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The Perfect Picnic book
#1
The Perfect Picnic
Written by Ciara Flood
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A hilarious story from the author of Those Pesky Rabbits about friendship, perfectionists, and losing your sandwiches.

Squirrel and Mole are the best of friends, and they do everything together, including going on picnics. But while Mole doesn’t really mind where they have a picnic, Squirrel is very determined that this picnic will be PERFECT, and that means finding the perfect place. But does such a thing exist?

Sloth Went book
#2
Sloth Went
Written by Adam Lehrhaupt and illustrated by Benson Shum
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

This hilarious picture book is about a sloth on the go. A sloth who is . . . very slowly . . . making his way to a major milestone: potty training!

Today is Sloth’s big day. He’s excited. But he’s also nervous.

What if something happens? What if NOTHING happens?

Sloth Went is a book about poop. But it’s also an adventure story about facing your fears, gaining independence, and learning to do what you have to. Even if, as in Sloth’s case, it takes a little while to get there.

Also included: back matter with the amazing true story of how sloths poop!

Sometimes When I'm Sad book
#3
Sometimes When I'm Sad
Written by Dr. Deborah Serani and illustrated by Kyra Teis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A sensitive and supportive story to help young children recognize and cope with sadness.

“Now when I get sad, I still cry sometimes. I still hide sometimes. But only for a little while. Because now I know ways to feel better.” Sadness can be an overwhelming emotion, especially for young children. But it’s important to know when sadness can be overcome, and when it’s indicative of a greater problem.

Sometimes When I’m Sad is an invaluable self-help resource that helps children identify sadness or depression and offers helpful ways to manage it, such as:

  • Talk about it with a parent or a trusted adult or counselor
  • Draw the sadness with crayons
  • Release tension by squishing clay
  • Run and jump around outside
  • Observe nature

The word depression is never used in the gentle, child-focused text, but this simple story offers an entrance point for both adults and children to identify and address childhood depression symptoms early.

This timely resource is a wonderfully gentle way to take steps toward banishing the stigma around mental illness. A special section at the back of the book provides support for adults, from an explanation of the difference between sadness and depression to helpful tools to manage the illness. Especially useful for counselors, social workers, teachers, parents, and any other adults caring for children who struggle with dark feelings.

The World's Poorest President Speaks Out book
#4
The World's Poorest President Speaks Out
Written by Yoshimi Kusaba and illustrated by Gaku Nakafawa
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“A poor person is not someone who has little, but one who needs infinitely more, and more, and more.” Thus spoke José Mujica, then the President of Uruguay, before the United Nations in 2012. Paraphrasing the wisdom of the great thinker Seneca, he asked the world to question the dogma of consumption that has driven us into environmental and economic crisis. Often referred to as the worlds “poorest” president, in part because of his practice of donating 90% of his $12,000 monthly salary to charity, José Mujica lived his words and proved that one need not have money to be rich. In The World’s Poorest President Speaks Out, José Mujica’s famous speech comes to life as he asks us to remember our neighbors, our children, and the Earth.

The Only Fish in the Sea book
#5
The Only Fish in the Sea
Written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Matthew Cordell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Did you hear about little Amy Scott? She got a goldfish for her birthday and then just threw it in the ocean! That doesn’t seem right.

I guess Sherman and Sadie will have to go save little Ellsworth (every fish deserves a proper name) on their own. They’ll need:

A boat Fishing gear Twenty-one pink balloons A bucket of paint And Appropriate headwear in case of weather―good or bad

Don’t worry. Ellsworth is in good hands now, but what ever happened to little Amy Scott?

Join Sadie (Special Delivery) on another adventure in The Only Fish in the Sea, a delightful picture book by Philip C. Stead and Matthew Cordell.

  1. The Bell Rang - A Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Book of 2019 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.

  2. Going Down Home with Daddy - “On reunion morning, we rise before the sun. Daddy hums as he packs our car with suitcases and a cooler full of snacks. He says there’s nothing like going down home.” Down home is Granny’s house. Down home is where Lil’ Alan and his parents and sister will join great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Down home is where Lil’ Alan will hear stories of the ancestors and visit the land that has meant so much to all of them. And down home is where all of the children will find their special way to pay tribute to family history. All the kids have to decide on what tribute to share, but what will Lil’ Alan do? In this rich and moving celebration of history, culture, and ritual, Kelly Starling Lyons’ eloquent text explores the power of family traditions. Stunning illustrations by Coretta Scott King Honor-winner Daniel Minter reveal the motion and connections in a large, multigenerational family.

  3. Fred's Big Feelings: The Life and Legacy of Mister Rogers - An inspiring picture book biography about the inimitable Fred Rogers, beloved creator and star of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Fred Rogers was a quiet boy with big feelings. Sometimes, he felt scared or lonely; at other times, he was playful and joyous. But when Fred’s feelings felt too big, his Grandfather McFeely knew exactly what to say to make him feel better: I like you just the way you are. Fred grew up and created Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, the television program that would go on to warm the hearts and homes of millions of Americans. But one day, the government threatened to cut funding for public television, including Fred’s show. So, Fred stepped off the set and into a hearing on Capitol Hill to make his feelings known. In a portrait full of warmth and feeling, Laura Renauld and award-winning illustrator Brigette Barrager tell the story of Mister Rogers: a quiet, compassionate hero whose essential message—that it is okay to have and to express feelings—still resonates today. This book is not associated with or authorized by Fred Rogers Productions.

  4. Here Comes Ocean - Discover the wonder of a day at the beach in this exuberant, rhyming picture book from the author of I Heart You and Sometimes Rain. Grab a big bucket, your best pup pal, and a whole lot of imagination, and get ready for a day at the beach! There’s endless fun to be had chasing the waves and countless treasures waiting to be discovered—first a sand dollar, then a sandpiper feather, even a sneaky little crab. What surprises will the ocean reveal next? This sandy, salty, seek-and-find picture book is perfect for families who love the water, kids who love collecting, and ocean enthusiasts of all ages.

This Is Gus book
#10
This Is Gus
Written by Chris Chatterton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Meet Gus. He is one grumpy dog who doesn’t like much of anything, especially making new friends. So what will Gus do when a little puppy comes barking into his life?

Readers are invited to giggle their grumps away with Gus and his adorable, new puppy friend in this hilarious picture book by Chris Chatterton.

Dozens of Doughnuts book
#11
Dozens of Doughnuts
Written by Carrie Finison and illustrated by Brianne Farley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A generous but increasingly put-upon bear makes batch after batch of doughnuts for her woodland friends without saving any for herself in this delightful debut picture book about counting, sharing, and being a good friend.

LouAnn (a bear) is making a doughnut feast in preparation for her long winter’s nap. But just before she takes the first bite, DING DONG! Her friend Woodrow (a woodchuck) drops by. LouAnn is happy to share her doughnuts, but as soon as she and Woodrow sit down to eat, DING DING! Clyde (a raccoon) is at the door. One by one, LouAnn’s friends come over—Topsy (an opossum) and then Moufette (a skunk) and then Chip and Chomp (chipmunks)—until it’s one big party. Louann welcomes her surprise guests and makes batch after batch of doughnuts, always dividing them equally among her friends. But she makes one BIG miscalculation. Soon LouAnn’s kitchen is bare, winter is near, and she’s had nothing to eat at all!

The Seed of Compassion: Lessons from the Life and Teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama book
#12
The Seed of Compassion: Lessons from the Life and Teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Written by His Holiness The Dalai Lama and illustrated by Bao Luu
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

For the first time ever, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate His Holiness the Dalai Lama addresses children directly, sharing lessons of peace and compassion, told through stories of his own childhood.

One of today’s most inspiring world leaders was once an ordinary child named Lhamo Thondup. In a small village in Tibet, his mother was his first great teacher of compassion. In everyday moments from his childhood, young readers begin to see that important lessons are all around us, and that they, too, can grow to truly understand them.

With simple, powerful text, the Dalai Lama shares the universalist teachings of treating one another with compassion, which Bao Luu illustrates beautifully in vibrant color. In an increasingly confusing world, The Seed of Compassion offers guidance and encouragement on how we all might bring more kindness to it.

Fauja Singh Keeps Going: The True Story of the Oldest Person to Ever Run a Marathon book
#13
Fauja Singh Keeps Going: The True Story of the Oldest Person to Ever Run a Marathon
Written by Simran Jeet Singh and illustrated by Baljinder Kaur
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The inspiring true story of Fauja Singh, who broke world records to become the first one hundred-year-old to run a marathon, shares valuable lessons on the source of his grit, determination to overcome obstacles, and commitment to positive representation of the Sikh community.

Every step forward is a victory.

Fauja Singh was born determined. He was also born with legs that wouldn’t allow him to play cricket with his friends or carry him to school miles from his village in Punjab. But that didn’t stop him. Working on his family’s farm, Fauja grew stronger to meet his own full potential.

He never stopped striving. At the age of 81, after a lifetime of making his body, mind, and heart stronger, Fauja decided to run his first marathon. He went on to break records all around the world and became the first person over 100 to complete the grueling long-distance race.

With inspiring text by Simran Jeet Singh and exhilarating illustrations by Baljinder Kaur, the true story of Fauja Singh reminds us that it’s both where we start and how we finish that make our journeys unforgettable.

Soaked! book
#14
Soaked!
Written and illustrated by Abi Cushman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A Hula-Hooping moose, a badger with a bumblebee umbrella, a rabbit in a cashmere sweater, and a very wet bear star in this unpredictable and laugh-out-loud picture book in which having fun gets the best of a grumpy bear.

It looks like a wet and dreary day for Bear and his trio of friends. How could he possibly have fun when he is soaked? But Badger, Rabbit, and Moose don’t seem to mind. In fact, Moose can still hula hoop! And it looks like so much fun. Might Bear like to try?

Here is a story that shows that fun is not dependent on sunshine and blue skies. In fact, it might be more fun to be soaked!

  1. Danbi Leads the School Parade - Meet Danbi, the new girl at school! Danbi is thrilled to start her new school in America. But a bit nervous too, for when she walks into the classroom, everything goes quiet. Everyone stares. Danbi wants to join in the dances and the games, but she doesn’t know the rules and just can’t get anything right. Luckily, she isn’t one to give up. With a spark of imagination, she makes up a new game and leads her classmates on a parade to remember! Danbi Leads the School Parade introduces readers to an irresistible new character. In this first story, she learns to navigate her two cultures and realizes that when you open your world to others, their world opens up to you.

  2. Madeline at the White House - Bestselling and beloved Madeline visits the Oval Office! Readers will see Washington, D.C., as never before, when Madeline takes a midnight sightseeing tour on a magic carpet of cherry blossoms. Invited to the White House by Candle, the president’s lonely only daughter, for the annual Easter Egg hunt and roll, Madeline and the other little girls have a rollicking good time, and introduce Candle to the joys of occasionally breaking the rules. With a bouncy read-aloud text and gorgeous watercolor pictures, Madeline at the White House is in the best tradition of the beloved Madeline books.

  3. Tiger Wild - Sometimes feelings can go wild. . . Lily is a little girl with big emotions. And sometimes she can’t keep herself from acting out and being naughty. Or rather, her imaginary friend, Tiger, is the naughty one. So when Tiger convinces her to run away, they have a blast stomping and jumping and going wild. But what is Lily to do when their adventure starts to feel a bit too wild? Tiger Wild gently illustrates how sometimes we all need a little help when certain feelings are hard to express. For there is a time to be wild and a time to be mild.

  4. I'm Trying to Love Rocks - The fourth totally awesome, funny, and incredibly informative book in the “I’m Trying to Love…” book series! Think rocks are boring? Hard to like? Kinda just sit there, doing nothing? Why even write a whole book about them?? Bethany Barton will tell you why . . . because we wouldn’t be here if there were no rocks! From the Grand Canyon to volcanos to diamonds and fossils, geology—the study of rocks—shows us where we’ve been and where we’re going. With tons of humor and scores of fascinating facts, Bethany Barton introduces younger readers to geology and why rocks matter . . . enough to write a whole book about them!

Piglette book
#19
Piglette
Written by Katelyn Aronson and illustrated by Eva Byrne
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Will a pristine piglet find perfection in Paris?

Piglette can be a bit particular by her siblings’ standards. She always wants everything to be perfect. While her many brothers and sisters like rolling in the mud, Piglette prefers pampering in a mud bath. While her siblings eat slop, Piglette prefers pastries. But what she’s most passionate about is flowers. She loves to smell the lilies and lilacs in the pasture. So Piglette decides her precise nose is destined for the perfume shops of Paris!

But Piglette soon realizes that there’s nothing more precious than the pleasant scents of home, and she finds a way to bring a little Parisian perfection back where she belongs. Debut author Kateyln Aronson and #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator Eva Byrne have created an unforgettable, playful piglet who stays true to herself and the message that home is where the heart is.

The Hole book
#20
The Hole
Written by Kerry Brown and illustrated by Lucia Masciullo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Bestselling Australian picture book creators Kerry Brown and Lucia Masciullo join forces to bring us a brilliant new rhyming adventure, perfect for fans of The Gruffalo. If you were walking through the woodsand a hole you came upon,would you stop and take a look?Or simply carry on? One by one, a group of animals come upon a strange black holein the middle of the woods. What is lurking down below? And is that its tummyrumbling? Read on to find out … A mysterious, thrilling and funny new adventure frombestselling Australian picture book creators Kerry Brown and Lucia Masciullo.PRAISE’This little rhyming story potters along so effortlessly that it’s a pleasure to read aloud’ - Good Reading’With some nods to fairy tales, the story will be a wonderful read aloud and engage children in developing ideas around problem solving. Recommended.’ - ReadPlus

Give Peas a Chance book
#21
Give Peas a Chance
Written by Rob Biddulph
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

It’s no peas please for Nancy, in this second title in the Dinosaur Juniors series from picture book genius Rob Biddulph!

The second creatively cretaceous story from the bestselling Rob Biddulph in his brand new series about the first time moments that every (dinosaur) junior enjoys!

It’s dinner-time for Nancy.. but oh no… PEAS! Not-so-keen-on-peas Nancy needs to come up with a way to ditch those little green balls. Luckily, she’s got a peas-plot up her sleeve… But is she quite as clever as she thinks?

Meet Nancy, Otto, Winnie and all the other dinosaur juniors, as they traverse life’s first ups and downs – all in Rob’s trademark rhyme filled with warmth and humour.

Perfect for Rob’s youngest fans, with colourful, detailed artwork and a simple rhyming text just right for reading aloud.

Frankenstein Doesn't Wear Earmuffs! book
#23
Frankenstein Doesn't Wear Earmuffs!
Written and illustrated by John Loren
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In Frankenstein Doesn’t Wear Earmuffs, a hilarious picture book debut from John Loren, a young boy with an overactive imagination gets ready to go trick-or-treating, but will his overly concerned parents ruin his plans for Halloween?

A young trick-or-treater has the best Frankenstein costume ever . . . if he can make it out the front door!

Every time he tries to set foot into the dark and stormy night, his parents interrupt with yet another warm and cozy addition to his costume. But Frankenstein does not wear floppy boots, or a puffy jacket, or a fanny pack. And he especially doesn’t wear earmuffs!

Will our young Frankenstein be able to break loose from his bundled layers and have the Halloween of his dreams? Or will he be overcome by the weight of a ghastly fall wardrobe?

  1. Eenie Meenie Halloweenie -

  2. Cookie Boo -

  3. Sheep Dog and Sheep Sheep: Baaad Hair Day - f you’ve ever wanted a perfect reason to say: You’ve pulled the wool over my eyes—it’s here! It’s a brand-new picture book adventure with Sheep Dog and Sheep Sheep that’s perfect for kids who love animals, laughter, and screwball comedy! Meet Sheep: Sheep loves styling her full and fluffy wool—but when it grows too full and too fluffy, it covers her eyes, and that’s when she trips over things—ouch! Luckily, it’s shearing day. But Sheep doesn’t want to give up her fabulous curls! Can Sheep Dog convince Sheep that a haircut is for the best? Eric Barclay writes and illustrates these irresistible tales and always hits all the right notes. Kids howl, parents and teachers howl, and even the coyotes howl!

  4. Unbeatable Betty - An inspiring picture book biography of the first woman to win a gold medal in track and field. Young readers intrigued by the Summer 2020 Olympics in Tokyo will be inspired by this story. With Joanie Stone’s colorful illustrations and Allison Crotzer Kimmel’s inspirational text, this biography is a reminder of how it takes more than sheer talent to be a champion; an unbeatable spirit of determination and hard work is also needed. At only sixteen years old, Betty Robinson became the first female gold medalist in track and field in the 1928 Olympics and an overnight sensation. She was set for gold again and had her eyes on the 1932 Olympics. Her plans changed forever when a horrible plane crash left her in a wheelchair, with one leg shorter than the other. But Betty didn’t let that stop her. In less than five years, she relearned how to stand, to walk, and finally to run again and try to taste gold once more in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Perfect for Women’s History units, as well as for reports on lesser-known sports heroes, Unbeatable Betty includes an author’s note narrating Betty’s later life after her win, as well as a bibliography.

Tad book
#28
Tad
Written and illustrated by Benji Davies
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From Benji Davies, the award-winning creator of The Storm Whale and illustrator of the Goodnight Already! series, comes a heartwarming and tender tale about courage and growth, featuring a special tadpole named Tad.

Tad is small. In fact, she is the smallest almost-a-frog in the whole, wide pond. That makes it hard for her to do big things like follow her tadsiblings who swim to other parts of the pond when they outgrow the nest.

As her tadbrothers and tadsisters swim up, up, up, they leave poor Tad by her lonesome. That’s until…Big Blub shows up! He’s not only bigger than Tad, but Big Blub isn’t exactly what a tadpole would consider friendly.

Swimming at her own pace, Tad soon learns how to to be bigger than her fears. Benji Davies creates a memorable and timeless tale that proves sometimes the mightiest creature comes in the smallest package.

The Hidden Rainbow book
#29
The Hidden Rainbow
Written and illustrated by Christie Matheson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Illustrations and simple, rhyming text invite the reader to uncover the rainbow of colors hidden in a garden, which helps flowers bloom and bees find food. Includes facts about bees and their importance.

The Night Is for Darkness book
#30
The Night Is for Darkness
Written by Jonathan Stutzman and illustrated by Joseph Kuefler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A gorgeous bedtime book that is also a tribute to the beauty of the natural world, from popular picture book creators Jonathan Stutzman and Joseph Kuefler. Perfect for fans of The Night Gardener.

The night is for darkness . . . and for surprising moonlit discoveries.

This lyrical story celebrates the wondrous beauty of the natural world and the intimate family moments we share each night.

The Night Is for Darkness is a story full of warmth and love—an ideal sendoff into the land of dreams.

Libby Loves Science book
#31
Libby Loves Science
Written by Kimberly Derting and Shelli R. Johannes and illustrated by Joelle Murray
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Libby and her friends volunteer to run the science booth at their school fair and have some great ideas, but Libby does not always follow directions precisely. Includes a worksheet for each experiment mentioned.

The Ocean in Your Bathtub book
#32
The Ocean in Your Bathtub
Written by Seth Fishman and illustrated by Isabel Greenberg
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“The Earth’s five oceans and its water cycle connect all of us in important and unexpected ways”—

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