Wonder Walkers by Micha ArcherWhat it is: the story of two observant young explorers who wonder aloud about how the world works, depicted in spare text and busily patterned ink-and-collage illustrations.
Questions include: “Is the sun the world’s light bulb?” “Is fog the river’s blanket?” “Is dirt the world’s skin?”
Try this next: For further books that celebrate natural beauty and the curiosity of children, try Kari Holt's I Wonder, David Covell's Run Wild, or Jillian Tamaki's They Say Blue.
Keeping the City Going by Brian FlocaWhat it's about: In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, city-dwelling kids watch from their windows as essential workers help to sustain their communities
Featuring: the many people (and vehicles) who work in sanitation, communications, delivery, food supply, emergency response, health care, and more.
Read it for: a hopeful, down-to-earth view of a difficult time; the sense of motion and finely honed details in Caldecott Medalist Floca's illustrations.
Training Day by Raúl the Third; color by Elaine BayWhat it's about: Numero uno luchador El Toro doesn't feel like training, but with a big match ahead, his trainer Kooky Dooky is determined to motivate him.
Read it for: the energetic, comic book-style art and increasingly silly situations (such as El Toro smashing the "Spiked Piñatas of DOOM").
Series alert: Along with companion book Tag Team, Training Day kicks off a new series of bilingual easy readers set in the same town as ¡Vamos! Let's Go to the Market.
Sunrise Summer by Matthew Swanson; illustrated by Robbi BehrWelcome to: remote, rugged Alaska, where one family fishes for salmon every summer -- and where the youngest daughter is finally old enough to join the fishing crew.
Why kids might like it: The wealth of details in the text and in the sweeping, mixed media illustrations will appeal to kids who are hungry for real-world facts and curious about not-so-typical family activities.
About the creators: This book's married author and illustrator were inspired by their own family fishing expeditions.
Fatima's Great Outdoors by Ambreen Tariq; illustrated by Stevie LewisWhat it's about: Weary of the mean kids at school, Fatima finds solace in nature when she and her Indian immigrant family go camping for the first time.
Kids might also like: Carmen Bogan's Where's Rodney?, another own voices picture book emphasizing the freedom that children of color can experience while exploring the outdoors.
Author buzz: Author Ambreen Tariq founded @BrownPeopleCamping, a social media initiative to promote greater diversity among the outdoors community.
The Wolf, the Duck & the Mouse by Mac Barnett; illustrated by Jon KlassenStarring: a mouse who's gobbled up by a wolf -- eeep! -- only to discover that a duck has already made a cozy home inside the wolf's stomach.
What happens: While the mouse begins to appreciate the genial company, fine dining, and phonograph music in his new abode, the wolf's growing discomfort threatens their symbiosis.
For fans of: the offbeat humor and chunky, stylized illustrations of Barnett and Klassen's other collaborations, such as Extra Yarn and Sam and Dave Dig a Hole.
The Turnip by Jan BrettFeaturing: the parallel stories of Badger Girl, who can't pull a giant turnip from the garden (not even with help from all the other nearby animals), and a bear family, who are dismayed by the turnip protruding into their den.
Why kids might like it: Badger Girl's story is told through words, while the bears' story is depicted only in the intricate, folk art-inspired illustrations, allowing children to feel like they have insider info about this updated Russian folk tale.
Duck! by Megan McKinlay; illustrated by Nathaniel EckstromThe message: "DUCK!" shrieks the big-eyed mallard, frantically flapping into the barnyard.
The response: Assuming they've been misidentified, the offended cow, pig, horse, and sheep all scold the duck. Not even after he dons a bucket helmet do the animals suspect that the duck might be trying to warn them about fast-approaching peril.
Read it for: lessons about homonyms and misunderstandings, all wrapped up in a delightfully cartoonish story.
Bear Came Along by Richard T. Morris; illustrated by LeUyen PhamWhat it’s about: Bear’s impromptu log ride down a winding river turns into a group expedition as he’s joined by several other animals, each one bringing an enlightening new perspective to share.
Art alert: Perspective is also key to the retro illustrations, which show the animals’ journey from varying points of view, heightening both the goofy sight gags and the drama of an unexpected waterfall.
Once Upon a Goat by Dan Richards; illustrated by Eric BarclayThe setup: Longing for a child, a king and queen tell their fairy godmother that "any kid will do," prompting her to send them a baby -- a baby goat.
What happens: Disappointed (as well as frustrated by the rambunctious goat), the royals are reluctant parents at first. By the time the fairy godmother realizes her mistake, however, their family dynamic has taken a hilarious and heartwarming turn.
Read it for: the laugh-out-loud funny illustrations and inclusive message.
Contact your librarian for more great books for ages 0-8!