Children’s Book News

You Count, I Count

For families and schools dedicated to stimulating children’s imagination through books, new print and audio editions will keep them engaged. Here are highlights of some recent and upcoming releases:

You Count, I Count Conveys Important Message

Children’s entertainers Robin And The Giant have released a new book for children titled You Count, I Count. At first glance, one might presume that this is a book that teaches children how to count. Upon closer look, however, it becomes clear that this illustrated tale teaches that we are all important.

The fact that You Count, I Count has a deeper message is no surprise for the fans of Robin And The Giant. Looking back at their decades of work as songwriters and authors you will find songs like “Dream,” “It Takes A Little Work,” “You Can Be Whatever You Want,” and “Someone’s Day.” All of these songs have messages that would easily fit alongside the messages of Tony RobbinsJack CanfieldNapoleon HillOprah Winfrey, and so many more of our thought leaders and messengers of self-worth, confidence, and self-esteem.

In their entertaining podcast for children called “Storybook Railroad,” Robin And The Giant write and tell redeeming and endearing stories to boost confidence and reinforce the nurturing power of embracing each other with respect.

In all past incarnations, Robin And The Giant were portrayed by their creators, Robin MacBlane (as Robin) and Larry Whitler (as The Giant). That changes in You Count, I Count where MacBlane and Whitler now identify themselves as the authors and illustrators and have replaced their own likenesses with their characters portrayed as children.

Learn more at

Center for Responsive Schools Launches Avenue A Books

Lora Hodges, Executive Director of Center for Responsive Schools (CRS) announced the launch of a graphic novel imprint for children, Avenue A Books, with the release of their first book, Ready for Read Aloud.

Avenue A Books will teach social and emotional skills through real-world stories and beautiful, engaging illustrations.  Even the most reluctant readers will be engrossed by the relatable stories of a range of characters who look familiar to them.

Avenue A Books published its first title in May 2019, a picture book entitled Ready for Read Aloud, written by Jenny Rose and illustrated by Lisa M. Griffin, about a girl named Rosa who overcomes her fear to read aloud in front of her class.

A happy story with social and emotional skills at the core of Charlie’s experience!

Two more picture books for ages 5 and up will follow in June 2019Charlie and the Octopus, written by Rebecca Roan and illustrated by Larissa Marantz, and The New Bird in Town, written by Jamie L. B. Deenihan and illustrated by Carrie Hartman.

Visit to learn more.

First Book Releases “Title Raves” List: 10 Books That Make an Impact

First Book, the nonprofit social enterprise committed to equal access to quality education, recently released the inaugural “First Book Title Raves,” a list of 10 newly-published books reviewed and recommended by educators exclusively serving children in need. The organization also released the “First Book Bestseller List,” the 10 most-purchased books for children in need based on sales data from the First Book Marketplace, its award-winning eCommerce site. Together, the lists illuminate challenges specific to children in need and offer a distinctive look into educators’ innovative use of books to address them. More than half of all children in U.S. public schools come from low-income households.

The First Book Title Raves and Bestsellers Lists aggregate favorite books of educators serving kids in need.

The First Book Title Raves and Bestsellers Lists aggregate favorite books of educators serving kids in need. Title Raves, which includes titles ranging from board books to young adult fiction, is curated based on five-star educator reviews on the First Book Marketplace that cited the books’ roles in expanding students’ world views, sparking a love of reading, or facilitating safe discussions around sensitive topics.

The First Book Bestseller List reflects the significant need for relevant diverse books, including bilingual English/Spanish editions and titles that reflect the experiences and lives of children in need. Seven of the 10 books are part of the organization’s “Stories for All” section of the First Book Marketplace, a collection of thousands of titles that reflect diversity of race, ethnicity, religion, family structure, neighborhoods, and more, and comprising the largest global collection of inclusive children’s and young adult books curated for educators serving low-income communities.

Access to adequate resources is one of the greatest contributors to educational success in the United States. Research indicates that just the presence of books in the home improves educational outcomes, yet low-income communities across the United States are plagued by vast “book deserts”—with one community having only a single book per as many as 830 children. Additionally, members of the First Book Network, who exclusively serve kids in need, have indicated that without First Book, the children they serve would have access to very few books, if any at all.

First Book Research & Insights, the organization’s proprietary research initiative, leverages research and feedback provided by its network of educators to develop free professional resources aimed at helping teachers address the specific challenges in the lives of students in need, including remediating trauma, creating inclusive classrooms, and nurturing children’s social and emotional skills.

Marvel Entertainment Audiobooks

Dreamscape Media has formed a multi‐book agreement with Marvel Entertainment. The publishing and entertainment arm of Midwest Tape will produce, publish and distribute read‐to‐me style audiobooks. The award‐winning production company will bring the Marvel stories to life in audio beginning September 2019.

The partnership will span nearly 25 original, new audiobook recordings of Marvel’s classic and iconic prose stories including IRON MAN, CAPTAIN AMERICA, HULK, SPIDER‐MAN, X‐MEN and other characters from the works of industry legends like David MichelinieTony IsabellaLen WeinMarv Wolfman and Peter David.

The Marvel audiobooks will be available on hoopla digital, Midwest Tape’s mobile and online service for public libraries. hoopla digital was the first digital service for public libraries to offer Marvel comic book collections and graphic novels.

The titles will be available everywhere physical and digital audiobooks are sold including Amazon, Audible, iBooks, Google, Overdrive and dozens of other audiobook resellers.

Marvel audiobooks will be featured in Dreamscape’s monthly print catalog distributed to thousands of U.S. and Canadian libraries, quarterly trade print advertising, sponsored BookRiot campaigns and weekly mailers to thousands of Midwest Tape recipients.

The Marvel audiobooks will be available on hoopla digital, Midwest Tape’s mobile and online service for public libraries.
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Andrea Karen Hammer is the founder, director and owner of Artsphoria Publishing, Media Group & Shop ( Publications include Artsphoria: Animation & Imagination World (; Artsphoria Event Advertising & Reporting (; Artsphoria International Magazine (; Artsphoria: Arts, Business & Technology Center (; Artsphoria: Food for the Soul (; Artsphoria Movie Reviews & Film Forum ( and Artsphoria Shop ( She is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer who has published articles in international publications.