Every year I write a  most anticipated books of the year post  but in the midst of this year I realised that it wasn't covering enough b...

Upcoming Picture Book Releases - Jan-March 2021

Monday, December 21, 2020 BookBairn 1 Comments

Every year I write a most anticipated books of the year post but in the midst of this year I realised that it wasn't covering enough books - I was missing out on so many good ones so I started writing seasonal ones (you can find the Summer , Autumn and Winter lists here). So I decided instead of doing a full 2021 list which inevitably would only cover until the summer anyway as there isn't much information about books later in the year, to just cover the first few months. This list is not exhaustive - it couldn't be as there are 1000s of new releases (I browsed about 800 before my eyes went loopy and I called it a day) - and I will no doubt have missed something out that I am really excited about but I've done my utmost to find books that I'm most excited to read early next year. Here they are:

Love by Corrine Averiss & Kirsti Beautyman (19 Jan)

I'll admit I picked this one out immediately because of that stunning cover! But when I looked at the premise, and realised that it was the same writer behind one of my favourite picture books - Joy, I just know that this will live up to that beautiful artwork. Everyone loves everyone in Tess’s house, but when Tess has to leave for school for the very first time, she is worried that her family’s love might not stretch that far. Mum explains that love is like a string, it connects people together even when they are far away. At school Tess notices that all the children have strings! Sounds like a book that will be really supportive for children starting school, or who struggle with separation anxiety or who just need a reminder that they are always loved.

What's Inside a Flower? by Rachel Ignotofsky (2 Feb)

We have spent a lot of lockdown 2020 fascinated by nature and the world around us and the bairns became particularly captivated by birds and beasties but I think one of the most fascinating things are plants and flowers - despite my meagre attempts at gardening(!). So I would love to learn more about them! And for me illustrated fiction is a great way to learn about a new topic in an easily digestible way. Budding backyard scientists can start exploring their world with this stunning introduction to these flowery show-stoppers--from seeds to roots to blooms. Learning how flowers grow gives kids beautiful building blocks of science and inquiry. And the artwork looks incredible!

Dreams for our Daughters by Ruth Doyle & Ashling Lindsay (4 Feb)

I'm cheating slightly with this one as I've already read it! My lovely friend - BookLoverJo sent me a copy! And it made me well up - the writing and artwork is absoultely stunning! And as soon as I can get my hands on a copy (it seems to be currently awaiting reprint) I want the Songs for our Songs book too. A star-scattered night, a brand new baby, and all the potential in the world… This is a poetic introduction to what it means to be raised as a girl in the challenging times we live in, and all of the dazzling possibilities the world has to offer. The poignant message at the heart of this book is that we can be whoever we want to be. This is truly magic to read aloud and I think it will be held close to hearts for parents and children alike!

Eyes that Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho & Dung Ho (4 Feb)

I have seen this book on Kidsbookstagram quite a lot recently - particularly on diversity specialist - Charnaie of HereWeeRead feed and recent blog post. It looks magical and speaks to self-acceptance and self-love. A young Asian girl notices that her eyes look different from her peers'. They have big, round eyes and long lashes. She realizes that her eyes are like her mother’s, her grandmother's, and her little sister's. They have eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea, crinkle into crescent moons, and are filled with stories of the past and hope for the future. Drawing from the strength of these powerful women in her life, she recognizes her own beauty and discovers a path to self love and empowerment. There have been many books about Black girls' hair and the significance of that and I feel like this will speak in the same way to Asian girls and help the rest of us develop empathy and understanding. A much needed book. A real celebration of diversity!

Oona byKelly DiPucchio & Raissa Figueroa (4 Feb)

I actually came across this book when researching my Winter 2020 list but since it isn't released until February I haven't been able to share it. What a stunning looking book that promises to be comic and heartfelt celebrating creativity, invention and friendship. Oona and her best friend Otto love to search for treasure…and often find trouble instead. Messy trouble. Tricky trouble. Even shark-related trouble. That’s never stopped them before, though! After all, no proper treasure hunt is without some adventure. But when the grandest treasure yet is stuck in a deep, dark rift, Oona’s not sure if she can dive right in. What might be waiting for her in those unknown waters? Can't wait to find out!

Little People Big Dreams: Mary Anning by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vergara & Poppy Matigot

Little People Big Dreams: Malala Yousafzai by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vergara & Manal Mirza (2 March)

I feel like I'm cheating here as I couldn't choose between these two wonderful women who will be added to the little People Big Dreams series next year. I have long been fascinated by Mary Anning and can't wait to read this version of her childhood and fascination with fossils. And Malala Yousafzai is such a formidable young woman it seems perfect for her to join the LPBD gang and I would love BookBairn to hold her as a role model. Little People, BIG DREAMS is a bestselling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream.

Can You Keep a Secret? by Melissa Castrillon (4 March)

I adore Melissa Castrillon's artwork and basically I'm going to hotly anticipate anything that she has created. And after reading her first self-authored picture book last year - The Mighty Min - I just know her books speak to something deeper inside us all as well as that whimsical wish for adventure and magic. If you met a dragon, could you keep it secret? One day in the forest, Winnie discovers the last dragon in the whole world. His fabulous friends, the gryphon, the winged lion and the tree-man, are the last of their kind, too. They'll be in danger if grown-ups discover them. But can Winnie really keep them secret? With its brave, resourceful heroine and magical endangered animals, this exquisite picture book is a perfect story for our time. I certainly won't be keeping it a secret when I get to read this book!

The Story Thief by Graham Carter (4 March)

One of my favourite books that we discovered this year was Otto Blotter Bird Spotter so when I realised this was the same author-illustrator I was more than a little intrigued. I mean the title itself draws a bookworm like me right in! Someone is stealing stories? Tell me more and whisk me into an adventure! Olive is a shy girl who prefers reading about adventures to having them herself. (I can sympathise with that!) But when a mysterious figure steals all of the books in town, Olive decides to set out straight into an adventure of her own. The thief, meanwhile, doesn’t quite know what to do with the stories he’s stolen. Olive must track down the thief and teach him the joys of reading - and sharing - stories. Can't wait to enjoy this story with the bairns.

Benjamin Zephaniah's Nature Trail illustrated by Nila Aye (4 March)

I mean - how could I resist that cover? It's just glorious! And the fact that it celebrates nature through poetry is just a double-whammy win for me! All around us, from parks to gardens and flowerpots to pavements, there's a world of wonder just waiting to be discovered. Why not look a little closer and see what you find? This joyful celebration of nature reminds us all to take a closer look at the world around us, and enjoy the wonder of nature wherever we find it. Packed with animals and minibeasts galore, this imaginative rhyming text is perfect for reading aloud. I'm not hugely familiar with Benjamin Zephaniah's poetry but I reckon this is a good place to start!

When doing my research, there really were so many great books being released in the next couple of months but I had to narrow it down somehow! I hope you agree I picked some good ones. (I have no doubt missed some off my list in error too!)

Happy Reading!
Kim, BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner xxx

*Release dates are for UK release provided by publisher but may be subject to changes.

Sections in italics from Amazon description.

1 comment:

  1. Art is a talent I don’t have but truly admire those who do. These front covers all look amazing and I can only imagine the contents are as well. Look forward to seeing some of them.