April 2018 Kids’ Picks

April Kids' Picks (1)

There are so many great children’s books coming out in April. Here are just a few!

1Rebound by Kwame Alexander (out April 2nd)
Before Josh and Jordan Bell were streaking up and down the court, their father was learning his own moves. In this prequel to Newbery Medal winner The Crossover, Chuck Bell takes center stage, as readers get a glimpse of his childhood and how he became the jazz music worshiping, basketball star his sons look up to. This book is a novel in verse with graphic novel panels.

 

3Rescue & Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship by Jessica Kensky, Patrick Downes & Scott Magoon (out April 3rd)
Rescue thought he’d grow up to be a Seeing Eye dog — it’s the family business, after all. When he gets the news that he’s better suited to being a service dog, he’s worried that he’s not up to the task. Then he meets Jessica, a girl whose life is turning out differently than the way she’d imagined it, too. Now Jessica needs Rescue by her side to help her accomplish everyday tasks. And it turns out that Rescue can help Jessica see after all: a way forward, together, one step at a time. An endnote from the authors tells more about the training and extraordinary abilities of service dogs, particularly their real-life best friend and black lab, Rescue.

4Legendary Ladies: 50 Goddesses to Empower & Inspire You by Ann Shen (out April 3rd)
From the beloved author and artist behind Bad Girls Throughout History comes this lushly illustrated book of goddesses from around the world. Aphrodite, the Greek goddess whose love overcame mortality. Mazu, the Chinese deity who safely guides travelers home. Lakshmi, the Hindu provider of fortune and prosperity. These powerful deities and many more are celebrated in gorgeous artwork and enlightening essays that explore the feminine divine and encourage readers to empower themselves. Ann Shen’s signature watercolors make Legendary Ladies a unique, gift-worthy homage to the mighty women within.

5What If… by Samantha Berger & Mike Curato (out April 10th)
Creativity, the power of imagination, and the importance of self-expression are celebrated in this inspiring picture book written and illustrated by real-life best friends. This girl is determined to express herself! If she can’t draw her dreams, she’ll sculpt or build, carve or collage. If she can’t do that, she’ll turn her world into a canvas. And if everything around her is taken away, she’ll sing, dance, and dream. Stunning mixed media illustrations, lyrical text, and a breathtaking gatefold conjure powerful magic in this heartfelt affirmation of art, imagination, and the resilience of the human spirit.

6You Go First by Erin Entrada Kelly (out April 10th)
Twelve-year-old Charlotte Lockard and eleven-year-old Ben Boxer are separated by more than a thousand miles. On the surface, their lives seem vastly different—Charlotte lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, while Ben is in the small town of Lanester, Louisiana. Charlotte wants to be a geologist and keeps a rock collection in her room. Ben is obsessed with Harry Potter, presidential history, and recycling. But the two have more in common than they think. They’re both highly gifted. They’re both experiencing family turmoil. And they both sit alone at lunch. Over the course of a week, Charlotte and Ben—online friends connected only by a Scrabble game—will intersect in unexpected ways, as they struggle to navigate the turmoil of middle school.

7Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal (out April 10th)
If you ask her, Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela has way too many names: six! How did such a small person wind up with such a large name? Alma turns to Daddy for an answer and learns of Sofia, the grandmother who loved books and flowers; Esperanza, the great-grandmother who longed to travel; José, the grandfather who was an artist; and other namesakes, too. As she hears the story of her name, Alma starts to think it might be a perfect fit after all — and realizes that she will one day have her own story to tell. In her author-illustrator debut, Juana Martinez-Neal opens a treasure box of discovery for children who may be curious about their own origin stories or names.

2Ada Twist’s Big Project Book for Stellar Scientists by Andrea Beaty (out April 24th)
For curious young minds who ask why? how? what? when? and then why? again and again, the bestselling team behind Ada Twist, Scientist has developed a STEM project book based on the beloved character. Ada herself will take readers through the scientific method and introduce them to some of her favorite sciences, including chemistry, botany, astronomy, and environmental science. Budding scientists will solve everyday mysteries and come to think more critically about the world around them. Like Rosie’s and Iggy’s project books, Ada’s will be empowering and kid-friendly, with tons of classroom and parent appeal.

8Misunderstood Shark by Ame Dyckman & Scott Magoon (out April 24th)
The filming of an underwater TV show goes awry when the crew gets interrupted by a… SHARRRK! Poor Shark, he wasn’t trying to scare them, he’s just misunderstood! Then he’s accused of trying to eat a fish. Will Shark ever catch a break? After all, he wasn’t going to eat the fish, he was just showing it his new tooth! Or was he? Explosively funny, extraordinarily clever, and even full of fun shark facts, this surprisingly endearing story gets to the heart of what it feels like to be misunderstood by the people around you. With a surprise twist ending, our Misunderstood Shark will have kids rolling with laughter!

9Dude! By Aaron Reynolds & Dan Santat (out April 24th)
Aaron Reynolds, the author of Nerdy Birdy and Creepy Carrots! teams up with Dan Santat, the Caldecott–winning illustrator behind The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend to create the hilarious, gnarly summer adventure picture book, Dude! You have to read this book. It’s totally about this platypus and this beaver who are friends. They want to go surfing but dude, there’s this shark who’s in the ocean, too. But don’t worry. This shark approaches and you’ll never guess what happens.

10The War Below by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch (out April 24th)
The Nazis took Luka from his home in Ukraine and forced him into a labor camp. Now, Luka has smuggled himself out — even though he left behind his dearest friend, Lida. Someday, he vows, he’ll find her again. But first, he must survive. Racing through the woods and mountains, Luka evades capture by both Nazis and Soviet agents. Then he meets up with an underground army whose members are fighting Nazis and Soviets alike. But the desperate rescues and guerilla raids put Luka back in the line of fire. Can he persevere long enough to find Lida again or make it back home where his father must be waiting for him?