Prep and Lower School Notable Books
Titles from 2019:
All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah. By Emily Jenkins. Illus. by Paul O. Zelinsky. Random/Schwartz & Wade.
Four-year-old Gertie wants to help her older sisters make the Hanukkah latkes, but she’s just too little.
Alma and How She Got Her Name. By Juana Martinez-Neal. Illus. by the author. Candlewick.
Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela thinks her name is too long, so her father tells her the story of where it came from. (Caldecott Honor Book)
Baby Monkey, Private Eye. By Brian Selznick and David Serlin. Illus. by Brian Selznick. Scholastic.
Baby Monkey solves a variety of puzzling mysteries in an ingenious early chapter book for preschoolers and emerging independent readers.
A Big Mooncake for Little Star. By Grace Lin. Illus. by the author. Little, Brown.
Mama bakes a big mooncake, but Little Star can’t wait for it to cool and starts to nibble it away. (Caldecott Honor Book)
Black Bird Yellow Sun. By Steve Light. Illus. by the author. Candlewick.
Follow Black Bird through the day in this stunning board book.
Blue. By Laura Vaccaro Seeger. Illus. by the author. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter.
A boy and his dog grow older together in this spare and moving paean to love and attachment.
Bowwow Powwow / Bagosenjige-niimi'idim. By Brenda J. Child. Illus. by Jonathan Thunder. Tr. by Gordon Jourdain. Minnesota Historical Society.
On her way to a powwow, Windy hears stories about powwows past and weaves these tales into a dream.
The Day You Begin. By Jacqueline Woodson. Illus. by Rafael López. Penguin/Nancy Paulsen.
One little girl joins a new class and finds her place as classmates share their unique backgrounds.
Don't Touch My Hair! By Sharee Miller. Illus. by the author. Little, Brown.
A spunky heroine uses humor to invite readers to understand boundaries and consent.
Drawn Together. By Minh Lê. Illus. by Dan Santat. Disney/Hyperion.
A boy and his grandfather bridge their cultural and generational divide through their shared love of art.
Dreamers. By Yuyi Morales. Illus. by the author. Holiday/Neal Porter.
Morales and her young son discover how they fit into their strange new country when they find the public library in this gorgeous, personal picture book. (Pura Belpré Illustrator Award Book)
The Fox on the Swing. By Evelina Daciūtė. Illus. by Aušra Kiudulaitė. Tr. by the Translation Bureau. Thames & Hudson.
A fox invites Paul, a little boy, to deeply contemplate his feelings in this picture book originally published in Lithuania. (Batchelder Award Book)
Fox the Tiger. By Corey R. Tabor. Illus. by the author. HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray.
Playful Fox loves tigers so much he turns into one (with the help of some paint) in this comical early reader. (Geisel Award Book)
Good Rosie! By Kate DiCamillo. Illus. by Harry Bliss. Candlewick.
Shy pup Rosie’s adventures at the dog park include funny, sweet, and relatable interactions with enormous Maurice and delicate Fifi.
Hello Lighthouse. By Sophie Blackall. Illus. by the author. Little, Brown.
A lighthouse keeper and his new wife raise their family and survive the hardships and joys of life offshore in this lovely, idyllic picture book. (Caldecott Medal Book)
How Raven Got His Crooked Nose: An Alaskan Dena' ina Fable. By Barbara J. Atwater and Ethan J. Atwater. Illus. by Mindy Dwyer. Alaska Northwest.
Grandmother imparts the importance of patience as she retells the fable of trickster Raven and his missing nose.
I Walk with Vanessa: A Story about a Simple Act of Kindness. By Kerascoët. Illus. by the authors. Random/Schwartz & Wade.
One girl’s upstanding action inspires her schoolmates to join and support a bullied child in this wordless, important story.
Imagine! By Raúl Colón. Illus. by the author. Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman.
A boy’s imagination comes alive during his visit to the Museum of Modern Art in this wordless tribute to the power of art.
In the Past: From Trilobites to Dinosaurs to Mammoths in More than 500 Million Years. By David Elliott. Illus. by Matthew Trueman. Candlewick.
Short, pithy poems and dynamic illustrations take the reader through 500 million years of life on earth.
Islandborn. By Junot Díaz. Illus. by Leo Espinosa. Dial.
Given a school assignment to draw a picture of her homeland, Lola gathers stories of “the Island” from people in her Dominican neighborhood. (Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book)
Jerome By Heart. By Thomas Scotto. Illus. by Olivier Tallec. Tr. by Claudia Zoe Bedrick and Karin Snelson. Enchanted Lion.
Raphael loves Jerome and, in spite of the response from his parents, he is not afraid to say that he knows his best friend by heart. (Batchelder Honor Book)
Julián Is a Mermaid. By Jessica Love. Illus. by the author. Candlewick.
Julián’s chance encounter with three mermaids on a subway inspires him to create his own mermaid costume and reveal his inner self to his understanding abuela.
King and Kayla and the Case of the Lost Tooth. By Dori Hillestad Butler. Illus. by Nancy Meyers. Peachtree.
When Kayla’s tooth goes missing from the tooth fairy pillow, she and her dog, King, investigate the mystery. (Geisel Honor Book)
Lena's Shoes Are Nervous: A First-Day-of-School Dilemma. By Keith Calabrese. Illus. by Juana Medina. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum.
Facing kindergarten, Lena must convince her shoes not to be nervous in this fresh look at a familiar experience.
Let the Children March. By Monica Clark-Robinson. Illus. by Frank Morrison. HMH.
A young participant in the children’s crusade shows the world—and young readers—how to stand up for one’s beliefs and make change.
Mommy’s Khimar. By Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow. Illus. by Ebony Glenn. Simon & Schuster/Salaam Reads.
A young Muslim girl loves her mom's khimars and uses all her senses to describe their beauty.
My Beijing: Four Stories of Everyday Wonder. By Nie Jun. Illus. by the author. Tr. by Edward Gauvin. Lerner/Graphic Universe.
Yu’er and her grandfather are amiable guides to their Beijing neighborhood, and Jun’s lush watercolor artwork gives this graphic novel even more charm. (Batchelder Honor Book)
Night Job. By Karen Hesse. Illus. by G. Brian Karas. Candlewick.
A boy spends the night cleaning the school with his father. This is a tender and joyful look at work and time spent together.
A Parade of Elephants. By Kevin Henkes. Illus. by the author. Greenwillow.
Five elephants march in a line, up and down, under and over, and round and round, introducing simple concepts to very young children in this perfectly delightful confection.
The Party and Other Stories. By Sergio Ruzzier. Illus. by the author. Chronicle.
Fox and Chick manage to be good friends despite their differences in this uncluttered, laugh-out-loud early reader. (Geisel Honor Book)
The Patchwork Bike. By Maxine Beneba Clarke. Illus. by Van Thanh Rudd. Candlewick.
Against a backdrop of dynamic, action-filled paintings, a young girl describes, with tremendous pride, the bike that her brothers made from scrap material and the adventures they have.
The Rough Patch. By Brian Lies. Illus. by the author. Greenwillow.
The state of Fox’s garden mirrors his grieving process as he mourns his best friend. (Caldecott Honor Book)
Saturday Is Swimming Day. By Hyewon Yum. Illus. by the author. Candlewick.
Yum delicately explores the fear and triumph a little girl feels when facing her Saturday swimming lessons.
See Pip Flap. By David Milgrim. Illus. by the author. Simon & Schuster/Simon Spotlight.
On pages with spare language and bold, cheerful artwork, Otto the robot tries to help Pip the mouse learn to fly. (Geisel Honor Book)
Thank You, Omu! By Oge Mora. Illus. by the author. Little, Brown.
When Omu makes a delicious-smelling dinner, neighbors stop by to sample soup until the pot is empty. (Caldecott Honor Book)
The Wall in the Middle of the Book. By Jon Agee. Illus. by the author. Dial.
A small knight assures the reader that the wall in the center of the book protects his side from the dangerous other side, but the pictures tell a different story.
You and Me. By Rebecca Kai Dotlich. Illus. by Susan Reagan. Creative Editions.
An older sibling brags about their own independence because the new baby has grabbed all Grandma’s attention in this warm, realistic board book.
MIDDLE Ana María Reyes Does NOT Live in a Castle. By Hilda Eunice Burgos. Lee & Low/Tu.
Ana María Reyes tries to win a scholarship to a prestigious New York academy, only to find herself facing obstacles. In the process, she discovers herself and the importance of family.
All that Trash: The Story of the 1987 Garbage Barge and Our Problem with Stuff. By Meghan McCarthy. Illus. by the author. Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman.
In 1987, a garbage barge spends five months adrift in the Atlantic, unsuccessfully attempting to find a place to dump its contents.
Aru Shah and the End of Time. By Roshani Chokshi. Disney/Hyperion.
In this story inspired by the ancient Indian epic, the Mahabharata, Aru Shah discovers she must enter the Kingdom of Death to save the world.
The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge. By M.T. Anderson and Eugene Yelchin. Illus. by Eugene Yelchin. Candlewick.
A diplomatic meeting of the Elves and the Goblins is more treacherous than expected in this brilliantly illustrated novel.
Beavers. By Rachel Poliquin. Illus. by Nicholas John Frith. HMH.
Wit and fact intertwine in an enjoyable guide to the frequently overlooked beaver.
Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery. By Sandra Neil Wallace. Illus. by Bryan Collier. Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman.
Growing up, Ernie Barnes had two passions: art and football. Detailed, lively paintings help reveal how, with years of practice, he excelled in both fields.
The Book of Boy. By Catherine Gilbert Murdock. Greenwillow.
In 1350, Boy, an orphaned servant, is hired to accompany a pilgrim seeking the seven relics of St. Peter. (Newbery Honor Book)
The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World’s Coral Reefs. By Kate Messner. Illus. by Matthew Forsythe. Chronicle.
Ken Nedimyer's single-minded passion for restoring the ocean’s coral reefs is reflected through riveting illustrations and accessible narrative.
Camp Panda: Helping Cubs Return to the Wild. By Catherine Thimmesh. HMH.
What does a panda suit have to do with species conservation? As this comprehensive book about a panda rehabilitation program in China reveals, quite a lot. (Sibert Honor Book)
Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship. By Irene Latham and Charles Waters. Illus. by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko. Carolrhoda.
A school writing assignment is the catalyst for conversations around race, class, and privilege in this illustrated poetic conversation between two fifth-graders who learn to honor each other’s differences.
Dragons in a Bag. By Zetta Elliott. Illus. by Geneva B. Random.
When nine-year-old Jaxon is left in the care of an eccentric old witch, he begins training as her new apprentice by leaving Brooklyn to return three dragons to a magical world.
Edison: The Mystery of the Missing Mouse Treasure. By Torben Kuhlmann. Illus. by the author. Tr. by David Henry Wilson. NorthSouth.
Naturalistic illustrations enhance this story of an intrepid mouse, who builds a submersible and makes a surprising deep-sea discovery. (Batchelder Honor Book)
The Eye that Never Sleeps: How Detective Pinkerton Saved President Lincoln. By Marissa Moss. Illus. by Jeremy Holmes. Abrams.
Modern illustrations and lively text combine to relate the early history of the Pinkerton Detective Agency and how they thwarted an attempt to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln.
Finding Langston. By Lesa Cline-Ransome. Holiday.
After his mother’s death, lonely Langston and his emotionally distant father migrate from rural Alabama to Chicago, where he finds solace in the poetry of his namesake.
Front Desk. By Kelly Yang. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine.
Mia not only helps manage the front desk of the motel where her immigrant Chinese parents work; she also helps keep secrets about the guests, whose immigration status puts everyone at risk.
Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams. By Lesa Cline-Ransome. Illus. by James Ransome. Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman.
This engaging picture-book biography of tennis' greatest superstars focuses attention on the ways they changed the game by their attitude, power as athletes, personal strength, and relationship with each other.
Hammering for Freedom. By Rita Lorraine Hubbard. Illus. by John Holyfield. Lee & Low.
In informative paragraphs and expressive paintings, this picture book tells the story of an enslaved blacksmith who steadfastly worked to buy freedom for himself and his family.
Knights vs. Dinosaurs. By Matt Phelan. Illus. by the author. Greenwillow.
Merlin sets a new challenge for the Knights of the Round Table when he sends them back in time to battle dinosaurs.
Louisiana’s Way Home. By Kate DiCamillo. Candlewick.
Louisiana finds her own inner strength when her granny abandons her in a run-down motel while they attempt to lift a curse that has plagued their family for generations.
Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish. By Pablo Cartaya. Viking.
After Marcus is suspended from school for fighting, his frustrated mother takes him and his brother to Puerto Rico for a week to reconnect with family he didn’t know existed.
Martin Rising: Requiem for a King. By Andrea Davis Pinkney. Illus. by Brian Pinkney. Scholastic.
Dr. King’s final months of life and the emotional aftermath of his assassination are recounted in this collection of poignant poetry.
Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop: The Sanitation Strike of 1968. By Alice Faye Duncan. Illus. by R. Gregory Christie. Boyds Mills/Calkins Creek.
Nine-year-old Lorraine, whose daddy is a sanitation worker, recounts the two-month sanitation strike led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Merci Suárez Changes Gears. By Meg Medina. Candlewick.
Eleven-year-old Cuban American Merci Suárez balances the demands of her multi-generational family with the challenges of being a scholarship student at a private school in Florida. (Newbery Medal Book)
No Small Potatoes: Junius G. Groves and His Kingdom in Kansas. By Tonya Bolden. Illus. by Don Tate. Knopf.
Junius G. Groves went from being enslaved in Kentucky to owning 500 acres in Kansas and making his fortune by growing potatoes.
Pass Go and Collect $200: The Real Story of How Monopoly Was Invented. By Tanya Lee Stone. Illus. by Steven Salerno. Holt/Christy Ottaviano.
This picture-book history offers a spirited account of the evolution of the popular board game and the people who were involved over the years in its creation.
Otis and Will Discover the Deep: The Record-Setting Dive of the Bathysphere. By Barb Rosenstock. Illus. by Katherine Roy. Little, Brown.
Daring aquanauts Otis Barton and Will Beebe designed and dove in a leaky bathysphere that allowed them to explore 800 feet below the ocean surface.
The Parker Inheritance. By Varian Johnson. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine.
Issues of race, bullying, and identity are interwoven in this buried-treasure mystery that spans multiple decades as tween Candice unravels a series of puzzles in her community.
Saving Winslow. By Sharon Creech. HarperCollins/Joanna Cotler.
Through vignettes of sparse text, this story follows 10-year-old Louie as he takes on the challenge of saving a fragile, newborn mini-donkey that has been rejected by its mother.
The Season of Styx Malone. By Kekla Magoon. Random/Wendy Lamb.
Despite their father’s attempts to keep them safe in small town Indiana, brothers Caleb and Bobby Gene go on a wild adventure with new neighbor Styx Malone as they attempt the fabled “Escalator Trade.”
So Tall Within: Sojourner Truth's Long Walk toward Freedom. By Gary D. Schmidt. Illus. by Daniel Minter. Roaring Brook.
This poetic and haunting picture-book biography reflects the larger-than-life experiences of abolitionist Sojourner Truth.
Stella Díaz Has Something to Say. By Angela Dominguez. Roaring Brook.
In this timely book about immigration, citizenship, and identity, third-grader Stella grapples with a fear of public speaking, a complicated family dynamic, and her place between cultures.
Tiger vs. Nightmare. By Emily Tetri. Illus. by the author. First Second.
Tiger relies on her friend, Monster, to keep her nightmares at bay each night, until one nightmare slips through, causing Tiger has to rethink the arrangement. (Geisel Honor Book)
Thirty Minutes over Oregon: A Japanese Pilot's World War II Story. By Marc Tyler Nobleman. Illus. by Melissa Iwai. Clarion.
This is the little-known story of a Japanese WWII pilot who unsuccessfully attempted to bomb the Oregon coast, and years later reconciled with Oregonians he had targeted.
The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle. By Leslie Connor. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen.
In this poignant and powerful mystery, Mason, a seventh-grade boy who can barely read and write, finds a way to finally tell the truth about what happened the day his best friend died.
The United States v. Jackie Robinson. By Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen. Illus. by R. Gregory Christie. HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray.
Although he is well known for breaking the color barrier in baseball, Jackie Robinson went to court years earlier to integrate troops while serving in the U.S. Army.
What Do You Do with a Voice Like That? The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan. By Chris Barton. Illus. by Ekua Holmes. Simon & Schuster/Beach Lane.
Stirring words and vibrant collage illustrations showcase the commanding voice of congresswoman Barbara Jordan, who shaped the political arena and created a powerful legacy.
When Angels Sing: The Story of Rock Legend Carlos Santana. By Michael Mahin. Illus. by Jose Ramirez. Atheneum.
Bold, folk art–style illustrations and exhilarating language come together to convey the life of groundbreaking musician Carlos Santana. (Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book & Sibert Honor Book)
Selections from previous years:
Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science: The First Computer Programmer. By Diane Stanley. Illus. by Jessie Hartland. Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman.
This engaging biography introduces nineteenth-century scientist Ada Lovelace, who developed the first algorithm used by the world’s early computers.
Ada Twist, Scientist. By Andrea Beaty. Illus. by David Roberts. Abrams.
Inquisitive Ada Twist is determined to identify a mysterious smell. Her mission includes some not-so-successful science experiments, supportive parents, and insatiable curiosity.
Before Morning. By Joyce Sidman. Illus. by Beth Krommes. HMH.
Through rhythmic text and scratchboard illustrations, readers follow a family from “the deep woolen dark” of night into a snowy morning, where all is made “slow and delightful and white.”
Best Frints in the Whole Universe. By Antoinette Portis. Illus. by the author. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter.
Using their own unique language, space creatures Yelfred and Omek demonstrate that friendship troubles are universal.
Counting. By Fleur Star. illus. DK.
Experience counting in the natural world with a variety of textures and shapes. Numbers and words are printed as text and Braille in this early learning board book.
Coyote Moon. By Maria Gianferrari. Illus. by Bagram Ibatoulline. Roaring Brook.
Striving to feed her pups, a coyote hunts in the moonlight until dawn. This strikingly illustrated, nonfiction offering holds many facts and celebrates this skilled predator.
Fabulous Frogs. By Martin Jenkins. Illus. by Tim Hopgood. Candlewick.
Frogs of all sizes and colors, bearing a variety of unique characteristics, hop through this beautiful nonfiction picture book.
Go, Otto, Go! By David Milgrim. Illus. by the author. Simon & Schuster/Simon Spotlight.
Extremely simple text and humorous, energetic illustrations bring to life, with surprising emotional complexity, this tale of Otto the robot who is building a spaceship to take him home. (Geisel Honor Book)
Good Night Owl. By Greg Pizzoli. Illus. by the author. Disney/Hyperion.
When an unfamiliar noise prevents Owl from falling asleep, his desperate efforts to find its source escalate to comedic effect.(Geisel Honor Book)
The Great Pet Escape. By Victoria Jamieson. Illus. by the author. Holt.
The class pets at Daisy P. Flugelhorn Elementary are on the loose! Second-grade classroom hamster GW has had enough and sets out to free his two best friends.
Horrible Bear! By Ame Dyckman. Illus. by Zachariah OHora. Little, Brown.
When a kite goes astray, an accident and misunderstanding bring together two unlikely friends in a story about the power of forgiveness.
A Hungry Lion; or, A Dwindling Assortment of Animals. By Lucy Ruth Cummins. Illus. by the author. Atheneum.
Why do a little calico kitten, a brown mouse, and a floppy-eared bunny disappear? Ask the hungry lion.
The Infamous Ratsos. By Kara LaReau. Illus. by Matt Myers. Candlewick.
Trying to follow in their tough father’s footsteps, Louie and Ralphie’s efforts go humorously awry. (Geisel Honor Book)
Leave Me Alone! By Vera Brosgol. Illus. by the author. Roaring Brook.
In her endeavor to make sweaters for 30 curious grandchildren, a harried grandmother embarks on a quest for peace and quiet. (Caldecott Honor Book)
The Night Gardener. By Terry Fan. Illus. by Eric Fan. Simon & Schuster.
A dreary town comes to life through the efforts of a mysterious nocturnal gardener, whose fantastic topiaries amaze and empower a young boy.
Old Dog Baby Baby. By Julie Fogliano. Illus. by Chris Raschka. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter.
Simple text and watercolor illustrations capture the sweet relationship between a crawling baby and a lovable old dog as they play together on the kitchen floor.
Oops, Pounce, Quick, Run! An Alphabet Caper. By Mike Twohy. Illus. by the author. HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray.
In this playful abecedary, a ball and a dog interrupt mouse’s nap, triggering an A to Z chase. (Geisel Honor Book)
Over the Ocean. By Taro Gomi. Illus. by the author. Chronicle.
Depicted through serene watercolor spreads, a young girl stands on a beach and imagines the world beyond the ocean. (Batchelder Honor Book)
A Piece of Home. By Jeri Watts. Illus. by Hyewon Yum. Candlewick.
In this compassionate immigration story, Hee Jun and his family slowly adjust to their new life in West Virginia after moving from Korea.
Puddle. By Hyewon Yum. Illus. by the author. Farrar.
A mother and child draw a story of themselves and their dog walking in the rain. The child splashes in a puddle, but it’s only a picture—until reality mirrors art.
Rudas: Niño’s Horrendous Hermanitas. By Yuyi Morales. Illus. by the author. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter.
Wild adventures ensue when young luchador Niño is pitted against his little sisters, the lucha wrestling queens.
School’s First Day of School. By Adam Rex. Illus. by Christian Robinson. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter.
In this charming account of first-day jitters, a brand new school building is the one wracked with nerves as the school year begins.
Thunder Boy Jr. By Sherman Alexie. Illus. by Yuyi Morales. Little, Brown.
Named after his father, Thunder Boy Jr. seeks a new name that’s all his own and celebrates something cool that he has done.
We Are Growing! A Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie Like Reading! Book. By Laurie Keller. Illus. by the author. Disney/Hyperion.
The exuberance felt by a few blades of grass as they celebrate their individuality and quick growth is cut short in the face of an approaching lawn mower. (Geisel Medal Book)
We Found a Hat. By Jon Klassen. Illus. by the author. Candlewick.
Two turtles unexpectedly explore the depths of their friendship and loyalty when they come across a good-looking hat without an owner.
Weekends with Max and His Dad. By Linda Urban. Illus. by Katie Kath. HMH.
On weekends, third-grader Max visits his dad's new apartment and begins to adjust to his parents' divorce.
When Andy Met Sandy. By Tomie dePaola and Jim Lewis. Illus. by Tomie dePaola. Simon & Schuster.
A story of gentle friendship begins when one child courageously asks another to play.
Where Are You Going, Baby Lincoln? By Kate DiCamillo. Illus. by Chris Van Dusen. Candlewick.
Baby Lincoln goes on a “necessary journey,” taking the opportunity to explore, grow, and find herself. In the end she realizes that there is no place like home.
An Ambush of Tigers: A Wild Gathering of Collective Nouns. By Betsy R. Rosenthal. Illus. by Jago. Lerner/Millbrook.
This collection of humorous illustrations and clever word play introduces children to the wide variety of animal groups, such as a prickle of porcupines and a tower of giraffes.
The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore. By Vaunda Micheaux Nelson. Illus. by R. Gregory Christie. Lerner/Carolrhoda.
Lewis Michaux Jr.takes readers through the National Memorial African Bookstore in Harlem. This one-of-a-kind store offered a place for African Americans to read, learn, and debate ideas for over 40 years.
Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret. By Bob Shea. Illus. by the author. Disney/Hyperion.
Ballet Cat loves ballet more than anything. What happens when her best friend Sparkles doesn’t want to play ballet every day? Find out in an early reader that breezily dances along.
Beep! Beep! Go to Sleep! By Todd Tarpley. Illus. by John Rocco. Little, Brown.
Three rowdy robots keep a young boy awake with their requests for more oil, tightened bolts, loosened fan belts, and more. Will a bedtime story finally lead to sleep?
Boats for Papa. By Jessixa Bagley. Illus. by the author. Roaring Book/Neal Porter.
Bagley’s gentle artwork and warm story sensitively portray Buckley’s way of coping with the absence of his father by making boats from found beach objects.
A Chicken Followed Me Home! Questions and Answers about a Familiar Fowl. By Robin Page. Illus. by the author. Simon & Schuster/Beach Lane.
Whether they own chickens or not, young readers will use this handy guide to answer their basic questions about the familiar fowl.
Detective Gordon: The First Case. By Ulf Nilsson. Illus. by Gitte Spee. Tr. by Julia Marshall. Gecko.
Squirrel’s nuts have been stolen! Never fear, a bulbous toad, Detective Gordon, and his new mouse assistant, Buffy, are on the case. A delightful mystery.
Don’t Throw It to Mo! By David A. Adler. Illus. by Sam Ricks. Penguin.
Underdog football player Mo Jackson may be the smallest kid on his team, but Coach Steve has a plan for him to save the day. (Geisel Medal Book)
Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music. By Margarita Engle. Illus. by Rafael López. HMH.
In this story inspired by a real musician, a girl in Cuba longs to play the drums, and with perseverance, she breaks down the gender barrier, eventually becoming a famous drummer. (Belpré Illustrator Medal Book)
Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah. By Laurie Ann Thompson. Illus. by Sean Qualls. Random/Schwartz & Wade.
Emmanuel doesn't allow his malformed leg to deter him from riding a bike to crusade for disability rights in Ghana. His successes chronicled in this biography are inspirational.
Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear. By Lindsay Mattick. Illus. by Sophie Blackall. Little, Brown.
This heartening tale is an incredible account of the friendship and love shared between a soldier and the real bear that inspired Winnie-the-Pooh. (Caldecott Medal Book)
Float. By Daniel Miyares. Illus. by the author. Simon & Schuster.
In this wordless picture book, a gray, rainy day turns into an adventure when a boy makes a paper boat and plays outside in the rain.
Flop to the Top! By Eleanor Davis and Drew Weing. Illus. by the authors. TOON.
Wanda is shocked to learn that her dog, Wilbur—not Wanda—has become an instant celebrity when a selfie goes viral. Bright, bold cartoon art tells this story, emphasizing that friendship and family are more important than fame.
Flutter & Hum / Aleteo y zumbido: Animal Poems / Poemas de animales. Ed. by Julie Paschkis. Illus. by the author. Holt.
Fourteen poems of mammals, birds, insects, fish, and reptiles are presented in both English and Spanish. Embedded within the lively illustrations are additional words in both languages.
Gingerbread for Liberty: How a German Baker Helped Win the American Revolution. By Mara Rockliff. Illus. by Vincent X. Kirsch. HMH.
Little-known hero baker of the American Revolution Christopher Ludwick stars in this engaging picture book biography with a tasty twist.
Grandma Lives in a Perfume Village. By Fang Suzhen. Illus. by Sonja Danowski. Tr. by Huang Xiumin. NorthSouth.
Xiao Le’s grandmother passes away soon after he spends a rare day visiting her. His mother is sad, but Xiao Le helps her feel better, telling her what Grandma is doing in Heaven. (Batchelder Honor Book)
The Grasshopper and the Ants. By Jerry Pinkney. Illus. by the author. Little, Brown.
In this adaptation of Aesop’s fable, vivid, intricate watercolors bring to life hardworking ants as they prepare for the winter, while a playful grasshopper wishes they would join in his merrymaking instead.
Growing Up Pedro. By Matt Tavares. Illus. by the author. Candlewick.
A young Pedro Martinez, inspired by his brother Ramon, rises from humble beginnings in the Dominican Republic to become one of the best Major League Baseball players of our time.
Hippos Are Huge! By Jonathan London. Illus. by Matthew Trueman. Candlewick.
The hippo, with its monstrous jaw and razor-sharp tusks, is the most dangerous animal in Africa. Filled with fascinating facts about the fierce, but sometimes playful, hippopotamus.
I Yam a Donkey! By Cece Bell. Illus. by the author. Clarion.
Correcting a donkey’s grammar and pronunciation comically leads to one yam’s demise.
If You Plant a Seed. By Kadir Nelson. Illus. by the author. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray.
A rabbit and mouse wait patiently for the seeds they planted to grow into delicious vegetables. When some birds want part of the harvest, everyone learns being kind is the most fruitful way to be.
Last Stop on Market Street. By Matt de la Peña. Illus. by Christian Robinson. Putnam.
CJ’s journey with his Nana is not just a simple bus ride; it is a multi-sensory experience through which he discovers that beautiful music, nature, and people surround him. (Newbery Medal Book & Caldecott Honor Book)
Lenny & Lucy. By Philip C. Stead. Illus. by Erin E. Stead. Roaring Book/Neal Porter.
Homemade guardians Lenny and Lucy protect Peter and his dog from the dark, scary woods and help him find fun and friendship at his new home. Pops of color bring life to the charcoal illustrations.
Leo: A Ghost Story. By Mac Barnett. Illus. by Christian Robinson. Chronicle.
Leo, a child ghost, leaves his home when its new occupants fear him. He soon meets Jane and discovers the wonder and joy of a true friend. Cut-paper collages capture Leo’s emotional journey.
Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. By Jonah Winter. Illus. by Shane W. Evans. Random/Schwartz & Wade.
Recalling the fight for the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a 100-year-old woman on the way to cast her ballot recounts the journey her family faced in gaining the right to vote.
Mango, Abuela, and Me. By Meg Medina. Illus. by Angela Dominguez. Candlewick.
When Mia discovers that her Abuela can’t speak English, she finds the perfect gift that helps them both with their language barrier. Vibrant illustrations and Spanish words blend together to create a warm family story. (Belpré Author & Illustrator Honor Book)
The Moon Is Going to Addy’s House. By Ida Pearle. Illus. by the author. Penguin/Dial.
Addy and her family watch the moon follow them through the sky on a car ride home. Colorful cut-paper collage illustrations in luminescent tones illuminate the journey.
The Most Amazing Creature in the Sea. By Brenda Z. Guiberson. Illus. by Gennady Spirin. Holt.
A dozen intriguing sea animals in the ocean explain their unique characteristics. Readers are invited to choose which is the most amazing.
Moving Blocks. By Yusuke Yonezu. Illus. by the author. Michael Neugebauer/Minedition.
In this small-format board book, three squares transform into a variety of vehicles, and with each page turn, shapes turn into objects in a fun visual twist.
Mr. Squirrel and the Moon. By Sebastian Meschenmoser. Illus. by the author. Tr. by David Henry Wilson. NorthSouth.
Mr. Squirrel’s imagination runs wild when he mistakes a wheel of cheese for the moon. Gorgeous illustrations detail his efforts to get rid of the moon before anyone comes looking for it.
My Tata’s Remedies = Los remedios de mi tata. By Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford. Illus. by Antonio Castro L. Cinco Puntos.
Aaron learns first hand from his grandfather (Tata), who cares for family, friends, and neighbors, the significance of healing with a tender touch of wisdom and medicinal herbs. (Belpré Illustrator Honor Book)
A Pig, a Fox, and a Box. By Jonathan Fenske. Illus. by the author. Penguin.
In three humorous stories, not-so-clever Fox comes out the worst for wear when he uses a box to play tricks on his friend Pig. (Geisel Honor Book)
Piper Green and the Fairy Tree. By Ellen Potter. Illus. by Qin Leng. Knopf.
Piper Green’s life is rich with family, friends, kittens, and magic. She meets her challenges head on and shows her spirit in everything she does.
The Popcorn Astronauts: And Other Biteable Rhymes. By Deborah Ruddell. Illus. by Joan Rankin. Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry.
Sink your teeth into a delicious collection of poetry for all seasons, complete with imaginative watercolor illustrations that bring the whimsy to life.
The Princess and the Pony. By Kate Beaton. Illus. by the author. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine.
Princess Pinecone wants a proper warrior’s horse for her birthday. The round, short, flatulent one she gets instead is not what she had in mind, but she learns it can be a secret weapon.
Raindrops Roll. By April Pulley Sayre. Illus. by the author. Simon & Schuster/Beach Lane.
Beautifully detailed, up-close photos of the natural world demonstrate the wonder of raindrops as they splatter, drip, roll, and more.
Red. By Jan De Kinder. Illus. by the author. Tr. by Laura Watkinson. Eerdmans.
A girl and her friends laugh when a classmate blushes on the playground. When one student takes the teasing too far, the girl must make a critical decision.
Roger Is Reading a Book. By Koen Van Biesen. Illus. by the author. Tr. by Laura Watkinson. Eerdmans.
Cinematic art and text illuminate exuberant Emily, whose loud hobbies interrupt Roger as he tries to peacefully read his book.
Sidewalk Flowers. By JonArno Lawson. Illus. by Sydney Smith. Groundwood.
A little girl collects wildflowers while her distracted father pays little attention. In a wordless homage to the importance of small things, each flower becomes a gift, transforming the giver and the recipient.
The Skunk. By Mac Barnett. Illus. by Patrick McDonnell. Roaring Brook.
What is a man to do when a skunk appears on his doorstep? Readers follow the man and skunk on a quirky, humorous adventure.
Special Delivery. By Philip C. Stead. Illus. by Matthew Cordell. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter.
Meeting some odd characters along the way, Sadie travels by plane, train, and alligator to deliver an elephant to lonely Great Aunt Josephine.
Supertruck. By Stephen Savage. Illus. by the author. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter.
When a blizzard comes to town, an unassuming garbage truck secretly trades his glasses for a powerful snowplow and becomes the heroic "Supertruck.” (Geisel Honor Book)
Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova. By Laurel Snyder. Illus. by Julie Morstad. Chronicle.
Elegant illustrations and poetic text tell the story of Anna Pavlova, an accomplished ballerina who shared the beauty and joy of dance with the entire world.
Tiptoe Tapirs. By Hanmin Kim. Illus. by the author. Tr. by Sera Lee. Holiday.
Other than Tapir and her little one, the jungle animals are all so noisy! When a hunter comes to the jungle, the other animals learn the value of quiet. Stylized illustrations convey the jungle sounds.
Trombone Shorty. By Troy Andrews. Illus. by Bryan Collier. Abrams.
In this autobiography, Trombone Shorty reminisces about his early life in the jazz music scene of his beloved hometown of New Orleans. (Caldecott Honor Book)
Two Mice. By Sergio Ruzzier. Illus. by the author. Clarion.
Two mice embark on adventures on the water and in the air, by both day and night. Beginning readers will enjoy the simple text, the counting experience, and the colorful illustrations.
Wait. By Antoinette Portis. Illus. by the author. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter.
On their way to catch a bus, a mother wants to hurry; her child wants to wait. A surprise stops them both, just short of the bus.
Waiting. By Kevin Henkes. Illus. by the author. HarperCollins/Greenwillow.
In this gentle story of five animal figurines waiting together by the window, readers and characters meet new friends, observe the unhurried passage of the seasons, and anticipate what may come next. (Caldecott & Geisel Honor Book)
Water Is Water: A Book about the Water Cycle. By Miranda Paul. Illus. by Jason Chin. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter.
Through simple, poetic phrases and engaging watercolor illustrations, a sister and brother experience the water cycle throughout the seasons.
Who Done It? By Olivier Tallec. Illus. by the author. Chronicle.
Flip the pages to view the suspect line-ups and use the visual clues to determine the “who done it” on each page. A mystery designed for preschoolers.
Wolfie the Bunny. By Ame Dyckman. Illus. by Zachariah OHora. Little, Brown.
When her parents decide to raise a baby wolf as their own, Dot the rabbit fears that he will eat them all up, until a surprising encounter with a bear brings them closer together.
The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy. By Beatrice Alemagna. Illus. by the author. Tr. by Claudia Zoe Bedrick. Enchanted Lion.
Five-year-old Eddie, after a spirited quest through the shops in her French village, parlays a brioche, a clover, a button, and a postage stamp into the perfect birthday gift for her mother. (Batchelder Award Book)
Woodpecker Wham! By April Pulley Sayre. Illus. by Steve Jenkins. Holt.
Enter the world of woodpeckers and enjoy a bird’s-eye view of their everyday life. A variety of woodpecker species fly through these beautifully illustrated pages.
Written and Drawn by Henrietta. By Liniers. Illus. by the author. Tr. by the author. TOON.
Henrietta is writing and illustrating a story about a three-headed monster. Liniers’ thin-lined, expressive cartoons, complete with Henrietta’s crayon-thick scrawls, track her joyful creation of a scary and funny adventure.
All the Water in the World. By George Ella Lyon, Illus. by Katherine Tillotson, Atheneum Books for Young Readers. From deserts to the kitchen sink, the water cycle is lyrically yet economically described in Lyon’s poem emphasizing the importance of water conservation. Katherine Tillotson’s digital paintings splash, surge and drip off the page.
A Ball for Daisy. By Chris Raschka, Illus. by the author, Schwartz & Wade Books, A wordless tale of an irrepressible little dog whose most prized possession is accidently destroyed. A buoyant tale of loss, recovery, and friendship. (2012 Caldecott Medal Book)
Blackout. By John Rocco, Illus. by the author. Disney/Hyperion Books. A summer power outage draws an urban family up to their building’s roof and then down to the street for an impromptu block party. (A 2012 Caldecott Honor Book)
Bring on the Birds. By Susan Stockdale, Illus. by the author. Peachtree. Rhyming couplets and clear, identifiable illustrations remind readers that birds vary in many ways, but all have feathers and are hatched from eggs. Colorful acrylics help provide just the right of information for preschool ornithologists.
The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred. By Samantha R. Vamos, Illus. by Rafael López. Charlesbridge. Nothing is better than a delicious bowl of arroz con leche unless, of course, a host of farm animals have a hand in the preparation! (A 2012 Belpré Illustrator Honor Book)
Chirchir Is Singing by Kelly Cunnane, Illus. by Jude Daly. Schwartz & Wade Books. In this cumulative story set in Kenya, Chirchir sings as she tries to help with family chores. Acrylic folk art highlights the activities of daily life in this rural setting.
Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow? By Susan A. Shea, Illus. by Tom Slaughter. Blue Apple Books. This book playfully challenges children’s concepts of the growth capacity of living vs. non-living things in a fun and engaging way. Dot. By Patricia Intriago, Illus. by the author. Farrar Straus Giroux. To a child’s delight, bright dots and brief rhyming verses cleverly demonstrate antonyms and synonyms in this clever picture book.
Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker, Illus. by Tom Lichtenheld. Chronicle Books. Truck-loving toddlers will be willingly tucked into bed along with the vehicles in this superbly constructed goodnight poem.
Grandpa Green. By Lane Smith, Illus. by the author. Roaring Brook Press. Elaborate topiary sculptures give visual form to memories in a wildly fanciful garden tended by a child and his beloved great-grandfather. (A 2012 Caldecott Honor Book)
Harry and Hopper. By Margaret Wild, Illus. by Freya Blackwood. Feiwel & Friends. A poignant depiction of grief and acceptance at the loss of a beloved pet is relayed in this quietly moving story whose illustrations add emotional depth.
I Broke My Trunk. By Mo Willems. Illus. by the author. Hyperion Books for Children. Piggie is very concerned about his best friend, Gerald the Elephant, who has broken his trunk, and Gerald tells him a long, rambling story about how it happened. (A 2012 Geisel Honor Book)
I Want My Hat Back. By Jon Klassen, Illus. by the author. Candlewick Press. After losing his hat, Bear politely and patiently questions his fellow forest dwellers as to the whereabouts of his “red pointy hat.” (A 2012 Geisel Honor Book)
King Jack and the Dragon. By Peter Bently, Illus. by Helen Oxenbury. Dial Books for Young Readers. Enhanced by whimsical illustrations, this story of the wonders and terrors created by a child’s imagination, shows the power of playtime and the magic of make-believe.
Little Treasures: Endearments from Around the World. By Jacqueline K. Ogburn. Illus. by Chris Raschka. Houghton Mifflin. Raschka’s pictures give distinct personalities to the subjects of these endearments and the book is a reminder of how much children are loved in every language and culture. Translations and pronunciation guides are included.
Little White Rabbit. By Kevin Henkes, Illus. by the author. Greenwillow Books. Little white rabbit explores the springtime world wondering what it would be like to be different - green, tall, solid, or able to fly - but when he comes home he knows who loves him.
Me...Jane. By Patrick McDonnell, Illus. by the author. Little, Brown. Watching birds and squirrels in her yard, a young girl discovers the joy and wonder of nature. A glimpse of the childhood of renowned primatologist Jane Goodall. (A 2012 Caldecott Honor Book)
Mouse & Lion. By Rand Burkert, Illus. by Nancy Ekholm Burkert. di Capua/Scholastic. Mouse is the center of this retelling of a familiar Aesop’s fable. Elegant illustrations place the story solidly in the natural world of Africa.
Naamah and the Ark at Night. By Susan Campbell Bartoletti, Illus. by Holly Meade. Candlewick Press. As the waters rage, this lullaby reveals Noah’s wife as a nurturer of diverse creatures aboard the ark. Watercolor and collage illustrations amplify the text, a form of lyrical Arabic poetry, called ghazal.
A New Year's Reunion: A Chinese Story. By Yu Li-Qiong, Illus. by Zhu Cheng-Liang, Candlewick Press. Vibrant illustrations highlight a young girl’s joy when her father makes his annual visit for Chinese New Year in this tender story.
Over and Under the Snow. By Kate Messner, Illus. by Christopher Silas Neal. Chronicle Books. While skiing cross-country with her father, a girl envisions the “secret kingdom” under the snow, where small forest animals shelter in winter. Neal’s bright, snowy landscapes contrast with his depictions of shadowed, subterranean nests.
Prudence Wants a Pet. By Cathleen Daly, Illus. by Stephen Michael King. Roaring Brook Press. In this quietly humorous picture book illustrated in soft colors, Prudence tries out a branch, a twig, a shoe, her little brother, a tire, and sea buddies until her parents finally give her a kitten as a pet.
See Me Run. By Paul Meisel, Illus. by the author. Holiday House. Dogs and more dogs are everywhere: running, sliding, jumping, splashing, and having fun. (A 2012 Geisel Honor Book)
Should I Share My Ice Cream? By Mo Willems, Illus. by the author. Hyperion Books for Children. A common human problem is posed and solved with Willems’ minimal illustration and graceful humor.
Stars. By Mary Lyn Ray, Illus. by Marla Frazee. Beach Lane Books. A duet of spare, poetic observations and ethereal illustrations explore the realities and possibilities of many kinds of stars, embracing the immediacy of a child’s experiences. A great read aloud.
Tales for Very Picky Eaters. By Josh Schneider, Illus. by the author, Clarion Books. Five chapters recount James’ refusal to eat yet another disgusting, smelly, repulsive, lumpy, or slimy food. (2012 Geisel Medal Book)
Tell Me the Day Backwards. By Albert Lamb, Illus. by David McPhail, Candlewick Press. Mama bear and child reflect on the day, recounting its events in reverse order. Gentle and reassuring, this book wonderfully illustrates a sometimes difficult concept: the flow of time.
Ten Little Caterpillars. By Bill Martin, Jr., Illus. by Lois Ehlert. Beach Lane Books. Ten different caterpillars inch their ways across vibrantly-illustrated environs in this newly-illustrated, rhyming story. Supplemental facts widen the book’s appeal and usefulness. Ehlert’s watercolor collages are remarkably entomologically accurate.
These Hands. By Margaret H. Mason, Illus. by Floyd Cooper. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Both an affirmation of a nurturing relationship between grandfather and grandson and an explanation of one reason labor unions fought for workers’ rights, the brief text and warm illustrations tell an uplifting American story.
Tìa Isa Wants a Car. By Meg Medina, Illus. by Claudio Muñoz. Candlewick Press. Using a cheerful positive tone, Medina depicts a warm relationship between Tia Isa and her niece and shows the strength of community as a life-long dream is realized.
Where's Walrus? By Stephen Savage, Illus. by the author. Scholastic. Walrus escapes from the zoo and cleverly disguises himself around the city; the zoopkeeper and the children reading the book search for him on each bold, bright page of this wordless book.