Cozy by Jan BrettFeaturing: Cozy, a huge and furry musk ox who's separated from his herd during an Alaskan winter storm; and an ever-increasing crowd of Arctic creatures who must find ways to get along as they shelter under Cozy's warm coat.
Why kids might like it: the satisfying cumulative storytelling style, and the quarantine-relevant reminder to be kind and mindful when living in close quarters.
Art alert: Veteran picture book creator Jan Brett renders each animal in glorious, meticulous detail.
Starcrossed by Julia DenosWhat it's about: Earthbound astronomer Eridani, a human girl made of "blood and bones," is best friends with celestial Acamar, a boy made of "space and stars," and each longs to know what it's like to be the other. Will wishing upon a star -- or each other -- allow them to swap places?
Who it's for: Young stargazers can engage their sense of wonder with this lavishly illustrated tale featuring rich colors, eye-catching textures, and constellations of careful paint splatter.
Ginger and Chrysanthemum by Kristen Mai Giang; illustrated by Shirley ChanWhat it's about: While fiery Ginger likes to act first and think later, level-headed Chrysanthemum is more methodical, and yet these two cousins are close as can be. Or they were, before they were put in charge of planning Grandma's birthday party together.
For fans of: Grace Lin's Ling & Ting series and other sweet, feel-good stories starring duos who get along despite being complete opposites.
Julián at the Wedding by Jessica LoveThe big day: As colorfully clad Julián and his abuela arrive at an outdoor wedding, Julián prepares to walk the brides' dog down the aisle alongside flower girl Marisol, who'd rather wear a ball cap than a dainty flower crown.
Something borrowed: After Marisol's dress is ruined during post-ceremony playtime, an inventive sartorial swap makes both kids ready to party at the reception.
Series alert: Kids who love Julián Is a Mermaid will be thrilled to revisit this imaginative, gender-nonconforming character.
Eric by Shaun TanWhat it's about: Tiny, spindly, leaf-headed Eric isn't what this book's narrator and his family expected in a foreign exchange student. Nonetheless, they try to answer Eric's curious questions and respect his choices (such as his preference for a cozy teacup over a typical bedroom).
Don't miss: the enchanting, rainbow-hued conclusion in which Eric leaves a long-lasting thank-you gift.
Did you know? This thought-provoking book expands on a story from author/artist Shaun Tan's Tales from Outer Suburbia.
One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree by Daniel Bernstrom; illustrated by Brendan WenzelWhat it's about: In the leafy shadows of a eucalyptus tree, a little boy is gobbled up whole by a giant yellow snake. Yikes! But it's not the end for the resourceful boy, who encourages the greedy snake to eat more...and more...
Read it for: rhythmic wordplay, big, busy illustrations, and a pleasing conclusion.
For fans of: There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly -- either the traditional song or Simms Taback's modern classic picture book.
Leave Me Alone! by Vera Brosgoltarring: a harried grandmother who just wants to knit, and who will go to great -- even cosmic -- lengths for some peace and quiet.
Art alert: Combining a traditional Eastern European setting with a crisp, expressive cartoon style, this award-winning picture book will charm readers of all ages.
Reviewers say: it's a "fizzy collision of old-fashioned fairy tale elements with space-age physics" (Publishers Weekly).
This Beach is Loud! by Samantha CotterillWhat it's about: A father-son beach trip hits a snag when the child realizes the beach is crowded, noisy, and covered in scratchy sand. With some help from Dad, however, the boy remembers the techniques he can use to enjoy the beach in his own way.
Be prepared: for all of the onomatopoeia and exuberant run-on sentences in this reassuring readaloud.
Series alert: This is the 1st in the Little Senses series, which helps kids (especially kids on the autism spectrum) manage overwhelming experiences.
Snappsy the Alligator Did Not Ask to Be in This Book! by Julie Falatko; illustrated by Tim MillerStarring: mild-mannered Snappsy the alligator, who's simply going about his day when a "rude narrator" begins intruding, misinterpreting Snappsy's feelings (he doesn't need a nap, he's just hungry!) and accusing him of sinister intent (he's not hunting for bunnies, he's just buying groceries!).
Why kids might like it: Readers will snicker as the interplay between the narration and Snappsy's speech-bubble protests becomes more and more heated.
Art alert: Deadpan cartoon illustrations balance the off-the-wall humor of this metafictional tale.
Puppy Truck by Brian PinkneyWhat it’s about: When Carter is given a toy truck instead of the puppy he wanted, he literally takes it in stride, leashing up the truck (which comes to life with a “vroom beep bark!”) and heading off for a walk in the park.
Why kids might like it: Swirling, swooping lines and a bright, bold color palette add irresistible verve to this tale of a boy and his unusual pet.
Kids might also like: Chris Raschka’s A Ball for Daisy.
Contact your librarian for more great books for ages 0-8!
Somerset County Library System of New Jersey1 Vogt Drive
P.O. Box 6700
Bridgewater, New Jersey 08807