New Fall 2022 Picture Books

Standing in the Need of Prayer

Standing in the Need of Prayer By Carole Boston Weatherford; illustrated by Frank Morrison

From an award-winning author and critically acclaimed artist comes a stunning and deeply moving picture book based on the popular spiritual “Standing in the Need of Prayer.” The classic lyrics have been reworked to chronicle the milestones, struggles, tragedies, and triumphs of African American history.

This inspirational book encapsulates African American history and invites conversations at all levels. Carole Boston Weatherford’s riveting text and Frank Morrison’s evocative and detailed paintings are informative reminders of yesterday, hopeful images for today, and aspirational dreams of tomorrow.

Starting from 1619 and stretching more than four hundred years, this book features such pivotal moments in history as the arrival of enslaved people in Jamestown, Virginia; Nat Turner’s rebellion; the integration of the US military; the Selma to Montgomery marches; and peaceful present-day protests. It also celebrates the feats of African American musicians and athletes, such as Duke Ellington and Florence Griffith Joyner.

At the end of the book, readers will find descriptions of the people, places, and events that are featured, along with a note from Carole Boston Weatherford.

Visually stunning and incredibly timely, this book reckons with a painful history while serving as a testament to the human spirit’s ability to persevere in even the most hopeless of circumstances. Its universal message of faith, strength, and resilience will resonate with readers of all ages.

The Little Book of Joy

The Little Book of Joy By His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu; illustrated by Rafael López

Nobel Peace Prize winners His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu share their own childhood struggles to show young readers how they can thrive and find joy even during the most challenging times in this picture book adaptation of the international bestseller The Book of Joy.

If you just focus on the thing that is making you sad, then the sadness is all you see. But if you look around, you will see that joy is everywhere.

In their only collaboration for children, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu use their childhood stories to show young people how to find joy even in hard times and why sharing joy with others makes it grow. The two spiritual masters tell a simple story, vibrantly brought to life by bestselling illustrator Rafael López, of how every child has joy inside them, even when it sometimes hides, and how we can find it, keep it close, and grow it by sharing it with the world.

Sprung from the friendship, humor, and deep affection between these holy men, the book is a perfectly timed and important gift from two revered spiritual leaders to children. It is a reminder that joy is abundant—no matter what challenges we face—and has the power to transform the world around us even in the darkest of times.

This Story Is Not About a Kitten

This Story Is Not About a Kitten By Randall de Sève; illustrated by Carson Ellis

A heartwarming picture book about a neighborhood coming together to help a kitten find a home, from a New York Times bestselling author and a Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator.

Contrary to what you may believe, this story is not about a kitten, hungry and dirty, scared and alone, needing a home. It is also not about the dog who heard the kitten meowing sadly. Even less so about the woman and child walking the dog, who stopped when their dog heard the kitten. Nor is it about the friends who brought a box for the kitten, or the man who offered it some milk. No, this story is not about a kitten at all—well, maybe a little—but more importantly this is a story about community, compassion, and generosity.

Randall de Sève’s thoughtful and warm story is sure to fill readers of all ages with hope and the warm fuzzy feeling that rescuing animals brings. Wonderfully complemented by Carson Ellis’s breathtaking illustrations, this book is sure to be cherished by animal-loving readers everywhere!

Black-Eyed Peas and Hoghead Cheese

Black-Eyed Peas and Hoghead Cheese By Glenda Armand; illustrated by Steffi Walthall

A little girl helping her grandmother prepare a holiday meal learns about the origins of soul food in this powerful picture book that celebrates African American cuisine and identity from an award-winning author.

Know what I like most about Grandma’s kitchen?
More than jambalaya? More than sweet potato pie? Even more than pralines?
Grandma’s stories! Every meal Grandma cooks comes with a story.
What will today’s story be?While visiting her grandma in Louisiana, nine-year-old Frances is excited to help prepare the New Year’s Day meal. She listens as Grandma tells stories—dating back to the Atlantic Slave Trade—about the food for their feast. Through these stories, Frances learns not only about the ingredients and the dishes they are making but about her ancestors and their history as well.A celebration of the stories that connect us, this picture book urges us to think about the foods we eat and why we eat them. This book was inspired by the author’s own childhood and includes her family’s very own recipe for pralines in the back!
The Girl Who Built an Ocean

The Girl Who Built an Ocean By Jess Keating; illustrated by Michelle Mee Nutter

The inspiring tale of a seamstress-turned-scientist who invented the world’s first aquarium at a time when women in STEM were startlingly rare.

The daughter of a seamstress and a cobbler, Jeanne Villepreux-Power began her career as a dressmaker, sewing beautiful gowns for the Parisian aristocracy. But her heart longed for more, and when she moved to the seaside, she became fascinated by the ocean’s mysteries.

She filled her pockets with seashells and specimens, and filled her notebooks with oservations about coral and crustaceans and all manner of marine life. The argonaut interested her most of all, but Jeanne’s observations of this shy creature were confounded by its tendency to swim away when approached. Jeanne wanted a way to bring a piece of the ocean home with her, and that’s she came to build the world’s first aquarium—an invention that would pave the way for countless scientific discoveries in the years to come…

Jess Keating (Shark Lady) and Michelle Mee Nutter (Allergic) bring Jeanne’s story vividly to life with lively text and vibrant artwork that captures the curiosity and perseverance this pioneering woman in science brought to everything she did.

Blue Bison Needs a Haircut

Blue Bison Needs a Haircut By Scott Rothman; illustrated by Pete Oswald

Blue Bison tries his best to be patient in this humorous picture book from the #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator Pete Oswald.

Blue Bison prides himself on always looking clean and neat. But he has a growing problem–his hair. With the barber shops and just about everywhere else closed, all Blue Bison can do is ram his ramming rock in frustration. Meanwhile, his hair keeps growing.

His dad, Brown Bison, encourages him to be patient and wait, and his mom, Burgundy Bison, tries to explain that sometimes you want something that you really don’t need. But all Blue Bison can do is whine and wallow. Could little sister Bubblegum Bison have the solution?

A wildly hilarious story with a subtle message that waiting is hard but sometimes is necessary.

The Night Before the Nutcracker (American Ballet Theatre)

The Night Before the Nutcracker (American Ballet Theatre) By John Robert Allman; illustrated by Julianna Swaney

’Twas the night before The Nutcracker and, sleepless in their beds,
these budding ballet dancers are rehearsing in their heads.

Children who dream of dancing in The Nutcracker will love this magical illustrated holiday story, told in the tradition of “The Night Before Christmas.” Four young girls and boys experience the thrills of auditions, rehearsals, costume fittings, and finally the big event: opening night! Created in partnership with American Ballet Theatre, here is a behind-the-scenes peek that will delight young dancers.

An afterword with original costume illustrations by Richard Hudson makes this picture book both aspirational and informative. A memorable keepsake, it’s perfect for gift giving

All Are Neighbors

All Are Neighbors By Alexandra Penfold; illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman

When a new family moves in, the whole neighborhood comes together to celebrate their diverse community in this uplifting new book from the bestselling creators of All Are Welcome!

Moving to a new place can be hard, but when your neighbors welcome you with open arms, there are so many things to discover and celebrate. Come along with the kids from the bestsellers of All Are Welcome and Big Feelings as they introduce the new kid to a community where everyone has a place and is loved and appreciated—no matter what.

Calling the Wind

Calling the Wind By Trudy Ludwig; illustrated by Kathryn Otoshi

Inspired by the Wind Telephone in Japan, this poignant story explores the stages of grief, the healing power of hope, and the unbreakable family bonds that connect us all. From the acclaimed author of The Invisible Boy and the award-winning illustrator of One.

In a small village in Japan, a family mourns the loss of their loved one. Each family member grieves in their own way, but it is not until they discover an old-fashioned telephone booth on a windswept hill that they begin to heal. Through the telephone, they are able to express feelings long bottled up–speaking directly to their loved one and also to each other. Slowly but surely, the pain subsides, and hope blossoms anew.

Inspired by Itaru Sasaki’s Wind Telephone, which brought healing to the people of Japan in the wake of an Earthquake and tsunami this story explores grief and loss, and how we move forward by finding meaningful ways to connect with the family and friends we’ve lost, as well as those who are still with us.

Curve & Flow

Curve & Flow By Andrea J. Loney; illustrated by Keith Mallett

Discover the remarkable story of an orphaned Black boy who grew up to become the groundbreaking architect to the stars, Paul R. Williams. A stunning nonfiction picture-book biography from the Caldecott Honor–winning author and NAACP Image Award–nominated artist.

As an orphaned Black boy growing up in America in the early 1900s, Paul R. Williams became obsessed by the concept of “home.” He not only dreamed of building his own home, he turned his dreams into drawings. Defying the odds and breaking down the wall of racism, Williams was able to curve around the obstacles in his way to become a world-renowned architect. He designed homes for the biggest celebrities of the day, such as Frank Sinatra and Lucille Ball, and created a number of buildings in Los Angeles that are now considered landmarks.

From Andrea J. Loney, the author of the Caldecott Honor Book Double Bass Blues, and award-winning artist Keith Mallett comes a remarkable story of fortitude, hope, and positivity.

Give This Book Away!

Give This Book Away! By Darren Farrell; illustrated by Maya Tatsukawa

Two award-winning creators team up for this picture book about what happens–and how you feel–when you give to someone else. And then it asks you to do just that–with the book in your hands!

Prepare to open a very special book–a book that you read, but that you don’t keep. That’s right. This book isn’t destined for a pile in your room. It’s not going to gather dust on a bookshelf. This book is for you to read and enjoy, and then to give away. Yes, away, to someone you’ve never spoken to before.

So, who are you going to pick? The next person you pass on the street? Someone sitting alone on a bench? A kid at the park? Who knows—maybe you’ll even make a new friend!

Here is a one-of-a-kind picture book that brilliantly introduces the act of giving—quite literally—in a concrete way for kids to understand, and reveals how good it feels when you do.

How We Say I Love You

How We Say I Love You By Nicole Chen; illustrated by Lenny Wen

In this heartwarming picture book, an Asian American girl shares how her family expresses their love for one another through actions rather than words.

How do you tell your family that you love them? For Hana, love is all around her: Mom stirs love into a steaming pot of xifan. Dad cheers with love at her soccer game. Hana says good night with love by rubbing her grandma’s feet and pouring her grandpa his sleepy tea. And as the light fades, Hana’s parents tuck her into bed and give her a good night kiss.

So many families express their love in all they do for one another, every day. Here is a book that wraps you in a hug and invites your family to share their own special ways of showing love.

Mama's Home

Mama's Home By Shay Youngblood; illustrated by Lo Harris

A gorgeously illustrated picture book that is a powerful love letter to chosen families and the village that raises us. A young girls basks in the love of her community–which includes not only her mother but the many different women who make up her world.

Home can be a blue house with white trim you share with your mama. But it can be bigger than that, with lots of Big Mamas to take care of you when your mom works–different houses for every day of the week. Like Nurse Louella, who’ll take you bike riding in the airport parking lot every Monday. Or Miss Henry and her lady friend, who teach you how to catch fish on Friday afternoons. Or Tuesdays with Miss Zikora, eating delicious fufu with your fingers. No matter where you are, as long as you are with your Big Mamas, you are home.
This beautiful book from Pushcart Prize-winning author Shay Youngblood and popular illustrator Lo Harris that celebrates the wider meaning of family is one to treasure.
Me and the Boss

Me and the Boss By Michelle Edwards; illustrated by April Harrison

All the highs and lows of having a bossy, protective, and loving older sibling are depicted in this heartwarming picture book by a critically acclaimed author and award-winning illustrator.  Meet Lee, a little boy who won’t give up until he learns how to sew, and Zora, the sister who watches him try–and ultimately succeed!

“I know big sisters. Zora, the boss, she’s mine,” explains Lee as he and Zora head to the library, where Mrs. C is teaching the children how to sew. Though Zora sews a beautiful flower on her cloth square, little Lee makes a mess out of the half-moon he is trying to stitch. That night, when he can’t sleep, he gives sewing another try…and succeeds, even mending the hole in his pants pocket! The next morning, he sneaks into Zora’s room and sews the ear back on Bess, her stuffed bear. When Zora discovers Bess, she wraps Lee in her special big sister hug–for just a moment–and then is back to being the boss once again. An acclaimed author and a Coretta Scott King-John Steptoe Award-winning illustrator create a funny, oh-so-true portrait of a brother and sister’s relationship in this winning picture book.
Misty the Cloud: Friends Through Rain or Shine

Misty the Cloud: Friends Through Rain or Shine By Dylan Dreyer; illustrated by Rosie Butcher

New York Times bestselling author, TODAY Show co-host, and meteorologist Dylan Dreyer’s next Misty adventure is all about getting along and learning to compromise! Social-emotional learning meets weather concepts in this bestselling franchise.

The follow-up to the New York TimesUSA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestseller!

When Misty’s party with her cloud pals is interrupted by a group of sunbeams, Misty goes from cool and calm to a bit heated. The clouds and sunbeams have a very hard time putting aside their differences and agreeing on a game.

But when they do finally find a way to come together, they all make something beautiful: a big rainbow!

This new addition to the Misty the Cloud series teaches readers about compromise, sharing, and dealing with good days, bad days, and everything in between.

My Brother Is Away

My Brother Is Away By Sara Greenwood; illustrated by Luisa Uribe

In this moving picture book, a young girl reflects on the emotions and challenges of growing up with a brother who is incarcerated. This touching story is filled with vivid illustrations and is based on the author’s childhood experiences.

With her older brother in prison, a young girl copes with the confusing feelings his absence creates. At times she remembers the way her brother would carry her on his shoulders or how he would make up stories to tell her at bedtime. Other times she feels angry and wants to fly so far away that she can forget what happened.

When her Mama and Daddy take her on the 500-mile journey to visit him, a trip she knows not all families are able to make, the girl is excited but also nervous. But the nerves turn to joy when she sees him—everything is different, but everything is the same too. Her brother is not home, but his love hasn’t changed.

With words that are spare, gentle, and reassuring, this picture book will help young readers with similar stories feel less alone and give other readers a window into the struggles some children face.

Scaredy Squirrel Visits the Doctor

Scaredy Squirrel Visits the Doctor By Melanie Watt

Scaredy Squirrel is exactly the character children need today–a little bit anxious, a lot adorable, and totally lovable.  They will laugh along in this new picture book as Scaredy learns to brave the doctor for his regular check-up!

Scaredy exercises, eats healthy foods, and stays very, very safe.  But even healthy squirrels need to get a regular check up! Going to the vet can be scaaary, especially if you’re Scaredy.

As young listeners see Scaredy face his fears in the silliest of ways, they gain perspective and courage, empowering them to tackle their own worries with a big smile.

Tell the Truth, Pangolin

Tell the Truth, Pangolin By Melinda Beatty; illustrated by Paola Escobar

In this delightful, thoroughly entertaining picture book about the importance–and difficulty–of telling the truth, the queen’s trusty servant, a pangolin, breaks the royal swing and doesn’t know what to tell her!

Pangolin is enjoying himself on the royal swing in the bright summer sunshine when suddenly, the ropes break and–OW!–he falls to the ground. What will I tell the queen?! Pangolin worries. He races to the stables to ask his friend Badger. “Tell her the musicians needed the swing’s rope for their lutes!” the stablemaster advises. Fox, the castle guard, has a different idea: “Might you say that the King needed to repair his royal jump rope?” Pug, Cat, and Goose all have suggestions, too. But which story will Pangolin tell the queen?! Here is a charming picture book, full of delightful animal friends, about finding the courage to be honest with those around you–and with yourself.
The Christmasaurus

The Christmasaurus By Tom Fletcher; illustrated by Shane Devries

Why settle for a pony or a puppy for Christmas when you could have a dinosaur? A rollicking adventure from singer-songwriter and YouTuber Tom Fletcher.

Once upon a time–long, long ago, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth–an egg rolled away from its mother and landed in the ocean, where it froze solid and stayed peacefully for thousands of years. Then one day Santa and his elves discover the frozen egg, and Santa sits on it to see if it will hatch. But he can’t guess what’s inside. . . . A dinosaur!

Meanwhile, a young boy named William Trundle has only ever wished for one thing for Christmas. Yup, you guess it! A dinosaur! So when Santa accidentally gives William the real Christmasaurus instead of a stuffed replica, it’s the BEST CHRISTMAS EVER! Until an evil man known as the Hunter decides a dinosaur will be the perfect addition to his collection.

A wild and hilarious adventure ensues. An instant Christmas classic–now in paperback!

Random House Teachers and Librarians