11 New Picture Books Coming in August to Wake Your Brain Cells

Here are 11 upcoming picture books this month that have gotten starred reviews. There are some lovely treats from established authors, ones newly published in the U.S., and hopefully some nice surprises too.

Cover for Anteaters, Bats & Boas

Anteaters, Bats, and Boas: The Amazon Rainforest from the Forest Floor to the Treetops by Roxie Munro

Cover for Be Strong (Be Kind #2)

Be Strong by Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Jen Hill

Cover for Child of the Flower-Song People

Child of the Flower-Song People: Luz Jiménez, Daughter of the Nahua by Gloria Amescua, illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh

Cover for The Fastest Girl on Earth!

The Fastest Girl on Earth!: Meet Kitty O’Neil, Daredevil Driver! by Dean Robbins, illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley

Cover for The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess

The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess by Tom Gauld

Cover for Moon Pops

Moon Pops by Heena Baek

Cover for Negative Cat

Negative Cat by Sophie Blackall

Cover for New in Town

New in Town by Kevin Cornell

Cover for Poultrygeist

Poultrygeist by Eric Geron, illustrated by Pete Oswald

Cover for A Song of Frutas

A Song of Frutas by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Sara Palacios

Cover for Survivor Tree

Survivor Tree by Marcie Colleen, illustrated by Aaron Becker

To Tell You the Truth by Beth Vrabel

Cover image for To Tell You the Truth.

To Tell You the Truth by Beth Vrabel (9781534478596)

Gran told Trixy stories from the time she was born. No one else believed Gran’s stories were true, but Trixy knew they were. After Gran’s death, Trixy holds on to her stories, particularly the one she promised to never tell. Gran told Trixy that stories weren’t meant for everyone, because sometimes they can’t be heard. When her teacher tells her that she needs to write down a true story, Trixy borrows one from Gran. It’s a story that is unbelievable, combining cake, theft and Liberace. Soon Trixy is telling lots of people Gran’s stories and submitting some for publication. Deep down she knows the stories are real, but can she prove it? It’s going to take telling some lies, doing some sneaking, and traveling across the state to meet people who knew Gran and can tell Trixy the real truth.

Vrabel has created a novel wrapped around a series of delightful short stories told in Gran’s voice. Through those stories and Trixy’s memories, readers gain a deep sense of who Gran was. The novel is an exploration of the power of stories that are shared, a question of what truth really is, and then an ending that will require a few tissues. The writing is marvelous with just the right amount of Southern charm. The play between the novel itself and the stories works amazingly well, combining richly together.

Trixy is a character who is holding not only stories but also secrets. Her relationships with others are difficult thanks to her prickly way with others. Trixy regularly believes that she is right, doesn’t listen to others, and in the process speaks hurtfully to them. At the same time, her pain over losing her beloved Gran is evident as is her need to connect with other people. She manages to transform those around her with her stories while at the same time also changing herself too.

A charming Southern novel about stories, loss, love and truth. Appropriate for ages 9-12.

Reviewed from copy provided by Atheneum.