The Ocean Calls: A Haenyeo Mermaid Story by
Tina Cho; illustrated by Jess X. Snow
Welcome to: Korea's Jeju Island, where young Dayeon's Grandma is teaching her the traditional skills of the haenyeo, free-diving women who collect shellfish from the deep sea.
Why kids might like it: Kids can relate to Dayeon's initial fear of the ocean and revel in her diving success, all while taking in the rich hues and flowing lines of the illustrations.
Did you know? Like Dayeon's Grandma, many of the real-life haenyeo are older women.
Gustavo, the Shy Ghost by
Flavia Z. Drago
What it's about: Adorable, violin-playing ghost Gustavo wants friends more than anything, but the other little monsters look right through him. How can a lonely ghost make friends when he can't even make himself visible?
Art alert: Smiling skulls, papel picado flourishes, and other visual details bring a distinctive Mexican charm to this book's accessible appeal.
Kids might also like: Mac Barnett's Leo, another sweet and fanciful story about a ghost who longs to be seen.
Finding François: A Story About the Healing Power of Friendship by
Starring: Parisian piglet Alice and lighthouse-dwelling dog François, who share a lively friendship via messages in bottles.
What happens: After Alice's beloved grandmother dies, Alice feels too sad to write to François, but finds solace when she's finally able to visit her distant friend.
Why kids might like it: Gentle watercolor illustrations underscore the reassuring tone of the story, reminding kids that there can be hope and happiness after loss.
Some Dinosaurs Are Small by
What it's about: As a tiny green dinosaur gathers fruit to eat, three much bigger dinosaurs lurk in the trees nearby, ready to steal the little one's food -- until the arrival of yet another dinosaur makes them reconsider their plan.
Why kids might like it: While adults may appreciate this concept book's lesson about relative size, the playful cartoon art and pithy text make it a crowd-pleasing read-aloud for kids.
How to Find a Bird by
Jennifer Ward; illustrated by Diana Sudyka
What it is: a child-friendly, vividly illustrated guide to birdwatching, filled with practical advice about how and where to observe all sorts of birds, from those you can spot in the skies and the trees to those you'll find on the ground or in the water.
Who it's for: animal enthusiasts, citizen scientists, and curious readers of any age.
Try this next: Rita Gray's Have You Heard the Nesting Bird?
Marta! Big & Small by
Jen Arena; illustrated by Angela Dominguez
Which languages? Spanish and English, both color-coded and translated within the story.
Starring: Marta, una niña who seems grande to a tiny bug but pequeña to an big elephant; she's lenta compared to a swift horse, but to a poky turtle, she's rápida; and to a snake, she just might look sabrosa…
Read it for: a cheerful and dynamic exploration of vocabulary, comparisons, and opposites, illustrated by Pura Belpré Award honoree Angela Dominguez.
Bowwow Powwow by
Brenda J. Child; illustrated by Jonathan Thunder; translated by Gordon Jourdain
What it's about: When Windy Girl and her loyal dog Itchy Boy fall asleep at a powwow, Windy Girl dreams of a powwow in which all the participants, from the jingle dress dancers to the veterans in the Grand Entry, are dogs.
Which languages? This whimsical, celebratory tale is a dual-language book told in both English and Ojibwe.
Who it's for: children and families looking for positive, authentic stories by and about Indigenous people.
How Do You Say I Love You? by
Hannah Eliot; illustrated by Shirley Ng-Benitez
What it is: an upbeat, rhyming vocabulary guide which teaches kids to express a universal sentiment -- love -- in ten different languages.
Which languages? Chinese, French, Arabic, Russian, Japanese, Italian, English, and more, with phonetic pronunciations provided for each language.
Art alert: Alongside the bold, easy-to-read words, the cartoon illustrations depict cuddly-looking characters from various countries and cultures demonstrating their love for family, friends, and pets.
¡Vamos! Let's Go to the Market by
Raúl the Third
Welcome to: the Mercado de Chauhtémoc la Curiosidad, where Little Lobo and his dog Bernabé are busy making deliveries to all the various vendors.
Which languages? Helpful Spanish labels encourage language learners, while lively, bustling market scenes overflow with charming details.
Don't miss: the tiny, cowboy hat-wearing cucaracha who follows Little Lobo on his route.
Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family's Story by
Margriet Ruurs; illustrated by Nizar Ali Badr; translated by Falah Raheem
What it is: the poetic, poignant story of Rama and her family, whose quiet life in Syria is uprooted by civil war, forcing them to search for a safe new home.
Which languages? Dual-language text in both Arabic and English makes this story accessible to those who are learning to read in either language.
Art alert: Stepping Stones is illustrated and inspired by Syrian artist Nizar Ali Badr, who creates unusual and emotive collages made entirely from beach stones.
Contact your librarian for more great books for ages 0-8!