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january 2019 Best Children's Books

Updated Jul. 19, 2019
Stonewall book
#37
Stonewall
Written by Rob Sanders and illustrated by Jamey Christoph
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising with the very first picture book to tell of its historic and inspiring role in the gay civil rights movement. From Rob Sanders, author of the acclaimed Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag, comes this powerful and timeless true story that will allow young readers to discover the rich and dynamic history of the Stonewall Inn and its role in the gay civil rights movement--a movement that continues to this very day. In the early-morning hours of June 28, 1969, the Stonewall Inn was raided by police in New York City. Though the inn had been raided before, that night would be different. It would be the night when empowered members of the LGBTQ+ community--in and around the Stonewall Inn--began to protest and demand their equal rights as citizens of the United States. Movingly narrated by the Stonewall Inn itself, and featuring stirring and dynamic illustrations, Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution is an essential and empowering civil rights story that every child deserves to hear.

Yasmin the Superhero book
#38
Yasmin the Superhero
Written by Saadia Faruqi and illustrated by Hatem Aly
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Yasmin gathers a cape and mask and sets out to find a villain to defeat with her "super powers"--however there are no villains hiding on her block, just neighbors who need a little help.

The Unteachables book
#39
The Unteachables
Written and illustrated by Gordon Korman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A hilarious new middle grade novel from beloved and bestselling author Gordan Korman about what happens when the worst class of kids in school is paired with the worst teacher—perfect for fans of Ms. Bixby’s Last Day. The Unteachables are a notorious class of misfits, delinquents, and academic train wrecks. Like Aldo, with anger management issues; Parker, who can’t read; Kiana, who doesn’t even belong in the class—or any class; and Elaine (rhymes with pain). The Unteachables have been removed from the student body and isolated in room 117. Their teacher is Mr. Zachary Kermit, the most burned-out teacher in all of Greenwich. He was once a rising star, but his career was shattered by a cheating scandal that still haunts him. After years of phoning it in, he is finally one year away from early retirement. But the superintendent has his own plans to torpedo that idea—and it involves assigning Mr. Kermit to the Unteachables. The Unteachables never thought they’d find a teacher who had a worse attitude than they did. And Mr. Kermit never thought he would actually care about teaching again. Over the course of a school year, though, room 117 will experience mayhem, destruction—and maybe even a shot at redemption.

Gittel's Journey book
#40
Gittel's Journey
Written by Leslea Newman and illustrated by Amy June Bates
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Gittel and her mother were supposed to immigrate to America together, but when her mother is stopped by the health inspector, Gittel must make the journey alone. Her mother writes her cousin’s address in New York on a piece of paper. However, when Gittel arrives at Ellis Island, she discovers the ink has run and the address is illegible! How will she find her family? Both a heart-wrenching and heartwarming story, Gittel’s Journey offers a fresh perspective on the immigration journey to Ellis Island. The book includes an author’s note explaining how Gittel’s story is based on the journey to America taken by Lesléa Newman’s grandmother and family friend.

Pet Peekaboo Who? book
#41
Pet Peekaboo Who?
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Discover a host of exciting pets in this peekaboo book, which contains flaps on every spread

The Storm Keeper’s Island book
#42
The Storm Keeper’s Island
Written by Catherine Doyle
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Fionn Boyle comes from a long line of brave seafarers, people with the ocean behind their eyes. But he can't help but fear the open sea. For years, Fionn's mother has told him stories of Arranmore Island, a strange place that seems to haunt her. Fionn has always wondered about this mysterious island, and from the day he arrives he starts noticing things that can't be explained. He can sense the island all around him, and it feels like the island is watching him, too. Once in a generation, Arranmore Island chooses a new Storm Keeper to wield its power and keep its magic safe from enemies. The time has come for his grandfather, a secretive and eccentric old man, to step down. But as Fionn and the other descendants of Arranmore's most powerful families fight to become the island's next champion, a more sinister magic is waking up, intent on rekindling a long-ago war and changing Fionn's life and the island's future forever.

All You Need Is Love book
#43
All You Need Is Love
Written by and illustrated by Marc Rosenthal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Celebrate the love that surrounds us every day with this lyrical picture book that beautifully illustrates John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s world-renowned classic song “All You Need Is Love.” All you need is love, all you need is love All you need is love, love, love is all you need In this gorgeously illustrated picture book, the universally loved song “All You Need Is Love” comes vividly to life, showing that if we follow the music we will see there is indeed love all around us.

When Sadness Is at Your Door book
#44
When Sadness Is at Your Door
Written and illustrated by Eva Eland
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

In the style of Harold and the Purple Crayon comes a picture-book primer in emotional literacy and mindfulness that suggests we approach the feeling of sadness as if it is our guest. Sadness can be scary and confusing at any age! When we feel sad, especially for long periods of time, it can seem as if the sadness is a part of who we are--an overwhelming, invisible, and scary sensation. In When Sadness Is at Your Door, Eva Eland brilliantly approaches this feeling as if it is a visitor. She gives it a shape and a face, and encourages the reader to give it a name, all of which helps to demystify it and distinguish it from ourselves. She suggests activities to do with it, like sitting quietly, drawing, and going outside for a walk. The beauty of this approach is in the respect the book has for the feeling, and the absence of a narrative that encourages the reader to "get over" it or indicates that it's "bad," both of which are anxiety-producing notions. Simple illustrations that recall the classic style of Crockett Johnson (Harold and the Purple Crayon) invite readers to add their own impressions. Eva Eland's debut picture book is a great primer in mindfulness and emotional literacy, perfect for kids navigating these new feelings--and for adult readers tackling the feelings themselves!

ABCs of Engineering book
#45
ABCs of Engineering
Written and illustrated by Chris Ferrie
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A new book in the bestselling series with simple explanations of complex ideas for your future genius! It only takes a small spark to ignite a child's mind! The ABCs of Engineering introduces babies (and grown-ups!) to a new engineering concept for every letter of the alphabet - including entries for various aspects of engineering like mechanical, architectural, and beyond. With a tongue-in-cheek approach that adults will love, this installment of the Baby University board book series is the perfect way to introduce basic concepts to even the youngest mathematicians.

Seashells book
#46
Seashells
Written by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Sarah S Brannen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Prolific, award-winning nonfiction author Melissa Stewart reveals the surprising ways seashells provide more than shelter to the mollusks that inhabit them. Young naturalists discover thirteen seashells in this elegant introduction to the remarkable versatility of shells. A dual-layered narrative highlights how shells provide more than a protective home. The informative sidebars underscore characteristics specific to each shell. Elegant watercolor illustrations create a scrapbook feel, depicting children from around the world observing and sketching seashells across shores.

The Neighbors book
#47
The Neighbors
Written by Einat Tsarfati and illustrated by Annette Appel
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

As a young girl climbs the seven stories to her own (very boring!) apartment, she imagines what’s behind each of the doors she passes. Does the door with all the locks belong to a family of thieves? Might the doorway with muddy footprints conceal a pet tiger? Each spread reveals—in lush detail—the wilds of the girl’s imagination, from a high-flying circus to an underwater world and everything in between. When the girl finally reaches her own apartment, she is greeted by her parents, who might have a secret even wilder than anything she could have imagined!

Snowman - Cold = Puddle book
#48
Snowman - Cold = Puddle
Written by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Micha Archer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Math is all around us, and in this clever and enlightening picture book, readers see how math, nature, and poetry intermingle and collaborate . . . well, naturally. Each clever equation is a tiny, perfect poem that prompts readers to look at the ordinary and see the miraculous. Can you look at an egg in a nest and see a jewelry box? How are sunlight and heat like an alarm clock? Engaging sidebars reveal the science behind the signs of spring.

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