Making Their Voices Heard: The Inspiring Friendship of Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe book
#1
Making Their Voices Heard: The Inspiring Friendship of Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe
Written by Vivian Kirkfield and illustrated by Alleanna Harris
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe. On the outside, you couldn’t find two girls who looked more different. But on the inside, they were alike—full of hopes and dreams and plans of what might be.

Ella Fitzgerald’s velvety tones and shube-doobie-doos captivated audiences. Jazz greats like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington couldn’t wait to share the stage with her, but still, Ella could not book a performance at one of the biggest clubs in town—one she knew would give her career its biggest break yet.

Marilyn Monroe dazzled on the silver screen with her baby blue eyes and breathy boo-boo-be-doos. But when she asked for better scripts, a choice in who she worked with, and a higher salary, studio bosses refused.

Two women whose voices weren’t being heard. Two women chasing after their dreams and each helping the other to achieve them. This is the inspiring, true story of two incredibly talented women who came together to help each other shine like the stars that they are.

Brown Baby Lullaby book
#2
Brown Baby Lullaby
Written by Tameka Fryer Brown and illustrated by A.G. Ford
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

From sunset to bedtime, two brown-skinned parents lovingly care for their beautiful brown baby: first, they play outside, then it is time for dinner and a bath, and finally a warm snuggle before bed.

With Spanish words sprinkled throughout and featuring warm art by New York Times–bestselling and NAACP- Award–winning illustrator AG Ford, Brown Baby Lullaby is the perfect new baby or baby shower gift.

Machines in Motion: The Amazing History of Transportation book
#3
Machines in Motion: The Amazing History of Transportation
Written and illustrated by Tom Jackson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

A detailed history of how many of the world’s most recognizable modes of transportation came to be.

Every day, all over the world, people travel: short trips or great voyages, moving slowly and steadily or racing along at super-fast speeds. They make their trips in cars, trains, planes, ships and on bikes—and some people have even blasted off in rockets! But how did these vehicles become what we know now?

With intricately illustrated timelines, this book takes readers on a journey through the developmental history of various modes of transportation—from chariots to electric cars, dugout canoes to ocean liners, cable cars to bullet trains, and the many iterations in between. The fascinating stories behind each of these machines join together to reveal a comprehensive history of how new and inventive forms of transportation have built off one another to change our world.

Honey, the Dog Who Saved Abe Lincoln book
#4
Honey, the Dog Who Saved Abe Lincoln
Written by Shari Swanson and illustrated by Chuck Groenink
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Based on a little-known tale from Abraham Lincoln’s childhood, this charming picture book written by debut author Shari Swanson and illustrated by acclaimed artist Chuck Groenink tells a classic story of a boy, his dog, and a daring rescue.

Deeply researched and charmingly told, this is the true story of one extra-special childhood rescue—a dog named Honey.

Long before Abraham Lincoln led the nation or signed the Emancipation Proclamation, he was just a barefoot kid running around Knob Creek, Kentucky, setting animals free from traps and snatching frogs out of the jaws of snakes.

One day, young Abe found a stray dog with a broken leg and named him Honey. He had no idea that the scruffy pup would find his way into Abe’s heart, become his best friend, and—one fateful day—save his life.

The Secret Garden of George Washington Carver book
#5
The Secret Garden of George Washington Carver
Written by Gene Barretta and illustrated by Frank Morrison
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The inspirational story of George Washington Carver and his childhood secret garden is brought to life in this picture book biography by the author-illustrator team behind Muhammad Ali: A Champion Is Born.

When George Washington Carver was just a young child, he had a secret: a garden of his own.

Here, he rolled dirt between his fingers to check if plants needed more rain or sun. He protected roots through harsh winters, so plants could be reborn in the spring. He trimmed flowers, spread soil, studied life cycles. And it was in this very place that George’s love of nature sprouted into something so much more—his future.

Gene Barretta’s moving words and Frank Morrison’s beautiful paintings tell the inspiring life and history of George Washington Carver, from a baby born into slavery to celebrated botanist, scientist, and inventor. His passion and determination are the seeds to this lasting story about triumph over hardship—a tale that begins in a secret garden.

  1. Freedom Bird: A Tale of Hope and Courage - In this inspiring story in the tradition of American black folktales, an enslaved brother and sister are inspired by a majestic and mysterious bird to escape to freedom in this dramatic and unforgettable picture book. There was nothing civil about that war. They should have called it what it was: a big, bad war. Brother and sister Millicent and John are slaves on Simon Plenty’s plantation and have suffered one hurt and heartbreak after another. Their parents had told them old tales of how their ancestors had flown away to freedom just as free and easy as a bird. Millicent and John hold these stories in their hearts long after their parents are gone. “Maybe such a time will come for you,” their parents said. Then one day a mysterious bird appears in their lives. The bird transforms them and gives them the courage to set their plan into motion and escape to freedom.

  2. Just Like a Mama - Celebrate the heart connection between adopted children and the forever families who welcome them with kindness, care, and unconditional love in this powerful picture book from the author of Honey Baby Sugar Child. Carol Olivia Clementine lives with Mama Rose. Mama Rose is everything—tender and sweet. She is also as stern and demanding as any good parent should be. In the midst of their happy home, Carol misses her mother and father. She longs to be with them. But until that time comes around, she learns to surrender to the love that is present. Mama Rose becomes her “home.” And Carol Olivia Clementine concludes that she loves Miss Rose, “just like a mama.” This sweet read-aloud is, on the surface, all about the everyday home life a caregiver creates for a young child: she teachers Clementine how to ride a bike, clean her room, tell time. A deeper look reveals the patience, intention, and care little ones receives in the arms of a mother whose blood is not her blood, but whose bond is so deep—and so unconditional—that it creates the most perfect condition for a child to feel safe, successful, and deeply loved.

  3. The Girl and the Dinosaur - This evocative, beautifully illustrated picture book celebrates one girl’s limitless imagination, perfect for fans of the Fan Brothers. Anything is possible and nothing’s as it seems . . . In a town by the seaside, Marianne is often seen digging for buried treasure on the beach. One day, she finds the most wonderful treasure of all—a dinosaur skeleton! That night, Marianne makes a wish upon a star that her dinosaur will come to life. She wishes it with all her heart—and it comes true. Together, Marianne’s adventures with her new friend are limited only by their imagination. This enchanting picture book will take you on a magical journey far beyond the page.

  4. Big Papa and the Time Machine - Discover the true meaning of being brave in this tender and whimsical picture book from Daniel Bernstrom (One Day in the Eucalytus, Eucalyptus Tree) and Shane Evans (Chocolate Me!) that follows a grandfather and grandson who travel through time in a beloved 1952 Ford. A little boy who lives with his grandpa isn’t reprimanded for being afraid to go to school one day. Instead, Big Papa takes him away in his time machine—a 1952 Ford—back to all of the times when he, himself, was scared of something life was handing him. Full of heartfelt moments and thrilling magical realism, Big Papa and the Time Machine speaks to the African American experience in a touching dialogue between two family members from different generations, and emerges as a voice that shares history and asks questions about one family’s experience in 20th-century black America. *“Wasn’t you scared?” “Oh, I was scared,” Big Papa said. “Sometimes you gotta walk with giants if you ever gonna know what you made of. That’s called being brave.”*

Black Is a Rainbow Color book
#10
Black Is a Rainbow Color
Written by Angela Joy and illustrated by Ekua Holmes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A child reflects on the meaning of being Black in this moving and powerful anthem about a people, a culture, a history, and a legacy that lives on.

Red is a rainbow color. Green sits next to blue. Yellow, orange, violet, indigo, They are rainbow colors, too, but

My color is black . . . And there’s no BLACK in rainbows.

From the wheels of a bicycle to the robe on Thurgood Marshall’s back, Black surrounds our lives. It is a color to simply describe some of our favorite things, but it also evokes a deeper sentiment about the incredible people who helped change the world and a community that continues to grow and thrive.

Stunningly illustrated by Caldecott Honoree and Coretta Scott King Award winner Ekua Holmes, Black Is a Rainbow Color is a sweeping celebration told through debut author Angela Joy’s rhythmically captivating and unforgettable words.

Three Ways to Trap a Leprechaun book
#11
Three Ways to Trap a Leprechaun
Written by Tara Lazar and illustrated by Vivienne To
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Three Ways to Trap a Leprechaun, inspired by the leprechaun trap phenomenon made popular in elementary school classrooms, includes tips on how to trap your very own leprechaun—just be sure to let him go!

Maker-girl Claire is determined to catch a leprechaun to prove that these magical, mischievous, miniature marvels are real.

This picture book romp puts Claire head-to-head with her rival, Finn the Leprechaun, with hilarious results. Will this leprechaun be caught once for all, or will he give her the slip?

A Voice Named Aretha book
#12
A Voice Named Aretha
Written and illustrated by Katheryn Russell-Brown
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A beautiful picture book biography about the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, and how she fought for equal rights throughout her life.

Aretha Louise Franklin grew up in a house of music. The shy daughter of a famous Detroit preacher and civil rights activist, Aretha’s big voice surprised those around her, and everyone agreed: her powerful singing would someday make her a star.

After relocating to New York City and signing a record deal, Aretha relentlessly pursued her dream of stardom. But it took many years of tireless touring and recording until her hit record “Respect” finally brought her the acclaim she deserved. Along the way, Aretha used her talents to fight for respect and equal rights along the way by refusing to perform for “whites only” audiences. With six decades of hits, countless memorable performances, and millions of lives touched, Aretha’s legacy of resilience and respect will inspire for generations to come.

Ava's Poppy book
#13
Ava's Poppy
Written and illustrated by Marcus Pfister
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Ava is delighted when she discovers a brilliant red poppy in the middle of her yard.

She sits with the little flower in the sunny days of summer and shields it from the rain, until one day the petals start to drop and the tiny flower fades away. But when spring comes again . . . Ava is surprised anew.

This Marcus Pfister classic is now available in paperback!

Cowie book
#14
Cowie
Written and illustrated by Elizabeth Rose Stanton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Cowie is a donkey who feels like a cow on the inside. Will his friends help him make his dream come true? Find out in this sweetly told story about discovering your true self.

Cowie was born a donkey but he knows he’s meant to be a cow. He wants to be a cow. Cows can graze in the meadow all day long and no one asks them to carry heavy packages. So, he stands with the cows in the barn but nothing happens. Will his dream ever come true, he wonders. Can Mousie and Duckie help Cowie feel happy in his own skin?

  1. Cuddle Monkey - A little monkey looks for the perfect cuddle while his parents are busy with his new baby brother in this insanely adorable picture book about learning to be an older sibling. Lewis loves to cuddle. But ever since his baby brother Owen was born, cuddle time with his mom and dad has been in short supply. Lewis, however, remains undaunted! He wants his cuddles! So: He cuddles his favorite book. He cuddles his stuffed animals, Hedwig, Lamby, and Monster Dude. He even cuddles a puddle, just because it rhymes! But cuddling the bus driver turns out to be a little dangerous. Cuddling at dinner is too messy. And cuddling Owen is wiggly and squiggly. Then Lewis finds that a cuddle doesn’t have to be perfect for it to be just the cuddle you need.

  2. Good Night from All Over the World: Tales and Stories for Bedtime - Children will have sweet dreams and a good night with this lovely collection of bedtime stories from around the world. When children ask for a bedtime story, parents can pull out this richly illustrated collection and find the perfect read-aloud—or something for experienced readers to enjoy on their own. More than 60 fairy tales and examples of folklore have been carefully chosen to include a variety of genres, cultures, and countries. They include “The Miser Baker,” from Scotland; “The Golden Child and the Silver Child,” from Mali; “The Monkey’s Tail,” from Brazil; “How the Light Came,” from the Inuit People; “The Nightingale and the Wonderful Eagle,” from Canada; “The Nine-Headed Bird,” from China; and “The Ungrateful Snake,” from Russia.

  3. Beehive - Acclaimed author Jorey Hurley shows us how bees make and store honey in this bold and graphic picture book that includes informative backmatter on the process. With just one word on each page and the vivid illustrations Joey Hurley is known for, Beehive showcases the cycle of bees making honey. Detailed backmatter further explains this fascinating natural process.

  4. As Big as the Sky - What happens when a brother and sister who share a love as big as the sky must separate? This heartwarming story set in an African village shows that with a little generosity, there’s always a way to come together. In a small African village in Malawi, Prisca and her brother Caleb work together and play together, chasing each other as fast as they can. But when Caleb has to leave home to attend a good school, Prisca misses him terribly. Hoping to earn enough money to visit him, Prisca begs a local peddler to sell her crafts—but no one buys what she’s made. However, thanks to Prisca’s kindness and compassion, her dreams of reuniting with Caleb just may come true.

Patricia's Vision: The Doctor Who Saved Sight book
#19
Patricia's Vision: The Doctor Who Saved Sight
Written by Michelle Lord and illustrated by Alleanna Harris
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

The inspiring story of Dr. Patricia Bath, a groundbreaking ophthalmologist who pioneered laser surgery—and gave her patients the gift of sight.

Born in the 1940s, Patricia Bath dreamed of being an ophthalmologist at a time when becoming a doctor wasn’t a career option for most women—especially African-American women. This empowering biography follows Dr. Bath in her quest to save and restore sight to the blind, and her decision to “choose miracles” when everyone else had given up hope. Along the way, she cofounded the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness, invented a specialized laser for removing cataracts, and became the first African-American woman doctor to receive a medical patent.

Hosea Plays On book
#20
Hosea Plays On
Written by Kathleen M. Blasi and illustrated by Shane W. Evans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-9

This heartwarming picture book (based on a true story) depicts a day in the life of Hosea Taylor, a musician who—with his charm, talent, and generosity—brought joy to everyone he met.

Every day, Hosea takes the Number 42 bus into the city to play his shiny brass saxophone—and to hopefully earn enough money. Setting up in his favorite place, Hosea makes sweet music as people greet him with a smile, a little girl dances, and crowds surround him. A surprise ending reveals what the money is really for. Kathleen Blasi’s delightful text and Shane Evan’s colorful images capture the real-life closeness between the much-loved Hosea—who shared his passion for music and life with everyone—and his community.

An Author’s Note explains how Blasi learned about Hosea Taylor (1948-2016), and what compelled her to write his story.

Are Your Stars Like My Stars? book
#21
Are Your Stars Like My Stars?
Written by Leslie Helakoski and illustrated by Heidi Woodward Sheffield
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

“We look at the world every day. You and me. Do we see the same things? Do you see what I see?”

In beautiful, evocative rhyme, this lovely picture book helps children consider the colors of their everyday lives . . . and imagine how others around the world experience the very same things.

No matter where they live, all children gaze at the blue sky, bask in the warmth of the golden sun, dig in the rich dirt, and watch clouds grow soft and rosy at end of day. Through the eyes of one inquisitive and thoughtful young narrator, young readers explore the idea of perspective, and come to realize that all of us, everywhere, share the colors of the world. The gentle, poetic text and gorgeous collaged illustrations make this just right to say goodnight.

Wet and Dry book
#22
Wet and Dry
Written and illustrated by Emilie Dufresne
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Beginner readers can discover opposites in their world with this colorful and interesting series. Adults can engage their young readers with pictures and questions as they explore the differences between things around them.

Big and Small book
#23
Big and Small
Written by Emilie Dufresne
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Beginner readers can discover opposites in their world with this colorful and interesting series. Adults can engage their young readers with pictures and questions as they explore the differences between things around them.

  1. Loud and Quiet - Beginner readers can discover opposites in their world with this colorful and interesting series. Adults can engage their young readers with pictures and questions as they explore the differences between things around them.

  2. Hot and Cold - Beginner readers can discover opposites in their world with this colorful and interesting series. Adults can engage their young readers with pictures and questions as they explore the differences between things around them.

  3. Hard and Soft - Beginner readers can discover opposites in their world with this colorful and interesting series. Adults can engage their young readers with pictures and questions as they explore the differences between things around them.

  4. Good Night from all over the World - Children will have sweet dreams and a good night with this lovely collection of bedtime stories from around the world. When children ask for a bedtime story, parents can pull out this richly illustrated collection of fairy tales and folklore. More than 60 stories represent a variety of genres, cultures, and countries, including: “The Miser Baker”(Scotland); “The Golden Child and the Silver Child”(Mali); “The Monkey’s Tail” (Brazil); “How the Light Came” (Inuit People); “The Nightingale and the Wonderful Eagle” (Canada); “The Nine-Headed Bird” (China); and “The Ungrateful Snake” (Russia).

Bears Make the Best Writing Buddies book
#28
Bears Make the Best Writing Buddies
Written by Carmen Oliver and illustrated by Jean Claude
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Adelaide loves writing. Bear loves writing. But Theo does NOT love writing. Thankfully, Adelaide and Bear are ready to team up and persuade the entire class, including Mrs. Fitz-Pea, that Bears make the best writing buddies. After all, who better to teach you how to fish and forage for new ideas than a bear? This third picture book in Carmen Oliver’s Bears Make the Best…series is sure to encourage even the most reluctant writer to write a story.

Lola Dutch I Love You So Much book
#29
Lola Dutch I Love You So Much
Written by Kenneth Wright and illustrated by Sarah Jane Wright
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

This is Lola Dutch, a delightfully creative girl who loves her friends SO much. When they’re having a bad day, Lola knows just what to do to make each of them feel better: She sews cozy pajamas for Gator, constructs the perfect reading nook for Crane, and takes Pig to the park! Lola loves showing her friends how much she loves them! But there’s one special friend she’s forgotten—Bear! Can Lola decide on the perfect way to express how much he means to her? The curious and inspired Lola Dutch knows that when it comes to showing friendship and appreciation, there’s no such thing as too much. And maybe because of that, the thing Lola’s friends love the most is . . . LOLA DUTCH! 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.

Words and Your Heart book
#30
Words and Your Heart
Written and illustrated by Kate Jane Neal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Simple, direct, and emotive, Kate Jane Neal’s Words and Your Heart’s message is that words have extraordinary power–to harm and to heal; to create and to destroy; and to spread love. This book is about your heart. (the little bit inside of you that makes you, you!) The words we listen to can affect how we feel. Some words can do amazing things and make us happy. And some words can really hurt us (we all know what sort of words those are). Our words have power, and we can choose to use them to make the world a better place.

Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush book
#31
Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush
Written and illustrated by Jane Cabrera
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

There’s so much to do on a cold and frosty day. . . . Two young pups are excited to go outside and play - but first they have to get ready for school. Sing along as they wake up, brush their teeth, get dressed, march to school, and finally get to go have fun. All the neighborhood children - from three young mice bundled up tight to a cuddly pig in a cozy hat - brave the cold to play together. Experience the familiar nursery rhyme celebrating morning routine . . . and continue the day’s routine into an afternoon of fun and cozy bedtime wishes that makes this picture book perfect for both story hours and bedtime. Send little ones off to school for the first time knowing what to expect - and also what to be excited for! Jane Cabrera’s Story Time celebrates children’s best-loved read along nursery rhymes and songs. These interactive favorites are given a new twist by award-winning artist Jane Cabrera and feature her bold, bright, kid-friendly illustrations. Other titles in the series include If You’re Happy and You Know It, One Two Buckle My Shoe, and Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.

I Like My Bike book
#32
I Like My Bike
Written and illustrated by AG Ferrari
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A bike can be faster than a car, a van, a bus and a truck— see how in this Level A book, perfect for readers just starting out. “I like my bike. I like my car. I like my big car. I like my truck.” The text in this funny story is simple and repetitive—just right for new readers—but the pictures are wacky and imaginative. A sea lion chauffeurs a large shark, a cactus drives a pickup truck and a tiny mouse drives a tractor-trailer filled with cheese. But all the vehicles get stuck in traffic— except for the cyclist, who merrily rides along to a party. The pictures, in addition to supporting the text and enhancing comprehension, are chock-full of details that children will love. There are subtexts, connections, and opportunities for inference. The award-winning I Like to Read® series focuses on guided reading levels A through G, based upon Fountas and Pinnell standards. Acclaimed author-illustrators—including winners of Caldecott, Theodor Seuss Geisel, and Coretta Scott King honors—create original, high quality illustrations that support comprehension of simple text and are fun for kids to read with parents, teachers, or on their own! Level A books, suitable for early kindergarten, are ideal first books for kids to read on their own. One short sentence repeats on every page with one word change per spread. Simple plots are heavily supported by the detailed illustrations. When Level A is mastered, follow up with Level B.

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