The Little Guys by Vera BrosgolWhat it’s about: The forest-dwelling Little Guys are minuscule in size, but with their might combined, they're unstoppable. They can cross deep water! They can forage in tall bushes! They can steal food from chipmunks and beat up bears! Wait, what?
Read it for: jaunty, expressive artwork and a kid-friendly message about the uses (and misuses) of teamwork.
Unicorn and Yeti: Sparkly New Friends by Heather Ayris Burnell; illustrated by Hazel QuintanillaIntroducing: big, fluffy Yeti and small, magical Unicorn, an unlikely pair who meet in a comical collision and forge a friendship based on a shared love of snow and sparkles.
Why kids might like it: this cute, cartoony series opener features colorful speech bubbles and very brief chapters, making it a fantastic choice for newly independent readers.
For fans of: Bob Shea’s Ballet Cat books or Ben Clanton’s Narhwal and Jelly series.
¡Vamos! Let's Go to the Market by Raul the ThirdWelcome to: the Mercado de Chauhtémoc la Curiosidad, where Little Lobo and his dog Bernabé are busy making deliveries to all the various vendors.
Why kids might like it: the lively, bustling market scenes bursting with charming details; the helpful Spanish labels that encourage language learners.
Don't miss: the tiny, cowboy hat-wearing cucaracha who follows Little Lobo on his route.
High Five by Adam Rubin; illustrated by Daniel SalmieriWhat it is: a series of finger-stretching, hand-slapping challenges to prepare you for the 75th Annual High Five Tournament.
Hold that book steady! This exuberant, interactive read is packed with opportunities for kids to high-five its pages.
Author alert: Fans of the oddball humor and playful illustrations in Dragons Love Tacos won't want to miss this latest book from the same creative duo.
Motor Mouse by Cynthia Rylant; illustrated by Arthur Howard Starring: Motor Mouse, a friendly delivery driver who approaches a variety of experiences -- sharing, revisiting old memories, and trying new things -- with humor and relatable emotion.
Why kids might like it: While the large format has a familiar picture book feel, the short chapters allow beginning readers to grow their skills.
Series alert: This inviting volume jump-starts a new series of easy readers.
Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed; illustrated by Stasia BurringtonWhat it is: an inspiring, star-spangled picture book based on the childhood of Mae Jemison, whose passion and ambition led her to become the first African American woman in space.
Who it's for: space-obsessed dreamers, future trailblazers, and aspiring scientists.
Further reading: Kids who are curious about women in space might also enjoy Carmella Van Vleet's To the Stars!, a biography of astronaut Kathryn Sullivan.
Once Upon a Star: A Poetic Journey Through Space by James Carter; illustrated by Mar HernandezWhat's inside: Bold type and striking, stylized illustrations heighten the impact of these short poems about stars, the solar system, the universe, and our place within it.
Read it for: accessible science concepts and a boundless sense of wonder.
Earthrise: Apollo 8 and the Photo That Changed the World by James Gladstone; illustrated by Christy LundyWhat it is: a simple yet compelling description of 1968's Apollo 8 mission, in which astronauts captured a now-iconic photo of Earth rising over the moon.
Art alert: Crisp retro illustrations evoke the feel of the 1960s, the power of shared humanity, and the breathtaking beauty of Earth seen from space.
The Sun Is Kind of a Big Deal by Nick SelukWhat it's about: The Sun is a star in more ways than one! Sporting arms, cool shades, and a confident attitude, the Sun deals with its many admirers (the other planets, drawn in the same cartoony style) while handling all of the important jobs it does for Earth.
What's inside: solid astronomy facts told through eye-catching infographics and outrageously silly dialogue.
Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly with Winifred Conkling; illustrated by Laura FreemanFeaturing: Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, four African American NASA mathematicians who, despite widespread discrimination, made a lasting impact on the space race.
Book buzz: Filled with warm, colorful illustrations, this picture book was adapted from Margot Lee Shetterly's book for adults, which was also made into a popular movie in 2016.
Contact your librarian for more great books for ages 0-8!
Villa Park Public Library
305 S. Ardmore Ave.
Villa Park, Illinois 60181