New Picture Books

photo A Dog Named Haku
by Margarita Engle

It's the Festival of Lights in Nepal, and today is the day to honor dogs Brothers Alu and Bhalu wander the streets of Kathmandu, passing by twirling kites and bamboo swings, looking for a dog to feed. But as night falls, their task begins to feel hopeless, until they spot a small black dog who is in need of a friend.

This sweet story presents an important Hindu holiday through the eyes of two young boys, making it relatable for both those familiar with the holiday and those reading about it for the first time.

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photo Ruth Asawa: A Sculpting Life
by Joan Schoettler

In this extraordinary picture book, author Joan Schoettler imparts the life of a remarkable woman, teacher, and artist. From the Japanese-American internment camps to the creation of the San Francisco School of the Arts, Ruth Asawa's life journey is one filled with injustice, learning, and expression. Known as the "Fountain Lady" of San Francisco due to the many fountains she designed, Asawa experimented with unconventional mediums, using lines, space, and wire to create dimensional sculptures. The thorough research of illustrator Traci Van Wagoner is vividly apparent in the dynamic depictions of Asawa and her life that are sure to fascinate and inspire young readers.

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photo Imagine
by Juan Felipe Herrera

Have you ever imagined what you might be when you grow up? When he was very young, Juan Felipe Herrera picked chamomile flowers in windy fields and let tadpoles swim across his hands in a creek. He slept outside and learned to say good-bye to his amiguitos each time his family moved to a new town. He went to school and taught himself to read and write English and filled paper pads with rivers of ink as he walked down the street after school. And when he grew up, he became the United States Poet Laureate and read his poems aloud on the steps of the Library of Congress. If he could do all of that . . . what could you do?

With this illustrated poem of endless possibility, Juan Felipe Herrera and Lauren Castillo breathe magic into the hopes and dreams of readers searching for their place in life.

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photo The Day You Begin
by Jacqueline Woodson

There will be times when you walk into a room
and no one there is quite like you.

There are many reasons to feel different. Maybe it's how you look or talk, or where you're from; maybe it's what you eat, or something just as random. It's not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet, but somehow you do it.

Jacqueline Woodson's lyrical text and Rafael López's dazzling art reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes-and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. And that sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories, others will be happy to meet us halfway.

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photo Dreamers
by Yuyi Morales

In 1994, Yuyi Morales left her home in Xalapa, Mexico and came to the US with her infant son. She left behind nearly everything she owned, but she didn't come empty-handed. She brought her strength, her work, her passion, her hopes and dreams...and her stories. Caldecott Honor artist and five-time Pura Belpré winner Yuyi Morales's gorgeous new picture book Dreamers is about making a home in a new place. Yuyi and her son Kelly's passage was not easy, and Yuyi spoke no English whatsoever at the time. But together, they found an unexpected, unbelievable place: the public library. There, book by book, they untangled the language of this strange new land, and learned to make their home within it.

Dreamers is a celebration of what migrantes bring with them when they leave their homes. It's a story about family. And it's a story to remind us that we are all dreamers, bringing our own gifts wherever we roam. Beautiful and powerful at any time but given particular urgency as the status of our own Dreamers becomes uncertain, this is a story that is both topical and timeless.

The lyrical text is complemented by sumptuously detailed illustrations, rich in symbolism. Also included are a brief autobiographical essay about Yuyi's own experience, a list of books that inspired her (and still do), and a description of the beautiful images, textures, and mementos she used to create this book.

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photo Luis and Tabitha
by Stephanie Campisi

Luis is an alley cat who has everything figured out . . . until he meets Tabitha, a beautiful indoor cat. Separated by a tragic glass door, Luis will do anything to be with Tabitha—even brave the dangers of a fire.

With adorable illustrations and undeniable style, Luis and Tabitha is the story of two star-crossed kitties who prove that true love conquers all.

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photo The Wall in the Middle of the Book
by Jon Agee

There's a wall in the middle of the book, and our hero--a young knight--is sure that the wall protects his side of the book from the dangers of the other side--like an angry tiger and giant rhino, and worst of all, an ogre who would gobble him up in a second! But our knight doesn't seem to notice the crocodile and growing sea of water that are emerging on his side. When he's almost over his head and calling for help, who will come to his rescue? An individual who isn't as dangerous as the knight thought--from a side of the book that might just have some positive things to offer after all!

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photo Not Just a Book
by Jeanne Willis

A book is not just a book. It can be so many things: a hat or a building block, a flower press or a fly-swatter But books are so much more than that. They can make you feel and can take you anywhere; they can make you laugh and can teach you anything you want to know.

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photo The Case of the Missing Chalk Drawings
by Richard Byrne

The chalks are drawing flowers on the chalkboard, but someone keeps stealing their artwork! Who could the thief be? Fortunately, Sergeant Blue is on the case and determined to solve the crime. It's a fun and funny read-aloud mystery with a colorful cast of characters, from This book just ate my dog! author-illustrator Richard Byrne.

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photo Gilda the Giant Sheep
by Emilio Urberuaga

When Gilda discovers that the shepherds want to sell her for meat, she decides to escape. In the city she will be confronted with the cars, noise, skyscrapers, and unfriendly people. Will Gilda finally find safety, a new home and someone who appreciates her "big" potential?

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New Middle Grade Books

photo Louisiana's Way Home
by Kate DiCamillo

When Louisiana Elefante’s granny wakes her up in the middle of the night to tell her that the day of reckoning has arrived and they have to leave home immediately, Louisiana isn’t overly worried. After all, Granny has many middle-of-the-night ideas. But this time, things are different. This time, Granny intends for them never to return.

Separated from her best friends, Raymie and Beverly, Louisiana struggles to oppose the winds of fate (and Granny) and find a way home. But as Louisiana’s life becomes entwined with the lives of the people of a small Georgia town — including a surly motel owner, a walrus-like minister, and a mysterious boy with a crow on his shoulder — she starts to worry that she is destined only for good-byes. (Which could be due to the curse on Louisiana's and Granny’s heads. But that is a story for another time.)

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photo The Train to Impossible Places
by P. G. Bell

The Impossible Postal Express is no ordinary train. It’s a troll-operated delivery service that runs everywhere from ocean-bottom shipwrecks, to Trollville, to space. But when this impossible train comes roaring through Suzy’s living room, her world turns upside down. After sneaking on board, Suzy suddenly finds herself Deputy Post Master aboard the train, and faced with her first delivery—to the evil Lady Crepuscula.

Then, the package itself begs Suzy not to deliver him. A talking snow globe, Frederick has information Crepuscula could use to take over the entire Union of Impossible Places. But when protecting Frederick means putting her friends in danger, Suzy has to make a difficult choice—with the fate of the entire Union at stake.

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photo Are You Ready to Hatch an Unusual Chicken?
by Kelly Jones

Twelve-year-old Sophie Brown is finally settling into her new home and her new role as keeper of some highly unusual chickens--chickens with secret superpowers!

But the arrival of two new magical chickens for her flock and some unusual eggs to be incubated and hatched (what will their superpowers be?), plus an impending inspection from the Unusual Poultry Committee (who even knew this existed?) has Sophie feeling pretty stressed out. Her older cousin, Lupe, is coming to stay with her family, which is great--but will Lupe like chickens too? And on top of it all, Sophie's first day at her new school is rapidly approaching!

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photo The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone
by Jaclyn Moriarty

Bronte Mettlestone is ten years old when her parents are killed by pirates. This does not bother her particularly: her parents ran away to have adventures when she was a baby. She has been raised by her Aunt Isabelle, with assistance from the Butler, and has spent a pleasant childhood of afternoon teas and riding lessons.

Now, however, her parents have left detailed instructions for Bronte in their will. (Instructions that, annoyingly, have been reinforced with faery cross-stitch, which means that if she doesn't complete them, terrible things could happen!) She travels the kingdoms, perfectly alone, delivering gifts to ten other aunts: a farmer aunt who owns an orange orchard, a veterinarian aunt who specializes in dragon care, a pair of aunts who captain a cruise ship, and a former rock star aunt who is now the reigning monarch of a small kingdom.
But as she travels from aunt to aunt, Bronte suspects there might be more to this journey than the simple delivery of treasure.

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photo The Wild Robot Escapes
by Peter Brown

Shipwrecked on a remote, wild island, Robot Roz learned from the unwelcoming animal inhabitants and adapted to her surroundings--but can she survive the challenges of the civilized world and find her way home to Brightbill and the island?

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