2023 Children's Books · Children's Book Recommendations

Father Picture Book Recommendations

Father picture book recommendations are by Angela Ferraris, The Retired School Librarian.

(This content contains Amazon affiliate links. When you buy through these links, I may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you).

Picture Books

A boy and his dad lying down in the back of a pickup truck looking up to the stars

A Bed of StarsΒ 

byΒ Jessica LoveΒ (Author, Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€ŽΒ Candlewick. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€ŽΒ 978-1536212396.

Brief summary: A boy with trouble falling asleep goes camping with his father. They pack up the pickup truck, Darlin’, and head for the desert. His father tells him about the plants and animal tracks. They build a fire and watch the sun set while sitting on the hood of the pickup until the stars come out. They get in the sleeping bag in the truck bed, enjoying the stars above them.

His father is able to teach his son how to connect with the universe and not feel so small. They drive home, where Mom has a surprise waiting for their boy.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Picture book cover of Finding Papa with a little girl on her mother's back as they wade through a river. Mai is thinkin of the crocodiles her father told her about living in the river.

Finding Papa 

by Angela Pham Krans (Author), Thi Bui (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž HarperCollins, 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0063060968.

Brief summary:Β Mai and her papa like to play crocodile chomp with their hands. Papa leaves Vietnam to go to America to make a better life for his wife and daughter. Mai does not understand where her father has gone and waits for him to return each day to play. Mama packs and bag and takes her little one on a long journey through the rice paddies, across a river, and onto a boat across the ocean to a refugee camp in Singapore until they are released when Mama travels in the city to find her husband.

This story is based on the author and her mother, who journeyed in 1983 from Vietnam to America. Both author and illustrator share their families’ journey of immigration.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

A young Chris Paul sitting on the shoulder of his granddad, Papa Chilly

Basketball DreamsΒ 

byΒ Chris PaulΒ (Author),Β Courtney LovettΒ (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€ŽΒ Roaring Brook Press. 2023. Prek-2. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€ŽΒ 978-1250810038.

Brief summary: Chris wants to become a basketball player and looks up to his granddad, Papa Chilly, for guidance as the man’s dreams have come true. He gets up early to practice. He learns how to be a good team player and to help others. Papa Chilly attends Chris’s games and cheers him on.

The back page has Chris Paul’s recollection of his grandfather and a photo of them.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

A father and son holding fishing poles while walking down a path with trees around them

Daddy & Me, Side by SideΒ 

byΒ Pierce FreelonΒ (Author),Β Nadia FisherΒ (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€ŽΒ Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. 2023. Prek-2. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€ŽΒ 978-0316055864.

Brief summary:Β A father and son go camping together. As they hike and fish, the father shares how he did the same with his father, who recently died. It almost feels like Pop-Pop is there with them as they create new and share old memories of being together.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

A proud little girl wearing a baseball hat and jean jacket standing in front of a large and red semi  truck

Trucker KidΒ 

byΒ Carol Gordon EksterΒ (Author),Β Russ CoxΒ (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€ŽΒ Capstone Editions. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€ŽΒ 978-1684466214.

Brief summary: Athena misses her father when he is trucking and has to leave the family for days. She loves ANYTHING to do with eighteen-wheelers and is proud to be a Trucker Kid. She shares her joy and enthusiasm with the kids at school. Her classmates understand her passion once her father visits the school via his semi to share everything about his job.

The back pages have sections Keep on Trucking and Author’s Note.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

Baba sitting on the persian rug with his six daughters

Baba’s Gift: A Persian Father’s Love of FamilyΒ 

byΒ Ariana Shaheen AminiΒ (Author),Β Christina Maheen AminiΒ (Author),Β Elaheh TaherianΒ (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€ŽΒ Little Bigfoot. 2023. Grades 2-4. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€ŽΒ 978-1632173232.

Brief summary: Baba shares stories with his six daughters while they sit and play on the Persian carpet of his boyhood in Iran and his stories of immigrating to America.

This is based on the true story of Dr. Fariborz Amini. Authors’ Notes in the back have a photo of the lovely family.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Kate is sitting on her father's shoulders with her backpack on

Hurry, Kate, or You’ll Be Late!

byΒ Janice N. HarringtonΒ (Author),Β Tiffany RoseΒ (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€ŽΒ Margaret Ferguson Books. 2023. PreK-1. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€ŽΒ 978-0823445103.

Brief summary: Kate was late to preschool this morning, but why? Was it because of her breakfast? Because she and her dad stopped to wave at friends?

Young readers will follow Kate and her father’s journey to go to preschool and ask to figure out and predict why Kate was late.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

 A girl and her Pop bearing into a box

Pop’s Perfect PresentΒ 

byΒ Corey FinkleΒ (Author),Β Lenny WenΒ (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€ŽΒ Henry Holt and Co. (BYR). 2023. PreK-3. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€ŽΒ 978-1250819444.

Brief summary: A young girl tries to think of the best gift to give her father because he is such a wonderful Pop. As they spend the day together, each attempt of creating the present is a failure. Will she be able to give her father the perfect present?

Humorous rhyming with a fun rhythm.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

A boy on the shoulders of his father; both are eating a doughnut

No Fair!Β 

byΒ Jacob GrantΒ (Author, Illustrator).Publisher ‏ : β€ŽΒ Viking Books for Young Readers. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€ŽΒ 978-0593117699.

Brief summary: Pablo and his father get on their bikes while their dog, Waffles, runs aside them. It’s Market Day, and Pablo wants a donut, but it is allowed once all the shopping is finished. As Pablo tries to help, he finds that everything he picks out is too big. He protests, “Not fair!” Will he realize with the help of his dad that not all things are fair?

This book could be a shared read-aloud with the father’s voice in black ink and the son’s in red.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

A father and his song djing together

My Dad Is a DJ 

by Kathryn Erskine (Author), Keith Henry Brown (Author, Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2023. PreK-3. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0374307424.

Brief summary: Trevor’s parents separate, and his father moves out. They once shared time listening to music late in the night after his father returned from being DJ. They would shoot baskets after school. He would even hear his father dedicate songs to him over the radio.

Lately, though, they have yet to connect since he moved out. His food preferences are different. He has a new friend his father has yet to meet. The end-of-the-year dance is coming up that his father has DJed. Will combining the latest hip-hop that Trevor likes and the soul his father favors work out? Will DJing together bring them closer?

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

Different family members of various ethinic backgrounds in a selfie pose

Dad and Daddy’s Big Big Family 

by Seamus Kirst (Author), Karen Bunting (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Magination Press. 2023. PreK-3. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1433840388.

Brief summary:Β Harper packs a suitcase and drives to a huge family reunion in a park with her fathers, where she meets family members for the first time, like her cousins, second cousins, and first cousins once removed. She also meets family she already knows. Harper learns that she has some things the same and different from everyone, but they are all connected by their love for one another.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

A father making a pink dress for his daughter who is hugging him from behind

Daddy Dressed Me 

by Michael Gardner (Author), Ava Gardner (Author), Nadia Fisher (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Aladdin. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1665921954.

Brief summary: Ava’s father is good at making things but especially sewing her dresses for special occasions. She will recite a poem onstage during Move Up Day and is worried she will forget the words.

Her father tells the nervous girl that he will help her memorize the lines and would like to sew a unique dress to boost her confidence. Will both of their hard work pay off on the big day?

Based on a true story which can be found in the back–The Story Behind the Story. Loved to see the photos of the real father and daughter duo.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

Maribel touching the koi pond making circular ripples

Maribel’s Year 

by Michelle Sterling (Author), Sarah Gonzales (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Katherine Tegen Books. 2023. PreK-3. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0063114357.

Brief summary: Maribel must wait an entire year before her father, who is in the Philippines, can rejoin his daughter and wife in America. Each month the young girl tells about the memories of her father and the emotional thoughts she has that he is with them again.

Illustrations change with each month and capture the feelings and thoughts of Maribel.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Man with a robin sitting in its nest on top of his head

My Dad Is a Tree 

by Jon Agee (Author). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Rocky Pond Books. 2023. Prek-2. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0593531372.

Brief summary: A young girl asks her father to stand with his arms outstretched and become a tree.

This whimsical story continues throughout the day, with more creatures visiting the father and making themselves comfortable as though he were a real tree.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Father Bear holding his song

Papa’s Home 

by David Soman (Author). Publisher ‏ : β€ŽLittle, Brown Books for Young Readers. 2023. PreK-2. Hardback picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0316427838.

Brief summary: Papa is going away for a little while, and Aunt Jessie will come to take care of the little bear. Father and son spend the day doing activities together. At the same time, the child asks questions about what it will be like when the father is away. The father quietly answers his child’s many questions with reassurance that everything will be okay.

Lovely illustrations that capture the emotional expressions of the father and child.

The text in this book allows for a reader’s theater opportunity with the child’s voice in green ink; Papa’s in purple ink.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

Board Books

Toddler being held by her father

Daddy’s Hugs and Snuggles 

by Linda Ashman (Author), Jane Massey (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Cartwheel Books. 2023. Baby-3. Board book with thick cardstock(not cardboard). ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1338854046.

Brief summary: A child tells in rhyme what their father does with them in that part of the day while another child continues until young readers have learned the morning, noon, and evening routines.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Cover of Daddy and Me with children and fathers

Daddy and Me 

by Gary Urda (Author), Rosie Butcher (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž little bee books. 2023. Baby-3. Board book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1499813517.

Brief summary: Each child shares what activity they share with their father.

Diverse with different families, backgrounds, and what the child calls their father. Papa, Dada, Pops, Baba, and so forth.

The illustrations are full pages with happy and bright colors matching the happiness of each child and father relationship.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

2023 Children's Books · Children's Book Recommendations

Narrative Nonfiction Picture Books-Spring 2023

Narrative nonfiction picture book recommendations are by Angela Ferraris, The Retired School Librarian.

(This content contains Amazon affiliate links. When you buy through these links, I may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you).

Narrative Nonfiction Picture Book Cover of Finding Family: The Duckling Raised by Loons with a fuzzy little duckling riding the back of a loon in the water

Finding Family: The Duckling Raised by Loons 

by Laura Purdie Salas (Author), Alexandria Neonakis (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Millbrook Press β„’ . 2023. Grades PreK-2. Hardcover Narrative Nonfiction Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1728442990.

Brief summary: A mother and father loon raise a mallard duckling. The duckling learns the ways of the loons, like eating minnows and taking food from them.

This story in verse is based on a true story in 2019 in a Wisconsin Lake as part of the Loon Project, where researchers observed a loon pair taking care of a duckling. What makes this unique is that loons usually drive away mallard ducks.

The back pages include sections such as Is This Story True?, The Intruder, and Very Different Birds(with a Venn Diagram).

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Rise to the Sky cover of the narrative nonfiction book that tells about tall trees with tall trees with deer eating grass underneath

Rise to the Sky: How the World’s Tallest Trees Grow Up 

by Rebecca E. Hirsch (Author), Mia Posada (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Millbrook Press β„’. 2023. PreK-3. Hardcover Narrative Nonfiction Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1728440873.

Brief summary: Young readers will learn about a tree’s life cycle from a tiny sprout to a tall tree.

Back sections include How Does a Tall Tree Grow?, Where Do the Tallest Trees Live?, and two activities.

The illustrations are cut-paper collages with watercolor but have photographs of the tallest trees in the back of the book.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Special Delivery cover with sky blue background with various means of transportation all done in cartoon style

Special Delivery: A Book’s Journey Around the World 

by Polly Faber (Author), Klas FahlΓ©n (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Candlewick Press. 2023. K-3. Hardcover Narrative Nonfiction Picture Book. Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Candlewick Press.

Brief summary: A book is made and journeys in various forms of transportation across the city, sea, and through the country until it reaches Pip’s Bookshop, where it is bought and sent to a grandson.

The back has Special Delivery Numbers of interesting statistics about the book’s journey.

Full, detailed illustrations with bright colors. I stopped and looked at each page to get more details of the transportation story from them.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

Cover of Yoshi with a little green turtle swimming in the ocean with other fish and plants

Yoshi, Sea Turtle Genius: A True Story About an Amazing Swimmer 

by Lynne Cox (Author), Richard Jones (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Anne Schwartz Books. 2023. PreK-3. Hardcover Narrative Nonfiction Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0593425688.

Brief summary: A Loggerhead hatchling finds her way across the Australian beach when the moon is full. She swims for the first time in the Indian Ocean, encountering many marine and land animals and fish on her journey.

The turtle is tangled in a net until a fisherman rescues her and helps her return to good health. Unable to keep the turtle, the fisherman gives her to an aquarium, where she is released into the sea with a tracking device. People can watch where she swims in the ocean. Will she make it back to her home?

This is a true story with more information in the Author’s Note.

I kept reading to find out more about Yoshi and if she was going to be okay or not.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Cover of Poop for Breakfast with various animals around a kitchen table with pile of poop on a plate

Poop for Breakfast: Why Some Animals Eat It 

by Sara Levine (Author), Florence Weiser (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Millbrook Press β„’. 2023. Grades 1-4. Hardcover Narrative Nonfiction Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1728457963.

Brief summary: Young readers will learn about why some animals eat feces. One can read a simple narrative or include a more correlating detailed description as the story continues teaching readers everything they need to know, including the correct terminology of why animals eat poop.

Well, I learned a lot from reading this book and recommend it to children and adults who desire to learn more about this topic, which was done in a very tasteful manner (excuse the pun).

The back sections include The Scoop on Poop, Be a Book Detective, By Any Other Name, and Further Reading.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Jumper: A Day in the Life of a Backyard Jumping Spider 

by Jessica Lanan (Author, Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Roaring Brook Press . 2023. PreK-3. Hardcover Narrative Nonfiction Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1250810366.

Brief summary:  As soon as I open the book, I meet the main character as big as bean, Jumper, a jumping spider. Jumper is hungry and goes hunting for food in the family’s backyard. She jumps without worry as her silk is a safety line. Vibrations help the spider know if a predator or prey is nearby. Will Jumper ever find dinner, or will she become dinner?

Excellent back sections with more details about his spider, with close-ups illustrated by hand. A few other spiders are discussed, along with the life cycle of a jumping spider. There is a Glossary, Author’s Note, Finding and Identifying Spiders, and Resources sections.

This book begins and ends on the paste-down end pages. There is a fold-out demonstrating how a spider sees with eight eyes.

This book asks readers questions to pause and reflect upon the spider’s life. Dialogic reading.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

The Forest Keeper– The True Story of Jadav Payeng 

by Rina Singh (Author), Ishita Jain (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž NorthSouth Books. 2023. PreK-3. Hardcover Narrative Nonfiction Biography Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0735845053.

Brief summary: Jadav Payeng, a tribal boy living in India, went to the elders in 1979 when the Brahmaputra River took large parts of the islands’ land mass away when it flooded. He wanted them to help him plant trees on an island called Majuli to help prevent the island from disappearing.

The forest department gave him bamboo seedlings and told him to plant the forest himself. So, he did. Has the past thirty years of his hard work helped the area and animals?

The front and end pages give more details about this passionate individual whose hard work and dedication completely changed Mujuli Island and the Molai Forest(named after him). It can take just one person to make a significant impact in a positive way.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Nobody Likes Frogs: A Book of Toadally Fun Facts 

by Barbara Davis-Pyles (Author), Liz Wong (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Little Bigfoot. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover Narrative Nonfiction Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1632173355.

Brief summary: A turtle narrates how much it does not like frogs while learning all about them as the story progresses. Does the turtle have a change of heart? Will the reader?

The back sections are Frog Facts and Be Somebody Who Likes Frogs by Helping Them!. The pasted-down end pages are full of different types of frogs.

This is a general book about frogs. I learned that frogs can live as long as twenty years.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

2023 Children's Books · Children's Book Recommendations

More Biography Picture Book Recommendations

More biography picture book recommendations are by Angela Ferraris, The Retired School Librarian.

(This content contains Amazon affiliate links. When you buy through these links, I may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you).

Biography picture book cover of Charles Drew with a doctor in a white lab coat and stethoscope around his neck

Charles Drew: The Innovator of the Blood Bank (Bright Minds) 

by Aaron Talley (Author), Subi Bosa (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Children’s Press. 2023. Grades 4-6. Paperback or Hardcover Biography Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1338865356.

Brief summary: Charles Drew created a technique that separates the different parts of blood called centrifuging, which helped the blood stay fresh longer in storage. He is known for improving the blood banks and just in time for World War II when bloodmobiles and the American Red Cross enabled people to give and receive blood wherever they lived.

The back pages have sections such as a glossary, legacy, questions, index, and further reading.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

Biography picture book cover of the cover of Eleanor Roosevelt: Her Path to Kindness with a young girl with long blond hair wearing a pink dress sitting on a rock with a book in one hand and violets in the other

Eleanor Roosevelt: Her Path to Kindness

by Helaine Becker (Author), Aura Lewis (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Christy Ottaviano Books. 2023. Grades 1-3. Hardcover Biography Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0316316415.

Brief summary: Eleanor Roosevelt’s parents and brother died within two years of each other. She lived with her Grandmother. At age fifteen, she was sent to a girls’ boarding school in England, where a teacher helped her realize her potential. Eleanor became a leader of the girls and helped everyone. She left her senior year to return to the USA, where she was expected to debut and find a husband but had other plans.

The Author’s note in the back gives more details about Eleanor Roosevelt’s life. Several of her famous quotes are cited.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

Cover of You Gotta Meet Mr. Pierce with a man sitting on a chair carving a wooden elephant with shelves of paint

You Gotta Meet Mr. Pierce!: The Storied Life of Folk Artist Elijah Pierce

by Chiquita Mullins Lee (Author), Carmella Van Vleet (Author), Jennifer Mack-Watkins (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Kokila. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover Biography Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0593406502.

Brief summary:  Columbus, Ohio, artist Elijah Pierce shares with a young artist how he was inspired to carve wood. Elijah cuts the boy’s hair and continues how he got ideas for his many art pieces hanging all around the barbershop. The boy leaves with a fresh cut and thoughts of creating with his new box of colored pencils his mother gave him earlier.

The back pages contain Elijah Pierce’s honors, Authors’ Notes, Artist’s Note, and information about Elijah Pierce’s Art used in the book.

I remember going to the Columbus Museum of Art and seeing his art and getting to know who the artist was based on his subject matter in the art.

This book contains quotes from Elijah, but the boy in the story is fictional.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Biography picture book cover of Never Give Up with Dr. Kati Kariko wearing a white lab coat. Microscope and beakers are on a table.

Never Give Up: Dr. Kati KarikΓ³ and the Race for the Future of Vaccines 

by Debbie Dadey (Author), Juliana Oakley (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Millbrook Press β„’ . 2023. Grades 2-5. Hardcover Biography Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1728456331.

Brief summary: Hungarian-American scientist Dr. Kati Kariko has always wanted to be a scientist. She studied mRNA(messenger ribonucleic acid) in a biology research center, wondering if she could make new mRNA that would send the message to make suitable proteins for people to heal.

She moved to America and failed to get mRNA to work with cells, so she worked at various universities. She met Drew Weissman, another scientist interested in mRNA. After eight years, they wrote a paper about mRNA. She was offered several jobs but chose to work at BioNTech in Germany. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, scientists at BioNTech and Pfizer worked together to design a vaccine using an mRNA vaccine to fight the virus.

The back pages include Timeline, Steps To Making a Vaccine, Author’s Note, Glossary, Source Notes, and Further Study sections.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Cover of Ice Cream Man with Augustus Jackson offering a scoop of ice-cream with a nice smile

Ice Cream Man: How Augustus Jackson Made a Sweet Treat Better 

by Glenda Armand (Author), Kim Freeman (Author), Keith Mallett (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Crown Books for Young Readers . 2023. PreK-3. Hardcover Narrative Nonfiction Biography Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0593563229.

Brief summary: Augustus Jackson left his home in Philadelphia at twelve to go to Washington, DC, to follow his dream as a cook. He became an expert at making ice cream. He was hired at the White House and stayed for five years.

He returned home and opened his own ice cream parlor. He created a faster way to freeze ice cream, as refrigerators/freezers still needed to be invented. He could come up with making ice cream in half the time and ship his own ice cream by train without it melting.

Nicknamed the “Father of Ice Cream”

The back pages include Make Your Own Ice-Cream, Afterword, and Sources sections.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Cover of The Firs Woman Cherokee Chief with Wilma Pearl Mankiller talking behind a podium that has a microphone

The First Woman Cherokee Chief: Wilma Pearl Mankiller (Step into Reading) 

by Patricia Morris Buckley (Author), Aphelandra Messer (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Random House Books for Young Readers . 2023. Grades 1-2. Paperback or Hardcover Reader Biography Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0593568507.

Brief summary: Wilma Pearl Mankiller lived in Oklahoma on Cherokee lands until a drought caused her father to move to the city for work. Pearl(the name she preferred) hated the city and stayed at her grandmother’s farm for a year. She moved back to the city and connected with other Native people at the American Indian Center.

In 1969, there was a protest at Alcatraz about the Native lands stolen by the government. Pearl supported and helped Native people many times and later became the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Cover of Carol Burnett wearing a blue evening dress with dangling earrings. She is tugging on her left ear.

Carol Burnett: A Little Golden Book Biography 

by Andrea Posner-Sanchez (Author), Kelly Kennedy (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Golden Books. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover Biography Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0593481912.

Brief summary: Carol Burnett was born in Texas and was raised by her grandmother, Nanny. When she was seven, they moved to Hollywood, California, where Nanny would take Carol to see several movies weekly. Carol would reenact them on their apartment’s rooftop and later study theater arts in college. After seeing her perform, a stranger gave her $1,000, urging her to go to New York. She had to promise to pay him back in five years and to never reveal his identity. Carol became famous on the Garry Moore Show and then had her own tv show that aired for eleven seasons.

Carol’s famous left ear tug on TV was her way of saying hello to her grandmother, something she did even after the woman’s passing.

If you are unfamiliar with Little Golden Books, they are smaller than a “regular” picture book–Dimensions ‏ : β€Ž 6.63 x 0.19 x 8 inches.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

If you enjoy A Little Golden Book Biographies like I do , click here for more titles; priced affordably.

Biography picture books of Temple Grandin as a child sitting on grass with dogs and cows in the background

I am Temple Grandin (Ordinary People Change the World)

by Brad Meltzer (Author), Christopher Eliopoulos (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Rocky Pond Books. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover Biography Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0593405970.

Brief summary: Temple Grandin was born with autism and did not act or respond like other babies and toddlers did to things and situations. Her mother found a speech therapist to help Temple speak her first words at age four. Through her sensitivity and empathy towards cattle, she was able to help better design the cattle chute for them to feel calmer and how to build round pens because she noticed they could go around a curve easier. She also discovered how to make cows feel calmer by going down into the water for a bath to get rid of insects on them by changing the steel ramp to a textured concrete one.

Temple was able to go to college and even receive a doctorate degree. She teaches and does research at Colorado State University. The book explains how she thinks and feels in the first-person narrative.

I highly recommend this book for parents, teachers, and librarians to share with those with autism to be inspired by Temple’s life’s accomplishments.

Smaller than an average picture book–Dimensions ‏ : β€Ž 7.94 x 0.33 x 7.88 inches

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

2023 Children's Books · Children's Book Recommendations

Mother-Themed Children’s Books

Mother-Theme children’s book recommendations are by Angela Ferraris, The Retired School Librarian.

(This content contains Amazon affiliate links. When you buy through these links, I may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you).

Mother-Themed children’s books can be shared throughout the year, not only on Mother’s Day or as a baby shower gift for an expecting mother. Young readers like to cuddle and read with their moms all year long.

Board Books

Cover of ABCs of Love for Mom with mother and baby animals

ABCs of Love for Mom (Books of Kindness)

by Patricia Hegarty (Author), Summer Macon (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Rodale Kids. 2023, Baby-3. Board Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0593651926.

Brief summary: A rhyming alphabet book board book teaching the ABCs as well as the correlating social and emotional words that Moms share and do with their children.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

This book is one of the “Books of Kindness” series. Learn more here.

Cover for Mommy's Kisses and Cuddles with a mother holding her child

Mommy’s Kisses and Cuddles 

by Linda Ashman (Author), Jane Massey (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Cartwheel Books. 2023. 3-5 years old. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1338359770.

Brief summary: A calming rhyming book with moms and their children sharing the different parts of the day.

Please note: This books is a cross between a board book and a picture book with heavier cardstock paper but not cardboard. The size is 7.32 x 0.39 x 8.03 inches.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

You may be interested in “Daddy’s Hugs and Snuggles” from this author. Learn more here.

Cover for Amazing Moms with a mother rabbit holding her baby rabbis

Amazing Moms 

by Alison Brown (Author). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Silver Dolphin Books. 2023. Baby-2. Board Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1667203928.

Brief summary: Cute animal moms interact with love and support to their babies, all with rhythm and rhyme.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Cover for She is Mama. A mother is holding her child with a rainbow behind them in a garden of flowers

She Is Mama 

by Mackenzie Porter (Author), Heather Brockman Lee (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Little Simon. 2023. Baby-2. Board Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1665926980.

Brief summary: Mothers care for their children in various activities and are always there. This book is in rhyme.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Picture Books

Cover of If You Were the Moon, My Love with a purple moon in a quarter crescent

If You Were the Moon, My Love

By Alina Loux (author & illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Ken-Ken Books. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover. ISBN: 979-8-9865279-4-9.

Brief summary: This gentle rhyming and rhythmic lullaby of unconditional love for a parent to a child will give your little one sweet dreams.

Each stanza is a single illustration that extends across both pages with calm, eye-pleasing colors. At the same time, the four-line stanzas have an ABCB rhyming pattern that is soothing to the ears.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Cover for Sari-Sari- Summers with lola and her granddaughter, Nora in front of the store

Sari-Sari Summers 

by Lynnor Bontigao (Author, Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Candlewick. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1536226140.

Brief summary: Nora is old enough this summer to help her lola, her grandmother, in the sari-sari store in the Philippines. The granddaughter cleans all of the shelves that hold various items in the little store.

A heat wave comes, and all the customers stay home from the hot sun. Lola has an idea to bring back business.

Traditional text as well as speech bubbles. Recipe on the back page. Several two-page spreads.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

Cover for Milko with a boy hugging a bunch of pink with monarch butterflies around him

Milko 

by Samuel Narh & Freda Narh (Author), Alisa Knatko (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Chasing A Spider Publishing . 2023. Grades 1-2. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1734789720.

Brief summary: Milko misses his mother, who has gone to Ethiopia for a year instead of being home with them in Bolivia. His sister, Abena, cries too, but Papa cannot console them. No one does it like Mama.

Milko counts down the days. Will she ever return?

I recommend this to school counselors/librarians/teachers, and parents who are away for jobs/military deployment/social work.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Cover for One Day of the bacck of a mother holding a baby over her shoulder whose face we see

One Day 

by Joanna Ho (Author), Faith Pray (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž HarperCollins. 2023. Baby-2nd Grade. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0063056923.

Brief summary: A mother cradles her infant son and dreams and shares all the wonderful ways her boy will be as he grows up.

Beautiful two-paged spread illustrations.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Cover of Because I'm Your Mom with a Monster mom with two horns holding her baby monster up in the air

Because I’m Your Mom 

by Ahmet Zappa (Author), Dan Santat (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0316338219.

Brief summary: A monster mom tells her child all the fun and silly things they can share together, no matter how outrageous they may seem.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

If you enjoy this book, you may be interested in reading Because I’m Your Dad.

Cover of Miss Irwin with a pastel image similar to Impressionism style of a woman and a little boy who is holding up a brown bag to her

Miss Irwin 

by Allen Say (Author, Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Scholastic Press. 2023. Grades PreK-3. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1338300406.

Brief summary: Andy notices his grandmother’s front door is open and stops by to let her know. He discovers his mother is watering the roses. Andy goes inside the kitchen to keep his Grandma company. He notices a white box and takes it to her, wondering what is inside.

His grandmother believes she is his kindergarten teacher, Miss Irwin. Andy plays along, remembering that his mother told him his grandmother was struggling with her memory. He learns about a boy named Willie and what is inside the box.

Allen Say certainly captured Alzheimer’s with a compassionate story all can understand. The illustrations of the images are not seen clearly and symbolize blurred memories.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Cover of Mommy Time of a mother holding a baby boy and the older sister outside in flowers

Mommy Time 

by Monique James-Duncan (Author), Ebony Glenn (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Candlewick. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1536212266.

Brief summary: A stay-at-home mom spends time with her boy as the father and sister are away. The daughter is collected from school, and now the two children share mommy time.

The book is about a day in the mom’s life and the time she spends with her children.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

2023 Children's Books · Children's Book Recommendations

Earth Day and Earth Picture Books

Earth Day and Earth picture book recommendations are by Angela Ferraris, The Retired School Librarian.

(This content contains Amazon affiliate links. When you buy through these links, I may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you).

Earth and Earth Day covers

Earth Day Picture Books

Cover of the picture book The Day the River Caught Fire with three children looking at the river on fire

The Day the River Caught Fire: How the Cuyahoga River Exploded and Ignited the Earth Day Movement

by Barry Wittenstein (Author), Jessie Hartland (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books . 2023. Grades 2-5. Hardcover Narrative Nonfiction Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1534480834.

Brief summary:  In the summer of 1969, the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland caught fire from the sparks of a train railcar falling into the water. It was not the first time the river caught on fire.

Young readers will learn about how the river became so polluted and what happened to change the pollution from continuously building.

Back pages include sections: Author’s Note, Environmental Time Line, Clean Water Act, To Learn More, and a Bibliography.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

The picture book cover of Black Beach with Sam holding a picket sign saying "Save our planet." Marine animal life are with her while the oil rig is spilling oil onto the water

Black Beach: A Community, an Oil Spill, and the Origin of Earth Day 

by Shaunna & John Stith (Author), Maribel Lechuga (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž little bee books . 2023. Grades K-4. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1499813043.

 Brief summary: Sam is in class in Santa Barbara when she sees her teacher look outside the window after the principal whispers to her and wonders why. Her parents explain to her about Union Oil causing an oil spill near where they live. The family walks to their favorite beach to find that the beach and ocean are black with oil. The town tries to clean the oil from the beach and help the animals covered with it.

A national day was created from this disaster and organized to celebrate and protest the environment which still exists today called Earth Day, April 22, 1970.

There are several sections in the back of the book: Author’s Note, Selected Bibliography, Timeline, Earth Day Today, Earth Day Every Day, and How to Become an Environmental Activist.

Teachers and homeschooling parents could share this book as a supplement in addition with Earth Day activities.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Earth and World Picture Books

Picture book cover of Stillwater and Koo Save the World with a grown panda and a Panda cub walking on the globe of the earth while carrying red umbrellas

Stillwater and Koo Save the World (A Stillwater and Friends Book) 

by Jon J Muth (Author, Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Scholastic Press . 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1338812312.

Brief summary: Koo wakes up and wants to save the world, and his uncle suggests cleaning his room first. Throughout the day, the uncle and nephew do small and thoughtful acts. Koo shares his feelings of wanting to save the world and learns how to make a difference in their world through acts of kindness.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

Cover of the picture book titled No World Too Big with three children holding up a globe of the earth

No World Too Big: Young People Fighting Global Climate Change

by Lindsay H. Metcalf (Author), Jeanette Bradley (Author, Illustrator), Keila V. Dawson (Author). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Charlesbridge. 2023. 2-5 grade. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1623543136.

Brief summary: Twelve poems written by children worldwide promoting global activisms. A paragraph explains what each child is doing and how the reader can help. 

Back pages include sections: From Me…, To We…, Glossary, Poetry Forms, and About the Poets.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Picture book cover of Cool Green with a grandfather carrying his granddaughter on his shoulder while walking in a forest

Cool Green: Amazing, Remarkable Trees 

by Lulu Delacre (Author, Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Candlewick. 2023. PreK -2. Hardcover Nonfiction Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1536220407.

Brief summary: A landscaper teaches his granddaughter why he loves trees. Each tree is described in a poem.

Back pages include sections: A Note From the Author-Illustrator, Why Trees?, Cool Facts About the Trees in This Book, For Further Exploration, and A Bibliography.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

Cover of the picture book title The Tree and the River with a lone tree on the banks of a river

The Tree and the River 

by Aaron Becker (Author, Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Candlewick. 2023. PreK-5. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1536223293.

Brief summary: This wordless picture book begins with a tree growing on the banks of a river. It observes humans throughout the many decades changing with the seasons and years that have gone by.

Aaron Becker brilliantly captures the Mother Nature vs. humankind aspect through these detailed and thought-provoking illustrations.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Picture book cover of Flipflopi with a boy and his father building a boat with the community in the background collect plastic out of the ocean.

Flipflopi: How a Boat Made from Flip-Flops Is Helping to Save the Ocean 

by Linda Ravin Lodding (Author), Dipesh Pabari (Author), Michael Machira Mwangi (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Beaming Books. 2023. K-3. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1506486406.

Brief summary: Juma walks with his grandfather to go fishing on the beach and is met with all sorts of plastic trash and thousands of flip-flops. The community comes together and gathers all of the endless plastic waste and melts it to make a dhow boat.

This is based a on a true story which is explained in the back pages along with sections: Ocean Pollution, How Dan You Help?, and Glossary.

What a “make lemonade out of lemons” story!

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Cover of Climate Warriors showing various photos of the different scientist with a green background.

Climate Warriors: Fourteen Scientists and Fourteen Ways We Can Save Our Planet

by Laura Gehl (Author). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Millbrook Press. 2023. Grades 3-8. Hardcover Nonfiction. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1728460406.

Brief summary: There is an introduction to define climate change before each of the fourteen scientists’ chapter. There are a variety of different scientists who explains ways they are working and studying to help the Earth. Each section concludes with recommendations from the scientist and what we can do.

The book ends with ideas of how we all can be a climate warrior.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

The picture book cover of The World and Everything In It with bits and piece of the illustrations inside all around the title such as a dog, cloud, kitten, and so on

The World and Everything in It

by Kevin Henkes (Author, Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Greenwillow Books. 2023. PreK-1. Hardcover Picture Book.ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0063245648.

Brief summary: This book shares what is around us in the world: big, small, and between. The soft and calming illustrations are done with brown ink and watercolor paint, demonstrating the size differences.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

The picture book cover of You Are My Pride with a large sailboat on the blue ocean

You Are My Pride: A Love Letter from Your Motherland 

by Carole Boston Weatherford (Author), E. B. Lewis (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Astra Young Readers. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1635923872.

Brief summary: This touching poem, illustrated with large two-page illustrations done in watercolors, is a lovely letter from Mother Nature telling her human children how much she has loved them since the beginning of their creation on Earth.

Back pages briefly explain the Developments in Early Human Evolution.

Educators–this would be a great supplement to use with the different viewpoints unit of study.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

2023 Children's Books · Children's Book Recommendations

New Poetry Picture Books

Poetry picture book recommendations are by Angela Ferraris, The Retired School Librarian.

(This content contains Amazon affiliate links. When you buy through these links, I may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you).

Cover of a poetry picture book titled How to Write a Poem done with a girl riding a unicycle over a bunch of wheels

How to Write a Poem

by Kwame Alexander (Author), Deanna Nikaido (Author), Melissa Sweet (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Quill Tree Books. 2023. Grades 3-5. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0063060906.

Brief summary: Young readers (and future poetry writers) are encouraged to feel and use their imagination as they observe the world around them. They are inspired to write it down as poetry.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

If you enjoy this book, you may also like How to Read a Book.

Cover of a poetry picture book titled Push-Pull Morning with a child hugging a dog

Push-Pull Morning: Dog-Powered Poems About Matter and Energy 

by Lisa Westberg Peters (Author), Serge Bloch (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Wordsong. 2023. Grades 2-4. Hardcover Nonfiction Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1635925272.

Brief summary: A fun introduction to physics in free verse poetry about a child and dog experiencing everyday life.


Each poem’s physics correlation is explained at the back of the book. This book could be shared in science units when each physics aspect is introduced to give students an idea of seeing it in the world around them.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Poetry picture book cover of Where I Live with a child playing in a park in a city with stores and apartment buildings in the background.

Where I Live: Poems About My Home, My Street, and My Town 

by Paul B. Janeczko (Author), Hyewon Yum (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Candlewick. 2023. 1-3. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1536200942.

Brief summary: This is a collection of twenty-four poems divided into three sections: home, street, and town. The variety of poets and authors is diverse, with examples of several different types of poemsβ€”an excellent poetry addition to any library.

The illustrator captures the mood and characteristics of each poem.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Poetry picture book cover of The Dream Train with a girl holding  a megaphone riding on a train with the background of bright colors all swirled together

The Dream Train: Poems for Bedtime 

by Sean Taylor (Author), Anuska Allepuz (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Candlewick. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1536228342.

Brief summary: Thirty poems are divided into three sections: Night Arrives, Shut-Your-Eyes Time, and Dream Wheels Turning. The poems are a variety of different forms and with a variety of settings and characters. 

The illustrations are colorful and completely fill all of the pages. Very well done.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

Poetry picture book cover of Trees with a child sitting on a branch of a tree looking into a lake

Trees: Haiku from Roots to Leaves 

by Sally M. Walker (Author), Angela Mckay (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Candlewick. 2023. Grades 2-5. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1536215502.

Brief summary: This is a collection of haikus about a tree’s life cycle and the changes of every season. There are many two-paged illustrations.

The back pages have information about a tree’s life, including wild and urban forests. There is also an author’s note and a glossary.

For more details, click here.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

Author quotes · Children's Book Recommendations

Four New Picture Books–Origins

Origins picture book recommendations are by Angela Ferraris, The Retired School Librarian.

(This content contains Amazon affiliate links. When you buy through these links, I may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you).

Sunrise

New Picture Books

The picture book cover of We Go Way Back with two molecules with eyes are beginning to separate into two

We Go Way Back: A Book About Life on Earth and How it All Began

by Idan Ben-Barak (Author), Philip Bunting (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Roaring Brook Press. 2023. Grades 1-4. Narrative Nonfiction Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1250850799.

Brief summary: Young readers examine the definition of “life” and where it all begins. The book explores a complex question by breaking it down into a slow progression of how the earth was created and how molecules formed.

Large and colorful illustrations also help clarify the concepts.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

The picture book cover of Remember with red and pink Mother Nature images around the beautiful face of the girl with long braided black hair

Remember 

by Joy Harjo (Author), Michaela Goade (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Random House Studio. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0593484845.

Brief summary: The poem encourages a young girl to remember one’s heritage, parents, and Mother Nature through reflection of how all is connected.

The eye appealing two-page glossy illustrations are in the voice of the Indigenous culture.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

The picture book cover of We Are Human Animals with a child and wolf looking into each other's eyes

We Are Human Animals 

by Rosie Haine (Author and Illustrator). Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. 2023. K-3. Narrative Nonfiction Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0802856012.

Brief summary: The family and people are Upper Paleolithic hunter-gathers who lived about 25,000 years ago when humans rose with the sun and slept when it set. They made tools from Nature around them, ate what they picked or caught, and everything they owned was handmade. Some animals were their friends, while others were eaten (or run from). The stars were their GPS. They were closer to Nature. We are still human animals but are very different today in many ways.

Author’s Note briefly explains how the first humans lived on Earth.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

How the Sea Came to Be: (And All the Creatures In It) 

by Jennifer Berne (Author), Amanda Hall (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. 2023. K-4. Narrative Nonfiction Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0802854780.

Brief summary: This narrative nonfiction picture book is divided into Part One: The Birth of the Sea, Part Two: The Birth of Life, Part Three: All That the Sea Came to Be…From Then to Now, and a section of informative back pages including a foldout of ocean creatures over time.

The text is in a stanza of four lines with lines 2 & 4 rhyming. The illustrations are large and colorful and had me stopping to soak up the way the creatures were evolving.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

2023 Children's Books · Children's Book Recommendations

New Picture Books About Library Books

Library book picture book recommendations are by Angela Ferraris, The Retired School Librarian.

(This content contains Amazon affiliate links. When you buy through these links, I may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you).

Cover of picture book, This is a Story, of a girl book hugging a book.

This Is a Story 

by John Schu (Author), Lauren Castillo (Illustrator). Publisher: β€Ž Candlewick. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1536204520.

Brief summary: The title page begins this story with a girl receiving a library card from her father.

One word on a page of a book from a shelf waits in a library. A little girl walks to the library with her father and younger sibling. She goes into the children’s section carrying a seahorse kite, where a librarian helps her narrow her search from many of the books to the perfect one–a sea horse library book. She begins to read. Other readers in the area are reading books we all know and love that are connected to our hearts and imagination.

The little girl has found her special library book and now helps her younger brother find his. She uses her library card to check out.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

If you enjoy this book, you may like John Schu’s This is a School.

Cover of picture book, This Book is my Best Friend with two children in a library both pulling in opposite directions of a book

This Book Is My Best Friend 

by Robin Robinson (Author, Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1665906814.

Brief summary: Two best friends, Sunny and Aarush, want to check out the same library book, Factory Friends, but there is only one copy. They each try to persuade the other why the book is their best friend and needs it more. Having failed at trying to book talk each other into other books to check out instead, they realize how to share the library book.

I recommend this book to school librarians who have students fighting over a book, as I have done many times in my school libraries. (They did not always share, so I had a big die on my desk. The one who rolled the highest number could read it first).

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

Cover of Palace of Books with author and illustrator, Patricia Polacco as a girl looking at the Willard Library

Palace of Books 

by Patricia Polacco (Author, Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books. 2023. PreK-5. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1534451315.

Brief summary: As a girl, Patricia Polacco’s family moves from Union City to Battle Creek, Michigan. It is hard for her to adjust from living in a rural area with birds, trees, and wheat fields to a place in the city. She is thrilled that a bird has a nest in a tree outside her bedroom.

One day she walks home from school, taking a different route, and discovers a stately building with giant pillars along the front with many steps leading up to a porch.

She discovers it is the Willard Library and full of books for people to borrow. She gets up enough courage to go inside, where she meets the librarian, Mrs. Creavy, who helps her find bird books and even shares the notable books of John James Audubon, full of watercolors of birds.

Soon, Patricia paints birds and shares them with her class. Mrs. Creavy has given the class tickets to visit the Bird Sanctuary. This sparks an Audubon bird club at Fremont Elementary School for the next sixty years.

I will always recommend a book by Patricia Polacco, as she is one of the best storytellers and illustrators in the USA. I was honored to have her as a guest author for our elementary school. I will always cherish having lunch with this legendary author and illustrator that day in our little elementary library.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

The Library Fish Learns to Read (The Library Fish Books) 

by Alyssa Satin Capucilli  (Author), Gladys Jose  (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books. PreK-2. 2023. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1534477070.

Brief summary: Library Fish lives in a bowl on Mr. Hughes’s, the librarian, desk where she watches the students check books in and out of the public library. One day, she is listening to Mr. Hughes tell a story about a dog learning how to read and is inspired that she too would like to learn to read. After the librarian said good night, Library Fish gets out of her bowl (with special accommodations), and begins to teacher her self the ABCs. Each night she practices until she can read books.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

2023 Children's Books · Children's Book Recommendations

New Picture Books–Earth

Earth-themed picture book recommendations are by Angela Ferraris, The Retired School Librarian.

(This content contains Amazon affiliate links. When you buy through these links, I may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you).

Earth-Themed Picture Books

The picture book cover of My Baba's Garden with Baba and author, Jordan Scott, as a boy walking through a garden

My Baba’s Garden 

by Jordan Scott (Author), Sydney Smith (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Neal Porter Books. 2023. PreK-3. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0823450831.

Brief summary: Author, Jordan Scott, recalls visiting with his Baba at her home. His father would drop Jordan off to have breakfast with his Baba and afterwards, they would walk together to his school. If it was raining, Baba would look for worms and put them in a glass jar to take home for her garden.


His baba would retrieve him after school, and they would spend time in her garden learning about the plants. This is their usual routine until she moves in with the family when a new building is built over her home. Not able to have a full garden any longer, she keeps a little garden in her room.

Told through the first-person point of view by the boy.

Jordan Scott wrote one of the most lovely book dedications I’ve ever read.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

The picture book cover of Around Antarctica with blues and whites illustrations of people in winter gear, and winter sports, and animals of the Antarctica

Around Antarctica: Exploring the Frozen South 

by Tania Medvedeva (Author), Maria Vyshinskaya (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Thames & Hudson. 2023. Grades 3-6. Hardcover Nonfiction Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0500653135.

Brief summary: Wow. Love this book! It is full of everything a young reader needs to know about Antarctica, and all done with regular text, speech bubbles, and nonfiction text features. Children will stop and examine the detailed illustrations before turning to the next page.

The several foldouts make a whole sphere, full of information and fun pictures.
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The book’s format is a fourth of a sphere but can fit appropriately on a shelf.

This is a must for any school or public library and would make a superb book gift for the young reader in the family(as well as adult book lovers). Cleverly done.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

The picture book cover of City Beet with Mrs. Kosta and Victoria leaning against a giant red beet with neighbors and apartments in the background

City Beet

by Tziporah Cohen (Author), Udayana Lugo (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Sleeping Bear Press. 2023 PreK-2. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1534112711.

Brief summary: Mrs. Kosta and Victoria plant and nurture a beet seed until it ripens. The woman begins to harvest the gigantic beet but cannot remove it from the ground, no matter how hard she tugs. Several neighbors stop by the garden to help pull, creating a line out to the sidewalk until the vegetable is uprooted with a big “SPROING!!”

There is an Author’s Note and Raw Beet & Garlic Salad Recipe in the back.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

The picture book cover of Black Beach with Sam holding a picket sign saying "Save our planet." Marine animal life are with her while the oil rig is spilling oil onto the water

Black Beach: A Community, an Oil Spill, and the Origin of Earth Day 

by Shaunna & John Stith (Author), Maribel Lechuga (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž little bee books . 2023. Grades K-4. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1499813043.

 Brief summary: Sam is in class in Santa Barbara when she sees her teacher look outside the window after the principal whispers to her and wonders why. Her parents explain to her about Union Oil causing an oil spill near where they live. The family walks to their favorite beach to find that the beach and ocean are black with oil. The town tries to clean the oil from the beach and help the animals covered with it.

A national day was created from this disaster and organized to celebrate and protest the environment which still exists today called Earth Day, April 22, 1970.

There are several sections in the back of the book: Author’s Note, Selected Bibliography, Timeline, Earth Day Today, Earth Day Every Day, and How to Become an Environmental Activist.

Teachers and homeschooling parents could share this book as a supplement in addition with Earth Day activities.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

The picture book cover of The World and Everything In It with bits and piece of the illustrations inside all around the title such as a dog, cloud, kitten, and so on

The World and Everything in It

by Kevin Henkes (Author, Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Greenwillow Books. 2023. PreK-1. Hardcover Picture Book.ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0063245648.

Brief summary: This book shares what is around us: big, small, and between. The soft and calming illustrations are done with brown ink and watercolor paint, demonstrating the size differences.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

The picture book cover of You Are My Pride with a large sailboat on the blue ocean

You Are My Pride: A Love Letter from Your Motherland 

by Carole Boston Weatherford (Author), E. B. Lewis (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Astra Young Readers. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1635923872.

Brief summary: This touching poem, illustrated with large two-page illustrations done in watercolors, is a lovely letter from Mother Nature telling her human children how much she has loved them since the beginning of their creation.

Back pages briefly explain the Developments in Early Human Evolution.

Educators–this would be a great supplement to use with the different viewpoints unit of study.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

2023 Children's Books · Children's Book Recommendations

Animal Picture Books–Spring 2023

Animal picture book recommendations are by Angela Ferraris, The Retired School Librarian.

(This content contains Amazon affiliate links. When you buy through these links, I may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you).

Animal Picture Books

Too Many Rabbits picture book cover accordingly with a lot of orange rabbits all over the house and grass

Too Many Rabbits 

by Davide CalΓ¬ (Author), Emanuele Benetti (Illustrator), Angus Yuen-Killick (Translator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Red Comet Press. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1636550541.

 Brief summary: Owen and Zoey convince their father to buy two rabbits for the price of one. The family is suddenly overwhelmed with many new bunnies and decide they need to find homes for them all over town.

I especially enjoyed the sense of humor and orange rabbits in this book especially the counting from 1-20 of rehoming the pets.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

The picture book cover of Darwin's Super-Pooping Worm Spectacular done in bright red with a large worm unquestionably sitting on top of its poo and Darwin standing behind it all

Darwin’s Super-Pooping Worm Spectacular 

by Polly Owen (Author), Gwen Millward (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Wide Eyed Editions. 2023. Grades 1-4. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0711275973.

Brief summary: Charles Darwin is known for traveling all over the world and studying animals. Worms interest him the most. He studies and observes them through simple experiments and learns that they do not have eyes or ears, but evidently, can sense light and vibrations. He continues to find what other sense they possess. By observing them in their natural habitat, dirt, he discovers how valuable their poo is to the environment.


The text is done in the traditional style and simultaneously, with speech bubbles. This is a light and funny book with Wormy Facts and Worm Futures sections in the back.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

The picture book cover of Sanctuary with a baby donkey that has a bandaged leg and the little girl in the grass about to nudge heads in a loving way

Sanctuary: A Home for Rescued Farm Animals

by Julia Denos (Author, Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Clarion Books. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0358205432

Brief summary: A young girl and friends heartfully welcome animals to a sanctuary farm where the creatures are respected for being themselves without expectations. They have a safe home and are undeniably cherished by the children.

Lovely illustrations in mixed mediums. A gentle book that does not go into the abuse the animals had before arriving.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

One of the pages from Sanctuary of the little read headed girl who narrates the book coaxing a goat to come out of the trailer to the green meadow. Done in water colors
The picture book cover  of This Little Kitty of five cats in various colors sitting or lying around

This Little Kitty 

by Karen Obuhanych (Author and Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Knopf Books for Young Readers. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0593435144.

Brief summary: Young readers will enjoy a fun-filled feline day, starting with a houseful of kitties waking up. The rhyming and rhythmic words capture the true essence and antics of cats causing me to chuckle several times.


I’m certainly looking forward to reading more from Karen Obuhanych.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

The picture book cover of The Animal Song with the Crocodile on drums, Bear on the bass, and the weasel on guitar playing in the m middle of the forest with the forest animals cheering them on

The Animal Song

by Jonty Howley (Author and Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Random House Studio. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0593381465.

Brief summary: Crocodile, Brown Bear, and Weasel play the animal song all summer long to the delight of the forest animals. When winter arrives, they all want to sleep, so the band moves to the city, where they play night after night. The band becomes tired and wants to sleep, so they go back home. The forest animals wake in the spring and want to sing the animal song but find the three asleep.

The Animal Song Sheet Music is also in the back of the book.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

The Animal Song by Jonty Howley
2023 Children's Books · Children's Book Recommendations

Ten New Easter, Spring, and Passover Picture Books

recommended by Angela Ferraris, The Retired School Librarian

(This content contains Amazon affiliate links. When you buy through these links, I may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you).

The picture book cover of Happy Easter From the Crayons with a red, purple, and green crayon inside of an Easter basket

Happy Easter from the Crayons 

by Drew Daywalt  (Author), Oliver Jeffers (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Philomel Books. 2023. PreK-1. Hardcover.

Brief summary: The crayons prepare for Easter by making various shapes to paste onto an egg. This small picture book(5.88 x 0.36 x 7.13 inches) could fit inside an Easter basket.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

The picture book cover of Easter with a chocolate bunny and colored eggs instide of a basket

Easter (Happy Holidays! series) 

by Rebecca Sabelko (Author). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Bellwether Media. 2022. K-1. Early reader. Nonfiction paperback. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1648348532.

Brief summary: This early reader nonfiction chapter book has nonfiction text features explaining what Easter is and how it is celebrated. A site word chart is at the beginning.
This smaller hardcover book(5.22 x 0.07 x 8.59 inches) could fit nicely in an Easter basket.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

The picture book cover of Easter Eggs and Matzo Balls with a boy looking outside a window and seeing a white rabbit hiding Easter eggs in the garden

Easter Eggs and Matzo Balls 

by Janie Emaus  (Author), Bryan Langdo (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Sky Pony. 2023. PreK-1. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1510769229.

Brief summary: Michael texts the Easter Bunny to let him know that he has a new stepsister, Anna, who celebrates Passover but wants to make sure she gets something special in the Golden Egg since both holidays were at the same time. Both siblings hunt for the Easter Egg and Afikoman bag needed to celebrate the holiday.

The back includes a chicken soup recipe and a matzo balls recipe. There is a glossary of Passover and Easter terms.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

The picture book cover of Passover with a family standing around the table saying a prayer with religious food on the table for the holiday like Matza

Passover: A Celebration of Freedom (Big Golden Book) 

by Bonnie Bader  (Author), Joanie Stone (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Golden Books. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0593563885.

Brief summary: This narrative nonfiction story explains why Passover is celebrated by retelling the freedom of the Israelites led by Moses, the Ten Plagues, and the Red Sea’s parting. Young readers learn about the food and the symbolism of the Passover Seder.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

The picture book cover of Pick a Perfect Egg with cute little yellow checks and baby birds and eggs all done in pastel water colors

Pick a Perfect Egg 

by Patricia Toht  (Author), Jarvis (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Candlewick. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1536228472.

Brief summary: This beautiful digitally illustrated rhyming story begins with a mother and daughter going to the country farmer to pick out their eggs to decorate for Easter. They use natural coloring from plants as well as dye tablets to color their eggs. The two decorate with care and then go to a festive egg hunt the next day.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

The picture book cover of Pete the Cat and the Easter Basket Bandit with Pete the Cat holding up Easter eggs in his paws while the Easter bunny is in the background; eggs allover the ground and in a tree

Pete the Cat and the Easter Basket Bandit

by James Dean  (Author, Illustrator), Kimberly Dean (Author). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž HarperFestival. 2023. PreK–2. Paperback. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0062868374.

Brief summary: Poor Pete wakes up on Easter morning and finds that his Easter basket is missing. He follows a trail of jellybeans to a friend’s house who has not seen it. Pete the Cat follows more candy trails, all leading to various friends. Who has his basket?

Includes a poster in the front, stickers, and Easter cards. Cute book for a child’s Easter basket.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Board book cover of Happy Easter, Little Bunny with a cute real brown bunny and watercolored flowers and leaves and Easter eggs

Happy Easter, Little Bunny (Baby Animal Tales) 

by Amanda Wood  (Author), Vikki Chu (Illustrator), Bec Winnel (Photographer). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Harry N. Abrams. 2023. Baby-Prek. Board book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1419766640.

Brief summary: Bunny and Mouse wake up on Easter Morning looking for eggs until a Fox appears causing them to go back in Bunny’s burrow where there is a beautiful surprise. The first board book in the Baby Animal Tales series.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

Board book cover of I'm a Little Bunny with three bunnies sitting on grass with bees, butterflies and flowers near them

I’m a Little Bunny

by Hannah Eliot  (Author), Liz Brizzi (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Little Simon. 2023. Baby-toddler. Board book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1665927024.

Brief summary: Bunnies and friends discover Spring all around them. This story can be sung to “I’m a Little Teapot!”

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

The picture book cover of Sister Spring with Spring shaped like a girl with beautiful flowers all over her while she is floating through the sky touching flowers to bloom

Sister Spring

by James Christopher Carroll (Author, Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Creative Editions . 2023. K-2. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1568463841.

Brief summary: A young woman, Sister Spring, comes up from inside the earth and brings the daffodils, the rain, peepers, and all of the spring elements of Nature. A beautifully illustrated picture book with spring colors.

Teachers could include this book when studying personification.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

The picture book cover of Don't Touch That Flower with a squirrel and little blue bird in the forest

Don’t Touch That Flower!

by Alice Hemming  (Author), Nicola Slater (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Sourcebooks Jabberwocky. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1728271361.

Brief summary: Squirrel wakes to the sounds of birds and bees and realizes it is spring. The informative blue bird helps the squirrel learn the proper way to care for the yellow wildflower he mistakenly claims to be his own.

“Our Flowers” section in the back explaining about the wildflower.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

2023 Children's Books · Children's Book Recommendations

Biography Picture Book Recommendations

Biography picture book recommendation are by Angela Ferraris, The Retired School Librarian.

(This content contains Amazon affiliate links. When you buy through these links, I may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you).

Picture Book Biography cover with Sister Rosetta Tharpe playing a guitar

Rock, Rosetta, Rock! Roll, Rosetta, Roll!: Presenting Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the Godmother of Rock & Roll 

by Tonya Bolden (Author), R. Gregory Christie  (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž HarperCollins. 2023. Grades 1-3. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0062994387.

Brief summary: Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the Godmother of Rock & Roll, was born in Arkansas in 1915 to two musical parents. Rosetta learns to sing and plays the guitar at an early age. Her family moves to Chicago, where her performance in church begins her career. She marries a preacher. He preaches, and she plays her guitar, where the Sunday service is broadcasted on the radio, thus reaching a broad audience.

Rosetta’s musical career takes off with her playing around the USA and Europe, performing gospel, blues, and rock and roll producing one hit after another.

The timeline at the back of the book lists her notable musical accomplishments and personal life events. Author’s Note and Sources included.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

The way to really understand the energy and personality of this musician is to hear and see her perform.

ReelinInTheYears66. (2017, December 27). Sister rosetta tharpe- “didn’t it rain?” live 1964 (Reelin’ in the years archive). YouTube. Retrieved March 18, 2023, from https://youtu.be/Y9a49oFalZE
Picture book biography cover of The Green Piano with Roberta Flack as a child playing a green piano

The Green Piano: How Little Me Found Music 

by Roberta Flack (Author), Tonya Bolden  (Author), Hayden Goodman (Illustrator).Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Anne Schwartz Books. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0593479872.

Brief summary: Roberta Flack grew up in a Blue Ridge Mountain town in North Carolina, living in a house with two musical parents. She longed to have a piano of her own. Her father found one in a junkyard and spruced it up by painting it green. Her love of music blossomed forth.

The Author’s Note and Career Highlights are in the back.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

I added a 1972 performance of her playing the piano and singing “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.” One needs to hear her sing to feel her heart.

OLDTAPES. (2018, January 29). Roberta Flack – First Time ever I saw your face 1972. YouTube. Retrieved March 18, 2023, from https://youtu.be/d8_fLu2yrP4
Picture book biography cover of Mary Anning at a cliff near Lyme Regi holding a chisel out collecting fossils with her father and sister

Mary Anning Breaks New Ground: Courageous Kid of Paleontology (Courageous Kids) 

by Carol Kim  (Author), Mark Simmons (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Capstone Pr Inc. 2022. Grades 4-6. Paperback Graphic Novel. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1666334302.

Brief summary: Mary Anning was only twelve when she discovered an Ichthyosaurus along the cliffs near Lyme Regi, England, in the early 1800s. This area was known as the heart of the Jurassic Coast, where ammonite and belemnite fossils were often found unburied. Her father, a carpenter and cabinet maker, would fossil-seek as a hobby taking his children, Joseph and Mary, along the cliffs to find fossils to sell to tourists.

After their father died, her brother learned the upholstery business while she sold fossils for a living. It wasn’t until 2010 that the Royal Society acknowledged Mary and two other women, Mary Somerville, and Caroline Herschel, for their contributions to paleontology.

This is a narrative nonfiction graphic novel with a glossary, read more, internet sites, and about the author sections in the back.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Cecilia Payne in a tree looking into the star filled sky

The Fire of Stars: The Life and Brilliance of the Woman Who Discovered What Stars Are Made Of 

by Kirsten W. Larson  (Author), Katherine Roy (Illustrator).Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Chronicle Books. 2023. K-3. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1452172873.

Brief summary: Cecilia Payne moved from the country as a girl to London so her brother, Humfry, could attend a better school. Her school did not teach her the science curriculum that she desired until a new science teacher and friend, Miss Dalglish, was hired. Cecilia wins a University of Cambridge scholarship to study plants but is inspired once she attends a lecture by astronomer Arthur Addigton, whose work created a new field called astrophysics. She moved to America to study astronomy at Harvard, where other women were studying the same subject. Through her work, she discovered what stars are made of, thus building a foundation for astronomers to learn and better understand the stars.

This narrative nonfiction biography picture book has two-page illustrations paralleling Cecilia’s beginning of her career and that of a star’s.

The back sections are: Cecilia Payne: Science Superstar, A Star is Born, and a Timeline.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Picture book biography of Milloo standing with children around herself

Milloo’s Mind: The Story of Maryam Faruqi, Trailblazer for Women’s Education 

by Reem Faruqi (Author, granddaughter of Maryam Faruqi), Hoda Hadadi (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž HarperCollins. 2023. K-3. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0063056619.

Brief summary: In 1930, a young Pakistani girl, Milloo, loves to read and study but is told that since she finished fifth grade, she will need to stay home to do housework. Milloo wanted to become a teacher, so her parents only agreed if she learned English. With a lot of hard work and determination, she graduated from high school and college. She is ready to become a teacher. She marries, but her husband wants her to stay home. She makes a school in her house and then opens more and more schools.

There is a glossary and author’s note in the back.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

2023 Children's Books · Children's Book Recommendations

Grandparent Picture Book Recommendations–Spring 2023

Grandparent picture book recommendations are by Angela Ferraris, The Retired School Librarian.

(This content contains Amazon affiliate links. When you buy through these links, I may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you).

cartoon of grandparents and grandchildren

I’m always on the lookout for picture books with grandparents and grandchildren relationships and have been pleased to see five brand-new ones in our public library. I hope there are more to come this year.

Grandparent picture book cover of Mama Shamsi at the bazaar with her granddaughter clinging to her.

Mama Shamsi at the Bazaar 

by Mojdeh Hassani  (Author), Samira Iravani (Author), Maya Fidawi (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Dial Books. 2023. K-2. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0593110614.

Brief summary: Samira is a bit nervous about going to the bazaar with her grandmother for the first time to buy groceries. She repeatedly asks Mama Shamsi to hide in her chador, but the woman wisely resists using humor to soothe her granddaughter’s fear.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Grandparent picture book of a grandson standing with his grandfather behind him

At the Drop of a Cat 

by Γ‰lise Fontenaille (Author), Violeta LΓ³piz (Illustrator), Karin Snelson  (Translator), Emilie Robert Wong (Translator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Enchanted Lion Books. 2023. K-3. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1592703821.

Brief summary: A grandson visits his Grandpa Luis every Wednesday and Sunday. His grandpa is not only a talented artist but can make anything grow, creating the beautiful garden where they spend their days. The six-year-old is learning to read and write and tells us that his Grandpa does not know how as he was an immigrant from Spain to France who had to work in the fields as a child.

This is a French translation and captures the two kindred spirits. I like the mixed-up idioms and how the grandson narrates how he is getting to know Grandpa Luis.

For more details or to buy, click here (in ENGLISH).

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

For more details or to buy, click here (in FRENCH).

Grandparent picture book of Abuela's Super Capa of the abuela and her grandson in capes flying in the air high fiving one another

Abuela’s Super Capa 

by Ana Siqueira  (Author), Elisa Chavarri  (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž HarperCollins. 2023. K-3. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0063113657.

Brief summary: Luis and his abuela have fun every Saturday going around the neighborhood being superheroes. One Saturday, she does not visit. Luis learns that his abuela is very sick in the hospital. She comes to stay with them as she recovers. Although Luis is saddened that his abuela is unable to be as active, he tries to come up with a way to have fun and realizes his sister, Isabel, can be his new sidekick and fight and do adventures together in their capes. 

There is a glossary of the Spanish words used in the book.

For more details or to buy, click here(in ENGLISH).

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

For more details or to buy, click here in SPANISH.

The sun's rays coming down through the trees onto the road a the child runds to a grandparent

In Every Life 

by Marla Frazee  (Author, Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Beach Lane Books. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1665912488.

Brief summary: The text has seven lines with seven words each(except for the last line). Each line is across the top of a two-page spread with small illustrations below, and then the next two-page spread is an illustration matching that color scheme.

The words are calm and straightforward. The stunning illustrations are done with pencil and gouache and are detailed little scenes of family members with everyday interactions. I stopped and looked at the details of each one before continuing to the following line and was glad to see that grandparents were included.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Picture book cover of a grandmother and her grandchild walking in the rain

Together with You

by Patricia Toht  (Author), Jarvis  (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Candlewick. 2023. PreK-1. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1536223514.

Brief summary: A grandmother and her grandchild put on rain gear to play in Spring’s rain. Summer arrives with them cooling off from the hot sun. Autumn brings the wind they need to fly a kite and enjoy the falling leaves. Winter comes with them getting cozy and watching the snow from inside. Each season is spent with one another.

The seasonal color schemes go in hand with this gentle and calming book that blends from one season to the next.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

2023 Children's Books · Children's Book Recommendations

St. Patrick’s Day Children’s Books and One Irish Tale

St. Patrick’s Day books are recommended by Angela Ferraris, The Retired School Librarian πŸ“šβ€οΈ

(This content contains Amazon affiliate links. When you buy through these links, I may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you).

St. Patrick’s Day (New & Updated) 

by Gail Gibbons (Author & Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Holiday House. 2023. PreK-3. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0823453399

Brief summary: This narrative nonfiction tells about the customs that are celebrated on St. Patrick’s Day. Readers will also learn about St. Patrick’s life and some of his legends. I learned why it is celebrated on March 17th as well as that some say his real name was Maewyn.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

St. Patrick's Day cover with the saint and other Irish symbols to celebrate the special day

Leprechaun vs. Easter Bunny 

by Todd Tarpley  (Author), Stephanie Laberis (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. 2023. PreK-3. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0316374262

Brief summary: A leprechaun and the Easter Bunny battle over the space in a garden. The leprechaun wants to hide his pot of gold for St. Patrick’s Day, and the Easter bunny wants to grow tulips to hide colored eggs. Cupid comes along and wants to make plans for next year’s Valentine’s Day, moving all of their things out of the way. The two join forces and launch the baby out of the garden. Rhyming

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

St. Patrick's Day paperwork with shamrocks, rainbows, and a leprechaun

Let’s Celebrate With St. Patrick’s Day Origami (Let’s Celebrate with Origami Series) 

by Ruth Owen (Author). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Enslow Pub Inc. 2021. Primary/Intermediate grades. Paperback. 32 pages. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1978526679

Brief summary: Large colorful pictures with step by step directions to make a Celtic cross, shamrock, pot of gold, rainbow celebrations, and green ribbons. Explanation of St. Patrick’s Day, origami tips, glossary, index, and suggested websites for more information.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

St. Patrick on the cover  with a large cross around his neck, bible, and shamrocks scattered on one side of the cover.

Saint Patrick the Forgiver: The History and Legends of Ireland’s Bishop 

by Ned Bustard  (Author). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž IVP Kids. 2023. PreK-3. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1514007242

Brief summary: If you are looking for more of a religious story about Saint Patrick, this is the book. “Hello, my name is Patrick. You may have heard my story. I walked the span of Ireland to tell of God’s great glory.” Young readers will learn about Saint Patrick’s life as a child, being kidnapped to become a slave in Ireland and his escape back home. Saint Patrick continues to tell the reader how he forgave the Irish people and decided to preach Christianity there. The story is shared through the viewpoint of a saint. Told in rhyme.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Watercolor cover of Eily looking for her father in the fog

The Fog Catcher’s Daughter 

by Marianne McShane (Author), Alan Marks (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Candlewick. 2022. Primary grades. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1536211306

Brief summary: Eily and her father live on the coast of Ireland across from the isle of fairies, Lisnashee. Her father is the Fog Catcher and must row to the island and collect the magical fog on it every Midsummer. Eily helps prepare to keep her family safe from the Good People. Her father rows out to the island. Eily is worried as she has found his protection charm in a tree.

Young readers will be enchanted by Eily’s adventure to find her father and keep him safe. Beautifully illustrated with dreamy watercolors.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4.5 /5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

2023 Children's Books · Children's Book Recommendations

St. Patrick’s Day Board Books for Your Wee Ones

St. Patrick’s Day board book recommendations are by Angela Ferraris, The Retired School Librarian πŸ“šβ€οΈ

(This content contains Amazon affiliate links. When you buy through these links, I may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you).

A leprechaun on St. Patrick's Day dressed in green and wearing a little green hat. Rainbow connecting the trees. A pot of gold. Fairy's mushroom circle. Shamrocks

The Littlest Leprechaun (Littlest Series)

by Brandi Dougherty  (Author), Michelle Todd (Illustrator). Publisher: β€Ž Cartwheel Books. 2022. PreK-K. Paperback with stickers. ISBN-13: β€Ž 978-1338796698

Brief summary–Although Liam is the smallest leprechaun in his family, he is still able to help with the St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Peppa the pig is dressed in a green outfit with shamrock's across the cover to celebrate St. Patrick's Day

Peppa Pig: Peppa Loves St. Patrick’s Day 

by Scholastic (Author), EOne (Illustrator). Publisher: Scholastic Inc. 2022. PreK-K. Paperback. ISBN-13: β€Ž 978-1338794342

Brief summary: Peppa and family go to Ireland for an Irish dancing festival. The fact sheet in the back explains more about the St. Patrick’s Day celebration than the actual story. Great for Peppa the Pig booklovers or the hit show on Nick Jr.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Yellow puppy dressed in a green vest and hat holding a four leafed clover with the background of a giant shamrock; ready for St. Patrick's Day

Spot’s Lucky Day 

by Eric Hill  (Author& Illustrator). Publisher: β€Ž Warne. 2022. Baby-toddler. Board book. ISBN-13: β€Ž 978-0241529775

Brief summary: The sweet and cute puppy, Spot, has a St. Patrick’s Day party and dresses up as a leprechaun. The book is shaped like a shamrock.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Thing One and Thing Two holding a black pot full of gold. Shamrocks all over the cover.

Thing One, Thing Two and the Leprechaun (Dr. Seuss’s Things Board Books)

by Dr. Seuss(Author). Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers. 2022. Baby-toddler. Board book. ISBN-13: β€Ž 978-0593484951

Brief summary: Thing One and Thing Two chase a leprechaun through a St. Patrick’s Day parade. Rhyming book.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Boy with a four leafed clover holding it over his sun where the sun is shining upon it.

Baby Loves Photosynthesis on St. Patrick’s Day! (Baby Loves Science) 

by Ruth Spiro  (Author), Irene Chan  (Illustrator). Publisher: Charlesbridge. 2022. Baby-toddler. Board book. ISBN-13: β€Ž 978-1623543075

Brief summary: Baby is told that the reason the clovers are green is because of photosynthesis. Advance vocabulary is used with charts to help explain the parts of the clover. St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in the story with bright and happy illustrations. Comprehension may be best for older readers(PreK-2), but a baby or toddler could still enjoy the story.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

A rainbow over two shamrocks that are smiling

You Shamrock My World: A Sweet and Lucky St. Patrick’s Day Board Book for Babies and Toddlers (Punderland) 

by Rose Rossner  (Author), Ela Smietanka (Illustrator). Publisher: β€Ž Sourcebooks Wonderland. 2022. Baby-toddler. Board book. ISBN-13: β€Ž 978-1728256337

Brief summary: This book is done with pairs of characters using various St. Patrick’s Day symbols in cute rhyming puns. Colorful.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Mickey dressed in a green top hat with a large shamrock in his hand

Disney Baby My First St. Patrick’s Day

by Disney Books (Author), Jerrod Maruyama (Illustrator). Publisher: β€Ž Disney Press. 2022. Baby-toddler. Board book(touch and feel). ISBN-13: β€Ž 978-1368069137

Brief summary: Baby is introduced to various St. Patrick Day symbols with the help of various Walt Disney characters. Some touch and feel objects.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Smiling leprechauns with red hair dressed green

Five Little Leprechauns 

by Jeffrey Burton  (Author), Tommy Doyle (Illustrator). Publisher: β€Ž Little Simon. 2022. Baby-toddler. Board book. ISBN-13: β€Ž 978-1665910835

Brief summary: This is a variant of the “Five Little Monkeys” story and with the same fun rhyme and rhythm. “Five little leprechauns hiding in the clover.
One leaped up and then fell over.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Three leprechauns standing around a large cauldron full of gold coins

This Is the Way the Leprechauns Play

by Arlo Finsy (Author), Yuyi Chen (Illustrator). Publisher: β€Ž Random House Books for Young Readers. 2022. Baby-toddler. Board book. ISBN-13: β€Ž 978-0593482681

Brief summary: The lyrical and rhyming text of the leprechauns on St. Patrick’s Day is sung to “Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush.”

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—