Chapter books are an essential stepping stone on the road to literacy. Chapter books allow young readers to linger in a story, and provide a bridge between picture books and more complex, challenging texts. But when it comes to diversity, chapter books still lag behind. Many classroom shelves and home libraries are lined with the same worn chapter book series that kids have been reading for decades, without much variety.
At Lee & Low, we believe that it’s just as important for young readers to have access to diverse chapter books. That’s why we’re excited to launch our “The Story Of” series, a new line of chapter book biographies out now. These chapter books go beyond the common names to introduce readers to amazing leaders and heroes whose names you might not know but whose achievements have shaped our world. Continue reading
Today we’re excited to announce the release of our new title, Every Month is a New Year: Celebrations Around the World, written by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Susan L. Roth. In many places around the globe, the new year starts on January 1. But not everywhere! Chinese New Year is celebrated in January or February. Iranians observe Nowruz in March. For Thai people, Songkran occurs in April. Ethiopians greet the new year at Enkutatash in September. All these celebrations, and many others, have deep-rooted traditions and treasured customs.
Six years ago, we released Summer of the Mariposas from our Tu Books imprint. Set in Texas, Summer of the Mariposas is a Mexican retelling of the Odyssey, but it’s also a celebration of sisterhood and maternal love. It went on to win numerous awards, including the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Finalist, Lone Star Reading List, and the Amelia Bloomer Project – Feminist Task Force.
Now, we’re excited to say that this beautiful story has been translated into Spanish! We’re releasing El verano de las mariposas this May, and it will be our first young adult novel to be translated into Spanish. We interviewed author Guadalupe García McCall and translator David Bowles on the translation process, what it was like working together, and their upcoming projects. Continue reading
Last year, we brought back the beloved chapter book Rafi and Rosi series, which follows two Puerto Rican tree frog siblings as they explore their surroundings and learn about the traditions, animals, and environment of Puerto Rico. The series is available in both English and Spanish, and is a great way to introduce early readers to chapter books! Continue reading
November is Native American Heritage Month! Native American Heritage Month evolved from the efforts of various individuals at the turn of the 20th century who tried to get a day of recognition for Native Americans. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush approved a resolution that appointed November as Native American Heritage Month. Continue reading
Today, we are proud to release I Am Alfonso Jones, a heartbreaking exploration of the Black Lives Matter movement and the impact that police brutality has on families, young people, and communities. Written by Tony Medina and illustrated by Stacey Robinson and John Jennings, this title offers a powerful entry to discussion as well as essential historical context to today’s discussions on police brutality. Below is the powerful foreword by Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative and author of Just Mercy.
In today’s guest post, author Supriya Kelkar shares a behind-the-scenes look at the research required to write her new novel, Ahimsa—and a few neat things she learned along the way! Ahimsa was released this week and has received starred reviews from School Library Journal and Booklist, which called it a “heartbreakingly charming debut about the universal struggle of overcoming fears and biases in order to make the world a better place.”
Take it away, Supriya!
According to the Center for Immigration Studies, 1 in 5 US residents speaks a foreign language at home with Chinese, Spanish, and Arabic growing the most. This statistic just goes to show that it doesn’t make sense to “other” people whose first language is not English. Today we’re highlighting five of our bilingual poetry books that focus on everything from the immigrant experience to the beauty of our Earth.
Family Poems for Every Day of the Week/Poemas Familiares para cada día de la semana by Francisco X. Alarcón, illus. by Maya Christina Gonzalez Continue reading
Released this month from LEE & LOW BOOKS, Take a Picture of Me, James VanDerZee! is a picture book biograpy of James VanDerZee, a groundbreaking photographer who chronicled an important era in Harlem and showed the beauty and pride of its people. He took photographs of legendary figures of the Harlem Renaissance—politicians such as Marcus Garvey, performers including Florence Mills, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, and Mamie Smith—and ordinary folks in the neighborhood too.
We asked illustrator Keith Mallett to take us behind the scenes of his art process bringing Take a Picture of Me, James VanDerZee to life: Continue reading
This week marks the release of Martí’s Song for Freedom/ Martí y sus versos por la libertad, our new bilingual picture book biography of the Cuban revolutionary and poet José Martí. In celebration, we’ve pulled together a list of five of our favorite picture book biographies about revolutionary figures who started movements. Use these award-winning books to teach about social activism, core values like perseverance and grit, and the importance of art and science in our society!