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Problem Solving: Books For Kids

Whenever my son encounters a problem—be it Duplo piece that won't fit together the way he wants them to, a door he can't open or a bucket on the playground his friend won't share—my mom heart immediately leaps to help him. I want to solve his problems for him, to help him be happy and make life easy... but the truth I know deep down is that if I always help him, I'm not helping him at all. By allowing him opportunities to problem solve himself when a problem of appropriate difficulty arises, while it may be painful for both of us at the moment, he's developing crucial problem-solving skills that will serve him well for a lifetime. To help build confidence and showcase different techniques for problem-solving, as well as to have shared references to help us through a learning moment, books can be an enormous help. Without further ado, here are some of our favorite titles about problem-solving!

Top 10 Books About Problem Solving

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear book
#1
The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear
Written and illustrated by Don Wood, Audrey Wood
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
Thoughts from Grammy

I have long loved this book and read it literally hundreds of times. The likable Little Mouse, loaded with personality, expends great effort and imagination to protect the strawberry from the thieving bear. Use of varying font sizes cues the reader and adds to the drama and suspense as do the delightful illustrations. There is one illustration in particular, where the mouse is desperately tugging on the stem of the strawberry, in which the manner of illustrating--visual vibrations-- communicate perfectly the mouse's actions. With plenty of suspense and humor along the way, this story has a satisfying ending, although it does leave one wondering just who has been speaking to the mouse.

Little Mouse worries that the big, hungry bear will take his freshly picked, ripe, red strawberry for himself.

Appleblossom the Possum book
#2
Appleblossom the Possum
Written by and illustrated by Holly Goldberg Sloan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Mama has trained up her baby possums in the ways of their breed, and now it’s time for all of them—even little Appleblossom—to make their way in the world. Appleblossom knows the rules: she must never be seen during the day, and she must avoid cars, humans, and the dreaded hairies (sometimes known as dogs). Even so, Appleblossom decides to spy on a human family—and accidentally falls down their chimney! The curious Appleblossom, her faithful brothers—who launch a hilarious rescue mission—and even the little girl in the house have no idea how fascinating the big world can be. But they’re about to find out! With dynamic illustrations, a tight-knit family, and a glimpse at the world from a charming little marsupial’s point of view, this cozy animal story is a perfect read-aloud and a classic in the making.

To the Sea book
#3
To the Sea
Written and illustrated by Cale Atkinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

I absolutely LOVE To the Sea. The text is simple and relatively sparse, making it a pretty quick read while tackling the issues of loneliness and friendship in a kid-friendly and optimistic way. To help his friend get back to the sea, Tim brainstorms his best ideas and the sifts through them to find the perfect one... then puts in the hard work of pulling a whale on a bicycle to make it happen! The illustrations are fun, modern and so expressive—such a fun read aloud!

Sometimes Tim feels invisible at school-until one day, when Tim meets Sam. But Sam isn't just any new friend: he's a blue whale, and he can't find his way home! Returning Sam to the sea is hard work, but Tim is determined to help. After all, it's not every day you meet a new friend! This picture book about the power of friendship by new talent Cale Atkinson is brought to life by charming, dynamic illustrations.

Dough Knights and Dragons book
#4
Dough Knights and Dragons
Written by Dee Leone and illustrated by George Ermos
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I think this book is so fun! I love that the unlikely pair become friends, use their creativity and problem-solving skills, and most of all, that they stand up for what they think is right! Very cute illustrations, too! :)

In a mythical kingdom, a knight and a dragon cook up a delicious plan to save their friendship! In Dough Knights and Dragons, a curious knight and an amiable dragon meet serendipitously, and instantly bond over their shared love of baking. But the friends are filled with sadness when, according to the law, the two must duel one another. Can the unlikely pair find a way to evade the law, save their friendship, and spread good throughout the land? Kids will devour this scrumptiously clever tale!

Rosie Revere, Engineer book
#5
Rosie Revere, Engineer
Written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love this book! The fun and colorful illustrations and rhyme text are wonderful, but the story and message are the best. Rosie's a great female role-model and I love that she learns the great lesson that "the only true failure can come if you quit." Even when embarrassment or failure hold her back, she keeps on trying and recognizes that failure is a step towards success!

Rosie may seem quiet during the day, but at night she’s a brilliant inventor of gizmos and gadgets who dreams of becoming a great engineer. When her great-great-aunt Rose (Rosie the Riveter) comes for a visit and mentions her one unfinished goal—to fly—Rosie sets to work building a contraption to make her aunt’s dream come true. But when her contraption doesn’t fly but rather hovers for a moment and then crashes, Rosie deems the invention a failure. On the contrary, Aunt Rose insists that Rosie’s contraption was a raging success: you can only truly fail, she explains, if you quit. From the powerhouse author-illustrator team of Iggy Peck, Architect comes Rosie Revere, Engineer, another charming, witty picture book about believing in yourself and pursuing your passion. Ada Twist, Scientist, the companion picture book featuring the next kid from Iggy Peck's class, is available in September 2016.

The Big Ideas of Buster Bickles book
#6
The Big Ideas of Buster Bickles
Written and illustrated by Dave Wasson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Buster Bickles's big ideas are always getting him into trouble. But when Buster gets to test the newly invented What-if Machine, anything Buster imagines becomes reality. Packed with rivers of chocolate, robot dinosaurs, and eggs-ray vision, the world becomes Buster's creation in this fantastically creative picture book by debut author-illustrator Dave Wasson.

The Paper Bag Princess book
#7
The Paper Bag Princess
Written by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Over five million copies in print! When the fiercest dragon in the whole world smashes Princess Elizabeth’s castle, burns all her clothes, and captures her fiancé, Prince Ronald, Elizabeth takes matters into her own hands. With her wits alone and nothing but a paper bag to wear, the princess challenges the dragon to show his strength in the hopes of saving the prince. But is it worth all that trouble? Readers the world-over have fallen in love with this classic story of girl power. Now a newly designed Classic Munsch edition will introduce the tale to a new generation of young feminists.

Duncan the Story Dragon book
#8
Duncan the Story Dragon
Written and illustrated by Amanda Driscoll
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

Poor Duncan. He loves to read, but because he is a fire breathing dragon he can't seem to ever get to the end of the book without it catching fire. Talk about a problem that needs solving! Instead of giving up and becoming miserable, he finds the best solution of involving someone else, creating a lasting friendship. I like that this story shows that sometimes we do need to turn outwards and ask for help for some things we can't do on our own. This can be difficult, but often creates the most rewarding experiences.

Duncan the Dragon loves to read. When he reads a story, his imagination catches fire! Unfortunately . . . so does his book. Fire breath is great for roasting marshmallows, but it’s not so great for reading. Duncan just wants to get to those two wonderful words, like the last sip of a chocolate milk shake: The End. Will he ever find out how the story ends? This bright, warm tale champions determination, friendship, and a love for books. And milk shakes!

The Templeton Twins Have An Idea book
#9
The Templeton Twins Have An Idea
Written by Ellis Weiner and illustrated by Jeremy Holmes
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love how witty the Templeton twins are! This book reminds me a little bit of a Lemony Snicket tale, which I thought brought in some great humor. The twins have a great, smart, inventive father and they are kidnapped and held as ransom, as the perpetrators want their father's invention as payment. What the perpetrators don't realize is that the twins have learned a lot from their father--using the lessons and smarts they got from him, the twins save the day! I thought this book was adventurous, imaginative, fun, and clever.

Suppose there were 12-year-old twins, a boy and girl named John and Abigail Templeton. Let's say John was pragmatic and played the drums, and Abigail was theoretical and solved cryptic crosswords. Now suppose their father was a brilliant, if sometime confused, inventor. And suppose that another set of twins—adults—named Dean D. Dean and Dan D. Dean, kidnapped the Templeton twins and their ridiculous dog in order to get their father to turn over one of his genius (sort of) inventions. Yes, kidnapped. Wouldn't it be fun to read about that? Oh please. It would so. Now in paperback, this is just the first in a series perfect for boys and girls who are smart, clever, and funny (just like the twins), and enjoy reading adventurous stories (who doesn't?!). And now, there's more!

Russell the Sheep Board Book book
#10
Russell the Sheep Board Book
Written by Rob Scotton
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

This is Russell. Sometimes Russell is just a little bit out of step with the rest of the flock. All the sheep are falling asleep -- except Russell. What's a sheep to do? Russell tries everything ... until, at last, he falls asleep.

Books About Problem Solving and Friendship

To the Sea book
#1
To the Sea
Written and illustrated by Cale Atkinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

I absolutely LOVE To the Sea. The text is simple and relatively sparse, making it a pretty quick read while tackling the issues of loneliness and friendship in a kid-friendly and optimistic way. To help his friend get back to the sea, Tim brainstorms his best ideas and the sifts through them to find the perfect one... then puts in the hard work of pulling a whale on a bicycle to make it happen! The illustrations are fun, modern and so expressive—such a fun read aloud!

Sometimes Tim feels invisible at school-until one day, when Tim meets Sam. But Sam isn't just any new friend: he's a blue whale, and he can't find his way home! Returning Sam to the sea is hard work, but Tim is determined to help. After all, it's not every day you meet a new friend! This picture book about the power of friendship by new talent Cale Atkinson is brought to life by charming, dynamic illustrations.

Dough Knights and Dragons book
#2
Dough Knights and Dragons
Written by Dee Leone and illustrated by George Ermos
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I think this book is so fun! I love that the unlikely pair become friends, use their creativity and problem-solving skills, and most of all, that they stand up for what they think is right! Very cute illustrations, too! :)

In a mythical kingdom, a knight and a dragon cook up a delicious plan to save their friendship! In Dough Knights and Dragons, a curious knight and an amiable dragon meet serendipitously, and instantly bond over their shared love of baking. But the friends are filled with sadness when, according to the law, the two must duel one another. Can the unlikely pair find a way to evade the law, save their friendship, and spread good throughout the land? Kids will devour this scrumptiously clever tale!

Charlie's Boat book
#3
Charlie's Boat
Written and illustrated by Kit Chase
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Best friends really are the best when they use their imaginations to help each other. Charlie, Oliver, and Lulu love to play outside together. One fine day they all go fishing, but Charlie doesn’t have much fun—all he can catch are sticks. Next, they build little boats and have a race, but, once again, things don’t go very well. Charlie’s boat comes in last. Things seem pretty gloomy until Oliver comes up with a plan. They build a special boat they can all play on, together! Kit Chase offers a sweet ode to friendship in this tale of three best friends who can count on each other to always make play time fun.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Circle - Multi-award-winning, New York Times best-selling duo Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen deliver the final wry and resonant tale about Triangle, Square, and Circle. This book is about Circle. This book is also about Circle's friends, Triangle and Square. Also it is about a rule that Circle makes, and how she has to rescue Triangle when he breaks that rule. With their usual pitch-perfect pacing and subtle, sharp wit, Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen come full circle in the third and final chapter of their clever shapes trilogy.

  2. Somewhere Else - George has absolutely no interest in exploring the world. None at all. He's far too busy enjoying his home life and baking delicious pastries. Or so he tells all his friends when they invite him along on their wonderful adventures. But when George's friend Pascal digs a little deeper, the real reason George refuses to travel away from home is finally revealed . . . From the children's book author of the acclaimed Herman and Rosie comes Gus Gordon's Somewhere Else.

  3. This Moose Belongs to Me - From the illustrator of the #1 smash hit The Day the Crayons Quit comes the age-old tale of a boy and his moose . . . Wilfred is a boy with rules. He lives a very orderly life. It’s fortunate, then, that he has a pet who abides by rules, such as not making noise while Wilfred educates him on his record collection. There is, however, one rule that Wilfred’s pet has difficulty following: Going whichever way Wilfred wants to go. Perhaps this is because Wilfred’s pet doesn’t quite realize that he belongs to anyone. A moose can be obstinate in such ways. Fortunately, the two manage to work out a compromise. Let’s just say it involves apples.

  4. The Kingdom of Wrenly - 4 Books in 1! - Journey to the magical Kingdom of Wrenly with this fanastical four-book collection! Join Prince Lucas and his best friend, Clara, as they search for the queen’s lost necklace, save a scarlet dragon, tame a sea monster, and stop an evil curse from destroying the kingdom’s crops in this enchanting four-book collection. With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Kingdom of Wrenly chapter books are perfect for beginning readers. This adventurous four-book collection includes: The Lost Stone, The Scarlet Dragon, Sea Monster!, and The Witch’s Curse.

Want to see 35 more children's books about problem solving and friendship?

How about children's books about friendship?

Books About Problem Solving and Coping With Failure

Rosie Revere, Engineer book
#1
Rosie Revere, Engineer
Written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love this book! The fun and colorful illustrations and rhyme text are wonderful, but the story and message are the best. Rosie's a great female role-model and I love that she learns the great lesson that "the only true failure can come if you quit." Even when embarrassment or failure hold her back, she keeps on trying and recognizes that failure is a step towards success!

Rosie may seem quiet during the day, but at night she’s a brilliant inventor of gizmos and gadgets who dreams of becoming a great engineer. When her great-great-aunt Rose (Rosie the Riveter) comes for a visit and mentions her one unfinished goal—to fly—Rosie sets to work building a contraption to make her aunt’s dream come true. But when her contraption doesn’t fly but rather hovers for a moment and then crashes, Rosie deems the invention a failure. On the contrary, Aunt Rose insists that Rosie’s contraption was a raging success: you can only truly fail, she explains, if you quit. From the powerhouse author-illustrator team of Iggy Peck, Architect comes Rosie Revere, Engineer, another charming, witty picture book about believing in yourself and pursuing your passion. Ada Twist, Scientist, the companion picture book featuring the next kid from Iggy Peck's class, is available in September 2016.

The Paper Bag Princess book
#2
The Paper Bag Princess
Written by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Over five million copies in print! When the fiercest dragon in the whole world smashes Princess Elizabeth’s castle, burns all her clothes, and captures her fiancé, Prince Ronald, Elizabeth takes matters into her own hands. With her wits alone and nothing but a paper bag to wear, the princess challenges the dragon to show his strength in the hopes of saving the prince. But is it worth all that trouble? Readers the world-over have fallen in love with this classic story of girl power. Now a newly designed Classic Munsch edition will introduce the tale to a new generation of young feminists.

Beautiful Oops! book
#3
Beautiful Oops!
Written and illustrated by Barney Saltzberg
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

Near the very top of my list of things I want my children to learn is to not be afraid of mistakes or failure—they're simply part of the process. The interactive way multi-media mistakes are transformed in this book into quirky artwork is endearing and keeps the mood light and my little reader busy while I read the slightly more serious message present in the text. My toddler wants this "again" and "again", and thus far it's been sturdy enough to withstand toddler exploration, which is a plus!

A life lesson that all parents want their children to learn: It’s OK to make a mistake. In fact, hooray for mistakes! A mistake is an adventure in creativity, a portal of discovery. A spill doesn’t ruin a drawing—not when it becomes the shape of a goofy animal. And an accidental tear in your paper? Don’t be upset about it when you can turn it into the roaring mouth of an alligator. An award winning, best-selling, one-of-a-kind interactive book, Beautiful Oops! shows young readers how every mistake is an opportunity to make something beautiful. A singular work of imagination, creativity, and paper engineering, Beautiful Oops! is filled with pop-ups, lift-the-flaps, tears, holes, overlays, bends, smudges, and even an accordion “telescope”—each demonstrating the magical transformation from blunder to wonder.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Papa's Mechanical Fish - The Book Snob Mom - All about an inventor who never seems to be able to get anything just right, but who, with the help of some thought-provoking questions from his daughter, lots of iteration and oodles of family support tries and tries again to perfect one design... a mechanical fish! The illustrations are fun and quirky and the lesson that failure is just a step on the pathway to improvement is important.

  2. Oliver and the Seawigs - B is for Bookworm - This adventurous and imaginary tale will keep you guessing what will happen next! When Oliver's parents disappear, Oliver goes after them on his own journey, facing problem after problem. I love the Oliver is brave and instead of just complaining when a problem arises or his idea fails, he thinks about the next step he can take solve his problem and get his parents back. Plus, he makes a wonderful friend along the way. :)

  3. Lulu's Party - The Book Snob Mom - All about being a good friend, making the best of situations and problem solving, this book is incredibly sweet and delightful. I love that one crucial part of the story is told ONLY with illustrations, giving parents and children the opportunity to dive in past just the words to uncover the full story. I'm also a huge fan of how the friends politely say nothing about how yucky the "special treat" tastes until their host acknowledges it, but then work together to create a new treat to help their friend feel better.

  4. The Most Magnificent Thing - Mr. Staccato - One of the concepts in The Power of Vulnerability by Brené Brown is that sometimes when we fail, our reaction is to blame ourselves, "I'm no good." The more positive response to failure, though, is to blame our actions, "there was something wrong with the process." This book presents a similar idea as it follows a young girl and her assistant as they attempt to create the most magnificent thing ever. Try as she might, though, the girl can't quite get it right. Eventually, frustration sets in and she loses her cool. Thankfully, her trusty sidekick helps her go for a walk and get a new perspective on things. This is a great book for not giving up and learning from "failure".

Want to see more children's books about coping with failure?

Books About Problem Solving and Innovation

The Big Ideas of Buster Bickles book
#1
The Big Ideas of Buster Bickles
Written and illustrated by Dave Wasson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Buster Bickles's big ideas are always getting him into trouble. But when Buster gets to test the newly invented What-if Machine, anything Buster imagines becomes reality. Packed with rivers of chocolate, robot dinosaurs, and eggs-ray vision, the world becomes Buster's creation in this fantastically creative picture book by debut author-illustrator Dave Wasson.

The Templeton Twins Have An Idea book
#2
The Templeton Twins Have An Idea
Written by Ellis Weiner and illustrated by Jeremy Holmes
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love how witty the Templeton twins are! This book reminds me a little bit of a Lemony Snicket tale, which I thought brought in some great humor. The twins have a great, smart, inventive father and they are kidnapped and held as ransom, as the perpetrators want their father's invention as payment. What the perpetrators don't realize is that the twins have learned a lot from their father--using the lessons and smarts they got from him, the twins save the day! I thought this book was adventurous, imaginative, fun, and clever.

Suppose there were 12-year-old twins, a boy and girl named John and Abigail Templeton. Let's say John was pragmatic and played the drums, and Abigail was theoretical and solved cryptic crosswords. Now suppose their father was a brilliant, if sometime confused, inventor. And suppose that another set of twins—adults—named Dean D. Dean and Dan D. Dean, kidnapped the Templeton twins and their ridiculous dog in order to get their father to turn over one of his genius (sort of) inventions. Yes, kidnapped. Wouldn't it be fun to read about that? Oh please. It would so. Now in paperback, this is just the first in a series perfect for boys and girls who are smart, clever, and funny (just like the twins), and enjoy reading adventurous stories (who doesn't?!). And now, there's more!

The Whale in My Swimming Pool  book
#3
The Whale in My Swimming Pool
Written and illustrated by Joyce Wan
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

I'm a huge fan of Joyce Wan's signature illustration style (as a side note, did you know she can even make worms look cute?! I digress). This cute book combines a preposterous situation with one little boy's innovation and problem-solving to create happy humor and good feels all around.

One sunny day, a little boy heads outside for a swim, but his pool is already taken . . . There's a big whale in the water and it's not budging! The boy tries everything to get the whale to leave. Nothing seems to work. Not fetch. Not tag. Not even offering his allowance. What's a boy to do? Luckily, he comes up with the perfect solution: he decides to chill out on a spray of water over the whale's spout. This colorful whale of a tale from the talented Joyce Wan is sure to inspire giggles from little guppies!

Honorable Mentions
  1. A Story, a Story - Winner of the Caldecott Medal Once, all the stories in the world belonged to Nyame, the Sky God. He kept them in a box beside his throne. But Ananse, the Spider man, wanted them -- and caught three sly creatures to get them. This story of how we got our own stories to tell is adapted from an African folktale.

  2. Hello Ruby: Adventures in Coding - "Code is the 21st century literacy and the need for people to speak the ABCs of Programming is imminent." --Linda Liukas Meet Ruby--a small girl with a huge imagination. In Ruby's world anything is possible if you put your mind to it. When her dad asks her to find five hidden gems Ruby is determined to solve the puzzle with the help of her new friends, including the Wise Snow Leopard, the Friendly Foxes, and the Messy Robots. As Ruby stomps around her world kids will be introduced to the basic concepts behind coding and programming through storytelling. Learn how to break big problems into small problems, repeat tasks, look for patterns, create step-by-step plans, and think outside the box. With hands-on activities included in every chapter, future coders will be thrilled to put their own imaginations to work.

Want to see more children's books about innovation?

Books About Problem Solving and Teamwork

Duncan the Story Dragon book
#1
Duncan the Story Dragon
Written and illustrated by Amanda Driscoll
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

Poor Duncan. He loves to read, but because he is a fire breathing dragon he can't seem to ever get to the end of the book without it catching fire. Talk about a problem that needs solving! Instead of giving up and becoming miserable, he finds the best solution of involving someone else, creating a lasting friendship. I like that this story shows that sometimes we do need to turn outwards and ask for help for some things we can't do on our own. This can be difficult, but often creates the most rewarding experiences.

Duncan the Dragon loves to read. When he reads a story, his imagination catches fire! Unfortunately . . . so does his book. Fire breath is great for roasting marshmallows, but it’s not so great for reading. Duncan just wants to get to those two wonderful words, like the last sip of a chocolate milk shake: The End. Will he ever find out how the story ends? This bright, warm tale champions determination, friendship, and a love for books. And milk shakes!

Max and Marla book
#2
Max and Marla
Written and illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Two fearless Olympians sled to victory in this delightful new picture book Max and Marla are best friends. And aspiring Olympians! With their eyes on the prize, they know exactly what it’ll take to reach sledding success: preparation, practice and perseverance. So when rusty blades, strong winds and difficult slopes get in their way, Max and Marla realize true joy lies not in winning but in friendship. Obstacles turn into victories! With delightful illustrations and charming text, Alexandra Boiger brings to life the story of two unstoppable pals—true Olympians who never give up!

Oliver's Tree book
#3
Oliver's Tree
Written and illustrated by Kit Chase
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

This is such a great story about friendship and working together. Sometimes we see things differently and this book shows us how we can work through those differences and make things better for everyone involved.

A board book about three adorable best friends! Oliver, Charlie, and Lulu love to play outside together. Their favorite game is hide-and-seek, but it’s not fun for Oliver when his friends hide in the trees—he can’t reach them! So the friends set off to find a tree that Oliver can play in. But there’s a reason we don’t see elephants in trees, and just when Oliver is ready to give up the search, Charlie and Lulu surprise him with the perfect tree for them all to play in together!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Appleblossom the Possum - Mama has trained up her baby possums in the ways of their breed, and now it’s time for all of them—even little Appleblossom—to make their way in the world. Appleblossom knows the rules: she must never be seen during the day, and she must avoid cars, humans, and the dreaded hairies (sometimes known as dogs). Even so, Appleblossom decides to spy on a human family—and accidentally falls down their chimney! The curious Appleblossom, her faithful brothers—who launch a hilarious rescue mission—and even the little girl in the house have no idea how fascinating the big world can be. But they’re about to find out! With dynamic illustrations, a tight-knit family, and a glimpse at the world from a charming little marsupial’s point of view, this cozy animal story is a perfect read-aloud and a classic in the making.

  2. The Big Red Rock - When Bif finds a big red rock blocking his way, he decides it has to go. But how? Nothing he tries will move it. Bif's friend Bop knows some monsters who might be able to help. When none of their ingenious methods work, they all have to decide what to do next - with surprising results! A simple and comic tale about teamwork and problem solving.

  3. The Alcatraz Escape - Sleuthing duo Emily and James engage in a literary escape-room challenge on Alcatraz Island, but soon find that an invisible enemy is trying to sabotage the team at any cost.

  4. Charlie & Mouse Even Better - In this heartwarming follow-up to Laurel Snyder's awardwinning beginning chapter book Charlie & Mouse, the two brothers prepare to celebrate one very special birthday: their mom's! Follow along as they choose the best pancakes, hunt for presents, decorate with snakes, and more. Things don't go exactly as planned . . . but with plenty of humor and heart, Charlie and Mouse prove that sometimes when things aren't perfect, what they turn out to be is even better.

Want to see more children's books about teamwork?

Books About Problem Solving and Food

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear book
#1
The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear
Written and illustrated by Don Wood, Audrey Wood
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
Thoughts from Grammy

I have long loved this book and read it literally hundreds of times. The likable Little Mouse, loaded with personality, expends great effort and imagination to protect the strawberry from the thieving bear. Use of varying font sizes cues the reader and adds to the drama and suspense as do the delightful illustrations. There is one illustration in particular, where the mouse is desperately tugging on the stem of the strawberry, in which the manner of illustrating--visual vibrations-- communicate perfectly the mouse's actions. With plenty of suspense and humor along the way, this story has a satisfying ending, although it does leave one wondering just who has been speaking to the mouse.

Little Mouse worries that the big, hungry bear will take his freshly picked, ripe, red strawberry for himself.

The Giant of Jum book
#2
The Giant of Jum
Written by Elli Woollard and illustrated by Benji Davies
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The Giant of Jum is feeling a bit munchy. "Fee!" he says, and "Fi!" he says, and "Fo!" he says and "Fum!" And off he goes, in search of that sweet snack of a boy named Jack. On his hunt, he ll meet children of all sorts. But before he can gobble them up, he finds himself waylaid by pleas for help. What's a hungry giant to do? Bright illustrations and sweet characters bring this fun and funny story to life a wonderful read-aloud with a chorus everyone will want to shout out together!"

Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast book
#3
Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast
Written and illustrated by Josh Funk
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

A thoroughly delicious picture book about the funniest "food fight!" ever! Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast have a beautiful friendship—until they discover that there'sONLY ONE DROP of maple syrup left. Off they go, racing past the Orange Juice Fountain, skiing through Sauerkraut Peak, and reeling down the linguini. But who will enjoy the sweet taste of victory? And could working together be better than tearing each other apart? The action-packed rhyme makes for an adrenaline-filled breakfast . . . even without a drop of coffee!

Honorable Mentions
  1. James and the Giant Peach - From the bestselling author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG! After James Henry Trotter’s parents are tragically eaten by a rhinoceros, he goes to live with his two horrible aunts, Spiker and Sponge. Life there is no fun, until James accidentally drops some magic crystals by the old peach tree and strange things start to happen. The peach at the top of the tree begins to grow, and before long it’s as big as a house. Inside, James meets a bunch of oversized friends—Grasshopper, Centipede, Ladybug, and more. With a snip of the stem, the peach starts rolling away, and the great adventure begins!

  2. Prince Not-So Charming: Happily Ever Laughter - In the fourth chapter book in the Prince Not-So Charming series, Prince Charming faces his greatest challenge yet: a fancy party. Prince Carlos Charles Charming isn’t the princeliest of princes. But he might be the funniest. Unfortunately, being hilarious won’t help much at a birthday party thrown by an evil queen with no sense of humor. And if Carlos, his pet dragon, and his friend Pinky don’t bring the right presents and fail to dance perfectly, the evil queen might declare war. Can Carlos and his friends keep the party from turning into a disaster? Who are we kidding? The real question is: After starting a food fight, can they save their kingdom? Perfect for middle school readers and filled with adorable illustrations, Prince Not-So Charming: Happily Ever Laughter is for every kid who worries about how to survive their next party. An Imprint Book

  3. Munch Your Lunch! - A new generation of children love Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, inspired by the classic series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood! Daniel Tiger is the lunch helper at school and gets a sweet surprise from Mom Tiger in this 8x8 storybook based on an episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood that comes with tiger-tastic lunch notes to pack in your little one’s lunchbox! It’s lunchtime at Daniel Tiger’s school. Teacher Harriet tells everyone to take a deep breath and open their lunch boxes. Daniel Tiger’s lunch box has a sandwich, strawberries, and a special surprise: A note from Mom Tiger! With the Daniel Tiger lunch notes included in this 8x8 storybook, parents and guardians can add special messages in their little one’s lunchboxes to show how much they care!

  4. The Case of the Stinky Stench - There s a stinky stench in the fridge and our favorite foodie friends must solve a smelly mystery! Inspector Croissant begs Sir French Toast and Lady Pancake for help in finding the source of the foul odor. Could it be the devious Baron Von Waffle? A fetid fish in Corn Chowder Lake? Featuring delectable wordplay there s even an actual red herring and delicious art, this tasty tale is a treat for kids!"

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Books About Problem Solving and Animals

The Little Green Hen book
#1
The Little Green Hen
Written and illustrated by Alison Murray
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

A timely retelling plays off "The Little Red Hen" with an environmental slant. On top of a hill, inside an old and very fruitful apple tree, lives Little Green Hen. She prunes the tree's branches, rids it of pests, and sows its seeds so that more trees will grow. But soon the work proves too much, and Little Green Hen seeks some help. Dog (who loves sticks), Sparrow (who loves bugs), and Squirrel (who loves burying things) are glad to pitch in. But Peacock, Fox, and Cat have far more important things to do -- until the storms roll in, the rain comes down, and the waters rise. . . . With contemporary flair, Alison Murray offers another engaging adaptation of a traditional children's tale.

So Light, So Heavy book
#2
So Light, So Heavy
Written and illustrated by Susanne Strasser
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Elephant is so heavy, and all the other animals are so light. How will the seesaw ever go up and down? Toddlers will be drawn in by repetition, opposites, humor, and an unexpected twist in this board book story about Elephant's quest to get the seesaw to teeter. A cast of friendly animals—who are all so light—try to help move the seesaw, but Elephant's side won't budge. He's so heavy. Then what happens when a child swoops in with other plans? Short, simple, and memorable, this board book offers a satisfying story arc.

What Does an Anteater Eat? book
#3
What Does an Anteater Eat?
Written and illustrated by Ross Collins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Anteater is hungry, but he has completely forgotten what anteaters eat. Baffled, and with his tummy rumbling, he consults the other animals. Sloth is too busy, Toucan is clueless, and Crocodile has his own mouth full. Whatever will Anteater do? It isn't until the ants all run for their lives that Anteater remembers what he should be eating . . . and it's not what you think! A delightfully silly tale that little ones will return to again and again.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Little Orange Scarf - Little Owl loves many things, including his tree house in City Park, riding his scooter, and eating ice cream. But he does not love the new orange scarf his mommy makes him wear. It’s too long. It’s too itchy. It’s too . . . orange! After several attempts to lose his orange scarf, Little Owl finally succeeds. But a trip to the yarn store provides Mommy with the perfect solution to keep Little Owl warm and happy. From the author of Small Bunny’s Blue Blanket comes another toddler-friendly—and parent-friendly—board book offering.

  2. Henry's Bright Idea - Deep in the shade of a walnut grove stands a tall tree house. A delightful group of friends gathers here. They call themselves the Walnut Animal Society. Their mission is to create and to always remain curious. Henry the Fox is a knowledgeable fellow, known for his unique inventions. Margaux the Kitty’s many books are filled with stories and poems she’s written. Ruthie the Deer loves to dance like the butterflies that flutter outside. The collection of ropes and fishing poles belongs to adventurous Chester the Raccoon. Magnolia the Bunny makes maps of the places she’s explored beyond the walnut grove. And Eleanor the Bear gathers flowers and plants to make tea for her friends. Henry is a founding member of the Walnut Animal Society, an inventor and a tinkerer. Today Henry is not inventing or tinkering. Henry has lost his idea. Follow Henry and his friend Eleanor as they search for Henry’s lost idea and discover much more in this charming picture book, the first in a series of titles, reminiscent of such classics as Winnie the Pooh, and illustrated in a rich, vintage palette.

  3. But Not the Hippopotamus - A shy hippo makes a big impact in this Sandra Boynton classic. Serious silliness for all ages. Artist Sandra Boynton is back and better than ever with completely redrawn versions of her multi-million selling board books. These whimsical and hilarious books, featuring nontraditional texts and her famous animal characters, have been printed on thick board pages, and are sure to educate and entertain children of all ages.

  4. Giraffe Problems - Can you guess what’s making this giraffe self-conscious? Could it be . . . HIS ENORMOUS NECK?? Yes, it’s exactly that–how on earth did you figure it out? Cyrus the giraffe can’t understand why his neck is as long and bendy and, well, ridiculous as it is. No other animal has a neck this absurd. He’s tried disguising it, dressing it up, strategically hiding it behind bushes–honestly, anything you can think of, he’s tried. Just when he has exhausted his neck-hiding options and is about to throw in the towel, a turtle swoops in (well, ambles in, very slowly) and helps him understand that his neck has a purpose, and looks excellent in a bow tie.

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Books About Problem Solving and Imagination

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland board book book
#1
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland board book
Written and illustrated by Alison Jay
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

Alice in Wonderland is now ready for the toddler crowd in this delightful board book edition of Lewis Carroll’s classic Introduce the youngest readers to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with this dynamic new edition. Board book favorite Alison Jay illustrates the novel’s most iconic moments in her distinctive crackle-paint style. Each scene is paired with a descriptive verb, making this high-action concept book perfect for sharing with little ones.

Raj and the Best Day Ever book
#2
Raj and the Best Day Ever
Written and illustrated by Sebastien Braun
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Best-selling illustrator Sebastien Braun introduces new character Raj in this celebration of the relationship between father and son. Raj and Dad are going on an adventure. They plan a list of all the things they will do. But then disaster strikes! Dad has left his wallet at home, and Raj thinks their day will be ruined. But maybe Raj and Dad can still have a great day--all they need is their imaginations and each other's company!

I Am Too Absolutely Small for School book
#3
I Am Too Absolutely Small for School
Written and illustrated by Lauren Child
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

"The children's relationship is refreshingly noncombative, with Charlie as the protective and affectionate older brother who is appreciative of, rather than annoyed by, his sister's quirkiness." — SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL (starred review) Lola is not so sure about school. After all, why would she need to count higher than ten when she never eats more that ten cookies at a time? Once again, it's up to ever-patient big brother Charlie to persuade Lola that school is worthwhile — and that her invisible friend, Soren Lorensen, will be welcome, too.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Poppy Pickle - Poppy gets into a major pickle when her imagination comes alive! Poppy has the most extraordinary imagination. When she is sent upstairs to clean her room, she just can't help imagining, and suddenly . . . her imagination literally comes alive. Soon her room is jam-packed with all kinds of weird and wonderful creatures. There are a few problems, though: the mammoth puts his foot through the floor, and the hungry crocodile thinks Poppy would make a tasty snack. Poppy needs to get rid of all these creatures fast. But how?

  2. How to Trap a Leprechaun - Legend has it that if you catch a leprechaun, he’ll grant you a wish. But, be careful! Leprechauns are full of trickery. To catch one, you’ll need to be clever in crafting your trap. Grab some glitter and glue and get prepared for your wily holiday visitors! On the night before St. Patrick’s Day, leprechauns show up to steal your treasures and then disappear as quickly as they came. However, if you’re careful you might be able to catch one and then he’ll grant you a wish. You’ll have to be sneaky and set just the right trap to trap a leprechaun. Sue Fliess’s read-aloud text and Emma Randall’s whimsical illustrations will provide much fun for young readers eager to catch their very own leprechaun! But beware: leprechauns may leave you with nothing but a cardboard box and a shoe or two. Sky Pony Press, with our Good Books, Racehorse and Arcade imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of books for young readers--picture books for small children, chapter books, books for middle grade readers, and novels for young adults. Our list includes bestsellers for children who love to play Minecraft; stories told with LEGO bricks; books that teach lessons about tolerance, patience, and the environment, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

  3. The Basque Dragon - Across the vast, blue ocean, in the mountains of the Basque Country, a fearsome creature has gone missing. And the Unicorn Rescue Society are the only ones who can save it. Elliot and Uchenna—and Jersey!—have barely recovered from their first adventure with Professor Fauna when he approaches them with an all-new quest. Except this time they’re going to have to cross an ocean. In the mountains of the Basque Country, the Unicorn Rescue Society must track down a missing dragon. But how could someone even kidnap a dragon? And for what evil purpose? And is their newest, fire-breathing rescue more than they can handle?

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Books About Problem Solving and Courage

Journey book
#1
Journey
Written and illustrated by Aaron Becker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This is a beautiful wordless picture book following a young girl through her imagination to a world where things don't always work out as she expects. She has to think fast, but with a little creative problem solving and a lot of imagination she's able to discover just what she was looking for—a friend. A fresh take on a journey with elements vaguely reminiscent of Where the Wild Things Are and Harold and the Purple Crayon!

Follow a girl on an elaborate flight of fancy in a wondrously illustrated, wordless picture book about self-determination — and unexpected friendship. A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. Red marker in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon, and a flying carpet that carry her on a spectacular journey toward an uncertain destiny. When she is captured by a sinister emperor, only an act of tremendous courage and kindness can set her free. Can it also lead her home and to her heart’s desire? With supple line, luminous color, and nimble flights of fancy, author-illustrator Aaron Becker launches an ordinary child on an extraordinary journey toward her greatest and most exciting adventure of all.

Off & Away book
#2
Off & Away
Written and illustrated by Cale Atkinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

How would you get mail if you lived in the middle of the sea? It's Jo's dad's job to deliver it, taking bottles wherever they need to go. He always comes home with exciting stories to tell-but Jo is far too afraid to go out on the ocean herself. Until Dad gets a bad sea cold, that is. With no one but Jo to deliver the bottles, she must find her courage and set sail alone. As she embarks on her mission, her fears just might be replaced with new friendships . . . and grand stories of her own. With beautiful, atmospheric art and endearing new characters by author-illustrator Cale Atkinson, this picturebook is a treasure.

The 91-Story Treehouse book
#3
The 91-Story Treehouse
Written by Andy Griffiths and illustrated by Terry Denton
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

The "New York Times-"-bestselling team of Griffiths and Denton invites readers to hang out with them in the seventh book of their illustrated chapter book series. Illustrations.

Honorable Mentions
  1. King Flashypants and the Toys of Terror - Something strange is afoot in Edwinland—King Edwin's arch nemesis Emperor Nurbison isn't acting like himself. He's smiling. He's cheerful. He's even making toys for the peasants! King Edwin knows he must be up to something. But what? Dangerous dolls and dastardly plots await in this latest rib-tickling adventure.

  2. Priscilla and the Hollyhocks - Priscilla is only four years old when her mother is sold to another master. All Priscilla has to remember her mother by are the hollyhocks she planted by the cow pond. At age ten, Priscilla is sold to a Cherokee family and continues her life as a slave. She keeps hope for a better life alive by planting hollyhocks wherever she goes. At last, her forced march along the Trail of Tears brings a chance encounter that leads to her freedom. Includes an author's note with more details about this fascinating true story as well as instructions for making hollyhock dolls.

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Books About Problem Solving and Dogs

The Poky Little Puppy book
#1
The Poky Little Puppy
Written by Janette Sebring Lowrey and illustrated by Gustaf Tenggren
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Five little puppies dug a hole under the fence and went for a walk in the wide, wide world… . The Poky Little Puppy was one of the original twelve Little Golden Books published in 1942, and went on to become the bestselling picture book of all time. The story of a curious puppy, who digs holes under fences and who has to go to bed without any strawberry shortcake, has delighted families for generations. it is, quite simply, an icon. Delightful to read aloud, The Poky Little Puppy is a cherished story that every child should know.

Skippyjon Jones in Mummy Trouble book
#2
Skippyjon Jones in Mummy Trouble
Written and illustrated by Judy Schachner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

El Skippito is back! His doggy pals want to visit the Under Mundo—the underworld—where mummitos rest in peas. But they need El Skippito’s brains and courage to answer the riddle of the Finx and enter the mummy’s tomb. Our hero is up to the task, and he’s in for another whirlwind adventure.

Snow Dog, Sand Dog book
#3
Snow Dog, Sand Dog
Written by Linda Joy Singleton and illustrated by Jess Golden
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

What would you do if you were allergic but realy wanted a dog? In this whimsical picture book, a young girl uses her crafty nature and imagination to create four-legged friends each season as the weather changes. She builds a dog out of snow in winter, sand in summer, leaves in fall, and flowers in spring!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Juana and Lucas - Big Problemas - When her mami meets someone new, Juana worries that everything will change in a humorous, heartwarming follow-up to the Pura Belpré Award-winning Juana & Lucas. Juana's life is just about perfect. She lives in the beautiful city of Bogotá with her two most favorite people in the world: her mami and her dog, Lucas. Lately, though, things have become a little less perfect. Mami has a new hairdo and a new amigo named Luis with whom she has been spending a LOT of time. He is kind and teaches Juana about things like photography and jazz music, but sometimes Juana can't help wishing things would go back to the way they were before. When Mami announces that she and Luis are getting married and that they will all be moving to a new casa, Juana is quite distraught. Lucky for her, though, some things will never change -- like how much Mami loves her. Based on author-illustrator Juana Medina's own childhood in Colombia, this joyful series is sure to resonate with readers of all ages.

  2. Ladybug Girl and the Big Snow - In this hardcover picture book from the New York Times bestselling Ladybug Girl series, Ladybug Girl and Bingo need to look on the bright side of things to make their snow day adventure as much fun as it should be. Lulu and her dog Bingo wake up to a snow-covered yard and decide to have the best snow day ever. They make penguin tracks and taste the frosting-like snow. But the snow is deep and cold, and when Lulu tries to build a fort or make a snowball, her mittens are too wet and snow falls down the back of her neck. This is not the day she planned. And then Lulu remembers that she is Ladybug Girl and Ladybug Girl can do anything! With another determined look at the snow, Ladybug Girl overcomes her frustration and sees the yard in a whole new light. She and Bingo are now ready to use their imaginations to create their own snow games, snow animals, and snow adventures! For fans of The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, Ladybug Girl and the Big Snow honors the magic of the outdoors and creativity!

  3. DIY Pet Shop - Emily finally convinces her parents to get a puppy—but soon realizes she’s allergic! Can her friends help her figure out the perfect pet? Find out in this fifth book of the Craftily Ever After chapter book series. Emily Adams, Maddie Wilson, Bella Diaz, and Sam Sharma are eight-year-olds with one special thing in common: they love to create. They each have unique talents, too! Emily is great at constructing and building; Maddie has an eye for fashion, fabrics, and sewing; Bella is a gadget whiz; and Sam is a gifted artist. Together, these four crafty friends dream up new projects to design, build, and create and through their experiences, they’ll learn how to handle various obstacles at school and in their everyday eight-year-old lives. Emily is desperate to get a puppy. She’s worked really hard to convince her parents that she’s responsible and ready and they’ve finally agreed. But first, Emily’s going to volunteer at the local animal shelter to get some practice caring for the animals. She’s loving it until—ah-ahhh-CHOOO!—she discovers that she’s allergic to them! Emily is devastated. Luckily, her creative friends just might have the perfect solution to cheer her up. With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Craftily Ever After chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.

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Books About Problem Solving and Adventure

The Book of Mistakes book
#1
The Book of Mistakes
Written and illustrated by Corinna Luyken
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Zoom meets Beautiful Oops! in this memorable picture book debut about the creative process, and the way in which ""mistakes"" can blossom into inspiration One eye was bigger than the other. That was a mistake. The weird frog-cat-cow thing? It made an excellent bush. And the inky smudges… they look as if they were always meant to be leaves floating gently across the sky. As one artist incorporates accidental splotches, spots, and misshapen things into her art, she transforms her piece in quirky and unexpected ways, taking readers on a journey through her process. Told in minimal, playful text, this story shows readers that even the biggest “mistakes” can be the source of the brightest ideas—and that, at the end of the day, we are all works in progress, too. Fans of Peter Reynolds’s Ish and Patrick McDonnell’s A Perfectly Messed-Up Story will love the funny, poignant, completely unique storytelling of The Book of Mistakes. And, like Oh, The Places You’ll Go!, it makes the perfect graduation gift, encouraging readers to have a positive outlook as they learn to face life’s obstacles.

Where Oliver Fits book
#2
Where Oliver Fits
Written and illustrated by Cale Atkinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Oliver has always dreamed about where he will fit. Will he be in the mane of a unicorn? The tentacle of a pirate squid? The helmet of an astronaut? When he finally goes in search of his perfect place, he finds that trying to fit in is a lot harder than he thought. But like any puzzle, a little trial and error leads to a solution, and Oliver figures out exactly where he belongs. Where Oliver Fits is a sweet and funny story that explores all the highs and lows of learning to be yourself and shows that fitting in isn't always the best fit.

Clover Fields Fiasco book
#3
Clover Fields Fiasco
Written by Cari Meister and illustrated by Stephen Park Gilpin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Princess is a show pony who is absolutely convinced that she is a cat and needs to hunt for her dinner, Blizzard (otherwise known as Snowy) is a Shetland pony who needs material for the book he is writing, and Sebastian is a draft horse who knows how to break out of the barn; so together the Tres Caballos Incognito set out for the clover fields looking for adventure--where Princess chases a squirrel and gets stuck in a tree.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Cosmic Blackout! - Zack loves everything about his new planet, Nebulon, until there is a complete cosmic blackout and he must try to function without his Indoor Robotic Assistant and hyperphone.

  2. Tie-Dye Disaster - In this third book of the Craftily Ever After chapter book series, Maddie, Emily, Bella, and Sam accidentally tie-dye a shirt Maddie’s mother made for the mayor! Emily Adams, Maddie Wilson, Bella Diaz, and Sam Sharma are eight-year-olds with one special thing in common: they love to create. They each have unique talents, too! Emily is great at constructing and building; Maddie has an eye for fashion, fabrics, and sewing; Bella is a gadget whiz; and Sam is a gifted artist. Together, these four crafty friends dream up new projects to design, build, and create and through their experiences, they’ll learn how to handle various obstacles at school and in their everyday eight-year-old lives. Maddie gets her knack for fashion and sewing from her mom, a seamstress. And she’s made a lot for an eight-year-old—from theater costumes, to brand-new pairs of pants, to pillows for the Craft Clubhouse. But she’s never tie-dyed before! Maddie, Emily, Bella, and Sam have lots of fun turning clothing bright, groovy colors. But then something not so bright and groovy happens. The kids accidentally tie-dye a shirt Maddie’s mother made for the mayor of the town! They try all sorts of things to fix their mistake, but nothing works. What is the foursome going to do about their tie-dye disaster? With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Craftily Ever After chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.

  3. Lights Out - When a storm causes a neighborhood blackout, Sofia and her father come up with a plan for the perfect family night without electricity.

  4. Freya and the Magic Jewel -

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Books About Problem Solving and Silly

Stuck book
#1
Stuck
Written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Thoughts from Grammy

The boy in this story may be a little single-minded when it comes to problem-solving, but wow, does he have a strong arm! There are plenty of opportunities to anticipate and predict what might happen next; just when you think he might use an object for its intended purpose and change the trajectory of the story, he lobs it into the tree. Kids find this absolutely hilarious! I love the simply-drawn illustrations and the creative variety of the boy's resources. It is a wonderful thing to be so engaged in the resolution of a problem that one is completely distracted from the problem itself.

From the illustrator of the #1 smash The Day the Crayons Quit comes another bestseller–a giggle-inducing tale of everything tossed, thrown, and hurled in order to free a kite! When Floyd’s kite gets stuck in a tree, he’s determined to get it out. But how? Well, by knocking it down with his shoe, of course. But strangely enough, it too gets stuck. And the only logical course of action . . . is to throw his other shoe. Only now it’s stuck! Surely there must be something he can use to get his kite unstuck. An orangutan? A boat? His front door? Yes, yes, and yes. And that’s only the beginning. Stuck is Oliver Jeffers’ most absurdly funny story since The Incredible Book-Eating Boy. Childlike in concept and vibrantly illustrated as only Oliver Jeffers could, here is a picture book worth rescuing from any tree.

Beard Boy book
#2
Beard Boy
Written by John Flannery and illustrated by Steven Weinberg
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Young Ben wants to be just like his awesome dad—bearded. Ben wants a beard. All the most boss people in his town have them. The baker, the barbers, the butcher, they’re all bewhiskered—even the old lady who waits at the bus stop has one. Most of all though, Ben wants a beard just like his dad. He tries his best to start on some scruff, but nothing works quite right. And when his dad explains he might have to wait ’til he’s older for a beard of his own, he decides to take some more permanent action—with a marker that is. In the end, Ben and his dad find the perfect solution in this hilarious and heartwarming picture book celebrating the bond between father and son.

Batneezer: The Creature From My Closet book
#3
Batneezer: The Creature From My Closet
Written by Obert Skye
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

For the first time, Rob Burnside knows when his closet is about to open—but he's not prepared for what emerges. A mash-up of Ebenezer Scrooge and Lego Batman, this new visitor's unusual antics are only one of Rob's problems.While enduring visits by the ghosts of books past, present,and future, Rob learns some shocking news: A battle is brewing, and his school needs a hero. What he gets is so much more. (Spoiler alert: All the creatures from past books come visit!)

Honorable Mentions
  1. Matilda - From the bestselling author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG! Matilda is a sweet, exceptional young girl, but her parents think she’s just a nuisance. She expects school to be different but there she has to face Miss Trunchbull, a kid-hating terror of a headmistress. When Matilda is attacked by the Trunchbull she suddenly discovers she has a remarkable power with which to fight back. It’ll take a superhuman genius to give Miss Trunchbull what she deserves and Matilda may be just the one to do it!

  2. Hector's Hiccups - Sofia's Abuela is taking her and Sophia's cousin Hector to the movies, but when Hector develops hiccups, their movie plans are put on hold until the children get their hiccup problem under control.

  3. King Flashypants and the Evil Emperor - Edwin isn't any ordinary boy. He is a king with a crown, his own suit of armor, a castle with secret passages and water slides—oh, and the most horribly evil man in the universe living next door. Emperor Nurbison is permanently up to no good. He wants Edwin's kingdom for himself, so when the Edwinland piggy bank runs out of money, he seizes his opportunity. None of this could possibly lead to a thrilling adventure with action, chocolate, and snappy crocodiles—could it?

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Books About Problem Solving and Princesses

Princess Smartypants book
#1
Princess Smartypants
Written and illustrated by Babette Cole
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Forced by her parents into looking for a husband, Princess Smartypants sets impossible tasks for her suitors to prove their worthiness, but when Prince Swashbuckle succeeds at every task, the Princess turns him into a frog with her kiss. Reprint.

Whiskerella book
#2
Whiskerella
Written and illustrated by Ursula Vernon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Princess Harriet Hamsterbone is not the kind of princess who enjoys fancy dresses or extravagant parties. Cliff-diving, fractions, and whacking people with swords are more her thing. So when she’s forced to attend a boring ball in honor of a visiting ambassador, Harriet is less than thrilled–until a bewitchingly beautiful stranger arrives. Who is she? And where did she come from? The mystery leads to a not-so-wicked stepsister, an incontinent lizard, and a fairy’s spell that’s really more of a curse. Luckily, Harriet knows a thing or two about curses…

Princess Truly and the Hungry Bunny Problem book
#3
Princess Truly and the Hungry Bunny Problem
Written by Kelly Greenawalt and illustrated by Amariah Rauscher
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-3

Princess Truly uses her magic hair to solve a problem involving a hungry bunny.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Girl with the Dragon Heart - Silke knows how to stay out of trouble. And when your best friend is a dragon-turned-hot-tempered-girl, trouble is always right around the corner. Although Silke has found a home at The Chocolate Heart as a waitress and master promoter, nothing fills the void of her past. Years ago, her parents disappeared while traveling through the mysterious fairy land, Elfenwald. One day, the Crown Princess personally asks her to spy on the Elfenwald royal family who are visiting the kingdom for the first time. In return, Silke will have the home she's always wanted--the secure palace. But when Silke discovers the royal visitors' true intentions, she'll need all her wits to save her city from destruction.

  2. The Princess in Black and the Science Fair Scare - Princess Magnolia is excited. Excited and nervous. She’s going to the Interkingdom Science Fair today to present her poster about seeds and plants, and when she arrives, she sees that her friends are there too! Princess Honeysuckle made a mole habitat, Princess Sneezewort has built a blanket fort, and Tommy Wigtower has a talking volcano that’s saying “EAAAAT!” Wait, what? A surprise goo monster makes this a job for the Princess in Black, and the Princess in Blankets is on the scene to lend a hand. But will two masked heroes be enough to save the science fair? A little scientific problem-solving—and a lot of princess power—will make the sixth entry in the New York Times bestselling series a smash hit.

  3. Royal Crush: From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess - Get ready for a Royal Crush in this third book in the middle-grade Princess Diaries spin-off series, written and illustrated by New York Times-bestselling author Meg Cabot. Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison is turning thirteen. Even better, she’s finally starting to get the hang of this princess thing. Just in time, too, since her half-sister, Princess Mia Thermopolis, is expected to give birth to twins any day now! It’s pretty much the worst time possible for a school field trip, but everyone is insisting that Olivia must attend the Royal School Winter Games. Between Grandmère chaperoning, Olivia’s snobby cousin Luisa complaining about her relationship woes, and everyone insisting that Olivia has a crush on Prince Khalil (even though she isn’t sure that he even wants to be friends anymore!), things are quickly turning into a royal mess! This is fun, illustrated middle grade—and this is the first series illustrated by Meg Cabot herself! The paperback features an interview with Meg Cabot and an excerpt of the next book. Praise for the From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess series: “Author Meg Cabot is ready to put her tiara back on [with] a new character.” —USA Today on From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess “The nation of Genovia gains a new resident in this amusing spin-off. . . . Cabot’s own black-and-white cartoons further enliven Olivia’s entertaining and candid notebook entries, which will have readers looking forward to her future escapades.” —Publishers Weekly on From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess “A sweet fantasy, both funny and highly satisfying.” —Kirkus Reviews on From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess “Readers will thrill to tag along on this festive adventure, presented as Olivia Grace’s illustrated diary.” —Children’s Literature on Royal Wedding Disaster “In her journal-style narrative incorporating both humorous and touching moments, likable, engaging Olivia continues to navigate the joys and challenges of being a modern-day princess.” —School Library Journal on Royal Wedding Disaster “This sweet and sassy spin-off featuring the younger half-sister of Princess Mia Thermopolis. . . . will be a perfect fit for Fancy Nancy alumni and readers not quite ready for Cabot's longer novels.” —School Library Journal on From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess Read the whole series! From the Notebooks of the Middle School Princess Royal Wedding Disaster: From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess Royal Crush: From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess

  4. Royal Wedding Disaster: From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess - You are invited to a Genovian Royal Wedding in this second book pulled From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess, a Princess Diaries spin-off series, written and illustrated by New York Times-bestselling author Meg Cabot. Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison still finds it hard to believe that she's a real live PRINCESS OF GENOVIA. Not only does she get to live in an actual palace with her newly discovered family and two fabulous poodles (who all love her and think that she's anything but ordinary!), but she also gets her very own PONY! Of course, things aren't going exactly like she imagined. Her half-sister Mia is very busy learning how to take over the country while trying to plan a wedding and her father is actually getting remarried himself—to Mia's mother!—and spends most of his time"renovating" the summer palace, although Grandmere says he is just hiding from the wedding preparations. Olivia hardly gets to see either of them. Fortunately, Grandmere has her own plans for Mia's wedding, and needs Olivia's help to pull them off. Just when Olivia starts to think that things are going to work out after all, the palace is invaded by a host of new cousins and other royals who all seem to be angry at Olivia (although Grandmere says they are just jealous). As the day of the wedding gets closer and closer, Olivia becomes more and more worried. For such a carefully planned event, it seems like a LOT of things are going wrong... Can Olivia keep this royal wedding from becoming a royal disaster?

Want to see more children's books about princesses?

Books About Problem Solving and Helping Others

Malala's Magic Pencil book
#1
Malala's Magic Pencil
Written by Malala Yousafzai and illustrated by Kerascoet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Malala's first picture book will inspire young readers everywhere to find the magic all around them. As a child in Pakistan, Malala made a wish for a magic pencil. She would use it to make everyone happy, to erase the smell of garbage from her city, to sleep an extra hour in the morning. But as she grew older, Malala saw that there were more important things to wish for. She saw a world that needed fixing. And even if she never found a magic pencil, Malala realized that she could still work hard every day to make her wishes come true. This beautifully illustrated volume tells Malala's story for a younger audience and shows them the worldview that allowed Malala to hold on to hope even in the most difficult of times.

Hat Trick book
#2
Hat Trick
Written by Alex Morgan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The Kicks are dedicated to soccer and to friendship—but can they balance all their goals? Find out in book four in the fun and empowering New York Times bestselling middle grade series from star soccer player, Olympic gold medalist, and World Cup champion, Alex Morgan. Now that playoffs are over, the Kicks won’t be playing together again until the spring. But soccer-crazy Devin can’t imagine a life without soccer! She and her friends decide to try out for a travel team in a very competitive local league, but not everyone makes the cut. Meanwhile, Devin’s little sister, Maisie, wants to try out for her elementary school’s soccer program. But due to budget cuts, the program has been eliminated! The Kicks rally together to help raise money—and volunteer to help with four different projects on the same day! Things get hectic as the girls deal with the challenges of being on the competitive, tougher team; figuring out how to keep their friendships together as they all go in different directions; and trying to save the elementary school’s soccer program. If they can pull off all three, it will be a true hat trick!

Bug Girl: Fury on the Dance Floor book
#3
Bug Girl: Fury on the Dance Floor
Written by Sarah Hines Stephens, Benjamin Harper and illustrated by Anoosha Syed
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In the sequel to "Bug Girl, " two girls with superpowers must defend their town when a villain unleashes her fury at the school dance. This funny and action-packed superhero story is filled with illustrations and sidebars featuring real bug facts.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Eleventh Trade - From debut author Alyssa Hollingsworth comes a story about living with fear, being a friend, and finding a new place to call home. They say you can't get something for nothing, but nothing is all Sami has. When his grandfather’s most-prized possession—a traditional Afghan instrument called a rebab—is stolen, Sami resolves to get it back. He finds it at a music store, but it costs $700, and Sami doesn’t have even one penny. What he does have is a keychain that has caught the eye of his classmate. If he trades the keychain for something more valuable, could he keep trading until he has $700? Sami is about to find out. The Eleventh Trade is both a classic middle school story and a story about being a refugee. Like Katherine Applegate, author of Wishtree, Alyssa Hollingsworth tackles a big issue with a light touch.

  2. Freddie Ramos Stomps the Snow - When a freak spring blizzard buries Starwood Park, Freddie works with Mr. Vaslov to clear the sidewalks using a new invention—Zapato Power snowshoes! But not even the snow can stop a thief from causing trouble in the neighborhood. Can Freddie solve the case, even if it means helping Erika, the Starwood Park bully?

  3. Wings for Wyatt - In book 6 of the Tales of Sasha series, Sasha and Wyatt try to find a way to get Wyatt to the Island of Royal Flying Horses. Sasha's better-than-best friend Wyatt wants to come along once he finds out about her trip to visit the island where royal flying horses live. But the island is far away and Wyatt can't fly. Can Sasha come up with a way to take Wyatt with her?

  4. Freddie Ramos Rules New York - Freddie and his mom are visiting Uncle Jorge in New York City! Just before they leave, Mr. Vaslov gives Freddie a new pair of zapatos to replace the ones that were getting too small. But Freddie worries if his new zapatos will work as well as his old ones. Will Freddie be able to save the day when Uncle Jorge misplaces an engagement ring in the middle of a New York City traffic jam?

Want to see more children's books about helping others?

Books About Problem Solving and Mystery

The Unbreakable Code book
#1
The Unbreakable Code
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-14

Could books hidden through Book Scavenger be linked to an arsonist's web of destruction? Find out in Book 2 of Jennifer Bertman's Book Scavenger series. Mr. Quisling is definitely up to something mysterious, and Emily and James are on high alert. First, there’s the coded note he drops at a book event. Then they uncover a trail of encrypted messages in Mark Twain-penned books hidden through Book Scavenger. What’s most suspicious is that each hidden book triggers a fire. As the sleuthing friends dig deeper, they discover Mr. Quisling has been hunting a legendary historical puzzle: the Unbreakable Code. This new mystery is irresistible, but Emily and James can’t ignore the signs that Mr. Quisling might be the arsonist. The clock is ticking as the fires multiply, and Emily and James race to crack the code of a lifetime. A Christy Ottaviano Book

Mighty Jack book
#2
Mighty Jack
Written and illustrated by Ben Hatke
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Jack might be the only kid in the world who's dreading summer. But he's got a good reason: summer is when his single mom takes a second job and leaves him at home to watch his autistic kid sister, Maddy. It's a lot of responsibility, and it's boring, too, because Maddy doesn't talk. Ever. But then, one day at the flea market, Maddy does talk—to tell Jack to trade their mom's car for a box of mysterious seeds. It's the best mistake Jack has ever made. In Mighty Jack, what starts as a normal little garden out back behind the house quickly grows up into a wild, magical jungle with tiny onion babies running amok, huge, pink pumpkins that bite, and, on one moonlit night that changes everything...a dragon.

In Too Deep book
#3
In Too Deep
Written and illustrated by Andreas Oertel
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

When Cody and Eric sneak onto the property of their local golf course at night, they uncover a life-size bronze statue in a murky pond. Despite mysterious phone calls warning them to stay away from the golf-course property, the best friends are determined to go back to steal the statue and figure out its origins. With the help of Eric’s sister, Rachel, they begin unraveling clues that lead them to a long-forgotten crime. Perhaps the answers to this mystery should have been left in the depths!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Mysticons: Quest for the Codex - An action-packed chapter book novelization based on Nickelodeon's hit animated series about four girls who transform into legendary warriors. To save their realm from an evil, undead queen, the girls embark upon a search for a magical item known as the Codex.

  2. Mysticons: The Secret of the Fifth Mysticon - A mysterious spirit claiming to be the original Fifth Mysticon from eons ago convinces Em and the Mysticons to follow her through another dimension. But they discover a terrible secret about the Fifth Mysticon--one that threatens to tear the current team apart.

  3. The Mystery of Ireland's Eye - Dylan is twelve years old and embarking on his first ocean kayaking trip with his parents. He has spent the last year convincing them that he is ready for the challenging--and very dangerous--adventure. In fact, he has been determined to go ever since he heard about the destination: Ireland's Eye. The small island off the coast of Newfoundland is the easternmost settlement in Canada. Or it was. It is now hauntingly empty, a ghost town clinging to the edge of the unforgiving Atlantic. What is it about Ireland's Eye that so captivates Dylan he is willing to take such risks to get there? Does the ghost town have anything to do with the dreams Dylan keeps having of his favourite grandfather who has just passed away? And why does the old man on St. John's docks grimly whisper, "Don't go to Ireland's Eye" when he hears of Dylan's plans?

  4. The Day of the Dead Mystery - The Aldens are visiting friends for a big Dia de los Muertos celebration. The kids love learning about the holiday and helping out—that is until mysterious events threaten to ruin everyone's preparations. Can the Aldens figure out what’s going on and help their friends save the celebration?

Want to see more children's books about mystery?

Books About Problem Solving and Bravery

The Journey to Dragon Island book
#1
The Journey to Dragon Island
Written by Claire Fayers
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Reaching the edge of the world can't stop the crew of the Onion! It's westward ho in search of dragons, no matter the obstacles. And there are obstacles. Flesh-eating vines, violent locals, and mischievous magi—not to mention Marfak West's ghost—meet the pirates when they land on the Western Island, where a volcano threatens to end them all. Together, Brine and Peter might just be able to save the crew, the island, and themselves. Or they might all go up in flames. It really could go either way.

Firestorm! book
#2
Firestorm!
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Twelve-year-old Poppy is an orphan living in a bad neighborhood in Chicago, pick pocketing so that she has a place to sleep at night. Justin’s world couldn’t be more different—his father owns a jewelry store—but when he and Poppy meet, they become fast friends, thanks in part to Justin’s sweet pet goat. Through their friendship, Poppy realizes that she doesn’t want to be a thief anymore and she begins to feel like she may have a place with Justin’s family. But when Justin makes an expensive mistake at his father’s store, Poppy is immediately blamed. In response, she flees . . . right into the Great Chicago Fire. Poppy and Justin must rely on their instincts if they are going to survive the catastrophe. Will anything be left when the fire finally burns out?

Cucumber Quest: The Ripple Kingdom book
#3
Cucumber Quest: The Ripple Kingdom
Written and illustrated by Gigi D G
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Adapted from the popular web comic series of the same name, this is the second book of a clever, adorable, and hilarious four-volume heroic adventure that is sure to make readers hungry for sweets and action.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Fourth Ruby - Jack and Gwen are back in this dynamic follow-up to The Lost Property Office. It’s been a year since Jack Buckles discovered the Keep beneath Baker Street, an underground tower no Section Thirteen was ever supposed to see; a year since his dad fell into a coma. Nothing has been the same since. Jack’s tracker abilities are on the fritz, Gwen’s not speaking to him and, what’s worse, there’s a pounding voice in his head calling for “the flame.” Then, Jack and Gwen are framed for the theft of a historic crown jewel—the Black Prince’s Ruby, one of three cursed rubies said to bring knowledge, loyalty, and the command of nations to whomever wields them all. Now, they must retrieve the other jewels before the true thief does, or risk unleashing a reign of terror unlike anything history’s ever seen.

  2. The Knight's Armor: Book 3 of the Ministry of SUITs - When twelve-year-old Jack Pease and his partner, Trudy, operatives of the Ministry of Strange, Unusual, and Impossible Things, try to find Trudy's mother, who is being held prisoner by an evil scientist named Mr. M, they uncover a nefarious scheme that involves the legend of King Arthur, Merlin, and the Excalibur.

  3. The Monster's Daughter: Book 2 of the Ministry of SUITs - Terry Pratchett meets Men in Black in this hilarious sequel to The Ministry of SUITs.

  4. The Ministry of SUITs - Memo: For Ministry of Strange, Unusual, and Impossible Things Operatives Only A series of strange incidents have been reported in Belfast: 1. Oddball kids are going missing 2. There are several unconfirmed signs of pirates. 3. A wild bear known to be a very sore loser at musical statues has escaped from the museum and is on the rampage. Fortunately, our newest recruits, Jack Pearse, a curious boy skilled at logical thinking and seeing what's actually there, and Trudy Emerson, the most dangerous girl in his school, are on the case. As per Ministry policy, they are currently being trained in the use of The Speed (patent pending) and will have full access to Ministry supplies (assuming they manage to navigate the paperwork without going insane), so we are confident that they will succeed in their mission to discover and foil this villainous plot. Please provide all assistance possible, as A) they don't know who they are actually up against, B) the world is much stranger than they realized, and C) they are only 12 and have to be in bed by 10 p.m. P.S.—Could all Ministry operatives who have borrowed dinosaurs in the past two weeks please return them? We're running low on inventory. A thrilling and hilarious middle grade story, The Ministry of SUITs by Paul Gamble gives its readers a silly, but oddly thoughtful adventure they surely won't forget. But the wackiness doesn't end here at all—it all continues in the sequel, The Monster's Daughter. "A zany explosion of hilarity." — Eoin Colfer, author of the Artemis Fowl series "It's like Douglas Adams wrote Men in Black but with Pirates, Dinosaurs and the Tooth Fairy. Genius, but a comic evil genius methinks." —Mo O'Hara, author of the My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish series "Gamble’s debut novel is overflowing with offbeat humor...An entertaining read for fans of humorous adventure, such as Michael Buckley’s “NERDS” series." —School Library Journal

Want to see more children's books about bravery?

Books About Problem Solving and Emotions

Pilar's Worries book
#1
Pilar's Worries
Written by Victoria M Sanchez and illustrated by Jess Golden
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Pilar loves to dance. She pliés while brushing her teeth. She leaps when hurrying to ballet class. But when tryouts for her favorite ballet are held, Pilar is anxious. Auditioning makes her whole body feel scared. But by using some of the coping techniques she’s learned and focusing on her love for ballet, she is able to persevere. This gentle story is a great tool for children dealing with anxiety.

When I Feel Worried book
#2
When I Feel Worried
Written by Cornelia Maude Spelman and illustrated by Kathy Parkinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Everybody worries. Children worry too—in new or confusing situations or when someone is angry with them. This new addition to the acclaimed The Way I Feel Series uses reassuring words and illustrations to address a child’s anxieties and shows ways to feel better. Cornelia Spelman and Kathy Parkinson team up once again to provide a comforting and empowering book that’s helpful to all.

One Wave at a Time book
#3
One Wave at a Time
Written by Holly Thompson and illustrated by Ashley Crowley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

After his father dies, Kai experiences all kinds of emotions: sadness, anger, fear, guilt. Sometimes they crash and mix together. Other times, there are no emotions at all—just flatness. As Kai and his family adjust to life without Dad, the waves still roll in. But with the help of friends and one another, they learn to cope—and, eventually, heal. A lyrical story about grieving for anyone encountering loss.

Honorable Mentions
  1. My Quiet Ship - Whenever the yelling in his house starts, Quinn runs to a special hiding place. There he becomes captain of the Quiet Ship, where he can get far, far away from the yelling that hurts his ears and makes him feel scared. But one day the Quiet Ship is broken and Quinn needs a new plan, one that requires him to be brave. A thoughtful treatment of a difficult topic, this story is for any child who faces fighting in the home.

  2. The Color Thief - A child recounts his experience of losing his father to depression in this poignant and beautifully illustrated picture book. The boy's father disappears into a world without color. As the father seeks help, color begins to reappear and with it hope. An ideal book for parents and caregivers to share with children to help them make sense of the devastating effects that depression can cause.

  3. Harrison P. Spader, Personal Space Invader - Harrison is a boy who loves life and likes to share with others, but as he grows older the people around him are finding that he stands too close and maybe hugs a little too much--until his father teaches him the Space Saver rhyme, a method for determining just the right amount of space to leave between himself and others.

Want to see more children's books about emotions?

Books About Problem Solving and Resolving Conflict

Boonoonoonous Hair book
#1
Boonoonoonous Hair
Written by Olive Senior and illustrated by Laura James
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In this picture book, a young black girl learns to love her difficult-to-manage hair. I n this vibrant and exquisitely illustrated picture book, written by Commonwealth Prize-winning Jamaican-Canadian Olive Senior, and with pictures by the acclaimed artist Laura James (the team that created Anna Carries Water), a young girl learns to love her difficult-to-manage, voluminous and boonoonoonous hair.

Choosing Sides book
#2
Choosing Sides
Written by Alex Morgan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

From FIFA World Cup Champion, Olympic gold medalist, and bestselling author Alex Morgan comes the ninth book in an empowering and fun-filled middle grade series that inspired the Amazon original series, The Kicks! After an easy win against the Roses, Devin is reminded of how the Kicks were playing when she first joined and how far they have come since then. Devin runs into Sasha, a summer league teammate of hers, who confides that the Roses’ coach doesn’t seem to care that they’re losing and asks Devin for help. She invites the Roses to a weekend soccer clinic that the Kicks are going to. But when the eighth graders find out that Devin is helping another team in their league, they are not pleased and accuse Devin of helping the competition—especially when the Roses begin to win. Meanwhile, Zoe and Emma haven’t been seeing eye-to-eye, and their friendship seems to be in trouble, putting Devin and Jessi in the middle of their fights. When they begin to disrupt the Kicks’ practices, Devon knows she has to do something. Can Devin prove to her team and her friends that she’s not playing favorites or choosing sides?

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Stone Heart - Kaidu and Rat have only just recovered from the assassination attempt on the General of All Blades when more chaos breaks loose in the Nameless City: deep conflicts within the Dao nation are making it impossible to find a political solution for the disputed territory of the City itself. To complicate things further, Kaidu is fairly certain he's stumbled on a formula for the lost weapon of the mysterious founders of the City. . . . But sharing it with the Dao military would be a complete betrayal of his friendship with Rat. Can Kai find the right solution before the Dao find themselves at war?

  2. Terra Nova - The city of Terra Nova was founded on a lie: that the spirits who cross over from the spirit world are evil and must be captured for the safety of humanity. But Molly Stout and her family have learned that the spirits are thinking, feeling beings, enslaved to enrich the wealthy, especially the spirit-harvesting company Haviland Industries and its founder, Charles Arkwright. With the help of her family and the aetheric spirits Ariel and Legerdemain, Molly has been fighting to free the spirits. But Terra Nova runs on spiritual machinery, and for each factory they shut down, another takes its place. As Haviland Industries and the authorities of Terra Nova tighten their nets around Molly, she begins to question whether she is really making any difference or if her rebellion puts people and spirits at risk. Terra Nova is the sequel to Dominion.

  3. Mission Lost Cat - Beatrice "Bumble B." Flinn wants to help find her friend Rosa's lost cat, Charley, and she decides the best way is to make a flyer with a drawing and, with the help of her father, hand them out in the neighborhood--but most of them blow away, and Rosa is upset and blames Bumble B and her flyer for the lack of results.

  4. Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad - The Bug Squad is back in a story about playing together, problem solving, and saying you’re sorry in this hardcover picture book from the New York Times bestselling Ladybug Girl series. This book was a Jumpstart Read for the Record Book. The Bug Squad – Bumblebee Boy, Dragonfly Girl, and Butterfly Girl – are coming to Lulu’s house for a play date and she know exactly what they are going to do all day. They use their big imaginations to create their own fun games right in Lulu’s backyard. But when some things don’t go just the way Lulu planned, Dragonfly Girl’s feelings get hurt. This is a job for Ladybug Girl! When Lulu is Ladybug Girl, she knows that even if it isn’t easy, it is important to apologize. For fans of Fancy Nancy and Betty Bunny, the Ladybug Girl series honors individuality, friendship, and a love of nature!

Want to see 7 more children's books about problem solving and resolving conflict?

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Books About Problem Solving and School

Robot on the Loose book
#1
Robot on the Loose
Written by Henry Winkler and illustrated by Lin Oliver
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Hank, the star of the bestselling easy-to-read series, is back! This time, he has to learn the nuts and bolts of making a robot–and making a friend! Hank’s school is hosting its first-ever Build-a-Robot competition and Hank is ready to win. There’s just one problem: he completely forgot about the contest! While other kids have been working on their robots for a month, Hank has just two days to create an amazing robot that will wow the judges and win him the trophy. To make matters worse, there might be another problem, too. Hank has no idea how to build a robot! With help from Jaden, a robot expert at his school, Hank and his friends construct their robot, Stanley, just in time. But on the day of the competition, Stanley malfunctions! It will take Hank, Frankie, Ashley, and their new friend Jaden to get it back on track. Forget winning the trophy–Hank has to stop a robot on the loose!

Most Valuable Players book
#2
Most Valuable Players
Written by Phil Bildner and illustrated by Tim Probert
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

With their fifth grade graduation only weeks away, Rip, Red, and the rest of their classmates must decide if boycotting a test is worth forfeiting their graduation gala and the opportunity to play with Hoops Machine, a Harlem Globetrotters-like team.

Rookie of the Year book
#3
Rookie of the Year
Written by Phil Bildner and illustrated by Tim Probert
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

"Rip and Red find that fifth grade continues to challenge them in brand-new ways and discover that sometimes radical change is nothing to be afraid of"--

Honorable Mentions
  1. A Whole New Ballgame - "From the first morning with their odd new teacher, fifth grade is full of shocking surprises for best friends Rip and Red"--

  2. Tournament of Champions - The third book in a fun, illustrated middle-grade series about friendship, school, and basketball. It's spring of their fifth-grade year and Rip and Red have a thrilling opportunity to participate in a weekend basketball tournament with a few other members of Clifton United. While the tournament is only a short bus ride away, both boys will travel outside their comfort zones. Ultra-competitive Rip must play on a team with kids he doesn't like. But he faces an even bigger hurdle when someone from his past returns, someone he hasn't seen in years, someone who just may derail the entire weekend. As for Red, because of his autism spectrum disorder, he's never traveled anywhere without his mother. Will he muster the courage to take the trip? Fortunately for both boys, also on the team is an unlikely addition, a source of inspiration who helps everyone discover the true meaning of the word champion. Tournament of Champions by Phil Bildner, with illustrations by Tim Probert, is a fun, fast-paced, and diverse middle grade novel perfect for reluctant readers and sports fans. Read all of the Rip and Red series: A Whole New Ballgame Rookie of the Year Tournament of Champions Most Valuable Players Praise for Rookie of the Year: “This fast, fun read featuring characters who love books as much as basketball will appeal to sports fans and nonathletes alike.” —School Library Journal “A diverse cast of characters highlights this good-natured, high-spirited slice of life.” —Kirkus Reviews Praise for A Whole New Ballgame: “The book depicts the evolution of a group of fifth graders who learn a lot, grow a lot, and help one another . . . The charming and diverse characters [are] pure fun with a lot of heart.” —School Library Journal “If the students are inspiring, so is [their teacher] Mr. Acevedo, who risks his job to do such radical things as reading aloud and encouraging free reading. (He's supposed to be preparing the kids to take tests!) Probert's cartoonish illustrations lend energy and personality to the likable cast of characters.” —Kirkus Reviews “This warm slice-of-life novel from Bildner engages and entertains . . . Probert's energetic illustrations match the positive exuberance of the story.” —Publishers Weekly “With its energetic and authentic story and artwork, this is a fresh, fun book about school, sports, and friendship.” —Children's Book Council

  3. Spotlight on Coding Club! - Perfect for fans of The Babysitters Club and anyone interested in computer science, this series is published in partnership with the organization Girls Who Code! It's almost time for the talent show at school, and Erin couldn't be more excited. It's her time to take center stage! Plus, she and her friends from coding club are putting together an awesome coding program for the show. But Erin has a big secret: she has anxiety. And when things start piling up at home and school, she starts having trouble handling everything. Her friends from coding club have always been there for her, but will they be as understanding when the going gets tough? Sometimes in coding--like in friendship--things don't go exactly as planned, but the outcome can be even better than you'd imagined.

  4. Royal Crown: From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess - It’s the first coronation of a female monarch of Genovia in 200 years, and Her Royal Highness, Princess Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison, is giving you the inside scoop in this newest (illustrated!) diary from New York Times—bestselling author and illustrator Meg Cabot! Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison should be having fun. Her best friend is visiting from America, her sister’s royal coronation is only three days away (the first coronation of a female ruler in two centuries), and she’s even got a new boyfriend who is actually a very smart and charming prince! But it’s hard to celebrate when her royal cousins are scheming to take over the throne. And with everyone running around, Olivia and her friends have been saddled with royal babysitting duties. Then, to make matters worse, Olivia's snobby cousin Luisa insists on gossiping about her, especially about things that should be personal . . . it's none of her business whether Prince Khalil and Olivia have kissed or not! When did growing up royal get so complicated?!? Praise for Meg Cabot and From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess: “The nation of Genovia gains a new resident in this amusing spin-off. . . . Cabot's own black and white cartoons further enliven Olivia's entertaining and candid notebook entries, which will have readers looking forward to her future escapades." —Publishers Weekly on From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess "A sweet fantasy, both funny and highly satisfying." —Kirkus Reviews on From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess "In her journal-style narrative incorporating both humorous and touching moments, likable, engaging Olivia continues to navigate the joys and challenges of being a modern-day princess." – Booklist on Royal Wedding Disaster

Want to see 10 more children's books about problem solving and school?

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Epilogue

9 books that are just too good to leave off of our problem solving list.

  1. Russell the Sheep Board Book - This is Russell. Sometimes Russell is just a little bit out of step with the rest of the flock. All the sheep are falling asleep -- except Russell. What's a sheep to do? Russell tries everything ... until, at last, he falls asleep.

  2. Black Dog - In a modern fairy tale about the power of fear and how it distorts our view of the world, the Black Dog that appears outside the Hope family's home seems to grow larger and larger as each frightened member of the Hope family sees it, but the youngest member of the household is not afraid and is able to break the spell.

  3. Ernest, the Moose Who Doesn't Fit - Ernest is a rather large moose with a rather large problem. He is so big he can't fit inside his book! Luckily, Ernest is also a very determined moose, and he and his little chipmunk friend aren't going to give up easily. With some tape, odd bits of paper, and plenty of enthusiasm, the pair constructs an enormous gatefold page by themselves, and everything fits together in the end.

  4. Monster Trouble - Nothing frightens Winifred Schnitzel—but she DOES need her sleep, and the neighborhood monsters WON'T let her be! Every night they sneak in, growling and belching and making a ruckus. Winifred constructs clever traps, but nothing stops these crafty creatures. What's a girl to do? (Hint: Monsters HATE kisses!) The delightfully sweet ending will have every kid—and little monster—begging for an encore.

  1. The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin? - Coming Soon!

  2. What Do You Do with a Problem? - What do you do with a problem? Especially one that follows you around and doesn't seem to be going away? Do you worry about it? Ignore it? Do you run and hide from it? This is the story of a persistent problem and the child who isn't so sure what to make of it. The longer the problem is avoided, the bigger it seems to get. But when the child finally musters up the courage to face it, the problem turns out to be something quite different than it appeared. This is a story for anyone, at any age, who has ever had a problem that they wished would go away. It's a story to inspire you to look closely at that problem and to find out why it's here. Because you might discover something amazing about your problem and yourself. What are problems for? They challenge us, shape us, push us, and help us to discover just how strong and brave and capable we really are. Even though we don't always want them, problems have a way of bringing unexpected gifts. So, what will you do with your problem?

  3. Baghead - From the author of Good Night, Monkey Boy, the hilarious tale of a haircut gone awry! One day Josh had a big, brown bag idea: to wear a paper bag over his head. He thought it was a good idea. His mother did not. Neither did his bus driver, his teacher, or his soccer coach. What could Josh possibly be hiding? A surprise ending will keep kids giggling–and from taking haircuts into their own hands!

  4. Phileas's Fortune - In a strange land where people must buy and swallow the words they wish to speak, Phileas hopes to communicate his love to Cybele using the small vocabulary he has been able to afford.

  1. A Little Stuck - From the illustrator of the #1 smash The Day the Crayons Quit comes another bestseller--a giggle-inducing tale of everything tossed, thrown, and hurled in order to free a kite! When Floyd's kite gets stuck in a tree, he's determined to get it out. But how? Well, by knocking it down with his shoe, of course. But strangely enough, it too gets stuck. And the only logical course of action . . . is to throw his other shoe. Only now it's stuck! Surely there must be something he can use to get his kite unstuck. An orangutan? A boat? His front door? Yes, yes, and yes. And that's only the beginning. Stuck is Oliver Jeffers' most absurdly funny story since The Incredible Book-Eating Boy. Childlike in concept and vibrantly illustrated as only Oliver Jeffers could, here is a picture book worth rescuing from any tree.

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

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