As I’m at Children’s Institute this week, I will be bringing you the best of the best children’s book recommendations. Let’s start with picture books! All of these are not yet published titles, forthcoming from various Penguin Random House imprints, so go preorder them from your favorite local indie bookstore today (click on the book titles to find your nearest indie)!
The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael Lopez.
A timeless story, sure to be an instant classic, that recognizes how hard it is to be new, how uncomfortable it can feel to be YOU, and yet there are similarities that can be found to connect each and every one of us. Bright and colorful illustrations add depth to the lyrical and touching text; together they illuminate your mind and touch your heart.
Made by Maxine by Ruth Spiro, illustrated by Holly Hatam
Rosie Revere (an engineer), Ada Twist (a scientist), and blue-haired Charlotte (who makes a Doll-e 1.0) all know a thing or two about dreaming big dreams and creating innovative things – now they can add Maxine to their STEM-inspired girl gang!
The Yin-Yang Sisters and the Dragon Frightful by Nancy Tupper Ling, illustrated by Andrea Offermann
A Chinese proverb says that one must eat bitter in order to taste sweet. The dragon Frightful has been making the villagers eat bitter for years, by blocking the easy bridge leading to the market. Twins Mei and Wei use their individual strengths to try to change the dragon’s mind. More bitter (Wei’s kung fu) doesn’t work. It is Mei’s offer of sweet buns that does the trick! The dragon becomes a happy friend with the literal taste of something sweet. A charming story accompanied by richly detailed illustrations is a sophisticated new addition to the list of picture books of Chinese fables.
Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave by Jessica Hische
A good reminder for kids big and little, for people growing and grown, that while we try our best, there’s always another chance tomorrow to be brave, or any of the other things – like smart and adventurous and creative – that we strive to be every single day.