Another year has faded into the rearview mirror, which means that it’s time for authors, publishers and book lovers alike to set our sights on the road to come.
2020 and 2021 were good years in terms of online and digital book sales. As local bookstores locked their doors and at-home working and schooling became the norm, people turned to the immersive world of literature to occupy the hours. Parents indulged in activity and picture books to keep their children busy (at least, for a little while). According to an SCBWI article about the 2021 Kidlit market, both print and digital children’s books rose in sales during the pandemic.
In January of 2022, most have returned to their in-person classrooms and office spaces, and the romance novel you were chipping away at over holiday break has likely been bookmarked and set to the side. But that doesn’t mean the book market will get any less exciting in the months to come.
It is still an optimal time to purchase and publish books, and especially books that engage the hearts, hands and minds of a young generation. Not sure where to start? Below is a list of five picture books to be released in the new year!
1. The Year We Learned to Fly by Jacqueline Woodson (Illustrated by Rafael López)
The plot of this new and precious picture book deals with a brother and sister who are forced to stay home and are bored out of their minds (sounds familiar, doesn’t it?). To combat their boredom, they use their imaginations to craft stories that liven their spirits and whisk them away from their current situation. This practice, as their grandmother tells them, traces back to times when slaves would use their imaginations to conjure better worlds for themselves.
Secure your copy of this powerful January release here!
2. Girl Dad by Sean Williams (Illustrated by Jay Davis)
With a front cover that’s heartwarming enough, this March 2022 release honors the men who raise, love and empower strong baby girls. This book was written by professional basketball player Sean Williams, and will serve as the perfect Father’s Day gift come June!
Pre-order your very own copy of Girl Dad here!
3. This Could Be You by Cindy Williams Schrauben (Illustrated by Julia Seal)
With dazzling illustrations and encouraging mantras like the one pictured (“Be Brave! Be True! Believe! Be You!”), This Could Be You encourages children to bring a can-do mindset to the table in every circumstance. Themes like perseverance and believing in oneself help a young reader to see their mistakes in a light that is refreshingly positive.
Pre-order your copy of this April 2022 release here!
4. People Are Wild by Margaux Meganck
This unconventional picture book is written from the perspective of animals, and deals with the ways in which animals view humans (which, it turns out, is strikingly similar to the ways in which humans view animals). A major theme in this book is compassion –– a gift that every living thing is deserving of. The more we seek to understand animals, the more apt we are to live in perfect harmony with them.
Pre-order your edition of this March 2022 release here!
5. Three Pockets Full by Cindy L. Rodriguez (Illustrated by Begoña Fernández Corbalán)
This Cardinal Rule Press title is to be released in Summer 2022. It deals with the young protagonist Beto, who refuses to wear a guayabera, or a traditional, multi-pocketed Mexican wedding shirt, to his mother’s wedding. Eventually, Beto must set aside his pride and embrace the traditions of his family members. Along the way, he learns a thing or two about his culture, and finds that the four pockets on his shirt have more purpose than he realizes.
Evidently, there will be no shortage of good books in 2022. Keep up with Cardinal Rule Press for more release details on This Could Be You, Three Pockets Full and other up-and-coming picture book titles!
Looking to contribute to the influx of new and exciting picture books to be released in coming months? Cardinal Rule Press is currently accepting manuscripts for realistic fiction children’s books until February 1st. Read up on our specific submission guidelines here!
A senior in the University of Michigan-Flint’s Secondary English Teacher’s Certificate Program, Lauren is an aspiring writer and English educator. Along with interning at Cardinal Rule Press, Lauren has worked for UM-Flint’s Writing Center and student newspaper. She enjoys running, being outside, and (naturally) reading in her spare time.
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