Milo Imagines the World by Matt de la Peña; illustrated by Christian RobinsonWhat it's about: Can you picture someone's life just by looking at them? That's what Milo does when he and his sister take the train to visit their mom in prison, but he soon realizes that there's more to every person than meets the eye.
Who it's for: Kids who are similarly separated from loved ones, as well as imaginative readers of all kinds will be taken with observant, bespectacled Milo in this latest collaboration from the creators of Last Stop on Market Street.
Don't Hug Doug (He Doesn't Like It) by Carrie Finison; illustrated by Daniel WisemanWhat it is: an upbeat and inclusive primer on consent and the various ways in which people do -- or don't -- prefer to show affection.
Starring: Doug, a kid who likes socks and rocks and chalk, and definitely likes you, but doesn't like hugs -- he'd much rather do high fives!
Want a taste? "Can you hug these people? There's only one way to find out. ASK!"
Moose, Goose, and Mouse by Mordicai Gerstein and Jeff MackWhat it's about: Housemates Moose, Goose, and Mouse want to ditch their old, cold, and moldy abode in favor of something sunny, funny, and with a bunny. But when they board a train to go house-hunting, things quickly go off the rails.
Why kids might like it: It's hard to resist the playful rhymes, silly slapstick, and winsome animal trio at the heart of this easy reader.
About the creators: Before his death in 2019, author/illustrator Mordecai Gerstein asked illustrator Jeff Mack to finish the artwork in this book, and Mack did so with madcap aplomb.
Eyes That Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho; illustrated by Dung HoWhat it's about: After noticing how her appearance differs from her peers', a Chinese American girl finds comfort and confidence in recognizing how her eyes are beautiful just like Mama's, Amah's, and Mei-Mei's.
Read it for: poetic, affirming words, as well as sumptuous illustrations teeming with visual references to Chinese culture and mythology.
Try this next: Minh Lê's Drawn Together, another warm, fanciful story celebrating Asian identity and intergenerational bonds.
Seeking an Aurora by Elizabeth Pulford; illustrated by Anne BannockWhat it's about: After their father wakes them up in the night, a sleepy yet curious child bundles up and follows Dad into the frosty darkness and up the hill, where they wait patiently until "wide wings of light" fly over the sky, "glimmering, shimmering, and shining."
Why kids might like it: An irresistible sense of hushed anticipation draws readers steadily through the story and into a conclusion suffused with wonder and breathtaking color.
For fans of: Jane Yolen's classic Owl Moon.
Animal Babies Like to Play by Jennifer Adams; illustrated by Mary LundquistWhat it is: an alphabet book starring children dressed as baby animals ranging from alligator baby to X-ray tetra baby (and beyond).
Art alert: Endearing illustrations in soft watercolor hues depict an inclusive group of animal-costumed kids playing together and enjoying the outdoors.
Who it's for: With a whimsical approach to a simple concept, Animal Babies Like to Play is a good fit for very young children who prefer imagination to facts.
This is Our Baby, Born Today by Varsha Bajaj; illustrated by Eliza WheelerWhat it's about: As a herd of Indian elephants welcomes a "wrinkled and gray" baby, they rejoice in new life and the goodness of their wild environment.
Featuring: lush, luminous artwork paired with repetitive, cumulative phrasing that's just right for reading aloud; and a concluding section offering information about real-life elephants and animal conservation.
For fans of: Nancy Tillman's popular new-baby book, On the Night You Were Born.
Baby Animals Moving by Suzi EszterhasWhat it is: an accessible, photo-illustrated book that portrays a variety of wild animal babies in motion.
What's inside: photos of little leaping lemurs, warthog piglets running free, a sleepy sloth climbing, and many more, including bears, orangutans, otters, kangaroos, and other animal babies who are carried along by their mothers.
Further reading: Kids who love Baby Animals Moving won't want to miss the charming companion book, Baby Animals Playing.
Homes in the Wild: Where Baby Animals and Their Parents Live by Lita JudgeWhat it is: an overview of 26 different mammals and the dwellings they create to raise their babies.
Who it's for: Very young children can admire the expressive animal illustrations, while older picture book readers may relish the facts and examples provided in the more detailed spreads.
Further reading: Little ones who want additional cozy reads about animal homes may also enjoy Jennifer Ward's Mama Dug a Little Den or Mary Murphy's Good Night Like This.
A Baby Like You by Catherine ThimmeshWhat it is: a compare-and-contrast collection of milestones -- such as eating, bathing, playing, and walking -- achieved by animal and human babies.
What's inside: Minimal text takes a backseat to adorable, diverse, up-close photographs of human infants, as well as baby foxes, hippos, lions, penguins, zebras, polar bears, and more.
Who it's for: babies who love to see themselves on the page, as well as preschoolers who can recognize the developmental stages they've already experienced.
Contact your librarian for more great books for ages 0-8!