Children’s Book Roundup: March 2021

  • March 29, 2021

Big new titles perfect for the littles.

Children’s Book Roundup: March 2021

Home has become more important than ever, even as we eagerly plan to spend less time there now that life is gradually getting back to normal. Whatever the coming months bring, these three new titles remind us that there’s no place like home — and that we have a responsibility to protect it and carry on the traditions we learn there.

My Day with the Panye by Tami Charles (author) and Sara Palacios (illustrator) (Candlewick). “In the hills of Port-au-Prince, Manman’s voice, sweet like mango, sings to the sky. ‘Fallon,’ she calls. ‘Would you like to go to market with me?’” Of course! So Fallon ties up her braids with a yellow scarf — not quite as vibrant as Manman’s silk mouchwa, “brighter than the Caribbean sea” — and off they go. But is the youngster truly ready to balance the panye on her head and carry the basketful of vegetables back home? Maybe if she stands up tall like a queen and steps oh so slowly…

Home Is in Between by Mitali Perkins (author) and Lavanya Naidu (illustrator) (FSG Books for Young Readers). “‘Goodbye, home!’ Shanti shouted. She waved to Didu. To warm monsoon rains. And the green palm trees of her village.” The little girl’s new home in America feels very, very strange and far away from her beloved old one in India. She soon learns, however, that embracing a second culture doesn’t mean she can’t still celebrate and cherish her first one.

Zonia's Rain Forest by Juana Martinez-Neal (Candlewick). Zonia is a member of the Asháninka, the largest Indigenous group in the Peruvian Amazon. She loves her beautiful rainforest home and all her animal friends within in. But when she stumbles upon a field of mangled, chopped-down trees, she gets frightened. “The forest needs help!” she tells her mother. Mama agrees. “It is speaking to you,” she says to the girl. Will Zonia answer? Will the rest of us?

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