A Flower Is a Friend by Frieda Wishinski, illustrated by Karen Patkau (Pajama Press, May 2023), highlights the ways garden creatures and garden flowers exist together. A digitally rendered flower-and-creature image on each two-page spread nicely pairs with a simple action phrase from the flower’s voice stating what they do, such as “wake to the

I have read many books and novels about the Japanese-American Internment program during World War II, but nothing quite as unique as Seen and Unseen by Elizabeth Partridge and Lauren Tamaki (Chronicle Books, 2022). This nonfiction middle-grade Siebert Award winner is subtitled “What Dorothea Lange, Toyo Miyatake, and Ansel Adam’s Photographs Reveal about the Japanese

The fictional middle graphic novel Global by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin (Sourcebooks Young Readers, April 2023) addresses the effect of global climate change by illustrating two unique children in opposite situations on the other side of the globe. While Yuki faces a grolar bear (half grizzly and half polar bear) in the Arctic circle,

Alte Zachen by Ziggy Hanaor and Benjamin Phillips (Cicada Books, 2022) is a thoughtful graphic novel about a boy and his Bubbe (grandmother) going shopping in New York. His grandmother fled Europe during WWII as a child and as she has aged, she’s started to become confused. As a result, throughout this book, she mixes

In the middle-grade novel Indigo and Ida by Heather Murphy Capps (Carolrhoda Books, April 2023), teenager Indigo Fitzgerald discovers a biography (with loose personal letters) about the nineteenth-century investigative writer Ida B. Wells. As she reads of Ida’s reporting on frequent lynchings in the South during the post-Reconstruction era, Indigo is inspired to focus her

Nomads: Life on the Move by Kinchoi Lam (Cicada Books, May 2023) is a middle-grade-level nonfiction picture book that illustrates the lives of those living today with a nomadic lifestyle. With eight pages (four two-page spreads) dedicated to each of seven unique nomadic cultures, Nomads teaches about the home structure, family cultures, and traditional food and

As the title indicates, How Birds Sleep by David Obuchowski, illustrated by Sarah Pedry (mineditionUS, March 2023) teaches how nearly two dozen bird species sleep. The tone of the text sounds like a bedtime book, and it has a frame of a barn owl waking just as the animals are ready for sleep. Then, at

We’re entering an era where the beginning of COVID-19 is actually a part of history, which feels incredibly weird to me. Nevertheless, it’s clear that the world’s success in overcoming the dangerous beginning stages of the virus was in motion long before the virus showed up. In Never Give Up by Debbie Dadey, illustrated by

You Are Here: Connecting Flights, edited by Ellen Oh (Allida, March 2023), is a collection of related short stories by a variety of Asian-American authors that captures the Asian-American experience by telling the stories of 12 different children waiting in an airport for their flights. By tying the children’s stories together, Oh has created a

The Turtle of Michigan by Naomi Shihab Nye (Greenwillow Books, 2022) picks up right where the The Turtle of Oman ends, as young Aref sits on an airplane to head to the United States from Oman. In The Turtle of Oman (reviewed here), Aref had spent a week with his grandpa, coming to terms with

Making More: How Life Begins by Katherine Roy (Norton Young Readers, March 2023) is a middle-grade nonfiction tome about animal reproduction, plant reproduction, and even fungi reproduction. In short, it will help every young reader gain a better insight into just how living things “make more” and continue the life cycle. The first and last