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What are you reading this week?

April 20th, 2024

autumn in Portland

(Flowers/photo by Rawley, please use by permission only)

What’s on your nightstand this week? I’m still on my M.E. Kerr spree, I love her stuff. If you’d like, leave me a note, please, in comments. Tell me what titles you’re reading this week, or lately. Peace and books and reading forever. Permission granted from authors/illustrators to discuss these fine new titles.

Reviewing… for Mental Health Awareness Month, which (since 1949) has been observed in the United States every May:

  • Pan Cooke, @thefakepan on Instagram, is an incredible talent who just published his first book. This Irish artist and writer, who resides in Dublin, grew up with undiagnosed OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). “Puzzled” is the cool new graphic novel-memoir from Cooke about the struggles of his early years. What if you say the wrong thing? Do the wrong thing? Get in trouble? Thoughtful work, with super good art. (Rocky Pond Books/Penguin Random House, 2024, please note that this book contains content about disordered eating, ages middle grade and up, 224 pages, $13.99.)
  • “Lola and the Troll” (I reviewed this one end of January, it’s so very, very good. I love that her little dog’s name is Tank.) (Razorbill, 2024, all ages, $18.99)
  • “Pieces of a Girl” is the newest from Stephanie Kuehnert (“Ballads of Suburbia” and “I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone”). Memoir about jumping from Laura in “Little House in the Big Woods” to “Degrassi High” to Bikini Kill and 7 Year Bitch. Been there, chicky. Highly relatable, Interesting read. But at this point, I wish someone would write a super cheerful book with lots of shiny happy people, jokes (clean) and big smiles. Maybe some recipes and some lists re: “how to work yourself out of a funk/if you’re in a funk?” If I could use that, I’m assuming the kids could, too. Maybe I’ll write that one this summer. (PenguinTeen/Dutton Books/Penguin Random House, 2024, ages middle grade and up, 309 pages, $17.99.)
  • “Are You Mad at Me?” (I reviewed this one last September. I love my Opal.) (Rocky Pond Books, 2023, ages 5 and up, $18.99.)
  • “Monster Hands” will scare off those pesky monsters you and the kids fear (or know!) are living under the bed. Great new picture book from Karen Kane, Jonaz McMillan and Dion MBD. Be brave and learn with our young heroes (and neighbors) Milo and Mel, and discover a bit of American Sign Language along the way. (Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin Random House; scheduled for release May 7, 2024; all ages; $18.99.)
  • Great new picture book, “Neat Nick’s Big Mess,” about the sweetest little kid who struggles with anxiety. (Just reviewed this one the other day.) (Rocky Pond Books/Penguin Random House; scheduled for release May 7, 2024; all ages, $18.99.)
  • Author Jonathan Van Ness and illustrator Kamala Nair treat us to a wonderful new picture book with their new work, “Gorgeously Me!” (Flamingo Books/Penguin Random House; scheduled for release June 4, 2024; all ages; $19.99.) I’m a bit enamored with this bright, shiny, happy book. Be you!! Everyone else is taken. LOL.
  • “Queer and Fearless: Poems Celebrating the Lives of LGBTQ+ Heroes” is a stellar, beautiful, fun, and sweet new picture book-poetry book from author Rob Sanders and illustrator Harry Woodgate. Learn about 17 heroes from the queer community, including Pauline Park, Richard Blanco, Pete Buttigieg and others. Great book, and I’m so glad it exists, and that a new generation will learn about these inspiring folks. Nice bonus list of additional reading materials is included. (Penguin Workshop, 2024, all ages, $18.99.)

Bon appetit, babies.


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