August 2022

August 31, 2022


Image by Marie Boyd



Happy Book Birthday 


MG novel in verse

by award-winning

Alma Fullerton 

Illustrated by Sarah Mensinga

in Children’s Gymnastics Books

A high-energy novel in verse starring a fifth grader who is almost as devoted to competitive gymnastics as she is to hiding her poor reading skills. What happens when Claire’s secret starts unraveling?

 “Fullerton (No More Plastic) authentically and compassionately portrays cued-white fifth grader Claire’s experience with dyslexia in this easily digestible verse novel. . . Fullerton’s flowing verse adeptly captures what dyslexia is like for Claire alongside her frustration around convincing her mother that she’s trying hard but needs assistance. This insightful story carries a strong message for teachers, caregivers, and children alike, and Mensinga’s emotive illustrations provide depth throughout.”

As featured in:

New and Noteworthy Children’s and YA Books: August 2022 (
“Fifth grade gymnast Claire excels on the mat but struggles in the classroom.  When she needs a learning disability diagnosis, she must find a way to advocate for herself.”

“The book, based on the author’s personal experience growing up with dyslexia, offers an authentic portrayal of children with learning disabilities. Readers will empathize with Claire as she struggles with feeling ‘stupid’ and will support her journey. The quick-moving plot comes with a satisfying ending, and the free-verse narrative provides plenty of helpful white space for reluctant readers.”

As featured in:

“Designed with accessibility in mind (the typeface is meant to be easily decoded), the text stresses that learning disabilities are in no way a bad thing. Fullerton offers readers a glimpse into what it’s like to try to read with difficulties. . . . A positive representation of perseverance.

Interior illustrations by Sarah Mensinga

“… the short poems, liberal use of dialogue, and the focus on gymnastics make this a high interest, quick read that would make an excellent choice for both beginning chapter book readers and reluctant readers.”

As seen:

Excerpt from Fullerton’s Book Birthday blog post:

“This story is very close to my heart because like my character Claire I am also dyslexic. A lot of the feelings Claire went through before her diagnosis were similar to what I felt growing up. I didn’t realize that I saw things differently than other children and thought I must be stupid.” —Alma Fullerton  

Blog Tour!

Check out another review—with font comparisons—
at A Backwards Story.

FLIPPING FORWARD TWISTING BACKWARD is an immediate school staple and I hope to see it crop up again during the 2023 ALA Youth Media Awards!

As featured:


Getting Children with Learning
Differences to Love Books
a guest post by Alma Fullerton

AF: When I go into schools and speak to children, the first thing I ask is, “Who here likes to read?” 

Everyone puts up their hands. 

Then I ask, “Who here is lying about liking to read?” 

There are usually a lot of laughs and a lot of hands up. Once the laughter dies down, I go on to tell them how at their age I didn’t like to read either. In fact, depending on the age group I’m talking to, I couldn’t read at their age. 

Like Claire in Flipping Forward Twisting Backward, I couldn’t read until grade four.

Even now, as an adult who works an author and educator, reading can be difficult due to my dyslexia and ADD.  Reading can cause headaches and nausea so I really need to be pulled into a story by a strong character and plot to make me want to finish it. 

As an educator I believe a child with LDs should be allowed to listen to books instead of forcing them to try to read. Forcing them to read when reading makes them dizzy or gives them headaches will only turn them off books completely.  I constantly find myself explaining to parents and teachers that listening to audio books is not cheating for a child with LDs. It would be the same as a child in a wheelchair using a ramp to get up the stairs. 

If they must read with their eyes and not their ears, find books with an easy to read font like one of the Dyslexic fonts that are weighted down, or one of Sassoon Book fonts developed by Rosemary Sassoon and Adrian Williams for children. The later is the font used in Flipping Forward Twisting Backwards. Easy to read fonts make books so much more enjoyable for all children, not just those with LDs.

The fact is, everyone likes stories. 

Whether reading them, listening to them, or watching them, the important thing is children must see themselves in stories. It’s a way to feel less alone in this big world we live in.

Author Spotlight

Photo credit: Chantale Viens

Alma Fullerton couldn’t read until she was in the fourth grade. Today she works with students who have learning disabilities. She is the author of several middle grade and young adult novels that garnered acclaim and awards in her native Canada. Alma is also the author/illustrator of several picture books, including the most recently published NO MORE PLASTIC (Pajama Press), which received many accolades, as below:

  • 2022 Green Earth Book Award Honor Book
  • 2022 Shining Willow finalist
  • 2022 OLA Forest of Reading Blue Spruce Award Honor Book
  • 2021 Globe and Mail selection
  • 2021 CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens Fall Selection
  • 2021 Open Book feature

 “Among the best of the recent books about ocean plastic thanks to its positive approach and practical suggestions included at the end, this title would work well as a group read-aloud….A gentle, effective presentation of an environmental disaster.”—Kirkus

Happy Book Birthday


(graphic novel format)

by NYT-bestselling Author
Newbery Award-winning


Kwame Alexander

Illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile 

(Clarion Books)

in Children’s Books on Marriage & Divorce

Simultaneous Publication in both Hardcover and Paperback

In this electrifying follow-up to Kwame Alexander’s Newbery winner THE CROSSOVER, soccer, family, love, and friendship take center stage. A NYT-bestseller and National Book Award Longlist nominee, now in a graphic novel edition featuring art from Dawud Anyabwile.

“Conveying an important mental health message, this graphic novel adaptation is one more ­feather in the cap of a truly iconic author.”

“Alexander’s poetic storytelling and knack for language wrap around fun and expressive artwork to make for an inarguably charming format that may especially hold appeal for reluctant readers.”

Also available as a graphic novel:

Stay tuned for:

Streaming series coming soon on Disney+, with executive producers including NBA great LeBron James!

(January 2023)

And THE PLAYBOOK in paperback

(January 2023)



Children’s Illustrated

A national indie bestseller for the 3rd week in a row—now @ #3!

And a regional indie bestseller in 6 territories: 

  • #3: NEIBA & NAIBA (New England & New Atlantic)

  • #6: SIBA (Southern)

  • #7: MIBA (Midwest)

  • #9: CALIBA (SoCal)

  • #10: GLIBA (Great Lakes)

Other summer bestsellers:

A national indie bestseller for the 9th week in a row


Other regional bestsellers:


SIBA (Southern)


SIBA (Southern)


Amazon accolades:

Editor’s Picks


Teacher’s Pick

Happy Book Birthday 

(times three!)



Written by NYT-bestselling,

Stacia Deutsch

(Arcadia Children’s Books)

Dive into these spooky chapter books for suspenseful tales of bumps in the night, paranormal investigations, and the unexplained; just be sure to keep the light on.

Spooky America was adapted from the creeptastic Haunted America series for adults.  Each book chronicles both the widely known and less-familiar history behind local ghosts and other unexplained mysteries. 


Author’s Spotlight

#1 NYT-bestselling Stacia Deutsch has written more than three hundred children’s books including THE JESSIE FILES, a spin-off of the beloved Boxcar Children mystery series.  Stacia lives in Temecula CA, where she is a member of the historical society and loves hearing spooky stories!


Happy Book Birthday

by award winning

Susan B. Katz 

(Rockridge Press)

Also available from Rockridge Press by Susan:


Additional titles in the series available from Stacia Deutsch:



Happy Book Birthday

(times five!)

Biome Explorers 

by Laura Perdew

Illustrated by Lex Cornell

(Nomad Press) 

Author’s Spotlight

Laura Perdew writes both fiction and nonfiction for kids, including THE FORT (Page Street Kids, April 2020) and BIODIVERSITY: EXPLORE THE DIVERSITY OF LIFE ON EARTH Biodiversity: Explore the Diversity of Life on Earth (Nomad Press 2019) which is on the Booklist editors’ list of the Top 10 Books on the Environment & Sustainability for Youth 2020. More and more she’s drawn toward writing books that showcase our amazing planet and all its biodiversity, and encourage kids to unplug, explore, and use their imagination. The research she does as an author has deepened the love and respect she has for the natural world.


ThinKingdom—as a fourth license for the title—has licensed exclusive Simplified Chinese rights to the Cook award-winning COUNTING ON KATHERINE, illustrated by Dow Phumiruk

Dreamscape has licensed the iconographic audio-visual rights and stand-alone audio rights for Patricia Newman’s A RIVER’S GIFTS.


August Illustrator Highlight

Featured a cover reveal from Luciana Navarro Powell and images by
Gela KalaitzidisJohn Ledda, Shiho Pate, and more.


See the entire August Illustrator Highlight here.

Don’t miss our next ZOOMtacular!

Sizzling hot August BOOK NEWS!

So GRRReat!
We spy Anna Dewdney‘s selected Llama Llama titles in this cool Kellogg’s Feeding Reading Program: Between now & Sept. 30–buy any participating Kellogg’s product and redeem it for a free book from Penguin Random House!

Check out the participating Kellogg’s products.


Feeding Reading National 2022 | Catalog | Kellogg’s Family Rewards® (



THANK YOU, Chronicle!


An August pick also included on the Diverstories summer reading list.
For every copy of Brynne Barnes’s BLACK GIRL RISING sold through their website, Chronicle Books will donate one copy to Diverstories, up to 75 total.

Just in and we agree:

On the Shelf: These new books will captivate young readers …

“Certainly, this is one of the most beautiful books of the year, with poetic text that might make you catch your breath. This is a keeper and should be shouted in story times and classroom readings, as well as whispered at bedtime, for years to come.”
“On the Shelf: These new books will captivate readers…”



A Shining Star of the Season!

FALLING SHORT—to be published next year in p/b—has gotten glowing praise from other authors (including Matt de la Peña and Carlos Hernandez) and industry journals—it received starred reviews from Kirkus, SLJ, and PW.


✴ ILA 2022 Children’s and Young Adults’ Book Awards in Primary Fiction, Winner
✴ 2022 International Latino Book Awards Finalist – Best Children’s Fiction Picture Book, Bilingual
✴ 2022 Américas Award Commendable Title
✴ 2021 Florida Book Awards, Gold Medal
✴ Best Read Aloud Picture Books of 2021 by The Bookstagang’s Best Picture Books of 2021 Awards

50 Back-to-School Books About Mighty Girls’ Adventures at Elementary School

Stay tuned for Alexandra’s debut MG next year! 

COVER REVEAL and an orange banner…


Look at this gorgeous cover (Illustrated by Danna Sanmar) for Alexandra Alessandri‘s debut mg fantasy novel THE ENCHANTED LIFE OF VALENTINA MEJÍA. coming from Atheneum / S&S on 02.21.23! 


Where is East/West?



Celebrating Representation for Kids

April Showers and Afro Unicorn hit the CBS Mornings Show with Gayle King . . .

And GMA!

Stay tuned for book licensing deal announcements soon. 
(Karen Kilpatrick agent) 


Speaking of Llama Llama, GloRilla nailed it!



August Picture Book Event! – Crowdcast





Back to School?!

Llama Llama Back to School – Read Aloud Picture Book | Brightly Storytime – YouTube



And don’t forget these!


ABC’s and 1, 2, 3… 
Making Math Fun

Focus on STEM: Making Math Fun
Multilingual Math
In LIA Y LUÍS: ¿QUIÉN TIENE MÁS? by Ana Crespo (Illustrated by by Giovana Medeiros, Charlesbridge), Brazilian American twins argue over their snack portions by counting and measuring in both English and Spanish. The book also provides Portuguese captions and a glossary of Brazilian Portuguese words.

Stay tuned for a sequel to the Storytelling Math award-winning title, Ana Crespo’s
LIA & LUÍS: PUZZLED!, coming next year.

Selected titles upcoming in September


Best Picture Book Bios of 2022 (So Far)


150 Most Anticipated Books of the Fall


With NYT–bestselling author Rosanne Parry’s irresistible text and debut illustrator Niki Stage’s vibrant and detailed illustrations, BIG TRUCK DAY is a celebration of libraries, books, communities, and things that go.




Stay tuned for Shannon Hitchcock’s fourth book in the Storytellers’ PB bio series: OF WORDS & WATER: The Story of Wilma Dykeman, Writer, Historian, Environmentalist.



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