I love to take my kids to the library to borrow books and also to the bookstore to look for new favorites. I’m always on the hunt for new books to add to their library or give as gifts to other children. This past weekend we visited the local bookstore which has a great children’s section. There were so many great books, we stayed for two hours!
I’m really picky when it comes to children’s books, they have to well written and wonderfully illustrated. Great pictures are a must for me, if I don’t love the illustrations I won’t buy the book! Quite a few new books caught my eye while I was at the bookstore, so I thought I’d compile a list with my quick synopsis of the tales within.
All of these children’s books include either a heartwarming story or a fun adventure combined with great illustrations. I’ve read and love them all, and even bought a few to tuck under the Christmas tree. If you’re looking for a charming gift for boys and girls this holiday season, I highly recommend these for children ages 4 to 9. Listed in no order of preference.
#1 Kiki & Coco in Paris, Stephanie Rausser and Nina Gruener
Hot of the presses, and perfect for fans of the famous city of Paris. Kiki is a girl, Coco is her handmade cloth doll, and the two are inseparable. Together they travel to the City of Lights but Coco gets lost! This tale of friendship will delight, and is filled with gorgeous photography of Paris seen through the eyes of Kiki & Coco.
#2 Fandango Stew, David Davis
Two penniless and famished cowboys ride in to Skinflint and try to convince the stingy townsfolk to help them cook up some fandango stew. Cooperation leads to a tasty concoction everyone loves in this humorous take on the folktale Stone Soup. It’s as fun to look at as it is to read out loud, filled with all the best of the Old West slang.
#3 E-mergency! Tom Lichtenheld & Ezra Fields Meyer
The alphabet all lives together in harmony until one day the letter E takes a tumble down the stairs. Chaos ensues! How will the world function without the letter E? While E recovers, the letter O fills in, and the jokes and puns keep readers laughing throughout.
#4 Mustache! by Mac Barnett
King Duncan is incredibly vain and cares about nothing but himself. One day his subjects rebel and place King Duncan in a hairy situation. The illustrations by Kevin Cornell are brilliant and not to miss!
#5 Up and Down, Oliver Jeffers
The continuing story of friendship between a boy and his penguin. Penguin wants so badly to fly and the boy supports him in his unrealistic ambitions. Lovely watercolor illustrations in this sequel to Lost and Found.
#6 Miss Smith: Under the Ocean, Michael Garland
Miss Smith is the best teacher ever, when she opens a storybook, it comes alive! This author’s series continues when historic nautical characters come to life in this aquarium field trip. The adventure quickly turns into a seafaring tale with special appearances from characters in Moby Dick, Treasure Island, Gulliver’s Travels and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
#7 The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes, Mark Pett & Gary Rubenstein
Everyone knows that Beatrice is perfect in every way. She never forgets her homework and her socks always match. One day, she actually makes a mistake in front of a large audience of people, gasp! Beatrice learns through laughter that life is much more fun when you’re perfectly imperfect.
#8 The Boy Who Cried Ninja, Alex Latimer
Tim keeps getting in trouble due to some strange visitors around his house. Do Tim’s explanations for mysterious occurrences have a grain of truth? Find out by reading this clever twist on The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Charming artwork by both author and illustrator.
#9 What Animals Really Like, Fiona Robinson
Conductor Timberteeth gets quite upset when the animals change the lyrics of his latest song. Read all about the mayhem that ensues when the animals tell Timberteeth their unpredictable preferences in this story celebrating nonconformity.
#10 The Day Dirk Yeller Came to Town, Mary Cassanova
One western town’s people are shaking in their boots when they hear Dirk Yeller is coming to town. Young Sam observes Dirk’s itchin’ and twitchin’ and reasons correctly that he just might have the solution to tame the outlaw.
#11 Press Here, Hervet Tullet
Readers interact with colorful dots in this clever adventure where children are invited to press, shake, tilt, and blow on the dots to see what magic occurs when they do. The narrator acts as coach and encourages and congratulates along the way. Children are guaranteed to beg for a repeat performance.
#12 Perfect Square, Michael Hall
One perfectly formed square is oh so content until it finds itself transformed into something else. Perfect square discovers a whole new world when it’s torn, shredded, or cut, then made into something more beautiful. The message to be creative and think outside the box!
#13 Bailey, Harry Bliss
Bailey is not your average pup. He’s equally as smart as children so naturally he goes to school with them. Bailey takes children on a fun adventure from from art class to math class to the playground but manages to unintentionally stir up trouble simply because of his instincts to dig and wag. Written and illustrated by New Yorker cartoonist Harry Bliss.
#14 PaperToy Monsters, Brian Castleforte
Part book, part playmate, this book is sure to delight your young monster loving lad. Complete with 50 perforated mutants and space monsters that pop out and come together to form a perfect boy’s world (ages 5 to 9) with characters such as Scorpion Robot and Yucky Chucky. 25 designers from around the world contribute.
#15 Cars Galore, Peter Stein
Here’s a nonstop parade of cars in all shapes, sizes, and personalities brought to you in rhythmic verse. Illustrations are both whimsical and modern.
#16 King Hugo’s Huge Ego, Chris Van Dusen
King Hugo’s foolishness is on display in this rhythmic and rhyming tale of a self absorbed King who eventually learns modesty. Great facial expressions throughout.
#17 Mirror Mirror, Marilyn Singer
This book was released in 2010 and has since received a lot of accolades. It proves there are two sides to every story with its recitation of poetry with the lines reversed from so many classic fairy tales and fables. Amazingly clever and beautifully illustrated.
#18 Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band, Kwame Alexander
For the younger crowd (ages 3-5), this jazz loving rooster is out to form the best barnyard band, and partners with other talented musical critters such as Mules Davis and Ella Finchgerald for a rockin’ good time.
#19 Carmine, A Little More Red, Melissa Sweet
Debuted a few years ago, but I just discovered it so it made my list. Carmine is a painter on her way to Granny’s house in this clever retelling of the classic Little Red Riding Hood. The author highlights sophisticated words like “lurking” and “surreal” for her young readers to learn in this modern adventure.
#20 Sea of Dreams, Dennis Nolan
A young girl’s sandcastle is overtaken by the incoming tide and the inhabitants are forced to sail the open seas to save themselves in this dreamlike wordless adventure that allows the reader to make up the words as he or she goes along.
All of the above links are (non affiliate) Amazon links but please also shop for these wonderful books at your local bookstore to support your local merchants!
Hope you enjoy this collection of wonderful new children’s books. What say you Moms and Dads? What are the best children’s books you’re enjoying with your little ones these days?