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Return to Spring, Return to Sports: 10 Stories Full of Celebrations and Competitions Dive into the start of spring with tales of holidays and sports activities

 

Board Books

 

“The Easter Egg Is Missing!” by Cynthia Platt, illustrated by Kathryn Selbert

Join children and their sweet bunny companion as they hunt for the prized golden egg that went missing from the Easter basket. Follow the little ones as they look outside in the birdhouse, the pond and the tree. They look with the Easter cookies, in the Easter hat and in the chocolate Easter bunny, but no luck. When the children look in the henhouse, they find the egg and the tiny chick that wanted the shiny golden prize. This board book includes sturdy pages filled with concentric egg-shaped cutout reveals. The cutouts are cleverly placed to form a hole in a tree, a balloon or a handle of a watering can. Every page is filled with bright happy flowers, plants, bugs and animals to make this work a great book for toddlers.


The Easter Egg is Missing
The Easter Egg is Missing

 

“My Heart Beats” by Rina Singh

Does your heart go thump, thump for your baby? Did you know that hearts in Japanese go doki, doki, and in Urdu, they go dhak, dhak? Moms and dads will want to snuggle close with their baby and share this charming board book about the words families all around the world use to describe the sound of a beating heart. Crisp colorful photos and gentle rhyming text make this work a delightful book for you and your baby to share.

My Heart Beats
My Heart Beats

 

 

Picture Books

 

“Too Many Bubbles: A Story About Mindfulness” by Christine Peck and Mags DeRoma, pictures by Mags DeRoma

Izzy is a mouse with too many thoughts, thoughts that are casting a shadow over her day. What should she do? Izzy goes to her happy place where those troubling thoughts crowding her mind have more room to spread out. After a cleansing breath, the reader helps Izzy clear her mind by gently blowing away the annoying bubble thoughts. Little ones will see how Izzy handles intrusive thoughts and learn how to better handle themselves when feeling overwhelmed. This simple book is full of bright, colorful pictures with a powerful message about how we all can build and improve our social-emotional skills.

Too Many Bubbles: A Story About Mindfulness
Too Many Bubbles: A Story About Mindfulness

 

“Amira’s Picture Day” by Reem Farqui, illustrated by Fahmida Azim

Amira and her brother Ziyad spot the crescent moon. Eid al Fitr is tomorrow, and the children are so excited. Her mother decorates Amira’s hands with mehndi to show her favorite characters: a dolphin on one palm and a mermaid on the other. It’s time to iron new clothes and pack treat bags for friends at the mosque. Amira and Ziyad will miss school tomorrow to celebrate, but wait! Tomorrow is Amira’s class picture day. Amira is devastated. How will her classmates remember her if she isn’t in the photo? After a full day of celebration at the mosque, Amira arrives in time for the class photo and brings extra Eid treat bags for her classmates. Families will relate to busy holiday schedules and the joy of sharing holiday traditions across cultures.

Amira's Picture Day
Amira’s Picture Day

 

“The Great Passover Escape” by Pamela Mortiz, illustrated by Florence Weiser

It’s evening at the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem, and Ellie the elephant and Kang the kangaroo are planning to break out of the zoo with the reluctant assistance of Chimp the chimpanzee. They long to celebrate Passover after hearing about it from zookeeper, Smulik, but only Chimp has the correct information about this holiday commemorating the exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. Preschoolers will revel in correcting Ellie and Kang as they make silly mistakes about Passover. Ellie recalls that Smulik told her that God sent 10 planes, and was it Morty that God sent to free the slaves? Only Chimp remembers correctly that it’s 10 plagues and Moses that God sent to free the slaves.
Open, expressive faces and cleanly drawn lines and computer-aided illustrations help tell the story. At last, the three friends appear at Smulik’s door, where they are welcomed warmly with the words “let all who are hungry come and eat!”

The Great Passover Escape
The Great Passover Escape

 

 

Early-elementary Books

 

“Wait! What? Muhammad Ali Was a Chicken?” by Dan Gutman, illustrated by Allison Steinfeld

Siblings Paige and Turner (get it?) take you along for a fun read with information regarding famous boxer and anti-war activist Muhammad Ali. Each sibling tries to one-up each other with the most bizarre and strange facts. Did you know that Ali disliked flying so much that he flew with a parachute? Did you know that Ali had a full-time magician on his staff because he liked magic tricks so much? Great fun for kids ages 7 to 10 who love biographies, this book contains interesting tidbits about the great boxer, from the time that Ali was a young boy to his life in and out of the ring.

Wait! What? Muhammad Ali Was a Chicken?
Wait! What? Muhammad Ali Was a Chicken?

 

“We Got Game! 35 Female Athletes Who Change the World” by Aileen Weintraub, illustrated by Sarah Green

Here’s a superb book for any reader who loves sports. This title highlights the achievements of 35 female athletes who worked hard, excelled in their respective sport, overcame adversity and worked to improve the lives of those that came after them. Each three-page biography includes a snapshot-style illustration of the athlete, a page of achievement highlights and a page of biographical information. “We Got Game!” covers past and present sports greats from diverse backgrounds and sports fields including current gymnastic superstar Simone Biles, celebrated wheelchair racer and Nordic skier Tatyana McFadden and groundbreaking football player and coach Jen Welter.

We Got Game! 35 Female Athletes Who Changed the World
We Got Game! 35 Female Athletes Who Changed the World

 

Middle-grade Book

 

“No Summit Out of Sight: The True Story of the Youngest Person to Climb the Seven Summits” by Jordan Romero

“No Summit Out of Sight” is an inspiring memoir about a teen with huge mountaineering ambitions. At an early age, Jordan Romero saw a mural at his school depicting the “Seven Summits,” the highest mountains on each continent. This mural inspired Jordan to conquer this mountaineering challenge of climbing all seven of these mountains. He ascended Mount Everest in May 2010 when he was only 13 years old, becoming the youngest person on record to climb the world’s most famous peak. Before that, he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and Denali at the ages of 10 and 11. Adventure seekers in grades 4 through 8 will enjoy this true story about crushing goals and conquering the unknown.

No Summit Out of Sight: The True Story of the Youngest Person to Climb the Seven Summits
No Summit Out of Sight: The True Story of the Youngest Person to Climb the Seven Summits

 

Teens

 

“The Knockout” by Sajni Patel

Kareena Thakkar has landed the biggest break of her life. She has been invited to compete in the U.S. Muay Thai Open, which could lead to a spot on the Olympic team. However, the 17-year-old risks isolating herself from the Indian community because the sport is deemed too rough for girls. The competition comes at an inopportune time when Kareena finds herself falling for Amit Patel, the quintessential Indian boy. Admitting her feelings about Amit will force Kareena to confront her insecurities while focusing on her competition and getting the chance to make history.

The Knockout
The Knockout

 

“Game On: 15 Stories of Wins, Losses, and Everything in Between” edited by Laura Silverman

Containing 15 short stories about a diverse array of sports, games, genres and characters within its pages, “Game On: 15 Stories of Wins, Losses, and Everything in Between” promises something to appeal to any reader. Employing a modern approach to what is considered “sport,” this collection of stories features competitors in the arenas of video games, board games and party games. These accounts are not your typical sports stories. The competitions serve as a backdrop for stories that encompass various genres like mystery, romance and horror while featuring themes of racial prejudice, revenge and LGBTQ+ romance. Students in grades 9 through 12 will enjoy this anthology featuring characters from all backgrounds.

Game On: 15 Stories of Wins, Losses, and Everything in Between
Game On: 15 Stories of Wins, Losses, and Everything in Between

About Conni Strittmatter

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