Every month we review new children’s books. This month, we are thrilled to see some amazing titles releasing. Whether you’re a big kid, little kid or just a kid at heart, gather your loved ones together and cozy up to a good book. From Tiffany Jackson’s debut picture book to Johnnetta B. Cole and Nikole Hannah Jones’s powerful books, we are thrilled about the latest books hitting the streets for you and your readers to enjoy this holiday season.
Note: Stories of a Colorful World (SOCW) book lists feature books that star BIPOC characters by authors of those same diverse groups. This post contains affiliate links. If you buy from our links, we get a small commission at no additional cost to you.
What Will My Story Be?:by Nidhi Chanani (Release Date: 11/30)
After spending an afternoon listening to her aunties tell her stories from their pasts, a young girl ruminates on all of the tales that she can create using her imagination and begins to feel as if the possibilities for her future are endless. Filled with Nidhi Chanani’s signature vibrant illustrations, What Will My Story Be? is for anyone who finds inspiration in the quiet moments and cherishes the wisdom of the generations that came before them. (Ages 3-5)
The Sun, the Moon and the Stars by Rachel Montez Minor, Annie Won (Release date: 11/9)
In simple rhyme with a universal message, this book celebrates diverse children, their power to inspire those around them, and the invisible bonds of family and humanity that can never be broken.
Readers are encouraged to shine their light and positivity on those around them and to always lift each other up. We are all one, living together on our planet, connected under the sun, the moon, and the stars.. (Ages 3-6)
Santa in the City by Tiffany D. Jackson & Reggie Brown (Release date: 11/2)
It’s two weeks before Christmas, and Deja is worried that Santa might not be able to visit her–after all, as a city kid, she doesn’t have a chimney for him to come down and none of the parking spots on her block could fit a sleigh, let alone eight reindeer! But with a little help from her family, community, and Santa himself, Deja discovers that the Christmas spirit is alive and well in her city. (Ages 4-8)
Soul Food Sunday by Winsome Bingham, Charles G. Esparanza (Release date: 11/16)
On Sundays, everyone gathers at Granny’s for Soul Food.
But today, I don’t go to the backyard or the great room.
I follow Granny instead.
“You’re a big boy now,” Granny says. “Time for you to learn.”
At Granny’s, Sunday isn’t Sunday without a big family gathering over a lovingly prepared meal. Old enough now, our narrator is finally invited to help cook the dishes for the first time: He joins Granny in grating the cheese, cleaning the greens, and priming the meat for Roscoe Ray’s grill. But just when Granny says they’re finished, her grandson makes his own contribution, sweetening this Sunday gathering–and the many more to come.
Evocatively written and vividly illustrated, this mouthwatering story is a warm celebration of tradition and coming together at a table filled with love and delicious fo. (Ages 4-8)
Parker Shines On: Another Extraordinary Moment by Parker & Jessica Curry, Brittany Jackson (Release date: 11/2)
Parker Curry loves being a big sister. She gets to play dress-up with her little sister, Ava, and piano with her baby brother, Cash. And Parker loves to dance, twirling and leaping and spinning in joy.
But when a dancer joins her class and needs her help, Parker wonders if she has what it takes to be not only a real dancer, but a real friend.
This inspirational picture book has an afterword by prima ballerina and New York Times bestselling author Misty Copeland. (Ages 4-8)
African Proverbs for All by Johnnetta B. Cole, Jasmine, Nelda Lateef (Release date: 11/30)
It has been said that a proverb is a short sentence based on long experience. Whether you are young or old, proverbs can open your mind to a whole new way of seeing the world. We underestimate children when we assume they are incapable of understanding metaphor and deeper meaning. There are multiple ways that children learn, but for each method by which they learn, they need their imagination engaged and their visual sensibilities ignited. And as adults, we underestimate ourselves when we allow our lives to be about practical matters only. Proverbs can stir our soul and spark our imagination. –Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Ph.D. President Emerita of Spelman and Bennett Colleges (Ages 4-8)
J.D. and the Hair Show Showdown by J. Dillard, Akeem S. Roberts (Release date: 11/16)
At only eight years old, J.D. the Kid Barber has already won a barber battle and appeared on local TV. Now he’s the youngest barber to be invited to the Beauty Brothers Hair Expo in Atlanta! J.D. gets the VIP treatment–he takes his first flight, rides in a limo for the first time, and gets gifts from the show’s sponsors. At the show, there are hair classes to take, product samples to try, and some of J.D.’s favorite hair influencers to meet. And, of course, there’s his own demo alongside kid hairstylist, Isabel Is Incredible. But what J.D. is most excited about is snapping a pic with eleven-year-old rap sensation Li’l Eazy Breezy, which is harder than it sounds! The world of hair and beauty is so much bigger than J.D. could’ve imagined, and he’s ready to step up his game. (Ages 6-8)
She Persisted: Maria Tallchief by Christine Day, Chelsea Clinton, Alexandra Boiger (Release date: 11/16)
In this chapter book biography by award-winning author Christine Day, readers learn about the amazing life of Maria Tallchief–and how she persisted.
Maria Tallchief loved to dance, but was told that she might need to change her Osage name to one that sounded more Russian to make it as a professional ballerina. She refused, and worked hard at dancing her best, becoming America’s first prima ballerina. Many famous American ballets were created for Maria!(Ages 6-9)
Sky Watcher (Jada Jones #5) by Kelly Starling Lyons (Release date: 11/9)
Jada is excited to do a school project about her hero Dr. Mae Jemison, a former NASA astronaut and the first Black woman to travel to outer space. She even gets to pretend to be her for the presentation in front of her teacher, parents, and friends! But when Jada’s research reminds her how accomplished her hero truly is, she suddenly feels like she’s made a mistake. How can she portray someone who seems to have everything together when she feels like she’s falling apart? (Ages 6-9)
The 1619 Project: Born on the Water by Hannah Nikkole Jones, Renée Watson, Nikkolas Smith (Release date:10/19)
A young student receives a family tree assignment in school, but she can only trace back three generations. Grandma gathers the whole family, and the student learns that 400 years ago, in 1619, their ancestors were stolen and brought to America by white slave traders.
But before that, they had a home, a land, a language. She learns how the people said to be born on the water survived. (Ages 7-10)
Stuntboy in the Meantime by Jason Reynolds, Raul the Third (Release date: 11/30)
Portico Reeves’s superpower is making sure all the other superheroes–like his parents and two best friends–stay super. And safe. Super safe. And he does this all in secret. No one in his civilian life knows he’s actually…Stuntboy!
But his regular Portico identity is pretty cool, too. He lives in the biggest house on the block, maybe in the whole city, which basically makes it a castle. His mom calls where they live an apartment building. But a building with fifty doors just in the hallways is definitely a castle. And behind those fifty doors live a bunch of different people who Stuntboy saves all the time. In fact, he’s the only reason the cat, New Name Every Day, has nine lives.
All this is swell except for Portico’s other secret, his not-so-super secret. His parents are fighting all the time. They’re trying to hide it by repeatedly telling Portico to go check on a neighbor “in the meantime.” But Portico knows “meantime” means his parents are heading into the Mean Time which means they’re about to get into it, and well, Portico’s superhero responsibility is to save them, too–as soon as he figures out how.
Only, all these secrets give Portico the worry wiggles, the frets, which his mom calls anxiety. Plus, like all superheroes, Portico has an arch-nemesis who is determined to prove that there is nothing super about Portico at all. (Ages 7-12)
The Swag is in the Socks by Kelly J. Baptiste (Release date: 11/2)
Xavier Moon is not one to steal the show. He’s perfectly content to play video games and sit at his bedroom window watching the neighborhood talk outside.
But for Xavier’s twelfth birthday, he receives a pair of funky socks and a challenge from his great-uncle, Frankie Bell, saying it’s time to swag out and speak up. First on the list: get into the legendary Scepter League. Xavier’s grandfather, great-uncle, and father were all invited to join the elite boys’ after-school club that admits only the most suave and confident young men. Xavier has never had the courage to apply before, but his wild socks are getting him some big attention, so maybe it’s time to come out of the shadows and follow in his family’s footsteps. Or maybe Xavier will march down a new path altogether. (Ages 8-12)
Black Artists Shaping the World by Sharna Jackson, Zoé Whitley (Release date: 11/23)
Written by award-winning Black children’s author Sharna Jackson, this engaging book introduces young readers to twenty-six contemporary artists from Africa and of the African diaspora, working in everything from painting, sculpture, and drawing to ceramics, installation art, and sound art.
These include prominent American artists Kerry James Marshall, Faith Ringgold, portraitist to Michelle Obama Amy Sherald, and Kehinde Wiley; British Turner Prize–winning painters Lubaina Himid and Chris Ofili; renowned South African visual activist and photographer Zanele Muholi; Nigerian sound artist Emeka Ogboh; Sudanese painter Kamala Ibrahim Ishaq; Kenyan-British ceramicist Magdalene Odundo; Afrofuturist-inspired performance artist Harold Offeh; and moving image artist Larry Achiampong, among others. (Ages 9-12)
Piece by Piece: The Story of Nisrin’s Hijab by Priya Huq (Release date: 11/16)
Nisrin is a 13-year-old Bangladeshi-American girl living in Milwaukie, Oregon, in 2002. As she nears the end of eighth grade, she gives a presentation for World Culture Day about Bangladesh while wearing a traditional cultural dress. On her way home, she is the victim of a hate crime when a man violently attacks her for wearing a headscarf.
Deeply traumatized by the experience, Nisrin spends the summer depressed and isolated. Other than weekly therapy, Nisrin doesn’t leave the house until fall arrives and it’s time for her to start freshman year at a new school. The night before class starts, Nisrin makes a decision. She tells her family she’s going to start wearing hijab, much to their dismay. Her mother and grandparent’s shocked and angry reactions confuse her–but they only strengthen her resolve.
This choice puts Nisrin on a path to not only discover more about Islam, but also her family’s complicated relationship with the religion, and the reasons they left Bangladesh in the first place. On top of everything else, she’s struggling to fit in at school–her hijab makes her a target for students and faculty alike. But with the help from old friends and new, Nisrin is starting to figure out what really makes her happy. Piece by Piece is an original graphic novel about growing up and choosing your own path, even if it leads you to a different place than you expected. (Ages 8-12)
Out of My Heart by Sharon Draper (Release date: 11/9)
Melody, the huge-hearted heroine of Out of My Mind, is a year older, and a year braver. And now with her Medi-talker, she feels nothing’s out of her reach, not even summer camp. There have to be camps for differently-abled kids like her, and she’s going to sleuth one out. A place where she can trek through a forest, fly on a zip line, and even ride on a horse! A place where maybe she really can finally make a real friend, make her own decisions, and even do things on her own–the dream!
By the light of flickering campfires and the power of thunderstorms, through the terror of unexpected creatures in cabins and the first sparkle of a crush, Melody’s about to discover how brave and strong she really is.. (Ages 10+)
Black Ballerinas: My Journey to Our Legacy by Misty Copeland, Salena Barnes (Release date: 11/2)
As a young girl living in a motel with her mother and her five siblings, Misty Copeland didn’t have a lot of exposure to ballet or prominent dancers. She was sixteen when she saw a black ballerina on a magazine cover for the first time. The experience emboldened Misty and told her that she wasn’t alone–and her dream wasn’t impossible.
In the years since, Misty has only learned more about the trailblazing women who made her own success possible by pushing back against repression and racism with their talent and tenacity. Misty brings these women’s stories to a new generation of readers and gives them the recognition they deserve. (Ages 10+)
So many amazing books to enjoy over holiday break. Which ones will you choose? Drop a comment below.
You can find these and hundreds of other titles in our Bookshop collections. We are constantly updating our selections. Let us know what titles excite you.