Here are the best-reviewed children's books I bought in each age group in January. The book covers link to our catalog so you can request them if you like. I buy books up to three months in advance, so many may not be out yet.
Picture book. Bear and his friends are putting on a show, and there are lots of plans to be made. Their curtains need sequins. Their hats must be very, very tall. And their tickets have to be shiny. Shy Bear takes notes on every detail. But at least he won't have to go on stage. He could NEVER do that...Or could he?
Picture book. A child is on a colorful journey through the seasons, filled with yellow flowers and blue coral in spring and summer and orange pumpkins and green pine forests in fall and winter. All the while, there is another colorful change on the horizon--the birth of a new sibling.
Picture book biography. In this lyrical biography of one of literature's most creepily creative authors and illustrators, kids will learn about the inspiration behind a generation of creators, from Lemony Snicket to Tim Burton.
Picture book. "This is the land that's never been sold, where work the hands, so wise and old, that reach through the water, clear and cold, into the mud to pick the taro to make the poi for our ohana's luau." Acclaimed illustrator and animator Kenard Pak's light-filled, dramatic illustrations pair exquisitely with Ilima Loomis' text to celebrate Hawaiian land and culture.
Picture book. It's an average day in the neighborhood--children play, roses are watered, and a crow watches over it all. But then two visitors arrive at two houses, one to help a family say hello to a new baby and one to help a family say goodbye to a beloved pet. This sensitive picture book takes a gentle look at life, death, the bonds of family, and the extraordinary moments that make ordinary days so special.
Picture book. Little Sofia befriends the Moon and sets off on a dreamy adventure to visit her friend. She sees our planet from the Moon's point of view and is inspired to do whatever she can to protect our Earth. When she wakes, Sofia encourages others to do the same.
Picture book. Three little cabritos have a clever plan to get past the grumpiest troll in the land. But then one of the billy goats wonders: Why is that gigante so grumpy, anyway? This thoughtful question sends their plan in a new direction, and the results are better than they ever imagined.
Non-fiction picture book. Lights glimmer, blaze and shine in this beautifully illustrated book about various forms of light. Informative back matter describes the scientific nature of light and how it's created.
Non-fiction early reader. Young readers will discover that dinosaur lives had many similarities to present-day animals: they hatched, ran, hunted, hid from predators, and grew to adulthood. However, the world these creatures from the far past inhabited was very different from that of today. Repetitive sight words make this a great story for beginning readers and dinosaur enthusiasts alike.
Picture book biography. A lyrical account of the life of Emily Dickinson shares inspirational insights into how her courage and faith shaped her literary achievements and how she infused her poetry with vibrant observations of the natural world surrounding her New England home.
Picture book. Retold for a modern audience, the story of The Phoenix of Persia is one of the ancient epic stories by the 10th century poet Ferdowsi. In ancient Persia, a king awaits the birth of his son but when the child is born with white hair and skin, he is banished to the forest. The young babe is brought up by the phoenix Simorgh until his father realizes the love he has lost and seeks his return.
Picture book. Told from the perspective of a Native American child, this bold and lyrical picture book written by Ojibwe/Métis author Carole Lindstrom and illustrated by Tlingit artist Michaela Goade is a powerful call to action to defend Earth's natural resources--inspired by the Dakota Access Pipeline protests and similar movements led by Indigenous tribes all across North America.
Picture book. This lyrical picture book from beloved creator Nikki McClure follows a family through one day and muses in the possibilities that one day holds-from enjoying treats at the bakery, to admiring handmade goods from local artisan shops, to observing the new construction in town.
Picture book. Ariel is a spirit of the air who can fly, ride on clouds, and glow like fire. Ariel joins the magician Prospero on a journey that will lead them to a beautiful island, a vengeful storm, confounding spells, and true romance. Narrated from Ariel's perspective, the story is told in language that is true to the original play but accessible to all.
Graphic novel. Meet Baloney! This book is about him. In this graphic novel for young readers, watch our pig protagonist perform some questionable magic, cheer him on as he braves the swimming pool, and root for Baloney and his friends when a case of the blues gets him down.
Picture book biography. Young Benjamin Franklin wants to be a sailor, but his father won't hear of it. But each time he tries - and fails - to find a different profession, he takes some important bit of knowledge with him.
First chapter book. Dylan lives on a remote island in the Pacific Northwest. One day he makes a dangerous discovery: an orca got stuck on the rocks during a storm. Racing against the sun and the heat, Dylan and his grandpa need to work together to figure out how to save the calf while his pod circles nearby.
Non-fiction picture book. After being denied a seat on a New York City streetcar, Elizabeth Jennings begins the fight for equality by telling her story in churches, to newspapers, and finally in the courtroom.
Picture book biography. Recounts the true story of Marguerite Lalanne, the tightrope walker who dazzled Paris as she danced across the sky with impeccable balance and unparalleled skill during the French Revolution, winning the adoration of the French people and royalty alike, including Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.
Picture book biography. Selena Quintanilla faced a challenge: people said that she would never make it in Tejano music, which was dominated by male performers. Selena was determined to prove them wrong. A true trailblazer, her success in Tejano music and her crossover into mainstream American music opened the door for other Latinx entertainers, and she became an inspiration.
Picture book. The Society of Distinguished Lemmings aims to be distinguished in every way. It takes a lot of rules to be so distinguished, including: no rolling around, no climbing about, and certainly no splashing in the mud! But after venturing outside, Bertie discovers a bear, who is very unlike a lemming. Will the Society accept Bertie's new friend, or is the bear simply too clumsy to be distinguished?
Non-fiction picture book. A compelling non-fiction picture book about the remarkable rescue of an orphaned orca calf, Springer (A73), whose story captured the hearts of whale lovers throughout the Pacific Northwest.
First chapter book. Third grader Vera Vance has signed up for the comics camp after-school program, but her mother would much rather she focus on academics, athletics, music...anything but comics! Vera Vance: Comics Star follows Nixie Ness: Cooking Star in the After-School Superstars chapter book series.
Non-fiction picture book. By 1926, there were no grey wolves left in Yellowstone National Park, due to a program by the US government to eliminate threats to livestock. In 1995, in an attempt to reverse this decline, the government reintroduced grey wolves to the park, and a remarkable restoration took place.
Non-fiction picture book. Creatively depicting the historic battle between women’s equality activist Alice Paul and the 28th American president as a four-round boxing match, an energetic picture book describes the strategic arguments and coordinated protests that Paul organized on behalf of voting rights.
Graphic novel. Brina, a city cat, moved to the mountains with the owners for a summer holiday. Here she meets some stray cats who call themselves "The Gang of the Feline Sun". The new friends convince her to escape her owners and become a free cat. Brina must make a choice to live with her owners, where it's safe (but confined) or go free in the wilderness.
Picture book. From mermaids and giant flowers to magical robes and mysterious characters, this full-color collection of old and new art from Emily Winfield Martin will inspire the artist and writer in you! Each glorious image is given a mysterious or magical one-line caption--the beginning of a story, or maybe the middle--you imagine the rest.
Non-fiction picture book. John Hancock and Samuel Adams were an unlikely pair of troublemakers. But working together, they rallied the people of Boston against the unfair policies of Great Britain and inspired American resistance.
Non-fiction picture book. Who will be the NEXT president? Could it be you?Right now there are at least 10 future presidents alive in America. They could be solving math problems or reading books. They could be making art--or already making change.
Non-fiction picture book. The mother-and-son team combine urgent text and evocative illustrations in a picture book account of the story of the Exxon Valdez oil spill and its devastating, ongoing impact on the ocean, its reef biome and its animals.
Non-fiction picture book. An empowering alphabet book celebrates famous and less-represented women artists in a variety of genres who have transformed the art world, from Frida Kahlo and Georgia O’Keeffe to Jaune Quick-to-See Smith and Xenobia Bailey.
Graphic novel. Russ's friendship with Andrew disintegrates when Russ gets a girlfriend, leaving the video they are making without an ending, but a close encounter with the legendary Jersey Devil brings them back together.
Historical fiction. One morning, neighbors Valentina Kaplan and Oksana Savchenko wake up to an angry red sky. A reactor at the nuclear power plant where their fathers work--Chernobyl--has exploded. Before they know it, the two girls find themselves on a train bound for Leningrad to live with Valentina's estranged grandmother. In their new lives in Leningrad, they begin to learn what it means to trust another person.
Mystery. Aggie Morton lives in a small town on the coast of England in 1902. Aggie hasn't got much to do...until the fateful day when she crosses paths with 12-year-old Belgian immigrant Hector Perot and discovers a dead body on the floor of the Mermaid Dance Room! Aggie and her new friend need to solve the case before Aggie's beloved dance instructor is charged with a crime Aggie is sure she didn't commit.
Fiction. 11-year-old Tally is starting 6th grade at Kingswood Academy and she really wants to fit in, which means somehow hiding her autism and trying to act "normal," like her former best friend Layla and her 14-year-old sister Nell. But as she records her thoughts and anxieties in her coping diary, Tally begins to wonder--what is "normal" anyway?
Non-fiction. Discover the most outrageous aspects of the deep blue---from record-breaking depths to towering tsunamis, underwater giants to tiny sea creatures--along with ocean conservation challenges and what you can do to help.
Fiction. 12-year-old Ben is a quiet kid. His life isn't perfect, but he feels at home in his New York City apartment. Then his parents separate, and Ben's mom moves them to Austin, Texas. When his mom starts working at his new school and making friends with his teacher, Ben finds himself at the center of all the problems the adults around him can't resolve--and even some of his own.
Non-fiction. Collects 80 of music's finest artiststo guide young people through the good, bad, and sad times. Organised by mood, readers can dip into the library to discover new artists from decades past to present day. Each entry contains biographical information, must-hear songs, and musical analysis from author and journalist Myles Tanzer.
Fiction. Rumours of attacks at the only park in Nellie Murrow's town are keeping her saddled to the house. Some townspeople say the attacks are gangs. Others blame a vagrant spotted on the hiking trails. But all of the fake online news and rumours are clouding the real news. Nellie wants to break the story but she can't do it alone. Creating a newspaper from scratch is going to be tough; but for Nellie, making friends is even harder.
Non-fiction. Fads and trends: How do they start? Why do they spread? And how deep can their impact be? Although trends might seem trivial, if you dig deeper, you'll find that our desire to chase the next big thing can have an even bigger impact than expected. This is a fun and timely tool for young readers who are building critical-thinking skills in the age of fake news and a world gone viral.
Fiction. After their mama dies, Jack and Birdie find themselves without a place to call home. And when Mama's two brothers each try to provide one--first sweet Uncle Carl, then gruff Uncle Patrick--the results are funny, tender, and tragic. They're also somehow...spectacular.
Non-fiction. Including groundbreaking computer scientists, doctors, inventors, physicists, pharmacists, mathematicians, aviators, and many more, this book celebrates over 50 women who have shattered the glass ceiling, defied racial discrimination, and pioneered in their fields.
Non-fiction. Do you know what you want to do when you grow up? Why not work as a babysitter...for sloths? Or become a farmer...of corpses? You might even grow up to be someone who gets paid to actually sleep on the job! From taste testers to dinosaur dusters, there are all kinds of incredible jobs that you've probably never heard of -- and one of them might be just right for you!
Fiction. Alberta has been the only black girl in town for years, so she is ecstatic to learn the new family across the street is black - and they have a 12-year-old daughter just like her, named Edie. When the girls discover a box of old journals in Edie's attic, they team up to figure out exactly who's behind them and why they got left behind. Soon they discover shocking and painful secrets of the past and learn that nothing is quite what it seems.
Historical fiction. Award-winning author Linda Sue Park has placed a young half-Asian girl, Hanna, in a small town in America's heartland, in 1880. Hanna's adjustment to her new surroundings, which primarily means negotiating the townspeople's almost unanimous prejudice against Asians, is at the heart of the story. The novel has poignant moments yet sparkles with humor, introducing a captivating heroine whose wry, observant voice will resonate with readers.
Graphic novel. When planet Earth blows up without warning, 13-year-old Kay becomes a chunk of space debris. She's rescued from the vacuum by Arizona, a space-waste collector, and Euclid, his cybernetic pet, and from there this unlikely trio blasts off for the most outlandish, hilarious, and occasionally bureaucratic adventure of their lives!
Non-fiction. Saints are ordinary men and women who touch the world in extraordinary ways. Each tale in this collection is more vivid than the last; also included in each entry are the saint's dates, location, emblems, and patronage. Taken together, they create a rich and entertaining story of faith and courage.
Non-fiction. Plastics were created to last forever-and that's the problem. It's estimated that by 2050, there will be more pounds of plastic in our oceans than pounds of fish. This book describes how plastics are made, explains why they are such an enormous problem for the environment, and examines why this problem has reached a crisis point and what can be done to clean it up.
Non-fiction. Burmese pythons are native to Southeast Asia, so when one showed up dead along the side of a Florida highway in 1979, scientists wondered where it came from. Pet pythons that escaped or were released by their owners started breeding in the wild, and these enormous predators began eating every animal in their path.