Across the Bay by Carlos AponteWhat it’s about: Carlitos loves colorful Cataño, Puerto Rico, where he lives with his mami and abuela, but he’s curious about his papi, who lives across the bay. Pocketing a photo of his father, Carlos boards the ferry and begins a search that leads him all over Old San Juan.
Why kids might like it: Though the ending is realistically unresolved, this lively, atmospheric tale offers plenty of warmth and reassurance.
Don’t miss: the cats that follow Carlitos on his quest.
Don't Call Me Bear! by Aaron BlabeyStarring: Warren the koala, who wants everyone to know that he’s a marsupial, NOT a bear!
What’s inside: animal facts, a bit of history, and a helpful, hilarious chart featuring underpants-clad marsupials.
Art alert: Fans of popular Australian author/illustrator Aaron Blabey will recognize the distinctive way he uses bold colors, googly eyes, and varying fonts to achieve maximum visual comedy.
Explorers by Matthew CordellWhat it’s about: During a family trip to a museum, a child’s flying bird toy goes astray, leading to confusion, misunderstanding, and ultimately, connection.
What’s inside: From the museum’s dinosaur skeleton exhibits to the facial expressions of the child (as well as his family and his new friend), Matthew Cordell’s scribbly, vivid illustrations immerse readers in the story without a single word of dialogue.
Who Wet My Pants? by Bob Shea; illustrated by Zachariah OhoraThe crime: While Reuben the bear was out getting donuts for his scout troop, someone wet his pants, and he’s going to find out who. Because it obviously couldn’t have been Reuben himself...could it?
The accused: Reuben’s fellow scouts, who all deny responsibility while gently reminding Reuben that accidents can happen to anyone.
The verdict: Prepare for gales of giggles at the over-the-top humor in this sweet, silly story about accidents and empathy.
Five Minutes (That's a Lot of Time ) (No, It's Not) (Yes, It Is) by Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick; illustrated by Olivier TallecWhat it’s about: Just how long is five minutes? The young star of this picture book isn’t quite sure. When you want to keep playing or you’re gearing up to do something scary, five minutes isn’t nearly long enough; when but when you’re bored or you’re stuck in line for the bathroom, five minutes feels like forever.
Art alert: The energetic, exaggerated illustrations in Five Minutes are cleverly juxtaposed to create pitch-perfect sight gags.
Cece Loves Science by Kimberly Derting and Shelli R. Johannes; illustrated by Vashti HarrisonIntroducing: Cece, a young scientist who’s full of questions, such as “What if?” and "Why?” and “Do dogs eat vegetables?”
What happens: Cece and her friend Isaac team up to answer that last question, and readers can follow them every step of the way, learning the basics of the scientific method as they go.
Series alert: This endearing, inspiring series opener is followed by Cece Loves Science and Adventure.
Little Robot Alone by Patricia MacLachlan and Emily MacLachlan Charest; illustrated by Matt PhelanWhat it's about: Winsome, toaster-headed Little Robot has an upbeat outlook and an idyllic countryside home, but he has no one to share it all with. To banish his loneliness, Little Robot musters his creativity and builds himself a friend.
Who it's for: Gentle watercolor art and text that "practically screams to be read aloud" (Kirkus Reviews) make Little Robot Alone an inviting choice for sharing one-on-one or with a group.
Tools Rule! by Aaron MeshonWhat it is: A brightly illustrated tale of cooperative construction starring a cheery bunch of anthropomorphic tools.
What’s inside: introductions to a variety of tools, complete with descriptions (“Saw saws Wood”), sound effects (“Zip! Zip! Zip!” says the drill), and puns (“Let’s get a grip on things,” declares Vise).
Try this next: Emma Garcia’s Tap Tap Bang Bang, another noisy, cartoony book featuring tools as characters.
Going Places by Paul Reynolds; illustrated by Peter ReynoldsWhat it’s about: Rafael loves to follow directions and has a competitive spirit. Maya is an artist who's more interested in creativity than winning. Yet when their class announces its annual go-cart race, Rafael and Maya combine their skills to build a unique, high-flying contraption.
Kids might also like: Young DIY-ers who thrill to the can-do attitude of this crisply illustrated picture book may also enjoy Welcome to Your Awesome Robot by Viviane Schwarz.
The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley SpiresWhat it’s about: It takes a lot of planning, tweaking, sawing, and gluing, as well as one moment of near-defeat, before a young engineer (along with her canine assistant) can build the “magnificent thing” she’s been imagining.
Why kids might like it: Simultaneously relatable and motivating, this picture book assures kids that even when projects aren’t as “easy peasy” as they first appear, perseverance is key to the creative process.
Contact your librarian for more great books for ages 0-8!