In no particular order, discover your next favorite picture book to read aloud and share with children.
New Picture Books, October & November 2021
Over Bear, Under Where? by Julie Hedlund, illustrated by Michael Slack
FUNNY / PREPOSITIONS
You will laugh your way through this darling preposition story about two friends, a bird named Under and a mole friend named Over. It’s a silly “Whose on First?” tale about Over and Under who stand, cook, and play with each other. When they see Bear (who is between and behind) he and Dog join Over and Under at the park for more fun.
Redlocks and the Three Bears by Claudia Rueda
MIXED UP FAIRY TALE
Little Red from the story next door, knocks on the three bears door. She hopes they can help keep her safe from the scary wolf. Making herself welcome, Little Red eats Little Bear’s porridge and sleeps in his bed only to be interrupted by whining, crying wolf who feels sad that no one wants him in their stories. Little Bear invites Wolf in and offers him some porridge. Finally, the Wolf and Little Red return to their book. When the bears hear another knock on the door, they decide to lock their door, leaving Goldilocks outside.
How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodbye? by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Mark Teague
MANNERS / SEPARATION
Get ready for a new book in the fantastic “How Do Dinosaur” series! This book helps children consider that the best thing they (and dinosaurs) can do when they have to part from a loved one is to tell someone about their feelings and give a big hug (instead of faking a tummy ache or shaking their head).
XO, Exoplanet by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Jorge Lacera
FUNNY / SPACE / PERSPECTIVE
Get ready to laugh at this hysterical story with a poignant message about seeing multiple perspectives! When our solar system’s planets write a friendly letter to an exoplanet, their communication turns into a funny argument when the exoplanet tells our planets that THEY are actually the exoplanets. A visiting comet helps our planets to see that depending on how you’re looking at things, both arguments could be true. Letters, dialogue bubbles, and expressive illustrations capture the planets’ strong emotions.
I Want an Apple How My Body Works by David L. Harrison, illustrated by David Catrow
5 SENSES / BODY
I love the punchy text and playful illustrations that show us step by step what happens in our senses when the little girl wants an apple. From seeing, touching, smelling, and tasting– all the way to digesting. “Open ears, hear it crunch. Busy tongue, taste the apple. Yum!”
What’s in Your Pocket? Collecting Nature’s Treasures by Heather L. Montgomery, illustrated by Maribel Lechuga
COLLECTIONS / FAMOUS SCIENTISTS
A charming introduction that shows famous scientists as curious children and elaborates on their later adult contributions with gorgeous illustrations and clear text. Learn about kids like Diego who collected snails as a child and later became a herpetologist, or Mary who collected caterpillars and eventually wrote a book on metamorphosis, or Bonnie who collected sea slugs and later helped discover a new kind of sea slug. Readers will be inspired to start their own collections and see where their curiosities take them!
Croc O’Clock by Huw Lewis Jones and Ben Sanders
This large crocodile invites us to sing along with him all about what the zookeepers feed him to the tune of “The 12 Days of Christmas”. And it’s quite the feast including toffees, pumpkin pies, french fries, and creamy coffees that will crack up your kids!
Chez Bob by Bob Shea
Perfect kid humor with plenty of heart, too! Bob the alligator has a devious plan to open a bird restaurant with birdseed so he can attract his next meals and eat his delicious customers–but, there’s a problem…he likes his new bird friends. What a dilemma! What will Bob do?
Interrupting Chicken: Cookies for Breakfast by David Ezra Stein
NURSERY RHYMES / HUMOR
Little red chicken loves when his dad reads aloud to him–and he loves to modify the stories, too. This morning, he really wants cookies so he helps his dad read the nursery rhymes adding new rhymes with cookies in them. For example, “Hickory, Dickory, Dock,” reads the dad. Then little red chicken jumps into the story and adds, “I sure like cookies a lot!” Eventually, Papa suggests that instead of cookies for breakfast, they have cake…a pancake. Entertaining, funny, and playful.
Our Table by Peter H. Reynolds
FAMILY CONNECTION / GRATITUDE
As she sits alone at the table, Violet fondly remembers family times around the table; times before everyone got busy with screens. When she notices that the table gets smaller and smaller, then vanishes, Violet enlists her family to help her build a new table. As it turns out, their new table is more beautiful than before with new opportunities to make special memories.
Mi Casa Is My Home by Laurenne Sala, illustrated by Zara Gonzalez Hoang
MULTICULTURAL / FAMILY
Take a tour of a little girl’s casa — her warm loving family, Puerto Rican and Spanish culture with delicious foods, and daily life with many visiting primos and tios. Watch as the kids play, eat, help, and dance. Every new location begins, “Este es…” and then says the name of the place in Spanish whether it’s la cocina or el patio or la sala. “Este es el baño…It’s where I shave my barba con Abuelo and where Abuela says, “Sana sana colita de rana!” whenever I get a cut on my knee (which happens a lot!).” Her casa is a wonderful place of imagination and love.
Where Three Oceans Meet by Rajani Larocca, illustrated by Archana Sreenivasan
FAMILY / INDIAN CULTURE
A girl named Sejal and her mom visit Pati (grandmother) in India where they eat delicious food, visit rivers, temples, and the oceans, and enjoy a wonderful time together, even when the little girl gets sick for a day. It’s a memorable exploration of India and the thread of generational connection.
Off-Limits by Helen Yoon
Inspired by the exciting (and forbidden) world of office supplies, a little girl tapes and decorates the office with paper clips and sticky notes. Worried that she will get in trouble, she returns to her room and discovers a very silly turn of events– her daddy playing with her toys!
Yours in Books by Julie Falatko, illustrated by Gabriel Alborozo
LETTER WRITING / POWER OF BOOKS
A charming epistolary story on the power of books and community told in letters between a grumpy owl and a gregarious, insightful bookselling Squirrel. Owl writes to Squirrel about Owl’s new NOISY neighbors. Squirrel sends Owl just the right books to help Owl enjoy the company of the visiting children. So instead of sending The Busy Owl’s Guide to Food That Will Not Entice Neighbor Children to Stop By Uninvited, Squirrel sends 50 Fanciful Biscuits and Cakes. Before you know it, grumpy Owl throws a large tea party for everyone and is a changed bird!
Let Me Fix You a Plate a Tale of Two Kitchens by Elizabeth Lilly
PERSONAL NARRATIVE / FAMILY
Based on the author’s childhood, a little girl and her family visit both parents’ families starting with the grandparents in West Virginia and later visiting grandparents in Florida. Each grandparents’ home is filled with love, memorable food, unique decor, and a distinct culture. Beautifully written with descriptive sensory images that transport readers to each setting. “Outside the stray cat who lives in the old trailer meows and morning mountain fog wrinkles and rolls. Later my sisters stack vanilla wafer cookies. Mamaw pours the pudding and I cover the top with slices of banana. Then we eat it all.” As well as, “Outside Abuela’s morning kitchen red ants climb over scratchy grass and bite my feet while I pick naranjas with abuelo in the yard.”
The Bath House by Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Gracey Zhang
BODY POSITIVITY / JAPANESE CULTURE / 2nd PERSON
Experience a happy day spent at the bath with your beloved aunties and grandma (baachan); it’s a day that celebrates a Japanese cultural tradition from the author’s own childhood as well as families and female bodies of all shapes and sizes. Yes, this book shows naked bodies with hair and plenty of details. “You’ll all dip your bodies, your newly sprouting, gangly bodies, your saggy, shapely, jiggly bodies, your cozy, creased, ancient bodies. Beautiful bodies.”
Strange Planet The Sneaking, Hiding, Vibrating Creature by Nathan W. Pyle
HUMOR / CATS / INFERENCE
A HILARIOUS story of aliens investigating a strange creature prowling around their house. First, they notice and record the creature’s behaviors. Next, the aliens try to imitate the behaviors but unfortunately, can’t quite do any of them very well — which is quite funny. As they narrate their day, encourage readers to make inferences about the vocabulary that the aliens use for everyday objects; words like “starblock fabrics” and “ink cylinder”. Highly recommended!
Christmas Here I Come by D.J. Steinberg, illustrated by Laurie Stansfield
A cute collection of poems that celebrate Christmas traditions like picking a tree, writing a letter to Santa, and wearing a Christmas sweater.
Usha and the Big Digger by Amitha Jagannath Knight, illustrated by Sandhya Prabhat
Look, Grandma! Ni, Elisi! by Art Coulson, illustrated by Madelyn Goodnight
INDIGENOUS CULTURE / MATH / PERSEVERANCE
Soul Food Sunday by Winsome Bingham, illustrated by C.G. Esperanza
FAMILY & FOOD
A joyful day of family and food! A boy’s grandma lets her grandson help prepare the food for their family’s big Sunday feast. He grates the cheese, washes the lettuce, and skins the meat, and even makes sweet tea. Vibrant artwork!
Between the Lines by Lindsay Ward
When the community has no connection, it is represented by black and white illustrations with no color…but when the community relearns to work together and communicates, the color comes back.
Hamsters Make Terrible Roommates by Cheryl B. Klein, illustrated by Abhi Alwar
A story of friendship, conflict, repair, and compromise…These two roommate hamsters are opposites. Henry is talkative and it’s irritating Marvin and he blows up and yells at Henry. After time to cool off, Marvin apologizes and Henry forgives him. They find a compromise that will work for both their personalities.
You Might Be Special by Kerri Kokias, illustrated by Marcus Cutler
Ignore the title — it’s misleading and frankly not representative of the story. That aside, the book is funny. The narrator gives the readers little quizzes with descriptions to see if you fit the description of, what turns out to be, fantasy creatures like a unicorn, werewolf, dragon, and mermaid and ending up with a you are special affirmation that feels a bit like an afterthought. But kids will probably like it anyway.
Dancing with Daddy by Anitra Rowe Schulte, illustrated by Ziyue Chen
PHYSICAL DISABILITY / FAMILY
Elise, a girl in a chair, can’t wait to go to the father-daughter dance. She picks out a dress and practices her dance moves. Finally, she gets to go to the dance and it’s as wonderful as she had imagined.
The Me I Choose to Be by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley, illustrated by Regis and Kahran Bethencourt
BLACK / BROWN GIRL MAGIC
What a gorgeous, empowering book with a positive message showing beautiful photographs of Black and brown girls and boys being creative, curious, and doing amazing things.
Soaked! by Abi Cushman
A grumpy, miserable bear learns to have fun in the rain…He complains how rain ruins everything and invites his friends into his cave, including a hula hooping moose. Bear can’t even find his umbrella. Then, when he tries to get Moose’s hula-hoop unstuck from a tree, he and all th others fall splat into a puddle. And that’s when they all start to have lots of fun. Bear hula-hoops and everyone is splashing, soaked, and having the best time!
The Children’s Moon by Carmen Agra Deedy, illustrated by Jim LaMarche
Have you ever wondered about eclipses? This folktale explains why eclipses started in the first place! The moon wants to see children so she asks the sun to share about the day and she tells the sun all about night — the moonflowers and fireflies and best of all, the stars. The sun is furious to know the stars are just like him — and wants to see them for himself. They work together to eclipse and the sun saw galaxies and felt a little less alone. Then, the sun shone brightly on the moon so she could appear in the sky and the children would see her, and she would see them, too. Back matter explains a bit more about the moon.
Grand Jete and Me by Allegra Kent, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser
CHRISTMAS / BALLET
A girl takes a lovely trip to the theater to see the Nutcracker ballet with her former prima ballerina grandmother.
Christmas Too Big by Colleen Madden
When Kerry’s family overdoes Christmas, she visits her Spanish-speaking neighbor’s house where it’s quiet and special. She loves spending time with her neighbor, dancing and singing, and decorating with paper flowers. She even helps Mrs. Rojas video call her family members. Back at home, Kerry finds a balance in her own Christmas traditions. Beautiful artwork with speech bubbles and colorful fonts make this beautiful book very memorable. (Although the cover art does not capture the story well at all.)
Robin, Robin by Dan Ojari and Mikey Please, illustrated by Briony May Smith
A cute story of a robin in a mouse family based on a Netflix special, this is a heartwarming story of family, acceptance, and love. At first, Robin tries to be like her mice family members but she isn’t quiet or sneaky. She’s always too noisy and that means that the house cat always hears them and they don’t collect any crumbs. One day, she leaves home only to learn that by being herself, she can help her family.
Awake by Mags DeRoma
FEAR OF SPIDERS
In a high building lives a little girl who can’t sleep because she’s scared of a spider. She brainstorms ways to get the spider and eventually, traps it in a glass. As she stares at it, she realizes that maybe the spider is scared, too and she lets it go free. For anyone who has a fear of spiders…