Roar Like a Dandelion by Ruth Krauss; illustrated by Sergio RuzzierWhat it is: a refreshingly offbeat alphabet book from the late children's author Ruth Krauss, with endearing artwork from illustrator Sergio Ruzzier.
What's inside: Each letter is represented by a suggestion -- such as “act like a sprinkler in summer” or “eat all the locks off the doors” or simply "nod YES" -- creating a reading experience that's both whimsical and interactive.
Reviewers say: "an irresistible, deliciously subversive invitation to turn one’s back on the tiresome" (Publishers Weekly).
A Big Bed for Little Snow by Grace LinWhat it's about: As soon as Little Snow's Mommy re-stuffs his fluffy featherbed and tells him it's "for sleeping, not jumping," it's clear that Little Snow won't be able to resist. His every bounce releases a flurry of white feathers; to find out where they fall, you'll have to check out this sweet and simple winter tale.
Kids might also like: the Caldecott Honor-winning companion book, A Big Mooncake for Little Star.
Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard; illustrated by Juana Martinez-NealWhat it's about: "Fry bread is..." opens each section of this inviting picture book, which uses the familiar food as a common ground from which to explore the diversity of Native American history, culture, and communities.
About the author: This is the debut picture book from writer and professor Kevin Noble Maillard, a member of the Seminole Nation.
Don't miss: the fry bread recipe in the final pages, and the endpapers featuring the names of tribal nations.
Saturday by Oge MoraWhat it’s about: Ava looks forward to Saturdays all week long, because it’s the one day she gets to spend with her hard-working mom. This Saturday, however, none of their cherished, eagerly anticipated activities are going as planned.
Read it for: a touching and realistic parent-child relationship, as well as a practical example of how to move on from disappointment
Art alert: Bright and busy cut-paper collages distinguish this reassuring read by Caldecott honoree Oge Mora.
Sulwe by Lupita Nyong'o; illustrated by Vashti HarrisonStarring: Sulwe, who was "born the color of midnight," and who's frustrated with being the darkest-skinned person in her family and her classroom.
What happens: A gentle fable about Night and Day helps Sulwe take pride in being “dark and beautiful, bright and strong.”
Further reading: Kids and families who appreciate this debut book from award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o may also enjoy Monique Fields' Honeysmoke, another thoughtful story about skin color and self-confidence.
On a Magical Do-Nothing Day by Beatrice AlemagnaWhat it’s about: Sent outside to play in the drippy woods, an orange-jacketed kid is more inclined to sulk than to explore. Except...are those snails over there? And look at those red mushrooms! Not to mention the mud for digging, branches for swinging, and puddles for jumping!
Why kids might like it: This dramatic, stylized depiction of outdoor play is so enchanting that young readers will be looking forward to the next rainy day.
Run Wild by David CovellWhat it is: an exhilarating ode to playing outside, no matter how messy you might get.
What happens: The blue sky beckons, and two barefoot kids answer its call, heading outside to run and jump their way to the sea, where they splash into the surf for a swim.
Art alert: Thick lines and lively watercolor brushstrokes emphasize the verve of the easy-to-read poetry in this picture book.
This Beautiful Day by Richard Jackson; illustrated by Suzy LeeWhat it’s about: A single blue note of music is all it takes to rally a glum group of kids into a playful rainy-day excursion.
Why kids might like it: Told through loose, lighthearted rhymes and joyfully dynamic art, this picture book will appeal to kids who refuse to let rain dampen their exuberance.
Further reading: Kids who relish the way This Beautiful Day's black-and-white illustrations gradually blossom into color may also want to check out Daniel Miyares' That Neighbor Kid.
Water is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle by Miranda Paul; illustrated by Jason ChinWhat it's about: Ecological rhythms shape the story in this gentle yet engaging book that follows a two siblings throughout the seasons, demonstrating the different forms of water they encounter in their outdoor explorations.
Art alert: Detailed watercolors by award-winning illustrator Jason Chin highlight the beauty of nature while encouraging close attention.
Don’t miss: the last few pages, which provide scientific details about the water cycle for inquisitive kids.
Hiking Day by Anne Rockwell; illustrated by Lizzy RockwellWhat it's about: They've tied their shoes, filled their water bottles, and chosen a trail -- this family is ready to hike to the top of Hickory Hill!
What's inside: straightforward text and detailed illustrations depicting autumn leaves, several kinds of wildlife, and a breathtaking hilltop vista.
Kids might also like: Similar to Hiking Day, Galen Goodwin Longstreth's Yes, Let's is a winsome read about a family hike.
Contact your librarian for more great books for ages 0-8!