2023 Children's Books · Children's Book Recommendations

New Children’s Book Recs–Week of November 12, 2023

New Children’s Book Recommendations–Week of November 12, 2023 are by Angela Ferraris, The Retired School Librarian.

Children’s book titles are carefully handpicked by a certified elementary school librarian who, although retired, still enjoys reading children’s books, especially picture books, and recommending them to busy teachers, school librarians, parents, grandparents, and other book lovers.

Most of the books Mrs. Ferraris reads before recommending are checked out from the public library, except for those much-appreciated complimentary copies sent to her for an honest review. Those are noted. 

The content below contains Amazon affiliate links. When you buy through these links, she may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.

Cover of the Book: Braeden wearing a green jacket holding a box of small paper bags with a homeless man and his dog in the background

Just One Pebble: One Boy’s Quest to End Hunger 

by Dianna Wilson Sirkovsky (Author), Sara Casilda (Illustrator)

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Clavis
  • Year: 2023
  • Grades: 1-4
  • Hardcover picture book ‏ : ‎ 32 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1605377678

Brief summary:  Braeden sees a homeless man on the side of the road as he and his mother drive to the store. Once he gets home, Braeden still thinks about the man and what his life must be like living on the streets. He makes a bag of snacks and things the person may need before asking his mom to take him back to the man.

Braeden puts together more bags and goes to a soup kitchen. When passing them out, he discovers a boy his age is there. Braeden is becoming increasingly aware of those less fortunate than himself, including children his age.

On Monday, his principal allows him to speak to everyone about his Brae’s Brown Bags(3B) to help those who need food, inspiring others to help.

Comments: This book is based on a true story about Braden Mannering, who raises awareness about how others can help those with food insecurity.

The back sections are   About BraedenOne Simple Bag, and A Word From Braeden. 

Teachers could read this book to students during their next food-drive to demonstrate how children can make a difference.

Rating: 4/5 📗📗📗📗

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

*I received a complimentary digital copy of this children’s book from the author to give an honest review.

Braeden Mannering’s website is https://braesbrownbags.org/

A beautiful Nokomis girl with long hair with the forest and river and yellow sun in the background. A bird, fish, butterfly and feather are on the cover of the book.

My Powerful Hair 

by Carole Lindstrom (Author), Steph Littlebird (Illustrator)

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harry N. Abrams
  • Year: 2023
  • Grades: 1-3
  • Hardcover ‏picture book : ‎ 48 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1419759434

Brief summary: A young girl tells how she can’t wait for her hair to grow long. She explains how her ancestors grew long hair, as hair is their memories and source of strength. The girl shares the milestones of her life and how her hair grows parallel to those special events.

Comments: Readers learn why the young girl’s mother has always had short hair and what it means to have hair cut short in her Indigenous culture.

This book’s back pages explain the belief that hair holds strength and power and includes an Author’s note.

Rating: 4.5/5 📗📗📗📗1/2

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

A woman with long hair with animals shown within it

The cover of the book is an illustration of each zodiac object around the words Night Lights with a blue starry night background

Night Lights 

by Jeannie K. Johnson (Author)

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Juju Press
  • Year: 2023
  • Grades: 3-6
  • Paperback short stories ‏ : ‎ 94 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1088075509

Brief summary: Young readers will read Zodiac-inspired fables that are new and modern interpretations of twelve constellations, paired together in six short stories: the Ram and the Fish, the Water Bearer and the Goat, the Archer and the Scorpion, the Scales and the Maiden, the Lion and the Crab, and the Twins and the Bull.

Comments: These fables are variants of the Roman/Greek constellation stories. They are original and inspired by the Zodiac.

Each chapter begins with a colorful illustration and ends with the constellation pairing.

This could be a read-aloud to young and older students.

A creative writing idea is reading aloud one of the stories and having students create their own modern fable of one of the constellations.

Rating: 4/5 📗📗📗📗

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

*I received a complimentary digital copy of this children’s book from the author to give an honest review.

Book Cover: Snowing in a hollow with winter trees on either side with Hubert, the little mouse wearing a red jacket and gray scarf holding a book looking up with a scared look.

The Voice in the Hollow 

by Will Hillenbrand (Author)

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Holiday House
  • Year: 2023
  • Grades: PreK-3
  • Hardcover ‏ picture book: ‎ 40 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0823436810

Brief summary: A blizzard causes the library to close early. Hubert must walk home in the storm, deciding a shortcut through the Hollow would get him home quicker. Although it looked spooky and the wind picked up, the mouse entered the Hollow. He was met by a fox who took his hand, and they made a dangerous trek across the snow-covered landscape. He safely returns home to his parents and siblings to share his adventure.

Comments: The illustrations expressed and captured the snowfall and coldness of the blizzard with a beautiful double gatefold at the story’s climax.

This would be a perfect fit snow story for young readers on a gray wintery day. 

Teachers teaching winter units should definitely include this picture book.

Rating: 5/5 📗📗📗📗📗

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

A girl wearing a blue bicycle helmet riding a red bike on the sidewalk with yellow and orange leaves on the ground. The sky and road is gray.

Nothing Ever Happens on a Gray Day 

by Grant Snider (Author

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Chronicle Books
  • Year: 2023
  • Grades: PreK-3
  • Hardcover ‏ picture book: ‎ 44 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1797210890

Brief summary: As Fall slowly turns towards Winter, a girl rides her bike through her gray neighborhood, crunching through the fallen leaves to the playground, where she goes on a Nature walk into the woods nearby, seeing more and more colors as she explores.

Comments: This is a quiet story of a girl’s solitude and exploring the world around her area. In its conclusion, we can see how her gray day becomes full of colors.

The front end papers feature gray/blue fallen leaves, and the back end papers feature bright yellow/orange leaves visually representing the picture book’s changing mood and color scheme throughout the story.

This is a perfect read-aloud for young ones.

Rating: 5/5 📗📗📗📗📗

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

A girl standing at the end of sidewalk with her apartment building in the background with the sky gray and the ground.