New Books

This is my monthly roundup of books that were added to my shelves in the last month. I also share an update with you on other things going on in my life.

Family and Life Update

Our daughter was a Who in Seussical last month.
It was so fun to see the kids back on the stage!
The dance team had their spring show. It was bittersweet as their coach is leaving.
I have so much love for this team and we are praying they find a new coach soon!
For the first time this school year, we could attend one of Patrick’s concerts in person.
We love the Steel Pan group and it was such a fun concert.
Pat and I celebrated 22 years of marriage this month.
We are glad we could spend the weekend with our kids. We are blessed!

I have quite the stack of books to share with you this month including fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books. I have no business buying books due to my overflowing shelves, but I bought six this month because there are just so many great books out there. Be sure to check them out, below!

Be sure to follow me on Instagram, HERE to see snippets of what I’m reading or what’s going on in my daily life.

If you have missed any of my recent book reviews, you can see all of them by clicking, HERE.  Or you can stay up to date with my monthly Quick Lit Roundup.

If you choose to make a purchase through any of the links I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase.


10 Questions to Take Your Friendships to the Next Level

By: Laura Tremaine

Published: February 2, 2021

Publisher: Zondervan


Format: Hardcover

I have been a fan of Tremaine’s work for a while. I love her podcast, “10 Things to Tell You”. During the COVID quarantine, her podcast and daily inspiration on Instagram was comforting to me. She helps me see things in a different way and also helps me express it either in conversations with my husband or in my journal.

In spite of the hyper-connected culture we live in today, women still feel shamed for oversharing and being publicly vulnerable. And no matter how many friends we seem to have, many of us are still desperately lonely.

Laura Tremaine says it’s time for something better. Openness and vulnerability are the foundation for human growth and healthy relationships, and it all starts when we share our stuff, the nitty-gritty daily details about ourselves with others. Laura has led the way in her personal life with her popular blog and podcast, and now with lighthearted self-awareness, a sensitivity to the important things in life, and compelling storytelling, Laura gives you the tools to build and deepen the conversations happening in your life.

Laura’s stories about her childhood in Oklahoma, her complicated shifts in faith and friendships, and her marriage to a Hollywood movie director will prompt you to identify the beautiful narrative and pivotal milestones of your own life. Each chapter offers intriguing and reflective questions that will reveal unique details and stories you’ve never thought to tell and will guide you into cultivating the authentic connection with others that only comes from sharing yourself.


The Joys of Being an Amateur, The Power of Falling in Love, and Why You Need a Hobby

By: Annie F. Downs

Published: February 2, 2021

Publisher: Revell


Format: Hardcover

Who doesn’t need more fun in their life? I got this for an uplifting and fun read.

We know there are certain things we must have to survive–food, shelter, and safety to name a few. But there are also aspects of life that truly allow us to be joyful and fulfilled. For popular podcaster and bestselling author Annie F. Downs, fun is close to the top of that list. Few would argue that having fun doesn’t enrich our lives, but so much gets in the way of prioritizing it. Tough days, busyness, and feelings that are hard to talk about keep us from the fun that’s out there waiting to be found.

With That Sounds Fun, Annie offers an irresistible invitation to understand the meaning of fun, to embrace it and chase it, and to figure out what, exactly, sounds fun to you–then do it! Exploring some research and sharing some thoughts behind why fun matters, she shows you how to find, experience, and multiply your fun. With her signature storytelling style and whimsical vulnerability, Annie is the friend we all need to guide us back to staying true to ourselves and finding the fun we need.


Finding Joy in a Common Chore

By: Patric Richardson

Published: March 30, 2021

Publisher: Flatiron Books


Format: Hardcover

Anne Bogel recommended this on her podcast, “What Should I Read Next?” and convinced me to get it. I wish I would have had this book when I had teenage boys that had stinky and grass-stained uniforms to clean though. But, I can’t wait to overhaul my laundry area.

Doing laundry is rarely anyone’s favorite task. But to Patric Richardson, laundry isn’t just fun—it’s a way of life. After years of running Laundry Camp at the Mall of America for thousands of eager learners, he’s ready to share his tips, tricks, and hacks—bringing surprise to this commonly dreaded chore.

Facing expensive dry cleaning bills? You’ll learn how to wash everything—yes everything—at home. And those basically clean but smelly clothes? Richardson has a secret for freshening those too (hint: it involves vodka, not soap). Richardson’s handy advice shows us how to save time and money (and the planet!) with our laundry—and he intersperses it all with a healthy dose of humor, real-life laundry stories, and lessons from his Appalachian upbringing and career in fashion.


How We Meet and Why it Matters

By: Priya Parker

Published: May 15, 2018, Reprint April 15, 2020

Publisher: Riverhead Books


Format: Paperback

I also heard Anne Bogel discuss this book with a guest on “What Should I Read Next?”. The title alone didn’t grab my attention, but instead how the guest described the book and how it helped her in her job and interactions with others. I am on a number of committees and boards and I want to make sure I’m doing the best I can for the organizations I am helping.

Every day we find ourselves in gatherings, Priya Parker says in The Art of Gathering. If we can understand what makes these gatherings effective and memorable, then we can reframe and redirect them to benefit everyone, host and guest alike. Parker defines a gathering as three or more people who come together for a specific purpose. When we understand why we gather, she says — to acknowledge, to learn, to challenge, to change — we learn how to organize gatherings that are relevant and memorable: from an effective business meeting to a thought-provoking conference; from a joyful wedding to a unifying family dinner. Drawing on her experience as a strategic facilitator who’s worked with such organizations as the World Economic Forum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the retail company Fresh, Parker explains how ordinary people can create remarkable occasions, large and small. In dozens of fascinating examples, she breaks down the alchemy of these experiences to show what goes into the good ones and demonstrates how we can learn to incorporate those elements into all of our gatherings. The result is a book that’s both journey and guide, full of big ideas with real-world applications that will change the way you look at a business meeting, a parent-teacher conference, and a backyard barbecue.


By: Michael Paterniti

Published: March 3, 2015, Reprint June 28, 2016

Publisher: The Dial Press


Format: Paperback

Laura Tremaine talked about this on a podcast as one of the best books she read lately. Her description of it made me want to read it. I found it on Thrift Books and decided to purchase it.

Michael Paterniti is one of the most original and empathic storytellers working today. His writing has been described as “humane, devastating, and beautiful” by Elizabeth Gilbert, “spellbinding” by Anthony Doerr, and “expansive and joyful” by George Saunders. In the seventeen wide-ranging essays collected for the first time in Love and Other Ways of Dying, he brings his full literary powers to bear, pondering happiness and grief, memory and the redemptive power of human connection.

In the remote Ukranian countryside, Paterniti picks apples (and faces mortality) with a real-life giant; in Nanjing, China, he confronts a distraught jumper on a suicide bridge; in Dodge City, Kansas, he takes up residence at a roadside hotel and sees, firsthand, the ways in which the racial divide turns neighbor against neighbor. In each instance, Paterniti illuminates the full spectrum of human experience, introducing us to unforgettable everyday people and bygone legends, exploring the big ideas and emotions that move us. Paterniti reenacts Fran�ois Mitterrand’s last meal in a rustic dining room in France and drives across America with Albert Einstein’s brain in the trunk of his rental car, floating in a Tupperware container. He delves with heartbreaking detail into the aftermath of a plane crash off the coast of Nova Scotia, an earthquake in Haiti, and a tsunami in Japan–and, in searing swirls of language, unearths the complicated, hidden truths these moments of extremity teach us about our ability to endure, and to love.

Michael Paterniti has spent the past two decades grappling with some of our most powerful subjects and incomprehensible events, taking an unflinching point of view that seeks to edify as it resists easy answers. At every turn, his work attempts to make sense of both love and loss, and leaves us with a profound sense of what it means to be human. As he writes in the introduction to this book, “The more we examine the grooves and scars of this life, the more free and complete we become.”


Essays on Ordinary Acts

By: Rebekah Modrak and Jamie Vander Broek – Editors

Published: March 16, 2021

Publisher: Belt Publishing


Format: Paperback

This is a book I hadn’t heard of before it arrived in my mailbox. I think we could all use a little more humility in our lives. In our “me, me, me” culture, this may be a book all of us need to read. Especially in the world today, we could all use a reminder to be humble and kind.

What does humility mean and why does it matter in an age of golden escalators and billionaire entrepreneurs? How can the cultivation of humility empower us to see success in failure, to fight against injustice, to stretch beyond our usual ways of thinking, and to foster a culture of listening in an age of digital shouting? With contributions from renowned scholars as well as psychologists, artists, and many others, Radical Humility: Essays on Ordinary Acts offers guidance. Having witnessed the personal and civic costs of narcissism and arrogance, these and other writers consider humility as a valuable process―a state of being―with the power to impact institutions, systems, families, and individuals, and give voice to the ways in which humility is practiced in many ordinary but extraordinary actions.

This groundbreaking collection should find a place in the library of anyone seeking alternatives to a culture of self-aggrandizing excess.


Finding Peace of Mind While You Write, Publish, and Promote Your Book

By: Bella Mahaya Carter

Published: June 1, 2021

Publisher: She Writes Press


Format: Paperback

Writing is hard. It is not for the weak. Writing takes persistence, dedication, and a tough outer skin. There will be rejection and lots of editing. I think this book may help writers focus on the reason why they chose to write and help their creativity flow onto the page.

In Where Do You Hang Your Hammock? seasoned coach and author Bella Mahaya Carter shows writers how to use their present circumstances as stepping-stones to a successful and meaningful writing life, navigated from the inside out. It encourages writers and authors to rethink their ambitions (which may be fueled by the tyrannical demands of the ego) and trust in their heartfelt purpose and values in the journey to becoming, or continuing on, as authors. Many writers believe their self-sabotaging thoughts are trustworthy and true. They take rejection personally. They surmise that if they don’t achieve their goals they have failed, and lose sight of who they are and what matters most. This book is for writers looking for inspiration and for authors daunted by the publishing process, who might lack the requisite author platform to get published the way they dreamed, or whose careers may not be unfolding as expected. It aims to be the friend and trusted expert writers turn to when hijacked by their own thinking. Ultimately, it reminds authors that they are infinite creators.


Nobelist Fred Reines and the Neutrino

By: Leonard A. Cole

Published: April 22, 2021

Publisher: World Scientific


Format: Paperback

Well, honestly I have no idea what a neutrino is or who Fred Reines is. I had to google it. For those interested in science, physics, or biographies, this would be a great book for them.

A mixture of memoir and biography, Chasing the Ghost: Nobelist Fred Reines and the Neutrino tells a deeply human story that appeals both to scientists and non-scientists. Although the book relates to the important discovery of neutrinos, it is more intimately about Fred Reines than the technical details of neutrino physics. Narrated in a fashion to interest and excite the reader, the science presented here is accessible to a broad audience. Coursing through Reines’ life, his various challenges, and encounters, the book reveals constants of his persona. Reines displayed a sustained consistency as a respected leader, admired by students and colleagues as a fount of big ideas and ambition. A continuing source of inspiration and motivation to others, his most basic consistency was his passion for science. The quest for knowledge about the wondrous universe is a profoundly human endeavor. Fred Reines’ life and his unremitting scientific curiosity are emblematic of that truth.


Making Peace with My Mother

By: Judith Ruskay Rabinor, PhD

Published: May 4, 2021

Publisher: She Writes Press


Format: Paperback

This quote from the synopsis resonated with me, “…it’s never too late to let go of hurts and disappointments and develop compassion for yourself―and even for your mother.” If you have past hurts in your life or have difficulty with forgiveness or letting go, this personal story mixed with her psychological approach may be helpful.

Although “maddening mother problems” are universal, the majority of adult women describe their relationship with their mother as one of the most important—and one of the most complicated in their lives. I’m a psychologist with an expertise in working with mothers and daughters. Like many other therapists, my own unhealed wounds pulled me into my specialty. I’ve spent several decades helping women mine their mother-stories, mend their wounds and find peace, freedom, and joy.

While you didn’t pick your mother, as an adult you now have the opportunity to choose your path as a daughter. Stories are great teachers, these tales from my office and my life will hopefully help you untangle your stuck places, develop compassion for yourself (and possibly your mother as well), and celebrate a connection you thought doomed to disappointment and hurt.


The Integrative Medicine Guide to Diagnosing and Treating Tick-Borne Illness

By: Daniel A. Kinderlehrer, MD

Published: March 16, 2021

Publisher: Skyhorse


Format: Hardcover

I personally know someone who was just diagnosed with Lyme Disease after years, yes years, of pain, illness, and unknown treatment. Tick season is near and those of us who spend time outside or those who like to hike, need to take extra precautions to prevent ticks and check for them. As a child, coming in from outside, the first thing we did was check for ticks. Now it is even more necessary due to the increase in Lyme Disease. But, just being diagnosed with the disease can be difficult because it mimics so many other conditions.

Lyme Disease is a substantial problem. While the CDC reported 427,000 new cases in 2017 based on surveillance criteria, actual numbers based on clinical diagnosis put that number at over one million. It is now well accepted that 10 to 20 percent of these cases go on to become a chronic illness, and these numbers don’t even include those people who became chronically ill without ever witnessing a tick attachment or a bulls-eye rash. In other words, hundreds of thousands of people develop a chronic illness every year.
This is why Dr. Dan Kinderlehrer’s book is so important and timely and has the potential to help millions who are victims of this epidemic. His integrative approach offers the most up-to-date and comprehensive plan available for treating and beating this disease. It will discuss brand new treatments such as disulfiram, which is being hailed as a major breakthrough, as well as the use of cannabis to treat pain and anxiety, among other developments in the field. With the staggering growth we are seeing in numbers of people afflicted, this book becomes more important every day.
Kinderhlehrer is in a unique position to write this book. After completing a residency in Internal Medicine in 1979, he opened one of the first practices in the US in what was then called Holistic Medicine. After becoming an expert in nutrition and environmental illness, he became ill himself with Lyme disease complex. His long road to recovery has given him insights into what patients are going through; his background in internal medicine trained him to understand the complexities of his multi-systemic illness; his knowledge of environmental illness has enabled him to evaluate immune dysregulation; and his study of energetic medicine, spiritual alignment, and healing from trauma has yielded insights into how to help patients shift their belief systems to being well.
Recovery from Lyme Disease is by far the most thorough book available on Lyme Disease Complex. It will provide patients with information that will guide them on their healing journeys, as well as supplying doctors with instruction on appropriate diagnosis and treatment approaches.


10 Lessons Animals Can Teach Us About Connection, Community, and Ourselves

By: Caitlin O’Connell, PhD

Published: January 12, 2021

Publisher: Chronicle Prism


Format: Hardcover

You know I love reading and learning about animal behavior and how it mimics human behavior. I’m very anxious to read this one!

Wild Rituals explores how embracing the rituals of the animal kingdom can make us more connected to ourselves, nature, and others.

Behavioral ecologist and world-renowned elephant scientist Caitlin O’Connell dives into the rituals of elephants, apes, zebras, rhinos, lions, whales, flamingos, and many more.

This fascinating read helps us better understand how we are similar to wild animals and encourages us to find healing, self-awareness, community, and self-reinvention.

• Filled with fascinating stories on 10 different animal rituals
• Features original full-color photos, from the Caribbean to the African savannah
• Demonstrates the profound way we are similar to the wild creatures who captivate us

Wild Rituals journeys into the desert, tundra, and rainforest to reveal the importance of rituals and how they can help us find a simpler, more meaningful way of living.

In a culture of technology where we find ourselves living at a greater distance from nature and each other, this remarkable book taps into the unspoken languages of creatures around the world.


By: Benjamin Risha

Published: March 18, 2021

Publisher: WildBlue Press


Format: eBook

I find these kind of stories fascinating. It is amazing to hear and try to comprehend how people can believe what the cult is ingraining in them. Then, of course, the story of their realization and escape is quite interesting.

As the adopted son of two cult leaders, Benjamin Risha was raised to someday assume a place of leadership in the Tony and Susan Alamo Christian Foundation with the Bible, and his parents’ interpretation of it, as his guide. He believed the prophecies of his adoptive mother and father, which included them being the two prophets foretold in the Book of Revelations as preceding the second coming of Jesus Christ, them raising from the dead when they died, and such dire warnings as the ground opening up to swallow non-believers into hell. He was sure that Susan Alamo could raise the dead as promised.

However, when none of it happened, and the foundation slid from bucolic communal lifestyle to insufferable criminality that included absolute obedience to the Alamos, and polygamous marriages with girls as young as eight years old, Benjamin knew he had to escape. If he was caught trying to escape he would be beaten nearly to death, forced to go without food and water for his sins, and he would be shamed in the community. He embarked on a journey to locate his birth parents, discover the truth about a world he knew nothing about … and find himself.

In THE SON OF SEVEN MOTHERS, Benjamin Risha takes readers on a harrowing journey that few in the United States can imagine. And eventually, he must choose between the life he knows, and was “chosen” to lead, and his freedom.


By: Lori McMullen

Published: June 1, 2021

Publisher: She Writes Press

Historical Fiction

Format: Paperback

A narrative fictional account of the life of Marjory Stoneman Douglas who was a activist for the Florida Everglades later in her life, but had quite a life of turmoil before that.

Set in the early 1900s, Among the Beautiful Beasts is the untold story of the early life of Marjory Stoneman Douglas, known in her later years as a tireless activist for the Florida Everglades. After a childhood spent in New England estranged from her father and bewildered by her mother, who fades into madness, Marjory marries a swindler thirty years her senior. The marriage nearly destroys her, but Marjory finds the courage to move to Miami, where she is reunited with her father and begins a new life as a journalist in that bustling, booming frontier town. Buoyed by a growing sense of independence and an affair with a rival journalist, Marjory embraces a life lived at the intersection of the untamed Everglades and the rapacious urban development that threatens it. When the demands of a man once again begin to swallow Marjory’s own desires and dreams, she sees herself in the vulnerable, inimitable Everglades and is forced to decide whether to commit to a life of subjugation or leap into the wild unknown. Told in chapters that alternate between an urgent midnight chase through the wetlands and extensive narrative flashbacks, Among the Beautiful Beasts is at once suspenseful and deeply reflective. 


By: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Published: April 19, 2016, Reprint April 25, 2017

Publisher: Simon & Schuster


Format: Hardcover

Anne Bogel has talked about this book a few times on her podcast, “What Should I Read Next?” and I found it on Thrift Books and decided to get it. I love mother/daughter stories, especially those that span generations.

A beautiful, powerful new novel from the bestselling, award-winning author of Sister of My Heart and The Mistress of Spices about three generations of mothers and daughters who must discover their greatest source of strength in one another—a masterful, brilliant tale of a family both united and torn apart by ambition and love.

The daughter of a poor baker in rural Bengal, India, Sabitri yearns to get an education, but her family’s situation means college is an impossible dream. Then an influential woman from Kolkata takes Sabitri under her wing, but her generosity soon proves dangerous after the girl makes a single, unforgivable misstep. Years later, Sabitri’s own daughter, Bela, haunted by her mother’s choices, flees abroad with her political refugee lover—but the America she finds is vastly different from the country she’d imagined. As the marriage crumbles and Bela is forced to forge her own path, she unwittingly imprints her own child, Tara, with indelible lessons about freedom, heartbreak, and loyalty that will take a lifetime to unravel.

In her latest novel, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni explores the complex relationships between mothers and daughters, and the different kinds of love that bind us across generations. Before We Visit the Goddess captures the gorgeous complexity of these multi-generational and transcontinental bonds, sweeping across the twentieth century from the countryside of Bengal, India, to the streets of Houston, Texas—an extraordinary journey told through a sparkling symphony of voices.


By: Karen White

Published: April 20, 2021

Publisher: Berkley

Historical Fiction

Format: eBook

I love Karen White’s writing. Plus, it’s a WWII story set in London with a dual, present-day narrative. I’m here for it.

A captivating story of friendship, love, and betrayal – and finding hope in the darkness of war.

London, 1939. Beautiful and ambitious Eva Harlow and her American best friend, Precious Dubose, are trying to make their way as fashion models. When Eva falls in love with Graham St. John, an aristocrat and Royal Air Force pilot, she can’t believe her luck – she’s getting everything she ever wanted. Then the Blitz devastates her world, and Eva finds herself slipping into a web of intrigue, spies and secrets. As Eva struggles to protect everything she holds dear, all it takes is one unwary moment to change their lives forever.

London, 2019. American journalist Maddie Warner travels to London to interview Precious about her life in pre-WWII London. Maddie, healing from past trauma and careful to close herself off to others, finds herself drawn to both Precious and to Colin, Precious’s enigmatic surrogate nephew. As Maddie gets closer to her, she begins to unravel Precious’s haunting past – and the secrets she swore she’d never reveal.


By: Shawn Nocher

Published: June 22, 2021

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing


Format: eBook

Another mother/daughter story with a mystery connected to it.

Willy Cherrymill and his stepdaughter Lacey are deeply bruised by a past brimming with unanswered questions. It’s been thirty years since May DuBerry, Willy’s young wife and Lacey’s mother, abandoned them both leaving Willy to raise Lacey alone.

Lacey Cherrymill is smart, stubborn, and focused. She’s also a single mother to a young daughter recently diagnosed with a devastating illness. The last thing she needs to think about right now is the betrayal that rocked her childhood. Reluctantly, she has returned to her rural beginnings, a former dairy farm in the Maryland countryside, and to Willy, a man steeped in his own disappointments and all the guilt that goes with them.

Together they will pool their wobbly emotional resources to take care of Tasha, all the while trying to skirt the issue of May’s mysterious disappearance. But try as she might, Lacey can’t leave it alone. Just where is May DuBerry Cherrymill and why did she leave them, and how is it that they have never talked about the wreckage she left behind? 


By: Terry Pierce

Illustrated by: Nadja Sarell

Published: April 6, 2021

Publisher: Yosemite Conservancy


Format: Board Book

I just shared another board book from Terry Pierce, LOVE CAN COME IN MANY WAYS. This one will be perfect for your littlest camper. Don’t miss her picture book about endangered animals either, HERE.

A board book for the littlest campers about those curious, hungry bears.
Black bears just want to eat! Juicy berries, crunchy nuts, tender grubs, and sticky honey–that’s good bear food. But if park visitors don’t watch out, their food will be bear food, too! Bouncy rhyming text and vibrant pictures share how families can do their part to keep bears safe and thriving. 


By: Steven Weinberg

Published: March 23, 2021

Publisher: Chronicle Books


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

Since we had three children, we obviously have a middle child. I wish I had this book for him when he was younger. The author is also a middle child and writes about a day in the life of a middle child. Super funny and relatable for kids.

When you’re the middle kid, you’re never the first nor the last to do anything. You’re not the tallest or the smallest; you’re babysitting one sibling but teased by the other. Stuck between a bossy older brother and a naive younger sister, Middle Kid feels left out of two worlds. But even if—and maybe especially because—it’s always overlooked, this kid’s own world is just as big and important as his siblings’.


By: Sarah Jacoby

Published: March 9, 2021

Publisher: Chronicle Books


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

This looks like such a sweet story of a friendship between a girl and a dog.

With lyrical text and stunning illustrations, this empathy read illustrates the power of friendship in the face of change. Can I Sit with You? takes readers along one loyal dog’s journey with the girl he’s meant to be with, no matter how far she roams. This timeless picture book illustrates the importance of companionship and loyalty, and how engaging with others makes the world embrace you in return.


A Not-Quite-Going-to-Bed Book

By: Sherri Duskey Rinker

Illustrated by: Tony Fucile

Published: February 23, 2021

Publisher: Chronicle Books


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

This book is from the author of the popular Construction Site series. This is a fun lead-up-to-bedtime story.

A silly, noisy bedtime book that will have readers squealing, croaking, and laughing along before settling down for a quiet night’s sleep!

It’s time for bed, but one little mouse just can’t get to sleep—it’s TOO QUIET! However, the night is actually full of sounds, from the croak of the bullfrog to the howl of a coyote on a distant hill. As the rhythmic symphony of nighttime noises builds in this rollicking read-aloud, the mouse starts to wonder whether he wouldn’t like a little MORE quiet.


By: Kyo Maclear

Illustrated by: Chris Turnham

Published: April 13, 2021

Publisher: Chronicle Books


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

April is the perfect month to celebrate rain. Whether your child likes splashing in puddles or listening to the patter on the window, this book celebrates rain. Have this one ready for your first rainy day this Spring.

A picture book celebrating all the reasons to love the rain! Flowers bloom in the garden. Umbrellas bloom on the streets. There are puddles for jumping and, later, a cozy home for hot chocolate and books.


By: Shawn Harris

Published: May 4, 2021

Publisher: Chronicle Books


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

This picture book explores the beauty of a flower using all five senses. A perfect book for Spring.

Have You Ever Seen a Flower? is an enchanting picture book exploring the relationship between childhood and nature. In this simple yet profound story, one child experiences a flower with all five senses—from its color to its fragrance to the entire universe it evokes—revealing how a single flower can expand one’s perspective in incredible ways.


By: Stephanie Babin

Illustrated by: Camille Tisserand

Published: February 2, 2021

Publisher: Twirl


Format: Interactive Board Book

Oh my gosh, this is the cutest book for little ones. An interactive board book with adorable illustrations of baby animals and their mommas.

Discover match-and-learn fun for preschoolers: Baby animals don’t always look like their mommies and daddies, so young children will be challenged throughout this book to match babies to their parents. Who is the parent of the cygnet? What does a hoglet’s mommy look like? It’s a wildly informative adventure that little ones will enjoy time and time again!


By: Kirsten Hall

Illustrated by: Aki

Published: April 6, 2021

Publisher: Chronicle Books


Format: Interactive Board Book

If you are having another baby with a toddler in your house, this is the perfect book to take them along in your pregnancy. Helping your toddler understand the baby growing in your belly gets them excited and helps them understand what is happening. This interactive board book with flaps to lift on momma’s belly, is perfect for little ones.

There’s a baby inside Mommy’s tummy! But how big is it? What does it look like? Lift the flaps to learn all about how a new baby grows in this sweet book for expecting families.

With a sturdy case and nine durable lift-the-flaps inside—one for each month until baby arrives!—this sweet novelty board book will charm new-siblings-to-be and become a go-to purchase for families with young children who are expecting a new little one.


The Woman Who Discovered the First Human Coronavirus

By: Suzanne Slade

Illustrated by: Elisa Paganelli

Published: March 15, 2021

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

I had never heard of June before, but this would be a great read-aloud to both inform kids and inspire them to continue to follow their dreams.

From an early age in Glasgow, Scotland, June Almeida loved learning about science and nature. A good student, she was especially interested in biology and won the top science prize at her school. Creative and observant, June noticed details that others often missed. She dreamed of attending university but economic hardships caused her to leave school at age 16. Still, June was determined to pursue her passion for science. She was hired by a local hospital to work in its lab, using a microscope to magnify and examine cells. Her work helped doctors treat patients. June later worked in labs in London and in Toronto. Her skill in using the electron microscope to examine cells and help identify viruses earned her promotion and respect in the science community. When June was 34 years old, she discovered the first human coronavirus. Her groundbreaking work continues to help researchers today in the fight against illnesses caused by viruses, including COVID-19.


By: Kerry Olitzky

Illustrated by: Jen Hernandez

Published: March 5, 2021

Publisher: Higher Ground Books & Media


Format: eBook

I reviewed another book by Rabbi Olitzky, THE LITTLEST CANDLE. He wrote asking me to check out his newest book and share it with you.

What happens with older siblings when a child is born? Jealously–then unconditional love. Springing out of the tradition of planting a tree when a baby is born, this is a spiritual story of gratitude by an older brother.


Ditch the Straw and Find the Pollution Solution to Bottles, Bags, and Other Single-Use Plastics

By: Julie Beer

Published: December 1, 2020

Publisher: National Geographic Kids


Format: Paperback

Kids get passionate about saving the Earth. Our daughter has encouraged us to use silicone straws rather than plastic. Our kids are the future and if they want a world free from pollution. This book may encourage kids to become an advocate in your own school or community. Other books I’ve shared from Julie Beer can be found, HERE.

It’s in your toothbrush … your clothes … your earbuds. Chances are, you’re touching it right now. We’re talking about plastic! Plastic is absolutely everywhere and in practically everything we touch, from pens to water bottles to sports equipment. And a lot of it is used once and then thrown away. Unfortunately, it takes a REALLY long time for plastic to break down and it can be harmful to our environment, especially wildlife. But why and when did we start using it in so much stuff? And how do we stop?

Discover shocking stats and surprising facts; inspirational interviews with National Geographic explorers and leading researchers who are working tirelessly to protect the planet; tons of simple suggestions for sustainable swaps; and more eco-friendly choices and smart action steps. This book answers all of your burning questions about plastic and offers tangible ways to get involved, reduce plastic use, and create a more plastic-free future! 


Celebrating the Ocean through Pictures, Poems, and Stories

By: Stephanie Warren Drimmer

Published: March 16, 2021

Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books


Format: Hardcover

I’m already a fan of Stephanie Warren Drimmer’s books for kids. This book reminds me a bit of THE POETRY OF US, a National Geographic book that celebrated our country with poems, songs, and stories. This book celebrates the ocean and ocean life in the same way.

Open this charming read-aloud book and you’ll find amazing animal profiles, whimsical poetry, stunning photography, plus fascinating information about the wondrous creatures that call the ocean home. Starting with the seashore and journeying through the ocean’s zones, readers will discover mangrove forests, coral reefs, and the deepest ocean depths. On this journey, they will discover some of the extraordinary animals that live onshore and under the sea. Along the way, readers will enjoy poems, stories, fun facts, photo galleries, and more. Highlights include a foreword from explorer and renowned photojournalist Brian Skerry; an interview with National Geographic Explorer and marine conservationist Jess Cramp; a poem by former children’s poet laureate J. Patrick Lewis; the work of Explorer-in-Residence and ocean ecologist Enric Sala; and an afterword by renowned ocean conservationist Sylvia Earle. This keepsake treasure is sure to wow readers while also serving as an important reminder to protect this precious and wonderful resource. 

Which one (or two or three) of these books will you be adding to your list?

To see all the posts featuring new books on my shelves, click HERE.

So many books, so little time!

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