Volume I | September 2018
New Titles for Young & Middle Grade Readers
Giveaways, Author Notes, Food Pairings & More!
Introducing Kids' Reads, a monthly newsletter featuring new titles for young and middle grade readers. In this month's edition:

  • Hazel and Twig: The Birthday Fortune, a charming picture book introducing readers to a Korean first-birthday tradition

  • Stu Truly, a hilarious coming-of-age story about a boy struggling to navigate the murky waters of adolescence

Here you'll find notes from the authors, book giveaway contests, a chance to discover the authors' food pairings, and more!
We invite you to register for  GalleyMatch , a new, free program for book clubs! With GalleyMatch, your book club can preview exciting new fiction, non fiction, kids' and YA books, and cookbooks. Simply  tell us your group's size and reading preferences, and we'll match your interests with available advance reading copies from publishers. When you match, you'll receive a complete set of advance copies for reading and discussion.   

Happy Reading!

Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp
Hazel and Twig:
The Birthday Fortune
Brenna BurnsYu
Candlewick Press
April 2018
Picture Book / Ages 3-7
A delightful debut about two sisters with big dreams provides a charming introduction to the doljabi , a Korean first birthday tradition.
"Yu illustrates the special tradition of a Korean baby's first birthday....The animal characters allow ample room for self-identity, including adoptive and mixed-race families...With very few picture books covering this beloved tradition, this book fills a need—and it will have readers of many cultures craving their own doljabi ceremonies."
Kirkus Reviews
Dear Reader,

I wrote Hazel and Twig: The Birthday Fortune shortly after my middle daughter turned one, and it is about a Korean birthday tradition that we celebrated at her party. But it is also a story inspired by food! I actually wrote it on the afternoon of another friend’s Dol party ( dol is the Korean word for birthday). The three colored layers of the rainbow rice cakes on the table reminded me of my daughters’ celebrations, and suddenly I wanted to draw a world that captured those beautiful colors. But I also wanted it to be a tiny world…just the right size for a mouse.

I loved imagining mouse versions of my favorite party foods. I keep a field guide to wild edible plants in my studio, and I still look at it whenever I need to draw a snack for Hazel and Twig

Happy nibbling,

Brenna Burns Yu

Themes : p eople & places; family; holidays & celebrations
Author Food Pairings: "On a summer day like this, if you are in the mood to eat like Hazel and Twig, try making some Korean kimbap. Kimbap is rice rolled up in laver seaweed, filled with things like vegetables, meat, and egg. It makes a great party or picnic food, and it’s fun to make with kids. Have some spicy kimchi on the side (or rolled inside your kimbap). To really get into the meadow-mouse mood, include some wild edibles. Twig loves to pick yellow wood sorrel, which some people consider a weed, but is in fact edible. It has a bright, lemony taste, and looks very cute poking out of your kimbap. Hazel might shred some bright orange nasturtium over her kimchi.

"Finally, a Birthday Fortune meal would definitely end with cake! We decorated this birthday cake with some more edible flowers that Hazel and Twig might have picked themselves…nasturtium, calendula, and violas".
Stu Truly
Dan Richards
Bonnier Publishing
Chapter Book / Ages 8-12
Fiction / Humor
In this hilarious adolescent coming-of-age story, Stu lies to impress the new girl in school and finds the charade is growing beyond his control.

“A charming tale of angst and self-discovery."
-Author Dav Pilkey
Dear Reader,

Stu Truly is set in the small town of Sequim in western Washington and follows the main character Stu as he agonizes over his first crush Becca, the new girl in school. Both the town and his crush are closely tied to my own experiences.
Sequim is the real town where I grew up. It sits west of Seattle on the Olympic Peninsula between the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It's probably one of the most beautiful places on earth with mild weather, very little rain, and scenery in every direction. However, as a kid, I didn’t really notice any of that. I spent my time hanging out with friends or playing sports after school. 
I have vivid memories of my first crush including daydreaming about saving her from all manner of peril, even though I never spoke to her at school or ever made my feelings known. Those memories and feelings stayed with me and became the basis for Stu’s character. Writing about Stu gave me a chance to explore the crazy roller coaster ride boys go through when suddenly transitioning from boyhood to young manhood. I hope the story gives you perspective and a chance to laugh at your own awkward embarrassing journey. 
In the words of the celebrated poet: “Puberty is best endured with sharp wit and selective memory loss.” Okay, no poet ever said that. But it’s still true.

Yours truly,

Dan Richards

Themes : friendship, middle school, first crush
Author Food Pairings : " Stu’s father owns the town’s butcher shop and convinces Stu to dress up in a rack of ribs costume for the local parade. In honor of Stu and his family, BBQ ribs would be a perfect food pairing. On the other hand, Becca’s family are vegetarians and at one point in the story her mom convinces Stu to try zucchini bread. It may not have been a hit with Stu but would be a great way to commemorate Becca and her family.

"Since the one vegetable Stu loves are potatoes, you could also try sliced new potatoes slathered in olive oil, seasoning salt, and a dash of pepper then baked at 400 degrees for approximately thirty minutes."