Happy Book Birthday: New Picture Books, Nonfiction, and YA

Check out September 1 new releases from Lerner Publishing Group!

Picture books

A Dog Named Haku: A Holiday Story from Nepal, written by Margarita Engle, Amish Karanjit, and Nicole Karanjit and illustrated by Ruth Jeeyaveeran

A Dog Named Haku cover

It’s the Festival of Lights in Nepal, and today is the day to honor dogs! Brothers Alu and Bhalu wander the streets of Kathmandu looking for a dog to feed for this special celebration. Co-written by National Young People’s Poet Laureate Margarita Engle, this sweet story presents an important Hindu holiday through the eyes of two young boys.

Spread from A Dog Named Haku
Spread from A Dog Named Haku

Praise for A Dog Named Haku

“A happy ending will have readers cheering for the brothers and probably begging for a puppy of their own.”—Booklist 

“A sweet sojourn in Nepal . . . an important contribution.”—Kirkus Reviews

“[S]trikes just the right balance between warm family and holiday tradition, perseverance in the face of tragedy, cultural exploration, and animal rescue.”—School Library Journal

View this title on Edelweiss.

A Fall Ball for All, written by Jamie A. Swenson and illustrated by Chiara Fedele

A Fall Ball for All cover

On the verge of winter, the autumn wind issues an invitation: “Come one, come all to the annual Windfall Ball!” Join all the animals as they gather for the autumn wind’s harvest in preparation for the long winter.

Spread from A Fall Ball for All
Spread from A Fall Ball for All

Praise for A Fall Ball for All

“This satisfying book for the fall season emphasizes the interconnectivity of nature. Soothing at bedtime yet with enough substance for an autumn group storytime.”—Kirkus Reviews

“The bounties of autumn are on full display in this cozy story.”—Publishers Weekly

“Fedele’s art perfectly captures the scene of a northern woods. . . . Great for storytime or one-on-one sharing.”—School Library Journal

View this title on Edelweiss.

Dino-Christmas, written by Lisa Wheeler and illustrated by Barry Gott

Dino-Christmas cover

Have yourself a merry Dino-Christmas! The dinosaurs deck the halls and enjoy snowball fights, hot cocoa, a parade, and more. Share in the dinos’ delight as they eagerly await the arrival of everyone’s favorite . . . Santa Claws!

Spread from Dino-Christmas
Spread from Dino-Christmas

Praise for Dino-Christmas

“[W]ill delight dino-loving readers eager for the arrival of Christmas.”—Kirkus Reviews

View this title on Edelweiss.

Middle grade

The Magic of Melwick Orchard by Rebecca Caprara

The Magic of Melwick Orchard cover

When Isa’s sister Junie gets sick, her family fractures. Her dad works more to cover medical expenses, and her mom becomes depressed. Can Isa bring her broken family together with the help of the magical orchard?

Praise for The Magic of Melwick Orchard

“Warmhearted and compelling.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Readers will fall in love with strong-willed, spunky Isa in this magical story about hope, resilience, and what it means to be family.”—Abby Cooper, author of Bubbles and Sticks and Stones

“A beautiful bloom of a book, rooted in friendship, hope, and love. This stunning debut will make you believe in magic—on the page, and in your heart!”—Bridget Hodder, author of The Rat Prince

“Caprara beautifully captures the unbreakable bond between sisters when life throws a curveball. A tender and imaginative debut.”—Jenn Bishop, author of 14 Hollow Road and The Distance to Home

“This story will hold your heart, break it, and then mend it back together.”—Kati Gardner, author of Brave Enough

Get to know author Rebecca Caprara in this Q&A, and view this title on Edelweiss.


Crayola ® Wild World of Animal Colors by Laura Purdie Salas

Crayola Wild World of Animal Colors cover

What colors do animals use to give a warning? To hide themselves? To attract another animal? Explore the wide ranging use of color in the animal world. Vibrant photos pair with easy-reading text to support young readers.

Praise for Crayola ® Wild World of Animal Colors

“A vibrant informational picture book that will encourage primary grade readers to learn about the use of colors in animals’ anatomy and behavior.”—School Library Journal

View this title on Edelweiss.

Little Kitchen of Horrors: Hideously Delicious Recipes That Disgust and Delight by Ali Vega

Little Kitchen of Horrors cover

Your guests will be delightfully horrified by these disgusting yet delicious entrees, snacks, and party foods! Clear step-by-step instructions and colorful photos make these recipes as fun and easy as they are frightful. Do you dare take a bite?

Praise for Little Kitchen of Horrors

“Simple steps, nasty names, and sickening setups transform everyday foods into disgusting dishes that will leave diners grossed out but hungry for more.”—Kirkus Reviews

View this title on Edelweiss.

Way to Be with Disney: From Mindfulness with Donald Duck to Kindness with Dory by Sheila Higginson, Vickie Saxon, and Beth Sycamore

Way to Be with Disney cover

Featuring favorite Disney characters, Way to Be with Disney combines four books in one to gently and engagingly explore core social and emotional concepts with young readers.

View this title on Edelweiss.

Graphic novels

My Beijing: Four Stories of Everyday Wonder by Nie Jun

My Beijing cover

Yu’er and her grandpa live in a small neighborhood in Beijing, where there’s a story around every corner. Celebrate the magic in everyday life in this gorgeous collection of comics from master cartoonist Nie Jun.

Spread from My Beijing
Spread from My Beijing

Praise for My Beijing

★ “Jun’s exquisite graphics . . . offer nonstop merriment and whimsical delight.”—starred, Booklist

“[C]ontemporary young readers will easily relate to Yu’er’s longing to be part of a loving community and caring family, and identify with her good humor and grit in facing life’s obstacles.”—The Horn Book Magazine

“Whimsical and sweet, this will remind readers of animated movies such as My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Delicate full-color watercolors add to the gentle, dreamy atmosphere of the neighborhood as Yu’er, her friends, and readers discover the simple magic and wonder in everyday life.”—School Library Journal

View this title on Edelweiss.


Open Mic Night at Westminster Cemetery by Mary Amato

Open Mic Night at Westminster Cemetery cover

When Lacy wakes up dead in Westminster Cemetery, she’s confused. Sam, a young, long-dead soldier, teaches her the rules of the afterlife and helps her set up an open mic for the cemetery’s residents to share their stories—and secrets.

Praise for Open Mic Night at Westminster Cemetery

“[B]lends prose with stage directions for a hybrid structure. The resulting alchemy capitalizes on the strengths of both media to create a unique, fully-realized world.”—Kirkus Reviews

“[A] unique read that fans of Poe, poetry, or stage plays will find something to grab onto.”—Booklist

“Full of heart, honesty, and Poe-etry, with just a dash of the macabre. You’ll love the deceased residents of Westminster Cemetery—and not just the famous one.”—Gareth Hinds, author-illustrator of the graphic novel POE: Stories and Poems

Featured as one of Barnes & Noble Teen Blog’s “13 of Our Most Anticipated Indie YA Books: July to December.”

View this title on Edelweiss.

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