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“—

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

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

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

 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

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

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

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

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“—

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

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“—

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

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“—

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

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“—

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

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“—

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

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“—

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

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“—

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

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“—

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

*(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

Emotions, High Concepts, or Other Abstract Ideas–Picture Book Recommendations

Emotions, high concepts, or other abstract ideas picture book recommendations are by Angela Ferraris, The Retired School Librarian.* All books were checked out from the public library and not sent to me for a review.

Child express the love emotions by making her hands into a heart shape

All About Nothing (All About Noticing) 

by Elizabeth Rusch (Author), Elizabeth Goss (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Charlesbridge. 2023. PreK-3. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1623543525.

Brief summary: Nothing can be so many things around us. Negative space. Nothing can also be something. Young readers will see that nothing can be where ideas come from or just something relaxing. It is all around us.

Two back sections are About Negative Space and More About Nothing.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

Children laying on the grass looking up to the sky wondering what their future could be; happy emotions on their faces

Someday, Maybe 

by Diana Murray (Author), Jessica Gibson (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Henry Holt and Co. 2023. PreK-3. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1250782755.

Brief summary: Children daydream about what future jobs they will have, inventions they will create, and lives they will have when they grow up.

The back pages talk about some future possibilities.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

A large bear in a tree looking up to the leaves while exploring his emotions of wanting to be alone

Bear Is Never Alone 

by Marc Veerkamp (Author), Jeska Verstegen (Illustrator), Laura Watkinson (Translator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0802856036.

Brief summary: Bear plays the piano in the forest and comes to his last song, ready for a break. The animals around him start to shout for him to play more. He just wants to be alone, but the animals chase him, demanding for Bear to play more. Will Bear ever be alone?

Rating 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

A snake coming out of a red high top sneaker

Twenty Questions 

by Mac Barnett (Author), Christian Robinson (Illustrator).Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Candlewick. 2023 PreK-2. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1536215137.

Brief summary: There are many questions with many types of answers. Some questions have a simple solution, while others have a profound explanation. Some questions have no one exact answer or even an answer at all. Some may come with emotions.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

Girl in a hospital bed with her brother beside her who  is holding a blue balloon

The Hospital Book 

by Lisa Brown (Author).Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Neal Porter Books. 2023. PreK-3. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1536215137.

Brief summary: A young girl has a terrible stomachache and must go to the hospital. She shares the nine times she cried as young readers go along with her to the emergency room, her diagnosis, surgery, recovery, and back home. This story is in an honest and light tone that young readers will find reassuring.

Each page contains detailed illustrations that had me stop and explore the many two-page spreads. Traditional text and speech bubbles.

A definite read for young readers to understand and be calmly assured what could happen when going to a hospital in an emergency situation and the emotions they could feel.

The back page includes A Note From the Author.

Rating: 5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

I’m so glad to see another picture book from this author that she both wrote and illustrated! The illustrations and storytelling are done in a way relatable to little ones with humor and action. I also recommend another one of the picture books that she wrote and illustrated that features this family–The Airport Book

A boy sitting at his desk at school reading while releasing his emotions by tap dancing under the desk

Stanley’s Secret 

by John Sullivan (Author), Zach Manbeck (Illustrator).Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1534487833.  

Brief summary: Stanley is a shy and quiet boy. He helped the janitor and would tap dance as he swept. One day the principal saw him and encouraged the boy to sign up for the talent show where he could share his gift with others. Will Stanley be able to get over his shyness? 

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

Tow girls playing in the rain with their dog with happy emotions

Sometimes: A Day Full of Feelings 

by Stephanie Stansbie (Author), Elisa Paganelli (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Crown Books for Young Readers. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0593568910.

Brief summary: A brother and sister experience everyday feelings that come and go. They learn to recognize their feelings in different situations, realize that another one will come along, and learn how to move through that one too. Emotions are everyday occurrences.

There is a back page of encouragement to help young readers to get through more difficult feelings.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

A boy looking out of a yellow school bus with optimistic emotions

The Bright Side 

by Chad Otis (Author, Illustrator).Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Rocky Pond Books. 2023. Grades 1-3. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0593530627.

Brief summary: A boy shares that his family lives in an old school bus until they get a house again. It was hard to leave his friends. His parents encourage him to look on the bright side of things. He gets to take showers outside. Have pizza toast with bread and ketchup. He learns to use his imagination to create something he does not have.

He is nervous about attending a school where everyone knows each other and the routine. Will he learn how to fit in with everyone else?

The author shares that he did live on a school bus for four years and did not go to school until he was in third grade. I thank him for sharing his story of houselessness.

This book could be shared to help others understand those in poverty and, hopefully, develop empathy and understanding. Written in a way that a child could understand.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

Children at a picnic

The ABCs of Inclusion: A Disability Inclusion Book for Kids 

by Beth Leipholtz (Author), Anastasiya Kanavaliuk (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Wise Ink Creative Publishing. 2023. Grades 2-4. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1634895965.

Brief summary: Young readers will learn about twenty-six children, each with different diagnoses, and a brief explanation to help understand it a bit better.

I would love to see this book read to all of the students at the beginning of the year in a way to show that we all have things similar and different from one another. We can learn about how to interact with one another and even become friends.

Rating: 3.5/4 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

A girl playing on the beach by herself making a castle

Sometimes It’s Nice to Be Alone 

by Amy Hest (Author), Philip C. Stead (Illustrator).Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Neal Porter Books. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0823449477.

Brief summary: A young girl enjoys time being alone but can also enjoy a friend’s company. She can sit in solitude eating a cookie but finds it pleasant when a friend visits and eats a cookie with her.

This comforting book made being alone (not lonely) enjoyable. Having a friend visit was not nerve-racking but a time to share and enjoy the company.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

children wearing the same clothing as the background wall

Wallflowers 

by Mackenzie Joy (Author, Illustrator)

.Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Clarion Books. 2023. PreK -2. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0358726463.

Brief summary: Shy and quiet children who would rather observe and not be in the spotlight are given encouragement to be themselves. They may like to be heard at times, but not in an extroverted way.

This book celebrates introverts and does not try to change them from being wallflowers but instead bloom with their emotions.

The illustrations are drawn with them looking like the background.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

A girl at the beach with her mother and dog

Billie and Bean at the Beach (Billie and Bean, 1) 

by Julia Hansson (Author), B.J. Woodstein (Translator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Orca Book Publishers. 2023. Prek-2. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1459834415.

Brief summary: Billie and her dog, Bean, go to the beach. Bean enjoys running around and playing in the sand, while Billie just wants to rest in the umbrella’s shade. Her mother encourages Billie to take a swim, and the girl is stung. After her mother comforts and calms Billie’s emotions, the little girl decides to try the water again with the help of a gift Bean has dug up. The girl enjoys the underwater silence and fish. Billie dives towards the bottom and finds something shiny that makes her resilience worth returning to the sea.

Will we find out what it is in a sequel? What an excellent discussion to have with the class.

This is a Swedish translation.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

Sad girl out on the lake in a small boat with a face of sad emotions

Mouseboat 

by Larissa Theule (Author), Abigail Halpin (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Viking Books for Young Readers. 2023. PreK-3. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0593327357.

Brief summary: A girl who has recently lost her mother goes on a trip to their lake house with her father. She misses her mother but can not find a connection until she takes out the mouse boat she and her mother built together. She can face her emotions.

The illustrator caught the facial expressions of a mourning girl and the sad tone in the house of grief with cool and darker colors. Well done.

I could follow the storyline with or without the text, which is an excellent picture book to me. I’d like to see more picture books with this duo. They complement each other well.

Rating: 5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

Boys at the beach

The Noise Inside Boys: A Story About Big Feelings 

by Pete Oswald (Author).Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Random House Studio. 2023. PreK -2. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-0593483220.

Brief summary: Brothers yell how they feel while playing outside on the beach. One boy is encouraged by his father to take a moment and experience the feeling and name it. Be aware of your emotions and name them to understand them. He is told that a feeling will come and go. 

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

Various families depicted on the cover with many emotions

You Are Loved: A Book About Families 

by Margaret O’Hair (Author), Sofia Sanchez (Author), Sofia Cardoso (Illustrator).Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Scholastic Inc. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover picture book.ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1338850079. Paperback picture book is available too.

Brief summary: Young readers are talked to by Sofia Sanchez, who explains that a child is loved by many people but most of all by one’s family. There are many different types of families. Sometimes a family is not perfect. There are arguments, sadness, anger, and other emotions. But a family makes up and continues loving one another.

This is an optimistic book with brightly colored illustrations of all cultures, ages, races, etc. Readers will be able to see and understand that there are families unlike theirs but still have shared love for one another.

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“— 1/2

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

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

Children's Book Recommendations

How I Evaluate and Recommend Picture Books

How I Evaluate and Recommend Picture Books is written by Angela Ferraris, The Retired School Librarian.

Picture book recommendations first photo of children reading while sitting on giant books

I have many questions as I evaluate children’s books to make the best picture book recommendations. I’ve read and shared thousands of books as an elementary school librarian. Contrarily though, I may only chose one from a stack of thirty books I can recommend.

Enjoy the Book

I taught my students to read the book, feel the emotion, and hear the words. Above all, get the aesthetic experience. (I still do that when I first pick up a book). Undoubtedly, I never asked questions while reading a picture book aloud for the first time during story time. It was afterward that I examined the book more closely…or not. Sometimes, it’s enough to enjoy a picture book. With this in mind, my main goal was to teach the joy of reading.

Having a mock Caldecott Read-In with my students was one of the best ways I taught how to evaluate books and give picture book recommendations to others. I borrowed about a hundred picture books that were stand-outs. However, I also threw in(without telling them) those that were…(well)…not ones I would recommend.


I allowed the students to grade with a 😁😐☹️ face. They then voted for the one they thought would win the Caldecott Medal Award (a medal given annually to an American illustrator). Next, we had thoughtful conversations about how they evaluated picture books. Lastly, they would use persuasive thinking to get others to vote for the same book they nominated.

An important issue I emphasized was that when the award was announced and their book was not chosen, it did not mean it was unworthy. Subsequently, we would talk about famous books from the past everyone loved that have not won any medals.

The Questions

I still use these questions when I recommend a book, but ONLY AFTER I first read the book on its own. Undoubtedly, I love the beauty of picture books and want to feel their “soul. ” Analyzing them is secondary.

The Words

  • Are these words appropriate for an elementary-aged child? Are they using these words in a child’s everyday life?
  •  Do the words flow in a legato style when they should? Are they short and choppy when they are supposed to be?
  •  How do they sound when read aloud? Does it sound like a tongue twister but not supposed to sound like one?
  •  Are there patterns? Rhyming? Rhythms? How do the words sound to the ears? Do they sound awkward? Are they forced?
  •  Do the words convey the correct emotions and mood of the book? Do the word choices match the emotion? Is it supposed to be funny? Sad? Silly?
  •  Do the page turns of the book interrupt the idea?
  •  Is the story unique, or has it been done several times already?
  •  Is the font a good fit for the book? Is it large enough for a child to read?
  •  Where do the words appear on the page? Are they all over and difficult to follow?
  •  How is the story being told? Are there too many characters? Is it confusing to follow? Predictions? Surprises?
  •  Is the topic of the story something children can relate to currently in their lives? Is it too complicated? Should it be a board book instead? Babyish?
  •  Dialogic reading? Is this story something they talk about with others? Or is it more of a listening book that someone reads aloud? Or is this one better read alone?
  •  What is the perspective of the story? Who’s telling the story?
  •  Are the words talking down to a child? Are they morally heavy?

Illustrations

  • What is the medium(s)? Was it digitally rendered? Was it a hybrid?
  • What is the level of technique? Does it stand out? Is it unique? Is there a style?
  • What are the visual elements? Line, shape, color, value, form, texture, space. How is the white of the page being used?
  • What colors are being used? Are the colors symbolic? Is color therapy being used? Complimentary colors? Bright? Dark? Contrasting?
  • Do the text and illustrations go well with one another?
  • Are there details in the illustrations not told in the text?
  • Would I know the book’s story if I took the text away?

The Cover

  • Is the title prominent? Or is the author’s?
  • Are the colors matching with the tone/mood of the book?
  • Is the font style easy to read?
  • Is there a blurb on the back?
  • Do the front and back covers correlate?
  • Does the cover represent the story inside?
  • Does it grab your attention?

Flaps

  • Does the front flap give a summary of the book?
  • Does the back flap tell about the author/illustrator?

End Pages

  • Are the pasted-down end pages white? Are they illustrated? Does the story begin or end on them?

End of the Book

  • Is there an author’s note? An illustrator’s?
  • If a nonfiction–is there a timeline, biographical notes, bibliography, index, suggestion reading, or photos? More information?

Misc.

  • Who is the author? Is this their first book? If a nonfiction picture book, is this person an expert on the subject? Is this a celebrity? What country are they from? And does that matter?
  • Is this a well-known author? Is it just like the others they have already written? Is there a repeated formula?
  • Is this book being translated? Was something lost in the translation?
  • Who is the illustrator? Is this their first book? Are they an artist well-known in other mediums?
  • Is this book political? Have an agenda? Age appropriate for elementary students? Developmentally appropriate? Is this a topic a child would care about in elementary school?

Star Rating Explained

Another key point of my evaluations is that I do not share picture book recommendations that deserve a half to two and a half stars. I’m not going to be that person. As shown below, the lowest star I give is a three, while the highest is a five.

If I’m on a site that does not allow half stars, I round up.

Picture Book Recommendation star rating of three to five

In Conclusion

 While I read these books, I always remember that the person or persons creating this book in my very hands is someone’s dream, someone’s “baby,” that they worked really hard on and are willing to share with the world. This is why I don’t share bad reviews. I simply put it back in my tote bag to return to the library. In addition, it may be a child’s favorite book, and I don’t want them to read online that I did not recommend that piece of literature and with the reasons why it was not up to par.

Even after retiring, I still read children’s books, especially picture ones. I was lucky to have found my passion and was paid for sharing it. I still enjoy my love and can now share it online with a broader audience of book lovers and book worms. The picture book recommendations are ninety-nine percent ones I check out of the public library. I appreciate the Central Library Consortium and am thankful for being in an area in the USA with such outstanding library systems.

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“—

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

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“—

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

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

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

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

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

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

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

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“—

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

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

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

 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

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

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

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

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

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

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“—

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

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

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

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“—

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

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“—

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

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

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

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“—

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

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

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

*(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).

Bookmarks

Bookmarks–Eleven Unique Bookmarks

Bookmarks are recommended 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).

Bookmark is a metal feather with a butterfly charm and dried flower inside a little bulb

Metal Feather Bookmark with Pendant

The feathers and butterflies are available in two colors–silver or golden feather. The pendants have several different flowers inside. Handmade.

For more details, click here.

I am unboxing my purchase:

Magnetic bookmarks of various ocean theme colors

Magnetic Bookmarks

These are magnetic bookmarks that clip together from one side of the page to the next. There are three different designs. The photo is multi ocean. One can pick 15 or 30 bookmarks.

I had a cat that kept pulling my bookmarks out of books but did not with magnetic ones.

For more details, click here.

Flower bookmarks with a good variety of flowers and plants

Flower Bookmarks

There are 30. Printed only on one side. Made of cardstock. Not laminated.

I bought these for my mom who is a garden lover.

For more details, click here.

Funny black cat bookmarks stretched out to look like they are holding onto the top of the page

Black Cat Bookmarks

These are in a set of ten. Plastic. Not too thick or too thin.

I plan to enclose mine in this year’s Halloween cards.

For more details, click here.

Outus 4 Pieces Wood Bookmarks are vintage style with pretty designs on four different bookmarks with a bead tassle.

Outus 4 Pieces Wood Bookmarks

These wood bookmarks come in several different styles. The one seen here is called vintage style. Each bookmark has a different color and design. There is a bead or tassel with each one. Thin enough to use between the pages of a book.

Available here.

I am unboxing my purchase:

Four acrylics with dried flowers with a tassel.

Dried Flower Resin Bookmarks

There are four. Dried flowers inside resin. Tassel. Handmade. A bit thicker than a regular bookmark.

They work for me to use in the magazines and larger books. Very pretty when the sun shines them.

For more details, click here.

Embroidered corner bookmark

Hand Embroidered Corner Bookmark

This is made of felt with a thick cardstock as the backing; not as thick as cardboard. Pick the letter you want and the season. The one in the photo is spring. Embroidered.

For more details, click here.

I am unboxing my purchase:

wooden bookmark with aztect design

Wooden Bookmark–Made in the USA

This is wooden bookmark with four design choices. Personalization is available. Handmade. This is the Aztec design.

For more details, click here.

yellow elastic bookmark with pointer on a book

Elastic Bookmark-Made in Italy

An elastic with a pointer to help keep your place. Different colors available. Be aware that some of the colors are differently priced.

I had some students use these to help them focus on the line while they were reading. I did not get returned library books that were damaged from this type of bookmark although I think it worked better with hardbacks; depending on the sturdiness of the book’s binding and how stretchy the elastic could get from use.

Available here.

funny green plastic bookworm wrapped around the pages of the corner of a book's page

Wally the Bookworm

The worm is made of plastic. Comes in various colors. About four inches.

I did receive one of these from a student as a gift. Very cute.

Available here.

two elastic bookmarks with a tree of life pendant

Tree of Life Elastic Bookmarks

These come in a pair. There are several choices with crystals beaded as the leaves of the tree.

I would recommend using these to keep your place in a diary, planner, affirmation/prayer a day book, or another book with a hardback cover.

Available here.

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“—

* I received a complimentary digital copy of this picture book for an honest review.

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 Can 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

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.

Rating: 4/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

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 had 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).

Rating: 3.5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—1/2

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

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.

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. It is the Willard Library and full of books for people to borrow. Mrs. Creavy, a librarian, helps Patricia 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. 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.

Rating: 5/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

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 the librarian’s desk, Mr. Hughes, 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 says good night, Library Fish gets out of her bowl (with special accommodations) and begins to teach herself the ABCs. Each night she practices until she can read books.

Rating: 3/5 πŸ“—πŸ“—πŸ“—

Continue reading for more details and buying options on this book’s Amazon page.

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.
ο»Ώ

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

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“—