Sophie Johnson, Unicorn Expert by Morag Hood; illustrated by Ella OkstadWhat it's about: Self-proclaimed unicorn expert Sophie is so preoccupied with lecturing her "unicorn" companions -- a baby sibling in a pointy hat and several toys with makeshift toothbrush horns -- that she misses the real unicorn in their midst.
Read it for: rainbow-colored cartoon art and sly sight gags.
For fans of: Ame Dyckman's You Don't Want a Unicorn or Amy Young's A Unicorn Named Sparkle.
Little Fox in the Snow by Jonathan London; illustrated by Daniel MiyaresWhat it is: a day in the life of a young red fox -- hunting for food, finding water, seeking out company, and running from danger -- told through evocative poetry and wintry watercolor art.
Want a taste? "You stretch, then follow your breath... out into the snow. Little foxling, where will you go?"
Who it's for: nature-loving kids longing for a taste of the wild.
Don't Touch My Hair! by Sharee MillerWhat it's about: Aria loves her glorious, fluffy crown of curls, but she hates it when people touch them without asking. Whether she's hanging out with humans, mermaids, or aliens, Aria has to avoid unwelcome attention...and she's just about fed up.
Why kids might like it: Though it's light and playful in tone, Don't Touch My Hair reassures kids that their boundaries are important and deserve to be respected.
Tiger vs. Nightmare by Emily TetriWhat it's about: Why fear the monster under the bed when you can be friends with it instead? Tiger and her monster play games every night, and Monster chases Tiger's nightmares away -- except for the latest nightmare, which might be too scary to fight alone.
Art alert: Packed with dynamic action and a distinctive color palette, the art in this graphic novel-style story will capture kids' attention.
Who it's for: transitioning picture book readers who are ready for something slightly longer and more sophisticated.
Is That You, Eleanor Sue? by Tricia TusaStarring: Eleanor Sue, who loves playing dress-up and make-believe with her mom, who's happy to play along.
What happens: From a wizard to a bear to a curmudgeonly new neighbor, Eleanor Sue appears in a different disguise every time she rings the doorbell. What will happen when her mother answers the door in a costume of her own?
Kids might also like: Jessie Sima's Harriet Gets Carried Away, another sweet, lighthearted tale of costume-clad girl.
Winter Dance by Marion Dane Bauer; illustrated by Richard JonesWhat it's about: As snowflakes begin to fall, a lone red fox gathers advice from other animals about how to prepare for the winter.
Read it for: gentle humor, read-aloud-ready poetry, and winsome, detail-rich illustrations.
Kids might also like: Joyce Sidman's Winter Bees, for an equally lyrical but more fact-filled look at how animals survive the winter.
Shelter by Céline Claire; illustrated by Qin LengFeaturing: a cozy community of animal families, all collecting supplies and preparing their homes against an oncoming storm.
What happens: When two bears arrive and offer tea leaves in exchange for food and shelter, the littlest fox responds with an act of generosity that has surprising results.
Who it's for: caregivers in search of a charming fable that invites kids to consider the importance of being kind and welcoming.
How to Find a Fox by Nilah MagruderWhat it is: an intrepid girl's guide to spotting a red fox. This particular fox, however, cleverly lurks in plain sight for readers while evading the girl at every step.
Want a taste? "Find a fox hole," the camera-toting girl instructs, "any fox hole will do. The best foxes are at home when you visit."
Who it's for: This cartoony debut picture book is a perfect pick for young naturalists.
Watersong by Tim McCanna; illustrated by Richard SmytheWhat happens: The storm starts with a quiet "drip drop," but as a wandering fox searches for shelter, the downpour increases to "gurgle burble" and "wash! wham!" until finally resolving with a "whoosh sigh" and a sparkling rainbow.
Art alert: sprightly, stylized watercolors complement the lively onomatopoeia in this sensory rainy-day story
Try this next: Tap Tap Boom Boom, by Elizabeth Bluemle.
The Fox and the Wild by Clive McFarlandStarring: Fred, an urban fox who doesn't share his cousins' love for garbage-can dining or noisy, fast-paced city life.
What happens: After asking other animals what lies beyond the city, Fred ventures out to find a new home in the mysterious "wild."
Why kids might like it: Young readers' eyes will be drawn to the colorful, chunky collage art in this twist on the traditional Country Mouse, City Mouse tale.
Contact your librarian for more great books for ages 0-8!