February Book Highlights

Here are some of the great books I got to in February! I’ve listed them alphabetically, and labeled them by their audience. I hope you find a new favorite here. :) If you know of another great book I should include, please send me a message here!

Blood and Silver

By: Vali Benson

(Independent Request) - Middle Grade

Way back in 1880, the town of Tombstone in the Arizona Territory was being rapidly filled with miners and businessmen and women hoping to make their fortunes in silver. This story features a twelve-year-old girl named Carissa who will do whatever she can to help secure a better future for her and her mother. Extensively researched, this story gives readers a clear look at what this time was like through the lens of a fictional tale. Please see my full review here.

Daddy Donkey and His Little Son

By: Vedika Agrawal and Kunal Das (Independent Request) - Picture Book

This colorful picture book depicts the relationship between an unlikely father/son pair of a lion and a donkey. Despite their differences, they build a connection that is endearing and powerful. Though Louie the donkey’s herd disagrees with his bond with Zozo the lion cub, the two build a love that lasts a lifetime. Please see my full review here.

Dancing Shapes

By: Once Upon a Dance (Reedsy) - Non-fiction Picture Book

For dancers struggling being away from the studio because of the Coronavirus pandemic, this is an excellent written supplement to their practice. Encouraging and accessible in its delivery, young dancers will appreciate the support the narrator Konora provides throughout this story. Full color photographs and inspiring models make this a visually compelling addition to libraries for young dancers. Please see my full review here!

Good Luck Chestnut and Other Lucky Colors of the World

By: Linda Gruenberg

(independent request) - Picture Book

The illustrations in this beautiful story are stunning! I love the incorporation of many different horses with a rainbow of human children. Though I have never had a close relationship with a horse myself, it is easy to see how horse lovers of all ages will connect with this inclusive story. Please see my full review here.

How Animals Say Goodnight

By: Esther Pia Cordova

(Independent Request) - Picture Book

How do animals across the world sleep? The short answer is...It depends on the animal! In this rhyming picture book, young readers are introduced to a wide range of animals and how they sleep. Some sleep similarly to humans, while others sleep in a completely different way. Vivid illustrations and fascinating facts make this story memorable for readers of all ages. Please see my full review here.

Humans are Weird: I Have the Data

By: Betty Adams

(independent request) -YA/Adult

Told through a series of comic vignettes, alien species comment on the relative absurdities of human behavior. And humans are definitely weird! I love the complex vocabulary used to describe everyday experiences in this story. It doesn’t follow traditional storytelling structure, but it is an enjoyable diversion. Please see my full review here.

I’m Not Very Good At It

By: Darrel Gregory

(Independent Request) - Picture Book

Brains can be noisy sometimes! Depending on the message coming from your brain, this can be fine...or it can be detrimental. This book is a delightful way to help young readers learn to listen to their other body parts before letting their brains get them in trouble. It is a profound message for kids and adults alike! Please see my full review here.

The Isa Book 1: Isa’s Very First Book

By: Linda Gruenberg

(Independent Request) - Early Reader

The early reader category is an important addition to the canon of children’s literature, providing emerging readers with interesting stories that are written in an accessible way. This story introduces readers to Isa and is the first in a series, written in parallel structure with lots of repetition and very short sentences. Please see my full review here.

The Isa Book 2: Isa’s Very Second Book

By: Linda Gruenberg

(Independent Request) - Early Reader

Continuing the Isa series, this second book follows a progressive structure and includes some characters who were introduced in the first story. Slightly more challenging in presentation, this is a natural extension of the Isa series. Please see my full review here.

The Isa Book 3: Isa’s Snowboard Book

By: Linda Gruenberg

(Independent Request) - Early Reader

Readers who have fallen for the Isa series and its lovely watercolor illustrations will jump at this exciting display of Isa’s snowboarding skills. Longer sentences and words are found in this book, providing an additional challenge for emerging readers. Please see my full review here.

The Isa Book 4: Isa’s Soccer Book

By: Linda Gruenberg

(Independent Request) - Early Reader

Isa makes amazing soccer goals! Throughout the course of a year, Isa makes goals all over the place, winding up making a very special goal at Christmastime. Multiple paragraphs are found on each page, strengthening reading skills built in the first three installments. Please see my full review here.

Kindergarten Writing Paper

By: Jake Dennis

(Reedsy) - Picture Book

This book is a useful addition for young children learning to write, as there are many pages on which to practice. Traceable letters at the beginning help learners become comfortable with the motions process before they progress to independent writing. You can read my full review here.

The Miracle Prince: The Power of the Pearl

By: William Edmonds

(Independent Request) - Middle Grade

This book felt very similar to Harry Potter stories both in its construction and variety (and type) of characters. Vampires, nephilim, and guardians make the story stand apart, though. Nail-biting action sequences keep the story moving as the main character Alaric learns the truth of his past and his role in the present. It is both exciting and heartwarming and is a good fit for advanced middle grade readers. Please see my full review here.

The Mystery Bug Collection

By: Terry Shepherd

(Reedsy) - Picture Book

This collection of books is written in the iconic style of Dr. Seuss, helping young readers to better understand how germs spread and how to keep their communities safe. As COVID-19 continues to ravage the world, these stories are an accessible addition to libraries for young children. Please see my full review here!

Now Repeat After Me: Stories from a Neuropsychological Hospital

By: Dr. Oksana Zinchenco

(Independent Request) - YA/Adult Nonfiction

This book is the beginning in a series of direct observations of patients who have experienced brain injuries that have affected their cognitive function in some way. Written by an accomplished neuropsychologist in her second language, this book explains complex medical concepts in widely accessible ways. Young adult and adult readers alike will be fascinated by Dr. Zinchenco’s stories; I’m looking forward to the next installment! Please see my review here.

One Mask, Two Mask, Red Mask, Blue Mask

By: J. Kate

(Independent Request) - Picture Book

Wearing face masks in public spaces was a complicated transition, especially when explaining the necessity and importance of doing so to children. This book, written in the style of Dr. Seuss’ One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, is an enjoyable and accessible way for children to become more comfortable with this idea. Please see my full review here.

Riley Madison Discovers the Superpower of a List

By: June Akers

(Independent Request) - Beginner chapter book

I love lists! They help me keep track of everything that needs to get done without me having to keep it all in my head. And checking things off is the best feeling! This is the story of an elementary school-aged girl named Riley Madison who has trouble keeping track of the things she needs to do in her life until she is introduced to the superpower of a list. Great for readers who have trouble focusing sometimes, the positive and encouraging message accompanying this story empowers kids to find ways to support their own lives. Please see my full review here.

Seacity Rising: A Tale of Unwatery Adventures

By: Elika Ansari

(Independent Request) - Middle Grade

Human behavior has had far reaching consequences for the animals and plants who share planet Earth as their home. This is the story of just a few of these important creatures who have had to learn how to survive the perils of human activity. Lots of dialogue and endearing characters keep the plot of this story moving forward. Please see my full review here.

The Seeing Scroll

By: J.T. Grobler

(Independent Request) - Middle Grade

Set in South Africa, this is the story of two friends named Gia and Vuyo who are investigating the disappearance of Gia’s Oupie. Obscure clues lead the two friends on an adventure that is more dangerous than they expect, combining familial love, magic, and mystery in one action-packed package. Please see my full review here!

The Soda Fountain Conspiracies, Vol. 1: I Scream for a Clown

By: D.J. Saether

(Reedsy) - Middle Grade

This delightful tale is filled with adventure and intrigue, including librarians with awesome skills. There is so much detail woven into this story that you can easily picture exactly where you are, especially in the 1930s retro diner where the narrative begins. I’m looking forward to reading the next installment of this series! Please see my full review here.

The Summer of Mystery

By: Lea Storry

(Independent Request) - Middle Grade

What a delightful escape! Eleven-year-old Katie Brunswick loves mysteries...and gets involved in a real-life mystery of her own. Good friends, swim practice, and family time are all interwoven into this story as Katie attempts to get to the bottom of what is really going on at the Hanlon house. Please see my full review here.


By: M.L. Williams

(Reedsy) - Middle Grade

I loved this debut novel about a middle grade girl named Marley who is on a journey of self discovery through the challenges of middle school. She is navigating her feelings for her close female friend Jess through text messages and dialogue (both external and internal). This delightful story feels very real for readers who will immediately connect with Marley’s vibrant personality. Please see my full review here.

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