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Launchpad: Born, by John Sobol and Cindy Derby

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This spring we've made it our mission (even more than usual) to celebrate new releases in the wake of cancelled launch parties, book festivals, and reading series. With 49th Shelf Launchpad, we're holding virtual launch parties here on our platform complete with witty banter and great insight to give you a taste of the books on offer. You can request these books from your local library, get them as e-books or audio books, order them from your local indie bookseller if they're delivering, buy them direct from the publisher or from online retailers.

Today we're launching new picture book Born, by John Sobol and Cindy Derby, a beautiful story celebrating the ordinary miracle of life.

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Book Cover Born

The Elevator Pitch. Tell us about your book in a sentence.

Born is about the magical journey of birth as it is experienced by a baby, beginning with the baby patiently waiting inside her mother to be born and filled with curiosity about the world she hears and feels, and ending with mother and child looking lovingly into each other’s eyes for the first time.

Describe y …

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Notes from a Children's Librarian: Books for Mother's Day

Our Children's Librarian columnist, Julie Booker, brings us a new view from the stacks every month.

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Mothers come in many forms in these books that put moms in the spotlight. 

Book Cover Matthew and the Midnight Money Van

It's the eve of Mother's Day in Matthew and the Midnight Money Van, by Allen Morgan, illustrated by Michael Martchenko. Matthew crawls under his bed to count the money in his piggy bank (a money van). There, amongst a host of uneaten food items, he realizes he doesn't have enough for his mom's gift before falling asleep. In what might be a dream, Matthew helps some unusual street-sweepers, such as the midnight mounted geese police with bambino machines collecting dropped pennies. He hits the $2 million mark, enough for a diamond ring for mom. The humorous language and pictures complement each other beautifully, resulting in a lovely sentiment between mother and son. (He ends up preparing a breakfast using all those under-the-bed snacks.) This one is for all ages.

Book Cover Polar Bear Son

The Polar Bear Son, An Inuit Tale, retold and illustrated by Lydia Dabcovich, is about a childless old woman who li …

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Unbreakable: Dede Crane on Motherhood

"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new." —Rajneesh

Once you are a mother, you are a mother for the rest of your life.  A perpetual contract, there is no such thing as time off. Your heart has been peeled back, your instinct turned on. Motherhood was the first time I knew without doubt that I would lay down my life for someone else. Pregnant with that first child, I asked a spiritual leader at my church how he liked being a parent. He was the father of an eight-year-old. Constant heartbreak, he said, with such honest feeling that I’ve never forgotten his words, though I’ve since forgotten his name and face.

Four children and innumerable heartbreaks later, big and small, joyful and otherwise, I stand on the cusp of no longer being vital or even necessary to my children. Our youngest, now fourteen, has begun the by now familiar parental exorcism. Pulling away from or perhaps pulling ahead of us, she’s clearly feeling the same way my thirteen-year-old self once felt towards my parents: as much as I loved them, I couldn’t help but hate them. For no reason that I can now think of, and without wanting to do so, …

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