chant, she wants to be part of it. But can a girl really lead the all-male troupe? Ho’onani has to try. . . . Based on a true story, Ho’onani: Hula Warrior is a celebration of Hawaiian culture and an empowering story of a girl who learns to lead and learns to accept who she really is – and in doing so, gains the respect of all those around her.

Julián at the Wedding
By Jessica Love
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536212389 | Candlewick Press
Julián and his abuela are going to a wedding. Better yet, Julián is in the wedding. Weddings have flowers and kissing and dancing and cake. And this wedding also has a new friend named Marisol. It’s not long before Julián and Marisol set off for some magic and mischief of their own, and when things take an unexpected turn, the pair learns that everything is easier with a good friend by your side. Jessica Love returns with a joyful story of friendship and individuality in this radiant follow-up to Julián Is a Mermaid.

My Rainbow
By DeShanna Neal and Trinity Neal
32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984814609 | Kokila
Warm morning sunlight and love fill the Neal home. And on one quiet day, playtime leads to an important realization: Trinity wants long hair like her dolls. She needs it to express who she truly is. So her family decides to take a trip to the beauty supply store, but none of the wigs is the perfect fit. Determined, Mom leaves with bundles of hair in hand, ready to craft a wig as colorful and vibrant as her daughter is. With powerful text by Trinity and DeShanna Neal and radiant art by Art Twink, My Rainbow is a celebration of showing up as our full selves with the people who have seen us fully all along.

Over the Shop
By JonArno Lawson
Illustrated by Qin Leng
48 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536201475 | Candlewick
A lonely little girl and her grandparent need to fill the run-down apartment in their building. But taking over the quarters above their store will mean major renovations for the new occupants, and none of the potential renters can envision the possibilities of the space – until one special couple shows up. With their ingenuity, the little girl’s big heart, and heaps of hard work, the desperate fixer-upper begins to change in lovely and surprising ways. In this bustling wordless picture book, JonArno Lawson’s touching story and Qin Leng’s gentle illustrations capture all angles of the building’s transformation, as well as the evolving perspectives of the girl and her grandparent. A warm and subtly nuanced tale, Over the Shop throws open the doors to what it means to accept people for who they are and to fill your home with love and joy.

Sharon, Lois & Bram’s Skinnamarink
By Sharon Hampson, Lois Lilienstein, and Bram Morrison, with Randi Hampson
Illustrated by Qin Leng
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735264496 | Tundra Books
What does “skinnamarink” mean? You may not find its definition in a dictionary, but the meaning is clear to the generations of children who sang along: friendship, happiness, sharing, community and, ultimately, love. This song has been sung in weddings and in classrooms. It can be fun and silly – especially with the accompanying actions! And it has a way of bringing people together. Based on the classic folk song made famous by a beloved trio of children’s entertainers, this picture book is best sung aloud! “Skinnamarink” is a timeless anthem of love and inclusion.

The Legend of Auntie Po
By Shing Yin Khor
304 Pages | Ages 10-14 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525554882 | Kokila
Aware of the racial tumult in the years after the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act, Mei tries to remain blissfully focused on her job, her close friendship with the camp foreman’s daughter, and telling stories about Paul Bunyan – reinvented as Po Pan Yin (Auntie Po), an elderly Chinese matriarch. Anchoring herself with stories of Auntie Po, Mei navigates the difficulty and politics of lumber camp work and her growing romantic feelings for her friend Bee. The Legend of Auntie Po is about who gets to own a myth, and about immigrant families and communities holding on to rituals and traditions while staking out their own place in America.

Too Bright to See
By Kyle Lukoff
192 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593111154 | Dial BFYR
It’s the summer before middle school and eleven-year-old Bug’s best friend Moira has decided the two of them need to use the next few months to prepare. For Moira, this means figuring out the right clothes to wear, learning how to put on makeup, and deciding which boys are cuter in their yearbook photos than in real life. But none of this is all that appealing to Bug, who doesn’t particularly want to spend more time trying to understand how to be a girl. Besides, there’s something more important to worry about: A ghost is haunting Bug’s eerie old house in rural Vermont . . . and maybe haunting Bug in particular. As Bug begins to untangle the mystery of who this ghost is and what they’re trying to say, an altogether different truth comes to light – Bug is transgender.

Tuesday Is Daddy’s Day
By Elliot Kreloff
48 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780823448913 | Holiday House
The girl in this story has two rooms: one at Mommy’s house and one at Daddy’s apartment, which he shares with his partner Harry. All that’s lacking is a puppy! Daddy picks her up after school on Tuesdays. But mommy is here instead! What’s going on? Becky likes everything to be the same. But sometimes change can lead to a happy surprise! Tuesday Is Daddy’s Day is a reminder that family comes in many forms, but always comes with love. In this book, best-selling author-illustrator Elliot Kreloff writes from the heart, as the story is based upon his own family.

The Unbelievable Oliver and the Sawed-in-Half Dads
By Pseudonymous Bosch
Illustrated by Shane Pangburn
208 Pages | Ages 7-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525552352 | Dial BFYR
Oliver is new to the magical arts. In fact, he has only performed one act so far, and that one was interrupted by a theft-in-progress that he, his friends the twins Teenie and Bea, and his wisecracking rabbit, Benny, managed to thwart. Now Oliver has been hired for an even more important gig: a wedding. Teenie and Bea’s fathers are finally getting married, and Oliver is supposed to entertain at the rehearsal brunch. He has chosen the classic sawed-in-half trick, which will be especially amusing when he calls up the grooms as volunteers. What could go wrong? Except that weddings are supposed to be about bringing people together, not splitting them up . . . and before the trick is over, one of the fathers will have disappeared. Luckily, Oliver seems to be a better sleuth than a magician!

Ramadan and Eid Reading List

This year, the holy month of Ramadan will occur for Muslim people from April 13 to May 12, culminating with Eid al-Fitr on May 13. If you’re looking for books to celebrate Ramadan or just want to learn more about Muslim culture, here are some suggestions.

A Party in Ramadan
By Asma Mobin-Uddin
Illustrated by Laura Jacobsen
32 Pages | Ages 7-9 | Paperback
ISBN 9781629798479 | Boyds Mills Press
Ramadan is coming, and Leena is excited. Although she is too young to fast every day during the Muslim religious festival, Leena decides to fast each Friday instead. When Leena receives an invitation to a party which happens to fall on Friday, she has a dilemma. She doesn’t want to miss the party, but she doesn’t want to miss fasting either. So Leena decides to go to the party, but not eat or drink anything at all. Later, she will join her family for the meal known as iftar, when the daily fast is broken. But when Leena, the only Muslim at the party, sees her friends enjoying fresh lemonade and chocolate cake, her stomach starts to growl and her head begins to hurt. Will she keep her Ramadan fast?

Amal Unbound
By Aisha Saeed
240 Pages | Ages 10+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780399544699 | Nancy Paulsen Books
Twelve-year-old Amal’s dream of becoming a teacher one day is dashed in an instant when she accidentally insults a member of her Pakistani village’s ruling family. As punishment for her behavior, she is forced to leave her heartbroken family behind and go work at their estate. Amal is distraught but has faced setbacks before. So she summons her courage and begins navigating the complex rules of life as a servant, with all its attendant jealousies and pecking-order woes. Most troubling, though, is Amal’s increasing awareness of the deadly measures the Khan family will go to in order to stay in control. It’s clear that their hold over her village will never loosen as long as everyone is too afraid to challenge them – so if Amal is to have any chance of ensuring her loved ones’ safety and winning back her freedom, she must find a way to work with the other servants to make it happen.

Amira’s Picture Day
By Reem Faruqi
Illustrated by Fahmida Azim
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780823440191 | Holiday House
Just the thought of Eid makes Amira warm and tingly inside. From wearing new clothes to handing out goody bags at the mosque, Amira can’t wait for the festivities to begin. But when a flier on the fridge catches her eye, Amira’s stomach goes cold. Not only is it Eid, it’s also school picture day. If she’s not in her class picture, how will her classmates remember her? Won’t her teacher wonder where she is? Though the day’s celebrations at the mosque are everything Amira was dreaming of, her absence at picture day weighs on her. A last-minute idea on the car ride home might just provide the solution to everything in this delightful story from acclaimed author Reem Faruqi, illustrated with vibrant color by Fahmida Azim.

Baby’s First Ramadan
By DK
14 Pages | Ages 0-3 | Board Book
ISBN 9780744026597 | DK Children
Perfect for story time with little ones, this first board book introduces babies and toddlers to the holy month of Ramadan. From the first sight of the crescent moon in the sky, colorful lanterns and sparkly lights, beautiful henna designs, and favorite Ramadan sweets, to prayers at the mosque, family meals, and sweet dates after a day of fasting, all the elements of this wonderful Islamic celebration of the holy month are included. This classic first picture book for babies and toddlers has simple language and engaging, real-life photos that celebrate Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr.

Deep in the Sahara
By Kelly Cunnane
Illustrated by Hoda Hadadi
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Paperback
ISBN 9780525645665 | Dragonfly Books
Lalla lives in the Muslim country of Mauritania, and more than anything, she wants to wear a malafa, the colorful cloth Mauritanian women, like her mama and big sister, wear to cover their heads and clothes in public. But it is not until Lalla realizes that a malafa is not just worn to show a woman’s beauty and mystery or to honor tradition – a malafa for faith – that Lalla’s mother agrees to slip a long cloth as blue as the ink in the Koran over Lalla’s head, under her arm, and round and round her body. Then together, they pray.

Fatima’s Great Outdoors
By Ambreen Tariq
Illustrated by Stevie Lewis
40 Pages | Ages 4-8| Hardcover
ISBN 9781984816955 | Kokila
Fatima Khazi is excited for the weekend. Her family is headed to a local state park for their first camping trip! The school week might not have gone as planned, but outdoors, Fatima can achieve anything. She sets up a tent with her father, builds a fire with her mother, and survives an eight-legged mutant spider (a daddy longlegs with an impressive shadow) with her sister. At the end of an adventurous day, the family snuggles inside one big tent, serenaded by the sounds of the forest. The thought of leaving the magic of the outdoors tugs at Fatima’s heart, but her sister reminds her that they can keep the memory alive through stories – and they can always daydream about what their next camping trip will look like. Ambreen Tariq’s picture book debut, with cheerful illustrations by Stevie Lewis, is a rollicking family adventure, a love letter to the outdoors, and a reminder that public land belongs to all of us.

Hannah and the Ramadan Gift
By Qasim Rashid
Illustrated by Aaliya Jaleel
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593114667 | Viking BFYR
It’s the first day of Ramadan and Hannah wants to be a part of this important month every way she can. But if she’s too young to fast, how can she observe Ramadan? By saving the world, Dada Jaan tells her. And so Hannah learns that by helping her friends and neighbors and by showing kindness and generosity, she can make the world a better place. The debut picture book by human rights activist and attorney Qasim Rashid tells a timely story full of warmth and heart about the observance of Ramadan and the power of good deeds.

My Grandma and Me
By Mina Javaherbin
Illustrated by Lindsey Yankey
32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780763694944 | Candlewick
While Mina is growing up in Iran, the center of her world is her grandmother. Whether visiting friends next door, going to the mosque for midnight prayers during Ramadan, or taking an imaginary trip around the planets, Mina and her grandma are never far apart. At once deeply personal and utterly universal, Mina Javaherbin’s words make up a love letter of the rarest sort: the kind that shares a bit of its warmth with every reader. Soft, colorful, and full of intricate patterns, Lindsey Yankey’s illustrations feel like a personal invitation into the coziest home, and the adoration between Mina and her grandma is evident on every page.

Peg + Cat: The Eid al-Adha Adventure
By Jennifer Oxley and Billy Aronson
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Paperback
ISBN 9781536206807 | Candlewick
It’s Eid al-Adha, a very special holiday for Yasmina and Amir, who invite their friends Peg and Cat to check it out. After they all rock out with some singing, it’s time to head to the celebration, where there’s so much food waiting! Amir explains that an important part of celebrating Eid al-Adha is dividing the meat into three equal parts, one third to be shared with someone who has less. But with all three bowls of meatballs holding different amounts, they’ve got a BIG PROBLEM! Thanks to a balancing scale, a trip to a soup kitchen, and an unexpected visit to a housebound neighbor, Peg and Cat learn all about the concept of taking from where there’s more and giving to where there’s less. Even Cat discovers how awesome giving can be. Eid Mubarak!

Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Maker
By Zanib Mian
Illustrated by Nasaya Mafaridik
224 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593109212 | Putnam BFYR
Welcome to the imaginative brain of Omar! Omar and his family have just moved, and he is NOT excited about starting at a new school. What if the work is too hard or the kids are mean or the teacher is a zombie alien?! But when Omar makes a new best friend, things start looking up. That is, until a Big Mean Bully named Daniel makes every day a nightmare! Daniel even tells Omar that all Muslims are going to be kicked out of the country. . . . Could that possibly be true? Luckily, Omar’s enormous imagination and goofy family help him get through life’s ups and downs. Omar’s funny, relatable narrative is the perfect answer to the call for both mirrors and windows to fill bookshelves with diverse stories.

The Green Bicycle
By Haifaa Al Mansour
368 Pages | Ages 10+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780147515032 | Puffin Books
Spunky eleven-year-old Wadjda lives in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia with her parents. She desperately wants a bicycle so that she can race her friend Abdullah, even though it is considered improper for girls to ride bikes. Wadjda earns money for her dream bike by selling homemade bracelets and mixtapes of banned music to her classmates. But after she’s caught, she’s forced to turn over a new leaf (sort of), or risk expulsion from school. Still, Wadjda keeps scheming, and with the bicycle so closely in her sights, she will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Set against the shifting social attitudes of the Middle East, The Green Bicycle explores gender roles, conformity, and the importance of family, all with wit and irresistible heart.

The Night Diary
By Veera Hiranandani
288 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Paperback
ISBN 9780735228528 | Kokila
It’s 1947, and India, newly independent of British rule, has been separated into two countries: Pakistan and India. The divide has created much tension between Hindus and Muslims, and hundreds of thousands are killed crossing borders. Half-Muslim, half-Hindu twelve-year-old Nisha doesn’t know where she belongs, or what her country is anymore. When Papa decides it’s too dangerous to stay in what is now Pakistan, Nisha and her family become refugees and embark first by train but later on foot to reach her new home. The journey is long, difficult, and dangerous, and after losing her mother as a baby, Nisha can’t imagine losing her homeland, too. But even if her country has been ripped apart, Nisha still believes in the possibility of putting herself back together. Told through Nisha’s letters to her mother, The Night Diary is a heartfelt story of one girl’s search for home, for her own identity . . . and for a hopeful future.

The White Nights of Ramadan
By Maha Addasi
Illustrated by Ned Gannon
32 Pages | Ages 7-9 | Paperback
ISBN 9781629798462 | Boyds Mills Press
Mid-Ramadan is a special time for families in the Arabian (Persian) Gulf. These middle days are known as “the three whites,” because they include the day of the full moon, the day before, and the day after. It’s a time when children dress in traditional clothing and go from house to house collecting treats from their neighbors. When Noor sees the full moon rising, signaling the coming of Girgian, she and her brothers prepare for the fun. Together, they decorate the bags they’ll carry to collect the candies. But along with the fun, Noor remembers the true meaning of Ramadan: spending time with family and sharing with those less fortunate.

Space Books for Kids

Look up, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a spaceship! We’ve rounded up some of the newest books about space exploration to take you and your kid(s) out of this world.

Astro Girl
By Ken Wilson-Max
32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536209464 | Candlewick
Astrid has loved the stars and space for as long as she can remember. “I want to be an astronaut!” she says to everyone who will listen. While her mama is away, Astrid and her papa have fun acting out the challenges an astronaut faces on a space mission – like being in zero gravity (“I can do that all day long!” she says), eating food from a kind of tube, and doing science experiments with the help of cookie sheets. When at last it’s time to meet Mama at the air base, Astrid wears her favorite space T-shirt to greet her. But where exactly has Mama been? Channeling a sense of childlike delight, Ken Wilson-Max brings space travel up close for young readers and offers an inspiring ending.

Astronaut Training
By Aneta Cruz
Illustrated by Olivia Aserr
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781635922882 | Boyds Mills Press
Astrid is training to go to space! But as she builds her shuttle, cooks astronaut food, and practices floating in zero gravity, Dad tells Astrid that the ship’s construction is too dangerous, she’s too little to cook alone, and she’s not allowed to flood the bathroom. That night, when Astrid dreams she’s an astronaut, the challenges she encounters are overwhelming. Astrid realizes she isn’t as ready as she thought. Back on Earth, Astrid turns to her loving and supportive Dad, who helps Astrid continue her astronaut training.

Big and Small, Room for All
By Jo Ellen Bogart
Illustrated by Gillian Newland
30 Pages | Ages 0-2 | Board Book
ISBN 9780143198932 | Tundra Books
For the first time in board book format, this concept book by award-winning author Jo Ellen Bogart explores the size of animate and inanimate objects and their places in the universe. She introduces children to the concept of “we” – that humans are a big part of the world, but a small part of all of existence. From the immensity of the cosmos to the miraculous world of things too small to see, this stunning board book is a celebration of how we are all connected to the universe and to each other.

Curiosity: The Story of a Mars Rover
By Markus Motum
56 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780763695040 | Candlewick
Maybe you remember when a little robotic spacecraft landed on a far-off planet. On August 6, 2012, the rover Curiosity touched down on the rocky surface of Mars – and now she’s ready to guide you through her journey firsthand. From idea to creation and beyond, this fact-filled, stylish book introduces readers to Curiosity and her mission: to discover more about the red planet and search for evidence of life. How did Curiosity get her name? What tools does she use to carry out her tasks? In her own voice, the popular NASA rover tells how and why she traveled more than 350,000,000 miles to explore a planet no human has ever visited . . . and what she’s been doing there. In his debut picture book, Markus Motum brings Curiosity’s story to life in vivid color: the deep blues of space set off the warm, rusted hues of Mars’s dusty red surface, marking this lovable rover and her mission as something special – truly a world apart.

Eyewitness: Space Exploration
By Carole Stott
72 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Paperback
ISBN 9781465426161 | DK Children
Learn how rockets work, find out about the various missions to the Moon and Mars, and know about all the rovers and landers with Eyewitness Space Exploration. Train with the astronauts to find out about the equipment they use to work in space. Trace the evolution of spacesuits and know how many components they have and how much they weigh. Share a meal with the astronauts and see how they carry on their day-to-day tasks in zero gravity. Follow the various spacecraft in space – from distant explorers such as Voyager to sample-gathering rovers on Mars, such as Curiosity.

Eye Wonder: Space
By Carole Stott
56 Pages | Ages 5-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781465418562 | DK Children
Explore the solar system, study astronomy, and discover fun facts about space shuttles with Eye Wonder: Space. From the huge volcanoes of Venus to the massive storms on Jupiter, Pluto, and the comets, plus how astronauts sleep in space, the secrets of the stars, and our future in space, every page lets the reader discover new and fascinating facts about our universe.

Goodnight, Astronaut
By Scott Kelly
Illustrated by Izzy Burton
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735263451 | Puffin Canada
As an astronaut, Scott Kelly is one of the few people who know what it’s like to sleep in space. But that’s not the only unusual place he’s slept! As a child, he slept in treehouses, boats, and tents, but his thrill-seeking nature has led to him snatching shuteye in every place imaginable. From the bottom of the ocean, to Mount Everest Base Camp, to the International Space Station, Scott will send readers to sleep dreaming of exploring the wildest places. This sweet and adventurous story is the perfect bedtime tale for future astronauts and adventurers!

Journey to the Moon: Astronaut Girl #1
By Cathy Hapka and Ellen Vandenberg
Illustrated by Gillian Reid
96 Pages | Ages 6-8 | Paperback
ISBN 9780593095713 | Penguin Workshop
Val, aka Astronaut Girl, is just your typical eight-year-old scientist. She has her own laboratory and conducts experiments with her crew – her cat and baby brother. She loves science and knows everything about outer space. That’s why she’s surprised to learn that her new neighbor Wallace would rather talk about a fake space show than about real missions. But when Astronaut Girl, Wallace, and the Astro crew get lost on their own lunar adventure, they must all work together to find their way back home.

Professor Astro Cat’s Stargazing
By Dr. Dominic Walliman
Illustrated by Ben Newman
32 Pages | Ages 5-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781912497836 | Flying Eye Books
Welcome back, stargazers! Have you ever looked up at the night sky and wondered what a star looks like up close? Ever thought about how long it would take to walk a light-year? Join Professor Astro Cat and his friends on another stellar mission! From scientific discoveries to the constellations dreamed up by humans centuries ago, the adventurous and wise Professor Astro Cat will guide young readers through fascinating facts.

Rocket Science: A Beginner’s Guide to the Fundamentals of Spaceflight
By Andrew Rader
Illustrated by Galen Frazer
64 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536207422 | Candlewick
Earth’s gravity keeps our feet on the ground, and also prevents us from soaring into space. So how do we explore that vast frontier? We use rockets! Discover how rockets work – from staging to orbits to power generation, from thermal control to navigation and more. Learn how rockets and other spacecraft travel to and explore the moon, Mars, Jupiter, and beyond. Speculate about the future of space exploration – and the possibility of extraterrestrial life. In a guide ideal for aspiring rocket engineers, planetary scientists, and others who love learning about space exploration, Galen Frazer’s distinctive yet accessible illustrations pair perfectly with Andrew Rader’s straightforward text, together taking readers to the edge of our knowledge of space travel.

Space: A Visual Encyclopedia
By DK
256 Pages | Ages 9-12 | Paperback
ISBN 9781465494252 | DK Children
The most up-to-date images from space agencies such as NASA and ESA combine with info panels, timelines, interviews, diagrams, and activities you can do at home to help you understand the majesty and wonder of space.  Learn about the Space Race, the Apollo Moon Landings, the Voyager craft that first probed the outer planets, the Hubble telescope, and the International Space Station (ISS) – the state-of-the-art laboratory orbiting Earth. Find out about future missions, space tourism, and the latest discoveries in the furthest reaches of our galaxy. Discover how to find constellations and where to look for stars and planets, including Venus and Mars, in the night sky. Learn how galaxies such as our Milky Way were formed. Part of a series of best-selling encyclopedias for children, Space: A Visual Encyclopedia is a rocket ride from the beginning of time to the near future, and from planet Earth out to the furthest reaches of the Universe.

The Darkest Dark: Glow-in-the-Dark Edition
By Chris Hadfield
Illustrated by The Fan Brothers
48 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Paperback
ISBN 9780735264823 | Tundra Books
Chris loves rockets and planets and pretending he’s a brave astronaut, exploring the universe. Only one problem – at night, Chris doesn’t feel so brave. He’s afraid of the dark.
But when he watches the groundbreaking moon landing on TV, he realizes that space is the darkest dark there is – and the dark is beautiful and exciting, especially when you have big dreams to keep you company.  The internationally bestselling picture book, now with a glow-in-the-dark cover! Inspired by the childhood of real-life astronaut Chris Hadfield and brought to life by Terry and Eric Fan’s lush, evocative illustrations, The Darkest Dark will encourage readers to dream the impossible.

Hoppy Reading: Books for Easter

Easter is coming up soon and we have some egg-cellent reading suggestions – even if you don’t celebrate! We have books featuring cuddly and fluffy spring animals to flowers and friendship.

A Lamb Called Lucky
By Helen Peters
Illustrated by Ellie Snowdon
144 Pages | Ages 7-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536210286 | Walker Books
It’s lambing season at Oak Tree Farm! When a little lamb loses his mother, Jasmine names him Lucky and steps in to bottle-feed him and patiently help him learn to walk. With a sheepdog to train and two helpless baby birds to raise, it’s hard work for Jasmine to juggle all of her animals, even with the help of her best friend, Tom. But when sheep rustlers strike her family’s flock, taking Lucky with them, Jasmine will have to summon the courage for her most daring rescue yet. From author Helen Peters and illustrator Ellie Snowdon comes an especially thrilling story about Jasmine Green, a girl with a talent for taking care of animals.

Bunny Roo and Duckling Too
By Melissa Marr
Illustrated by Teagan White
32 Pages | Ages 1-3 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525516040 | Nancy Paulsen Books
It’s hard to keep up with an energetic toddler, and as an adoring mom tries to, she describes all the frisky young animals her little one reminds her of – from a hopping frog and a squirming snake, to her adorable cuddly bunny. A loving mama has fun sharing the various animals her growing child resembles, in this delightful companion to Bunny Roo, I Love You.

Easter, Here I Come
By D. J. Steinberg
Illustrated by Emanuel Wiemans
32 Pages | Ages 4-6 | Paperback
ISBN 9780593224014 | Grosset & Dunlap
D. J. Steinberg is back with more playful poems, and this time, they are all odes to Easter and springtime. From making an Easter bonnet to enjoying an egg-squisite Easter brunch, this book – with its sheet of stickers – is a perfect gift to put in any child’s Easter basket!

Five Little Ducks
Illustrated by Yu-Hsuan Huang
10 Pages | Ages 0-2 | Board Book
ISBN 9780763699338 | Nosy Crow
Join a mother duck as she counts her five ducklings in this interactive board book based on the beloved children’s song. A QR code inside links to both instrumental and vocal versions of the song. Simply scan the code to listen and sing along – Quack! Quack! Quack! Quack!

How Big Is Love
By Emma Dodd
24 Pages | Ages 2-5 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536215441 | Templar
Does love have a size? A family of ducks celebrates the boundless affection between them in Emma Dodd’s gentle rhyming ode to unconditional love.

How Do Bunnies Take Baths?
By Diane Muldrow
Illustrated by David Walker
24 Pages | Ages 2-5 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593127773 | Golden Books
This delightful rhyming Little Golden Book shares fun facts about how bunnies, zebras, cats, elephants, and many other animals keep themselves clean. Young boys and girls will love comparing their bath time to those of the adorable animals in this new book from New York Times bestselling author Diane Muldrow and beloved illustrator David Walker.

Meet the Matzah
By Alan Silberberg
36 Pages | Ages 3-5 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593118115 | Viking BFYR
Meet Alfie Koman. He’s a matzah who really likes to hide. But Alfie also has a great story to tell his class of how the Hebrews fled Egypt to freedom. Too bad Loaf, the school sourdough bully, turns Alfie’s Passover story upside-down. A pharaoh who is a giant cockroach? Moses as a mighty superhero? And Ten Plagues that include “No Wi-fi” and “Chocolate-turned-to-broccoli”? Looks like it’s up to Alfie and his best friend Challa Looyah to get the Passover story right. Alfie just has to come out of hiding first. . . .

More Than Fluff
By Madeline Valentine
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593179055 | Knopf BFYR
Daisy happens to be fluffy – she’s a young chick after all. Her friends can’t help but want to pet her, squeeze her, and tell her how cute she is. But Daisy doesn’t want to be hugged or kissed. She’s not just fluff; Daisy has substance! But how can she tell everyone to give her some space without hurting their feelings? A timely and funny book that encourages kids to establish and respect boundaries – perfect for reading aloud and shared story time!

Mustache Duckstache
By Amy Young
Illustrated by AJ Young
32 Pages | Ages 3-5 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593205587 | Viking BFYR
When a mustachioed rabbit spots a mustache contest, he’s sure he has the competition beat. That is, until a pesky frog hops up with his own fine mustache. And a duck waddles up with a. . . duckstache? Soon, the competition is full of moosestaches and mousestaches, whalestaches and tailstaches – and every kind of ‘stache in between. Readers will love following this simple tale of hirsute havoc with a laugh-out-loud twist ending. Plus, there’s a fun guide at the end to every kind of mustache imaginable!

Peep and Ducky Sleepover
By David Martin
Illustrated by David Walker
32 Pages | Ages 0-3 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536204544 | Candlewick
When Poppa leaves Ducky at Peep’s house for a sleepover, the little visitor is a bit teary at first. But Peep and his momma give Ducky a hug, making him feel better. Then comes playtime (and getting momentarily stuck in a truck), brushing teeth, and snuggling with Momma for bedtime stories. But will her wish for “sweet dreams” coax the two excited friends straight to sleep? With sing-song rhythms, winsome illustrations, and the most infectious sort of good-natured charm, Peep and Ducky’s latest adventure will be the bedtime read-aloud choice for mischievous toddlers everywhere.

Raindrops to Rainbows
By John Micklos, Jr.
Illustrated by Charlene Chua
32 Pages | Ages 3-5 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593224090 | Penguin Workshop
Raindrops are falling outside, but there’s still a world of color to experience! Delightful rhymes and brilliant illustrations detail how a gloomy, rainy day might not actually be so gloomy after all when you get to spend time with Mom, Brown Bear, and the colors around you. And when a “beaming rainbow, bold and bright” cuts through the sky, everyone gets to experience the joy of all the colors that can only come after the rain.

Spring Cakes
By Miranda Harmon
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780823447534 | Holiday House
It’s springtime! Mama Cat is ready to bake her famous spring cakes, enchanted cupcakes heaped with sparkling frosting. Can kittens Nutmeg, Cinnamon, and Ginger find all the magical ingredients she needs? The quest begins! This imaginative and adventurous graphic reader comes from rising comics star Miranda Harmon, co-creator of Mayor Good Boy.

The Passover Guest
By Susan Kusel
Illustrated by Sean Rubin
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780823445622 | Neal Porter Books
It’s the Spring of 1933 in Washington D.C., and the Great Depression is hitting young Muriel’s family hard. Her father has lost his job, and her family barely has enough food most days, let alone for a Passover Seder. They don’t even have any wine to leave out for the prophet Elijah’s ceremonial cup. With no feast to rush home to, Muriel wanders by the Lincoln Memorial, where she encounters a mysterious magician in whose hands juggled eggs become lit candles. After she makes a kind gesture, he encourages her to run home for her Seder, and when she does, she encounters a holiday miracle, a bountiful feast of brisket, soup, and matzah. But who was this mysterious benefactor? When Muriel sees Elijah’s ceremonial cup is empty, she has a good idea.

The Secret Fawn
By Kallie George
Illustrated by Elly MacKay
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735265165 | Tundra Books
A little girl is always missing out on the wonderful things her family gets to see and do, just because she is the youngest and smallest. She misses seeing shooting stars because she goes to bed too early; she can’t pick the first apple of autumn because she’s too short; and, this morning, everyone else got to see a deer . . . except her. She goes into her backyard in search of the deer, a sugar cube tucked in her pocket. She sees a flick of brown in the orchard – is that the deer? No, it’s just the neighbor’s friendly dog (shhhhh, Nala!). Is that it by the pond? No, that’s just a bird, playing in the water. Just when she’s about to give up, she spots a fawn, beautiful, quiet and small . . . just like her. The Secret Fawn beautifully captures the power of nature to inspire children and shows how connecting with animals can help kids who feel left out or overlooked.

The Tale of the Mandarin Duck: A Modern Fable
By Bette Midler
Illustrated by Michiko Kakutani
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593176764 | Random House BFYR
How do you get people to appreciate what is right in front of them? In The Tale of the Mandarin Duck, it takes a mysterious, beautiful duck and a clear-eyed kid to point out the obvious! Bette Midler’s distinctive voice joins striking photos of the real duck by Michiko Kakutani and charming black-and-white drawings by Joana Avillez. This book will have readers of all ages coming back to visit the fantastical interpretation of New York City and its odd ducks – both feathered and human. 

We  Adopted a Baby Lamb
By Lori Joy Smith
48 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735266537 | Tundra Books
Ila is excited about her family’s move to the country – mostly because it means she can have more pets! But no one expected their next addition to be a lamb. When Albert first comes home, he sleeps a lot, he eats a lot . . . and he pees on the floor a lot. Ila and her sister and parents quickly learn how to care for a baby sheep – they must feed him and protect him. It’s not easy because Albert gets into everything! He eats the tulips from the flower bed, chews on car bumpers, chases the dog (and hides from the cats). Ila and her family does everything to make Albert happy and healthy, but she can’t help feeling like her little lamb might be missing something from his life. Maybe he needs a friend? But Ila soon realizes that she doesn’t need to look for a friend for Albert – he already has his flock.

Welcome Flower Child: The Magic of Your Birth Flower
By Brigette Barrager
42 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984830395 | Random House BFYR
Welcome to this celebration of nature and babies from New York Times bestselling illustrator of Uni the Unicorn, Brigette Barrager. A gorgeous gift book reveals the qualities of babies born in each month of the year, and the accompanying flower that blooms in each birth month. This text is sweet, and soft, and everyone who opens it can find the special personality traits of individuals born in their month revealed.

What’s Inside a Flower: And Other Questions About Science & Nature
By Rachel Ignotofsky
48 Pages | Ages 4-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593176474 | Crown BFYR
Budding backyard scientists can start exploring their world with this stunning introduction to these flowery show-stoppers – from seeds to roots to blooms. Learning how flowers grow gives kids beautiful building blocks of science and inquiry. In the launch of a new nonfiction picture book series, Rachel Ignotofsky’s distinctive art style and engaging, informative text clearly answers any questions a child (or adult) could have about flowers.

Will You Be My Friend?
By Sam McBratney
Illustrated by Anita Jeram
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536217476 | Candlewick Press
Little Nutbrown Hare is out exploring on his own. Off he hops along the path and through the grass until he reaches Cloudy Mountain, where something extraordinary happens: he discovers a new friend! Now the fun can really begin. Twenty-five years after we met the Nutbrown Hares, this enchanting new tale about friendship is bound to capture the hearts of Guess How Much I Love You fans – and everyone else – the world over.

You Are Always Loved
By Madeleine Dean and Harry Cunnane
Illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown
32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593309247 | Random House BFYR
An evergreen message about hope and unconditional love is told through the story of a bunny separated from its parent during a rainstorm and all the forest friends who come together to offer help. This lyrical book will touch children who have experienced deep loneliness or isolation, and is crafted especially for those who know the unique heartache of witnessing a family member suffer from addiction.