Happy Book Birthday: New Picture Books, Board Books, Middle-Grade, Graphic Novels, and Nonfiction

Check out February new releases from Lerner Publishing Group!

Picture Books

Stars of the Night: The Courageous Children of the Czech Kindertransport by Caren Stelson and Selina Alko

“When we were seven or eight or nine or ten, our home was the old city of Prague.”

So begins this powerful story of the children who were rescued from Czechoslovakia on the eve of World War II, as Hitler’s campaign of hatred toward Jews and political dissidents took hold. Told from the collective perspective of the children, the narrative starts in 1938 and follows them as they journey to foster families in England for the duration of the war, return to Prague afterward in an unsuccessful search for their parents, and eventually connect with Nicholas Winton, a British former stockbroker who was instrumental in bringing them to safety.

Praise for Stars of the Night

★”A not-to-be-missed, inspirational book about courage, heart, and the necessity of caring for others.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

★”A necessary and inspirational book about a little-known light amid a dark period of history, this book should find a home in all libraries.”—starred, School Library Journal

★”[Q]uiet but immediate. . . . The in-the-moment text combines with emotional acrylic, colored-pencil, and collage illustrations in Alko’s signature style to create a dreamlike atmosphere.”—starred, The Horn Book Magazine

“In a collective voice . . . Stelson describes rising tides of anti-Semitism, tearful partings, scary journeys by train and boat, meetings with British foster families, and then a return to Prague at war’s end to search out the scanty remnants of families and, long after, to learn who had organized the escape.”—Booklist

“Stelson employs a communal we to narrate this story of 669 primarily Jewish children of the Czech Kindertransport . . . Impressionistic acrylic, collage, and pencil art by Alko is embellished throughout with sparkling stars and round yellow orbs.”—Publishers Weekly

Board Books

My First Dino-Racing by Lisa Wheeler and Barry Gott

Cheerful rhyming text from Lisa Wheeler introduces key features of stock car racing, and bright illustrations from Barry Gott captivate young fans. Buckle up and enjoy the ride in this high-energy board book!

My First Dino-Wrestling by Lisa Wheeler and Barry Gott

Fun rhyming text from Lisa Wheeler introduces key moments in a wrestling match, and colorful illustrations from Barry Gott will captivate wee fans! Enjoy the action as dinosaurs in wrestling gear face off in this action-packed board book.

Middle Grade

Enly and the Buskin’ Blues by Jennie Liu

Twelve-year-old Enly Wu Lewis is determined to go to band camp and follow in the footsteps of his musician father, who died years ago. But his mom, a single parent working two jobs, is saving every penny for his older brother’s college tuition. So Enly sets out to earn the money for camp on his own, by busking with an obscure instrument he can only kind of play. When someone drops a winning scratch-off lottery ticket into his tip box, Enly thinks it’s the answer to his problems—but he’ll have to overcome teenage thieves and his own family if he wants to achieve his dreams.

Praise for Enly and the Buskin’ Blues

“A quick-paced coming-of-age story exploring music and family expectations.”—Kirkus Reviews

“This fast and furious plot will have readers alternately cringing and cheering at Enly’s impulsiveness, fully invested in this protagonist’s success. While the tone is light, some serious issues are gently explored: gentrification, grief, wealth and lack of it, family ties, and friendship.”—School Library Journal

Graphic Novels

Super Potato’s Middle Ages Adventure: Book 10 by Artur Laperla

Super Potato has lost his giant muscles! To take his mind off this tragedy, he agrees to a time-travel mission. Soon he’s searching the Middle Ages to find a scientist stranded in the past. In the foggy swamp of an older era, our hero meets a brave, handsome knight who turned into a serpent. (Say, that sounds familiar . . .) Super Potato agrees to help the knight too, leading to a quest to find the lost scientist and a legendary sorcerer.


How Are You Feeling?: Naming Your Emotions with Sesame Street ® by Marie-Therese Miller

Everyone has big feelings. What situations might cause different feelings to happen? How can you recognize what others are feeling? Help show young readers how to identify and name their emotions alongside their friends from Sesame Street.

Walls and Welcome Mats: Immigration and the American Dream by Lars Krogstad Ortiz

Migration is a natural, human act—seeking food, shelter, and comfortable environments is essential for survival. With the existence of national borders, migration becomes immigration—an intensely political issue. Immigration and the history of America are inextricably linked. Author Lars Ortiz explores the history of immigration in the United States from before the country was born to government policies such as the Chinese Exclusion Act to the building of a wall along the US-Mexico border. He also examines the the backlash against immigration that so many immigrants have faced, and the optimism that leads people to seek a better future in a new land.

Praise for Walls and Welcome Mats

“This is history presented through the lens of immigration, and readers learn the basics . . . along with new insights.”—Booklist

“A combination of real-life examples, critical historical context, and engaging graphics and data presentation makes this a solid choice. An inviting, thorough, and accessible introduction to an important and perpetually relevant topic.”—Kirkus Reviews

Find more announcements on the Lerner blog!

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