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
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
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
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
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!
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
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
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/”
Ben Clanton, author
Find some friends you can COUNT on for fun in this curious collection of creatures!
Little Bigfoot www.benclanton.com
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
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
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!
Diversify Your Reading!
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?
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
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
Silver Batal: Race for the Dragon Heartstone
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
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
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
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
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
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