24 New Picture Books, September 2023

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September’s new picture books were in the hundreds, so I picked my 24 favorites to share with you today.

Get ready to find your next favorite books about cats and dogs, grief and friendship, unicorns and snowflakes. Happy reading!

New Picture Books, September 2023

New Picture Books, September 2023

The Nose, Toes, and Tummy Book written by Sally Nicholls, illustrated by Gosia Herba
As you read about the child’s nose, tummy, hands, and fingers, you’ll get to play along with the adults and kids as they beep noses, finger tickle, cheek kiss, and more. This is a playful board book about bodies.

Scaredy Cats written and illustrated by Jeff Mack
When a wrapped gift arrives, the kittens imagine what it could be…Maybe a cake? Or a hungry crocodile! Or a cake and a crocodile? They continue to what if– which is hilarious– as are the exuberant illustrations. What do you think is in the box? This is a perfect read aloud for preschoolers who will love guessing along with the kittens.

Dear Stray written by Kirsten Hubbard, illustrated by Susan Gal
Written in letters to her newly adopted kitten, a little girl explains that she can relate to the prickly, stratchy stray kitten full of fury. Although, she admits that she imagined more purring and less scratching. As the little girl goes through the ups and downs of her emotions and her cat’s emotions, she realizes that she and her fierce little tiger need each other. The art is vivid and evocative with a bold black, blue, and yellow color palatte. This is more than a simple book about a cat, this is a tenderhearted social-emotional story about understanding yourself and your big feelings as you understand your new pet. Absolutely lovely.

Flat Cat written by Tara Lazar, illustrated by Pete Oswald
Flat Cat likes being flat. So when Flat Cat accidentally becomes big and fluffy, he hates that everyone wants to hug and grab and squeeze him. Luckily, Aunt Harriet smooshed him back to his old flat self. Except, now he’s not as happy –and he kind of misses being smooshed and smooched and snuggled. Maybe Flat Cat does want to be a cuddly cat? This darling book will appeal to the Flat Cats in all of us! Pete Oswald’s illustrations add pizazz and charm.

My Name written by Supriya Kelkar, illustrated by Sandhya Prabhat
Filled with gorgeous illustrations and rich figurative language, a child reflects on their name that gives their classmates pronunciation troubles and mean giggles, a name that marks the child as being different. Then, the child’s family remind the child that their name also means giggles and love and spices and family, and much more. “My name means I’m me. Your name means you’re you.”

Our Roof is Blue written by Sara E. Echenique, illustrated by Ashley Vargas
A scary, loud hurricane blows the roof off the family’s house. The trauma takes the brother’s voice away with it. Afterward, the caring sister and little brother pretend play deep-sea diving and searching for treasures. The girl says, “We’ll find your voice soon, I promise. Te lo prometo.” When the family has a new roof, they get to pick the color of their bedroom’s ceiling. But Antonio still doesn’t speak…until he finally says, “Azul.” This moment is so heartwarming! We cheer for Antonio and his loving, patient sister. Would you love to read this story set in Puerto Rico about a hurricane, family, patience, selective mutism, and love?

A Walk in the Woods written by Nikki Grimes, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney and Brain Pinkney
After his dad dies, the boy finds a treasure map of the woods from his dad. In the woods, he notices the soft bird songs, a stairway of mushrooms, and the hurt lessening with each step. He remembers being in the woods with his dad. The map leads him to a brick fireplace with a rusty metal box. Inside are sketches and poems from his dad when he was a kid plus an invitation to finish the stories and to draw and write his own. The boy breathes in the river-scented air and wanders home, grateful.
**Read an interview with Nikki about the creation of this book with her dear friend, Jerry Pinkney.

I’m From written by Gary R. Gray, Jr., illustrated by Oge Mora
Punchy, vivid language captures a day in the life of a young boy, starting with pan-fried bologna and continuing to the busy, vibrating school bus, school with books that don’t click, kids who ask rude questions like, “Can I touch your hair?”, writing stories with stubby pencils, home with bear-tight cuddles and late-night belly laughs, and the reminder of who he is. He comes from dreams, hopes, ambitions, lion-like traditions…he comes from somewhere. Vibrant, motion-filled mixed media illustrations beautifully match this gorgeous story.

Drake the Super-Excited Overeager, In-Your-Face Snake by Michaele Razi
Drake loves surprising his friends with exciting games and giving big hugs. But not everyone likes his hugs or his surprises. So they tell him what they’re feeling. First, Drake ignores their request, so they talk to him again about asking and boundaries. And Drake stops to ask before he surprises them with any games or hugs. This is a cute book about consent.

Song After Song written by Julie Hedlund, illustrated by Ilaria Urbinati
Beautifully written with enchanting illustrations and sparkling lyrical language, this is the moving, emotional story of Julie Andrews’ life. Julie’s music training began early with her dad’s steady love wrapped around her like a hug. When her mother remarried, she moved Julie and her brother to London, changing Julie’s last name to her stepfather’s — Andrews. Julie missed her father but found that she could express her feelings through singing. She became a star at an early age, supporting her family financially. Song after song, Julie sang until she couldn’t. Now, she uses her voice to write children’s books.

Dear Unicorn written by Josh Funk, illustrated by Charles Santoso
In her art class, Connie is matched with a pen pal named Nic. They share their art and details about their life, but there’s something they don’t share…and it’s a big surprise! Because Connie is a human and Nic is a unicorn! If you like sweet friendship stories with lots of charm and visual appeal, then you will love this darling story of two young artists who become friends through letter writing. I’m pretty sure that after reading this book, you’ll want a pen pal of your own! (Especially if it’s a unicorn!)

Go-Go Guys by Rowboat Watkins
Silliness abounds with these Go-Go Guys who are always moving. Instead of going to bed, they zoom to the moon where they frolic and play. Until…the moon says STOP and orders them back to bed. Fast-paced fun!

All We Need is Love and a Really Soft Pillow written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds and His Son Henry Rocket Reynolds
As the grown-up monster named Poppy and the kid monster think of what they really need, Poppy starts out with love. Except Little One adds more and more ideas. Little One things they also need a soft pillow, a roof, four walls, and water. What about chocolate? And what about a bathtub, a cooking pot, a vegetable garden, and a fruit tree. But when a bad rainstorm blows everything away, the wet and weary duo realize all they need is the love they have for each other. (And a really soft pillow!) This is a sweet book for families that will help you talk about needs and wants.

I Want 100 Dogs written by Stacy McAnulty, illustrated by Claire Keane
A little girl tells her dad that she wants 100 dogs. As her dad and mom ask probing questions, little by little, she compromises and subtracts by ten until she wants 90, 80, 70, and so forth. The conversation is hilarious! The parents ask questions like, “How would you train 50 dogs?” and “How would you groom 30 dogs?” And when the girl gets 1 dog, she lets us in on a secret…she can’t believe she talked them into getting 1 dog! These are some of my favorite illustrations ever — I love her style!

Problem Solved! written and illustrated by Jan Thomas
When Rabbit sees his messy room, he is thrilled to learn that he has HIS OWN PROBLEM SOLVING PORCUPINE! Which seems good at first. But, instead of good fortune, it turns into a disaster. Because to clean up the blocks, the porcupine flushes them down the toilet. And to clean up his shirts, he feeds them to the goldfish. How can Rabbit get rid of his not-very-helpful problem-solving porcupine?

Benita and the Night Creatures written by Mariana Llanos, illustrated by Cocretto
With a book-loving main character plus cool Peruvian monsters, this is a warm-hearted story you won’t want to miss. Benita reads her books at night. So when Cuco tries to scare her—and he doesn’t succeed, he invites more monster friends to scare her. Even still, Benita is not scared; she’s annoyed. “CAN’T YOU SEE I’M READING!” she shouts. And Benita teaches the monsters about books and their wonderful stories. Then, they all curl up together to read a good book.

An Ofrenda for Perro written by Judith Valdes B, illustrated by Carlos Velez Aguilera
Benito grew up with Perro at his side. But one day, Perro dies, and Benito misses his friend. His mama and papa ask him to help prepare for the Day of the Dead by picking marigolds and buying candles. At the ofrenda, Benito remembers his beloved dog and discovers that he will always carry memories of Perro wherever he goes!

10 Dogs by Emily Gravett
What seems like a counting book is also a hilarious and heartwarming story of dogs and sausages. First, 1 dog has 10 sausages. Eventually, 5 dogs have a couple of sausages each. Until 9 dogs have all the sausages — but decide to share with the left-out 1. ADORABLE x 10!

Masala Chai, Fast and Slow written by Rajani LaRocca, illustrated by Neha Rawat
Aarav is speedy at everything while his thatha is slow and methodical. When Thatha hurts himself, Aarav hopes to make his thatha’s special masala chai for him. After many failed attempts, Aarav remembers his not to rush. And that’s what works to make a good masala chai.

Do Not Eat This Book! Fun with Jewish Foods & Festivals written by Beth Kander, illustrated by Mike Moran
With a jaunty rhyme, you’ll read about the yummy foods for different Jewish holidays. On Purim, there’s a special cookie that might make you hungry. But, as the narrator keeps reminding us, DO NOT EAT THIS BOOK! Extensive back matter shares more about each holiday and directions for making some of the foods like Rainbow Latkes and a Charcuter-Tree with fruits and veggies. Delightful illustrations.

Just Snow Already by Howard McWilliam
The boy is SO excited for the snow. He keeps checking out the window and is frustrated that NOTHING is happening out there. (But we can see that there is — a firetruck, a cat stuck in a tree, a cool monster truck, a dog chase, etc.) The boy plans and imagines all that he can do in the snow…and wonders what if it will never snow again. Will it ever snow? Funny and relatable.

Snowflakes on Our Tongues written by Mike Ornstein, illustrated by Pauline Gregory
Something silly is happening at Pumpernickel Farm! Narrated in rhyme, the cows explain that when it snows, they like to stick out their tongues…and catch snowflakes! And so does the horse, and the piglets, sheep, and the chickens. But what about the farmer? Just like his animals, he likes to have a little fun when it snows…and catches his own snowflakes on his tongue! Repetitive structure, rhyme, and silliness will make this a new favorite preschool read aloud!

Elves Are the Worst by Alex Willan
Goblin wants us to understand the important role that goblins play in holidays, holidays like Taco Tuesday and Pigeon Plucking Day. But he’s very annoyed at one group of magical creatures who act perfect and hog the holiday spotlight — the elves. So, Goblin sets out to prove he can do everything at the North Pole better than the elves. Of course, things don’t go as planned. He learns the hard way that the elves aren’t perfect because the key to their success is working together.

I Love You Mucho Mucho by Rachel Más Davidson
Rosie visits her Abuela, but she forgets that Abuela doesn’t speak English. How will they communicate? First, they start with food. Then they do art together and take a walk. Abuela says a word in Spanish and Rosie says the word in English, or vice versa. No matter what, their love is a language of its own that doesn’t need words.

Sir Cumference and the 100 Percent Goose Chase (Percentages) written by Cindy Neuschwander, illustrated by Wayne Geehan
It’s time for our favorite mathematical family to take their flock of geese to the town where they will fulfill the orders to the townspeople. But not all the geese make the entire trip and Lady Di and Percilla Centwell (Per Cent for short) must find a fair way to divide up the geese. That’s where the smart Percilla and her percents come in — follow along with her logic and see what you learn about percentages! You’ll be happy you learned, just like the townspeople were happy with their fair share of the flock.

new picture books, September 2023


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