‘Aven Green, Sleuthing Machine’ by Dusti Bowling
Third-grader Aven Green has been solving mysteries for a whole month – cracking such cases as The Mystery of the Cranky Mom. But can this perceptive detective solve two cases at the same time? First her teacher’s lunch bag disappears. Then Aven’s great-grandma’s dog goes missing. Fortunately, since Aven was born without arms, all the “arm” cells went to her super-powered brain instead. (That’s her theory.)
‘Just Ask!’ by Sonya Sotomayor
Feeling different, especially as a kid, can be tough. But in the same way that different types of plants and flowers make a garden more beautiful and enjoyable, different types of people make our world more vibrant and wonderful.
In Just Ask, Sonia Sotomayor celebrates the different abilities kids (and people of all ages) have. Using her own experience as a child who was diagnosed with diabetes, Justice Sotomayor writes about children with all sorts of challenges – and looks at the special powers those kids have as well. As the kids work together to build a community garden, asking questions of each other along the way, this book encourages readers to do the same: when we come across someone who is different from us but we’re not sure why, all we have to do is Just Ask.
‘Me and Mrs. Moon’ by Helen Bate
Maisie and Dylan love Mrs. Moon. She picks them up from school every day and they have great fun together. But then things start to get strange: a coat without sleeves, old socks as Christmas decorations, a missing dog, an imaginary folk band … the children want to help, but what should they do for the best?
Love, loyalty and resilience shine through this powerful graphic story of two children determined to help their friend, Mrs. Moon.
‘Pea, Bee & Jay’ by Brian Smith
Like all peas, Pea loves to roll. So when a no-good strawberry dares him to roll all the way off the farm, he swears he can do it – eazy me-zee!
But along the way, a powerful thunderstorm strikes and bounces Pea off course … and right into two unlikely new buds: a bee named Bee who thinks she knows it all, and a bird named Jay who can’t figure out how to fly.
On their own they may not look like much, but if this trio can stick together, they just might help Pea find his way back home!
‘The Floating Field’ by Scott Riley
On the island of Koh Panyee, in a village built on stilts, there is no open space. How will a group of Thai boys play soccer?
After watching the World Cup on television, a group of Thai boys is inspired to form their own team. But on the island of Koh Panyee, in a village built on stilts, there is no open space. The boys can play only twice a month on a sandbar when the tide is low enough. Everything changes when the teens join together to build their very own floating soccer field.
This inspiring true story by debut author Scott Riley is gorgeously illustrated by Nguyen Quang and Kim Lien. Perfect for fans of stories about sports, beating seemingly impossible odds, and places and cultures not often shown in picture books.
‘Too Small Tola’ by Atinuke
In a trio of droll stories, award-winning author and storyteller Atinuke debuts an endearing and enduring character with plenty to prove. Tola lives in an apartment in the busy city of Lagos, Nigeria, with her sister, Moji, who is very clever; her brother, Dapo, who is very fast; and Grandmommy, who is very bossy. Tola may be small, but she’s strong enough to carry a basket brimming with groceries home from the market, and she’s clever enough to count out Grandmommy’s change. When the faucets in the apartment break, it’s Tola who brings water from the well. And when Mr. Abdul, the tailor, has an accident and needs help taking his customers’ measurements, only Tola can save the day. Atinuke’s trademark wit and charm are on full display, accompanied by delightful illustrations by Onyinye Iwu. Too Small Tola evokes the urban bustle and rich blending of cultures in Lagos through the eyes of a little girl with an outsize will – and an even bigger heart.