Today, I’m reviewing November picture books and catching up on books that I missed from other months. I know you find lots of great new books to put on your hold shelf at the library!
Check out my best picture books of 2023 list for more good books!
New Picture Books, November 2023
Mazie’s Amazing Machines written by Sheryl Haft, illustrated by Jeremy Holmes
SIMPLE MACHINES / ENGINEERING
Mazie loves engineering. She solves problems with her inventions–like feeding her dog Doodle and helping her dad lift a tire. She imagines, draws, builds with simple machines like ramps and pulleys. Mostly everyone loves engineering as much as Maize…which can both cause problems and solve them! I love the comic panel illustrations.
Every Other Christmas written by Katie Otey, illustrated by SJ Winkler
A child with divorced parents compares Christmas with dad in Colombia at his abuelos and Christmas with mom in Illinois. Each Christmas tradition comes with its own traditions, food, and activities but both are filled with love.
Say It by Diego Estebo
Nika has a secret and it makes her feel afraid, lonely, and heavy. One day, she tells a friend and realizes that telling the secret helps her feel less alone. I love the message of sharing your burdens, the child-like, expressive graphic illustrations, and the large text size!
Eclipse by Andy Rash
TIME / ECLIPSE
Written in a countdown, parallel structure with three different verb tenses starting with future, then present, and then past, a boy plans to see an eclipse using time words like month, days, hour minutes, and then, they arrive at the spot to see the Sun disappear behind the Moon. Then, the boy and his father return home and try to remember the eclipse they saw. Kids will love the amazing digital illustrations.
Evergreen by Matthew Cordell
RED RIDING HOOD ADVENTURE
A squirrel with a red cape (Red Riding Hood) takes soup to her sick granny even though she’s scared. She experiences a big adventure with a rabbit stealing her soup and getting picked up by a hawk…who needs Evergreen’s help. She meets other forest creatures, including the surprising Granny Oak — who isn’t who you think she will be. When she returns home, she’s braver and more confident.
Small Places Close to Home written by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Kate Gardiner
What are the rights and responsibilities of children who grow up to be adults? This gentle book is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights written by Eleanor Roosevelt for the United Nations. For every right, like the right to get an education, we also have a responsibility. For example, the responsibility to welcome and encourage others. This will be an important book to discuss with children and students.
Remembering Sundays with Grandpa written by Lauren H. Kerstein, illustrated by Nanette Regan
Henry misses his grandpa who died. His mom guides him to places that bring back fond memories of time with Grandpa — reading stories, eating chocolate chip cookies in hot chocolate, making silly faces, and wearing a favorite crab hat. This is a sweet story that addresses the death of a grandparent and how a child comes to terms with their grief.
Dear Mr. G written by Christine Evans, illustrated by Gracey Zhang
Jackson accidentally kicks his soccer ball into Mr. G’s rose bush. So he write an apology letter. And he gets a letter in return. And learns about Mr. G through their letters back and forth. When Mr. G leaves, Jackson promises to care for his rose bush. And when Mr. G dies, Jackson memorializes him in the sweetest of endings. This is a story of kindness, friendship, and grief that might make you cry.
A Story No One Has Ever Heard Before by Avi Steinberg
WRITING A STORY
Almost a story writing guide, this is a meta, interactive story about telling a story. Readers will learn about the main characters, problems, increasing tension, climactic scenes, and the conclusion, all the while enjoying illustrations about a dragon with a sore throat and an alien besieged by cats.
Kid Christmas of the Claus Brothers Toy Store by David Litchfield
In this magical origin story of Christmas gifts and Nicky Claus, young Nicky works for his uncles at their toy store. But he feels sad when he notices that the poor children can’t afford the Claus toys. So he and his friend Lottie, a former chimney sweep, decide to give out toys. They are guided by fireflies and vow to keep giving toys one night of the year– and the legend of Father Christmas was born. Sweet and heartwarming with gorgeous illustrations from one of my favorite illustrators.
Construction Site: Taking Flight! written by Sherri Duskey Rinker, illustrated by Ag Ford
The airport needs to be bigger with a bigger road, so the vehicles must build an airport addition. Readers will love meeting the new airport-related vehicles (Belt Loader and Tractor) and seeing their familiar favorites (Bulldozer and Cement Mixer) working side by side. The friends work together to make new runways and roads while the planes land and take off. Of course, once the job is done, you’ll say goodnight to the big trucks.
Our Italian Christmas Eve written by Danielle Sedita and Francesco Sedita, illustrated by Luciano Lozano
It’s Christmas Eve, the Feast of the Seven Fishes, and this Italian family gathers to celebrate with their big family. There is lots of food (LOTS!) and even accordion music. The night ends with goodbyes and a drive to midnight mass. I’m a big fan of the stylized illustrations.
Kitty & Cat Bent Out of Shape by Mirka Hokkanen
Where is Cat? It’s time for her bath. Search through the house and you’ll see the playful dog getting into trouble and the sneaky cat hiding in each room in different shapes like triangles and circles. Will Cat avoid the bath? Playful and fun for preschoolers!
The Great Cookie Kerfuffle written by Jessica Shaw, illustrated by Pauline Gregory
When a cookie appears at the farm, the animals don’t want to share. Until…a group of hawks arrives and soon the farm animals forget their differences and help protect each other. Readers will count along with the farm animals fighting from 1 to 10 and back again as they extend kindness. You’ll appreciate the gentle message of kindness in this silly story.
Lila Greer, Teacher of the Year written by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts
Ever since she was little, Lila Greer felt anxious with a lot of what ifs running through her mind. In this rhyming book, her 2nd-grade teacher asks Lila to be a helper, and that makes Lila feel better. So when Lila becomes a teacher, too, and still has a lot of what ifs, she remembers the most important thing is to be kind and open to new experiences. I’m very picky about stories that show anxiety and it’s difficult for me to endorse stories that simplify as much as this.