Picture books are often young readers' first introduction into the wonderful world of books. We want to help you find books that make kids' reading experiences delightful-- for the adults who read them and the kids who listen to them.
Is it possible for a picture book to be quiet and epic at the same time? I think this manages! It's beautiful and adventurous and loving and thoughtful. (I also adore that Clover's gender is never specified.) --Tegan
This adorable picture book is inspired by the real bats that live in Portugal’s oldest library. Yes, the illustrations represent the elegant beauty of the Joanine Library in Coimbra. Yes, bat guano is a plot point. Because it has suspense and more text than some picture books, it makes a great all-family read-aloud. --Tegan
Heart-warming! When the neighbors come together and reach out at the end, the vibrant colors and smiles light up the pages.
This is so clever and fascinating! Each big, bold page has 99 items that fit a category and ONE that doesn't belong. It's a beautiful seek and find type of book that can spark interesting conversations. I could happily spend days poring over these pages, and I think kids will, too.
Hop on the daladala (a kind of minibus taxi) on the way to the blue crystal waters of Zanzibar! The vibrant illustrations play with color, perspective, and texture. Rhythmic language dances across the pages as more and more people and their belongings pile into the vehicle on the way to the beach. It seems there can’t possibly be room, but “after some wiggles and giggles and fun, they made enough room for everyone.” Even the typeface becomes flexible, with words such as “shuffle,” “squirm,” and “squeeze” taking up extra space on the page.
--from Tegan's review for the Christian Science Monitor Dec. 2021
The bus fills up and the illustrations keep expanding until a truly spectacular cross section of the overloaded daladala is followed by the cathartic release. Ahhhhh. After the characters climb out to enjoy the beautiful beach, readers should stay on board for a glossary of Arabic and Swahili words as well as a page about Zanzibar and its culture. This is a book you will be happy to read again and again because it’s so full of sunlight and energy.
Gorgeous! I think this makes a great baby shower gift-- the world and its wonders in one beautiful package. -Tegan
Beautiful! It will make kids want to explore the world and their own heritage-- and it will make adults like me cry in a good way. --Tegan
Delightfully silly! It made me giggle out loud, and it just might make chore-time a little more fun if we say, "Alright, time to rock the rug!" This family just looks like a lot of fun, and I think readers will enjoy spending time with them. --Tegan
I don't know if I've ever related more to a main character... The cake-lover/ attempted cake-ignorer/ cake-eater/ cake-baker is earnest and honest and oh-so-endearing even as I sympathized with her poor mom-- and her dog's reactions delighted me even more. The illustrations perfectly capture the temptations, agonies, and delights I feel around cake. The rhymes are funny and really fun to read aloud. My one problem with this book? NOW I'M CRAVING CAKE!!!
Absolutely gorgeous! Soft and light-filled illustrations complement the sweet story. As the second child, I also appreciate the first-person narration that explains the frustrations--and good things!-- of being little.
Charming, celebratory, and absolutely beautiful! Hits home in a wonderful way.
In this book, a boy repeatedly raises false alarms that the pirates are coming (like "The Boy Who Cries Wolf"), but watch for the very fun twist at the end. I got a real kick out of the hiding spots the villagers choose when the boy cries pirates, and I think young readers will enjoy the refrain, speculating about pirates, playing peek-a-boo to "hide" whenever the boy shouts, and spending time alone after the read-throughs, just looking at all the silly illustrations.
Treat yourself to an immersion in the community feeling and sense of self-worth that shine throughout this gorgeous book. It's difficult to choose, but I think my favorite pages might be the second-to-last about tipping the barber. Come check it out in person. You'll be glad you did!
Absolutely adorable! The penguins are extremely expressive and relatable. Plus, marshmallows are integral to the plot!
A very touching, uplifting reminder to imagine beyond our first impressions and to hold kindness and hope for others in our hearts. Milo's pictorial explorations peeking into possibilities will help us all perceive how much better the world can be when we think about empathy, inclusiveness, and more love for everyone.
I cried in a good way. --Tegan
So fun! Natsumi is an exuberant girl whose family doesn't always appreciate her energies. She tries a variety of traditional Japanese arts until her grandfather introduces her to something that is a perfect fit.
This is a beautiful and brave book. The inclusive colorful, joyous illustrations help get across its very important message, which was inspired by a statement made by Seattle public school teachers in response to the Muslim ban, and the illustrations are inspired by a local school. All Are Welcome makes me very proud to be a Seattleite!
Wow! This is for all ages. It reclaims words left out of a recent edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary and leaves me absolutely agog. It feels like a well-curated museum exhibit, a coffee table book, and an exploration of nature all in one. It was the winner of the Children's Book of the Year at the British Book Awards.
I love this almost as much as I love churros! It's the story of a girl who loves churros so much, she's willing to risk everything for a lifetime supply. She is creative and caring and peaceful, so her matador style might suprise you... Sweet and charming!
If you're feeling bummed out about the state of the world, take a page out of this girl's book! She's got some great ideas about the future--she's just the sort of thinker we need right now! (Particularly if you're thinking about how you'd like your eggs for dinner.)
This is an adventure tale of daring escape! Barnabus, half mouse, half elephant, leads his "imperfect" friends to freedom. This sweet story's message is about loving yourself, friendship, and the power of imagination. --Erin
This charming book is as cozy as Maud and Grand-Maud's matching flannel nightgowns. If we can't have our own visits with Grand-Maud, we can make do enjoying Maud's.
Pretty hilarious! I've definitely known cats like Fuzzball/ NoFuzzball! (She thinks her name is actually "NoFuzzball!" because her family is constantly having to yell at her for her naughty acts.) Her "regal" behavior and sassy monologue made me laugh out loud-- plus she's adorable. Thank goodness she's cute... ;) And you might be glad that you can't leave your cat at home alone while we wait for the world to get healtier.
An absolute favorite! I grew up on these stories--how great to have them all in one book! Memorable, silly, and packed with charming illustrations. Get it! Love it! Tell me which story you enjoyed most (and why it's "The Rolling Mochi Cakes")!
A delightful story about chance encounters, friendship, and appreciating the time we (us and unicorns, obviously) have together. Features rolling hills, blustery weather, and unicorns that are sweet (but not overly so).
It feels a bit trite to call “The Lost Spells” magical, but I was—and am still—genuinely spellbound by this book. Enchantment of this sort is Macfarlane and Morris’s specialty (see, “The Lost Words”). Their nature poems and illustrations are so alive they breathe. They also flutter, caw, and root. Everyone—and this is a book for everyone, no matter your age or opinions on poetry—who reads these spells will find themselves doing the same. This is a good thing. If we learn the spells now, maybe they won’t be lost.
Something's wrong. But this little bear just cannot figure out what, and goodness, is the suspense getting to him. Features copious anxious babble, best friends, and some wonderfully wide-eyed blank stares. This book had the whole staff giggling!
If you love "Blueberries for Sal," take a look at this! It has the same potential as a classic, with sensory details and family connection that are wonderfully evocative plus gorgeous illustrations to bring the magic of the scenes to life.
A young boy goes to school by boat! He's independent and eager to learn--and he's got things to teach us about his commute! Illustrations are bright, beautiful, and full of movement.
Sometimes you become a rabbit. That's all right! It's a lovely way to see the world, as Sato can attest.
Author and illustrator Jessixa Bagley's Daisy is teased at school, so retreats to her own special place where she collects treasures everyone else overlooks--and then a sweet friend comes along. I love Bagley's art and the message: there's someone for everyone. --Erin
Problem-solving siblings, fantastic facial expressions, and a snack-littered adventure--this story is a delight! See if YOU can find Halmoni first!
A gorgeous reimagining of a childhood classic that emphasizes the power of friendship. --Rachel
This one really hit me. A little melancholic, a little hopeful, very lovely.
Oh, I wish I'd written this book. I love the concept and illustrations, and there's a certain feel here reminiscent of the beloved classic Goodnight Moon. A treat for every reader! Be sure to check out Carson Ellis' other books, too-- they're all marvelous. --Erin