For a short month, February has seen a whole heap of fabulous children’s books published. This month’s roundup includes some of our favourites new illustrated books across fiction and non-fiction.
Joyful January Reads
Children’s publishing has started 2022 with a bang! There have been some incredible books published this year already and my January round-up features some of our favourites, as well as a few books from 2021 that we read over the festive break. It includes my first top pick of 2022!
I am NOT a Prince by Rachael Davis and Beatrix Hatcher ~ #PublicationDay #Debut #PictureBook ~ @RachDavisAuthor @BeatrixHatcher @HachetteKids
Debut picture book, I am NOT a Prince by Rachael Davis and Beatrix Hatcher is an uplifting twisted fairy tale that challenges gender stereotypes and encourages children to be proud to be themselves.
My Top Picks of 2021! ~ #ChildrensBooks ~ @AndersenPress @FarshoreBooks @QuartoKids @PuffinBooks @simonkids_UK @harryewoodgate @ClareHelenWelsh @laurabarrettuk @RachelCIp @Laura_A_Hughes @DapsDraws @LarryHayesAuthr @Doonkris @auralewis￼￼
For my final feature of 2021, I want to look back at my top picks of the year. There have been so many incredible children’s books published in 2021.
Our Favourite 2021 Books Featuring Black Children ~ #RepresentationMatter ~ @FaberChildrens @PuffinBooks @MacmillanKidsUK @FarshoreBooks @lantanapub @AndersenPress @QuartoKids
I have reviewed lots of wonderful, inclusive books and I want to finish off the year by recommending 12 more outstanding picture books featuring characters of colour and/or about racism
Beyond the Gender Binary by Alok Vaid-Menon ~ #Review ~ @alokvmenon @WorkshopBooks @ashlukadraws
I am a huge fan of Alok. Their podcasts, talks and Instagram are full of joy, inspiration and powerful messages on mental health and LGBTQ+ issues. In Beyond the Gender Binary, Alok gives an honest and heartfelt insight into life as a gender-nonconforming transfeminine person of colour. They eloquently explain what the gender binary is and what it means to be gender fluid.
Little Glow by Katie Sahota & Harry Woodgate ~ #Guest Post ~ @harryewoodgate @KatieKateWrites @OwletPress
In a fascinating illustrator Guest Post, Harry reveals how they created the opening spread. ‘Little Glow’ is a story all about a diverse, multicultural community, and the different festivals of light it celebrates throughout the year. It’s also about the importance of introverts, told through the eyes of a shy candle flame who watches all the celebrations and eventually discovers its own important purpose. It’s very lyrical, very cosy, and I’m very excited to share with you a little bit of the process of how the book came together.
Violet’s Tempest by Ian Eagleton and Clara Anganuzzi ~ #BookTour #PictureBook ~ @MrEagletonIan @CAnganuzzi @lantanapub
When Violet is chosen to play Ariel from The Tempest in the school play, she is overcome with worry. But it isn’t about remembering her words that’s troubling her, it’s having to say them out loud. This beautifully illustrated picture book shines the spotlight on shyness and finding your voice.
What a Wonderful Phrase by Nicola Edwards & Manu Montoya ~ #BookReview ~ @NicolaBookFace @LittleTigerUK
This beautiful hardback collection of amazing idioms from around the world would make a perfect gift. For each idiom the book gives us the phrase in the native language, the literal and figurative meanings and the origins of the phrase. But what makes this book stand out is that it also describes the phrase’s cultural, scientific and historical context.
Hey You! ~ Mega Author and Illustrator Interview ~ @DapsDraws @PuffinBooks
I am thrilled to be sharing a multi-illustrator interview with the creators of the ground-breaking new picture book, Hey You!, written by the world-class, Dapo Adeola.
Sunflower Sisters by Monika Singh Gangotra & Michaela Dias-Hayes ~ #AuthorInterview ~ @MonSingh @OwletPress
Interview with author of Sunflower Sisters. Thisis a story that follows two best friends, Amrita and Kiki, on their journey through self-love, sisterhood and the power of loving one another.
Five Exceptional Children’s Books with LGBTQ+ Themes ~ @OwletPress @QuartoKids @AndersenPress @KidsWelbeck
Five exceptional children’s books with LGBTQ+ themes. Nen and the Lonely Fisherman by Ian Eagleton and James Mayhew; RuPaul by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara and Wednesday Holmes; Grandad's Camper by Harry Woodgate; Princess Kevin by Michael Escoffier and Roland Garrigue; Have PRIDE by Stella Caldwell, Sue Sanders and Season of Victory
Five Fantastic Picture Books (and a Graphic Novel) that Instil Empathy ~ #EmpathyDay ~ @FaberChildrens @MacmillanKidsUK @simonkids_UK @BusterBooks
Picture books are an amazing way to help instil empathy in young children. They can help children (and adults) to step into the shoes of someone else. Often, they can convey complex emotions and situations in a simple way for children to relate to. Here are five outstanding picture books (and a graphic novel) that instil empathy.
Musical Truth by Jeffrey Boakye and Ngadi Smart ~ #ListeningParty #BLM ~ @jeffreykboakye @NgadiSmart @FaberChildrens
This unique book for teens and adults provides a musical history of Modern Black Britain in 28 songs.
My Daddies by Gareth Peter & Garry Parsons ~ #AuthorInterview ~ @PurpleHuskey @ICanDrawDinos @PuffinBooks
Interview with author Gareth Peter. My Daddies is a funny, heartfelt picture-book celebrating same-sex parents and shared story time, perfect for introducing children to the different kinds of family in the world today.
The Art of Words by Robert Vescio & Joanna Bartel ~ #PictureBook #Review ~ @EK_Books
With the help of their dog, two little children demonstrate all the endless possibilities of words.
What Happened to You? by James Catchpole and Karen George ~ #PictureBook #Review ~ @peachjamcloset @hughshampoo @FaberChildrens
What Happened to You? by James Catchpole and Karen George is the first picture book to answer a very important question: how do we teach our children, despite any curiosities they may have, to be always be respectful to disabled people?
Finney’s Story by Alana Washington and Charlotte Caswell ~ @AlanaLovesBooks @CharlCaswell @publishinguclan @SarahAnnKennedy
Finney wants to write a story, but his friend cat spots a problem. It turns out Finney’s original ideas are not so original. Children will delight in spotting well-known fairy tales hidden in Finney’s story ideas…
Have PRIDE by Stella Caldwell, Sue Sanders and Season of Victory ~ #BookReview #LGBTHM21 ~ @suesanders03 @seasonofvictory @welbeckpublish
Have Pride guides you through the history of the LGBTQ+ movement from ancient civilisations to modern day. With inspiring contributions from Dea Urovi, Ayo Babatope, Mupela Muba, Shelina, Alex Holdsworth, Ezra Lee, Mohammed Barber and Layton Williams.
How to Spot a Mum by Donna Amey Bhatt and Aura Lewis ~ #PictureBook #NonFiction #Mums ~ @Doonkris @auralewis @quartokids
This warm, witty, and spookily accurate(!) book identifies all the different types of mums out there, from the sporty mum to the online mum; the organised mum to the last-minute mum.