Olive & Pekoe: In Four Short Walks by Jacky Davis; illustrated by Giselle PotterWhat it is: a collection of four stories starring wise, elderly dog Olive and large, boisterous puppy Pekoe.
Why kids might like it: There’s plenty of gentle humor to be found in comparing this unlikely pair of canine companions: while Pekoe loves playing with sticks and chasing chipmunks, Olive prefers resting in the knowledge that the forest is full of sticks and chipmunks. At least both dogs agree on the importance of snacktime!
No More Poems! A Book in Verse That Just Gets Worse by Rhett Miller; illustrated by Dan SantatWhat it is: zany, rambunctious rhymes from singer-songwriter Rhett Miller, accompanied by attention-grabbing art from Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat.
What’s inside: playful gross-out jokes, an extreme case of sibling rivalry, a milder case of Purple Pox, a rallying cry for weirdos of the world, and a highly detailed slideshow created by a kid determined to get a dog.
The Book Hog by Greg PizzoliStarring: the Book Hog, an avid collector who loves the look, feel, and smell of books -- but who doesn’t know how to read.
Who it’s for: With cheery pastel colors and minimal text, this feel-good book is a strong choice for sharing aloud, as well as for beginning readers (who may identify with the porcine protagonist).
Don’t miss: the way the titles on the Book Hog’s books only become clear after he learns how to read them.
How to Two by David SomanWhat it’s about: Beginning with a single child on a slide (“how to one”), more and more children are welcomed onto the playground in this charming counting book.
Art alert: With only a few words per page, the bright, dynamic watercolor illustrations are the star of the show.
Try this next: Shannon George’s One Family, another inclusive counting book that celebrates different combinations of people.
Not Your Nest! by Gideon Sterer; illustrated by Andrea TsurumiWhat happens: An industrious yellow bird builds a series of comfortable nests, only to find them usurped by other animals -- each one larger than the next. What’s a frustrated little bird to do?
Why kids might like it: the absurdity of big animals in tiny nests will provoke gales of giggles, while the cooperative conclusion will smooth ruffled feathers and appeal to kids’ sense of justice.
Noisy Night by Mac Barnett; illustrated by Brian BiggsWhat it’s about: On the first floor of a tall apartment building, a child gazes upwards and wonders "What is going LA LA LA above my head?" A pattern of rhyming sounds and loud neighbors (including an opera singer, cowboys, cha-cha dancers, and sheep) follows, with each page turn providing a chance for kids to guess what's next.
Be prepared: You may want to warm up your vocal cords before attempting this raucous read-aloud!
The Night World by Mordicai GersteinWhat it’s about: Woken by his cat in the very early morning, a little boy wades through the murkiness of his darkened house and out into the yard, where shadowy animals gaze with anticipation at the black, star-speckled sky. What are they waiting for? The answer, when it arrives, is dazzling.
Reviewers say: children will be spellbound by this "delightful celebration of night and sunrise" (Kirkus Reviews).
The Midnight Library by Kazuno KoharaWelcome to: the Midnight Library (evening hours only), where the librarian might be a little girl in pigtails, but she knows just what each animal in the library needs.
Art alert: Contrasting cool blues and blacks with a deep, warm yellow, The Midnight Library's illustrations are whimsical, inviting, and perfect for bedtime.
Further reading: For another luminous nighttime read, try The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson.
Twenty Yawns by Jane Smiley; illustrated by Lauren CastilloWhat it’s about: After a busy day at the beach, Lucy and her parents head home for an early bedtime. Once there, however, mom and dad nod off long before Lucy does, leaving the pajama-clad child to contemplate the quiet, moonlit house on her own.
Why kids might like it: Cozy illustrations and a low-key counting activity (yes, there are 20 yawns to find) add to the winsome tone of this picture book from novelist Jane Smiley.
Kitten and the Night Watchman by John Sullivan; illustrated by Taeeun YooWhat happens: an adorable gray kitten disrupts the nightly routine of a kindly construction site watchman.
Why kids might like it: Nighttime transforms the setting from mundane to fanciful in this hushed, lyrical book filled with closely observed details that invite a second look.
Did you know? This book is based on the true story of how author John Sullivan found his pet cat.
Contact your librarian for more great books for ages 0-8!