Picture Books


Brenda Baker, author
Gwyn Baker, illustrator

A heartwarming picture book written in verse that encourages taking time to ponder how and why the world works.

HeyDay Publishing   www.brendasbookshelf.com  


Julie Paschkis, author/illustrator

Eek! is a noisy journey from A -Z. This alphabet book tells the story of a mouse's journey in sounds, not words. Cowritten by Julie Larios and Julie Paschkis, illustrated by Julie Paschkis.           

Peachtree Publishing   www.juliepaschkis.com   

No Party Poopers!

Gretchen Brandenburg McLellan author

Two bears decide to throw a party, but they're having trouble making up the guest list. Grizz wants to mix it up and invite all the neighbors, but Panda is worried that anyone who is not a bear will be a party pooper. The rhinos will pop the balloons, the goats will chew up the party hats, the raccoons will steal the cake and wash it--in short, they'll cause party-pooping catastrophes! Happily, the neighbors prove Panda wrong and show that it's paws-itively more fun including everyone. 

Little Bee Books   www.gretchenmclellan.com   

Middle Grade

Nothing in Common

Corinna Luyken, illustrator

Two neighbors assume they have nothing in common until the same bright part of their day is gone. In this lyrical, poetic picture book, Kate Hoefler and Corinna Luyken explore how two noticers follow their hearts, only to begin to notice something new—each other—and how connection can sometimes float over us and land in extraordinary ways.   

Houghton Mifflin   www.corinnaluyken.com

Chapter Books

I Hate Reading: How To Read When You'd Rather Not         

Beth Bacon, author       

I Hate Reading is a highly visual paper-over-board chapter book designed to help even the most reluctant reader breeze through reading time, feel successful at reading, and even laugh! Get reluctant readers reading with I Hate Reading! Did you know that 65% of 4th graders in the US read below grade level? Learning to read can be frustrating. But it can also be fun. I Hate Reading by Beth Bacon validates the experience of reluctant readers and rewards them with laughter.  

Harper Collins   www.BethBaconAuthor.com   

The Exceptional Maggie Chowder

Renee Beauregard Lute

Twelve-year-old aspiring forest ranger Maggie Chowder wants to be just like her favorite comic superhero, the Exceptional Eagirl. But when her dad loses his job and her family moves from a house to a small apartment, Maggie is faced with some big changes and challenges, and she doesn’t always handle them the way Eagirl would.

Albert Whitman & Company  www.reneebeauregardlute.com  

Big Ideas for Little Philosophers

Maureen McQuerry, author

The questions we ask as children shape the adults we become. Start the discussion early by exploring big ideas like happiness, wonder, equality, kindness and truth with classic philosophers. 

Penguin Putnam www.maureenmcquerry.com   

You Are A Beautiful Beginning

Nina Laden, author

Inspired by this timeless adage, It is not the destination but the journey, "You Are A Beautiful Beginning" combines lyrical storytelling and lovely art, blossoming into a celebration of self-love, friendship and community. 

Roaring Brook/Macmillan   www.ninaladen.com 

Little Goddess Girls series, Book 4: Artemis & the Awesome Animals, and Book 5: Athena & the Island Enchantress 

Suzanne Williams       

Book 4:  With the help of some animals who aren’t what they seem, Artemis finds the courage to assist her friends--Athena, Persephone, and Aphrodite--in outwitting the mean green girl Medusa and finding their way to Sparkle City.

Book 5: Athena is called on to help a boy named Heracles rescue the rightful queen of a magical island, who has been captured by the evil King Hephaestus. But first they must deal with a mysterious enchantress named Circe, who seems to be more foe than friend.

Aladdin (Simon & Schuster)   www.suzanne-williams.com  

Dead Max Comix, Book 2: The Rocking Dead

Dana Sullivan, author/illustrator       

7th grader Derrick’s “Dead Max Comix” are such a hit that he and Max start their own advice column. If only Derrick had asked for advice before starting a band without Kim! To get even, Kim challenges him to come up with Comic-Con costumes AND enter the upcoming Battle of the Bands. Will the Battle of the Bands mean the end of Derrick and Kim? And can a mysterious, mystic iguana help (dead) Max with his (live) cat problem, once and for all?     

Red Chair Press   www.danajsullivan.com   

Diversify Your Reading!

Curious EnCOUNTers

Ben Clanton, author

Find some friends you can COUNT on for fun in this curious collection of creatures!

Little Bigfoot   www.benclanton.com

Measuring Up 

Lily LaMotte, author       

Twelve-year-old Cici has just moved from Taiwan to Seattle, and the only thing she wants more than to fit in at her new school is to celebrate her grandmother, A-má’s, seventieth birthday together. Since she can’t go to A-má, Cici cooks up a plan to bring A-má to her by winning the grand prize in a kids’ cooking contest to pay for A-má’s plane ticket! Can Cici find a winning recipe to reunite with A-má, a way to fit in with her new friends, and somehow find herself too?      

HarperCollins   www.lilylamotte.com   

 This Old Dog

Martha Brockenbrough, author

When a new baby joins the house where Old Dog lives, life changes. Old Dog is lonely for a friend who moves at his pace. He discovers just such a friend in the little girl as she takes her first steps.

Levine Querido   www.marthabrockenbrough.com   

Silver Batal: Race for the Dragon Heartstone 

K.D. Halbrook                

Silver Batal and her best friend, the water dragon Hiyyan, narrowly escape the clutches of Queen Imea. With the queen’s trackers hot on their tails, Silver and Hiyyan head into a wild frozen world filled with ferocious ice dragons, new friends, and new foes. But when Hiyyan suffers a poisonous bite from a deadly dragon, Silver must find a legendary dragon heartstone to heal him. The follow-up to SILVER BATAL AND THE WATER DRAGON RACES is perfect for fans of Roshani Chokshi and Sayantani DasGupta        

Henry Holt and Co.      www.kristinhalbrook.com   

Board Books

COVID-19 Helpers

Kary Lee, illustrator

No school. No birthday parties. No playgrounds. During the COVID-19 global pandemic kids everywhere are doing nothing. But doing nothing is actually an important job, an essential job. Kids doing nothing is helping everyone stay safe while we wait for a cure or vaccine. In age-appropriate language and using beautiful illustrations, Seattle-based author and illustrators Beth Bacon and Kary Lee describe what COVID-19 is, how it is transmitted, and all of the people who are working to keep everyone safe. 

Blair Publishing   www.karyleestudios.com 

Young Adult

The Star Keeper

Faith Pray, author/illustrator

A girl who wants to make a difference in the lonely world around her finds a lost star that needs the girl to help it shine.          

Random House Kids   www.faithpraybooks.com   

Meditation Station

Anait Semirdzhyan, illustrator   

"Winner of the 2020 International Children’s Mind/Body/Spirit Book Award!
Your racing train of thoughts may try to take you down the railroad tracks, but you can stay in the Meditation Station, where children ages 4-8 learn how to calm their bodies and minds."  

Bala Kids (Shambhala Productions)   www.anaitsart.com   

What I Carry    

Jennifer Longo, author       

A young woman aging out of foster care fighting for freedom and safety, finds both in an unexpected way.        

Random House   www.jenlongo.com  

Lupe Wong Won't Dance        

Donna Barba Higuera, author       

Lupe Wong is going to be the 1st female Major League pitcher. She's also championed causes her whole young life. Some worthy, like expanding options for race on school tests beyond a few bubbles. Some not so much, like complaining to the BBC about the length between Doctor Who seasons. Lupe needs straight As in order to meet her pitching idol, Fu Li Hernandez, who's Chinacan/Mexinese like her. So when the horror that's square dancing rears its head in P.E? Obviously she won't  let that slide.        

Levine Querido   www.dbhiguera.com   

Night Night, Curiosity

Brianna Caplan Sayres

While Mom works the night shift at NASA, Dad helps an intrepid girl get ready for sleep as she imagines she's exploring Mars with the Curiosity rover. She describes taking off, observing Mars, communicating with mission control, and operating the rover. Young space explorers everywhere will want to head for Mars, too!

Charlesbridge   www.BriannaCaplanSayres.com   

Our presenters have these recommendations of books written or illustrated by a person in a historically marginalized community, published (anywhere, not just WWA) in 2020. Order them from Island Books (or your local, independent bookstore) today!

Picture Books
Small In the City
, Sydney Smith, author/illustrator
Your Name Is a Song, Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, author; Luisa Uribe, illustrator
Black is a Rainbow Color, Angela Joy, author; Ekua Holmes, illustrator
Saturday, Oge Mora, author/illustrator
Story Boat, Kyo Maclear, author; Rashin Kheiriyeh, illustrator                                 
You Matter, Christian Robinson, author/illustrator               
O Lagarto, Jose Saramago, author; J. Borges, illustrator. Published in Porto Portugal
Me & Mama by Cozbi A. Cabrera          
Layla's Happiness by Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie and Ashleigh Corrin  

Middle Grade
The Hero Next Door, (multiple authors) Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich (Editor)              
A Wish in the Dark, by Christine Soontornvat                                                                        
Everything Sad is Untrue, by Daniel Nayeri 
Elatsoe, Darcy Little Badger, author; Rovina Cai, illustrator
The Moon Within, by Aida Salazar           
Color Me In by Natasha Diaz

This Is My America, by Kim Johnson 
Labeled: Ward Of The State, by Kenisha Anthony                 
Jay's Gay Agenda, by Jason June     
Parachutes by Kelly Yang               

Graphic Novels                                               
Dragon Hoops
, by Gene Luen Yang, author/illustrator          
Rogue, by Lyn Miller-Lachmann, author/illustrator


And, “I love the art of Victo Ngai. She did the covers for Beyond the Door and Telling Stone, for Neil Gaiman and V.E. Schwab. You can find her art here: https://victo-ngai.com/”