New Kids’ and YA Books: Week of May 3, 2021

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Here we round up new and forthcoming children’s titles including a story about a streaking toddler, a picture book that explains privilege, an illustrated ode to change, a book about dog and cat neighbors at odds, and more.

Fred Gets Dressed by Peter Brown. Little, Brown, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-316-20064-6. First establishing his protagonist’s delight in zooming around the house “naked and wild and free,” Brown (The Wild Robot) shows Fred striking one joyful pose after another. But when Fred ends up in a magical place—his parents’ closet—getting dressed becomes irresistible.

Race Cars: A Children’s Book About White Privilege by Jenny Devenny. Frances Lincoln, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-7112-6290-4. Edited by diversity and inclusion expert Charnaie Gordon, this narrative, an extended metaphor about two race cars, introduces white privilege and systemic prejudice to young readers. Social worker Devenny offers an easily digestible resource that could benefit those building lesson plans on the topic.

Is Was by Deborah Freedman. Atheneum, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-7510-6. In serene watercolor and pencil spreads and gossamer prose, Freedman (Carl and the Meaning of Life) marvels at the mystery of change in this picture book.

Hudson and Tallulah Take Sides by Anna Kang, illus. by Christopher Weyant. Amazon/Two Lions, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5420-0668-2. The only thing that Hudson, a scruffy brown dog, seems to have in common with neighbor Tallulah, a white cat with ginger markings, is the fence separating their yards and the antagonism they share.

The Last Fallen Star by Graci Kim. Disney/Riordan, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-368-05963-3. In the first volume of this new mythologicallyinspired middle grade series, Korean American adoptee Riley Oh, 12 and selfless, is the only saram—“normal, non-gifted person without a lick of magic”—in her family, who are healers and part of the Gom clan.

Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson. Simon & Schuster, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-4814-9898-2. Matson (Save the Date) interweaves romance, family relationships, secrets and growing self-knowledge, and even a missing masterpiece into this intricately plotted book about two teens on a jaunt in NYC who want to be actors.

This Book Is Made of Clouds by Misha Maynerick Blaise. Muddy Boots, $15.95; ISBN 978-1-63076-388-6. Blaise showcases the interconnectivity of life in this richly illustrated picture book, employing the refrain, “Everything is connected to everything else.”

Hair Twins by Raakhee Mirchandani, illus. by Holly Hatam. Little, Brown, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-316-49530-1. A brown-skinned girl relays the hair routines of her long-haired Sikh father and herself in this bouncy picture book by Mirchandani, inspired by her husband and daughter. The book earned a starred review from PW.

Lost in the Clouds by Tom Tinn-Disbury. DK, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-7440-3659-6. Tinn-Disbury traces one child’s grief through this weather-themed tale. Billy believes his mother lives in the clouds following her death. Every morning he searches for her in the clouds, but he ultimately finds support in his father.

Grasshopper by Tatiana Ukhova. Greystone Kids, $18.95; ISBN 978-1-77164-692-5. A wordless story by Russian artist Ukhova imagines a child with freckles blundering into a small universe of insects beneath their feet.

For more children’s and YA titles on sale throughout the month of May, check out PW’s full On-Sale Calendar.

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