New Books

This is my monthly roundup of books that came my way in the last month. I also share an update with you on other things going on in my and my family’s life.

As I write this, the weather is forecasted to be summer-like over the next several days. I was still waiting for spring to arrive and now we seem to be going straight into summer. I’m not complaining as I love the warm weather but it will make our final weeks of school interesting if it stays this hot.

April was a full month of school activities and family fun. Enjoy a few photos below and the huge pile of books I have to share with you this month.

Family and Life Update

Patrick turned 22 last month and we were all together to celebrate Easter and his birthday.

I took my annual trip to Minneapolis with my cousins and aunt. My mom wasn’t able to go this year so we missed having her with us. Our favorite place to visit it the Como Conservatory and soak up all the warmth and spring flowers.

Reagan had her junior prom at the end of the month. It was our LAST Junior Parent Post Prom and I may have been a bit too excited about it being our last one when we arrived home at 3:15 AM. She looked amazing and had such a blast and even won $100.

Now on to the books! 

In April, I read 5 books with 3 of them being review books and the other 2 being physical books off of my own to-read shelf as part of my goal of reading 22 books off of my to-read shelf this year. That puts me at 12 total books I’ve moved off of my shelf. Not bad for the first four months of the year. I hope you find something that interests you in the books I’m sharing 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.

Adult Fiction and Non-Fiction Books


A Novel of World War II

By: Camille Di Maio

Published: March 1, 2022

Publisher: Forever

Historical Fiction

Format: Paperback

I plan to read this during my trip to NYC next month. I also have THE MEMORY OF US on my Kindle, but haven’t read it yet.

New York City, 1943

Can one small act change the course of a life? Margaret’s job at the Navy Yard brings her freedoms she never dared imagine, but she wants to do something more personal to help the war effort. Knitting socks for soldiers is a way to occupy her quiet nights and provide comfort to the boys abroad. But when a note she tucks inside one of her socks sparks a relationship with a long-distance pen pal, she finds herself drawn to a man she’s never even met.

Can a woman hold on to her independence if she gives away her heart? Gladys has been waiting her whole life for the kinds of opportunities available to her now that so many men are fighting overseas. She’s not going to waste a single one. And she’s not going to let her two best friends waste them either. Then she meets someone who values her opinions as much as she likes giving them, and suddenly she is questioning everything she once held dear.

Can an unwed mother survive on her own? Dottie is in a dire situation—she’s pregnant, her fiancé is off fighting the war, and if her parents find out about the baby, they’ll send her away and make her give up her child. Knitting helps take her mind off her uncertain future—until the worst happens and she must lean on her friends like never before.

With their worlds changing in unimaginable ways, Margaret, Gladys, and Dottie will learn that the unbreakable bond of friendship between them is what matters most of all. 


By: Mark Rubinstein

Published: June 21, 2022

Publisher: Thunder Lake Press


Format: Paperback

Another book set in NYC. I’ve also read BEDLAM’S DOOR by Mark Rubinstein.

In every life, there lurks catastrophe. So believes Eli Dagan, a thirty-nine-year-old man whose traumatic past led to his service as an assassin for the Mossad. He now lives in New York City, where under various assumed names he’s a contract killer. Anton Gorlov, the head of the Brooklyn-based Odessa mafia, has a new and challenging assignment for Eli. Gorlov wants to leave the country permanently, so all loose ends must be eliminated. He’s willing to pay $1 million for a task divided into two parts. The job involves extreme measures along with unprecedented danger for Eli, who has lived a ghostly existence over the last ten years. Is accepting Gorlov’s offer a subliminal death wish? Or is it a way to reclaim part of his damaged soul? For the first time since his pregnant wife and parents were killed by a suicide bomber years earlier, Eli Dagan faces challenges that will reconnect him with his blighted past and may yet offer hope for a new and better life. 


By: Sarah McCoy

Published: May 10, 2022

Publisher: William Morrow

Historical Fiction

Format: Hardcover

I already received this as an eBook ARC and now I have a physical copy. This one is coming up next for me.

From bestselling author Sarah McCoy, a sun-splashed romp with a rich divorcee and her two wayward daughters in 1970s Mustique, the world’s most exclusive private island, where Princess Margaret and Mick Jagger were regulars and scandals stayed hidden from the press.


By: Abi Dare

Published: February 4, 2020 (Paperback February 23, 2021)

Publisher: Dutton


Format: Paperback

I had a hard copy of this one already, but received the paperback for the Jen Hatmaker Book Club.

The unforgettable, inspiring story of a teenage girl growing up in a rural Nigerian village who longs to get an education so that she can find her “louding voice” and speak up for herself, The Girl with the Louding Voice is a simultaneously heartbreaking and triumphant tale about the power of fighting for your dreams.


By: Betty Smith

Published: Originally in 1943 (current copy 2006)

Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics

Historical Fiction

Format: Paperback

I had a free book credit on Thrift Books and used it to get this book that I have been wanting to read in forever. The paperback copy isn’t in as good of shape as I had hoped but it is still readable. I’ve been wanting to read this one for a long time. Hoping I can work it in this summer.

The beloved American classic about a young girl’s coming-of-age at the turn of the century, Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a poignant and moving tale filled with compassion and cruelty, laughter and heartache, crowded with life and people and incident. The story of young, sensitive, and idealistic Francie Nolan and her bittersweet formative years in the slums of Williamsburg has enchanted and inspired millions of readers for more than sixty years. By turns overwhelming, sublime, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the daily experiences of the unforgettable Nolans are raw with honesty and tenderly threaded with family connectedness — in a work of literary art that brilliantly captures a unique time and place as well as incredibly rich moments of universal experience. 


By: Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Published: April 12, 2022

Publisher: Berkley

Historical Fiction

Format: Hardcover

I chose this as my Book of the Month choice for May.

Montgomery, Alabama 1973. Fresh out of nursing school, Civil Townsend has big plans to make a difference, especially in her African American community. At the Montgomery Family Planning Clinic, she intends to help women make their own choices for their lives and bodies.

But when her first week on the job takes her down a dusty country road to a worn down one-room cabin, she’s shocked to learn that her new patients are children—just 11 and 13 years old. Neither of the Williams sisters has even kissed a boy, but they are poor and Black and for those handling the family’s welfare benefits that’s reason enough to have the girls on birth control. As Civil grapples with her role, she takes India, Erica and their family into her heart. Until one day, she arrives at the door to learn the unthinkable has happened and nothing will ever be the same for any of them.

Decades later, with her daughter grown and a long career in her wake, Dr. Civil Townsend is ready to retire, to find her peace and to leave the past behind. But there are people and stories that refuse to be forgotten.That must not be forgotten.

Because history repeats what we don’t remember.


By: Abby Jimenez

Published: April 19, 2022

Publisher: Forever


Format: Hardcover

I added this to my Book of the Month order since I couldn’t decide between the choices. Romance isn’t my usual genre, but I’ve read a few lately and enjoy them for the palette cleanser after heavier reading.

After a wild bet, gourmet grilled-cheese sandwich, and cuddle with a baby goat, Alexis Montgomery has had her world turned upside down. The cause: Daniel Grant, a ridiculously hot carpenter who’s ten years younger than her and as casual as they come—the complete opposite of sophisticated city-girl Alexis. And yet their chemistry is undeniable.

While her ultra-wealthy parents want her to carry on the family legacy of world-renowned surgeons, Alexis doesn’t need glory or fame. She’s fine with being a “mere” ER doctor. And every minute she spends with Daniel and the tight-knit town where he lives, she’s discovering just what’s really important. Yet letting their relationship become anything more than a short-term fling would mean turning her back on her family and giving up the opportunity to help thousands of people.

Bringing Daniel into her world is impossible, and yet she can’t just give up the joy she’s found with him either. With so many differences between them, how can Alexis possibly choose between her world and his? 


By: Emily Henry

Published: May 3, 2022

Publisher: Berkley


Format: Paperback

Again, another romance that I chose to purchase. I recently read Henry’s THE PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION and enjoyed it. This one grabbed my attention because of the title…obviously.

Nora Stephens’ life is books – she’s read them all – and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laidback dream girl, and especially not the sweetheart. In fact, the only people Nora is a heroine for are her clients, for whom she lands enormous deals as a cutthroat literary agent, and her beloved little sister Libby.

Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters’ trip away – with visions of a small-town transformation for Nora, who she’s convinced needs to become the heroine in her own story. But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city. It would be a meet-cute if not for the fact that they’ve met many times and it’s never been cute.

If Nora knows she’s not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he’s nobody’s hero, but as they are thrown together again and again – in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow – what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves.


How to Liberate Yourself from the Illusion of Fear

By: Rebecca A. Ward

Published: March 26, 2022

Publisher: Original Blue Print Press


Format: Paperback

This arrived in my mailbox for review.

The Paper Tiger Syndrome is a guidebook on the journey of healing and self-repair, which demonstrates that the most direct way to overcome fear, stress, and trauma in your life is to regulate your physical body. In here, the author—a trauma survivor herself—shares her own inspirational story to show you what’s possible and helps you understand how to regain control so you can freely live again.

Based largely on the principles of somatic therapy, The Paper Tiger Syndrome provides specific exercises and tools to help you walk the bridge from fear to safety to unconditional love. In that space of love—the space that exists beyond fear, trauma, or suffering—lies the purest form of the human expression of your soul. It’s what author Rebecca Ward calls your Original Blueprint®. Learn to reclaim it.

I’LL BE THERE (But I’ll Be Wearing Sweatpants)

Finding Unfiltered, Real-Life Friendships in this Crazy, Chaotic World

By: Amy Weatherly and Jess Johnston

Published: January 25, 2022

Publisher: Thomas Nelson


Format: Paperback

This was a win from Reading Group Choices.

If you’ve ever wondered why it seems like such a struggle to make and maintain friendships as an adult–it’s not just you. The number of Americans who claim to have no close friends has drastically increased over the last few decades. Loneliness doesn’t care what age you are, how many Instagram followers you have, or where you call home. It doesn’t care how “put together” you appear to the outside world. Women have a collective wound that only authentic sisterhood can heal.

In I’ll Be There (But I’ll Be Wearing Sweatpants), Amy Weatherly and Jess Johnston, creators of the popular online community “Sister, I Am With You,” offer an-easy-to-follow road map to the place we all desperately want to be–standing beside other women who see us, know us, and love us for who we truly are. With hilariously relatable vulnerability and actionable steps we can all take today to build deep and satisfying friendships, Amy and Jess show us how to break free from unhealthy habits that block us from connection;
find the confidence to live freely and without fear of rejection; and
intentionally pursue friends in everyday life.

I’ll Be There (But I’ll Be Wearing Sweatpants) won’t talk down to us, or boss us around. It won’t give cliché or empty advice that leaves us feeling even more discouraged than before. This book will snuggle up beside us, grab a fuzzy blanket, and say “Let me show you how to do it. I’ve been there too. It’s hard, but it’s not impossible, and it’s so much better together.”


The World’s Rarest Foods and Why We Need to Save Them

By: Dan Saladino

Published: February 1, 2022

Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux


Format: Hardcover

This is my Literati Book Club choice for the month. Check out my previous Literati posts, HERE.

Dan Saladino’s Eating to Extinction is the prominent broadcaster’s pathbreaking tour of the world’s vanishing foods and his argument for why they matter now more than ever

Over the past several decades, globalization has homogenized what we eat, and done so ruthlessly. The numbers are stark: Of the roughly six thousand different plants once consumed by human beings, only nine remain major staples today. Just three of these–rice, wheat, and corn–now provide fifty percent of all our calories. Dig deeper and the trends are more worrisome still:

The source of much of the world’s food–seeds–is mostly in the control of just four corporations. Ninety-five percent of milk consumed in the United States comes from a single breed of cow. Half of all the world’s cheese is made with bacteria or enzymes made by one company. And one in four beers drunk around the world is the product of one brewer.

If it strikes you that everything is starting to taste the same wherever you are in the world, you’re by no means alone. This matters: when we lose diversity and foods become endangered, we not only risk the loss of traditional foodways, but also of flavors, smells, and textures that may never be experienced again. And the consolidation of our food has other steep costs, including a lack of resilience in the face of climate change, pests, and parasites. Our food monoculture is a threat to our health–and to the planet.


Your Guide through Personal Storms

By: Dr. James Coyle

Published: March 30, 2017

Publisher: iUniverse


Format: Paperback

I had the pleasure of meeting Jim Coyle at a recent wedding. He was the officiant at the ceremony and I found out we knew mutual people aside from the couple he was marrying. Our conversation merged from our careers to books and he mentioned he had written two books. He then went out to his car and grabbed both of them to give to me. I wish I could have chatted with him longer and am thrilled to share his books with you here.

Storms are always affecting our lives–even when everything seems calm.

We are always driving into a storm, driving through a storm, or driving out of a storm. These storms can last for minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even years.

Dr. James Coyle, a chaplain and mental health specialist, shares life lessons on recognizing these storms and navigating them so you can continue in your desired direction.


Daily Inspirations

By: Dr. James Coyle

Published: January 18, 2018

Publisher: iUniverse


Format: Paperback

The second book from Jim Coyle. This one is perfect for a daily devotion/reading.

The average adult makes thirty-five thousand choices each day. And in times of strife or grief, those decisions are compounded, making each choice even more significant. So what can we do to develop strategies and find the guidance we need to navigate the complex decisions we face each and every day? Tools for Life is a compilation of 365 short daily stories designed to inspire, encourage, and motivate people in the day-to-day challenges of life. Dr. James Coylea counselor, pastor, professor, and first responderlooks to guide individuals into making good decisions by offering daily tools: Avoid excuses as an escape from responsibility. Focus and align with your purpose. Cut the anchors of guilt and shame. Turn obligations into opportunities. Manage the fear of the unknown. Tools for Life is filled with fun anecdotes, true stories, and testimonies to provide guidance and strategies for coping with everyday encounterswhatever the world may bring. Each day we can rely on its daily resources for insightful guidance, comfort, and care. 



By: Ross Gay

Published: February 12, 2019

Publisher: Algonquin Books


Format: Hardcover

This book was mentioned as a favorite of author Shauna NIequist on the podcast What Should I Read Next and I found it on Thrift Books for pretty cheap.

Ross Gay’s The Book of Delights is a genre-defying book of essays—some as short as a paragraph; some as long as five pages—that record the small joys that occurred in one year, from birthday to birthday, and that we often overlook in our busy lives. His is a meditation on delight that takes a clear-eyed view of the complexities, even the terrors, in his life, including living in America as a black man; the ecological and psychic violence of our consumer culture; the loss of those he loves. Among Gay’s funny, poetic, philosophical delights: the way Botan Rice Candy wrappers melt in your mouth, the volunteer crossing guard with a pronounced tremor whom he imagines as a kind of boat-woman escorting pedestrians across the River Styx, a friend’s unabashed use of air quotes, pickup basketball games, the silent nod of acknowledgment between black people. And more than any other subject, Gay celebrates the beauty of the natural world—his garden, the flowers in the sidewalk, the birds, the bees, the mushrooms, the trees.

This is not a book of how-to or inspiration, though it could be read that way. Fans of Roxane Gay, Maggie Nelson, and Kiese Laymon will revel in Gay’s voice, and his insights. The Book of Delights is about our connection to the world, to each other, and the rewards that come from a life closely observed. Gay’s pieces serve as a powerful and necessary reminder that we can, and should, stake out a space in our lives for delight. 


A Book of Blessings

By: John O’Donohue

Published: March 4, 2008

Publisher: Doubleday


Format: Hardcover

Shauna Niequist also mentioned this book on the podcast, What Should I Read Next and I also found it on Thrift Books.

To Bless the Space Between Us is a compelling blend of elegant, poetic language and spiritual insight to offer readers comfort and encouragement on their journeys through life. John O’Donohue, Irish teacher and poet, looks at life’s thresholds–getting married, having children, starting a new job–and offers invaluable guidelines for making the transition from a known, familiar world into a new, unmapped territory.

Most profoundly, however, O’Donohue explains “blessings” as a way of life, a lens through which the whole world is transformed. He awakens readers to timeless truths and shows the power they have to answer contemporary dilemmas and ease us through periods of change. 


Life Like You’re 50 – Strong, Fix, Sexy – Until You’re 80 and beyond

By: Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge, MD

Published: December 24, 2019

Publisher: Workman Publishing


Format: Hardcover

I had seen this book pop up in various places and since I am turning 50 this year, I was interested. I found it at Half-Price Books for only $3 so I snagged it.

You’re coming into the peak of your life. And because you’re already more attuned to your physical and emotional needs, and more inclined to commit to a healthier lifestyle, you’re poised to live brilliantly for the thirty-plus years after menopause. All you need now is the program outlined in Younger Next Year for Women—which, for starters, will help you avoid literally 70 percent of the decay and eliminate 50 percent of the injuries and illnesses associated with getting older.

How? Drawn from disciplines as varied as evolutionary biology, cell physiology, experimental psychology and anthropology, the science behind Younger Next Year is clear. Our bodies are programmed to do one of two things: either grow or decay. Sitting in front of a screen all day tells the body to decay. Taking a walk or doing yoga tells the body to grow. Loneliness and stress trigger decay; love and laughter trigger growth.

Just as clear as the science is the goal: Become the active gatekeeper of your own body and gain the power to control those signals of growth and decay. 


Break the Cycle of Unhealthy Eating Habits with Lasting Spiritual Satisfaction

By: Lysa Terkeurst

Published: January 4, 2022

Publisher: Thomas Nelson


Format: Hardcover

I read MADE TO CRAVE so long ago, it was before I was really writing book reviews. But I remember it still today and have always love Lysa’s writing.

Have healthy eating plans left you feeling defeated?Based on her bestseller Made to Crave, Lysa TerKeurst offers a new perspective to all those stuck in the cycle of losing weight and then gaining it back, equipping you with the deeper spiritual and emotional motivation you need to make lasting changes.

So often we characterize our food cravings as bad, especially when dieting has made us feel even more disappointed and discouraged. But the reality is we were made to crave. We just need to realize God created us to crave more of Him instead of misplacing that craving by overindulging in physical pleasures and unhealthy choices that will never truly satisfy.

In the midst of her own personal struggle with this, New York Times bestselling author Lysa TerKeurst invites us to embrace a new outlook that leads to enduring change. 

Children’s Fiction and Non-Fiction Books


By: Barbara Dee

Published: September 27, 2022

Publisher: Aladdin

YA Fiction

Format: Paperback

I previously read and loved VIOLETS ARE BLUE by Dee.

The book stars Haven, a girl combatting eco-anxiety and an obsession with climate change by fighting against the company whose factory is polluting the river running through her town. 


A Collection of Inspiring Stories for Young Readers

By: Rose Brock, Editor

Published: May 10, 2022

Publisher: Philomel Books


Format: Hardcover

I love these types of books that share personal essays.

In a collection of personal stories and essays, award-winning and bestselling artists from Matt de la Peña and Veera Hiranandani to Max Brailer and R.L. Stine write about how hope always wins, even in the darkest of times.
Where does hope live?
In your family?
In your community?
In your school?
In your heart?
From a family restaurant to a hot-dog shaped car, from an empty road on a moonlight night to a classroom holiday celebration, this anthology of personal stories from award-winning and bestselling authors, shows that hope can live everywhere, even–or especially–during the darkest of times.

No matter what happens: Hope wins.


The Epic Escape from the Underworld

By: Crispin Boyer

Published: March 1, 2022

Publisher: National Geographic Kids


Format: Hardcover Chapter Book

I’ve read a couple other books by Crispin Boyer.

The Olympians of Mount Olympus Pet Center have never faced a challenge quite like this. With Zeus the Mighty trapped in his palace by an all-seeing guard dog named Cerberus, it’s up to his gaggle of gods and goddesses to figure out how to rescue him. Once the Oracle speaks, the critters know they must venture deep into the belly of the vast Underworld to find the powerful relic that can free Zeus. But with so many new faces along the way, who can they trust? Will their quick thinking and teamwork be enough to save Zeus and themselves? After all, they found a way in, but can anyone really escape the Underworld?


By: Rosie Gowsell Pattison

Published: March 22, 2022

Publisher: National Geographic Kids


Format: Paperback

Kids love these kind of books.

This hilarious new book in the kid-favorite Just Joking series—packed with 300 science-themed jokes, riddles, knock-knocks, tongue twisters, and more—is scientifically proven to leave kids laughing, chuckling, and exclaiming “Eureka!”
It’s got jokes about all kinds of science stuff—kooky chemistry, funny physics, dinosaurs, space, and more—plus 10 stories of real-life scientific experiments that are so wacky you’ll hardly believe them!
This book is a gut-busting party-starter or a quiet-time entertainer, great for chuckling alone or reading aloud to friends and family. It’s also perfectly portable: Toss it in a backpack or take it on the road for on-the-go giggles.
The perfect read for science whizzes (and whiz wannabes), kid comedians, and laughter-lovers of all ages.


An Illustrated Q&A Book for Kids

By: Bertrand Fichou and Marc Beynié

Illustrated by: Pascal Lemaitre

Published: May 24, 2022

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle Kids


Format: Hardcover

Kids want to know the answers to these types of questions and this book has them all!

What is the sound barrier? What is snot made of? Why do we yawn? Curious kids want to know, and they will get the answers to these questions and many more in this exceptional illustrated Q&A book. Questions from many branches of science, including chemistry, physics, biology, geology—are answered in a fun, kid-friendly way and accompanied by quirky cartoon illustrations that will entertain readers and help them remember important facts.


By: Michael Burgan

Published: February 15, 2022

Publisher: National Geographic Kids


Format: Paperback

These WEIRD BUT TRUE! books are always popular with kids.

Did you know that Montana’s Grasshopper Glacier is filled with millions of frozen locusts that got caught in a storm more than 300 million years ago? Or that gneiss is one of the world’s oldest rock forms? One sample from Canada is more than FOUR BILLION years old! In this latest single-subject Weird But True! book, readers will have a blast discovering that there’s a lot more to rocks and minerals than meets the eye.


The Passions and Pursuits of Helen Keller

By: Meeg Pincus

Illustratred by: Caroline Bonne-Müller

Published: April 15, 2022

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

I really loved learning about Helen Keller when I was in school and remember doing a report on her.

We all know Helen Keller’s story–but what else do you know about her? Did you know she was an activist, a rebel, a performer, a romantic… and so much more! Most stories about Helen Keller focus on the story of her deaf-blindness and scholarship, but there is more to Helen than her disability. This bouncy, rhyming story is an excellent tool for teaching children to see beyond the surface with everyone they encounter.


Masterpieces from Vincent Van Goat to Lionhardo Da Stinki

By: Thais Vanderheyden

Published: May 3, 2022

Publisher: Prestel Junior

Format: Hardcover Picture Book

This is an interesting look at art and a way to get kids interested in it.

Elevating serious art to the heights of pure giggle-inducing fun, this collection of cleverly reimagined masterpieces is the perfect way to introduce young readers to great art.

Even the greatest works of art will often fail to enthrall young children. But insert a funny, loveable animal into the scene, and it’s a whole different story. This delightful picture book takes artistic license as it reimagines the world’s most famous paintings for a young audience. A teddy bear surfs Hokusai’s Great Wave; a charming pig changes Mona Lisa’s smile from cryptic to comic; Munch’s scream is far less angsty on a panda’s face, while Whistler’s mother–the elephant–gives new meaning to Arrangement in Grey and Black. While it covers every major artistic school in art history, from Michelangelo and Velázquez to Kahlo and Rothko, each snort and guffaw offers an opportunity to explore the paintings in ways that will help kids remember them for the rest of their lives.


By: Derick Wilder

Illustrated by: K-Fai Steele

Published: May 24, 2022

Publisher: Chronicle Kids


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

Did the title grab your attention? It sure did me when it arrived in my mailbox. I can’t wait to see what this one is like. I loved Wilder’s THE LONGEST LETSGOBOY which has a totally different vibe than this book.

Green Eggs and Ham meets Everyone Poops in this laugh-out-loud story that asks—and answers—the burning question in every kid’s life.

Does a scarecrow have a butt?
Yep, you stuff him with a straw one.
And does a crayon have a butt?
Nope, but it can surely draw one.
This silly, funny, clever book will be the most quoted text in all of elementary school.

Over the course of a long walk across a city, one curious kid needs to know: “Does it have a butt?” Everything from sheep to ghosts to dinosaurs is subjected to this all-important question, and Dad is a never-ending source of answers. On a laugh-out-loud father-child ramble, we come to see that every butt, from a bullfrog’s to a zombie’s, has its own distinctive, and distinctively hilarious, quality.


By: Adam Lehrhaupt

Illustrated by: Carrie O’Neill

Published: April 15, 2022

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

Children’s books on grief and loss are hard to find, but this one looks like an excellent option for younger children.

Lily has a hole. It eats her joy, makes her angry, and–no matter what Daddy does to try to help–it just keeps growing. So Lily retreats. But a friend lets her in on a secret (he has a hole too!) and shows her the best way to repair holes: spend time on friends, family, the things you love, yourself, and kindness. Those patches don’t make the hole go away, but they help. A lyrical and age-appropriate story for learning to cope with grief and loss.


By: Britta Teckentrup

Published: May 10, 2022

Publisher: Prestel Junior


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

I actually cheered when this one arrived. I love Britta’s writing and illustrations and I also love hedgehogs. Can’t wait to share this one with you.

It is evening and the big and little hedgehog are slowly making their way home. There is so much to see, and the little one wants to take it all in. Each step of the way the big hedgehog patiently asks, “What are we waiting for now?” The little hedgehog’s answers unfold in a series of lush landscapes as the two animals wait for the sun to set, for birds to fly by, for the moon and stars to appear, and for the world around them to prepare for sleep. At last, the little hedgehog is also asleep, carried home in the big hedgehog’s arms. Perfect for naptime, bedtime—or for any time that asks that we take a moment and slow down–Teckentrup’s signature combination of simple text and soothing illustration will appeal to readers young and old.


By: Cynthia Cliff

Published: May 3, 2022

Publisher: Prestel Junior


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

In my initial look through the pages of this one, I can give it high praise. I loved Cliff’s book PIE FOR BREAKFAST.

In the village of Mirren, a tidy community garden is carefully organized and tended by the townspeople. On the other side of the garden wall is a wild patch of land— a jumble of trees, a pond, and tall grassy places. While the garden is cared for in different ways throughout the seasons, Jilly and her grandfather like to visit the wild place, foraging for mushrooms, asparagus, and nuts, and watching the insects, birds and other animals. When the townspeople decide they need a bigger garden, they make plans to expand beyond the wall into the wild place. Worried about what will happen to their special piece of nature, Jilly and her grandfather come up with a plan, inviting the townspeople to discover a new kind of gardening. Their plan works and the wild place and the community garden merge harmoniously; the bees pollinate the crops, berry bushes take over a garden corner, pumpkins grow along the pond, and delicious herbs appear among the ferns. Cynthia Cliff’s lovingly detailed illustrations reveal the joys of every kind of garden, while her story offers endless opportunities to talk about healthy eating, nature, ecological gardening, and friendship.


By: Sophia Gholz

Illustrated by: Susan Batori

Published: April 15, 2022

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

This one sounds like a fun read aloud.

Pug is snug on his rug. But what happens when along comes BUG?! With a claim to the rug?! The two engage in a hysterical, rhyming battle of wits and strength until Slug asks the necessary questions and helps them find common ground. Rhyming is an important developmental reading skill. It teaches phonics (decodable text) and helps young readers infer content. This is a fun story to build those skills–and is an epic read aloud!


The World in Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn

By: Sue Lowell Gallion

Illustrated by: Lisa Feng

Published: April 20, 2022

Publisher: Phaidon


Format: Interactive Board Book

I loved OUR WORLD and this one is very similar.

The youngest readers are invited to identify and experience the Earth’s amazing seasons around the globe through rhyming verse and lush illustrations: frosty winter, blossoming spring, bountiful summer, colourful autumn. Secondary text offers detailed curriculum-focused facts that encourage children to consider their own environments, making the experience personal yet set within a global backdrop. This informative homage to Earth’s seasons is sure to inspire children to learn more about their planet – and to engage with the world around them.


By: Melinda Beck

Published: April 20, 2022

Publisher: Phaidon


Format: Board Book

A fun board book that teaches shapes and working together.

Pitch-perfect for a preschool audience, this board book introduces shapes and explores themes of teamwork and resilience. Square, rectangle, triangle, circle, squiggly and lumpy all work together to build a house. Each shape makes a unique contribution, and collectively they achieve something that they could not do alone. With an emphasis on interpersonal development, and visually inspired by the children’s books created by Russian Constructivists, this is an artful, fresh take on the evergreen topic of shapes. This charming book teaches young readers everywhere that we are far stronger together than alone. 


Meet Nature’s Weirdest Flock

By: Laura Gehl

Illustrated by: Gareth Lucas


Publisher: Abrams Kids


Format: Board Book

I love birds, especially weird birds. Plus Laura Gehl is a favorite children’s author of mine. I’ve also ready these books by Gareth Lucas.

Backyard birds—move over! Odd Birds introduces babies and toddlers to unusual bird species, including the magnificent frigatebird with a bright red throat pouch and the California condor—the largest flying birds in North America! Gentle rhyming verses provide the comforting repetition that little ones crave, even as their minds are opened to new and fascinating creatures from around the world. At the end of the book, readers will find photographs of each bird, along with more detailed factual information. The eight birds featured are the magnificent frigatebird, blue-footed booby, shoebill stork, ostrich, hoatzin, oilbird, California condor, and burrowing owl. 


Bookscape Board Books

By: Ingela P. Arrhenius

Published: June 7, 2022

Publisher: Chronicle Kids


Format: Board Book

This animal-shaped board book is perfect to tuck in the diaper bag.

Visit the animals of the savanna in this one-of-a-kind format, complete with art by celebrated illustrator Ingela P Arrhenius. Each uniquely shaped page overlaps with the next to create a complete landscape when closed—and an immersive world to explore with each turn of the page when open.

Light concept-based text and jubilant illustrations introduce babies and toddlers to adorable animals of the savanna and act as a gentle primer for times of day, from morning to night! Delightfully petite, Bookscape Board Books’ chunkiness and unique layers give them a tactile, toylike quality that begs to be picked up—making each book in the series a memorable and irresistible gift.

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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