The Weekly 411 (5/26/23)

© Jitumoni Goswami

May 26, 2023 vol. 21

The Weekly 411 gathers all the links added to Kidlit411 each week. To receive this post by email, sign up for our email updatesAre you on Facebook? Join our Kidlit411 group for conversations and camaraderie. This week's illustration is by Jitumoni Goswami.

Middle Grade Giveaway

We are excited to host a giveaway of the middle grade verse novel, The Order of Things, by Kaija Langley (Nancy Paulsen Books), out on June 6! Enter to win a copy via the Rafflecopter below.

cover design by Theresa Evangelista

About the Book: A heart-rending novel-in-verse about a girl beginning to learn it is possible to go on even after a great loss.

Eleven-year-old April Jackson loves playing the drums, almost as much as she loves her best friend, Zee, a violin prodigy. They both dream of becoming professional musicians one day. When Zee starts attending a new school that will nurture his talent, April decides it’s time for her to pursue her dreams, too, and finally take drum lessons. She knows she isn’t very good to start, but with Zee’s support, she also knows someday she can be just as good as her hero, Sheila E., and travel all around the world with a pair of drumsticks in her hand.

When the unthinkable happens and Zee suddenly passes away, April is crushed by grief. Without Zee, nothing is the way it’s supposed to be. Zee's Dad isn't delivering the mail for his postal route like he should. April's Mom is suddenly dating someone new who is occupying too much space in their lives. And every time April tries to play the drums, all she can think about is Zee.

April isn't sure how to move on from the awful feeling of being without Zee. Desperate to help Papa Zee, she decides to secretly deliver the mail he’s been neglecting. But when on her route she discovers a classmate in trouble, she doesn’t second guess what she knows is the right thing to do.

About the Author: Kaija Langley was born in Northern New Jersey and raised on a healthy diet of library books, music and theater performances, and visits to the family farm in rural North Carolina. The author of the award-winning picture book, When Langston Dances, she loves long road trips, dancing wherever music moves her, and adventures near and far with her Beloved. She splits her time between Cambridge, MA, and Los Angeles, CA.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Picture Book Giveaway

We are pleased to host a giveaway of the picture book, Count on Us! Climate Activists from One to a Billion, by Gabi Snyder, illustrated by Sarah Walsh (Barefoot Books 2022). Enter to win a copy via the Rafflecopter below!

About the Book: Learn how a movement builds from one person to a billion in this A to Z environmental activism book. Readers count from 1 to 10 – and then in larger increments to a billion – as they learn new terms from “conservation” to “activism.” Inset boxes provide easy-to-understand definitions of additional new vocabulary words.

About the Author:  
Gabi Snyder is a fan of nature walks, wildlife and patterns. Since childhood, she’s been especially fascinated by increasing patterns like numbers growing from one to a billion! She lives in the beautiful Willamette Valley region of Oregon, USA with her family. You can visit Gabi at

About the Illustrator: Sarah Walsh has spent the last two decades creating children’s book illustrations, large paintings, pattern design, hand lettering and much more. Sarah received her BFA in Graphic Design in upstate New York where she grew up. She currently lives in Kansas City with her partner, their son and various pets. She works from her sunny and plant-filled studio nearby. To find out more, see


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Picture Book Giveaway 2

We are excited to host a giveaway of two pictures books, B is for Bananas and Counting to Bananas, by Carrie Tillotson, illustrated by Estrela Lourenço (Flamingo Books/Penguin Young Readers, 2023). Enter to win the books via the Rafflecopter below!



About the Books:

B Is for Bananas: When the narrator of this alphabet book tries to make it a bedtime book, Banana objects. Bedtime is BORING! And Banana is the star of this book, so it should really be called B Is for Bananas instead. It shouldn’t be about bedtime at all.

Counting to Bananas: When a narrator starts filling this story with fruit, Banana can’t wait to step into the spotlight. The book is called Counting to Bananas, after all. But as more and more fruits (and non-fruits) are added to the story, Banana objects. When will it be time for bananas?!

About the Author: Before Carrie Tillotson started writing children’s books, she worked as a biostatistician. Her job involved counting a lot of numbers (but not many bananas). Now she is the author of books like B Is for BananasCounting to Bananas, a 2023 Oregon Book Award finalist; and other forthcoming works. When not reading and writing, you can find her running, playing games, and eating ice cream in Oregon with her husband and son, two dogs, and two chickens. Visit Carrie online at, and on Twitter and Instagram @carrietillotson.

About the Illustrator: Estrela Lourenço is a Portuguese professional children's book author/illustrator. Her debut picture book as an illustrator "Counting to Bananas" with the writer Carrie Tillotson got her the real taste for the industry, and she believes is BananaLicious!! She is currently working on her next books to be published in 2024, including her debut author/illustrator book, Walkies - A Dog's Tale, to be published with PageStreet in the Spring. If you want to know more about Estrela or have a peek at her portfolio, please visit her website at

a Rafflecopter giveaway


For Writers

A 6-Step Guide to Publishing a Best-Selling Book

The 7 Main Story Elements and Why They Matter

Choosing the Right Idea

How to Outline a Novel

Query Letters

How to Write a Killer One-Sentence Pitch (or Longline) for Novels and Memoirs

Inspirational Things

Luck vs. Talent vs. Perseverance in Publishing

Picture Books

10 Tips for Writing Picture books

Writing Children's Picture Books for Dummies

Character Driven Books in 3 Easy Steps


  1. I love all the resources you share here!! Excited to read You Can Count on Us. Right up my alley! - Ellen Mulholland

  2. B is for Bananas certainly describes bedtime at our house :)

  3. My kid would love B for bananas!

  4. Sooo excited for this banana book pair!

  5. All these books look exciting. I will look out for Count on Me, love environmental activism!

  6. Great tips as usual! Love this site. Thanks.

  7. What wonderful variety among these featured books! Kidlit authors rock.

  8. This is an excellent collection of books! Thank you for the chance!

  9. These all look like great books! I'm always looking for new books about the environment for young readers and the Bananas books look so funny. My school's young readers love funny!

  10. Bananas are my favorite fruit (my house rabbits' fave, too)! I just read Counting to Bananas this morning and it was hilarious--can't wait to read the companion book.

  11. Thanks for the great links, especially the picture book links. I'm looking forward to reading the Banana books.

  12. Thanks for the opportunity! What a wonderful set of fun read alouds.

  13. Such great new picture books! Look forward to reading all of them. Congrats, Gabi and Carrie!


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