april 2018 Best Children's Books

Updated Jun. 20, 2019
Under the Ashes book
#61
Under the Ashes
Written by Cindy Rankin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Eleven-year-old Elizabeth "Littlebeth" Morgan would rather race the boys, chase skunks, and read about bandits than act like a lady. So her parents send her to her maiden aunt in San Francisco to be tamed and refined. But when an earthquake hits and she's separated from her aunt, Littlebeth must use her fearless nature and quick-thinking to survive in a city that's broken and burning.

A Prickly Problem: Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet book
#62
A Prickly Problem: Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet
Written by Jacqueline Kelly
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

In this story in the Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet chapter book series, Callie must help the family dog out of a prickly situation. When the Tate family dog, Ajax, has a run-in with a porcupine, things get prickly—and dangerous—quickly. It'll take Callie's quick thinking and doctoring, along with a little help from Dr. Pritzker, to make things right. Will Ajax learn to leave other critters alone? - GODWIN BOOKS -

Last to Finish, a Story about the Smartest Boy in Math Class book
#63
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
#64
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.

Little Heroes book
#65
Little Heroes
Written by Heidi Poelman and illustrated by Kyle Kershner
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

From the intrepid efforts of Susan B. Anthony to the quiet courage of Rosa Parks, Little Heroes: Courageous People Who Changed the World is a young child's first introduction to the brave people who fought to make the world a better place. Simple text and adorable illustrations tell the contributions of eight champions of freedom: Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks, Susan B. Anthony, Malala Yousafzai, Harriet Tubman, William Wilberforce, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr. A quote from each individual is included on each spread along with colorful, delightful artwork.

Kindness Makes the World Go Round book
#66
Kindness Makes the World Go Round
Written and illustrated by Sesame Workshop
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Elmo's mom has gifted him a camera! What a wonderful surprise and generous act of kindness! "Elmo snapped a few photos, then a thought came to mind "Does Elmo know what it means to be kind? To be humble and selfless and honest and true" Elmo set off to find out just what he knew!" Journey with Elmo to find the true meaning of kindness, exploring all of the kind characters and gestures that Sesame Street has to offer and creating a beautiful scrapbook along the way!

Oscar the Guardian Cat book
#67
Oscar the Guardian Cat
Written by Chiara Valentina Segré and illustrated by Paolo Domeniconi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Inspired by the true story of Oscar, a special cat who watches over the residents of Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, Rhode Island. Oscar the Guardian Cat lives at Hope House along with Nurse Dolores, Dr. Goodhelp, and the grandparents of many children who come to visit. The story is told from Oscar's perspective as he watches over his friends during their most important journey. This is a unique and touching picture book that can be used to help talk to children about their grandparents' final journey, not as something tragic, but as a moment of reconciliation and understanding. Chiara Valentina Segré has a PhD in molecular oncology and works in science communications. She has published several picture books and novels for children. She lives in Milan, Italy. Paolo Domeniconi studied art and worked for several years in advertising before focusing on children's book illustration. He lives in Spilamberto, Italy.

One Wave at a Time book
#68
One Wave at a Time
Written by Holly Thompson and illustrated by Ashley Crowley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

After his father dies, Kai experiences all kinds of emotions: sadness, anger, fear, guilt. Sometimes they crash and mix together. Other times, there are no emotions at all—just flatness. As Kai and his family adjust to life without Dad, the waves still roll in. But with the help of friends and one another, they learn to cope—and, eventually, heal. A lyrical story about grieving for anyone encountering loss.

The Promise book
#69
The Promise
Written by Pnina Bat Zvi, Margie Wolfe and illustrated by Isabelle Cardinal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

The night that Rachel and Toby’s parents are taken away by the Nazis, they give their daughters three gold coins. “Use these wisely to help save your lives,” they tell them. They also ask the girls to promise that they will always stay together. This compelling true story follows the girls as they confront the daily horrors of Auschwitz, protecting one another, sharing memories, fears and even laughter. Always together. But when Rachel becomes ill and is taken away by Nazi guards, likely forever, Toby risks her life to use the wellhidden gold coins to rescue her little sister.

Alphatrain book
#70
Alphatrain
Written by Stephanie Miles, Christin Farley and illustrated by David Miles
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

All aboard the Alphatrain! This adorable two-in-one board book features beautifully illustrated animals for every letter of the alphabet and can be read page-by-page as a lap book or be unfolded into a 42" train! (Perfect for play time or room decor!) In addition to the animals, each whimsically designed train car includes fun objects for each letter: Bear eats a banana, Elephant listens to earphones, and Fox wears a fez (of course). As a bonus, the back of each page lists the words of each hidden object so kids can search for them on the front of the car. A handy clasp keeps everything snuggly shut when reading time is over.

Ten Cents a Pound book
#71
Ten Cents a Pound
Written by Nhung N Tran-Davies and illustrated by Josee Bisaillon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Ayoung girl and her mother have a loving, passionate conversation with each other. The girl is torn between her desire to stay home with her family and the familiarity of their village, and her desire to go to school and discover the world beyond the mountains that surround them. Every time the girl insists that she will stay, her mother repeats that she must go, that there is more to life than the labor in the coffee trees.

Mommy Loves Me book
#72
Mommy Loves Me
Written by Stephanie Miles and illustrated by David Miles
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Nothing nurtures a child more than the reassuring warmth of loving words and positive touch. Mommy Loves Me is the adorable board book that comes with a hug! Two plush arms hug the front cover and give the child a surprise hug at the end of the book. Inside, with beautiful illustrations and simple text, Mommy Loves Me depicts a mother showing the size and strength of her love for her child with concrete examples. How much? "More than all the sprinkles on our ice cream sundaes. More than all the stars above our summer cottage. More than the longest hug that ever was."

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