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april 2018 Best Children's Books

What If... book
#49
What If...
Written by Samantha Berger and illustrated by Mike Curato
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

Creativity, the power of imagination, and the importance of self-expression are celebrated in this inspiring picture book written and illustrated by real-life best friends. This girl is determined to express herself! If she can't draw her dreams, she'll sculpt or build, carve or collage. If she can't do that, she'll turn her world into a canvas. And if everything around her is taken away, she'll sing, dance, and dream... Stunning mixed media illustrations, lyrical text, and a breathtaking gatefold conjure powerful magic in this heartfelt affirmation of art, imagination, and the resilience of the human spirit.

Library on Wheels book
#50
Library on Wheels
Written and illustrated by Sharlee Glenn
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

If you can't bring the man to the books, bring the books to the man. Mary Lemist Titcomb (1852-1932) was always looking for ways to improve her library. As librarian at the Washington County Free Library in Maryland, Titcomb was concerned that the library was not reaching all the people it could. She was determined that everyone should have access to the library--not just adults and those who lived in town. Realizing its limitations and inability to reach the county's 25,000 rural residents, including farmers and their families, Titcomb set about to change the library system forever with the introduction of book-deposit stations throughout the country, a children's room in the library, and her most revolutionary idea of all--a horse-drawn Book Wagon. Soon book wagons were appearing in other parts of the country, and by 1922, the book wagon idea had received widespread support. The bookmobile was born!

Mommy's Khimar book
#51
Mommy's Khimar
Written by Jamilah Tompskin-Bigelow and illustrated by Ebony Glenn
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Selected as a Best Book of 2018 by NPR, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, and Shelf Awareness! A young Muslim girl spends a busy day wrapped up in her mother’s colorful headscarf in this sweet and fanciful picture book from debut author and illustrator Jamilah Tompkins-Bigelow and Ebony Glenn. A khimar is a flowing scarf that my mommy wears. Before she walks out the door each day, she wraps one around her head. A young girl plays dress up with her mother’s headscarves, feeling her mother’s love with every one she tries on. Charming and vibrant illustrations showcase the beauty of the diverse and welcoming community in this portrait of a young Muslim American girl’s life.

The Colors of History book
#52
The Colors of History
Written and illustrated by Clive Gifford
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Why did Roman emperors wear purple? Which colour is made from crushed beetles? What green pigment might be used to build super-fast computers of the future? Find out the answers to these and many more questions in this vibrant exploration of the stories behind different colours, and the roles they've played throughout history. From black to white, and all the colours in between, every shade has a story to tell. Each colour group is introduced with a stunning and interpretive double-page spread illustration, followed by illustrated entries exploring the ‘colourful’ history of particular shades. With vivid, thought-provoking illustrations and engaging bite-sized text, this book is a feast for the eyes and the mind, ready to enthral budding artists and historians alike.

My Hair is a Garden book
#53
My Hair is a Garden
Written and illustrated by Cozbi A. Cabrera
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

After a day of being taunted by classmates about her unruly hair, Mackenzie can’t take any more and she seeks guidance from her wise and comforting neighbor, Miss Tillie. Using the beautiful garden in the backyard as a metaphor, Miss Tillie shows Mackenzie that maintaining healthy hair is not a chore nor is it something to fear. Most importantly, Mackenzie learns that natural black hair is beautiful.

  1. Mindful Me - Sometimes kids’ lives can get busy and out of control, and worries can take over. When that happens, knowing how to pause and regain composure with mindfulness can help! This easily digestible guide introduces kids to mindfulness as a way to find clarity, manage stress, handle difficult emotions, and navigate personal challenges. With step-by-step instructions to over thirty breathing, relaxation, and guided meditation exercises, readers will have an entire toolkit at their disposal and writing prompts will help them process their discoveries. Clearly written and incredibly relatable, this invaluable resource provides a positive introduction to the world of self-care and mindfulness.

  2. Poetry for Kids: William Shakespeare - Love! Betrayal! Ambition! Tragedy! Jealousy! Williams Shakespeare's universal themes continue to resonate with readers of all ages more than 400 years after his death. This wonderful, fully illustrated book introduces children to the Bard and more than thirty of his most famous and accessible verses, sonnets, and speeches. From “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” to “O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!” and “All the world’s a stage,” the words of the greatest playwright and poet spring to life on the page. The next generation of readers, poets, and actors will be entranced by these works of Shakespeare. Each poem is illustrated and includes an explanation by an expert and definitions of important words to give kids and parents the fullest explanation of their content and impact.

  3. Dance with the Animals - This delightful mix and match title features animal characters from around the world. Wolf, Lemur, Panda, and friends have gathered together for a night of twirling, twisting, clapping, clicking and tapping. Ella Baileys beautiful illustrations can be mixed and matched to create cute characters in fun outfits, while the text suggests mix and match actions that young readers can do to join in with the animals fun. The split page board format is attractive and robust, perfect for little hands to play with over and over again. Children aged two and up can enjoy the charming illustrations independently, and used with a parent or guardian, the fun join in actions add a further interactive dimension, promoting coordination and cognitive development.

  4. Willows vs. Wolverines - It’s an all-out boys vs. girls summer camp prank war in this hilarious M!X novel from the author of The Classy Crooks Club!

The Breaking News book
#58
The Breaking News
Written and illustrated by Sarah Lynne Reul
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When devastating news rattles a little girl's community, she struggles to know how to cope. Her normally attentive parents are suddenly exhausted and distracted, and nothing she does seems to cheer them up. At school, her teacher tells her to look for the helpers-the good people working to make things better in big and small ways. She wants more than anything to help in a BIG way, but maybe she can start with one small thing instead... and then another, and another? Those small things can compound, after all, to make a world of difference.Both timely and timeless, this beautifully illustrated picture book from debut author/illustrator Sarah Lynne Reul touches on the themes of community, resilience, and optimism with an authenticity that will resonate with readers young and old.

Nuclear Physics for Babies book
#59
Nuclear Physics for Babies
Written by Chris Ferrie and illustrated by Cara Florance, Chris Ferrie
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Simple explanations of complex ideas for your future genius! Written by an expert, Nuclear Physics for Babiesis a colorfully simple introduction to the study of protons, neutrons, quarks and gluons. Babies (and grownups!) how all the particles in that tiny space are held together. Co-written by Cara Florance, who has a PhD in Biochemistry and a BS in Chemistry with work experience in astrobiololgy and radiation decontamination. With atongue-in-cheek approach that adults will love, this installment of the Baby University board book series is the perfect way to introduce basic concepts to even the youngest scientists. After all, it's never too early to become a scientist! Baby University: It only takes a small spark to ignite a child's mind.

I Thought I Saw a Lion! book
#60
I Thought I Saw a Lion!
Written by Templar Books and illustrated by Lydia Nichols
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Hide-and-seek fun with sturdy sliders! This silly but stylish slider book is sure to give little ones a giggle. They'll love joining in a game of hide-and-seek as they move the sliders to reveal the lion hiding in every scene. Is it in the restaurant? Or at the beauty salon? Just push the slider to find out! With beautiful artwork from Lydia Nichols, the whole family will enjoy reading and playing with this fresh new novelty series.

    Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!