december 2019 Best Children's Books

Job Wanted book
#13
Job Wanted
Written by Teresa Bateman and illustrated by Chris Sheban
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A plucky farm dog will do anything to get a job—even be a cow! When a farmer tells a dog that “dogs just eat and don’t give anything back,” the dog is disappointed, but not discouraged. He’ll try being a cow, a horse, and a chicken before he’s done. As the farmer learns the value of a good dog, children will laugh as the dog finds his rightful place on the farm. Teresa Batemen’s endearing story celebrates persistence, ingenuity, and the fact that everybody can make a contribution. Award-winning artist Chris Sheban’s illustrations are filled with warmth and humor. Kids and parents will love this terrific read aloud with a subtle message about never giving up. Nominated for The Washington Children’s Choice Award, The New York State Charlotte Award, the Young Hoosier Book Award, and the Virginia Readers’ Choice Award.

Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers: Color Edition book
#14
Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers: Color Edition
Written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-18

When we last saw George and Harold, they were headed to jail for the rest of their lives. What could be worse? How about being pulled from prison by a time-traveling tyrant named Tippy Tinkletrousers?!!? Now the boys are taking a trip back in time to the carefree days of kindergarten, when the scariest thing they had to face was not evil mad scientists or alien cafeteria ladies but a sixth-grade bully named Kipper Krupp, the nephew of their clueless school principal. And because George and Harold don’t invent Captain Underpants until they’re in fourth grade, the clever kindergartners are on their own. Will their brains be enough to beat the bully?!!?

Tooth Fairy in Training book
#15
Tooth Fairy in Training
Written by Michelle Robinson and illustrated by Briony May Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

When it’s time for Tate to start her tooth-fairy training, she learns that there’s much more to the job than just leaving coins for sleeping children.

Tate’s tooth-fairy training starts today, and her big sister, May, is taking her out on her very first tooth-collecting mission. After practicing at home, Tate is ready to test her skills, and May leads her to their first stop: a herd of hippos in a lake! After all, human children aren’t the only young creatures that lose their teeth. In fact, being a tooth fairy is a dangerous job, and Tate must visit all kinds of toothy predators before the night is up. Will she be able to collect the teeth from narwhals, anacondas, and more — all without waking a single creature? Author Michelle Robinson and illustrator Briony May Smith introduce two brave fairy sisters with a whimsical, rhyming read-aloud.

Eliza Bing Is (Not) a Star book
#16
Eliza Bing Is (Not) a Star
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

How will Eliza make it through the sixth grade? Her ADHD tends to complicate things. . . . Eliza Bing stuck with taekwondo and earned her yellow belt even though her family expected her to quit. She’s tough enough to break boards with her bare hands! Next up: middle school, and hopefully a best friend. The school play turns out to be the perfect opportunity to befriend confident, stage-obsessed Annie. But can their friendship survive the spotlight? The joys and sorrows of middle school come to life in this funny and heartfelt sequel to Eliza Bing Is (NOT) a Big, Fat Quitter, recipient of the Christopher Award and four child-voted state award nominations.

The Season of Styx Malone book
#17
The Season of Styx Malone
Written and illustrated by Kekla Magoon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A CORETTA SCOTT KING HONOR BOOK AND THE WINNER OF THE BOSTON GLOBE HORN BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION! “Extraordinary friendships . . . extraordinary storytelling.” —Rita Williams-Garcia, Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Award-Winning author of One Crazy Summer Meet Caleb and Bobby Gene, two brothers embarking on a madcap, heartwarming, one-thing-leads-to-another adventure in which friendships are forged, loyalties are tested . . . and miracles just might happen. Caleb Franklin and his big brother Bobby Gene are excited to have adventures in the woods behind their house. But Caleb dreams of venturing beyond their ordinary small town. Then Caleb and Bobby Gene meet new neighbor Styx Malone. Styx is sixteen and oozes cool. Styx promises the brothers that together, the three of them can pull off the Great Escalator Trade—exchanging one small thing for something better until they achieve their wildest dream. But as the trades get bigger, the brothers soon find themselves in over their heads. Styx has secrets—secrets so big they could ruin everything. Five best of the year lists! NPR, HornBook, Kirkus Reviews, SLJ, Shelf Awareness Five starred reviews!

  1. Under the Freedom Tree - Tells of the Civil War’s first contraband camp that began when three escaped slaves were granted protection at a Union-held fort, prompting runaway slaves to seek freedom there and build the country’s first African American community.

  2. Princess Ponies 12: An Enchanted Heart - Enter a land of magical ponies in this chapter book series that features illustrations throughout and comes with a collectible charm! The enchanted island of Chevalia, where ponies rule, has finally had its magic restored, thanks to human Pippa and pony Princess Stardust. Her task complete, Pippa has returned to our world . . . but her friends in Chevalia are never far away. It’s Valentine’s Day, and Pippa is so excited to get a surprise visit from her best friend, Princess Stardust. But Stardust needs Pippa’s help. . . Troublemaker Divine has cast a spell, and the ponies of Chevalia have forgotten how to love and started fighting! Together, Pippa and Stardust must search the forests, fields, and volcanoes of Chevalia for a way to break the curse. Can they remind the ponies how to be kind before Valentine’s Day is ruined? Pippa’s adventures in magical Chevalia are brought to life with delightful illustrations, and the book includes a special collectible charm. Collect all of the books in the Princess Ponies series: A Magical Friend A Dream Come True The Special Secret A Unicorn Adventure! An Amazing Rescue Best Friends Forever! A Special Surprise A Singing Star The Lucky Horseshoe The Pumpkin Ghost Season’s Galloping

  3. ABC: Early Learning at the Museum - Using amazing objects from the British Museum, this series of captivating board books encourages children to engage with early learning concepts. Inquisitive toddlers will enjoy learning their ABCs, 123s, opposites, and colors with gorgeous photographic images on every page

  4. Bad Kitty: Kitten Trouble - There’s terrible news in the neighborhood next to Kitty’s! A conflict there is growing worse and worse. It started as an argument and has now turned into a full-fledged fight. Worst of all: The cat shelter has been destroyed. Kitty’s family decides it’s time to do something to help. They have an idea to foster as many displaced kittens as possible. Kitty won’t mind, right? Well . . . not exactly. Kitty does seem to mind. She minds A LOT. Will our favorite bad-tempered friend learn to share her space, her food, and GASP! her toys? Find out in Kitten Trouble, this hilarious and poignant addition to the Bad Kitty series from bestselling author and illustrator Nick Bruel.

Hap-Pea All Year (The Peas Series) book
#22
Hap-Pea All Year (The Peas Series)
Written and illustrated by Keith Baker
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Keith Baker’s New York Times bestselling peas are exploring the months of the year in this delightful Classic Board Book!

Hap-pea January! Let’s get going, grab your mittens—hooray, it’s snowing!

The peas have rolled through the letters, numbers, and colors. Now, they’re back to take young readers through the calendar. With bouncy rhyming text and playful pea-packed illustrations, celebrating the months, seasons, and holidays has never been so fun!

I Heart You book
#23
I Heart You
Written by Meg Fleming and illustrated by Sarah Jane Wright
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-8

Little ones adore being independent and trying new things. But they also need Mom and Dad’s reassurance and snuggles. With her spare, lyrical text, Meg Fleming captures the exuberance, the affection, and the tender push-and-pull of life with a child. And illustrator Sarah Jane Wright’s evocative illustrations infuse the story with generous helpings of warmth and love.

A Picture Book of Louis Braille book
#24
A Picture Book of Louis Braille
Written by David A. Adler and illustrated by John Wallner, Alexandra Wallner, and David A. Adler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

As a child, Louis Braille lost his sight in a tragic accident—but he was determined not to let that limit him. The young Frenchman sought every opportunity to learn, and by the time he was a teenager, began experimenting with a new form of writing. Today, his system of raised dots is used by people with visual difficulties across the world. Backmatter includes a timeline and author’s note, as well as a page of letters and numerals in braille printing. For almost thirty years, David Adler’s Picture Book Biography series has profiled famous people who changed the world. Colorful, kid-friendly illustrations combine with Adler’s “expert mixtures of facts and personality” (Booklist) to introduce young readers to history through compelling biographies of presidents, heroes, inventors, explorers, and adventurers. These books are ideal for first and second graders interested in history, or who need reliable sources for school book reports.

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