january 2019 Best Children's Books

What Is Given from the Heart book
#1
What Is Given from the Heart
Written by Patricia C McKissack and illustrated by April Harrison
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This final, magnificent picture book from three-time Coretta Scott King Award winner and Newbery Honor author Patricia McKissack is a poignant and uplifting celebration of the joy of giving.

“Misery loves company,” Mama says to James Otis. It’s been a rough couple of months for them, but Mama says as long as they have their health and strength, they’re blessed. One Sunday before Valentine’s Day, Reverend Dennis makes an announcement during the service— the Temples have lost everything in a fire, and the church is collecting anything that might be useful to them. James thinks hard about what he can add to the Temple’s “love box,” but what does he have worth giving? With her extraordinary gift for storytelling, McKissack—with stunning illustrations by Harrison—delivers a touching, powerful tale of compassion and reminds us all that what is given from the heart, reaches the heart.

E Is for Easter book
#2
E Is for Easter
Written and illustrated by Greg Paprocki
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Introduce your brilliant baby to the ABCs with this colorfully illustrated primer about the joys of Easter. In the latest alphabet primer from artist Greg Paprocki, Easter and the rites of spring are celebrated with Paprocki’s wonderful colorful and vintage-looking illustrations. Your toddlers can enjoy illustrations of such things as the Easter Bunny, baskets overflowing with candy, children decorating Easter eggs, an Easter egg hunt, and beautiful springtime flowers. Part of the BabyLit Alphabet Series. Greg Paprocki works full-time as an illustrator and book designer. In addition to illustrating several Curious George books, he’s provided illustrations for a number of books for Gibbs Smith, including A Is for Atom, S Is for Santa, B Is for Boo, S Is for School, and The Big Book of Superheroes. He began his career as an advertising art director after studying fine art and graphic design at the University of Nebraska. He lives in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Mary Wears What She Wants book
#3
Mary Wears What She Wants
Written and illustrated by Keith Negley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Once upon a time (but not too long ago), girls only wore dresses. And only boys wore pants. Until one day, a young girl named Mary had a bold idea: She would wear whatever she wanted. And she wanted to wear pants! Inspired by the true story of Mary Edwards Walker, a trailblazing doctor who was arrested many times for wearing pants, this fresh, charming picture book encourages readers to think for themselves while gently challenging gender and societal norms.

My Heart book
#4
My Heart
Written and illustrated by Corinna Luyken
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the author-illustrator of The Book of Mistakes comes a gorgeous picture book about caring for your own heart and living with kindness and empathy. My heart is a window. My heart is a slide. My heart can be closed…or opened up wide. Some days your heart is a puddle or a fence to keep the world out. But some days it is wide open to the love that surrounds you. With lyrical text and breathtaking art, My Heart, My Heart empowers all readers to listen to the guide within in this ode to love and self-acceptance.

Thomas Jefferson and the Mammoth Hunt book
#5
Thomas Jefferson and the Mammoth Hunt
Written by Carrie Clickard and illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In this rhyming, hilarious romp about a little-known facet of American history, Thomas Jefferson tries to disprove a French theory that those in the New World are puny and wussy by going in search of mammoth bones.

In the New World called America big changes were a’brewing. Independence was declared with bold hurrahs and ballyhooing!

The French feel threatened by America’s new freedom and confidence, as embodied by Count Buffon who claims that the “New World was a chilly, swampy place, filled with puny, scrawny creatures, every species, breed, and race.” Thomas Jefferson won’t stand his young country being insulted, so he sets out to prove Count Buffon wrong. He sends people across the country in search of an animal or animal bones to prove that creatures in the United States are big and strong and worthy.

Hilarious, energetic, and a delight to read aloud, this book shines a light on this little-known slice of American history. Included in the back matter are an author’s note, who’s who and what’s what from American history, bibliography, and further reading.

  1. There Are No Bears in This Bakery - The creator of the “New York Times”-bestselling “The Bear Ate Your Sandwich” delivers another sly story of a hungry bear and a smooth-talking narrator: a tough gumshoe of a cat named Muffin. Full color.

  2. Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré - An inspiring picture book biography of storyteller, puppeteer, and New York City’s first Puerto Rican librarian, who championed bilingual literature. When she came to America in 1921, Pura Belpré carried the cuentos folklóricos of her Puerto Rican homeland. Finding a new home at the New York Public Library as a bilingual assistant, she turned her popular retellings into libros and spread story seeds across the land. Today, these seeds have grown into a lush landscape as generations of children and storytellers continue to share her tales and celebrate Pura’s legacy. Brought to colorful life by Paola Escobar’s elegant and exuberant illustrations and Anika Aldamuy Denise’s lyrical text, this gorgeous book is perfect for the pioneers in your life. Informative backmatter and suggested further reading included.

  3. Hush, Little Bunny - Hush, Little Bunny is a heartwarming, lyrical love letter from a papa bunny to his little one—from David Ezra Stein, Caldecott Honor-winning creator of Interrupting Chicken and Leaves. Fans of Kevin Henkes and Beatrix Potter will adore this gorgeous book. Come, little bunny, don’t be shy . . . “Hush Little Baby” is a lullaby that parents have sung to their children for generations. Now Caldecott Honor winner David Ezra Stein has reimagined the classic featuring an irresistible papa bunny and his little one. This new classic is the perfect gift for Easter, baby showers, Father’s Day, and all year long.

  4. The Wild Fluffalump - One morning, at the foot of a tree on the African plain, a strange creature is found. It’s fluffy and puffy. What can it be? The meerkats declare that it is a wild Fluffalump. Eagle says there is no such thing, Buffalo thinks it must be a bird, Hyena says it squeaked and wriggled when he gave it a poke, and Giraffe finds it has toes. By now the Fluffalump is hungry and thirsty and when it is nipped on the bottom by Crocodile it trumpets loudly. And across the plain comes Elephant who dumps it in the lake for a wash and Fluffalump is revealed to be . . . ?

Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face and the Quest for the Magic Porcupine book
#10
Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face and the Quest for the Magic Porcupine
Written by John Dougherty and illustrated by Sam Ricks
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The BADgers are back in Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face’s second adventure, perfect for fans of The Stinky Cheese Man and Pseudonymous Bosch.

The villainous badgers have escaped from prison, and it’s up to Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face to find them and put them back! Only someone who knows about stories can point them in the right direction, so they consult Miss Butterworth, the Ninja Librarian.

After referring to a copy of Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face and the Quest for the Magic Porcupine, Miss Butterworth sends them on their quest. Along the way they encounter raccoons who are definitely NOT badgers in disguise, a really REALLY long traffic light, a rabbit in a prickly coat, and a banana-eating hammerhead shark, all leading to a showdown with the badgers. Can the kids think fast enough to save the king from being shot out of the biggest water rocket in the world? We don’t know. But we’re going to read it and find out!

Hello, Dog! book
#11
Hello, Dog!
Written by Susie Linn and illustrated by Zhanna Ovocheva
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Dog wants to play. Peek-a-boo! Turn the pages to discover the cute animal characters who want to play too and are hiding in every window. Delicate touch-and-feel textures cut into the board pages add to the sensory story time fun.

The Hair Book book
#12
The Hair Book
Written by Graham Tether and illustrated by Andrew Joyner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

An easy reader about hair—and all the things you can do with it—that’s perfect for fans of classic Dr. Seuss concept books like The Foot Book and The Eye Book! Full Color Illustrations.

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