2023 Children's Books · Children's Book Recommendations

Babies–Five Human and Animal Picture Books

Babies–human and animal picture book recommendations are by Angela Ferraris, The Retired School Librarian.*

A baby tap dancing on a Broadway stage

Broadway Baby 

by Russell Miller (Author), Judith A. Proffer (Author)

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Meteor 17 Books (April 4, 2023)
  • Year: 2023
  • Grades: Babies-2nd grade
  • Hardcover picture book‏ : ‎ 32 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1957317043

Brief summary: An adorable tribute to Broadway with a baby dreaming of dancing and singing on stage. Baby shares about opening night, getting ready in the dressing room, and reviewing lines before going on stage.

The rhyming text is fun and exciting. The illustrations are bright and full of detail.

Comments: A cute bedtime story for babies and toddlers or the perfect gift for any music or drama teacher.

Rating: 4/5 📗📗📗📗

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

*It should be noted that this a complimentary book sent to me for an honest review.

A baby standing between a mother and father in a field of flowers reaching for an apple

All Your Tomorrows 

by Harriet Evans (Author), Heidi Griffiths (Illustrator)

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Tiger Tales (February 14, 2023)
  • Year: 2023
  • Ages: Babies-2nd grade
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 32 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1664300139

Brief summary: A mother and father hold their baby and bestow upon the child all their hopes and dreams for the newborn’s future. Readers are taken upon the parents’ wishes as the child grows with bright, beautiful, and pleasant illustrations with many two-page spreads. Gentle, lyrical text.

Comments: What a lovely book for babies and toddlers at bedtime.

Rating: 3.5/5 📗📗📗1/2

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

Wolf babies playing under the full moon with pine tree on either side of the pups

Full Moon Pups 

by Liz Garton Scanlon (Author), Chuck Groenink (Illustrator)

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (April 25, 2023)
  • Year: 2023
  • Ages: Toddler-2nd grade
  • Hardcover picture book ‏ : ‎ 40 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0525514554

Brief summary: In rhyming text and gentle rhythm, a mother wolf gives birth to her pups in a cave under a full moon. The mom and pack care for the babies as they grow during the moon’s cycle.

Comments: Lovely illustrations include gouache, acrylics, pencils, oil pastels, and digital media. The back pages include Author’s Note and The Phases of the Moon.

I suggest sharing this with primary grades during a baby animal or moon cycle unit of study.

Rating: 4/4 📗📗📗📗

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

A cub with his Walrus mother

Little Walrus

by Julie Abery (Author), Suzie Mason (Illustrator)

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Amicus Ink (March 14, 2023)
  • Year: 2023
  • Ages: Baby-Toddler
  • Hardcover board book picture book‏ : ‎ 20 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1681528711

Brief summary: Little Walrus plays near his mom and the herd of walruses while exploring his world.

Comments: The rhyming of verbs in each line is one I don’t often see, and I found it refreshing. Couplet rhyming as well. Illustrations are large and with all two-page spreads.

This is one of the adorable cute series of baby animals called the Little Animal Friends.

Rating: 3/5 📗📗📗

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

A mother is holding a baby over her shoulder as we see the baby's face

One Day 

by Joanna Ho (Author), Faith Pray (Illustrator)

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ HarperCollins (March 14, 2023)
  • Year: 2023
  • Ages: Baby to 2nd grade
  • Hardcover picture book ‏ : ‎ 40 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0063056925

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 📗📗📗📗

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

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 ‏ : ‎ Rodale Kids. 2023, Baby-3. Board Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 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 📗📗📗

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 ‏ : ‎ Cartwheel Books. 2023. 3-5 years old. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 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 📗📗📗

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 ‏ : ‎ Silver Dolphin Books. 2023. Baby-2. Board Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 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 📗📗📗

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 ‏ : ‎ Little Simon. 2023. Baby-2. Board Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 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 📗📗📗

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 ‏ : ‎ 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 📗📗📗📗

* 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 ‏ : ‎ Candlewick. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 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 📗📗📗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 ‏ : ‎ Chasing A Spider Publishing . 2023. Grades 1-2. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 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 📗📗📗📗

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 ‏ : ‎ HarperCollins. 2023. Baby-2nd Grade. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 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 📗📗📗📗

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 ‏ : ‎ Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 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 📗📗📗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 ‏ : ‎ Scholastic Press. 2023. Grades PreK-3. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 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 📗📗📗📗📗

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 ‏ : ‎ Candlewick. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 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 📗📗📗1/2