Find Fergus by Mike BoldtWhat it is: a chronicle of brown bear Fergus' many lessons in the art of hiding.
Why kids might like it: Along with the narrator, kids can directly address the bespectacled bear when he's too easy to find (such as when he ducks behind a tiny tree, or tries to blend in with polar bears).
Don't miss: the meticulously detailed gatefold at the end, in which Fergus practically disappears amidst a huge crowd of animals, creating an absorbing seek-and-find activity.
Focus on: African American Illustrators
Hair Love: A Celebration of Daddies and Daughters Everywhere by Matthew A. Cherry; illustrated by Vashti HarrisonWhat it's about: From beaded braids to perky puffs, Zuri loves expressing herself through her curly, natural hair. And today, she's going for an extra-special style with some help from her devoted dad.
Media alert: This book is based on author Matthew A. Cherry's Oscar-winning animated short, which you can stream on YouTube.
Kids might also like: Nancy Redd's Bedtime Bonnet or Derrick Barnes' Crown, two other sweet and joyful picture books celebrating Black hair.
Black is a Rainbow Color by Angela Joy; illustrated by Ekua HolmesWhat it is: one girl's lyrical musings on the color black and the rich diversity of Black culture in the United States.
Read it for: powerful mixed-media illustrations and a final section packed with notes, poems, and a playlist to deepen readers' understanding.
Try this next: Samara Cole Doyon's Magnificent Homespun Brown, another upbeat book affirming Black beauty; and Kwame Alexander's The Undefeated, another sumptuously illustrated look at African American history.
Going Down Home with Daddy by Kelly Starling Lyons; illustrated by Daniel MinterWhat it's about: At a big family reunion, Lil' Alan worries that he doesn't have a tribute to share like the other kids. Inspiration finally strikes, however, after he sees the family's deep connection to Granny's farm.
Art alert: Textured, color-washed illustrations add depth and a palpable atmosphere of warmth to this story, making it relatable and reassuring for many kids.
Reviewers say: it's a "necessary reminder of the power in families coming together" (Kirkus Reviews).
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 hardworking 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: Lively cut-paper collages distinguish this reassuring read by Caldecott honoree Oge Mora.
The Roots of Rap: 16 Bars on the 4 Pillars of Hip-Hop by Carole Boston Weatherford; illustrated by Frank MorrisonWhat it is: a rhythmic, free-flowing, free verse tribute to the origins of hip-hop, accompanied by smooth yet striking illustrations filled with famous faces.
Who it’s for: young fans who might not know the history of their favorite music, as well as caregivers eager to share their love of classic hip-hop.
Further reading: For a deeper dive into the life of a hip-hop innovator, pick up Laban Carrick Hill’s When the Beat Was Born.
Contact your librarian for more great books for ages 0-8!