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New books! “Amy Wu and the Ribbon Dance” and others

October 1st, 2023

Fall Books, 2023

“Amy Wu and the Ribbon Dance,” by Kat Zhang, with illustrations by Charlene Chua (Simon & Schuster, 2023, ages 4 and up, $18.99) is the fourth book in this sweet series about one Miss Amy Wu. She is Chinese American and goes at life with gusto. She’s kinda my hero.

Several books have arrived lately that deal with grief, loss and trauma. “Mouseboat,” written by Larissa Theule, with pictures by Abigail Halpin, is one. (Viking, 2023, all ages, $18.99.) A young girl heads to the comfort of the water to deal with the loss of her mother.

“The wind is your voice. You whisper to me. I can’t understand what you’re saying.”

Thoughtful and beautiful book. I hope it finds its way into the hands of people who need it. It’s so good. Also recommended to help readers whose family or friends are dealing with grief. The illustrations are lovely.

“My Cat Does Ballet” is a lighthearted new picture book that will be released Oct. 17th. Written by Robert Heidbreder, and illustrated by Matt Schu, this book is beyond delightful. (Atheneum, 2023, all ages, $18.99.) Fun that the author name-drops and introduces readers to famous dancers, and the ballet terms are a big help.

Sometimes I take it for granted, that publishers send me all of these cool books in the mail and I get to read them, review them, share them. I keep a few for my library, but I pass most of them along to friends, other teachers, students, neighbors. Books/books/more books. (I do not take payment or bribes, lol, for my book reviews. Not into “product placement.” It’s just a labor of love, and I don’t make any money from it.)

Some days, though, ah, some days I spend just a little extra time counting my blessings… because it’s a sweet life, getting so many review copies in the mail. Y’all know I love books. Especially when it’s a copy of “One Smart Cookie,” the new Norma and Belly book by Mika Song (RH Graphic, 2023, all ages, 99 pages, $12.99). Do you know this series? It’s a comic book series, and this is the fourth book. Yay for graphic novels, they’re a pretty, pretty cool art form. Belly and Norma are squirrels on a quest for snacks. Yes, they’ll do whatever it takes. Wouldn’t you?

Also a fan of Rob Hodgson’s “When Moon Became the Moon” (Rise x Penguin Workshop, 2023, all ages, 64 pages, $18.99). It’s written in a style called “long form picture book.” It’s a picture book, only fancier and with more details. So let’s learn about the moon and the sun, lightness and darkness and how it all works.

Like little kids, and big kids, I enjoy knowing all the facts, and asking loads of questions. This book makes me happy. The art is so cool, and I love how the facts are laid out.

You will also find inspiration with Mazie McGear, the hero, engineer, and all-round excellent helper from “Mazie’s Amazing Machines.” Her fave tool? The crank drill. Woot! This title was written by Sheryl Haft and illustrated by Jeremy Holmes. (Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin Random House, 2023, ages 4 and up, $18.99). Mazie’s awesome machines include the “Food-O-Matic,” the “Roly Ramp,” the “Teeter Lever” and others.

Bon appetit, loves. Keep reading.


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