2023 Children's Books · Children's Book Recommendations

Swimming Children’s Books

Swimming children’s book recommendations are by Angela Ferraris, The Retired School Librarian.*

Kids swimming in a blue pool. Our Pool words are in the middle

Our Pool 

by Lucy Ruth Cummins (Author, Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Atheneum Books for Young. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-10 ‏ : β€Ž 1534499237.

Brief summary: We watch as many wake up and go to the city pool with other families. They change into a bathing suit, get covered with sunblock, and go into the cool blue water. Everyone plays above and below the water until it’s time to eat lunch on spread-out towels on concrete. They do more swimming before heading home with a treat from the ice cream truck.

The bright summer colors illustrations are showcased in many two page spreads with details and descriptive words that had me feeling like I was at the pool smelling the chlorine, hearing the shouting and laughter, and the coolness of the water.

Rating: 5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

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A young girl swimming in a pool who stopped and lifted her goggles up to stare at the reader

When You Can Swim 

by Jack Wong (Author, Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Orchard Books. 2023. Prek-2. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-10 ‏ : β€Ž 1338830961.

Brief summary: A young child encourages those to learn how to swim and shares all the aquatic wonders they could experience while swimming in various types of waters.

The back pages include the author sharing his experience of learning how to swim and going back to some of his favorite swimming spots for inspiration to write and illustrate the book.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

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A girl is on the edge of a diving board looking into the water with plants and marine animals swimming in it

A Dive Into the Blue 

by Ellie Huynh (Author), Bao Luu (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Beaming Books. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-10 ‏ : β€Ž 1506486347.

Brief summary: A young girl shares her fear of diving into the public pool while standing at the edge of the diving board and letting her imagination almost overcome her from swimming. Will she be able to dive into the blue water?

I would share this book with students to help them learn coping skills to navigate their fears.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

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A girl is ready to go swimming with a large life preserver that has a sleeping sloth on top of it

Waiting on Mr. Sloth 

by Katy Hudson (Author, Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Capstone Editions . 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-10 ‏ : β€Ž 1684464803.

Brief summary: Sasha is excited to go swimming with her best friend, Mr. Sloth, but is losing her patience with his slowness every step of the way. They finally walk to the lake and have lunch before entering the water. Sasha’s friend is taking too long, and she goes into the lake without him, only to realize it’s not as much fun. Sasha returns to their picnic to find Mr. Sloth in a tree enjoying his surroundings. Will Sasha and Mr. Sloth go swimming together in the future? Will Sasha learn to be patience?

In the back of the book, there is a discussion of ways to calm oneself when waiting.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

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Child with nose plugs and goggle on swimming underneath the water

Facing Your Fear of Water (Facing Your Fears) 

by Heather E. Schwartz (Author). Nonfiction Hardcover. Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Pebble Books. 2023. Grades K-3. Hardcover nonfiction. ISBN-10 ‏ : β€Ž 1666355542.

Brief summary: Young readers get advice on ways to be calm if they are afraid of the water and are encouraged to take small steps to learn to be able to go swimming.

The back sections are Sink or Float, Glossary, Read More, and Internet Sites.

This is one of the Facing Your Fears series.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

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2023 Children's Books · Children's Book Recommendations

Garden Picture Book Recommendations

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

Children playing in a garden

Garden Walk 

by Virginia Brimhall Snow (Author). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Gibbs Smith. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1423662525.

Brief summary: Grammy and her four grandchildren walk through the forest and to the garden, learning about plants, animals, and insects. They place a blanket on the ground and picnic while Grammy reads to them. Narrated by one of the children.

Blue ink illustrations with the plants, animals, or insects highlighted with full-colored words that match the subject.

Picnic recipes are in the back.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

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If you enjoy this book, you may be interested in Virginia Brimhall Snow’s Seasonal Walks series. For more details or to buy, click here.

A grandfather giving his granddaughter a pot of peonies

Love Makes a Garden Grow 

by Taeeun Yoo (Author, Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books. 2023. Prek-2. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1534442863.

Brief summary: A young girl and her grandfather tend a garden together until he moves to an apartment where he brings some of his plants.

She grows up and lives far away, but her grandfather sends her a gift of peonies. When her daughter grows, the granddaughter visits the man showing her little one how to tend the house plants and flowers like he taught her.

An Author’s Note in the back explains how this story is based on her relationship with her grandfather.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“— 1/2

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 A girl in a polka dot dress on the rooftop garden gathering fruit and fegetables for her basket while a cat is chasing butterflies

Linh’s Rooftop Garden (Where In the Garden?) 

by JaNay Brown-Wood (Author), Samara Hardy (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Peachtree. 2023. PreK-1. Hardcover picture book.

Brief summary: Lihn needs to find blueberries for their brunch and walk around the rooftop looking at all the fruits and vegetables. The girl describes what a blueberry looks like and compares those characteristics to each plant methodically until she finds them.

There is a blueberry and banana pancake recipe in the back.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“— 1/2

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If you enjoy this book, you may be interested in the other three books of the Where in the Garden? series:

A child with flowers all around them wearing a necklace of daisies.

Watch Me Bloom: A Bouquet of Haiku Poems for Budding Naturalists 

by Krina Patel-Sage (Author, Illustrator).Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Lantana Publishing. 2023. PreK-3. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1913747992

Brief summary: A collection of twenty-four haikus about different flower species, all illustrated with lovely bright colors, including the paste-down end pages.

There are Floral Fun Facts in the back of the book.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“— 1/2

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A word on a rock with quilled plants growing beside it

Just a Worm 

by Marie Boyd (Author, Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Greenwillow Books. 2023. PreK-3. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0063212565.

Brief summary: Worm begins its day crawling through the garden when two humans cause it to have self-doubt. The worm crawls through a garden talking with each insect and creature it comes across, asking what it can do. Will the worm realize its importance to a garden and regain self-confidence?

The back pages include Make Your Own Quilled Butterfly, Earthworm Facts, and a Glossary. Illustrated using quilling techniques to make the plants.

I recommend that this picture book be read to supplement a quilling unit.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

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George Washington Carver as a young man with a moustache holding a large pot of white flowers

George Washington Carver: More Than “The Peanut Man” (Bright Minds): More Than “The Peanut Man” 

by Janel Rodriguez (Author), Subi Bosa (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Children’s Press. 2023. Grades 3-6. Hardcover narrative nonfiction hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1338864205.

I’ve only known George Washington Carver as the “peanut man” and updated my education when reading this narrative nonfiction about this knowledgeable and talented man nicknamed “Plant Doctor.”

Brief summary: This book begins with his life as a child who studied plants and painted them. It continues with his young adulthood of going to college, learning, and experimenting with plants. The book tells of his adulthood of going around in a Jesup wagon, educating farmers on improving their crops and livestock. Readers will learn about many of his inventions and personal life too. I enjoyed reading about this remarkable man.

This book is full of a variety of nonfiction text features. The back sections include Your Turn!, Glossary, Index, and Further Reading.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

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A child tending a garden with plants and animals. Geese are flying overhead.

Little Land 

by Diana Sudyka (Author, Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. 2023.

Brief summary: This is an ecological/environmental story from the beginning of the earth to its present of how the land and its inhabitant have changed and how to live in balance.

I included this book under gardening(although it could be under ecology or environmental) as it highlights how to tend a little bit of land.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

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A little girl in a red hoody looking at a flower with her black and white dog. She has a box of seeds.

Every Little Seed 

by Cynthia Schumerth (Author), Elisa Paganelli (Illustrator).Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Sleeping Bear Press. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1534112698.

Brief summary: A young girl with her mother and grandfather plant seeds in the spring garden and tend them to grow, observing how the seed changes to develop. Birds and bugs visit the garden. Soon fall comes when the plants begin to produce seeds they gather for the next planting.

A plant’s cycle.

A story in rhyme.

Facts about seeds are in the back of the book, including a seed diagram.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

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A little mouse inside of a red tulip

A Flower is a Friend 

by Frieda Wishinsky (Author), Karen Patkau (Illustrator).Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Pajama Press; 1st edition. 2023. Prek-1. Hardcover nonfiction. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1772782806.

Brief summary: An animal/creature is paired with a flower in the garden, and readers are asked why they coexist so well. Answers are in the book of how they benefit each other.

Symbiosis.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

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garden and flowers in a circle with a white picket fence with a city scape background

My First Garden: For Little Gardeners Who Want to Grow 

by Livi Gosling (Author). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž DK Children.2023. K-4. Hardcover nonfiction(80pages). ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0744070866.

Brief summary: This nonfiction book is a beginning guide to gardening with step-by-step instructions. Everything one needs to know is covered with illustrations.

This is for the primary children to learn by looking at the lovely illustrations or for older elementary students who want to start a gardening club.

I usually stick to picture book reviews, but this nonfiction book’s illustrations make a difference with the covered topics by clarifying the lesson.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Ratings:4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

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A young girl and her mother with henna on their hands.

A Garden in My Hands 

by Meera Sriram (Author), Sandhya Prabhat (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Knopf Books for Young Readers. 2023. Prek-2. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0593427101.

Brief summary: A little girl has her hands Painted by her mother for a wedding the next day. Her mother tells her memories as she paints a garden of flowers and decorations. She sleeps with gloves on over the henna to wake and brush the flakes off to reveal her red garden of stories and the fragrance of henna.

Facts about henna are in the back of the book.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

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Children planting and tending a garden

G is for Gardening (A Gardening ABC Primer) 

by Ashley Marie Mireles (Author), Volha Kaliaha (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Familius. 2023. Baby-3. Hardcover board book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1641707503.

Brief summary: Readers will learn their ABCs of gardening, discovering tools, plants, and animals in a garden.

Large and colorful illustrations. A good builder of garden vocabulary.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

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

2023 Children's Books · Children's Book Recommendations

Father Picture Book Recommendations

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

Picture Books

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

A Bed of Stars 

by Jessica Love (Author, Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Candlewick. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 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.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

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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: 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.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

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

Basketball Dreams 

by Chris Paul (Author), Courtney Lovett (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Roaring Brook Press. 2023. Prek-2. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 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.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

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

Daddy & Me, Side by Side 

by Pierce Freelon (Author), Nadia Fisher (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. 2023. Prek-2. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 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.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

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

Trucker Kid 

by Carol Gordon Ekster (Author), Russ Cox (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Capstone Editions. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 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 sectionsΒ Keep on TruckingΒ andΒ Author’s Note.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

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Baba sitting on the persian rug with his six daughters

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

by Ariana Shaheen Amini (Author), Christina Maheen Amini (Author), Elaheh Taherian (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Little Bigfoot. 2023. Grades 2-4. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 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.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

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

Hurry, Kate, or You’ll Be Late!

by Janice N. Harrington (Author), Tiffany Rose (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Margaret Ferguson Books. 2023. PreK-1. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 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.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

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 A girl and her Pop bearing into a box

Pop’s Perfect Present 

by Corey Finkle (Author), Lenny Wen (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Henry Holt and Co. (BYR). 2023. PreK-3. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 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.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

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

No Fair! 

by Jacob Grant (Author, Illustrator).Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Viking Books for Young Readers. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 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.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

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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?

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

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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.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

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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.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

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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.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

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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.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

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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.

Rating: 4.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

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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.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

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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.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

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

Puzzles

Jigsaw Puzzles for Book Lovers

Literary jigsaw puzzle recommendations are by Angela Ferraris, The Retired School Librarian.*

The last time I put together jigsaw puzzles was when I was a little girl. My husband and I did one together during the beginning of the pandemic and found them to be entertaining. We are creating a literary jigsaw puzzle wall in my office by gluing the puzzle pieces onto a backing. I like to do them while watching(well, listening to) a British or American mystery on the TV. I’m hooked because, like my TBR book stack, I have a “to-be-connected” jigsaw puzzle collection.

Cat Jigsaw Puzzles

Beachcombers with cats and kittens sunning and reading on a beach

Beachcombers–300 jigsaw puzzle pieces

For more details, click here.

Collection of children's cat books

This is an adorable 1,000 piece puzzle with a collection of various cat books.

For more details, click here.

Storytime Cats sitting on books

Storytime Cats–500 jigsaw puzzle pieces. I have this one but have not put it together yet.

For more details, click here.

I opened mine for you to see inside:

Frederick the Literate of a tabby cat sleeping on a bookshelf

If you are a cat and book lover, Frederick the Literate with 750 jigsaw puzzle pieces could be for you. I put together this one and have it hanging on my wall.

For more details, click here.

Dog Jigsaw Puzzles

Collection of dog book covers

Dog stories–1,000 jigsaw puzzle pieces

For more details, click here.

Dogs on a desk with a manual typewriter and vase of flowers

The Writer’s Dogs–750 jigsaw puzzle pieces

For more details, click here.

Children’s Books and Young Adult Jigsaw Puzzles

Collection of picture book covers

Storytime (Picture Books)–1,000 jigsaw puzzle pieces. I have this one on a wall in our house.

For more details, click here.

I have this one on my wall:

Collection of children's books' covers

One thousand piece jigsaw puzzle of children’s books.

For more details, click here.

Young adult book covers

Young Adult Books--1,000 jigsaw puzzle pieces

For more details, click here.

Classic Novels Jigsaw Puzzles

covers of classic books

This 1,000 piece puzzle is a collection of 50 Best Classic Books with titles like The Catcher in The Rye, Catch-22, and Of Mice and Men.

For more details, click here.

covers of Jane Austen book covers

Jane Austen lovers look no more. 1,000 jigsaw puzzle pieces with an assortment of book covers over the years.

For more details, click here.

collection of American novels

American novels–1,000 Jigsaw Puzzle pieces

For more details, click here.

collection of British novels

British Classics–1,000 jigsaw puzzle pieces.

For more details, click here.

Mystery and Horror Jigsaw Puzzles

Collection of murder mystery book covers

Murder Mystery Books–1,000 jigsaw puzzle pieces

For more details, click here.

Collection of mystery book covers

Mystery Books–1,000 jigsaw puzzle books

For more details, click here.

Collection of Stephen King book covers

Stephen King Books–1,000 jigsaw puzzle pieces

For more details, click here.

Collection of Edgar Allan Poe book covers

Edgar Allan Poe’s Literary 1,000 jigsaw puzzle pieces

For more details, click here.

Collection of horror book covers

Horror Books–1,000 jigsaw puzzle pieces

For more details, click here.

Cookbook Jigsaw Puzzles

Collection of vintage cookbook covers

This is a cute one if you love to cook. Vintage Cookbooks–500 jigsaw puzzle pieces

For more details, click here.

Collection of Betty Crocker cookbook covers

Betty Crocker Cookbooks–1,000 jigsaw puzzle pieces

For more details, click here.

Bookstore Jigsaw Puzzles

instide a bookstore

Bizarre Bookshop 2–1,000 jigsaw puzzle pieces. I own this own but have not put it together.

For more details, click here.

I opened mine for you to see inside:

Inside a book palace with a second floor of bookshelves and an orage cat sitting on a table

The Book Palace–1,000 jigsaw puzzle pieces

For more details, click here.

outside of a bookstore with a black cat sitting outside

Black Cat Books–500 jigsaw puzzle pieces

For more details, click here.

Very detailed bookstore with many floors and different book sections

In the Bookstore–1,000 jigsaw puzzle pieces

For more details, click here.

Old fashion bookstore with an old register. boy with a dog on a leash; older titles displayer

Old Book Store–1,000 jigsaw puzzle pieces

For more details, click here.

Miscellaneous

Abstract world of humans and books

Book World–1,000 jigsaw puzzle pieces

For more details, click here.

Collection of older books

Vintage Book Covers–1,000 jigsaw puzzle pieces

For more details, click here.

Person reading with a cup of coffee inside a cozy room

Cozy Retreat–500 jigsaw puzzle pieces

For more details, click here.

First lines of literature all over the box

First Lines of Literature–1,000 jigsaw puzzle pieces

For more details, click here.

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

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.*

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“—

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

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.*

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

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

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

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–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

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

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 

byΒ Ned BustardΒ Β (Author). Publisher ‏ : β€ŽΒ IVP Kids. 2023. PreK-3. Hardcover narrative nonfiction picture book . ISBN-13 ‏ : β€ŽΒ 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