Starting Over in Sunset Park

English & Spanish 4-8 years Immigration Single-Parent Family New Beginnings NYC Animals Cat-sitting José Pelaez, Lynn McGee, & Bianca Diaz summary Our story opens with a young girl and her mother arriving to NYC from the Dominican Republic, ready to begin a new life for themselves. Initially staying with relatives, the pair is looking forward…

Hot Pot Night!

English 2+ years Community Cooking Friendship Vincent Chen summary If you don’t like hot pot, I just don’t know if I can trust your tastebuds and #SorryNotSorry about that. In this simple story, an apartment building comes together (think old-school Stone Soup style) to make a communal meal. It is in a similar vein of…

Amara and the Bats

English 4+ Environmental Activism BIPOC Narratives Community Single-Parent Family Nature Pint-Sized Professor Bats Emma Reynolds summary Amara looooves bats! She’s enamored by their fuzzy flying hamster-like bodies and flappy wings. Amara, her mom, and brother Samir love to watch them fly around at the park near their home. When the family moves to a new…

The Adventures of Team Pom: Squid Happens

English 8+ Fantasy Synchronized Swimming Bao Friendship Social-Emotional Learning Mystery Sci-Fi Isabel Roxas summary Team Pom (comprised of Ruby, Agnes, and Roberta) is a group of misfits that’s main goal is winning the illustrious local synchronized swimming competition. Unfortunately, they need some sweet moves and an infinite supply of bao to get their creativity flowing….

Listen

English 4-8 years Mindfulness Hearing Interracial Families City Living Gabi Snyder & Stephanie Graegin summary Listen is a story that covers both mindfulness and the science of hearing. Living in a busy and bustling city, a young girl takes a moment to really hear each sound as it passes around her throughout the day. I…

The Caiman

English 4-8 years Venezuela Friendship Uncommon Pets Kindness María Eugenia Manrique & Ramón París Translated by Amy Brill summary So you might have a friend with an iguana, or visited a shop with a dog or even a chicken (shoutout to the jewelry shop in Town with 2 shop chickens!) but have you ever visited…

Geraldine Pu and Her Lunch Box, Too!

English, Mandarin & Taiwanese 6-10 Chinese Culture Food School Friendship Self-Advocacy Family Maggie P. Chang summary Geraldine loves her lunchbox, and that’s a hard same from me too. This introductory graphic novel follows Geraldine Pu as she brings her beloved biandang filled with delicious food that her Amah lovingly packs for her. Unfortunately, a classmate…

Jo Jo Makoons: The Used-to-be Best Friend

English, Michif & Ojibwe 6-10 Ojibwe Culture Friendship Social-Emotional Learning Family Self-Esteem Dawn Quigley & Tara Audibert summary I wish that early chapter books were like this when I was young. Jo Jo Makoons is spunky, self-assured, and ready to tell everyone that she has it all figured out. Jo Jo knoooows she needs more…

Anyone need some space?

English 5 years & up STEM Space Science Historical Figures Imagination Poetry SEL Various, see each book. Space is cool, amirite? Who isn’t preoccupied at some point with what’s up there, only accessible by rocket? I have three books with space as an overarching theme, but in different and creative ways. The vastness of the…

Fix

English YA Chronic Illness Disability Pain/Major Surgery Substance Dependance Friendship Prose J. Albert Mann summary Fix is an incredibly powerful book.  The reader is immediately drawn into Eve’s world as she heals from major spinal surgery to correct the extreme scoliosis that has impacted her life.  The double meaning of the title plays with the fixing…