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january 2019 Best Children's Books

When Sadness Is at Your Door book
#49
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
#50
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.

The Neighbors book
#51
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!

Seashells book
#52
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.

Crunch! Munch! Bunny book
#53
Crunch! Munch! Bunny
Written and illustrated by Dorling Kindersley Publishing
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Watch as Baby Bunny meets cute baby animals in this early learning lift the flap sound book. An interactive board book that contains five large and sturdy flaps, with a surprise character and sound hiding underneath each. Read the rhymes aloud before lifting the flaps to find out who is hiding! With adorable photographic toys of favorite baby animals and beautifully illustrated scenes, there is lots for little ones to look at--perfect for reading together.

Snowman - Cold = Puddle book
#54
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.

Yasmin the Chef book
#55
Yasmin the Chef
Written by Saadia Faruqi and illustrated by Hatem Aly
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Yasmin's family is hosting a big party, but Yasmin is worried that the traditional food her family is cooking is too spicy--so her family challenges Yasmin to come up with a dish of her own.

Ultraball #1: Lunar Blitz book
#56
Ultraball #1: Lunar Blitz
Written by Jeff Chen
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Enter the exhilarating game of Ultraball—fly over pass rushers and explode into slingshot zones—through Jeff Chen’s dazzling future world on the moon. Here Ultraball is life, and survival is all that matters. Perfect for sci-fi and sports fans alike. Strike Sazaki loves defying gravity on the moon in his Ultrabot suit. He’s the best quarterback in the league, but while Strike’s led the Taiko Miners to the Ultrabowl three years in a row, each one has ended in defeat. This year, Strike thinks he’s finally found the missing piece to his championship quest: a mysterious girl who could be his new star rocketback. But Boom comes from the Dark Siders, a mass of people who left the United Moon Colonies to live in exile. And not all his teammates are happy sharing a field with her. When rumors surface of a traitor on the Miners, Strike isn’t sure who he can trust. If Strike can’t get his teammates to cooperate and play together, they’ll lose more than just the Ultrabowl. The stake of the colony’s future is on his shoulders.

Daring Dozen book
#57
Daring Dozen
Written by Suzanne Slade and illustrated by Alan Marks
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Fifty years ago, on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the Moon. That was the Apollo 11 mission. Since that moment, six more Apollo missions were launched, five successfully reached the moon, and eleven more men walked on its surface. In simple, poetic verse, Suzanne Slade takes readers on a trip to the Moon aboard all the Apollo missions from 1969 through 1972. Suzanne was able to work closely with astronaut Alan Bean, the lunar module pilot of the Apollo 12 landing. Backmatter includes a note from Alan Bean, information about the rockets and vehicles used, highlights from the missions, and more.

Dingo book
#58
Dingo
Written by Claire Saxby and illustrated by Tannya Harricks
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Poetic language and glorious illustrations follow a dingo from the comfort of her pack into the darkening landscape in search of food for her family. Can you see her? There -- deep in the stretching shadows -- a dingo. Her pointed ears twitch. Her tawny eyes flash in the low-slung sun. Dingo leaves her sleeping pups with her mate and lifts her head to smell the air. Dusk is a busy time -- the time for hunting. Softly and fleetly she runs through the forest, past a possum, a wombat, and kangaroos in the gully below. Now she climbs to the highest point and sniffs again, locating the scent of rabbits in the wind. Interspersed with text offering facts for curious readers, Dingo is a lyrical foray into the life of these fascinating wild dogs.

Lola Dutch When I Grow Up book
#59
Lola Dutch When I Grow Up
Written and illustrated by Kenneth Wright, Sarah Jane Wright
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Lola Dutch is always bursting with grand ideas--so of course she has many ideas for what she wants to be when she grows up! She could be a magnificent performer . . . or a daring inventor . . . or a brilliant botanist . . . there are exciting ideas all around! But Lola is too excited--she wants to try EVERYTHING. How will she ever decide what she is destined to become? The curious and creative Lola Dutch is inspired to imagine every way to explore the wonder of her world. And she doesn't have to wait until she grows up! Inspired by their own four gorgeously creative children, Sarah Jane and Kenneth Wright are thrilled to continue this fun series about the unstoppable Lola Dutch, a larger-than-life character perfect for fans of Olivia and Fancy Nancy.

Lift Every Voice and Sing book
#60
Lift Every Voice and Sing
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

First written by a schoolteacher and activist in 1900 and then declared the official African American National Anthem by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1919, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” has been a cornerstone hymn chronicling the black experience for more than one hundred years. Lyrics to this moving history are paired with the linocuts of Elizabeth Catlett, a Harlem Renaissance artist best known for her unique representations of the struggles and triumphs of black men, women, and children. Newly back in print and updated with a fresh design as well as an introduction from beloved author and illustrator Ashley Bryan, Lift Every Voice and Sing is a more relevant than ever celebration of black lives.

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