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80+ Terrific Books About Trying New Things

Searching for a list of the best kids books about trying new things?

Whenever we have something new at meal time my children give me that look of, “I’m not going to eat that.” Often, we will first read Dr. Seuss’s famous book, “Green Eggs and Ham.” This always puts a little giggle in my boys as they think that perhaps this new food might just be their favorite and something that they want to eat “in a box,” and “with a fox.” Children’s stories seem to have this enabling affect on us in which we think, “I can do that.” Suddenly trying your best is a fun challenge and not a chore. We’ve compiled this list of the best kids books about trying new things. Let’s take a look at what this list of books can teach us and our children!

If you’re looking for new books about trying something new—be it to teach your little one about how to have persistence, making a difference, making it through a change, or overcoming fear—this list of kids books is for you. For the youngest readers, around 0-2 years old, we have board books, which are basically short stories. Picture books are great for all ages, but particularly geared for ages 2-6, which means you can find the perfect preschool theme in one of them. The chapter books on the list are recommended for ages 7-10.

Trying new things can be scary, intimidating, exciting, fun, or all of the above! Whether your child is confident in stepping out of their comfort zone to try something new or not, these children’s books will inspire and help little ones through the many different adventures or challenges they may come across. Your little one is sure to connect with some of the characters or stories on the list. Also, learn how trying new things can help us discover new talents, have fun, and be proud of ourselves!

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Top 10 Books About Trying New Things

#1
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This Little Trailblazer: A Girl Power Primer
Written by Joan Holub & illustrated by Daniel Roode
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-5

Learn all about influential women who changed history in this engaging and colorful board book perfect for trailblazers-in-training!

Paving the way to a future that’s bright. Helping the world with their skills, smarts, and might.

Little trailblazers cause great big changes.

In this follow up to This Little President and This Little Explorer, now even the youngest readers can learn all about great and empowering female trailblazers in history! Highlighting ten memorable women leaders who paved the way, parents and little ones alike will love this girl power primer full of fun, age-appropriate facts and bold illustrations.

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#2
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The Trumpet of the Swan
Written by E.B. White
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This story is a delightful read with a swan who believes he can do anything, and he does. I loved following along in his adventures and seeing how he dedicates himself. His friend, Sam, was also one of my favorite parts of the book. Louis never quits--which is what allows him to find his best friend, Sam, his true love, Serena, and his many talents, including his trumpeting. Louis learns to make his weakness (being mute) a strength (learning how to play the trumpet) and never thinks he can't do anything just because he's a swan--he even learns to read and write!
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Swan Song Like the rest of his family, Louis is a trumpeter swan. But unlike his four brothers and sisters, Louis can’t trumpet joyfully. In fact, he can’t even make a sound. And since he can’t trumpet his love, the beautiful swan Serena pays absolutely no attention to him. Louis tries everything he can think of to win Serena’s affection–he even goes to school to learn to read and write. But nothing seems to work. Then his father steals him a real brass trumpet. Is a musical instrument the key to winning Louis his love?

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#3
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Let's Go, Hugo!
Written & illustrated by Angela Dominguez
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
Hugo is a bird that's afraid to fly. I love this story, because he faces his fears and ends up so happy once he's learned how to fly. I also love that he has such wonderful friends along the way that help him practice and help him through his nerves when he's scared. Sometimes it's helpful to have friends that can help you to overcome your fears. :) Plus, the illustrations in this story based in Paris are gorgeous!
Thoughts from Lemony Snickers
Let's Go, Hugo! is a fantastic picture book. Hugo, a bird who's comfortable living at ground level and scared of flying is pretty happy with his life. But he meets a friend, Lulu, who tells him that the Eiffel Tower is just a small flight away, and Hugo would love to see it. The illustrations are adorable, and the book has a fantastic message about being courageous and trying something new and scary. Hugo doesn't overcome his fear alone, and the book also highlights excellent friends, Iike Lulu, who show care and kindness to help Hugo overcome his fear.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Hugo is a dapper little bird who adores the Eiffel Tower—or at least his view of it from down here. Hugo, you see, has never left the ground. So when he meets another bird, the determined Lulu, who invites him to fly with her to the top of the tower, Hugo stalls, persuading Lulu to see, on foot, every inch of the park in which he lives instead. Will a nighttime flying lesson from Bernard the Owl, some sweet and sensible encouragement from Lulu, and some extra pluck from Hugo himself finally give this bird the courage he needs to spread his wings and fly?

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#4
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The Cow Who Climbed a Tree
Written & illustrated by Gemma Merino
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
First off, I love the illustrations in this book. It's so beautiful and adds so much to the story. I love that Tina didn't worry about what her sisters thought, she just kept doing what interested her. When her siblings finally venture out to find her and see that Tina was telling the truth, they end up trying some new things and end up having wonderful experiences together by having the attitude of saying yes!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Tina isn’t like the other cows. She believes that the sky is the limit and that everything is possible. But her sisters aren’t convinced—and when Tina tells them she has climbed a tree and met a dragon, they decide that her nonsense has gone too far. Off they go into the woods to find her…and soon discover a world of surprises!

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#5
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What Do You Do with a Chance
Written by Kobi Yamada & illustrated by Mae Besom
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato
I'm a huge fan of Kobi Yamada's and Mae Besom's books. I love their illustration style and how they take an abstract concept like taking a chance and present it in a friendly, approachable manner that's conducive to discussion. The story captures the feeling behind wanting to take chances when they come your way but also the worry associated with messing them up.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The award-winning creators of New York Times bestsellers What Do You Do With an Idea and What do You Do With a Problem return with a story of a child who isn’t sure what to make of a chance encounter—then discovers that when you get brave, take chances, and say yes to new experiences, amazing things can happen.

In this story, a child is visited by his first chance―and not being sure what to do with it, he lets it go. Later on, when a new chance arrives he reaches for it, but this time he misses and falls. Embarrassed and afraid, he begins ignoring each new chance that comes by, even though the truth was that he still wanted to take one…

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#6
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My Brave Year of Firsts
Written by Jamie Lee Curtis & illustrated by Laura Cornell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

While Frankie learns to ride a bike, tie her shoes, make new friends, try new foods, and work with her dad, she also learns that trying new things is how she grows–and that being brave enough to do so is what growing up is all about.

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#7
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Edmund Unravels
Written & illustrated by Andrew Kolb
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
Super cute and original! This book is particularly great as a gift for anyone leaving the nest and venturing a little farther from home than they have before, be that starting school for the first time, going away to summer camp or leaving for college. The illustrations are modern and bold and the message that adventuring is great, especially when you remember that you have a loving home to come back to is beautifully reassuring.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

This delightful debut picture book celebrates both the joy of venturing into the unknown and the value of staying connected to loved ones back home. It stars a little ball of yarn who can’t resist the tug of adventure, the twists and turns of discovery, or the comfort of family and friends.

Edmund is a ball of yarn and a ball of energy! From the time he could roll, he’s been bouncing down his front steps to explore, and his parents have always been right there to reel him in and roll him back up. But now that he’s bigger, Edmund is ready to discover the wonders of the world. Everything is new and exciting—but sometimes, even a little ball of yarn gets lonely, and there’s nothing better than the comfort of being around those he cares about.

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#8
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Shark Nate-O
Written by Becky Cattie and Tara Luebbe & illustrated by Daniel Duncan
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This book is so fun, especially for little shark lovers. Nate shows determination and perseverance as he learns how to swim. I also enjoyed all of the shark word play, and the illustrations are cute!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Nate loves sharks. He reads shark books every day, watches sharks on TV, and talks about them nonstop. He even likes to pretend he’s a shark wherever he goes! However, there is one small problem. . . . Nate can’t swim. When his older brother points this out, Nate works hard to overcome his fears and learn how to blow bubbles, use a kickboard, and finally swim without help, as quickly and as gracefully as a shark. Will he be able to beat his brother in a swim tryout and get his bite back? Kids will love this jawsome book complete with vibrant and whimsical art and a list of shark facts in the back!

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#9
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The Pink Refrigerator
Written & illustrated by Tim Egan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

“Try to do as little as possible.” This was Dodsworth’s motto. One morning, on his daily trip to the junkyard, he discovers a pink refrigerator.

There’s not much to say about a pink refrigerator, except this one had a note on it. The note said, “Paint pictures.” And so Dodsworth did.

The next day, a new note appeared on the pink refrigerator. And the day after that, and the day after that.

Dodsworth liked doing as little as possible. But the pink refrigerator had big plans for him . . .

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#10
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Dinnertime for Chickies
Written & illustrated by Janee Trasler
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This book is perfect for any picky eaters! When the chicks refuse to eat things, once they try a bite, they actually love it! I like the fun rhymes and that some of the words are playful like the way little ones talk (chocolate chippy and treaties). :)
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Wash your wings, and take a seat. What will these tiny chickies eat? With the help of Cow, Pig, and Sheep, soon the chickies learn to cheep, “Pass the carrots. Pass the peas. Pass those yummy broccolis!” With engaging rhymes, endearing illustrations, and a soft padded cover, this book is perfect for babies and toddlers to enjoy, especially those picky chickies.

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Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Trying New Things and...

Books About Trying New Things and Facing Fears

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Let's Go, Hugo!
Written & illustrated by Angela Dominguez
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
Hugo is a bird that's afraid to fly. I love this story, because he faces his fears and ends up so happy once he's learned how to fly. I also love that he has such wonderful friends along the way that help him practice and help him through his nerves when he's scared. Sometimes it's helpful to have friends that can help you to overcome your fears. :) Plus, the illustrations in this story based in Paris are gorgeous!
Thoughts from Lemony Snickers
Let's Go, Hugo! is a fantastic picture book. Hugo, a bird who's comfortable living at ground level and scared of flying is pretty happy with his life. But he meets a friend, Lulu, who tells him that the Eiffel Tower is just a small flight away, and Hugo would love to see it. The illustrations are adorable, and the book has a fantastic message about being courageous and trying something new and scary. Hugo doesn't overcome his fear alone, and the book also highlights excellent friends, Iike Lulu, who show care and kindness to help Hugo overcome his fear.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Hugo is a dapper little bird who adores the Eiffel Tower—or at least his view of it from down here. Hugo, you see, has never left the ground. So when he meets another bird, the determined Lulu, who invites him to fly with her to the top of the tower, Hugo stalls, persuading Lulu to see, on foot, every inch of the park in which he lives instead. Will a nighttime flying lesson from Bernard the Owl, some sweet and sensible encouragement from Lulu, and some extra pluck from Hugo himself finally give this bird the courage he needs to spread his wings and fly?

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Add to list
Shark Nate-O
Written by Becky Cattie and Tara Luebbe & illustrated by Daniel Duncan
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This book is so fun, especially for little shark lovers. Nate shows determination and perseverance as he learns how to swim. I also enjoyed all of the shark word play, and the illustrations are cute!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Nate loves sharks. He reads shark books every day, watches sharks on TV, and talks about them nonstop. He even likes to pretend he’s a shark wherever he goes! However, there is one small problem. . . . Nate can’t swim. When his older brother points this out, Nate works hard to overcome his fears and learn how to blow bubbles, use a kickboard, and finally swim without help, as quickly and as gracefully as a shark. Will he be able to beat his brother in a swim tryout and get his bite back? Kids will love this jawsome book complete with vibrant and whimsical art and a list of shark facts in the back!

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The Doll People
Written by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin & illustrated by Brian Selznick
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This adventurous story is full of facing fears, some sleuthing, and problem solving. Even though the cover may cause some boys to think it's a "girl book," I think this book is such a fun gender neutral book! When Annabelle Doll finds out she might have a missing Aunt Doll somewhere in the house, she decides to face everyone's biggest fear: leaving the dollhouse. Not only does Annabelle end up facing her fear, but she rallies together the entire Doll family and inspires them to face their fears on the quest to find their missing family member. They have to face cats, breaking, getting around, and humans (among other things), but they show bravery, courage, and dedication in their goal.
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Annabelle Doll is eight years old-she has been for more than a hundred years. Not a lot has happened to her, cooped up in the dollhouse, with the same doll family, day after day, year after year. . . until one day the Funcrafts move in.

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. Wemberly Worried - The Goodfather -

    Wemberly Worried is a good addition to the library of any young reader who struggles with worrying. The book can help start a conversation about worrying needlessly and choosing to replace worry with hope and confidence, even when trying something new.

  2. Oakwing - After Rowan is mysteriously transformed into a tiny fairy, she is thrust into a world of fairy clans and talking robins where, she discovers, her long-missing mother is also trapped.

  3. Wally Does Not Want a Haircut - Wally the sheep does not want to get the haircut he really needs, even after all the other farm animals get new hairdos, but when his shaggy wool gets him in trouble, he has no choice but to ask for a trim.

  4. Goodbye Brings Hello: A Book of Firsts - There are many ways of letting go. With each goodbye, a new hello. From being pushed on a swing to learning how to pump your legs yourself, from riding a beloved trike to mastering your first bike ride, from leaving the comforts of home behind to venturing forth on that first day of school, milestones are exciting but hard. They mean having to say goodbye to one moment in order to welcome the next. Honest and uplifting, this cheerfully illustrated ode to change gently empowers readers to brave life’s milestones, both large and small.

Books About Trying New Things and Imagination And Play

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The Cow Who Climbed a Tree
Written & illustrated by Gemma Merino
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
First off, I love the illustrations in this book. It's so beautiful and adds so much to the story. I love that Tina didn't worry about what her sisters thought, she just kept doing what interested her. When her siblings finally venture out to find her and see that Tina was telling the truth, they end up trying some new things and end up having wonderful experiences together by having the attitude of saying yes!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Tina isn’t like the other cows. She believes that the sky is the limit and that everything is possible. But her sisters aren’t convinced—and when Tina tells them she has climbed a tree and met a dragon, they decide that her nonsense has gone too far. Off they go into the woods to find her…and soon discover a world of surprises!

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Lily Wool
Written & illustrated by Paula Vasquez
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato
Lily Wool is such a playful and inventive tale! I love the message of the story, that Lily Wool embraces her differences to find her unique voice and contribution among the members of her flock. As a business owner myself, I also love her resourcefulness in opening her seamstress shop!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

A little lamb with a great big imagination. A new picture book from Paula Vasquez filled with delightful illustrations depicting a little lamb intent on being true to herself. Lily Wool gets bored with all of the grazing and resting that the herd does and prefers to count stars and dream of adventures. When Lily finds a strand of loose wool, she lets her imagination run wild and has a grand time until she accidentally unravels a problem. Children will love seeing how Lily Wool puts her imagination and creativity to work to fix things, and how Lily discovers a way to help others while she finds her special place in the herd. Paula Vasquez,an avowed artist from childhood, studied graphic design at the Universidad Cat�lica de Chile, and honed her illustration skills with a post-graduate diploma from Finis Terrae University. She currently lives in Santiago de Chile writing and illustrating children’s picture books.

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The Thing Lou Couldn't Do
Written & illustrated by Ashley Spires
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

An endearing story about a little girl who doesnÍt think she can. ñUp there! The tree can be our ship!î one of LouÍs friends exclaims when they decide to play pirates. ñUmmm ƒî responds Lou. Usually she loves adventures. But this is new. Lou has never climbed a tree before. And she knows she canÍt do it. She doesnÍt even want to try. But this adventure does look fun, and when all her excuses run out, Lou realizes the bravest adventurers are those who TRY. An inspiring lesson for anyone whoÍs ever avoided something hard.

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  1. When Your Llama Needs a Haircut - When it’s picture day and you realize your llama needs a haircut, you’ll need a good comb and some luck! This charming and hilarious board book features one shaggy llama and a whole lot of hairstyles! Uh-oh. It’s picture day and someone’s a mess! Does your llama need a haircut? After a hilarious shampoo, it’s time to decide which style would be best for your shaggy llama. A mohawk? Layers? Or how about a brand-new fur color? But be careful…or you just might end up with a haircut, too!

  2. Ta-Da! - What makes a good story? One little girl thinks it’s a princess with magical powers that can—ta-da!—overcome any obstacle. Her friend thinks it’s—dun dun duh!—a combination of dragons, pirates, and fire that cause total chaos. But as their stories intertwine, these two young storytellers soon learn that a good story needs both conflict—dun dun duh!—and resolution—ta-da! An irresistible celebration of imaginary play, storytelling, and the joys of collaboration, this gorgeous picture book features two strong voices throughout, making it the perfect read-aloud.

  3. My Cousin Momo - Momo is coming to visit, and his cousins are SO excited! But even though Momo is a flying squirrel, he won’t fly for his cousin’s friends. Plus, his games are weird. He can’t even play hide and seek right! But when Momo’s cousins give his strange ways a chance, they realize that doing things differently can be fun…almost as much fun as making a new friend.

  4. Mr. Posey's New Glasses - In a charming tale of an elderly man and his obliging young friend, former poet laureate Ted Kooser and newcomer Daniel Duncan invite us to look at the world with fresh eyes. Mr. Posey is feeling gloomy. Everything seems dull. Maybe he needs new glasses? Perhaps a trip to the Cheer Up Thrift Shop with his energetic young neighbor, Andy, will help. But when the duo try on the glasses in the shop’s barrel, they’re in for a big surprise. One pair with stars for frames shows only constellations in a night sky. Round frames reveal a world all aswirl, while a heart-shaped pair makes everything pink. And as soon as Mr. Posey puts on the cat-eye framed glasses, fierce dogs start chasing him. No, thank you! But when Andy makes a simple observation, Mr. Posey’s view opens to a whole new world – and finally everything is brighter, different, and exciting.

Books About Trying New Things and Food

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Dinnertime for Chickies
Written & illustrated by Janee Trasler
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This book is perfect for any picky eaters! When the chicks refuse to eat things, once they try a bite, they actually love it! I like the fun rhymes and that some of the words are playful like the way little ones talk (chocolate chippy and treaties). :)
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Wash your wings, and take a seat. What will these tiny chickies eat? With the help of Cow, Pig, and Sheep, soon the chickies learn to cheep, “Pass the carrots. Pass the peas. Pass those yummy broccolis!” With engaging rhymes, endearing illustrations, and a soft padded cover, this book is perfect for babies and toddlers to enjoy, especially those picky chickies.

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Green Eggs and Ham
Written & illustrated by Dr. Seuss
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

This Dr. Seuss classic starring Sam-I-Am will have readers of all ages craving Green Eggs and Ham!

And don’t miss the new series adaption of Green Eggs and Ham coming soon to Netflix – featuring the voice talents of Michael Douglas, Diane Keaton, Daveed Diggs, and more!

“Do you like green eggs and ham?” asks Sam-I-am in this Beginner Book by Dr. Seuss. In a house or with a mouse? In a boat or with a goat? On a train or in a tree? Sam keeps asking persistently. With unmistakable characters and signature rhymes, Dr. Seuss’s beloved favorite has cemented its place as a children’s classic. In this most famous of cumulative tales, the list of places to enjoy green eggs and ham, and friends to enjoy them with, gets longer and longer. Follow Sam-I-am as he insists that this unusual treat is indeed a delectable snack to be savored everywhere and in every way.

Originally created by Dr. Seuss, Beginner Books encourage children to read all by themselves, with simple words and illustrations that give clues to their meaning.

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I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato
Written & illustrated by Lauren Child
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Lola is a fussy eater. A very fussy eater. She won’t eat her carrots (until her brother Charlie reveals that they’re orange twiglets from Jupiter). She won’t eat her mashed potatoes (until Charlie explains that they’re cloud fluff from the pointiest peak of Mount Fuji). There are many things Lola won’t eat, including - and especially - tomatoes. Or will she? Two endearing siblings star in a witty story about the triumph of imagination over proclivity.

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  1. How to Feed Your Parents - Who’s feeding whom? Matilda Macaroni loves to try new foods! Unfortunately, her parents don’t. They only like pizza delivered, burgers from a bag, and noodles from a box. What’s a girl with adventurous tastes to do? The engaging heroine of this fun, twisted picture book manages to turn the tables on her finicky parents and teach them that dinner can be more than chicken nuggets. There’s also a recipe for quiche that young cooks can try!

  2. I Really Like Slop! - Gerald is careful. Piggie is not. Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can. Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to. Gerald and Piggie are best friends. In I Really Like Slop!, Piggie invites Gerald to try her favorite food . . . slop. But Gerald is not so sure he’s going to like it. At all.

  3. Bread and Jam for Frances - Frances is a fussy eater. In fact, the only thing she likes is bread and jam. She won’t touch her squishy soft-boiled egg. She trades away her chicken-salad sandwich at lunch. She turns up her nose at boring veal cutlets. Unless Mother can come up with a plan, Frances just might go on eating bread and jam forever!

  4. Spoonful! - Open wide—it’s time to eat! Fussy babies may not be interested in food themselves, but they might want to share a spoonful with absolutely anyone else! There’s a spoonful for Mommy, one for the fish, for the fly in the corner, even the lady in the picture. With bright, engaging illustrations, a die-cut open mouth to feed, and just enough silliness, this fun board book is bound to make dinner entertaining for your stubborn baby. Hooray—you ate it all!

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Books About Trying New Things and Confidence

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The Trumpet of the Swan
Written by E.B. White
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This story is a delightful read with a swan who believes he can do anything, and he does. I loved following along in his adventures and seeing how he dedicates himself. His friend, Sam, was also one of my favorite parts of the book. Louis never quits--which is what allows him to find his best friend, Sam, his true love, Serena, and his many talents, including his trumpeting. Louis learns to make his weakness (being mute) a strength (learning how to play the trumpet) and never thinks he can't do anything just because he's a swan--he even learns to read and write!
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Swan Song Like the rest of his family, Louis is a trumpeter swan. But unlike his four brothers and sisters, Louis can’t trumpet joyfully. In fact, he can’t even make a sound. And since he can’t trumpet his love, the beautiful swan Serena pays absolutely no attention to him. Louis tries everything he can think of to win Serena’s affection–he even goes to school to learn to read and write. But nothing seems to work. Then his father steals him a real brass trumpet. Is a musical instrument the key to winning Louis his love?

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The Little Engine That Could
Written by Watty Piper & illustrated by George Hauman and Doris Hauman
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

A classic story now in a lap-book format has been slightly abridged and features the famous illustrations from the original edition that will keep toddlers cheering on the little blue engine as she continues chugging along.

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Bertie Wings It!
Written by Leslie Gorin & illustrated by Brendan Kearney
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
The illustrations and details in this book are so fun! Even though Bertie keeps being told he can't fly, in the end he learns to trust his instincts and not let what others think of him matter.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

Bertie the birdie knows: he’s ready to fly from the nest and into the sky. But whenever he’s about to take wing, his fellow feathered friends squawk at him to STOP and follow their advice instead. But not one of these “experts”–the persuasive penguin, the emu, or the kiwi–has ever actually flown! Will Bertie learn to trust his own instincts . . . and soar?

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  1. Pouch! - Caldecott Honor winner David Ezra Stein’s delightful tale of a baby kangaroo’s first hops toward independence is perfect for board book audiences. Joey wants to go exploring, but at first he isn’t sure he’s ready to leave Mama’s safe, warm pouch. Touching on a universal childhood experience, this sweet tale celebrates trying new things.

  2. Maria Finds Courage: A Team Dungy Story about Soccer - Find the Courage to Try Something New When Maria’s family moves to a new town, her parents sign her up for the summer soccer team to help her meet new friends. But Maria has never tried soccer before. She would rather be back on her old swim team. Maria is afraid she will be the worst player and no one will like her. Coach Tony and Coach Lauren remind Maria everything is new at first. Maria will have to give soccer a try to see if she likes it. What have you wanted to try but were afraid to? Like Maria, you can have the courage to try something new, because who knows? That new thing you try might just become your next favorite thing! *** Join the Team! The Team Dungy series of picture books for young readers, ages 6-9, teaches character-building lessons through the familiar world of sports.

  3. Born to Ride - Louise Belinda Bellflower lives in Rochester, New York, in 1896. She spends her days playing with her brother, Joe. But Joe gets to ride a bicycle, and Louise Belinda doesn’t. In fact, Joe issues a solemn warning: If girls ride bikes, their faces will get so scrunched up, eyes bulging from the effort of balancing, that they’ll get stuck that way FOREVER! Louise Belinda is appalled by this nonsense, so she strikes out to discover the truth about this so-called “bicycle face.” Set against the backdrop of the women’s suffrage movement, Born to Ride is the story of one girl’s courageous quest to prove that she can do everything the boys can do, while capturing the universal freedom and accomplishment children experience when riding a bike.

  4. Saturday Is Swimming Day - New things can be scary – but as one endearing little girl discovers, it’s perfectly fine to take your time. Swimming lessons are on Saturdays, and every Saturday one little girl has a stomachache. When she gets to the pool it’s loud, the floor is wet and slippery, and her swim cap is too tight. Her swimming instructor, Mary, says it’s OK to sit by the edge if she doesn’t want to get in the water this week. The next Saturday the girl has a stomachache again, but with Mary’s gentle encouragement, she eventually manages to make it into the pool to practice her kicks. Little by little, the girl’s confidence grows – until one Saturday comes around when she has no stomachache at all! In a charming and relatable story about trying something new, author-illustrator Hyewon Yum shows that sometimes a little bravery and a lot of patience are all you need to face your fear.

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This Little Trailblazer: A Girl Power Primer
Written by Joan Holub & illustrated by Daniel Roode
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-5

Learn all about influential women who changed history in this engaging and colorful board book perfect for trailblazers-in-training!

Paving the way to a future that’s bright. Helping the world with their skills, smarts, and might.

Little trailblazers cause great big changes.

In this follow up to This Little President and This Little Explorer, now even the youngest readers can learn all about great and empowering female trailblazers in history! Highlighting ten memorable women leaders who paved the way, parents and little ones alike will love this girl power primer full of fun, age-appropriate facts and bold illustrations.

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What Do You Do with a Chance
Written by Kobi Yamada & illustrated by Mae Besom
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato
I'm a huge fan of Kobi Yamada's and Mae Besom's books. I love their illustration style and how they take an abstract concept like taking a chance and present it in a friendly, approachable manner that's conducive to discussion. The story captures the feeling behind wanting to take chances when they come your way but also the worry associated with messing them up.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The award-winning creators of New York Times bestsellers What Do You Do With an Idea and What do You Do With a Problem return with a story of a child who isn’t sure what to make of a chance encounter—then discovers that when you get brave, take chances, and say yes to new experiences, amazing things can happen.

In this story, a child is visited by his first chance―and not being sure what to do with it, he lets it go. Later on, when a new chance arrives he reaches for it, but this time he misses and falls. Embarrassed and afraid, he begins ignoring each new chance that comes by, even though the truth was that he still wanted to take one…

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Lena's Shoes Are Nervous
Written by Keith Calabrese & illustrated by Juana Medina
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Today is a big day! Today, Lena starts kindergarten. She is very excited. But there’s just one problem… Lena’s shoes are nervous. Lena doesn’t want to miss out on her first day of school, but she can’t go without her favorite shoes! How can she convince them to be brave?

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  1. Bippity Bop Barbershop - In this companion book to the bestselling I Love My Hair, a young boy, Miles, makes his first trip to the barbershop with his father. Like most little boys, he is afraid of the sharp scissors, the buzzing razor, and the prospect of picking a new hairstyle. But with the support of his dad, the barber, and the other men in the barbershop, Miles bravely sits through his first haircut. Written in a reassuring tone with a jazzy beat and illustrated with graceful, realistic watercolors, this book captures an important rite of passage for boys and celebrates African-American identity.

  2. King of the Tightrope: When the Great Blondin Ruled Niagara - In 1859, Jean-Francois Gravelet, known as The Great Blondin, walked across the Niagara River on a tightrope. What kind of man would do something like that? And more importantly, how do you become that man? At the age of four, Jean-Francois Gravelet walked across his first balance beam. Later, he took to the tightrope like a spider to its web, and with his family troupe, he climbed toward stardom. Though his feats became more and more marvelous, he grew bored. That is, until he visited Niagara Falls and imagined doing something that no one else had ever accomplished. To cross the raging river, The Great Blondin needed an engineering process, determination, and a belief that what he could imagine, he could accomplish. In 1859, with all of the work completed, Blondin would step out onto the most dangerous tightrope walk he’d ever faced. Author Donna Janell Bowman’s trademark in-depth research gives readers a clear and exciting look into the accomplishments of The Great Blondin, as well as the hard work, determination, and meticulous mathematic and scientific planning it took to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope. Adam Gustavson’s detailed illustrations turn this book into an experience that will inspire readers of all ages.

  3. No Place Like Home - Having to move a lot because of her father’s job, Kenzie is happy when an extended assignment allows her to enroll in a Las Vegas middle school, where she takes risks by revealing her crush, auditioning for a play, and running for student council.

  4. So Many Days - Life is full of surprises, big and small, and what children will grow up to do with their lives is one of the biggest and most joyful surprise of all. So Many Days reminds us to celebrate the choices our children make along the way, and the bravery it takes for them to decide exactly who they want to be. Like Dr. Seuss’s Oh, The Places You’ll Go, it’s a perfect gift for graduations, weddings, new babies, difficult transitions, and when you simply want to let someone know you adore them.

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Edmund Unravels
Written & illustrated by Andrew Kolb
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
Super cute and original! This book is particularly great as a gift for anyone leaving the nest and venturing a little farther from home than they have before, be that starting school for the first time, going away to summer camp or leaving for college. The illustrations are modern and bold and the message that adventuring is great, especially when you remember that you have a loving home to come back to is beautifully reassuring.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

This delightful debut picture book celebrates both the joy of venturing into the unknown and the value of staying connected to loved ones back home. It stars a little ball of yarn who can’t resist the tug of adventure, the twists and turns of discovery, or the comfort of family and friends.

Edmund is a ball of yarn and a ball of energy! From the time he could roll, he’s been bouncing down his front steps to explore, and his parents have always been right there to reel him in and roll him back up. But now that he’s bigger, Edmund is ready to discover the wonders of the world. Everything is new and exciting—but sometimes, even a little ball of yarn gets lonely, and there’s nothing better than the comfort of being around those he cares about.

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Sam the Man & The Chicken Plan
Written by Frances O’Roark Dowell & illustrated by Amy June Bates
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Sam the Man wants to earn some money and he’s got a cluck-worthy plan in this endearing chapter book that’s the first in a new series from Frances O’Roark Dowell.

Sam the Man needs a job. Even his sister gets twenty bucks a pop for mowing people’s lawns! But seven-year-olds aren’t allowed to mow lawns, so Sam decides to ask his next door neighbor if she needs help doing other chores. It turns out she’ll pay him a whole dollar each time he can convince her dad, Mr. Stockfish, to join him for a walk. But it turns out that getting Mr. Stockfish to leave the living room isn’t easy. AND a dollar a pop isn’t going to cut it.

So when Mrs. Kerner, another neighbor, asks if Sam would like to watch her chickens, Sam jumps on the task. You can count on him, yes indeed. Watching chickens is more fun than he expects, and comes with an added bonus: it turns out that visiting the chickens is the one thing that can coax Mr. Stockfish out of the house! But what does a seven-year-old do with all the money he’s earning? It’s too little for a bike, and too much for candy. But wait! It’s just enough for a chicken of his own—the kind that lays BLUE eggs! Soon he has a whole waiting list of kids who want to buy a blue egg. And what does Sam plan on doing with his new fortune? Buy Mr. Stockfish his own chicken, of course!

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I Heart You
Written by Meg Fleming & illustrated by Sarah Jane Wright
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-8

This tender, rhyming picture book is a lively celebration of love.

Little ones adore being independent and trying new things. But they also need Mom and Dad’s reassurance and snuggles. With her spare, lyrical text, debut author Meg Fleming captures the exuberance, the affection, and the tender push-and-pull of life with a child. And illustrator Sarah Jane Wright’s evocative illustrations infuse the story with generous helpings of warmth and love.

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  1. A Piece of Home - “When Hee Jun’s family moves from Korea to West Virginia, he struggles to adjust to his new home. His eyes are not big and round like his classmates, and he can’t understand anything the teacher says, even when she speaks s-l-o-w-l-y and loudly at him. As he lies in bed at night, the sky seems smaller and darker. But little by little Hee Jun begins to learn English words and make friends on the playground. And one day he is invited to a classmate’s house, where he sees a flower he knows from his garden in Korea, “mugunghwa,” or Rose of Sharon, as his friend tells him and Hee Jun is happy to bring a shoot to his grandmother to plant a “piece of home” in their new garden.”–Provided by publisher.

  2. Big Day Out - Young children’s lives are full of new experiences and we all want to make these enjoyable and rewarding. Talking to children helps them to understand and prepare for these events, and this series of books aim to promote discussion.

Books About Trying New Things and Feelings And Emotions

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Roller Coaster
Written & illustrated by Marla Frazee
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Twelve people set aside their fears and ride a roller coaster, including one who has never done so before.

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Froggy Learns to Swim
Written by Jonathan London & illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Zzzziiiinnngggg splash! Everyone’s favorite frog learns to swim!

Frogs are supposed to be great swimmers. “Not me!” says Froggy, who’s afraid of the water. But with a little encouragement, some practice, and the help of a silly song or two, Froggy becomes an expert frog-kicker!

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My First Day
Written by Leilani Sparrow & illustrated by Dan Taylor
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Get ready for the first day of school with this sweet, reassuring board book. Follow one little boy as he experiences all the firsts a first day of school brings, from his first story to his first friend. When it’s time to leave, he can’t wait for another day at school!

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  1. Eric Carle's Book of Many Things - Learn over 200 words with The Very Hungry Caterpillar and other favorite friends from the World of Eric Carle. Children will have hours of fun learning first words and first concepts in this beautiful book from the creator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. From things in the garden to things you can eat, from numbers to shapes, from colors to feelings, this is the perfect way for little ones to learn what they need to navigate their busy worlds.

  2. Little Elliot, Big Fun - Elliot the little elephant is terrified when his friend Mouse introduces him to the carnival, but Mouse helps him to have fun.

  3. Gudetama’s Guide to Life - From Sanrio, who brought you Hello Kitty, Gudetama the Lazy Egg returns with a guidebook to living life to the almost fullest. In Japanese, when you’re lazy, you are referred to as gude gude. Gudetama (tama from “tamago,” egg in Japanese) is the lazy egg. Gudetama likes soy sauce and being left alone. Sometimes, Gudetama wonders if we are born only to suffer. Each page of this book is kind of packed with helpful lessons, inspiring quotes and mind-blowing advice that will have you laying around like an egg in no time! And all of it comes straight from the yolk of a Gudetama!

Books About Trying New Things and Animals

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Appleblossom the Possum
Written by Holly Goldberg Sloan & illustrated by Gary A. Rosen
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
What a darling book! I love both the realistic aspects about possums as well as the entertaining scenarios the possums are involved in. Appleblossom ends up falling into a house and breaking one of the main possum rules--staying away from humans! Luckily, she has a great possum family and a kind human girl who help her out by stepping out of their comfort zone and trying new things. The possums are great examples of being there for your family members and pushing out of your comfort zone in order to help those around you. I also learned quite a few fun things about possums!
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.

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Peep and Egg: I'm Not Hatching
Written by Laura Gehl and Joyce Wan & illustrated by Joyce Wan
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Egg is not hatching.

No way. No how.

It is too scary out there.

Peep wants Egg to hatch so they can do fun things together, like watch the sunrise, splash in puddles, and play hide-and-seek. But Egg is not cracking… Joyce Wan’s bright and bold illustrations will have young chickies giggling at Laura Gehl’s reassuring tale that takes the not out of I’m not.

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My New Shoes
Written by Leilani Sparrow & illustrated by Dan Taylor
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Get ready to buy some new shoes in this fun follow-up to My First Day, now available as a board book! My feet are growing. What great news! It’s time to buy a pair of shoes. In this simple introduction to buying a new pair of shoes, a little bear shops for shoes with his dad. He gets his feet measured and imagines all the different sorts of shoes people buy, such as sneakers, high heels, rain boots, sandals, light-up shoes, even shoes that look like sharks! This follow-up to the well-received My First Day is filled with short, fun, and rhyming text with lots of rhythm and adorable animal characters to share in the experience.

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  1. Outside Your Window - Introduces the sights and sounds of the changing seasons, along city streets and in country meadow.

  2. Froggy Rides a Bike - Froggy just got his very first bike, and it’s exactly what he wanted. Almost. Finishing touches like a bell and a horn have to be added before Froggy is ready to ride. Then, surrounded by cheering friends, Froggy starts to pedal. Oops! He falls off. He tries again. Oops! Riding a bike is hard! After a long day, and a few bumps and bruises, Froggy finally learns to ride?and once he does, he can?t wait to go again. Froggy Rides a Bike is a reassuring reminder that practice makes perfect and it’s sure to make kids eager to learn to ride on their own.

  3. How Do You Do? - Water Buffalo and Crane’s field is dry, empty, and hot–so hot that they can barely think of anything else. Every day is the same . . . Until one day, they hear something new. “How do you do?” When Goat dances into their lives, Water Buffalo and Crane can’t help but join in. Suddenly their field doesn’t seem dry, empty, and hot at all. Even after Goat dances away, their world is no longer so small. This beautiful story about widening your horizons and making new friends, brought to life with stunning illustrations by Gianna Marino, shows how all it takes is one special friend to change your world.

Books About Trying New Things and Self-esteem And Self-reliance

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My Brave Year of Firsts
Written by Jamie Lee Curtis & illustrated by Laura Cornell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

While Frankie learns to ride a bike, tie her shoes, make new friends, try new foods, and work with her dad, she also learns that trying new things is how she grows–and that being brave enough to do so is what growing up is all about.

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Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes
Written by Eva Chen & illustrated by Derek Desierto
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Juno Valentine’s favorite shoes don’t light up. They don’t have wheels. They are, to be perfectly honest, the tiniest bit boring. But they’re still her favorite muddy-puddle-jumping, everyday-is-an-adventure shoes. One day, when they go missing, Juno discovers something amazing: a magical room filled with every kind of shoe she could possibly imagine! Juno embarks on an epic journey through time and space, stepping into the shoes of female icons from Frida Kahlo and Cleopatra to Lady Gaga and Serena Williams. Each pair of shoes Juno tries brings a brand new adventure—and a step towards understanding that her very own shoes might be the best shoes of all. Parents and children alike will adore Instagram superstar Eva Chen’s precocious debut picture book—a story that’s equal parts fashion fairy-tale and guide to girl power—and fall in love with the brilliantly spirited Juno Valentine.

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Fly Flies
Written by Ziggy Hanaor & illustrated by Alice Bowsher
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

Fly just wants to have fun flying, but everyone she meets thinks she’s doing it all WRONG!

Fly is happily practicing her flying in the park, doing some wibbles and some wobbles and some waveys. Blackbird, Seagull, Starling and Hawk take turns giving Fly advice about the best way to fly; fly in a straight line, glide on the wind, fly in a flock, dive onto your food…. Fly tries to take their advice on board, but each time finds that this is not HER way to fly. With a sweet, witty twist at the end, this is a delightful book about staying true to yourself in the face of people who insist they know better.

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  1. Hey, Coach! - “Hey, Coach! Guess what? I m on your team.” GOAL! This sprightly rhyming picture book captures all the fun and energy of very young children having a blast on the soccer field. Over the course of their first season, the players progress from unsure newcomers to enthusiastic good sports who love the game and even score! The humor and the real-kid voices will have readers rooting for this spirited and determined team.”

  2. The Night Dragon - “I wish I could fly, and breathe fire, and fill the sky with great grey, sooty clouds,” Maud said to her friend, Mouse. Maud is picked on by the other dragons, so stays cooped up in her cave, sad and lonely. But when the chance comes, will her friend Mouse help her pluck up the courage to fly? A beautiful picture book about individuality and friendship from Naomi Howarth, whose first book The Crow’s Tale was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize.

Books About Trying New Things and Being Different

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Les & Ronnie Step Out
Written & illustrated by Andrew Kolb
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Meet a left and right foot who are a pair of complete opposites! Full of clever, giggle-inducing details, this lively odd-couple tale celebrates what makes us all unique, as well as the power of friendship to bring us together despite our differences.

Feet come in twos, so they need to step out together. But Les and Ronnie often find it hard to cooperate. Les likes having a clean sock and being responsible. Ronnie is fine with a dirty sock and loves letting loose. Les is straight-laced while Ronnie doesn’t even care about laces. What’s a duo to do?

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

Will a pristine piglet find perfection in Paris?

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

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

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Just a Duck?
Written & illustrated by Carin Bramsen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Now that Cat has learned to play games that Duck enjoys, it’s Duck’s turn to try things that Cat likes. However, climbing trees and swatting at leaves prove to be a bit tricky for flat-footed Duck. What’s an unlikely pair of friends to do?

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  1. Ogilvy - The clothes don’t make the bunny in this new picture book from New York Times-bestselling author Deborah Underwood, illustrated by T. L. McBeth. When Ogilvy moves to a new town, the possibilities feel endless. There are so many new bunny friends and fun things to do together! But in this town, bunnies in dresses play ball and knit socks, and bunnies in sweaters make art and climb rocks. Ogilvy wants to do everything—and won’t let a sweater or a dress get in the way.

  2. Elle of the Ball - From 2015 WNBA MVP, 2016 Olympic gold medalist, and global ambassador to the Special Olympics Elena Delle Donne comes the first novel in a brand-new middle grade series with as much heart as there is game. Elle Deluca is a seventh grader who is tall—not just sort of tall. She’s six feet tall. And for a twelve-year-old girl, this means that her basketball team has high hopes for her changing positions and becoming their starting center. But a new position is not the only footwork she has to learn. Her class’s dance unit in gym is coming up, and that means she has to learn ballroom dance steps with a boy much shorter than her—and perform publically for a grade. In the first book in WNBA MVP and Olympic gold medalist Elena Delle Donne’s Hoops series, Elle must figure out a way to remain herself when others want her to be someone else.

  3. A Dragon in the Family - Darek and Zantor work to convince everyone that dragons and humans can get along in this second book in the fantastical Dragonling chapter book series! Ever since Darek saved Zantor the dragonling, they’ve been inseparable. Darek is the only family Zantor has ever known. But now Darek is bringing Zantor home from the Valley of the Dragons, and the villagers are up in arms! He and his brother Clep are called traitors. Their best friends are turning against them. Even Darek’s father has been threatened for allowing the enemy in their midst. How can Darek prove that dragons are good neighbors to the villagers?

Books About Trying New Things and Sports And Recreation

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Roller Girl
Written & illustrated by Victoria Jamieson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

For fans of Raina Telgemeier’s Smile, a heartwarming graphic novel about friendship and surviving junior high through the power of roller derby. For most of her twelve years, Astrid has done everything with her best friend Nicole. But after Astrid falls in love with roller derby and signs up for derby camp, Nicole decides to go to dance camp instead. And so begins the most difficult summer of Astrid’s life as she struggles to keep up with the older girls at camp, hang on to the friend she feels slipping away, and cautiously embark on a new friendship. As the end of summer nears and her first roller derby bout (and junior high!) draws closer, Astrid realizes that maybe she is strong enough to handle the bout, a lost friendship, and middle school in short, strong enough to be a roller girl. In her graphic novel debut, real-life derby girl Victoria Jamieson has created an inspiring coming-of-age story about friendship, perseverence, and girl power!

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Lucy Tries Hockey
Written by Lisa Bowes & illustrated by James Hearne
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Lucy and her family are skating on an outdoor rink when she sees a game of hockey going on. It looks like fun, but maybe too challenging. Supported by her parents, Lucy enrolls in an introductory-hockey clinic, and thanks to an encouraging instructor, she and her friends learn basic hockey skills, have fun on the ice and decide to add hockey to their list of favorite sports! This title is also available in French. The Lucy Tries Sports series encourages children to get active and participate in sports and recreation.To find out what Lucy will try next, visit www.lucytriessports.com.

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Splish, Splash, Splat!
Written by Rob Scotton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Splat does not want to have a playdate with Spike. Spike will break his toys and eat all of his candy fish! And he does not want to learn how to swim—water is horrible, scary, and wet! He’s sure that this is going to be the worst day ever. But when the rest of their classmates rush straight into the pool, Splat and Spike find that they may have more in common than they thought. Will Splat overcome his fear of water and get into the pool? And how can he help Spike to do the same?

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  1. Karate Kids - Gi? Ready! Belt? Ready! Let's go! It's karate time. HAI-YAH!

  2. Cartwheel Katie - Katie is enrolled in a gymnastics class, but when she has trouble doing some of the moves she gets discouraged and considers dropping out.

  3. Black Belt Bunny - From the author of the bestselling Ladybug Girl series, this hilarious, empowering picture book about a little black-belt who faces a new challenge is perfect for fans of The Three Ninja Pigs, The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog, and I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato Black Belt Bunny is fast and strong and has seriously awesome moves—from front-kicks to back-flips to air-chops. Then he’s faced with something new, something every bunny must learn, something he might not be as good at: He has to make . . . a salad. Black Belt Bunny tries to escape. He even disguises himself with a fake mustache. But when he finally hops to it, he discovers that his seriously awesome moves come in pretty handy, and that—in a funny twist that puts the narrator in the hot seat—he isn’t the only one who has to try new things.

  4. 1, 2, 3, Jump! - First swimming lessons can be exciting and terrifying, but this joyful and imaginative guide shows young readers how to conquer the pool. From what to wear (a bathing suit, of course!) to what to expect (no, your teacher will not be a mermaid), 3, 2, 1 Jump! covers the what if’s and how to’s of getting in the pool for the first time. There’s a lot to worry about (Can I be sucked into the filter?) and even more to be excited about (When can I wear flippers?), and our narrator has thought of everything. By the time she’s ready, you to will want to jump in!

Books About Trying New Things and Growing Up

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Sometimes You Fly
Written by Katherine Applegate & illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

This gorgeous gift book, equally perfect for preschool graduations or college commencements, baby showers or birthdays, is an inspirational tribute to the universal struggles and achievements of childhood. Beginning with a first birthday, the scenes travel through childhood triumphs and milestones, coming full circle to graduation. A magical blend of succinct text and beautiful watercolors renders each moment with tenderness and humor and encourages readers to “remember then, with every try, sometimes you fail . . . sometimes you fly.”

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Lola Dutch When I Grow Up
Written & illustrated by Kenneth Wright and Sarah Jane Wright
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Lola Dutch is always bursting with grand ideas–so of course she has many ideas for what she wants to be when she grows up! She could be a magnificent performer . . . or a daring inventor . . . or a brilliant botanist . . . there are exciting ideas all around! But Lola is too excited–she wants to try EVERYTHING. How will she ever decide what she is destined to become? The curious and creative Lola Dutch is inspired to imagine every way to explore the wonder of her world. And she doesn’t have to wait until she grows up! Inspired by their own four gorgeously creative children, Sarah Jane and Kenneth Wright are thrilled to continue this fun series about the unstoppable Lola Dutch, a larger-than-life character perfect for fans of Olivia and Fancy Nancy.

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Bye-Bye Binky
Written & illustrated by Maria van Lieshout
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Babies use a binky. Do big kids? No! Big kids say, “Bye-bye, binky!” Every child’s life is filled with milestones. Some happen easily; others need a little extra support. Artist and mom Maria van Lieshout has been there. Drawing upon her own experiences, she has created an engaging series of books that are just right for children on the brink of major changes and the caregivers who encourage them.

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. Big Girl Panties - Big Girl Panties by Stephanie Evanovich is a rollicking and poignant romantic comedy about a young widow who decides to get in shape…and winds up getting her groove back—and a whole lot more! Holly Brennan used food to comfort herself through her husband’s illness and death. Now she’s alone at age thirty-two. And she weighs more than she ever has. When fate throws her in the path of Logan Montgomery, personal trainer to pro athletes, and he offers to train her, Holly concludes it must be a sign. Much as she dreads the thought of working out, Holly knows she needs to put on her big girl panties and see if she can sweat out some of her grief. Soon, the easy intimacy and playful banter of their training sessions lead Logan and Holly to most intense and steamy workouts. But can Holly and Logan go the distance as a couple now that she’s met her goals—and other men are noticing?

  2. Baby Penguin's First Waddles - What happens after a baby penguin emerges from her egg? Follow her journey and find out! Meet a penguin chick and see how she grows. Developed in tandem with the American Museum of Natural History, and featuring stunning photography in the penguin’s Antarctic home, this nonfiction picture book captures the first few months of a baby penguin’s life and her transformation into adulthood. With fun and engaging text, Baby Penguin’s First Waddles is sure to delight animal-loving kids.

  3. I Use The Potty - Babies wear diapers. Do big kids? No! Big kids use the potty! Every child’s life is filled with milestones. Some happen easily; others need a little extra support. Artist and mom Maria van Lieshout has been there. Drawing upon her own experiences, she has created an engaging series of books that are just right for children on the brink of major changes and the caregivers who encourage them.

  4. Katie's New Shoes - Katie’s toes are feeling very squished in her old shoes. It’s time to shop for some new ones! She’s looking for just the right pair. They must have lots of pizzazz to be perfect for Katie.

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Books About Trying New Things and School

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Beginners Welcome
Written & illustrated by Cindy Baldwin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The acclaimed author of Where the Watermelons Grow is back with a story perfect for fans of Lynda Mullaly Hunt and Ali Benjamin, about finding friendship after a tragic loss.

It’s been eighty-three days since Annie Lee’s daddy died, but she still sees reminders of him everywhere. His record player mysteriously plays his favorite songs, there’s shaving cream in the sink every morning, and the TV keeps flipping to the Duke basketball games he loved.

She knows Mama notices it too, but Mama’s been working around the clock to make ends meet. To make matters worse, Annie Lee’s friends ditched her over the summer. She feels completely alone—until she meets Mitch.

Though Mitch is tough and confident on the outside, she may need a friend just as badly as Annie Lee. But after losing so much, Annie Lee is afraid to let anyone get too close.

And Mitch isn’t the only friend trying to break through Annie Lee’s defenses. Ray, an elderly pianist who plays at a local mall, has been giving her piano lessons. His music is pure magic, and Annie Lee hopes it might be the key to healing her broken heart. But when Ray goes missing, searching for him means breaking a promise to Mitch.

Faced with once again losing those who mean the most to her, Annie Lee must make a choice: retreat back into her shell, or risk admitting how much she needs Mitch and Ray—even if it means getting hurt all over again.

Just like in her debut, Where the Watermelons Grow, Cindy Baldwin brings her signature twist of magic to this authentically heartfelt story.

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Froggy Goes to School
Written by Jonathan London & illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Froggy’s mother knows that everyone’s nervous on the first day of school. “Not me!” says Froggy, and together they leapfrog to the bus stop — flop flop flop. Froggy’s exuberant antics will delight his many fans and reassure them that school can be fun.

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Splat the Cat
Written & illustrated by Rob Scotton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It’s Splat’s first day of school and he’s worried. What if he doesn’t make any new friends? Just in case, Splat decides to bring along his pet mouse, Seymour, and hides him in his lunchbox. The teacher, Mrs. Wimpydimple, introduces Splat to the class and he soon starts learning all his important cat lessons. But when Seymour escapes and the cats do what cats do (they chase mice!), Splat’s worried again. Maybe now he’ll lose all his friends, old and new! Just in time, wise Mrs. Wimpydimple takes charge and teaches everyone an important new lesson. Maybe Cat School is going to be okay after all!

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  1. Fairy's First Day of School - In this humorous and reassuring picture book from the author of Mustache Baby, a sweet fairy has a fun-filled first day at school. Her experience is remarkably similar to the first day of preschool for human children. From circle time (sitting crisscross berry sauce) to center time (art, spells, tooth), all the activities one might encounter at school are explored, with sweet fairy-like touches. Best of all is the kind, warm teacher and plenty of new friends. The perfect story to ease fears and build anticipation for any child—human or fairy—starting school for the first time.

  2. Class Act - Fans of Princess Posey and Ivy and Bean will enjoy rooting for Jada Jones as she runs for student council in this easy-to-read chapter book. As a candidate for class representative, Jada is ready to give the campaign her all. But when rumors start to fly about her secret fear of public speaking, she isn’t sure who she can trust. And the pressure to make promises she can’t keep only adds to her growing list of problems. Is winning even worth it when friendships are on the line? This easy-to-read story–with plenty of pictures and a charming, relatable cast of characters–is a sure winner. The early chapter book bridges between leveled readers and chapter books for fluent readers adjusting to the chapter book format. At about 5,000 words, with short chapters and two-color art on almost every page, it will appeal to this unique reader. The two-color art throughout will help readers transition from the familiar four-color art of leveled readers and ease them into black-and-white chapter books.

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