The Weekly 411 (3/1/24)


© Sarah Kurpiel

March 1, 2024 vol. 9

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 Sarah Kurpiel.

 Kid Lit News

Illustrator Spotlight

We are pleased to feature illustrator Moira Ratchford and her banner design for Kidlit411. Check out her amazing work! 

Middle Grade Giveaway

We are pleased to host a giveaway of the middle grade novel, Mani Semilla Finds Her Quetzal Voice, by Anna Lapera (Levine Querido) out on March 5. Enter to win a copy via the Rafflecopter below!

Cover art: Rosa Colón Guerra

About the Book: For fans of Donna Barba Higuera's Lupe Wong Won't Dance and Aida Salazar's The Moon Within, comes Mani Semilla Finds Her Quetzal Voice -- a contemporary middle grade novel full of spunk and activist heart. Manuela “Mani” Semilla wants two things: To get her period, and to thwart her mom's plan of taking her to Guatemala, a place that has always been more of a mystery than an answer. Mani can’t imagine leaving behind Las Nerdas, her band of misfit friends, for the summer. But after she finds letters written between her mother and her disappeared-journalist aunt, Mani’s idea of what it means to be a woman takes flight. Reading the letters reveals both the beauty of Guatemala and its history of violence against women, and slowly transforms Mani from quiet bystander into budding activist.

About the Author: Anna Lapera teaches middle school by day and writes stories about girls stepping into their power in the early hours of the morning. She is a Pushcart-prize nominee, a member of Las Musas, and a 2022 Macondista and Kweli Journal mentee. When she’s not writing, you can find her visiting trails and coffee shops in Silver Spring, Maryland, where she lives with her family. Mani Semilla Finds Her Quetzal Voice is her debut novel.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Picture Book Giveaway

We are pleased to host a giveaway of the picture book, Pirate Gruffybeard, written and illustrated by Oksanna and Larissa Crawley (Rebel Mountain Press 2023). Enter to win a copy via the Rafflecopter below.

About the Author: In this rollicking sea tale, the swashbuckling Pirate Gruffybeard, captain of The Heart's Desire, has a big secret. When all alone in his cabin, he puts pink glitter in his beard and wears pink skirts! Gruffybeard and his quirky crew set sail for a treasure of the best meat pies on the Seven Seas. On the way, they encounter the dreaded enemy ship, The Rotten Turnip, and the evil Pirate Squidlips. Gruffybeard's pink predilection is exposed when he rushes onto the deck in his pink glory to the surprised looks of his crew. But instead of laughing at him, they praise his "new look" and dub him Pirate Glitterbeard! The crew members feel free to reveal their hidden talents and penchants to throw a smashing party drawing The Rotten Turnip closer so that it can be sunk! In the end, Pirate Glitterbeard and his crew get their meat pies, but ultimately learn that they already had their greatest treasure - they could just be themselves. 


About the Authors & Illustrators: Mother/daughter duo, Oksanna and Larissa Crawley, co-wrote and illustrated Pirate Glitterbeard.


Oksanna is the author of 30 early reader books featuring a goofy hamster who thinks he’s a super hero - The Super Hammy Adventure Series.  She is a retired kindergarten teacher and early literacy specialist. Prior to a teaching career, Oksanna worked in radio as a newscaster and journalist. She studied Linguistics at the University of Toronto and Art at Sheridan College.

Larissa is a science award-winning teacher who is passionate about using children's literature to teach empathy, and encourage creative and critical thinking in her classroom. She holds a specialist degree in Theater and Drama Studies from the University of Toronto and is a classically-trained actor. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I'm excited to read Anna Lapera's book! Thank you for the chance!

  2. I hadn't read anything about Mani Semilla Finds Her Quetzal Voice before but it sounds amazing! I'd love to win it for my daughter and myself :)

  3. Pirate Gruffybeard is really Pirate Glitterbeard! Love it!!!

  4. Looking forward to reading Pirate Glitterbeard to the grandkids!


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