Marcia Strykowski

2023 Picture Books

Hello and Happy New Year! I thought I’d post a quick snapshot of new and upcoming picture books that have caught my attention of late.

This first book on my list, hot off the press from Page Street Kids, is super cool. Abby’s determination is an inspiration for people of all ages and in all fields. Author Kim Chaffee does an excellent job letting us know what’s most important about Abby’s story and in making us feel like we’re right there with her on the soccer field through all her trials and triumphs. The bright, expressive digital illustrations of Alexandra Badiu are filled with exciting action. Courage in Her Cleats is a must for all sports fans and anyone who enjoys a good dose of inspiration. Awesome back matter, too!

This November 2022 release from Godwin Books (Henry Holt) accidentally made my 2023 list because time flies and it feels as new as the day I received it in the mail. Such a pretty cover with a different fun cover illustration underneath the book jacket. The Corgi and the Queen is a charming story, very interesting and well written by Caroline L. Perry. The sparkling illustrations were created by Lydia Corry in gouache, pencil, and watercolor. I really enjoyed reading this and learning more about Queen Elizabeth II and I’m sure children will, too. The back matter includes fascinating family trees for both Queen Elizabeth and her corgi, Susan. I never realized she had so many related corgis over the years!

Trucker Kid, a very recent release from Capstone Editions, is such a fun book. Carol Gordon Ekster is the author and Russ Cox produced the illustrations. The story, along with interesting back matter, makes you stop and realize just how important so many careers can be. Athena is a lively character who is full of pride for her dad and his important truck-driving job. Children will easily realize the significance of other professions their friends’ parents might choose that they know little about. The author writes to a bouncy beat and the illustrations are bright and cheerful. Sure to be a hit!

And Deep, Deep Down: The Secret Underwater Poetry of the Mariana Trench written by Lydia Lukidis and illustrated by Juan Calle was also recently published by Capstone Editions. This is a gorgeous book filled with accurate details in both the lyrical writing and illustrations. I’ve just ordered it, so I can’t say I’ve actually held it or read it all the way through yet, but who wouldn’t love the idea of a mysterious undersea world filled with magical creatures!

Here’s a great upcoming book you can be the first on your block to own. PEW!: The Stinky And Legen-dairy Gift from Colonel Thomas S. Meacham written  by Cathy Stefanec Ogren and illustrated by Lesley Breen will be released on March 15, 2023 by Sleeping Bear Press. This fascinating book is available for preorder from all online bookstores, but lucky for me, I got a sneak peek ahead of time. This interesting, but smelly, historical event is sure to intrigue young readers. The writing is wonderful and the illustrations—delightful. Includes fun back matter!

Another upcoming picture book I’m looking forward to is Debbie’s Song: The Debbie Friedman Story written by Ellen Leventhal and illustrated by Natalia Grebtsova. This will be released on April 4, 2023 by Kar-Ben Publishing. Available for preorder! Here’s a blurb from Ellen’s website:

When Debbie Friedman was a young girl, music bubbled up inside her, and as she grew, she dreamed that her music could bring people together. Although she had many obstacles to overcome, she did what no one else had done. Debbie created Jewish music that welcomed, included, and honored everyone. And through her music, she created a community, just as she had dreamed.

That’s a wrap, hope some of these beauties catch your eye!
p.s. Apologies for some of the blurry pictures—all my fault.


  1. These all look amazing. The Corgi and The Queen would be my favourite.


  2. Great post, Marcia! Thanks so much for including PEW! with all of the other fantastic books in your post!


    • Thanks and you’re welcome, Cathy! Still working on technical issues, groan.


  3. Thanks for the round-up. Happy New Year!


  4. Laura Fineberg Cooper

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful crop of books from an incredibly talented group of authors and illustrators!


  5. Louise

    I can’t wait to read The Corgi and the Queen!


  6. Joyce Ray

    Great post, Marcia! Carol’s TRUCKER KID sounds like a younger version of Louise Hawes’ MG novel BIG RIG, a terrific read. Nice to have options for different age groups.


    • Hi Joyce, good to know, I’ll have to check out BIG RIG. Hope you’re doing well and thanks for your comment!


  7. Bette Norton

    Great post! The books all look interesting and fun! I am going to seek out the Corgi and the Queen. I have been an avid follower of the Royals and the Queen has had many corgis throughout her life. This book looks very sweet!


    • Yes, and most of her corgis were Susan’s grandchildren, great grandchildren, great great great grandchildren, etc.. A royal bloodline just like the Queen’s. 🙂


  8. Thank you for mentioning my book!


  9. Hi Marcia, you have shared a lovely selection of children’s books here. They all look lovely and beautifully illustrated too.


  10. Thank you, Marcia! I am looking forward to the third Wild Robot book by Peter Brown.


    • Yes, those books seem popular with the older kids (well, 7+) and I love it when middle grade books are illustrated. Thanks for the recommendation, I’m going to add them to my reading list!


  11. Thanks for sharing all of these! I am so curious about the stinky event. Always great to hear about new books. 🙂


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