april 2018 Best Children's Books

Updated Jun. 17, 2019
I Really Want to See You, Grandma book
#25
I Really Want to See You, Grandma
Written and illustrated by Taro Gomi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Yumi and her grandmother have the same great idea: They want to see each other. So they each head out to do just that, only to completely miss each other along the way! No problem—they'll just head back home and wait for the other to return. The trouble is that they have the same great idea—again—resulting in the ultimate missed connection! Will this duo ever find each other? Leave it to bestselling author-illustrator Taro Gomi to spin an action-packed story that sweetly, and humorously, celebrates the powerful grandparent-child bond.

Donuts book
#26
Donuts
Written and illustrated by David Miles
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Donut cars. Donut trains. Donuts do not make good planes. In this hilarious ode to the treat with a hole, bright photographic illustrations bring donuts to life like never before! With donut cops (of course), donut pirates (why not), maple bar lumberjacks (eh?), coffee jacuzzis, and a bakeshop full of donut puns, Donuts: The Hole Story is a delicious romp through a world filled with (and made of) everyone's favorite fat-fried friends.

Swimming with Seals book
#27
Swimming with Seals
Written by Maggie de Vries and illustrated by Janice Kun
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A stunning picture book set in the Pacific Northwest about an alternative, multigenerational family and their love for their granddaughter, niece and daughter. Ally isn’t able to live with her mother. Instead she lives far, far away, on the other side of the country, with her gram and great-aunt. But one summer Ally goes to stay with her aunt and uncle in the “big city by the ocean” and gets to spend time with her mom. While exploring the shore, watching whales from the boat and dipping into the salty water, Ally finds out something important: her mother loves to swim as much as she does. This is a very personal story. Ally is based on the author’s niece, Jeanie, and Ally’s mother is based on the author’s sister, Sarah, who went missing from the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver in 1998. Jeanie is like a seal in the water, and Sarah was just the same, but they never got to swim together. In this story, they do. Swimming with Seals is a story that was written for the thousands of children who long to live with their birth parents and will never fully understand why they can’t.

The Brilliant Deep book
#28
The Brilliant Deep
Written by Kate Messner and illustrated by Matthew Forsythe
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

All it takes is one: one coral gamete to start a colony, one person to make a difference, one idea to change the world. The ongoing efforts to save and rebuild the world's coral reefs—with hammer and glue, and grafts of newly grown coral—are the living legacy of Ken Nedimyer, founder of the Coral Restoration Foundation. Kate Messner and Matthew Forsythe tell the true story of the coral restoration pioneer in this brilliant tribute to the wonders of nature and the power of human hope.

The Fox and the Fisherman book
#29
The Fox and the Fisherman
Written and illustrated by Marianne Dumas
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A gentle story of a lonely fisherman and a curious fox who develop an unexpected friendship. Barabas is a lonely fisherman. Every morning he goes out to sea on his small fishing boat, throws his net in the water and hopes to bring some fish home, where no one is waiting for him. His meager catches and gloomy home make him sad, until one day when Barabas discovers footprints near his home. Whom could they belong to?

EveryBody's Different on EveryBody Street book
#30
EveryBody's Different on EveryBody Street
Written by Sheree Fitch and illustrated by Emma Fitzgerald
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Playful words lead you into this beautiful children’s book and invite you to celebrate our gifts,our weaknesses,our differences and our sameness. Fitch displays her wit and mastery of words in quick, rollicking rhymes that are complemented by Emma Fitzgerald’s lively illustrations. EveryBody’s Different on EveryBody Street was originally produced in 2001 as a fundraiser to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Festival of Trees in support of the Nova Scotia Hospital and to raise awareness for mental illness and addiction.

Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets book
#31
Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets
Written by Hena Khan and illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

From a crescent moon to a square garden to an octagonal fountain, this breathtaking picture book celebrates the shapes—and traditions—of the Muslim world. Sure to inspire questions and observations about world religions and cultures, Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets is equally at home in a classroom reading circle and on a parent's lap being read to a child.

Jelly Bean Summer book
#32
Jelly Bean Summer
Written by Joyce Magnin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Joyce has had it with her family (especially with UFO-sighting Elaine who loves her guinea pig more than her own sister). Her solution? Move out of the house and pitch a tent on the roof for the summer. But when she spots a boy watching her from a neighboring roof she's stunned-and intrigued. Brian recently lost his brother, and the two instantly bond over their messed-up families. To help Brian repair his brother's truck, they concoct a scheme to build and sell tickets to a UFO display. Even Elaine agrees to help... until unexpected events test the limits of Joyce's family ties.

Keep Your Eye on the Prize book
#33
Keep Your Eye on the Prize
Written by Barbara Esham and illustrated by Mike Gordon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The Adventures of Everyday Geniuses is meant to demonstrate various forms of learning, creativity, and intelligence. Each book introduces a realistic example of triumph over difficulty in a positive, humorous way that readers of all ages will enjoy! The biggest day of the year at Morecaster School is filled with ideas, hard work, and pressure--it's time for the annual science fair! Like many kids, Dylan is caught between doing his project on his own, and accepting help from his enthusiastic parents. This year he's determined to do all the work himself, even if it means his project won't be perfect. Keep Your Eye on the Prizeis an honest and humorous look at encouraging children to be independent in their work and proud of their results. "Barbara Esham deftly deals with what can be a difficult subject for students or teachers to broach. How do you help parents understand when the help they're giving is too much?...This book is as valuable for parents and teachers as it is for young people, and is a great way to help everyone understand how to give just the right amount of assistance." --Academics' Choice Foundation, Dr. Corinne Hyde, Professor of Clinical Education, University of Southern California Praise for the series: "This is a wonderful book series. Each story shows children that success is about effort and determination, that problems need not derail them, and that adults can understand their worries and struggles. My research demonstrates that these lessons are essential for children."--Dr. Carol S. Dweck

Maud Lewis 1, 2, 3 book
#34
Maud Lewis 1, 2, 3
Written by Carol McDougal, Shanda LaRamee Jones and illustrated by Maud Lewis
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

Babies and toddlers will love searching these stimulating paintings to count the kittens, oxen, birds and flowers on each page. Maud Lewis 1, 2, 3 is a wonderful first counting book and introduction to the joy-filled art of famous folk painter Maud Lewis. Even the youngest babies will be drawn to the bright colors and bold forms in Lewis’s whimsical paintings. Babies and toddlers will have fun searching the vibrant images to count the kittens, oxen, birds and flowers on each page.

Harry's Hiccups book
#35
Harry's Hiccups
Written by Jean Little and illustrated by Joe Weissmann
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Poor Harry can't get rid of his hiccups in this charming picture book written by Jean Little. Harry tries and tries to get rid of his hiccups. He tries drinking a glass of water upside down, he tries putting an ice-cold key down his back, he gleefully tries eating a spoonful of sugar. But nothing works! In this charming picture book, written by children’s literature legend Jean Little and illustrated by award-winning illustrator Joe Weissmann, Harry is afflicted with a case of the hopeless hiccups. It’s not until Harry has a surprise encounter with a different sort of neighbor that it seems like Harry might finally get some relief…hiccup, hiccup…

Luna and the Moon Rabbit book
#36
Luna and the Moon Rabbit
Written and illustrated by Camille Whitcher
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A dreamy fairy tale about a rabbit who lives on the moon . . . and comes down to visit a little girl. Inspired by Asian folklore (Moon Rabbit) and the films of Studio Ghibli, this magical tale follows a young girl who befriends the "moon rabbit" and accompanies him on a nighttime adventure through otherworldly landscapes. Parents and children alike will be mesmerized by the enchanting illustrations and a soothing bedtime story that explores the power of imagination, the importance of friendship, and the beauty of the natural world.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected]!