Holiday Spotlight: Candlewick Press 2021

Here at Penguin Random House Canada, we’re lucky to work with so many different publisher lists. This holiday season, we’ll be highlighting each one with a dedicated post to help you find the perfect gift (or your next read). Today’s post spotlights Candlewick Press.

20 Big Trucks in the Middle of Christmas
By Mark Lee
Illustrated by Kurt Cyrus
32 Pages | Ages 3-7  | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536212532 | Candlewick
The snowy town is filling up with a procession of trucks of all shapes and sizes, including a snowplow, a crane, a digger, a semitrailer transporting the town’s majestic Christmas tree, and even a flatbed carrying Santa’s sleigh. All in all, twenty trucks roll in full of sparkle and anticipation, ready to set up the holiday festivities. But when the star being hoisted to the top of the Christmas tree wobbles and crashes to the ground, what could possibly be used to replace it? Thankfully, a pair of siblings scan the scene and come up with the perfect solution. Author Mark Lee and illustrator Kurt Cyrus team up again for a buoyant story delivering satisfying rhymes, holiday spirit, and most importantly, twenty trucks for counting.

Amber and Clay
By Laura Amy Schlitz
Illustrated by Julia Iredale
544 Pages | Ages 10-14 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536201222 | Candlewick
In a warlike land of wind and sunlight, “ringed by a restless sea,” live Rhaskos and Melisto, spiritual twins with little in common beyond the violent and mysterious forces that dictate their lives. A Thracian slave in a Greek household, Rhaskos is as common as clay, a stable boy worth less than a donkey, much less a horse. Wrenched from his mother at a tender age, he nurtures in secret, aided by Socrates, his passions for art and philosophy. Melisto is a spoiled aristocrat, a girl as precious as amber but willful and wild. She’ll marry and be tamed – the curse of all highborn girls – but risk her life for a season first to serve Artemis, goddess of the hunt. Bound by destiny, Melisto and Rhaskos – Amber and Clay – never meet in the flesh. By the time they do, one of them is a ghost. But the thin line between life and death is just one boundary their unlikely friendship crosses. It takes an army of snarky gods and fearsome goddesses, slaves and masters, mothers and philosophers to help shape their story into a gorgeously distilled, symphonic tour de force. Blending verse, prose, and illustrated archaeological “artifacts,” this is a tale that vividly transcends time, an indelible reminder of the power of language to illuminate the over- and underworlds of human history.

Bake, Make, and Learn to Cook: Fun and Healthy Recipes for Young Cooks
By David Atherton
Illustrated by Rachel Stubbs
88 Pages | Ages 5-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536219364 | Candlewick
Gather your frying pan, mixing bowls, and rolling pin – it’s time to cook! David Atherton, 2019 winner of The Great British Baking Show, walks readers through delicious and delightful recipes such as banana bear pancakes, tasty tacos, and mega-chocolatey cake. From tomato soup (served in a teapot!) to brownies made with sweet potatoes, David Atherton offers a kid-friendly collection of recipes that feels at once timeless and modern. Accompanied by warm illustrations from Rachel Stubbs that capture the joys of cooking together, Bake, Make, and Learn to Cook features sweet and savory recipes for any time of day, a list of needed equipment, a glossary of cooking terms, and some important tips. Don your apron and grab your favorite little sous-chef – this will be a first cookbook to cherish.

Idol Gossip
By Alexandra Leigh Young
352 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536213645 | Walker Books US
Every Friday after school, seventeen-year-old Alice Choy and her little sister, Olivia, head to Myeongdong to sing karaoke. Back in San Francisco, when she still had friends and earthly possessions, Alice took regular singing lessons. But since their diplomat mom moved them to Seoul, her only musical outlet is vamping it up in a private karaoke booth to an audience of one: her loyal sister. Then a scout for Top10 Entertainment, one of the biggest K-pop companies, hears her and offers her a spot at their Star Academy. Can Alice navigate the culture clashes, egos, and extreme training practices of K-pop to lead her group onstage before a stadium of 50,000 chanting fans – and just maybe strike K-pop gold? Not if a certain influential blogger and the anti-fans get their way. . . . This debut novel is about standing out and fitting in, dreaming big and staying true. It will speak to fans of K-pop and to anyone who is trying to take their talents to the next level.

Jasmine Green Rescues: A Donkey Called Mistletoe
By Helen Peters
Illustrated by Ellie Snowdon
160 Pages | Ages 7-9 | Paperback
ISBN 9781536222463 | Walker Books
When Jasmine and her best friend, Tom, visit their neighbor Mr. Hobson to help him with some chores, they discover that he is selling his farm and moving to a nearby assisted living facility. Because Mr. Hobson won’t have a home for his beloved donkey, Mistletoe, anymore, he is planning to send him to a faraway sanctuary. Jasmine doesn’t want to see them separated, so she hatches a plan to keep Mistletoe at Oak Tree Farm, where Mr. Hobson could visit him whenever he liked. But caring for a donkey is lots of work (as Jasmine’s parents often remind her), especially with her mischievous younger brother around. When the school nativity play encounters a mishap, though, Jasmine realizes she may have the perfect understudy right in her backyard. From author Helen Peters and illustrator Ellie Snowdon, this latest book in the Jasmine Green Rescues series offers a heartwarming tale of multigenerational friendship and holiday spirit.

Jingle Bells: A Musical Instrument Song Book
By James Lord Pierpont
Illustrated by Nicola Slater
10 Pages | Ages 0-2  | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536222036 | Nosy Crow
Listen and sing along as the merry band of musicians go on a sleigh ride, playing their instruments along the way. Then join in as they all play together in the festive finale! Nicola Slater’s charming illustrations combined with real instrumental music make this sound-button board book an irresistible Christmas gift.

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.

Stink: The Stupendously Super-Sonic Collection
By Megan McDonald
Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Ages 6-9 | Paperback Box Set
ISBN 9781536223002 | Candlewick
Stink Moody: fact freak, science star, and encyclopedia enthusiast. He’s always up to learning more and sharing some out-of-this-world comics! Readers won’t want to miss out on this paperback boxed set of Stink’s first six books, with fresh covers sure to catch the eye. Included are: The Incredible Shrinking KidStink and the Incredible Super-Galactic JawbreakerStink and the World’s Worst Super-Stinky SneakersStink and the Great Guinea Pig ExpressSolar System Superhero, and Stink and the Ultimate Thumb-Wrestling Smackdown.

The Beatryce Prophecy: Gift Edition
By Kate DiCamillo
Illustrated by Sophie Blackall
256 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536218671 | Candlewick
This collector’s edition of The Beatryce Prophecy, packaged in a keepsake box with a ribbon enclosure, includes an exclusive full-color piece of artwork, as well as a special beautifully decorated scroll with a story written by two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo and illustrated in full color by two-time Caldecott Medalist Sophie Blackall. In a time of war, a mysterious child appears at the monastery of the Order of the Chronicles of Sorrowing. Gentle Brother Edik finds the girl, Beatryce, curled in a stall, wracked with fever, coated in dirt and blood, and holding fast to the ear of Answelica the goat. As the monk nurses Beatryce to health, he uncovers her dangerous secret, one that imperils them all – for the king of the land seeks just such a girl, and Brother Edik, who penned the prophecy himself, knows why. And so it is that a girl with a head full of stories – powerful tales-within-the-tale of queens and kings, mermaids and wolves – ventures into a dark wood in search of the castle of one who wishes her dead.

The Heartbreak Bakery
By A.R. Capetta
352 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536216530 | Candlewick
Syd (no pronouns, please) has always dealt with big, hard-to-talk-about things by baking. Being dumped is no different, except now Syd is baking at the Proud Muffin, a queer bakery and community space in Austin. And everyone who eats Syd’s breakup brownies . . . breaks up. Even Vin and Alec, who own the Proud Muffin. And their breakup might take the bakery down with it. Being dumped is one thing; causing ripples of queer heartbreak through the community is another. But the cute bike delivery person, Harley (he or they, check the pronoun pin, it’s probably on the messenger bag), believes Syd about the magic baking. And Harley believes Syd’s magical baking can fix things, too – one recipe at a time.

The Rock from the Sky
By Jon Klassen
96 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536215632 | Candlewick
There is a spot.
It is a good spot.
It is the perfect spot to stand.
There is no reason to ever leave.
But somewhere above there is also a rock.
A rock from the sky.
Here comes The Rock from the Sky, a hilarious meditation on the workings of friendship, fate, shared futuristic visions, and that funny feeling you get that there’s something off somewhere, but you just can’t put your finger on it. Merging broad visual suspense with wry wit, celebrated picture book creator Jon Klassen gives us a wholly original comedy for the ages.

To the Moon and Back Slipcase Set
By Sam McBratney
Illustrated by Anita Jeram
Ages 3-7 | Hardcover Box Set
ISBN 9781536222210 | Candlewick
It’s the book that gave rise to the words “I love you right up to the moon – and back” – a phrase that’s now in the common vernacular. This tale of a big and little hare who boast of loving each other as high as they can hop and as wide as they can reach has been adored by a generation of children who’ve begun sharing it with their own. Twenty-five years after the Nutbrown Hares met the world, creators Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram brought us the perfect companion – the story of Little Nutbrown Hare’s jubilant steps toward independence after meeting a new friend. Now, in an elegant slipcase, Guess How Much I Love You and Will You Be My Friend? find a special spot together on bookshelves – a pairing sure to be coveted by big and little readers for generations to come.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
By Clement C. Moore
Illustrated by P.J. Lynch
32 Pages | Ages 3-7  | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536222852 | Candlewick
P.J. Lynch brings his rich and atmospheric art to the well-loved holiday poem. Children will pore over every cozy detail in these warm, sweeping watercolor illustrations – from snug mice to stockings hung by the chimney with care to toys in the bundle flung over merry St. Nicholas’s back. A glowing interpretation of a favorite read-aloud, this is a keepsake volume to cherish and return to year after year.

Where Snow Angels Go
By Maggie O’Farrell
Illustrated by Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini
72 Pages | Ages 7-10 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536219371 | Candlewick
One night Sylvie awakens to an incredible sight: a glowing figure tiptoeing across her floor, with enormous feathery wings wafting from his back. He’s muttering to himself, trying to remember his orders, for this is his first flight. Could he really be the same angel she made last winter in the snow? Sylvie’s angel says she isn’t supposed to see him. He has been sent to save her life, and when the danger is past, she won’t remember he was there. But she does remember. She thinks of him every day. And when nothing Sylvie does, no matter how risky, can make him reappear, she realizes he’ll always be there unseen when she truly needs him. In a contemporary tale told with humor and warmth, paired with Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini’s enchanting artwork, Maggie O’Farrell weaves the story of a spirited girl who finds a way to bring magic into her own house – and enlist it to bring a sense of wonder to those she loves.

Where’s Waldo? Santa Spotlight Search
By Martin Handford
16 Pages | Ages 5-9  | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536220131 | Candlewick
Shake your sleigh bells, pull on your holiday sweater, and join in the festive madness! These night-time scenes are bustling with Santas getting ready for Christmas Eve. With the help of a magic slider to light up one spot at a time, can you find some very specific Santas – like the one whose stocking is threadbare? Or the ones who are slimmer than most? And by the way, where are Waldo and all his friends – Wenda, Odlaw, Wizard Whitebeard, and Woof? Featuring super-challenging searches as well as puzzles and games, Santa’s Spotlight Search promises many hours of merriment for seasoned Waldo fans and new followers alike.

Small Business Saturday

The Saturday after Black Friday is usually called Small Business Saturday to encourage and remind us to shop and support local businesses. Here are some books about celebrating local shops and books where kids take matters into their own hands and start their own businesses.

J.D. and the Great Barber Battle
By J. Dillard
Illustrated by Akeem S. Roberts
128 Pages | Ages 6-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593111529 | Kokila
J.D. has a big problem – it’s the night before the start of third grade and his mom has just given him his first and worst home haircut. When the steady stream of insults from the entire student body of Douglass Elementary becomes too much for J.D., he takes matters into his own hands and discovers that, unlike his mom, he’s a genius with the clippers. His work makes him the talk of the town and brings him enough hair business to open a barbershop from his bedroom. But when Henry Jr., the owner of the only official local barbershop, realizes he’s losing clients to J.D., he tries to shut him down for good. How do you find out who’s the best barber in all of Meridian, Mississippi? With a GREAT BARBER BATTLE!

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!

Marcus Makes a Movie
By Kevin Hart and Geoff Rodkey
Illustrated by David Cooper
208 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593179147 | Crown BFYR
Marcus is NOT happy to be stuck in after-school film class . . . until he realizes he can turn the story of the cartoon superhero he’s been drawing for years into an actual MOVIE! There’s just one problem: he has no idea what he’s doing. So he’ll need help, from his friends, his teachers, Sierra, the strong-willed classmate with creative dreams of her own, even Tyrell, the local bully who’d be a perfect movie villain if he weren’t too terrifying to talk to. Making this movie won’t be easy. But as Marcus discovers, nothing great ever is – and if you want your dream to come true, you’ve got to put in the hustle to make it happen. Comedy superstar Kevin Hart teams up with award-winning author Geoff Rodkey and lauded illustrator David Cooper for a hilarious, illustrated, and inspiring story about bringing your creative goals to life and never giving up, even when nothing’s going your way.

Marty
By Rachel Noble
Illustrated by Zoey Abbott
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780823446629 | Holiday House
Marty is a tiny green Martian who lives here on Earth. You’ve never noticed him before, because he is undercover . . . Marty wears disguises and studies human behavior in order to fit in. He is always watching, learning, and laughing. And then one day, after much preparation, Marty gets a job! He loves to watch his customers, and he even makes some friends. But Marty knows he can never reveal his secret. Humans are terrified of Martians. When his cover gets blown, Marty needs somewhere safe to go. Who will see beyond his strange, green looks to show him kindness?

Middle School’s a Drag, You Better Werk!
By Greg Howard
336 Pages | Ages 10+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780525517542 | Putnam BFYR
Twelve-year-old Mikey Pruitt is a budding entrepreneur. Inspired by his grandfather Pap Pruitt, who successfully ran all sorts of businesses, Mikey is still looking for his million-dollar idea. Unfortunately, most of his ideas – from a roadside general store to croquet lessons – haven’t taken off. It isn’t until kid drag queen Coco Caliente, Mistress of Madness and Mayhem (aka eighth grader Julian Vasquez) walks into his office (aka his family’s storage/laundry room) looking for a talent agent that Mikey thinks he’s finally found a business that will put him on the map, and the Anything Talent and Pizzazz Agency is born! Soon, Mikey has a whole roster of kid clients looking to hit it big or at least win the middle school talent show’s hundred-dollar prize. As newly out Mikey prepares Julian for the gig of a lifetime, he realizes there’s no rulebook for being gay – and if Julian can be openly gay at school, maybe Mikey can, too, and tell his crush, the dreamy Colton Sanford, how he feels. Full of laughs, sass, and hijinks, this hilarious, heartfelt story shows that with a little effort and a lot of love, anything is possible.

Our Corner Grocery Store
By Joanne Schwartz
Illustrated by Laura Beingessner
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781770491267 | Tundra Books
Anna Maria takes great pleasure and pride in her grandparents’ corner grocery store. Every Saturday she spends the day helping to arrange fruits and vegetables, greet the customers, and keep things neat and tidy. Through her day we meet the neighbors and learn what an important part the corner grocery store plays in the community. Nonno Domenico, Nonna Rosa, and Anna Maria supply more than goods as the steady stream of customers arrives. Lunches are made, news is shared, bargains are purchased, recipes are traded, and cheerful ciaos are called. By the end of a long day, Anna Maria has a true sense of just how wonderful the sights and smells within the store are and how much they mean to everyone.

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.

The Pink Umbrella
By Amélie Callot
Illustrated by Geneviève Godbout
80 Pages | Ages 6-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781101919231 | Tundra Books
When it’s bright outside, Adele is the heart of her community, greeting everyone who comes into her café with arms wide open. But when it rains, she can’t help but stay at home inside, under the covers. Because Adele takes such good care of her friends and customers, one of them decides to take care of her too, and piece by piece leaves her little gifts that help her find the joy in a gray, rainy day. Along with cute-as-a-button illustrations, The Pink Umbrella celebrates thoughtful acts of friendship.

Transgender Awareness Month

This past week, November 14-20, 2021, was Transgender Awareness Week, culminating in Transgender Day of Remembrance on the 20th and the whole month of November is Trans Awareness Month. Here are a few picture books and middle grade novels to get the conversation started!

Note: for the purposes of this list, we’ve included books with non-binary characters in addition to trans characters but we recognize that not all non-binary folks fall under the trans umbrella!

Bodies are Cool
By Tyler Feder
32 Pages | Ages 3-5 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593112625 | Dial Books
From the acclaimed creator of Dancing at the Pity Party and Roaring Softly, this picture book is a pure celebration of all the different human bodies that exist in the world. Highlighting the various skin tones, body shapes, and hair types is just the beginning in this truly inclusive book. With its joyful illustrations and encouraging refrain, it will instill body acceptance and confidence in the youngest of readers. “My body, your body, every different kind of body! All of them are good bodies! BODIES ARE COOL!”

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.

Calvin
By JR Ford and Vanessa Ford
Illustrated by Kayla Harren
32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593108673 | Putnam BFYR
Calvin has always been a boy, even if the world sees him as a girl. He knows who he is in his heart and in his mind but he hasn’t yet told his family. Finally, he can wait no longer: “I’m not a girl,” he tells his family. “I’m a boy – a boy in my heart and in my brain.” Quick to support him, his loving family takes Calvin shopping for the swim trunks he’s always wanted and back-to-school clothes and a new haircut that helps him look and feel like the boy he’s always known himself to be. As the first day of school approaches, he’s nervous and the “what-ifs” gather up inside him. But as his friends and teachers rally around him and he tells them his name, all his “what-ifs” begin to melt away.

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
Illustrated by Art Twink
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.

Obie is Man Enough
By Schuyler Bailar
352 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593379462 | Crown BFYR
Obie knew his transition would have ripple effects. He has to leave his swim coach, his pool, and his best friends. But it’s time for Obie to find where he truly belongs. As Obie dives into a new team, though, things are strange. Obie always felt at home in the water, but now he can’t get his old coach out of his head. Even worse are the bullies that wait in the locker room and on the pool deck. Luckily, Obie has family behind him. And maybe some new friends too, including Charlie, his first crush. Obie is ready to prove he can be one of the fastest boys in the water – to his coach, his critics, and his biggest competition: himself.

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.

The Little Library
By Margaret McNamara
Illustrated by G. Brian Karas
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525578338 | Schwartz & Wade
Everyone in Mr. Tiffin’s class couldn’t be more excited that the new school library has finally opened. Everyone except Jake. Jake is a slow and careful reader. Sometimes he reads the same page more than once to figure everything out. And he often feels left behind on class Library Day. All that changes when Librarian Beck notices Jake running his fingers across the grooves of a brand-new bookshelf and offers him an old, worn book: Woodworking for Young Hands. Jake checks the book out, studies the pictures and instructions, and renews the book again and again. When the school year comes to an end, Jake has the perfect gift idea for the librarian who changed his life – and he makes it with his own two hands.

The Ship We Built
By Lexie Bean
288 Pages | Ages 10-14 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525554837 | Dial Books
Rowan has too many secrets to write down in the pages of a diary. And if he did, he wouldn’t want anyone he knows to read them. He understands who he is and what he likes, but it’s not safe for others to find out. Now the kids at school say Rowan’s too different to spend time with. He’s not the “right kind” of girl, and he’s not the “right kind” of boy. His mom ignores him. And at night, his dad hurts him in ways he’s not ready to talk about yet. But Rowan discovers another way to share his secrets: letters. Letters he attaches to balloons and releases into the universe, hoping someone new will read them and understand. But when he befriends a classmate who knows what it’s like to be lonely and scared, even at home, Rowan realizes that there might already be a person he can trust right by his side.

This is Our Rainbow: 16 Stories of Her, Him, Them, and Us
Edited by Katherine Locke and Nicole Melleby
336 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593303948 | Knopf BFYR
A boyband fandom becomes a conduit to coming out. A former bully becomes a first-kiss prospect. One nonbinary kid searches for an inclusive athletic community after quitting gymnastics. Another nonbinary kid, who happens to be a pirate, makes a wish that comes true – but not how they thought it would. A tween girl navigates a crush on her friend’s mom. A young witch turns herself into a puppy to win over a new neighbor. A trans girl empowers her online bestie to come out. From wind-breathing dragons to first crushes, This Is Our Rainbow features story after story of joyful, proud LGBTQA+ representation. You will fall in love with this insightful, poignant anthology of queer fantasy, historical, and contemporary stories.

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.

National Housing Day

Each year, National Housing Day is held on November 22 to recognize and improve access to housing for everyone in Canada. Here are some books that celebrate the different shapes and forms that houses – and homes – can take!

A House for Every Bird
By Megan Maynor
Illustrated by Kaylani Juanita
32 Pages | Ages 3-6 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984896483 | Knopf BFYR
A young artist has drawn birds and bird houses in corresponding colors. Now it’s time to match them up. The blue bird goes in the blue house, the orange bird in the orange house, and so on. But wait! The birds don’t agree with the narrator’s choices and, much to her distress, are rebelling by swapping houses. Can the narrator make the birds see sense? Or is it possible that you just can’t tell a bird by its feathers?

Home: A Peek-Through Picture Book
By Britta Teckentrup
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593379295 | Doubleday BFYR
A family of bears wanders through the forest, spying all the different places animals call home, including a bird’s nest, a beaver lodge, an icy river full of fish, and a maze of rabbit burrows. Finally, as the snow falls, the bears come home to their cozy cave to hibernate, safe and warm. This comforting celebration of home and nature will enchant children as they peek through the holes on each page to spy each animal. It’s the perfect way for families to share a love of science and nature, while cuddled up together in their own homes.

Home
By Carson Ellis
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780763665296 | Candlewick
Home might be a house in the country, an apartment in the city, or even a shoe. Home may be on the road or the sea, in the realm of myth, or in the artist’s own studio. A meditation on the concept of home and a visual treat that invites many return visits, this loving look at the places where people live marks the picture-book debut of Carson Ellis, acclaimed illustrator of the Wildwood series and artist for the indie band the Decemberists.

Mi Casa Is My Home
By Laurenne Sala
Illustrated by Zara González Hoang
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536209433 | Candlewick
Bienvenidos to Lucía’s home. Lucía lives in her casa with her big, loud, beautiful familia, and she’s going to show you around! From la puerta, where Abuela likes to wave to the neighbors and wait for packages from Puerto Rico or Spain, to la cocina, where Lucía watches her Mamá turn empty pots into soups and arroces, to el patio, where Lucia and her cousins (and her cousin’s cousins!) put on magic shows, Lucía loves her busy and cozy casa. With warmth and joy, author Laurenne Sala and illustrator Zara González Hoang celebrate home in this bilingual picture book that feels like an abrazo from your most favorite people, your familia.

No Fixed Address
By Susin Nielsen
288 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735262751| Tundra Books
Felix Knuttson, twelve, is an endearing kid with an incredible brain for trivia. His mom Astrid is loving but unreliable; she can’t hold onto a job, or a home. When they lose their apartment in Vancouver, they move into a camper van, just for August, till Astrid finds a job. September comes, they’re still in the van; Felix must keep “home” a secret and give a fake address in order to enroll in school. Luckily, he finds true friends. As the weeks pass and life becomes grim, he struggles not to let anyone know how precarious his situation is. When he gets to compete on a national quiz show, Felix is determined to win – the cash prize will bring them a home. Their luck is about to change! But what happens is not at all what Felix expected.

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.

Red House, Tree House, Little Bitty Brown Mouse
By Jane Godwin
Illustrated by Blanca Gómez
40 Pages | Ages 3-5 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525553816 | Dial Books
A little mouse makes her way around the world, and invites preschoolers along as she sets out: Red house / Blue house / Green house / Tree house! / See the tiny mouse in her little brown house? Seamless, simple, and inspiring, the rhyming story abounds in concepts for the very young, with a particular focus on colors, and a delightful search-and-find element on every spread – the intrepid mouse herself!

Shelter
By Christie Matheson
192 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593376386 | Random House BFYR
Fifth grade can be tough for anyone. There are cliques and mean kids and homework and surprise math tests. But after tragedy strikes her family, almost-eleven-year-old Maya has a painful secret that makes many days feel nearly impossible. And today might be Maya’s toughest yet. Her family is on edge, she needs to travel alone across the city, a bully is out to get her, and Maya has to face this winter’s biggest rainstorm without a coat or an umbrella. But even on the rainiest days, there’s hope that the sun will come out soon. Emotional and compassionate, Shelter looks at homelessness through one girl’s eyes and explores the power of empathy, friendship, and love.

Ship in a Bottle
By Andrew Prahin
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984815811 | Putnam BFYR
All Mouse wants to do is eat gingersnaps, lie in the sun, and enjoy her ship in a bottle. All Cat wants to do is eat Mouse. This is a problem. So one day, Mouse sets off in her ship in a bottle in search of a new home. But the great big world is a scary place for one small mouse. As she sails downriver, she faces grabby seagulls, selfish rabbits, and stormy waters before finally finding refuge in a park on the shores of an enormous city, where she is welcomed by friends of all shapes and sizes. Readers will cheer Mouse’s quiet perseverance on her epic journey as she seeks a tiny spot to call her own.

Story Boat
By Kyo Maclear
Illustrated by Rashin Kheiriyeh
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735263598 | Tundra Books
When a little girl and her younger brother are forced along with their family to flee the home they’ve always known, they must learn to make a new home for themselves – wherever they are. And sometimes the smallest things – a cup, a blanket, a lamp, a flower, a story – can become a port of hope in a terrible storm. As the refugees travel onward toward an uncertain future, they are buoyed up by their hopes, dreams and the stories they tell – a story that will carry them perpetually forward. When you have to leave behind almost everything you know, where can you call home? Sometimes home is simply where we are: here. A imaginative, lyrical, unforgettable picture book about the migrant experience through a child’s eyes.

Take Back the Block
By Chrystal D. Giles
240 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593175170 | Random House BFYR
Wes Henderson has the best style in sixth grade. That – and hanging out with his crew (his best friends since little-kid days) and playing video games – is what he wants to be thinking about at the start of the school year, not the protests his parents are always dragging him to. But when a real estate developer makes an offer to buy Kensington Oaks, the neighborhood Wes has lived his whole life, everything changes. The grownups are supposed to have all the answers, but all they’re doing is arguing. Even Wes’s best friends are fighting. And some of them may be moving. Wes isn’t about to give up the only home he’s ever known. Wes has always been good at puzzles, and he knows there has to be a missing piece that will solve this puzzle and save the Oaks. But can he find it . . . before it’s too late? Exploring community, gentrification, justice, and friendship, Take Back the Block introduces an irresistible 6th grader and asks what it means to belong – to a place and a movement – and to fight for what you believe in.

The Blue HouseThe Blue House
By Phoebe Wahl
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984893390 | Tundra Books
For as long as he can remember, Leo has lived in the blue house with his dad, but lately the neighborhood is changing. People are leaving, houses are being knocked down and shiny new buildings are going up in their place. When Leo and his dad are forced to leave, they aren’t happy about it. They howl and rage and dance out their feelings. When the time comes, they leave the blue house behind – there was never any choice, not really – but little by little, they find a way to keep its memory alive in their new home.

The Cot in the Living Room
By Hilda Eunice Burgos
Illustrated by Gaby D’Alessandro
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593110478 | Kokila
Night after night, a young girl watches her mami set up a cot in the living room for guests in their Washington Heights apartment, like Raquel (who’s boring) and Edgardo (who gets crumbs everywhere). She resents that they get the entire living room with a view of the George Washington Bridge, while all she gets is a tiny bedroom with a view of her sister (who snores). Until one night when no one comes, and it’s finally her chance! But as it turns out, sleeping on the cot in the living room isn’t all she thought it would be.

Time for Bed, Old House
By Janet Costa Bates
Illustrated by A. G. Ford
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536209983 | Candlewick
Isaac is excited about having a sleepover at Grandpop’s house, but he’s a little nervous about being away from home for the first time. Luckily, his knowing Grandpop tells him it’s not quite time to go to bed yet – first, he needs Isaac’s help in putting the house to bed. Quietly and slowly, they move from room to room, turning out lights and pulling down shades, as Grandpop gently explains the nighttime sounds that Isaac finds unfamiliar. Now it’s time to read the house a bedtime story (Isaac is good at reading the pictures). By the time the house is settled in for the night, Isaac and Grandpop are ready for bed, too. Janet Costa Bates’ tender story and A. G. Ford’s cozy illustrations will have families – and extended families or friends – eager to take a wise Grandpop’s cue and embrace a new nighttime tradition.

Uma Wimple Charts Her House
By Reif Larsen and Ben Gibson
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593181188 | Anne Schwartz Books
Uma’s been making charts since she was a little kid. But when her teacher gives the class Uma’s dream assignment – to make a chart of their own homes – she is thrown for a loop. Oh, the possibilities! Oh, the pressure! What makes a house housey? she wonders. In order to figure it out, she asks each member of her family – Mom, Dad, and brothers Rex, Bram, and Lukey. But it’s not until she has a meltdown and Lukey comforts her that Uma figures out the secret to her chart – and her family. It’s the love that is shared inside a house’s walls.

Books Set in Cities

Since we’ve spent so much time in our homes this last year and a half, we’ve been exploring new cities with books! Here are some of our favorites including real cities and imaginary ones!

Coquí in the City
By Nomar Perez
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593109038 | Dial Books
Miguel’s pet frog, Coquí, is always with him: as he greets his neighbors in San Juan, buys quesitos from the panadería, and listens to his abuelo’s story about meeting baseball legend Roberto Clemente. Then Miguel learns that he and his parents are moving to the U.S. mainland, which means leaving his beloved grandparents, home in Puerto Rico, and even Coquí behind. Life in New York City is overwhelming, with unfamiliar buildings, foods, and people. But when he and Mamá go exploring, they find a few familiar sights that remind them of home, and Miguel realizes there might be a way to keep a little bit of Puerto Rico with him – including the love he has for Coquí – wherever he goes.

Dream Street
By Tricia Elam Walker
Illustrated by Ekua Holmes
32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525581109 | Anne Schwartz Books
Welcome to Dream Street – the best street in the world! On Dream Street, love between generations rules, everyone is special, and the warmth of the neighborhood shines. Meet kids like Azaria, who loves to jump double-Dutch one leg at a time; Zion, whose dream is to become a librarian; and cousins Ede and Tari, who dream of creating a picture book together one day. Meet grown-ups like Mr. Sidney, a retired mail carrier who greets everyone with the words, “Don’t wait to have a great day. Create one!” and Ms. Sarah, whose voice is only a whisper but who has stories between the lines of her face that she’ll share when you come close. A magical story from the critically acclaimed author of Nana Akua Goes to School and a Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Award winning illustrator. Illuminating this vivid cast of characters are vibrant, joyful illustrations that make this neighborhood – based on the Roxbury neighborhood in Boston where the author and illustrator grew up together as cousins – truly sing. This book is a perfect way for parents to share with their children the importance of community.

Escape to Witch City
By E. Latimer
312 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781101919316 | Tundra Books
Emmaline Black has a secret. She can hear the rhythm of heartbeats. Not just her own, but others’ too. It’s a rhythm she’s learned to control, and that can only mean one thing . . . Emma’s a witch. In a world where a sentence of witchcraft comes with dire consequences and all children who have reached the age of thirteen are tested to ensure they have no witch blood, Emma must attempt to stamp out her power before her own test comes. But the more she researches, the more she begins to suspect that her radically anti-witch aunt and mother are hiding something – the truth about their sister, her Aunt Lenore, who disappeared under mysterious circumstances years ago. The day of the test comes, and Emma’s results not only pair her up with strange new friends, but set her on a course to challenge everything she’s ever been taught about magic, and reveal long-buried family secrets. It seems witches may not have been so easy to banish after all. Secret cities, untapped powers, missing family members – Emma is about to discover a whole new world.

My Little Golden Book About New York City
By Apple Jordan and Melanie Demmer
24 Pages | Ages 2-5 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593304471 | Golden Books
Get ready to explore New York City with Poppy the Pigeon as your guide! This Little Golden Book highlights major attractions of the Big Apple including the Empire State Building, the Apollo Theater, Ellis Island, and the High Line. Plus there are great suggestions of things to do such as ice skate at Rockefeller Center, ride the carousel in Central Park, and eat cannoli in Little Italy! Perfect for families with young kids visiting New York City, NYC residents who wish to discover more of their hometown, and anyone who wants to learn about a fun city from the comfort of their home.

My Two Border Towns
By David Bowles
Illustrated by Erika Meza
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593111048 | Kokila
Early one Saturday morning, a boy prepares for a trip to The Other Side/El Otro Lado. It’s close – just down the street from his school – and it’s a twin of where he lives. To get there, his father drives their truck along the Rio Grande and over a bridge, where they’re greeted by a giant statue of an eagle. Their outings always include a meal at their favorite restaurant, a visit with Tío Mateo at his jewelry store, a cold treat from the paletero, and a pharmacy pickup. On their final and most important stop, they check in with friends seeking asylum and drop off much-needed supplies. My Two Border Towns by David Bowles, with stunning watercolor illustrations by Erika Meza, is the loving story of a father and son’s weekend ritual, a demonstration of community care, and a tribute to the fluidity, complexity, and vibrancy of life on the U.S.-Mexico border.

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.

Paris by Phone
By Pamela Druckerman
Illustrated by Benjamin Chaud
32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780399165061 | Putnam BFYR
When Josephine Harris decides that Paris is where she really belongs, all it takes is a quick call on her magical phone to whisk her away. The city of lights has fancy cafés, baguettes under every arm, the Eiffel Tower, and a fabulous new family who can’t wait to show her around. The city is a feast for the senses, but each new discovery brings a pang of melancholy. There’s something missing here. Could it be the person who loves Josephine’s best – her own mother?

Santa in the City
By Tiffany D. Jackson
Illustrated by Reggie Brown
32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593110256 | Dial Books
It’s two weeks before Christmas, and Deja is worried that Santa might not be able to visit her – after all, as a city kid, she doesn’t have a chimney for him to come down and none of the parking spots on her block could fit a sleigh, let alone eight reindeer! But with a little help from her family, community, and Santa himself, Deja discovers that the Christmas spirit is alive and well in her city. With bold, colorful illustrations that capture the joy of the holidays, this picture book from award-winning author Tiffany D. Jackson and illustrator Reggie Brown is not to be missed.

Take Back the Block
By Chrystal D. Giles
240 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593175170 | Random House BFYR
Wes Henderson has the best style in sixth grade. That – and hanging out with his crew (his best friends since little-kid days) and playing video games – is what he wants to be thinking about at the start of the school year, not the protests his parents are always dragging him to. But when a real estate developer makes an offer to buy Kensington Oaks, the neighborhood Wes has lived his whole life, everything changes. The grownups are supposed to have all the answers, but all they’re doing is arguing. Even Wes’s best friends are fighting. And some of them may be moving. Wes isn’t about to give up the only home he’s ever known. Wes has always been good at puzzles, and he knows there has to be a missing piece that will solve this puzzle and save the Oaks. But can he find it . . . before it’s too late? Exploring community, gentrification, justice, and friendship, Take Back the Block introduces an irresistible 6th grader and asks what it means to belong – to a place and a movement – and to fight for what you believe in.

Tales from the Inner City
By Shaun Tan
224 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735265202 | Tundra Books
A young girl’s cat brightens the lives of everyone in the neighborhood. A woman and her dog are separated by time and space, awaiting the day they will be reunited. A race of fish build a society parallel to our own. And a bunch of office managers suddenly turn into frogs, but find that their new lives aren’t so bad. The ambitious, unique and provocative Tales From the Inner City draws on the success of Shaun Tan’s The Arrival and Tales From Outer Suburbia and updates its sensibilities for a new generation. Combining his poignant and sensitive short stories with surreal, luminous paintings, Tan turns his astute lens on the environment, cities, family and the relationships between human and animals. This work opens a portal to the imagination and captures the beauty, joy and tragedy in the everyday lives of kids, teens and adults.

The Little Library
By Margaret McNamara
Illustrated by G. Brian Karas
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525578338 | Schwartz & Wade
Everyone in Mr. Tiffin’s class couldn’t be more excited that the new school library has finally opened. Everyone except Jake. Jake is a slow and careful reader. Sometimes he reads the same page more than once to figure everything out. And he often feels left behind on class Library Day. All that changes when Librarian Beck notices Jake running his fingers across the grooves of a brand-new bookshelf and offers him an old, worn book: Woodworking for Young Hands. Jake checks the book out, studies the pictures and instructions, and renews the book again and again. When the school year comes to an end, Jake has the perfect gift idea for the librarian who changed his life – and he makes it with his own two hands.

Witches of Brooklyn
By Sophie Escabasse
240 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Paperback
ISBN 9780593119273 | Random House Graphic
Could there really be witches in Brooklyn?! Effie’s aunts are weird. Like, really WEIRD. Really, really, really WEIRD! The secretly-magic kind of weird and that makes Effie wonder . . . does this mean she can do magic, too? Life in Brooklyn takes a strange twist for Effie as she learns more about her family and herself. With new friends who will do whatever they can to be there for her, a cursed pop-star, and her magically-inclined aunts – Effie’s life is about to get interesting.