Here we round up new and forthcoming children’s titles, including a middle grade historical drama, the story of unlikely babysitters, a picture book of influential women, and the story of a leonine family.
The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf. Salaam Reads, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-2608-5. In this historical drama set against the May 1969 race riots in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, a 16-year-old Malay who suffers from severe OCD fights for survival while searching for her mother. The book earned a starred review in PW.
Best Babysitters Ever by Caroline Cala. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $13.99; ISBN 978-1-328-85089-8. Finding an old copy of Kristy’s Great Idea, seventh grader Malia devises a plan to raise money for the most epic joint birthday party of all time. Enlisting the help of her two best friends, the three launch a babysitting service, refusing to let lack of experience (or dislike of children) stand in their way.
A Is for Awesome!: 23 Iconic Women Who Changed the World by Eva Chen, illus. by Derek Desierto. Feiwel and Friends, $9.99; ISBN 978-1-250-21599-4. In this alphabet board book, Chen, director of fashion partnerships at Instagram, celebrates 23 women artists, scientists, activists, entertainers, authors, and other influencers.
Hope by Matthew Cordell. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99; ISBN 978-148477341-3. As he did in Wish and Dream, Cordell imagines a pair of animals—a lion and a lioness this time—celebrating new life.
New Kid by Jerry Craft. HarperCollins, $12.99; ISBN 978-0-06-269119-4. This story captures the high jinks of middle schoolers and the tensions that come with being a person of color in a traditionally white space. The book earned a starred review in PW.
Spencer and Vincent: The Jellyfish Brothers by Tony Johnston, illus. by Emily Dove. SS/Wiseman, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-1208-8. Readers may be reminded a little of Finding Nemo in this story of one jellyfish brother who is determined to find and rescue another.
Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly. Delacorte, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-5247-7023-5. This middle grade novel illuminates issues of loneliness, belonging, and the power of communication in a deaf family.
Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-544-99119-4. First in a duology, this tempestuous YA fantasy opens in the wake of LaFevers’s His Fair Assassins trilogy. It’s 1489, and Sybella—convent-trained assassin and daughter of Saint Mortain, also known as Death—is desperate to shield her younger sisters from their barbaric older brother. The book earned a starred review in PW.
Straw into Gold: Fairy Tales Re-Spun by Hilary McKay, illus. by Sarah Gibb. SS/McElderry, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-3284-0. Stepping assuredly into fantasy, McKay (the Casson Family series) displays ingenuity and wit in these 10 cunningly reconfigured tales, illustrated with Gibb’s stunning silhouette artwork. The book earned a starred review in PW.
Pay Attention, Carter Jones by Gary D. Schmidt. Clarion, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-544-79085-8. Schmidt (Orbiting Jupiter) fuses pathos and humor in this layered novel that opens as Carter answers the doorbell to find a dapper British “gentleman’s gentleman,” a former employee of the boy’s grandfather, whose will bequeathed his service to Carter’s family. The book earned a starred review in PW.
The Lost Book by Margarita Surnaite. SS/McElderry, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-3818-7. Adventurous Henry is the only bunny in Rabbit Town who doesn’t like books, but his explorations lead him to one anyway.
Crab Cake: Turning the Tide Together by Andrea Tsurumi. HMH, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-544-95900-2. In this picture book, Crab bakes cakes, cupcakes, and more—frosted peach and green confections studded with shells and seaweed. The book earned a starred review in PW.
Bearnard’s Book by Deborah Underwood, illus. by Misa Saburi. Holt/Godwin, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-62779-757-3. In this allusive picture book, a bear called Bearnard receives a special invitation from the Queen of Storybook Land to star in his own book.
The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman. Penguin/Paulsen, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-5247-3811-2. In this exquisitely narrated novel set in Chennai, India, 11-year-old Viji and her sister, Rukku, run away from their abusive father after he breaks their mother’s arm and hits Rukku. The book earned a starred review in PW.
The Amazing Idea of You by Charlotte Sullivan Wild, illus. by Mary Lundquist. Bloomsbury, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-68119-183-6. A curious, active child with rosy cheeks and a chin-length bob plants an apple seed in this picture book.
For more children’s and YA titles on sale throughout the month of February, check out PW’s full On-Sale Calendar.