12 New Picture Books Coming in November to Wake Your Brain Cells

Here are twelve new picture books getting released in November that have gotten lots of buzz and starred reviews. There is a lot of movement in release dates for books due to supply chain issues, so some may be delayed.

Cover for The 1619 Project

The 1619 Project: Born on the Water by Nikole Hannah-Jones and Renee Watson, illustrated by Nikkolas Smith

Cover for Amos McGee Misses the Bus

Amos McGee Misses the Bus by Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead

Cover for The Big Bath House

The Big Bath House by Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Gracey Zhang

Cover for Dear Little One

Dear Little One by Nina Laden, illustrated by Melissa Castrillon

Cover for Dream Street

Dream Street by Tricia Elam Walker, illustrated by Ekua Holmes

Cover for Fox

Fox: A Circle of Life Story by Isabel Thomas, illustrated by Daniel Egneus

Cover for Hamsters Make Terrible Roommates

Hamsters Make Terrible Roommates by Cheryl B. Klein, illustrated by Abhi Alwar

Cover for Little Red and the Cat Who Loved Cake

Little Red and the Cat Who Loved Cake by Barbara Lehman

Cover for A Sky-Blue Bench

The Sky-Blue Bench by Bahram Rahman, illustrated by Peggy Collins

Cover for Soul Food Sunday

Soul Food Sunday by Winsome Bingham, illustrated by C. G. Esperanza

Cover for Stitch by Stitch

Stitch by Stitch: Elizabeth Hobbs Kekly Sews Her Way to Freedom by Connie Schofield-Morrison, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon

Cover for The Story of a Story

The Story of a Story by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Hadley Hooper

Little Thieves by Margaret Owen

Cover image for Little Thieves.

Little Thieves by Margaret Owen (9781250191908)

Vanja has a plan to escape the powerful forces in her life. It involves a string of stolen magical pearls that turn her into the princess and stealing a lot of jewelry. As the adopted daughter of Death and Fortune, she has only to ask for their help, but she refuses to be servant to either one of them in return. Abandoned by her mother to them, Vanja knows she can trust no one since everyone in her life has always betrayed her. Caught in a new trap where her body is steadily turning into jewels, she must find a way out of the curse before the month’s end and before she has to marry the violent and abusive margrave as the princess. She may have to start trusting someone after all.

This book is delicious. It is a mixture of thievery, cleverness, magic and betrayal. From the author of The Merciful Crow series, this is a new fantasy world which is beautifully detailed. Owen has layered royalty, elected imperials, inheritance laws, dark nightmare magic, forest gods, high gods, and one human thief. Untangling it all alongside Vanja is a true joy, the ripples of each discovery carrying through the entire tale. It’s a puzzle of a fantasy that is unique and very special.

At the heart of the puzzle is Vanja, who also goes by Gisele and Gretl in the story. Her brilliance at finding relative safety in a world that sees her as disposable is amazing. Her history of trauma rings so real, helping readers understand her lack of trust. Owen uses these twists and turns to great effect, surprising the reader along the way to the breathless ending where things are not as they may seem. Devastating and so smart.

One of the best fantasies of the year. Get this in the hands of feminist fantasy fans. Appropriate for ages 13-18.

Reviewed from e-galley provided by Henry Holt and Co.