Berry Song by Michaela GoadeWhat it's about: In the misty forest on an Alaskan island, a young Tlingit girl and her grandmother gather berries — salmonberries, cloudberries, nagoonberries, and more — as they sing their gratitude back to the land.
Don't miss: The inside covers, featuring berry names in both Tlingit and English.
Author buzz: This lyrical, atmospheric story is the first solo book by Caldecott Medalist Michaela Goade, who is Tlingit herself (Raven moiety and Kiks.ádi clan).
The Big Slide by Daniel KirkStarring: Wide-eyed Little Pup and the big playground slide he longs to try.
Art alert: The adorable, anthropomorphic characters are portrayed in muted colors, allowing the bright red slide — and the challenge it represents — to stand out.
Why kids might like it: Kids facing their own everyday fears will relate to Little Pup's initial, incomplete attempts at the slide, and relish how encouragement from loved ones helps him towards eventual success.
A Spoonful of Frogs by Casey Lyall; illustrated by Vera BrosgolLights, camera, amphibians: While brewing up soup on her cooking show, a green-skinned, pink-nosed witch suddenly realizes that the crucial ingredient — a spoonful of frogs for flavor and color — has hopped away, forcing her to give chase.
Read it for: Perfectly paced slapstick comedy told in a deadpan tone, heightening both the humor of the story and the playful visuals from Caldecott Honoree Vera Brosgol.
Reviewers say: "An all-seasons recipe for storytime success" (Booklist).
The Baby-Changing Station by Rhett Miller; illustrated by Dan SantatWhat it's about: Already frustrated by his scene-stealing baby brother Joe, big kid James is deputized for diaper-changing duty during a family restaurant outing. But the changing station he finds features an unusual perk: the chance to exchange his baby bro for cool stuff.
How it's told: James' journey of jealousy and temptation unspools through conversational, first-person rhymes and outsize illustrations.
A Grand Day by Jean Reidy; illustrated by Samantha CotterillWhat it is: A cozy and inclusive snapshot of how a variety of children spend quality time with their grandparents.
Art alert: Cunningly constructed three-dimensional artwork depicting grands and grandkids gardening, cooking, reading, playing, exploring, and many other activities.
Why kids might like it: While the illustrations will attract close attention from visually oriented kids, the warmhearted family scenes may offer comfort to a wide range of readers and listeners.
I Am the Shark by Joan Holub; illustrated by Laurie KellerWhat it's about: When the great white shark claims to be the greatest — it's in their name, after all — a lively cast of sharks show up to dispute it.
Featuring: The whale shark (biggest), hammerhead (smartest), mako (fastest), angel (sneakiest), plus several more.
Who it's for: Young shark enthusiasts, who'll appreciate the googly-eyed illustrations demonstrating size and scale, as well as the facts and diagrams in the final pages.
The Shark Book by Steve Jenkins and Robin PageWhat it is: A fact-filled, highly browsable collection of information about 42 types of sharks, including carefully organized text and realistic, clearly labeled cut-paper illustrations.
Don't miss: The glowing portrait of a biofluorescent chain catshark; the species comparison chart; and the sharply patterned inside covers.
About the authors: The Shark Book is among the last of many collaborations from married, award-winning creative team Robin Page and Steve Jenkins; Jenkins passed away in 2021.
Sharko and Hippo by Elliott Kalan; illustrated by Andrea TsurumiStarring: Chatty Sharko, who becomes increasingly frazzled as his silent friend Hippo produces all the wrong equipment for their fishing trip.
Why kids might like it: Silly wordplay — Hippo supplies a goat and oats instead of a boat, a pail and plow instead of pole, etc. — and expressive cartoon art bring ample appeal to this odd couple story.
Try the next: Jan Thomas' Rhyming Dust Bunnies offers further linguistic high jinks.
Dude! by Aaron Reynolds; illustrated by Dan SantatWhat it is: A clever, comical romp told through just one word: "Dude."
What happens: A platypus and a beaver on a surfing expedition encounter a humongous, toothy shark... who might not be as fearsome as he appears.
Why kids might like it: Readers of all ages will relish trying out endless variations on the sole word of dialogue in this exuberant, colorful read-aloud.
If Sharks Disappeared by Lily WilliamsWhat it is: An introduction to the ecological importance of sharks, as told by a curious child who describes the roles of sharks, the potentially catastrophic impact their extinction, and the ways in which humans can prevent that outcome.
What's inside: Vivid oceanscapes brimming with biodiversity; suggestions for further reading; and a kid-appropriate action checklist.
Series alert: This is the 1st book in the If Animals Disappeared series, which later highlights polar bears, elephants, and bees.