april 2018 Best Children's Books

Updated Jun. 20, 2019
The Disappearing Boy book
#49
The Disappearing Boy
Written and illustrated by Sonia Tilson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Thirteen-year-old Neil MacLeod feels like a fish out of water: he’s trying to adjust to life in a new city, and his mother still refuses to tell him the truth about the father he’s never met. When he uncovers a shocking secret and the truth about his unconventional family sinks in, Neil decides to run away, all the way to his grandfather’s horse farm on the east coast. A sensitive and moving story about growing up, The Disappearing Boy teaches us that every family is different, and love is never as simple as it seems.

Hello, Hot Dog book
#50
Hello, Hot Dog
Written by Lily Murray and illustrated by Jarvis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Hot Dog is relaxing on some comfy bread with a little corn and some fries when disaster strikes! It looks like he's about to become lunch. Prepare for a laugh- out-loud picture about this little hot dog's quest for freedom. Boldly illustrated by the brilliant Jarvis, winner of Best Illustrated Book at the V&A Illustration Awards 2017, Hello, Hot Dog is told entirely in speech bubbles, and is sure to be a winner with kids and parents alike.

The Magic Garden book
#51
The Magic Garden
Written and illustrated by Carme Lemniscates
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Just like the passing of the seasons, or the mysterious transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly, in this garden, everything is continually changing. With gorgeous illustrations and a beautiful story of a young girl discovering the marvels of nature, The Magic Garden is sure to delight young readers. At the end, the mysteries uncovered in the story are explained, so children can get their questions about the natural world answered, including sections on how bees make honey, why some animals camouflage themselves, and how a seed grows into a tree. Learning about nature has never been more enchanting!

A Blinding Light book
#52
A Blinding Light
Written and illustrated by Julie Lawson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

The First World War is raging, and anti-German prejudice is rampant. Maddie and Will Schroeder are mourning the loss of their father, but their German heritage doesn’t merit much sympathy. On the morning of December 6, there’s a flash of light, then thunder underground: the Halifax Explosion hits. Instantly, the city is unrecognizable. Lost in the destroyed city, how will the siblings find each other? Exploring concepts of guilt, blame and the divide between locals and immigrants, A Blinding Light will hold readers spellbound. Teachers and parents will find plenty of topics for discussion in the book’s historical and cultural lessons.

Dance with the Animals book
#53
Dance with the Animals
Written and illustrated by Ella Bailey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

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.

The Wizard of Poob book
#54
The Wizard of Poob
Written by Peter Bently and illustrated by Duncan Beedie
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Welcome to Planet Pok – the land of Monsters’ Nonsense. The monsters discover a strange spaceship belonging to a wizard from another planet. Can they help him save Planet Poob from the Space Slugs? Monsters' Nonsense is designed for children to practice decoding nonsense words within a fun and exciting story. The adult reads the main narrative whilst the child is encouraged to read the monsters' language in speech bubbles and these ‘non-words’ help them practise their emerging phonics skills at a level that is right for them. Brought to life by award-winning author Peter Bently and Duncan Beedie's comic book style, this series creates a valuable shared reading experience and will inspire any child to become a monster reader!

Fania's Heart book
#55
Fania's Heart
Written by Anne Renaud and illustrated by Richard Rudnicki
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Ten-year-old Sorale discovers a tiny heart-shaped book among her mother’s belongings. Its pages are shaped like four-petaled flowers, upon which are written words in languages Sorale does not understand. Who wrote these words? Where did the heart come from? Why has her mother never mentioned this tiny book before? Fania’s Heart reveals the story of the crafting of the heart, against all odds, within the confines of Auschwitz, and of the women of immeasurable resilience, courage and loyalty who risked their lives for Sorale’s mother, their friend.

The Grumpy Guest book
#56
The Grumpy Guest
Written by Peter Bently and illustrated by Duncan Beedie
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Welcome to Planet Pok – the land of Monsters’ Nonsense. Pem Pem’s bossy cousin has come to visit, but he’s not interested in the tour of Planet Pok. What will happen when Huff Huff discovers an underground tunnel? Step inside a world of monster fun and encourage children to sound out non-words, carefully selected at the right level to support phonic development. Monsters' Nonsense is designed for children to practice decoding nonsense words within a fun and exciting story. The adult reads the main narrative whilst the child is encouraged to read the monsters' language in speech bubbles and these ‘non-words’ help them practise their emerging phonics skills at a level that is right for them. Brought to life by award-winning author Peter Bently and Duncan Beedie's comic book style, this fun series creates a valuable shared reading experience and will inspire any child to become a monster reader!

Gertie's Leap to Greatness book
#57
Gertie's Leap to Greatness
Written by Kate Beasley and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Gertie Reece Foy is 100% Not-From-Concentrate awesome. She has a daddy who works on an oil rig, a great-aunt who always finds the lowest prices at the Piggly Wiggly, and two loyal best friends. So when her absent mother decides to move away from their small town, Gertie sets out on her greatest mission yet: becoming the best fifth grader in the universe to show her mother exactly what she'll be leaving behind. There's just one problem: Seat-stealing new girl Mary Sue Spivey wants to be the best fifth grader, too. And there is simply not enough room at the top for the two of them.

See Hear book
#58
See Hear
Written by Tania McCartney and illustrated by Jess Racklyeft
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

This innovative flip-format picture book is a sequel to the best-selling and CBCA Notable Book for 2017, Smile Cry. Piglet, Bunny and Cat return in a charming, whimsical sensory adventure that encourages kids to explore the multitude of ways that they can engage with the world around them, particularly via the senses of sight and sound. From watching ‘squiggly rain’ on a window to pointing out ‘heavenly horses’ in the clouds, from hearing ‘buzzing blossoms’ as bees collect pollen and nectar to ‘hot pan sizzles’ as a favourite meal is prepared, See Hear invites us to open our eyes and ears to the everyday magic that surrounds us. Younger kids will respond to the soft whimsical illustrations, while older readers will enjoy the onomatopoeic wordplay. Perfect for ages 3 and up, this is a book that will captivate children and parents alike.

Last to Finish, a Story about the Smartest Boy in Math Class book
#59
Last to Finish, a Story about the Smartest Boy in Math Class
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! Max is convinced he will never succeed at memorizing his multiplication facts. When it's time for a test, one by one, Max's classmates turn in their finished papers before the timer rings. Not Max. As soon as the teacher starts the timer, his heart begins to pound, his hands begin to sweat, and his brain freezes! He is always the last to finish...and sometimes the other kids tease him about it. Is Max the worst math student ever? This positive story is perfect for anyone who has ever struggled with learning by memorization. Readers of all ages will discover that struggles don't always mean you're bad at something, but that maybe you just learn differently from others. "Children and teachers alike will celebrate the message, conveyed poignantly in Last to Finish, that 'mathematics is much more than memorizing math facts and taking timed tests'...Esham richly captures the dilemma when one such youngster encounters difficulties with memorizing math facts but, in fact, is a deep thinker of mathematics just the same. The reader will discover that the solution is both true and simple." --Dr. Susan Baum, The College of New Rochelle Professor Emeritus, Gifted Education 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

Let's Point! book
#60
Let's Point!
Written by Carol McDougal and illustrated by Shanda LaRamee Jones, Carol McDougal
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Babies learn to point at various objects in their world. When baby reaches about twelve months of age, pointing becomes a powerful way to communicate. Let’s Point! features photos of curious and wonder-filled babies pointing at the many interesting things around them. Foil-embellished images of everyday objects, accompanied by simple text, invite babies to engage in their own pointing and encourage early communication and conversation between parent and child. A perfect first-birthday gift and ideal for early literacy programs, Let’s Point! will excite babies’ curiosity about the world around them.

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