Seven new children and young adults’ books to read this month (part 1)


and illustrator: Mechal Renee Roe

3 -7

Cool Cuts aims to assist black boys feel empowered, regardless of how they prefer to wear their natural hair. From a high top to mini twists, each page is crammed with a special hairstyle, motivational phrase, and therefore the affirmation: I was born to be awesome. The author fills the pages with colorful illustrations, each boy looking happy and assured together with his chosen hairstyle. There’s also a companion book for women, Happy Hair.

Both books were originally self-published and born
out of a love of natural hair and embracing your own unique beauty, consistent
with the Penguin Random House website.

Power of Her Pen

Lesa Cline-Ransome

John Parra

4 – 8

Journalist Ethel L. Payne involves life within The Power of Her Pen, during a story made richer with illustrations that illuminate the groundbreaking milestones Payne reached in her own life and history. Author Cline-Ransome highlights moments in Payne’s life that led her to be dubbed the “First Lady of the Black Press.” Payne persevered against racism and have become one among three black journalists granted a White House press pass during the Eisenhower administration, courageously asking the president tough questions on issues that affected black people. She continued this line of questioning with presidents like John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Nixon, and Carter.

Payne was already breaking barriers long before she
was questioning presidents from the press pool. She reported on WWII in Japan
and highlighted the stories of black soldiers who fought within the then still-
segregated military. Although Payne, the granddaughter of slaves, had tons
stacked against her, she paved the way for this generation to continue her


Jerdine Nolen

James E. Ransome

5 – 9

Freedom Bird happens during slavery in North Carolina. Two siblings, Millicent and John Wheeler, labor within the fields together day in and outing. As they suffer through backbreaking work and therefore the heartbreak of their parents’ being sold away, they’re both inspired by their parents’ dreams of freedom. One day, the siblings cross paths with a bird who can hold the key to their escape. Complete with beautiful illustrations and inspired by African-American folktales, Freedom Bird encourages young readers to hope, even when it seems impossible.

The Best Selling Picture Book for Children in February


Suzanne Lang

Max Lang

Grumpy Monkey is a hilarious New York Times bestselling book about handling unexplained feelings…and the danger in suppressing them. Jim the chimpanzee is during a terrible mood for no good reason. His friends can’t understand it–how can he be during a bad mood when it’s such a gorgeous day? They encourage him to not hunch, to smile, and to try to to things that make them happy. But Jim can’t take all the advice…and features a little bit of a meltdown. Could it’s that he just needs each day to feel grumpy?

Suzanne and Max Lang bring hilarity and levity to
the present vital lesson. This book is a superb case study within the dangers
of putting on a cheerful face and demonstrates to kids that they’re allowed to
feel their feelings (though they ought to take care of injuring others within
the process!).


Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Paris Rosenthal

Holly Hatam

Dear Girl, may be a remarkable billet doux written for the special girl in your life.

Through Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Paris Rosenthal’s charming
letters and Holly Hatam’s stunning illustrations, any girl reading this book
will feel that she’s perfect – whether she enjoys jumping during a muddy
puddle, features a face filled with freckles, or dances on table tops.

This book encourages girls to always be themselves
and to like who they are – inside and out.

Love Tacos

Adam Rubin

Daniel Salmieri

Dragons love tacos. They love beef tacos, chicken tacos, teeny tiny tacos, and great big tacos. So if you would like to lure a bunch of dragons to your party, you ought to definitely serve tacos. Buckets and buckets of tacos. Unfortunately, where there are tacos, there’s also salsa. And if a dragon eats spicy salsa accidentally, boys you’re in red-hot trouble.

The award-winning team behind Those Darn Squirrels!
has created an unforgettable, laugh-until-salsa-comes-out-of-your-nose tale of
latest friends and therefore the perfect snack.