january 2019 Best Children's Books

Updated Jul. 24, 2019
Hello, World! Ocean Life book
Hello, World! Ocean Life
Written and illustrated by Jill McDonald
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

All young children love to play in the waves at the beach. Now here’s a Hello, World! board book that teaches them all about oceans and the creatures and plants that live there.

Thunder Pug book
Thunder Pug
Written by Kim Norman and illustrated by Keika Yamaguchi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Welcome back the perfect pug-and-pig pair: Percy and Petunia. The two besties are inseparable--until Petunia wins a blue ribbon at the fair. Suddenly she's too busy to play anymore. So when lonely Percy finds a faded comic book, he takes on a new persona: THUNDER PUG! But what's a superhero without a sidekick? Will a little "Pink Lightning" (aka Petunia) come to his rescue?

Bell Rang book
Bell Rang
Written and illustrated by James E. Ransome
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A young slave girl witnesses the heartbreak and hopefulness of her family and their plantation community when her brother escapes for freedom in this brilliantly conceived picture book by Coretta Scott King Award winner James E. Ransome. Every single morning, the overseer of the plantation rings the bell. Daddy gathers wood. Mama cooks. Ben and the other slaves go out to work. Each day is the same. Full of grueling work and sweltering heat. Every day, except one, when the bell rings and Ben is nowhere to be found. Because Ben ran. Yet, despite their fear and sadness, his family remains hopeful that maybe, just maybe, he made it North. That he is free. An ode to hope and a powerful tribute to the courage of those who ran for freedom, The Bell Rang is a stunning reminder that our past can never be forgotten.

Toes in My Nose And Other Poems book
Toes in My Nose And Other Poems
Written by Sheree Fitch and illustrated by Sydney Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Silly, funny and outrageous, Toes in My Nose is the book that launched Sheree Fitch’s career as Canada’s premier nonsense poet. The twenty-fifth-anniversary edition is now available in paperback, with Governor General’s Award–winning illustrator Sydney Smith hilariously portraying a neighborhood of kids flying to the moon, playing banjo with orangutans and bathing with submarines.

Go To Sheep book
Go To Sheep
Written by Jennifer Sattler and illustrated by Benson Shum
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

There are many ways to go to “sheep” with this delightful bedtime board book that’s perfect for reading aloud! You can sheep in your pj’s or just underpants. You can sheep all alone but sometimes you can’t. There are lots of ways to go to “sheep,” and here to show you all of the ways is an adorable…sheep! This bedtime book is perfect for a giggle before little ones drift off to sleep, just as the sheep does in this charming board book.

Fenway and Hattie Up to New Tricks book
Fenway and Hattie Up to New Tricks
Written by Victoria J. Coe
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Fenway's dog's-eye-view of the world is as enthusiastic as ever, but his favorite short human is not acting the way he expects--and he doesn't like it one bit! Fenway's life is pretty great, except for the strange stripey chipmunks that have suddenly appeared in the Dog Park behind his house. He's determined to catch them, but one of their hiding places contains some stinging insects. Ouch! Fenway thinks he can take care of this injury himself, but his humans don't let him. They take him to the Place of Fear and then Hattie doesn't even help him take off the Cone of Doom! Fenway never would have expected Hattie to do these things to him. Doesn't she love him anymore? But even though his family is acting weird, Fenway is determined do whatever it takes to make them all happy again.

Bicycle To Treachery book
Bicycle To Treachery
Written and illustrated by Robert Quackenbush
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

World-famous duck-tective Miss Mallard unravels a dangerous smuggling operation in this engaging Aladdin QUIX mystery. Miss Mallard runs into danger when she unwittingly uncovers a smuggling operation while on a bicycle trip across Holland.

Meena Meets Her Match book
Meena Meets Her Match
Written by Karla Manternach and illustrated by Rayner Alencar
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Graduates of the Ramona Quimby series will adore Meena Zee as she navigates the triumphs and challenges of family, friendship, and personal secrets in this charming middle grade debut. Meena’s life is full of color. She wears vibrant clothes, eats every shade of the rainbow, and plucks eye-catching trash from the neighborhood recycling bins. But when Meena’s best friend, Sofía, stops playing with her at recess and she experiences an unexpected and scary incident at breakfast, nothing can fight off the gray. That’s when Meena comes up with a plan to create the BEST and most COLORFUL Valentine’s Day Box in the class. With the help of her cousin, Eli, and her stuffed zebra, Raymond, Meena discovers that the best way to break through the blah is to let her true colors shine.

A Little Book about ABCs book
A Little Book about ABCs
Written by and illustrated by Julie Hamilton, Leo Lionni
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Inspired by the works of legendary children's book author-illustrator Lionni, these delightful board books with sturdy pages and collage-style artwork are ideal for teaching babies and toddlers the ABCs and about the wonders of spring. Full color.

My Papi Has a Motorcycle book
My Papi Has a Motorcycle
Written by Isabel Quintero and illustrated by Zeke Pena
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A celebration of the love between a father and daughter, and of a vibrant immigrant neighborhood, by an award-winning author and illustrator duo.

You're My Little Honey Bunny book
You're My Little Honey Bunny
Written and illustrated by Natalie Marshall
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

The perfect story to share with your own honey bunny! Celebrate your little honey bunny with this sweet and colorful rhyming board book! With chunky pages for little hands and die-cut shapes to add depth and interest, children will love the interactive features alongside the story of love between a parent and child.

Babysitting Nightmares: The Phantom Hour book
Babysitting Nightmares: The Phantom Hour
Written by Kat Shepherd
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The supernatural never sleeps in the second book of this spooky middle grade series! Clio has already had one brush with the paranormal, and she’s dead set on making it her last. But her new babysitting job is in a haunted house! At first, Clio’s excited to work at the historical Victorian mansion in town—until doors start closing behind her, objects move on their own, and messages appear from beyond the grave. Clio enlists the help of her three best friends, Tanya, Maggie, and Rebecca, to uncover long-buried secrets from the past. Can Clio face her fear and solve the mystery of the haunted mansion?

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