Late Winter Favorites

➕ Taking my time thinking about what I want out of the year.
I’ve been slowly compiling a list of 23 things I’d like to do in 2023- like planting wildflowers, having a diner breakfast with my girls, taking a crafting class, and framing more family photos- and slowly checking things off.  It feels good.

➕ Seeing Ibram X. Kendi and Nic Stone at our local bookstore.

They were absolutely brilliant and I think everyone there left feeling so inspired.  I can be lazy about going to events, but I’m always glad when I do.
➕ Showing up.
Thinking about how I want to show up for people in my community, and for myself, and what that might mean.
➕ Dorothy Whipple’s Because of the Lockwoods
Dorothy Whipple is such a gifted writer and I’m so enjoying slowly savoring this Persephone book that I picked up when we got to go to Boston’s newest bookstore in Beacon Hill (worth the trip, local friends!).
➕ Trevor Noah’s I Wish You Would and Cunk on Earth, both on Netflix
These both had me dying laughing.
I was listening to an interview about a yodeling group and became intrigued when I heard they were opening for Mumford & Sons, then more still when I heard a clip of this song.
➕ Everything Everywhere All At Once
I’m so happy this gem received so much celebration.  I was so moved by this movie and have been absolutely loving the interviews of the actors.
“When I choose to see the good side of things, I’m not being naive. It is strategic and necessary. It’s how I’ve learned to survive through everything.”
“The only thing I do know is that we have to be kind.  Please. Be kind…especially when we don’t know what’s going on.”
“This is how I fight.”

➕ Finally sharing my favorite books of 2022.

I forgot about this until recently and then it ended up being very nice for me to again get to see those books that stood out to me last year and think about what I might want that to mean for my reading this year.
➕ PBS Kids’ Work It Out Wombats and Netflix’s Sea of Love
If you’re on the hunt for a kids’ show you’ll like, too, do yourself a favor and check these two out.
➕ New middle grade reads
  • Meg Medina’s Merci Suarez Plays It Cool
    • Thank you, Candlewick! Have you read this series? Meg Medina has such a gift of capturing this time of life and delivering so much heart and beauty in a way that never feels forced or corny. Highly recommend!
  • Tara Dairman’s The Girl From Earth’s End
    • Thank you, Candlewick! First of all, this cover, the flowers across the pages, and the map immediately make this covetable.  Pair that with a story that begins with a girl who was dropped off on a mail boat to a remote island to two men who garden, fish, and paint in an abandoned monastery and then evolves into a story about her passion for gardening turning into a quest to rediscover a mysterious plant that might heal her papa…I mean.  This story is so immersive and beautiful and I think so many of you will fall in love with it.
  • Nicole Melleby’s and A.J. Sass’s Camp QUILTBAG
    • Thank you, Candlewick! I’m going to be picking this one up next and I’m so excited to follow these two characters to a camp for queer and trans kids. I can’t resist a summer camp setting and I so appreciate learning about experiences different than mine.
  • Kate DiCamillo’s The Magician’s Elephant
    • Thank you, Candlewick! So immersive and magical. DiCamillo has such a distinct, amazing style of storytelling.
  •  Matt Tavares’s Hoops
    • Thank you, Candlewick! I had the best time reading this in one cozy sitting. It’s a graphic novel based on the true story of a first high school women’s team in 1976. Heartwarming feminism that felt good for the soul- highly recommend a dose for yourself.

➕ New picture books

  • Holly Sterling’s Ballet Kids
    • Thank you, Candlewick! You know a book is fantastic when it fully captures your child’s imagination.  We first read this one during breakfast and our daughter then requested a “ballet bun” for school, came down in the afternoon after her quiet time in a tutu, and requested trying out different ballet moves together after dinner.  We also had a wonderful discussion about boys and dresses and I know this is going to be a book we’re pulling off the shelf often.
  • Jonathan Stutzman’s and Jay Fleck’s Tiny T. Rex and the Grand Ta-Da!
    • Thank you, Chronicle! I mean, how cute are Tiny and Pointy? We love this series and this book delivers with its humor and lovely message of friendship.
  • Maria Carluccio’s Welcome to Preschool
    • Thank you, Chronicle! I wish we had this board book before our first daughter went to preschool! There are not many books out there in this category and this one so sweetly walks through a day at preschool with soft, adorable illustrations and figures that move across the page.
  • Helen H. Wu’s and Mae Besom’s Long Goes to Dragon School
    • Thank you, Yehoo Press! Our daughter is dragon obsessed and is delighted by this cute story of a water dragon learning how to figure out his way in a school of dragons using fire in their lessons.  Such a sweet story about finding your own path.
  • Lucy Knisley’s You Are New
    • Thank you, Chronicle! A family favorite is now in board book form.  I consider this a must for your baby’s bookshelf.
  • Atinuke’s and Onyinye Iwu’s Too Small Tola Gets Tough
    • Thank you, Candlewick! This is such a fun series following Tola and her family in Lagos, Nigeria.  In this installment, Tola must go to live with another family during lockdown and the story is so poignant and endearing.
  • Bob Marley’s,  Cedella Marley’s, and John Jay Cabuay’s Get Up Stand Up
    • Thank you, Chronicle! Uplifting and joyful.
  • Taro Gomi’s Little Chicks
    • Thank you, Chronicle! Who doesn’t love Gomi’s distinctive style?
  • Roxanne Torup’s and Kendra Binney’s My Grandpa, My Tree, and Me
    • Thank you, Yehoo Press! This follows a girl and her grandfather on his pecan tree farm. It’s sentimental with both the storytelling and soft illustrations and I also really liked learning about pecans so much, a surprise bonus.
  • Rilla Alexander’s You Rule!
    • Thank you, Chronicle! With vivid, bold illustrations, ask your kid questions and teach them the wide variety of answers out there.


  • Jennifer Chambliss Bertman’s and Holly Hatam’s A Good Deed Can Grow
    • Thank you, Christy Ottaviano Books! Adorable.  I know you all are probably already keen on this message with your children and it is so sweetly shared in this beautiful book.
  • Dianna Hutts Aston’s and Sylvia Long’s A Shell Is Cozy
    • Thank you, Chronicle! This book is so informative and pretty, one that I would definitely gravitate toward in a store or library and bring home. Do yourself a favor and look through this one!
  • Martin Jenkins’ and Jenni Desmond’s Puffin
    • Thank you, Candlewick! We all squeal over puffins, right? This book is charmingly cute and engaging for sure.
  • Emmanuelle Figueras’s and Alexander Vidal’s The Secret Life of Bugs and Other Little Critters
    • Thank you, Twirl! The perfect book to pick up before spring and the emergence of bugs to explore.  The laser cut pages with the vivid, detailed illustrations are paired with fascinating information and I already know we’re going to be poring over this a lot.
  • Carter Higgins’ Some of These are Snails
    • Thank you, Chronicle! Higgins’ books are mind-bending fun.  The illustrations are so colorful and vibrant and you’re going to just have such a great experience with this one.
  • Polly Faber’s and Harriet Hobday’s All Through the Night: Important Jobs That Get Done at Night
    • Thank you, Candlewick! I love books that tackle interesting subjects like this and this book is so thought-provoking and beautifully done.
  • Marianna Coppo’s Fish and Crab
    • Thank you Chronicle! This one is very funny in its relatability, but also feels absurd and silly. Coppo has such a distinct style and we can’t wait to see what she does next.
  • Adam Rex and Lian Cho’s Oh No, The Aunts Are Here
    • Thank you, Chronicle! You know it’s going to be rollicking when it’s Adam Rex and Lian Cho’s illustrations give this such a fun, nostalgic feel.
  • Emily Matheis’s and Albert Arrayas’s Opal’s Springtime Birdhouse
    • Thank you, Yehoo Press! Opal doesn’t know what to do during a birdhouse building contest and has to explore what’s really important.  I love how encouraging this one feels and also think it would be so fun to pair with an actual activity.

Please do join in however feels fitting to you!

If you would like to join in on the fun, please go to the submissions page!

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