Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

March and April Releases

Celebrating March & April releases of Mid-Atlantic SCBWI members


Meg Medina, author
Candlewick Press, April 2020
2019 Newbery award winner now available in paperback!

Everything feels different in the sixth grade for Merci Suárez–-and not just at school where queen bee Edna Santos is driving her crazy about Merci’s school-assigned Sunshine Buddy, Michael Clark. Her grandfather, Lolo, has been acting strangely, too, but no one in her family will tell her what’s going on. Meet the Suárez family and the students of Seaward Pines Academy for a story that gets at the confusion that defines middle school and the steadfast connection of family.

Enter to win some swag for MERCI SÚAREZ CHANGES GEARS and RICK by Alex Gino HERE!

Purchase your paperback edition HERE.



Sarah Glenn Marsh, author
Sarah Green, illustrator
Abrams, March 2020

The thrilling true story of one brave woman who, with bravery and wit and some strategically placed laundry, helped save the American Revolution. The book includes a spy code so kids can get involved in the action.

“A captivating slice of little-known U.S. history.” –Kirkus

Purchase your copy HERE.





Sarah Glenn Marsh, author
Maria Luisa Di Gravio, illustrator
Albert Whitman & Company, April 2020

Maddie was just diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. She’s nervous about managing her disease and telling others. But as she goes back to school, plays soccer, and spends time with her friends, she becomes more comfortable and confident talking about her health. A sensitive story that’s a great introduction to understanding diabetes for anyone who has the disease or knows someone who does.

Purchase your copy HERE.




Sue Fliess, author
Khoa Le, illustrator
Lerner Books/Millbrook Press, March 2020

The soft glow of a candle, the blink of a firefly, a burst of fireworks―light is everywhere in our world! Rhyming text and luminous illustrations follow four children as they experience many different forms of light.

“This has multiple STEAM applications, from poetry and creative writing to introductions to energy and light to how the sun affects human life, and doubles as a great read-aloud or a starry bedtime story (“Gleam / Bright / Say good night”).”
–Starred Booklist Review

“Concise stanzas of five or six syllables evoke the wonder, movement, or purpose of different light sources…The illustrations, rich with color and patterns, are their own celebration of light, particularly in their warm, golden glows. The book successfully depicts both scientific and cultural experiences in impressive variety and connections. A ray of light, both illuminating and beautiful.”—Kirkus

“Over the course of a day, an inclusive array of children move with their families through activities and celebrations that incorporate light…Back matter includes scientific facts about light (rainbows, the Northern Lights, and moonlight) and brief information about the depicted holidays.”―Publishers Weekly

Shelf Awareness featured FLASH AND GLEAM as the Book Trailer of the day. Check it out HERE.

Q & A with Sue about the book HERE.

Purchase your copy HERE.


Sue Fliess, author
Simona Sanfilippo, illustrator
Sky Pony Press, March 2020

Legend has it that the only way to find a unicorn is to know where to look and how to craft a beautiful gift that shows her you are a friend. If you’re lucky, she may even take you for a ride! Unicorns are excellent judges of character. So, gather some natural craft supplies like daisies, sugar cubes, ivy, ferns, apples, grass, and straw, and get ready to find a magical new friend!


Purchase your copy HERE.



Sue Fliess, author
illustrator: Petros Bouloubasis
Albert Whitman & Co., April 2020

Pippa isn’t your usual princess. She prefers petri dishes to perfecting her curtseying. And when she realizes that she doesn’t like peas, she gets a bright idea that consumes her and almost the whole kingdom.

“A silly, inspiring story of a princess who makes her scientific dreams come true.”—Kirkus

“The rhyming story is…inspirational, as Pippa is undeterred and continues her lab work even when her experiments fail to yield success. Petros Bouloubasis’ illustrations…capture the spirit of the story well. Families looking for unconventional princess stories may be drawn to this book.” –Booklist

Purchase your copy HERE.


Angela Dominguez, illustrator
Maribeth Boelts, author
Candlewick Press, March 2020

Kaia is the brave type. Like hottest-hot-pepper brave. But there is one thing that scares her: BEES! And right now, thousands of bees live on her roof because Kaia’s dad is a beekeeper. Her dad says that the world needs bees and that’s why they are beekeepers. But only he goes on the roof, not Kaia—unless she can find a way to be the brave girl she always says she is. Against a sunny city setting, author Maribeth Boelts and illustrator Angela Dominguez depict Kaia’s small courageous steps—and her tiny insect neighbors—with great empathy and charm. Buzzing with storytime potential, Kaia and the Bees is an honest and relatable tale about bravery and compassion, as well as the importance of bees to our world.

Purchase your copy HERE.


Jacqueline Jules, author
Iris Deppe, illustrator
Albert Whitman & Co., April 2020

Whether just trying out for the team or reaching for the Olympics, there’s something for every reader in this playful poetry collection! From baseball, basketball, and football to double-dutch, mini-golf, and turning a cartwheel, these poems look at facing fears, dreaming big, and never giving up. This well-rounded collection explores sports and play across all abilities and backgrounds.

“Each poem flows easily as a brief vignette that captures just the right sentiment and spirit.” -Kirkus Reviews

“The relatable content and encouraging messaging pair with solid examples of narrative poetry, making this a worthwhile collection.” –Booklist

Book Launch Blog Party on April 1 & 2 at Color Me a Kidlit Writer.

Purchase your copy HERE.


Jacqueline Jules, author
Miguel Benítez, illustrator
Albert Whitman, April 2020

Mr. Vaslov is building a drone to help him take care of Starwood Park—but that’s Freddie’s job! And when Freddie finds out his mom has a new boyfriend, he’s worried about their relationship too. How can his Zapato Power help with all this change? The ninth book in the award-winning Zapato Power series is full of new technology and new mysteries.

Purchase your copy HERE.




Jen Malia, author
Joanne Lew-Vriethoff, illustrator
Albert Whitman & Co., April 2020

TOO STICKY! is the story of an autistic girl with sensory issues who has to overcome her fear of sticky hands to participate in a slime experiment at school.

Kirkus called her book, “charming, inclusive and grounded in real-world experiences.” Read the entire review HERE.

Booklist said, “Malia, writing from an #OwnVoices perspective, illustrates how an autistic child can coexist with neurotypical children, address her personal difficulties, and–thanks to a supportive environment–thrive.”

Check out Jen’s sure-to-inspire interviews at:

NPR’s With Good Reason, HERE.

Spectrumly Speaking Podcast, HERE.

NBC Central NY, HERE.

Purchase your copy HERE.


Mark Loewen, coloring book creator
BQB Publishing, March 2020

Families come in all shapes and sizes. But these coloring pages show what our loving families have in common. Families love having fun together! Add your own colors to the families in this book as they enjoy playing outside, riding roller coasters, making a mess in the kitchen, taking care of their pets, and celebrating their favorite holidays!

Articles about Mark’s book HERE and HERE.

Purchasing options found HERE.






Anne Blankman, author
Viking Books for Young Readers, March 2020

On a spring morning, neighbors and enemies Valentina Kaplan and Oksana Savchenko wake up to an angry red sky. A reactor at the nuclear power plant where their fathers work–Chernobyl–has exploded. Thrown together during the tumultuous evacuation, the girls travel to Leningrad to stay with Valentina’s estranged grandmother. In their new lives, they begin to learn what it means to trust another person. Oksana must face the lies her parents told her all her life. Valentina must keep her grandmother’s secret, one that could put all their lives in danger. And both of them discover something they’ve wished for: a best friend. But how far would you go to save your best friend’s life? Would you risk your own?

“A deeply affecting testament to the power of unlikely friendship in the face of bias, tragedy, and distance.”
–School Library Journal, starred review

“This title weaves a beautiful, bittersweet tale of courage, resilience, and how love can ultimately overcome ingrained hate and prejudice.” –School Library Connection, starred review

“Blankman spins a stunningly complex tale out of simple words.”
–Starred Kirkus Review

“Rich with historical details.” –Starred BookPage Review

“Lovely.” –The Wall Street Journal

Read Anne’s “Virginia This Morning” interview HERE.

Purchase your copy HERE.


Barbara Roberts, author
Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Paperback edition, March 2020

Nikki wants to be a basketball star… but between school stress, friend drama, and babysitting woes, will she be able to make it on her new team? Judy Blume meets Mike Lupica in this pitch-perfect, action-packed, and funny novel.

“Nikki on the Line thrums with life, energy, and adolescent self-discovery. With a relatable, driven protagonist, Roberts deftly weaves a story of realistic struggles through the themes of genetic gifts and curses — and their complicated relationship with who we choose to be. Fun and perfectly balanced, this book is impossible to put down, even for readers who know nothing about basketball.”
— Heather Smith, Linden Tree Children’s Books, Los Altos, CA

Purchase your copy here.


Jennifer Shand, author
Barbara Vagnozzi, illustrator
Flowerpot Press, March 2020

Can you guess what is making that sound? With onomatopoeia, alliteration and a little rhyme, learn the different sounds from the city!

“What I really liked about this book is that there is a two-page spread with all the sounds such as ‘click-clack’, ‘screech’, and ‘squeal’. Then the words ‘What is that?’ This gives a child some time to try and guess what could be making the sound. When the page is turned, you come to another two-page spread with a picture of what is making the sound (in this case, the subway).”
–Starred Review from Youth Services Book Review

“Make space on the bookshelf for this engaging title.” –Kirkus

Purchase your copy HERE.


Jennifer Shand, author
Barbara Vagnozzi, illustrator
Flowerpot Press, April 2020

Can you guess what is making that sound? With onomatopoeia, alliteration and a little rhyme, learn the different sounds from the sky!

“What I really liked about this book is that there is a two-page spread with all the sounds such as ‘rumble’, ‘grumble’, ‘crash’, and ‘boom’. Then the words ‘What is that?’ This gives a child some time to try and guess what could be making the sound. When the page is turned, you come to another two-page spread with a picture of what is making the sound (in this case, thunder and lightning from a storm).” Starred Youth Services Book Review

“Companion volume Rumble, Rumble, Grumble, Grumble shares the same presentation and concept, but the sounds here are related to nature. Both books have plenty of vocabulary-building heft, adding value to the guessing game.” –Kirkus

Purchase your copy HERE.


Kashmira Sheth, author
Jeffrey Ebbeler, illustrator
Peachtree Publishers, March 2020

Hard-working Jiva might not be the only one anticipating a delicious feast of peas from his garden. Every morning, Jiva works in his garden until the sun turns as red as a bride’s sari. He plants peas and beans, potatoes and tomatoes, eggplants and okra in his vegetable patch. When his friend Ruvji admires his plants Jiva sings, “Plump peas, sweet peas, Lined- up-in-the-shell peas. Peas to munch, peas to crunch A feast of peas for lunch.

But each time Jiva is ready to pick the peas for his feast, they’re already gone. What has happened?

From the award-winning author and illustrator team who created TIGER IN MY SOUP, this original story set in India features a deliciously amusing mystery about gardening, anticipation, hard work, and generosity.

“Sheth’s use of language (poetry and repetition) is a singular delight. Equally charming are Ebbeler’s illustrations, which include lots of funny details, with exaggerated and elongated cartoon-style figures that make the most of the story’s humor. Delicious!” —Kirkus

“[A] dazzlingly illustrated new fairy tale… the images burst with engaging movement….a nice lesson on friendship and forgiveness.” —Booklist

“Lyrical… Sheth spins a yarn about greed and forgiveness in well-paced, poetic narration accompanied by Ebbeler’s expressive acrylic illustrations.” —Publishers Weekly

Blog interviews at: TokaBox, The Library Voice, Mom Read It, Reading Through Life, and Pragmatic Mom.
Purchase your copy HERE.


Kashmira Sheth, author
Jenn Kocsmiersky, illustrator
Peachtree Publishers, April 2020

The second title in a humorous series featuring a charming, distractible Indian-American girl and her family and friends.
A long rainy stretch during spring break has Nina restless and hungry for a new project and aggravated with little sister Kavita’s embarrassing behavior. A fresh pile of dirt just delivered to the neighbor’s house for a landscaping project ends up being too tempting to resist. Can Nina fix Kavita and create something amazing at the same time? With her sister’s help, Nina launches a grand engineering project―with unexpected consequences.
Readers are sure to relate to author Kashmira Sheth’s endearing Nina Soni and her slightly scatter-brained efforts to manage her life with lists, definitions, and real-life math problems.

“Sheth’s clear and distinctive narratorial voice effortlessly leads readers through the intricacies of Nina’s quirky, innocent world…. The children’s Indian heritage is cleverly woven into the storyline, infusing their lives without eclipsing their American identities.”

“As in the previous book, Nina’s appealing first-person narrative includes lists, which she uses to organize her thoughts, and definitions of words that interest her, but it’s her lively personality and refreshing candor that will endear her to readers.” —Booklist

Purchase your copy HERE.


Zara Gonzalez Hoang, author & illustrator
Dial Books, April 2020

This sweet author-illustrator debut celebrates imagination, the magic of friendship, and all the different ways we make a new place feel like home.

For Ren, home is his grandmother’s little house, and the lush forest that surrounds it. Home is a place of magic and wonder, filled with all the fantastical friends that Ren dreams up. Home is where his imagination can run wild.

For Ava, home is a brick and cement city, where there’s always something to do or see or hear. Home is a place bursting with life, where people bustle in and out like a big parade. Home is where Ava is never lonely because there’s always someone to share in her adventures.

When Ren moves to Ava’s city, he feels lost without his wild. How will he ever feel at home in a place with no green and no magic, where everything is exactly what it seems? Of course, not everything in the city is what meets the eye, and as Ren discovers, nothing makes you feel at home quite like a friend.

Inspired by the stories her father told her about moving from Puerto Rico to New York as a child, Zara González Hoang’s author-illustrator debut is an imaginative exploration of the true meaning of “home.”

“A wise and gentle lesson on making and helping friends.” —Kirkus

“Brilliantly hued…This [book] will be helpful for compare-and-contrast discussions as well as conversations about moving from one country to another.” —School Library Journal

“A lovely read for children experiencing displacement or changes in habitat…or are dealing with loneliness…Pair with Natalie Becher and Emily France’s Krit’s Dreams of Dragon Fruit and Kate McMullan’s As Warm as the Sun.” —Booklist

Purchase your copy HERE.


Maria Gianferrari, author
Mia Powell, illustrator
Millbrook Press, April 2020

Dash! Hide! Splash! Ride! Exuberant text celebrates all the different ways animals play, from rhinos taking mud baths and parrots somersaulting through the air to kangaroos boxing and dolphins diving through the surf. Additional text explains how playing benefits animals. Fascinating back matter gives more information about the featured animals in the book and encourages readers to make time to play every day!

“An inviting choice for animal-lovers.”—Booklist

Purchase your copy HERE.


Maria Gianferrari, author
Jonathan Voss, illustrator
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, March 2020

Watch as a pair of great horned owlets peep and squeak in their feathered nest. Mama and Papa hunt for food and fend off predators while the chicks grow strong enough to hop and flap between the branches of their tree, then leap and fly away, ready to explore the wild world around them.

In this thrilling nonfiction picture book, a combination of haiku and dazzling illustration shows readers the fierce majesty of one of North America’s most ubiquitous wild animals.

“Vivid and accessible: an illuminating portrait of one of nature’s most iconic birds.” —Kirkus

Purchase your copy HERE.


Leah Henderson, author
Sterling Children’s Publishing, April 2020

Eleven-year-old Ailey Benjamin Lane can dance—so he’s certain that he’ll land the role of the Scarecrow in his school’s production of The Wiz. Unfortunately, a talented classmate and a serious attack of nerves derail his audition: he just stands there, frozen. Deflated and defeated, Ailey confides in his Grampa that he’s ready to quit. But Grampa believes in Ailey, and, to encourage him, shares a childhood story. As a boy, Grampa dreamed of becoming a tap dancer; he was so good that the Hollywood star and unofficial

Mayor of Harlem, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, even gave him a special pair of tap shoes. Curious, Ailey tries on the shoes… and instantly finds himself transported to 1930s Harlem. There he meets a young street tapper and realizes that it’s his own grandfather! Can Ailey help the 12-year-old version of Grampa face his fears? And, if Ailey changes the past, will he still be able to get home again? Featuring an all-African-American cast of characters, and infused with references to black culture and history, this work of magical realism is sure to captivate and inspire readers. (Cover shown not final)

Here Leah read the first chapter HERE.

“Black excellence, black fantastic, and black family combine for a transformational story of passion and persistence.” Starred Kirkus Review HERE.

Purchase your copy HERE.


Robert Meganck, illustrator
Leslie Bulion, author
Peachtree Publishing Company, March 2020

Step right up and learn all about the lively participants in the Amphibian Acrobat show— from the agile Wallace’s flying frog to the bouncing Venezuelan pebble toad to the tricky salamander called the yellow-eyed ensatina.

These show-stopping creatures hail from around the world and your own backyard! They shape-shift and sky dive, balance and climb. You’ll marvel at the astounding agility of “The Olympic Jumpers” and you’ll be awed by the incredible stamina of the intrepid “Marathoners.” Plus, you may be surprised by the antics of the amphibians called caecilians. Come along and get to know all about these lively denizens with this entertaining collection of science verses.

“A completely satisfying package… It’s impossible not to warm to herpetology after reading aloud poems… Meganck’s wry cartoons amplify the humor. The backmatter, strong as the main text, serves young readers well but will also spur teachers interested in multidisciplinary units on to new heights… Child readers and educators will find themselves enthralled by short, punchy poems and the science behind them.”
—Starred Kirkus Review

“Using the same format as Superlative Birds (2019) and Leaf Litter Critters (2018), which never gets old, Bulion pairs jaunty poems with science notes…. The thorough yet equally spirited science notes complement the poems… Once again, Bulion awes—and ewws—readers with facts disguised as fun.”
—Starred Booklist Review

“Delightful… The joyful poems beg to be read aloud… The jaunty illustrations amplify the text’s humor… a fun and informative addition for nature lovers.”
—School Library Journal

Purchase your copy HERE.