Searching for new titles to add to your kids’ summer reading lists? Look no further than these new book releases! This July, help budding bookworms blossom into avid readers with a variety of stories that ignite imaginations, including alligator sidekicks, cactus monsters, and mythological characters coming to life.
El Cucuy Is Scared, Too! is a story rooted in Mexican folklore that follows Ramón and El Cucuy, a monster who lives in Ramón’s cactus pot. Written by Donna Barba Higuera and illustrated by Juliana Perdomo, this picture book explores the worries that can accompany a new chapter in life, while revealing how comfort and strength can be found through even the most unusual of friendships. Kids ages 4-8 will resonate with Ramón’s first-day-of-school jitters and El Cucuy’s quest for comfort.
Except Antarctica by Todd Sturgell features a rogue crew of cheeky animals that love to boss around their flustered narrator. In this illustrated meta-narrative, the narrator tries to explain that turtles are found everywhere except Antarctica — but one determined turtle sets out to prove him wrong. While recruiting other non-Antarctic animals along the way, the turtle and his friends travel through fields, forests, and an entire ocean to reach their goal. Kids ages 4-8 will want to find out what exactly that goal is, and how the narrator feels about it.
Kalamata’s Kitchen takes kids on a culinary adventure with Kalamata and her alligator sidekick, Al Dente. Written by Sarah Thomas and Derek Wallace and illustrated by Jo Kosmides Edwards, this book follows Kalamata and Al Dente as Kalamata prepares for her first day of school. They transport themselves to a magical land of tasty ingredients, right from the comfort of their kitchen. Kids ages 4-8 will learn that sometimes, a recipe for success calls for bravery and determination.
Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom by Sangu Mandanna follows Kiki Kallira, a chronic worrier who finds solace in her sketchbook full of Indian myths and legends. When mythological characters start to spring to life from the pages, Kiki gets caught in a whirlwind of challenges, including accidentally conjuring an ancient deity bent on total destruction. Middle-grade readers can follow Kiki along as she overcomes her fear to save both worlds.
The Caiman is a Venezuelan story about the bond between a man and his adoring alligator. Written by Amy Brill and illustrated by Maria Eugenia Manrique and Ramon Paris, this picture book details the life of Faoro the clockmaker and his alligator friend, who played with the neighborhood children, attended Faoro’s wedding, and, eventually, mourned his loss. Kids ages 5 and up can appreciate the story of an unlikely friendship that sparked a lasting legacy.
El Cucuy Is Scared, Too!; Except Antarctica; Kalamata’s Kitchen; Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom; and The Caiman will launch in July on Amazon and Kindle. You can also look out for these titles in your local bookstores.