Best Children's Books About Community

56 Children's Books About Community

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
Small Walt book
#26
Small Walt
Written by Elizabeth Verdick and illustrated by Marc Rosenthal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Small Walt is the smallest snow plow in the fleet and he always gets picked last, but when there is a big snowstorm in the city, he will have the chance to prove his worth.

Small Walt and Mo the Tow book
#27
Small Walt and Mo the Tow
Written by Elizabeth Verdick and illustrated by Marc Rosenthal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Small Walt befriends a tow truck when he comes across a car in need of help in this irresistible companion to Small Walt, which Kirkus Reviews called “charming and endearing” in a starred review. We’re Gus and Walt We plow and we salt We clear the snow so the Cars can go! A bitter blizzard. A snowbound town. When a car skids off the road, Small Walt and Gus might not have what it takes to save the day on their own. But who does? Mo the Tow to the rescue! When we need a tow, We call on Mo… We can depend On our new friend! Text filled with onomatopoeia and Walt’s affirming chants make this story about friendship and accepting help from others a real winner.

It Takes a Village book
#28
It Takes a Village
Written by Hillary Rodham Clinton and illustrated by Marla Frazee
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

"It Takes a Village offers a universal, unifying message. It captures perfectly Clinton's vision of a multicultural America working toward a constructive goal. So hopeful and forward-looking." --The Washington Post "Inspired by her 2006 book of the same name, Clinton's unadorned text celebrates how civic spirit emerges...Most of the storytelling is found in Frazee's delicately textured images, which exude energy, hope, and emotional authenticity." --Publishers Weekly "This work is a welcome reminder that all people 'are born believers. And citizens, too.'" --Shelf Awareness "What does it take to change the world?" Former Secretary of State and Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton's first book for young readers, inspired by the themes of her classic New York Times bestselling book It Takes a Village, and illustrated by two-time Caldecott Honor recipient Marla Frazee, asks readers what can they do to make the world a better place? It Takes a Village tells the heartwarming and universal story of a diverse community coming together to make a difference. All kinds of people working together, playing together, and living together in harmony makes a better village and many villages coming together can make a better world. Together we can build a better life for one another. Together we can change our world. The book will resonate with children and families and through the generations as it encourages readers to look for a way they can make a difference. It is a book that you will surely want to read again and again, a book you will want to share and a book that will inspire.

Rodzilla book
#29
Rodzilla
Written by Rob Sanders and illustrated by Dan Santat
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This just in! There’s a Rodzilla on the loose! Is he a monster…or just your typical toddler? Tune in for the full report in this riotous picture book from Rob Sanders and Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat. Rodzilla is the mightiest toddler to ever roam the streets of the city. Marvel at the sight of his chubby monstrosity. Gaze at his toothless grin. Take a whiff of his…no, don’t do that. Only a mother could love such a creature. Rodzilla is taking over the city (that is really his playpen) and causing all sorts of chaos for its inhabitants (um, his parents). Can he be stopped before he toddles one step too far? Told as an action-packed news report, kids will love following Rodzilla on his mighty tear through the city, and ultimately back to his parents’ arms. Because sometimes even monsters need a little help.

Visiting You book
#30
Visiting You
Written by Rebecka Sharpe Shelberg and illustrated by Andrea Edmonds
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Setting out to visit a loved one, a child curiously asks a fellow commuter, "Who are you going to visit?" In answer to this simple question, the child learns about the love and loss in the life of a stranger: a father who lives apart from his small daughter, a husband who has lost his wife, a granddaughter who is forgotten by her grandfather, and a mother who fears for her son’s recovery. After each conversation, the child understands that the other commuters have someone in their lives that they love "as much as I love you," and it is this understanding that allows the child to explore the most universal of human experiences: the power of love in the many different forms that it can take. Visiting You also explores a sense of community. Under her mother’s supervision, a young child reaches out and connects with the people around them; they’re not scared of strangers, or people who might ‘look’ scary, or people who are different to them. Sometimes it can take conscious decision and determination to look past outward appearances. Visiting You encourages us to find the similarities between people instead of focusing on differences, to recognize some part of ourselves in the life of a stranger.

The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo: The Monster Mall book
#31
The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo: The Monster Mall
Written and illustrated by Drew Weing
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Charles meets a lot of monsters in his line of work. While assisting Margo Maloo on her assignments, he’s had close encounters with trolls, ghosts, imps, and ogres. And lately, they’re all saying the same thing: living in Echo City is getting harder. As the human population of the city is grows, monsters are being forced to abandon their homes. Teenagers are creeping into their territory, smartphones in hand, eager to photograph paranormal activity. Some monsters are tired of hiding and ready to fight. How can Margo and Charles keep Echo City’s monster community a secret, when it’s teetering in the brink of war? In this second volume of The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo, graphic novelist Drew Weing delivers a fresh and funny take on the age-old battle between kids and closet-dwelling monsters.

On Our Street book
#32
On Our Street
Written by Jaime Casap, Jillian Roberts and illustrated by Jane Heinrichs
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A gentle introduction to the issue of poverty, On Our Street explores the realities of people living with inadequate resources. Using age-appropriate language, this book addresses mental illness, homelessness and refugee status as they are connected to this issue. Insightful quotes from individuals and organizations such as unicef are included to add further perspective on the issue. A section on how kids can help empowers readers to take what they have learned and use it to make a difference. Child psychologist Dr. Jillian Roberts created this series to guide parents/caregivers through conversations about difficult issues in a reassuring and hopeful manner and help children understand their expanding awareness of the world around them.

The Wheels on the…Uh-Oh! book
#33
The Wheels on the…Uh-Oh!
Written by Sue Tarsky and illustrated by Alex Willmore
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This bus is in trouble—it won't be going through the town without a good mechanic! Can everyone work together to get the bus moving again? A new version of the perennial children's song is just as lively and fun as the original, while celebrating community and cooperation. Children will love the action, antics, appealing animal characters, and the very unexpected beginning to this rollicking romp.

City Street Beat book
#34
City Street Beat
Written by Nancy Viau and illustrated by Barbara Bakos
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In City Street Beat, a young girl travels along a city's twisty road on her way to a friend’s house. Together, they embark on an adventure, taking in all the city’s sights and sounds. They hear the tippy, tappy clack of high heels on the sidewalk; the strumming and drumming of a three-piece band; the flipping and flapping of dancing pigeons; and more. The girls move and groove to the rock-n-roll and razz-ma-tazz of the city’s hip-hop beat using all five senses until at last it’s time to say good-bye.

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga book
#35
We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga
Written by Traci Sorell and illustrated by Frané Lessac
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

The Cherokee community is grateful for blessings and challenges that each season brings. This is modern Native American life as told by an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation. The word otsaliheliga (oh-jah-LEE-hay-lee-gah) is used by members of the Cherokee Nation to express gratitude. Beginning in the fall with the new year and ending in summer, follow a full Cherokee year of celebrations and experiences. Written by a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, this look at one group of Native Americans is appended with a glossary and the complete Cherokee syllabary, originally created by Sequoyah.

What Can a Citizen Do? book
#36
What Can a Citizen Do?
Written by Dave Eggers and illustrated by Shawn Harris
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A citizen can pick up litter A citizen can pull a weed A citizen can help that critter A citizen can plant a seed A citizen can aid a neighbor A citizen can join a cause A citizen can write a letter A citizen can help change laws . . . Empowering and timeless, What Can a Citizen Do? is the latest collaboration from the acclaimed duo behind the bestselling Her Right Foot: Dave Eggers and Shawn Harris. This is a book for today's youth about what it means to be a citizen. Across the course of several seemingly unrelated but ultimately connected actions by different children, we watch how kids turn a lonely island into a community—and watch a journey from what the world should be to what the world could be. This is a book about what citizenship—good citizenship—means to you, and to us all.

Love the World book
#37
Love the World
Written and illustrated by Todd Parr
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

A celebration of love, respect, peace, and unity by bestselling author and illustrator Todd Parr. Love your grin. Love your skin. Love the bees. Love the trees. Love giving a hand. Love taking a stand. LOVE YOURSELF. LOVE THE WORLD! What the world needs now is love--and who better than Todd Parr to share a message of kindness, charity, and acceptance. Touching upon themes including self-esteem, environmentalism, and respect for others, Todd uses his signature silly and accessible style to encourage readers to show love for themselves and all the people, places, and things they encounter.

If You're Going to a March book
#38
If You're Going to a March
Written by Martha Freeman and illustrated by Violet Kim
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

"If you're going to a march, you're going to want a sign"--and this cheerful, introductory handbook. Inspired by author Martha Freeman's own experiences, it addresses many of the questions kids might have: What should I wear? How will I get there? Where can I go to the bathroom? Is it okay to dance? (It is!). All the while the text focuses on our Constitutional right as Americans to assemble . . . whatever our political point of view.

First Laugh--Welcome, Baby book
#39
First Laugh--Welcome, Baby
Written by Nancy Bo Flood, Rose Ann Tahe and illustrated by Jonathan Nelson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

In Navajo families, the first person to make a new baby laugh hosts the child’s First Laugh Ceremony. Who will earn the honor in this story? The First Laugh Ceremony is a celebration held to welcome a new member of the community. As everyone—from Baby’s nima (mom) to nadi (big sister) to cheii (grandfather)—tries to elicit the joyous sound from Baby, readers are introduced to details about Navajo life and the Navajo names for family members.

A Halifax Time-Travelling Tune book
#40
A Halifax Time-Travelling Tune
Written by Jan L Coates and illustrated by Marijke Simons
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Travel back in time with this magical tune that takes readers to Halifax in the 1950s. This dreamy and whimsical story visits Point Pleasant Park, the Halifax Public Gardens, Citadel Hill and other historic Halifax landmarks, showing off all the sights and sounds of the city

EveryBody's Different on EveryBody Street book
#41
EveryBody's Different on EveryBody Street
Written by Sheree Fitch and illustrated by Emma Fitzgerald
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Playful words lead you into this beautiful children’s book and invite you to celebrate our gifts,our weaknesses,our differences and our sameness. Fitch displays her wit and mastery of words in quick, rollicking rhymes that are complemented by Emma Fitzgerald’s lively illustrations. EveryBody’s Different on EveryBody Street was originally produced in 2001 as a fundraiser to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Festival of Trees in support of the Nova Scotia Hospital and to raise awareness for mental illness and addiction.

Snail Mail book
#42
Snail Mail
Written by Samantha Berger and illustrated by Julia Patton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

A long, long time ago, before email and texting, the mail was delivered in a much slower way-it was called Snail Mail (because some thought it was delivered by a snail). Although it took much longer, everyone agreed that letters were a little more special when they were delivered by Snail Mail. They might be handwritten. They might include a drawing. They might even contain a surprise inside! One such letter was sent by a Girl to the Boy she loved, and it was up to four special snails to deliver her card across the country. The snails trek across the country-through desert heat and dangerous blizzards, across mountains and plains, through cities and forests-and along the way, they find that taking time to slow down and look around makes the journey all the more beautiful. Snail Mail's playful and educational story encourages kids to have slow living, and to approach life with determination and wonder. Julia Patton's rich illustrations showcase America's diverse terrain and national monuments from coast to coast. Kids and parents alike will delight in this celebration of America's beauty and the power of a simple handwritten letter.

Marvelous Cornelius book
#43
Marvelous Cornelius
Written by Phil Bildner and illustrated by John Parra
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

In New Orleans, there lived a man who saw the streets as his calling, and he swept them clean. He danced up one avenue and down another and everyone danced along. The old ladies whistled and whirled. The old men hooted and hollered. The barbers, bead twirlers, and beignet bakers bounded behind that one-man parade. But then came the rising Mississippi—and a storm greater than anyone had seen before. In this heartwarming book about a real garbage man, Phil Bildner and John Parra tell the inspiring story of a humble man and the heroic difference he made in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Green Is a Chile Pepper book
#44
Green Is a Chile Pepper
Written by Roseanne Greenfield Thong and illustrated by John Parra
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Green is a chile pepper, spicy and hot. Green is cilantro inside our pot. In this lively picture book, children discover a world of colors all around them: red is spices and swirling skirts, yellow is masa, tortillas, and sweet corn cake. Many of the featured objects are Latino in origin, and all are universal in appeal. With rich, boisterous illustrations, a fun-to-read rhyming text, and an informative glossary, this playful concept book will reinforce the colors found in every child's day!

BARK PARK! book
#45
BARK PARK!
Written by Trudy Krisher and illustrated by Brooke Boynton Hughes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

Come along and play with all of the dogs at Bark Park in this exuberant rhyming picture book that’s a treat for animal lovers of any age. Welcome to Bark Park! There are dogs running and dogs relaxing, dogs riding and dogs sliding, dogs with a buddy and dogs getting muddy—all before returning home to bubble bath, a cozy dog bed, and sweet dreams of—what else?—being back at the park. Bark! Bark Bark!

The Biggest Pumpkin book
#46
The Biggest Pumpkin
Written by Sandra Horning and illustrated by Holly Stone-Barker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 33-7

Plant a prize-winning seed and help it grow! Join Gavin as he attempts to win first place at the local fair by growing the largest gourd in the world! Children will learn how to plant, fertilize, and pollinate a seed just as Gavin does. With the help of his friends and neighbors, Gavin becomes an expert on pumpkins. Through advice and hands-on experience, he learns how to care for his garden. Full of helpful facts and easy tips, this is an educational and amusing story that emphasizes the skill involved in gardening. A perfect companion for the classroom, this book teaches children about the science of cultivation, the commitment required to care for a living plant, and how to make homemade pumpkin pie.

Hoorade Day! book
#47
Hoorade Day!
Written by Nancy Raines Day and illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It is the Fourth of July, and a young girl and her parents are off to see the town's big parade--Hoorade Day! Boosted up on daddy s shoulders, the girl excitedly waves to her family members in the parade and joyfully describes each section. From the bleats and bangs of the marching band to the graceful twirls of the ribbon dancers, the little girl spots it all, reciting simple, rhyming cheers that complement the bright illustrations of the diverse community on each page. Narrated in jolly, lively verse, Hoorade Day! celebrates the birthday of a nation founded on principles of unity and hope. It will delight children and adults alike, keeping them smiling to the very last page.

The Great Googlini book
#48
The Great Googlini
Written by Sara Cassidy and illustrated by Charlene Chua
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

Filip, the ten-year-old son of Croatian immigrants, lives in a boring suburb of the big city,where he passes his time either at school or in his cozy kitchen, googling everything from dinosaurs to the Hubble Space Telescope. When his favorite uncle gets sick, Filip turns to Google for answers. Instead he receives a visit from the Great Googlini, a tiny woman in Converse sneakers who swirls out of the computer vents. She’s not really a genie, she explains: “I’m more of an archivist.” Her visit is a little bit of magic that lets Filip see the magic all around him. Ultimately about the things we can know and the things we can’t, this is a smart, touching, funny chapter book about growing up, braving tough times and looking for answers.

Child of Wonder book
#49
Child of Wonder
Written by Marty Haugen and illustrated by Stephen Nesser
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Bestselling composer Marty Haugen's "Child of Wonder," written for the baptism of his godson, celebrates the sacredness of human life and childhood. Now in this wonderful book, artist Stephen Nesser illuminates the lyrics with scenes of childhood rituals from faith traditions and cultures around the world, who play together to form community. These vibrant illustrations are a perfect complement to Marty's inspired poetry. Included with the volume is a link to a free mp3 download of the song, as well as the full notation of "Child of Wonder" for families that wish to sing along.

Home Sweet Neighborhood book
#50
Home Sweet Neighborhood
Written and illustrated by Michelle Mulder
picture book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Picture a busy avenue. Now plant trees along the boulevard, paint a mural by the empty lot, and add a community garden. Set up benches along the sidewalks and make space for kids’ chalk drawings, and you’ve set the scene for a thriving community. Placemaking—personalizing public and semi-private spaces like front yards—is a growing trend in cities and suburbs around the world, drawing people out of their homes and into conversation with one another. Kids are natural placemakers, building tree forts, drawing on sidewalks and setting up lemonade stands, but people of all ages can enjoy creative placemaking activities. From Dutch families who drag couches and tables onto sidewalks for outdoor suppers to Canadians who build little lending libraries to share books with neighbors, people can do things that make life more fun and strengthen neighborhoods. Home Sweet Neighborhood combines upbeat text, fun facts and colorful photos to intrigue and inspire readers.

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