Here’s what’s new in picture books for March 2022 about learning a new language, being brave, appreciating nature, loving yourself, and more!
New Picture Books (March 2022)
Eyes That Speak to the Stars by Joanna Ho, illustrated by Dung Ho
SHAPE OF EYES / LOVING YOURSELF
The little boy feels sad seeing a classmate’s hurtful picture showing his eyes as two lines. Later, looking at Agong’s wise eyes and Di-Di’s (baby brother) eyes like his, eyes that Baba says rise up to the sky and speak to the stars, the boy feels pride in his powerful, visionary eyes. Empowering and important.
Gibberish by Young Vo
LEARNING A NEW LANGUAGE
Brilliant, metaphorical illustrations move from cartooney black and white to realistic color to illuminate Vo’s exceptional storytelling. Dat moves to a new country where he doesn’t speak the language– it sounds like gibberish. And gibberish is everywhere–the books and the air. Until someone unexpected drops in– and his new friend Julie helps Dat learn words. One friend makes all the difference. It’s a must-share book that beautifully shows the challenges of language learning.
Knight Owl by Christopher Denise
When knights go missing from the castle, Owl applies to become a knight, excelling as a Knight Night Watch. When a hungry dragon arrives with a whoosh, Owl convinces him to eat pizza instead of eating him. They stay up all night chatting and become close friends. Also, no more knights go missing! Gorgeous illustrations with dark blues and yellows give this a nighttime ambiance with a dose of adorableness in Owl.
Climb On! by Baptiste Paul, illustrated by Jacqueline Alcantara
An exuberant child reminds their dad it’s the day for their hike. The child talks nonstop in Creole words and English as they hike, leap, and climb through the lush, green jungle filled with colorful creatures and plants, rocks, lakes, and footpaths to get to the tippy tippy top of the mountain. At the top, it’s a wow moment — a spectacular view overlooking their village, the mountains, and the ocean. Visually stunning.
Ten Blocks to the Big Wok by Ying-Hwa Hu
COUNTING / CHINESE CULTURE & FOOD
Bilingual in English and Mandarin, this is a playful story of a girl and her dad walking ten blocks through Chinatown, counting things they see like four miniature trees on the fourth block and seven silk fans on the seventh block. When they arrive at the restaurant for dim sum, they count the delicious foods–9 fried wontons, 8 shumai, 7 tofu-shin rolls, and more.
Eggs from Red Hen Farm by Monica Wellington
FARM TO TABLE
Engaging visual clues with illustrations of maps and mazes show Red and Ned bringing the eggs from their chickens to the city. Ned sells eggs at the farmer’s market while Red delivers eggs to the restaurant, school, grocery store, and bakery. She returns to the bakery for a surprise treat — cookies made with her eggs.
The Katha Chest by Radhiah Chowdhury, illustrated by Lavanya Naidu
STORYTELLING, FAMILY, AAPI HERITAGE
In a beautifully-narrated picture book with rich sensory images and gorgeous illustrations, Asiya looks through her beloved Nanu’s katha chest of quilts. For each treasured katha, she thinks of her female family members and their lives. “A thick white streak runs across another quilt like the white saris Choto Khala has worn since Khalu died. Asiya imagines it is the road to the village where Choto Khala still lives.”
Pretty Perfect Kitty-Corn by Shannon Hale, illustrated by Leuyen Pham
Unicorn learns it’s okay NOT to be perfect and it’s every better when you have a good friend to be your messy, imperfect self with! Kitty is painting a portrait of Unicorn which reveals something not-at-all-perfect –there’s paint on Unicorn’s bum! He feels embarrassed until Kitty reassures him and in solidarity, sits in paint, too.
Goldie’s Guide to Grandchilding by Clint McElroy, illustrated by Eliza Kinka
Kids and adults will laugh through this totally helpful book of advice for grandchildren. It’s true. Goldie will help you manage your loyal and loving companions called grandparents. In fact, she’ll help you plan for playtime, simple toys (grandparents don’t do complicated or video games), feeding (ice cream), exercise (the Funky Chicken), and bedtime (Rainbow Connection).
A Friend for Yoga Bunny by Brian Russo
Yoga Bunny helps a new bear friend learn to do yoga to help her to feel all his feelings and then release her anxious feelings. This charming introduction to meditation, yoga, and breathing also gently invites children to feel and let go of feelings like the clouds passing in the sky. As Bear and Rabbit try poses, maybe you’ll try them, too.
Lovebird Lou by Tammi Sauer, illustrated by Stephanie Laberis
Lou’s lovebird parents support him with whatever he does — whether it’s seeing if he could be a flamingo or a rock. (He was an excellent rock.) Their support allows Lou to fully embrace who he is with certainty– a lovebird!
The Hiking Viking by Laura Gehl, illustrated by Timothy Banks
LOVE OF NATURE
Leif is different from the other Vikings because he loves nature, not violence. Forced to participate in the Viking Games, Leif helps his clan not just win with their entry for the greatest treasure but see his perspective, too. He shows them all the sunset from the top of a high cliff overlooking the ocean. And they finally understand who Leif is– and Leif feels seen.
Masha Munching by Amalia Hoffman
A silly story about a goat who in search of different foods leaves the farm and goes to a restaurant where she finds delicious foods that she loves — including a table leg and breadbasket.
The Happiest Kid by Sarah Bagley Steele, illustrated by Elsa Pui Si Lo and Clarice Yungi Cai
Sally usually feels happy so she doesn’t want her not-happy feelings that metaphorically appear as a cloud. She stuffs it and hides it until she meets a boy with his own cloud who tells her it’s okay to have all the feelings. After that, she sometimes sees the sun and sometimes the cloud and feels brave about allowing both feelings at the same time.
Fly by Brittany J. Thurman, illustrated by Anna Cunha
GROWTH MINDSET BOOKS
Africa believes in herself so much that she knows she’ll be able to learn double-Dutch in a week. Her brother doesn’t think she can do it because she’s never done it before. She tries to learn on her own but realizes it will be better to ask others. She learns stepping, cartwheels, hand claps, and soon she shows what she can do, just like her birthmark in the shape of Africa represents what she’s made of.
John’s Turn by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Kate Berube
At school, kids share talents during the “Special Gifts” time. John dances ballet to classical music. When he’s done, his fellow students applaud. It’s simple with much-needed representation.
I Don’t Have a Dog by Contessa Hileman illustrated by Carolyn Conahan
A sweet ode to a child’s best friend who is not just a dog but an alarm, a homework excuse, a fan club, a vacuum cleaner, and more. Use this as a writing prompt or mentor text.