Cells book
#1
Cells
Written and illustrated by Carolyn Fisher
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

Did you know that every human is the proud owner of 37 trillion cells? (Give or take a few trillion.) They’re the itty-bitty building blocks that stack together to make you, you! Join a smart and silly skin cell named Ellie as she explains what a cell looks like, what a cell does, how cells divide and multiply, and much, much more in this fascinating and funny nonfiction picture book.

Max & Ruby and Twin Trouble book
#2
Max & Ruby and Twin Trouble
Written and illustrated by Rosemary Wells
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Max and Ruby are in for a big surprise. Mama has a baby in her tummy and soon the family will be bigger and better. Luckily Ruby knows all about babies: what they eat, how to bathe them, and where they come from. Ruby tells Max all about it. Soon no one will be getting any sleep, but Max has an idea on how to help! Max and Ruby have their own TV show on Nick Jr.!

Infinite Hope book
#3
Infinite Hope
Written and illustrated by Ashley Bryan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 10-13

In May of 1942, at the age of eighteen, Ashley Bryan was drafted to fight in World War II. For the next three years, he would face the horrors of war as a black soldier in a segregated army. He endured the terrible lies white officers told about the black soldiers to isolate them from anyone who showed kindness—including each other. He received worse treatment than even Nazi POWs. He was assigned the grimmest, most horrific tasks, like burying fallen soldiers…but was told to remove the black soldiers first because the media didn’t want them in their newsreels. And he waited and wanted so desperately to go home, watching every white soldier get safe passage back to the United States before black soldiers were even a thought. For the next forty years, Ashley would keep his time in the war a secret. But now, he tells his story. The story of the kind people who supported him. The story of the bright moments that guided him through the dark. And the story of his passion for art that would save him time and time again. Filled with never-before-seen artwork and handwritten letters and diary entries, this illuminating and moving memoir by Newbery Honor–winning illustrator Ashley Bryan is both a lesson in history and a testament to hope.

Everybody Needs a Buddy book
#4
Everybody Needs a Buddy
Written by Ellen Jackson and illustrated by Maddie Frost
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Everybody needs a buddy, whether clean or green or muddy! Everybody needs a friend, true and blue who’s not pretend. If a baby’s on the ground, elephants will gather round. Trying hard to help him stand, friendly trunks can lend a hand. This charming board book about friendship highlights the ways animals care for each other! Sweet, silly, and all true, these friendships are described in ways that children will understand. With perfect rhyming text from Ellen Jackson and bright illustrations from Maddie Frost, it’s very clear: everybody needs a buddy!

Something Rotten: A Fresh Look at Roadkill book
#5
Something Rotten: A Fresh Look at Roadkill
Written by Heather L. Montgomery and illustrated by Kevin O'Malley
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-11

When Heather L. Montgomery sees a rattlesnake flattened on the side of the road, her first instinct is to pick it up and dissect it—she’s always wanted to see how a snake’s fangs retract when they close their mouths, and it’s not exactly safe to poke around in a live reptile’s mouth. A wildlife researcher with a special penchant for the animals that litter the roadways, Heather isn’t satisfied with dissecting just one snake. Her fascination with roadkill sets her off on a journey from her own backyard and the roadways of the American South to scientists and kids in labs and homes across the globe. From biologists who use the corpses of Tasmanian devils to investigate cures for a contagious cancer, to a scientist who discovered a whole new species of bird from a single wing left behind, to a boy rebuilding animal bodies from the bones up, to a restaurant that serves up animal remnants, Heather discovers that death is just the beginning for these creatures.

This engaging narrative nonfiction is an eye-opening and irreverent look at the dead and dying animals that we pass by without a second thought—as well as a fascinating insight to the scientific research process.

  1. The Twelve Days of Winter - A counting book that highlights the wonders of winter It’s wintertime! The time for snow, mittens, and 12 days of surprises. In this high-energy, curious classroom, the teacher introduces her students to a new winter activity every day—from making paper snowflakes, to building sugar cube igloos, to playing with jingling bells. As the days get colder and the gifts add up, the classroom is transformed into wintery chaos. Inspired by the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” this book uses accumulative verse as readers count to 12 along with the class and explore the funny, intricate illustrations. It includes a punch-out snowman paper doll that young readers can dress up and use to decorate their own winter wonderland!

  2. The Dragon Warrior - Inspired by Chinese mythology, this high-action middle-grade fantasy follows an outcast as she embarks on a quest to prove herself—perfect for fans of Aru Shah and the End of Time and The Serpent’s Secret. As a member of the Jade Society, twelve-year-old Faryn Liu dreams of honoring her family and the gods by becoming a warrior. But the Society has shunned Faryn and her brother Alex ever since their father disappeared years ago, forcing them to train in secret. Then, during an errand into San Francisco, Faryn stumbles into a battle with a demon—and helps defeat it. She just might be the fabled Heaven Breaker, a powerful warrior meant to work for the all-mighty deity, the Jade Emperor, by commanding an army of dragons to defeat the demons. That is, if she can prove her worth and find the island of the immortals before the Lunar New Year. With Alex and other unlikely allies at her side, Faryn sets off on a daring quest across Chinatowns. But becoming the Heaven Breaker will require more sacrifices than she first realized . . . What will Faryn be willing to give up to claim her destiny? This richly woven contemporary middle-grade fantasy, full of humor, magic, and heart, will appeal to readers who love Roshani Chokshi and Sayantani DasGupta.

  3. Caspian Finds a Friend - Caspian lives in a lighthouse surrounded by a cold gray-blue sea. Every day, he watches, wishing for a friend. But no one comes. So, Caspian decides that wishing is not enough. What follows is an imaginative journey that will inspire readers to reach out to others and remind us all that the power to change our world lies within ourselves.

  4. Christmas Is Coming! An Advent Book - Lift the flaps every day of December to discover a delightful new Christmas tradition with this unique advent book! Each flap on the cover of the book reveals a clue to a festive activity that can be found inside the pages. It might be a recipe for a delicious homemade treat, instructions for a cozy craft, a game to play, a carol to sing, or a beautifully illustrated story to read with the whole family. This inviting twist on the traditional advent calendar is perfect for families who love to put their own spin on celebrating the holidays, offering fun-filled activities that can be fondly shared together year after year.

Parker Looks Up book
#10
Parker Looks Up
Written by Parker Curry and illustrated by Brittany Jackson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When Parker Curry came face-to-face with Amy Sherald’s transcendent portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama at the National Portrait Gallery, she didn’t just see the First Lady of the United States. She saw a queen—one with dynamic self-assurance, regality, beauty, and truth who captured this young girl’s imagination. When a nearby museum-goer snapped a photo of a mesmerized Parker, it became an internet sensation. Inspired by this visit, Parker, and her mother, Jessica Curry, tell the story of a young girl and her family, whose trip to a museum becomes an extraordinary moment, in a moving picture book. Parker Looks Up follows Parker, along with her baby sister and her mother, and her best friend Gia and Gia’s mother, as they walk the halls of a museum, seeing paintings of everyone and everything from George Washington Carver to Frida Kahlo, exotic flowers to graceful ballerinas. Then, Parker walks by Sherald’s portrait of Michelle Obama…and almost passes it. But she stops…and looks up! Parker saw the possibility and promise, the hopes and dreams of herself in this powerful painting of Michelle Obama. An everyday moment became an extraordinary one…that continues to resonate its power, inspiration, and indelible impact. Because, as Jessica Curry said, “anything is possible regardless of race, class, or gender.” FOREWORD BY ARTIST AMY SHERALD

Under the Mambo Moon book
#11
Under the Mambo Moon
Written by Julia Durango and illustrated by Fabricio VandenBroeck
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

On summer nights Marisol helps out in Papi’s music store. As customers come and go, they share memories of the Latin music and dance of their various homelands, expressed in a dazzling array of poetry. The diversity of Latin American music is brought to life in poems that swivel, sway, and sizzle with the rhythms of merengue, vallenatos, salsa, and samba. Back matter includes a map, author’s note, and further information about the musical heritage of Latin America.

Christmas Is Awesome! (a Hello!lucky Book) book
#12
Christmas Is Awesome! (a Hello!lucky Book)
Written and illustrated by Hello!Lucky
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Christmas is for everyone—even grumpy Lump of Coal—in this whimsical story from Hello!Lucky In this whimsical holiday romp, everyone’s getting in on the festive fun, including a grumpy but adorable lump of coal. Celebrate all of the things that make Christmas special as the trees are trimmed, the stockings are hung, and the ugly sweater contest gives out the grand prize. Hello!Lucky lends their winning illustrations and pun-derful voice to this charming holiday read.

Indestructibles: Hanukkah Baby book
#13
Indestructibles: Hanukkah Baby
Written by Ekaterina Trukhan and illustrated by Amy Pixton and Ekaterina Trukhan
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

It’s the little series that goes—and goes and goes and goes, now selling over 900,000 copies a year. Built for the way babies read, Indestructibles engage all their senses during storytime—even their desire to munch! Now from Ekaterina Trukhan, a Russian artist who is new to the series and brings the gift of instantly appealing color and brightness, comes a special title just for Hanukkah. Hanukkah Baby introduces cherished traditions—like spinning the dreidel and eating latkes—to the youngest readers, and reinforces the pleasure of celebrating with family. Printed on lightweight, non-toxic paperlike material, Indestructibles are rip-proof, chew-proof, gum-proof, and drool-proof, 100% nontoxic and easy to clean—or throw in the dishwasher.

Matchy Matchy book
#14
Matchy Matchy
Written and illustrated by Erin McGill
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Maria always matches, but Maria doesn’t want to be so matchy matchy. One day she mixes it up in this colorful and quirky picture book Thanks to Mom, everything about Maria matches—her clothes, her socks, her underwear, her backpack, and her lunchbox. Maria even matches the dog, the duvet, and the doilies. But Maria doesn’t want to be so matchy matchy. She wants to mix it up! Feathers and fringe! Pom-poms and plaid! Spikes and spots! Leopard and lace! Tie-dye and tutus! One day she does just that and asserts her very own unique style

  1. Sulwe - From Academy Award–winning actress Lupita Nyong’o comes a powerful, moving picture book about colorism, self-esteem, and learning that true beauty comes from within. Sulwe has skin the color of midnight. She is darker than everyone in her family. She is darker than anyone in her school. Sulwe just wants to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. Then a magical journey in the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything. In this stunning debut picture book, actress Lupita Nyong’o creates a whimsical and heartwarming story to inspire children to see their own unique beauty.

  2. Salsa Lullaby - How to get baby to sleep? Mami and Papi will try anything in this bouncy, loving, bilingual lullaby that gently says good night in both Spanish and English. Mami starts a salsa song. Papi keeps the beat. Baby loves this lullaby, moves those dancing feet. Baila, baby, baila! Dance, dance, dance. When nighttime falls, it’s time for baby to go to sleep. In this household, that means it’s also time for mama, papa, and baby to baila/dance, canta/sing, salta/jump, and more all the way to bedtime! This bouncy bilingual text and gorgeous, inviting illustrations gently wind down to make this a bedtime favorite no matter what language families say “good night” in!

  3. Baby Loves the Five Senses: Sight! - Big, brainy science for the littlest listeners. Baby loves the five senses! Accurate enough for experts, yet simple enough for baby, this clever board book explores the science of vision, light, and color. Beautiful, visually stimulating illustrations complement age-appropriate language to encourage baby’s sense of wonder. Parents and caregivers may learn a thing or two as well.

  4. Santa's Prayer - Celebrate the real reason for the season with Santa as he takes time from a busy Christmas Eve to pause and offer a prayer to the Lord. On Christmas Eve, a brother and sister stroll through their town, excitedly discussing the gifts they hope to find under the tree. Then they suddenly spy Santa quietly slipping into the church. They follow him inside, where they witness his humble prayer at the altar crèche and hear his greatest holiday wish: that children understand that Jesus is the focus at Christmas . . . and always.

Kitten Lady's Big Book of Little Kittens book
#19
Kitten Lady's Big Book of Little Kittens
Written by Hannah Shaw
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Did you know that kittens are born with their eyes closed, and they are so small that they can fit in the palm of your hand? Or that being groomed with a toothbrush reminds orphan kittens of their mothers’ tongues, and helps them feel comfy and safe? Learn these facts and more in Kitten Lady’s first picture book! Hannah uses her engaging, fun voice to show how she helps orphan kittens grow up, get adopted, and become healthy, happy cats. Featuring irresistible photographs and playful doodles, Kitten Lady’s Big Book of Little Kittens shows what you can do to help the tiniest felines in our big, big world.

Counting the Stars book
#20
Counting the Stars
Written by Lesa Cline-Ransome and illustrated by Raul Colon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Before John Glenn orbited the Earth or astronauts walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used their knowledge, pencils, adding machines, and writing paper to calculate the orbital mechanics needed to launch spacecraft. Katherine Johnson was one of these mathematicians who used trajectories and complex equations to chart the space program. Even as Virginia’s Jim Crow laws were in place in the early 1950s, Katherine worked analyzing data at the NACA (later NASA) Langley laboratory. In 1962, as NASA prepared for the orbital mission of John Glenn, Katherine Johnson was called upon and John Glenn said “get the girl” (Katherine Johnson) to run the numbers by hand to chart the complexity of the orbital flight. He knew that his flight couldn’t work without her unique skills. President Barack Obama awarded Katherine Johnson the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015 and her incredible life inspired the Oscar-nominated film Hidden Figures. Get to know this incredible and inspirational woman with this beautifully illustrated picture book from an award-winning duo.

Heavy Haulers book
#21
Heavy Haulers
Written by Finn Coyle and illustrated by Srimalie Bassani
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A diverse range of truck driver characters introduce each of their machines in turn and ask the reader “do you know what this truck carries?” The question is answered under the sturdy full-page flap. Vehicles covered include: a tanker truck, refrigerator truck, auto hauler, and bull hauler.

About the Finn’s Fun Trucks series: Written by 11-year-old truck enthusiast Finn Coyle, the Finn’s Fun Trucks series provides a vocabulary-rich introduction to transportation for truck-loving children with the help of a diverse range of vehicle operators and community helpers. Each spread has a full page lift-the-flap feature providing a wealth of learning and discovery in each book.

Heavy Haulers book
#22
Heavy Haulers
Written by Finn Coyle and illustrated by Srimalie Bassani
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A diverse range of truck driver characters introduce each of their machines in turn and ask the reader “do you know what this truck carries?” The question is answered on the next page. Vehicles covered include: a tanker truck, refrigerator truck, auto hauler, and bull hauler.

About the Finn’s Fun Trucks series: Written by 11-year-old truck enthusiast Finn Coyle, the Finn’s Fun Trucks series provides a vocabulary-rich introduction to transportation for truck-loving children with the help of a diverse range of vehicle operators and community helpers.

Mary Had a Little Lamb book
#23
Mary Had a Little Lamb
Written and illustrated by Hazel Quintanilla
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-4

Sing along to the time-honored nursery rhyme, Mary Had a Little Lamb, illustrated for very young children by Hazel Q.

About the Hazel Q. Nursery Rhymes series: Nursery rhymes are the classic introduction for babies and young children to the idea of storytelling. While delighting in the rhyming words and appealing illustrations featuring animal characters, children are boosting their language development and learning social skills. With spot UV enhancements throughout the book for little fingers, these sturdy board books are designed to withstand much love and learning making them wonderful additions to baby’s first library.

  1. I Love You, World - Spread the love with this adorable book that teaches little readers how to say “I love you” in thirteen different languages including French, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Setswana, Chinese, Swahili, and more! About the Global Greetings series: These beautifully illustrated, sturdy board books teach young readers to greet the world in languages from around the globe. Featuring simple pronunciation guides, these books are designed to help little ones master each word and encourage them to broaden their language skills, all while the adorable animal illustrations keep them entertained read after read.

  2. Pat-A-Cake - Sing along to the time-honored nursery rhyme, Pat-a-Cake, illustrated for very young children by Hazel Q. About the Hazel Q. Nursery Rhymes series: Nursery rhymes are the classic introduction for babies and young children to the idea of storytelling. While delighting in the rhyming words and appealing illustrations featuring animal characters, children are boosting their language development and learning social skills. With spot UV enhancements throughout the book for little fingers, these sturdy board books are designed to withstand much love and learning making them wonderful additions to baby’s first library.

  3. Sounds - Touch, listen, and learn. The latest addition to the Montessori –inspired Discovery Concepts series, joins the band to learn the sounds a variety of instruments make. From the “OOMPAH” of a tuba to the “CLANG! CLANG! CLANG!” of cymbals, little ones will love reciting each sound. Tactile sandpaper musical notes illustrate each instrument’s output while creative words encourage kids to make the sounds for themselves. Innovative back matter includes a QR code on the final spread of the book, which when scanned on a smartphone, features a marching band playing all of the instruments featured in the book. About the Discovery Concepts series: Discovery Concepts books celebrate Montessori’s curious discovery approach to learning. Maria Montessori believed “the hand is the chief teacher of the brain,” encouraging students to learn by touch and created specially designed materials such as sandpaper letters to support this method. Inspired by her teachings, each book in the Discovery Concepts board book collection uses tactile enhancements to engage young children in discovering the topic at hand. Beyond the tactile elements each title is designed to capture a child’s imagination and curiosity as they learn.

  4. Car Goes Far - Bright bold artwork and lots of gorgeous cars—and one tractor!—star in this playful board book about a car wash for babies and toddlers. Splash! Splash! Car gets wet and soapy as he goes through the car wash. He’s had a big adventure today. His shiny paint got dirtier and dirtier as he drove all over town—first with mud from a construction site, then from exhaust, and finally from a flock of birds. At the end of his big day, a bath is just what this little car needs. Michael Garland’s bright and bold art features lots of different vehicles, from diggers to big trucks, making this book just right for young car enthusiasts.

The Space We're in book
#28
The Space We're in
Written by Katya Balen
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Ten-year-old Frank has trouble navigating his relationship with his younger brother Max who is autistic.

Frank loves soccer, codes, riding his bike, and playing with his friends. His brother Max is five. Max only eats foods that are beige or white, hates baths, and if he has to wear a t-shirt that isn’t gray with yellow stripes he melts down down down.

Frank longs for the brother he was promised by his parents before Max was born—someone who was supposed to be his biggest fan, so he could be the best brother in the world. Instead, Frank has trouble navigating Max’s behavior and their relationship. But when tragedy strikes, Frank finds a way to try and repair their fractured family and in doing so learns to love Max for who he is.

In her debut novel, Katya Balen uses her knowledge of autism and experience working with autistic people to create an intriguing and intense yet always respectful family story.

For readers of Counting by 7s and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.

Surprise Lily book
#29
Surprise Lily
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Ten-year-old Rose’s perfect life is upended when her long-absent disaster of a mother turns up. Can she hold her family together as everything unravels?

Growing up on the farm it was always just Rose and grandma, working the land that had been in the Lovell family for generations. She doesn’t miss her mother, Iris, a bit.

In fact, when Iris shows up, Rose is furious. But when an ugly argument between her mother and grandmother reveals painful truths about their family history, Rose runs away. . . . And inadvertently discovers her secret little sister, Lily.

Generations of whispered secrets and family dysfunction surface as Rose struggles to reconcile the home and life she loves with the history she never knew— and to protect Lily at all costs. Even if it means letting Iris into her life.

In alternating chapters, previous generations of Lovell women narrate their experiences on the farm, adding depth and context to this powerful story of complex families and unconditional love. Moranville’s captivating prose will keep readers turning the pages as Rose grapples with her changing life and learns the truth about her family— mothers, daughters, and women who weren’t ready to be either.

Squares, Rectangles, and other Quadrilaterals book
#30
Squares, Rectangles, and other Quadrilaterals
Written by David A. Adler and illustrated by Edward Miller
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Demystify geometry with this primer on shapes that will have young builders everywhere on to their next towering project.

Comical cats and dogs guide kids through the essential characteristics of squares, rectangles, parallelograms, rhomboids, and other quadrilaterals. Angles and degrees are explained in accessible terms and useful visuals. Kids will get a handle on geometric vocabulary and can try out plenty of hands-on activities that will help reinforce the concepts.

David A. Adler and Edward Miller are a trusted team when it comes to math books for young people, having penned over 15 math-related books together. A glossary is included.

A to Z Menagerie book
#31
A to Z Menagerie
Written and illustrated by Suzy Ultman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Step right up to Suzy Ultman’s alphabet menagerie! This unique multisensory reading experience features a die-cut letter to trace and a satisfying pull-tab reveal for each letter of the alphabet. In addition, Suzy Ultman fills each page with a diverse and colorful collection of illustrated first words to find and identify. An alphabet book unlike any other, this feast for the eyes and the imagination teaches young readers hand-eye coordination, prediction skills, and rich vocabulary. Learning from A to Z has never been this charming!

TouchWords: My Day book
#32
TouchWords: My Day
Written and illustrated by Rilla Alexander
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

The Touchwords board book series brings essential concepts to life for babies and toddlers

Sturdy and interactive, these board books combine touch, sight, and sound to help children experience and learn about the world. By allowing the child to trace the raised letters of a simple word and then trace its corresponding object, these books foster critical early reading and language skills, all while delighting readers with bright and eye-catching illustrations.

With Touchwords: My Day, build vocabulary and explore the exciting possibilities of a day – from washing to playing to sleeping and everything in between.

Perfect for gifting at baby showers: This exquisitely designed board book is a beautiful addition to any baby’s shelf and provides an educational element as well.

If you and your child are fans of Baby Touch and Feel, Goodnight Moon, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, or Press Here, you’ll love the Touchwords series.

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