Hello! I have been reading reviews on Publishers Weekly, Horn Book, School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews and several picture book podcasts to come up with this list. I have selected books that I personally want to get my hands on (these may be different for you), but also because they are books that seem like they can be cherished over and over again. I also look for books that have something to offer to adults and children and where the pictures and text play off each other.
I have starred the books available on Amazon India. Most books are suited for children 4 years and above.
How to read a book by Melissa Sweet and Kwame Alexander *
This book seems like one of those evergreen picture books that you just need to have in your child's personal library.
In this book, Alexander (Newbery Medalist) compares reading to peeling the skin of a clementine, digging in to its juiciness, enjoying it “piece by piece, part by part.” Sweet’s (Caldecott Honoree) detailed mixed-media collage artwork encourages children to slow down, “get cozy between the covers,” and spend time enjoying and exploring every morsel of word and image.
Paws + Edward by Espen Dekko and Mari Kanstad Johnsen
Both my children ADORE animals and have been pestering us to adopt a puppy or a cat, but we've been reluctant. The main concern has always been that a pet becomes a family member, but you still have to be prepared for their death. This book seems like it would be lovely for those families who have pets, but even for those who don't!
Paws is old and prefers to spend his days sleeping and dreaming, mostly about rabbits, while Edward, cuddles close and reads books. When Edward invites Paws for a walk, Paws goes because, he thinks, “Edward could use some fresh air.” The two are inseparable until the inevitable occurs and Paws falls into a sleep “without dreams.” Edward is so sad, but when he finally falls asleep (in the park, on the bench Paws used to lie on) he dreams—of Paws, tail wagging, happy—and readers will be uplifted, understanding that Edward’s love for Paws cannot be erased by death. Johnsen’s warmly hued illustrations give Paws such a large presence that he often spills out over the boundaries of the page—a visual manifestation of the story’s theme of love unconstrained by the boundary of death.
Zombies Don't Eat Veggies by Megan Lacera and Jorge Lacera *
Mo, a greenish, bespectacled kid, has an idea to share his love of the veggies he grows in secret: He’ll make a bloody-looking gazpacho, one that might fool mom and dad into appreciating tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, garlic, and cilantro. I would love to read this book to my daughter in hope that it would make her love her veggies :)
Who wet my pants by Bob Shea and Zachariah Ohora *
Reuben, the bear, has got donuts for everyone in his scout troop, but his friends are all staring at something else: there's a wet spot on Reuben's pants. "WHO WET MY PANTS?" he shouts, and a blame game starts. His buddies try to reassure him there was no crime. Just an accident. It could happen to anyone! But as all the clues begin to point in Reuben's own direction as the culprit, Reuben must come to terms with the truth.
Who Wet My Pants? isn't a potty-training book.It's so easy for us to blame others before we look within right? What a witty and wise story about acceptance and forgiveness.
Small In The City by Sydney Smith *
When you're small in the city, people don't see you, and loud sounds can scare you, and knowing what to do is sometimes hard. But this little kid knows what it's like, and knows the neighborhood. And a little friendly advice can go a long way.
I am always fascinated by author-illustrators, I wish I had so much talent! This author-illustrator has picked a meaningful topic and his artwork looks absolutely drool worthy!
Carl and the Meaning of Life by Deborah Freedman
Carl is a humble earthworm content to burrow busily underground, until one day a curious field mouse asks him “why?” This big question pushes him to ponder his purpose and his vital role in the ecosystem. A beautiful way to get our little ones to understand the wonder and interconnectedness of nature.
Dancing Hands by Margarita Engle Rafael Lopez *
As a little girl, Teresa Carreño loved to let her hands dance across the beautiful keys of the piano.. Then a revolution in Venezuela forced her family to flee to the United States. Teresa felt lonely in this unfamiliar place, where few of the people she met spoke Spanish. Worst of all, there was fighting in her new home, too—the Civil War.
Still, Teresa kept playing, and soon she grew famous. So famous, in fact, that President Abraham Lincoln wanted her to play at the White House!
I think all our kids need a dose of non-fiction. I, for one, have just started reading lots of non-fiction (adult) books and I surprised myself when I realised I really enjoy this genre.
Hey, Water by Antoinette Portis *
Join a young girl as she explores her surroundings and sees that water is everywhere. But water doesn't always look the same, it doesn't always feel the same, and it shows up in lots of different shapes. Water can be a lake, it can be steam, it can be a tear, or it can even be a snowman.
As the girl discovers water in nature, in weather, in her home, and even inside her own body, water comes to life, and kids will find excitement and joy in water and its many forms.
My Papi Has A Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero and Zeke Pena *
I heard a podcast with Matthew Winner on The Children's Book Podcast with the author and illustrator and fell in love with the story before even reading it.
When Daisy’s tired Papi arrives home from work, they strap on helmets and take off on his shiny blue motorcycle for a sunset tour of their Corona, CA, community. They zigzag and zoom through busy streets, savoring familiar sights and sounds, and cherishing time spent together. A beautifully developed relationship shared by father and daughter while offering a heartfelt homage to a vibrant city, built by immigrants and faced with constant change.
Ho'onani Hula Warrior by Heather Gale and Mika Song
I know gender fluidity is a complex topic. It is definitely a topic everyone is not comfortable discussing, but may be at the right time and age its something we should be discussing with our children.
In traditional Hawaiian culture, every person has a role in society. Ho’onani doesn’t see herself as a wahine (girl), or kāne (boy). Will leading the kāne hula chant at school help her find her place in the middle?
Saturday by Oge Mora
I have been admiring Oge Mora's work for a while now and when I saw she had a new book out, I just knew I had to get my hands on it.
A trip to the library, a picnic, and a one-night-only puppet show are some of the activities Ava and her mother have planned for their day together. But when Saturday arrives, the two are met with disappointment after disappointment until the day ends on an absolutely “splendid” note thanks to the resourceful and imaginative child.
Vamos! Lets Go to the Market by Raul The Third
This story just looks like it instantly transports the reader to Mexico with its cultural references and detailing. Any book that can take me feel that way has me sold!
Readers travel along as Little Lobo and his pooch deliver a wagonload of supplies to a bustling Mexican mercado, stopping along the way to watch street performers, sample tasty treats, and chat with friendly shopkeepers.
Truman by Jean Reidy and Lucy Ruth Cummins *
In this charming tortoise-de-force, Truman is determined to find out where his Sarah has disappeared to, even if it means venturing into the unknown. This back to school story from a pet’s point of view helps readers find ways to be brave in new situations.
We Are (Not) Friends by Anna Kang Christopher Weyant
This book just looks super cute! Two fuzzy friends are having a fun playdate when a new pal hops in. As the day continues, each friend feels left out at times. It isn’t so easy to figure out how to act when everything seems to change