Northeast Ohio Parent Reading Room for 2018: Book Picks for Kids

Northeast Ohio Parent Reading Room for 2018: Book Picks for Kids

Northeast Ohio Parent magazine's Reading RoomReddy the Reading Room Dinosaur!

Looking for some great reads for your kids? Check out the list below for books recommended by local libraries, Northeast Ohio Parent editors and more. Be sure to check back as we add more books each month. 

Hands Can
By Cheryl Willis Hudson, illustrated by John-Francis Bourke

Hands can do all kinds of things. A rhyming text with eye-catching color photos offers just the encouragement young children need to explore their world — hands-on.
— Recommended by Connecting for Kids,

Zoo Scientists to the Rescue
By Patricia Newman, photographs by Annie Crawley

Readers can go behind the scenes at three zoos to meet scientists who are working to save endangered animals in this colorful and informative book.
— Recommended by Westlake Porter Public Library,

I Can See Just Fine
By Eric Barclay

Paige is adamant that she can see just fine, but she can no longer see the chalkboard at school or her sheet music during practice. She needs glasses, but is afraid of going to see the doctor.
— Recommended by Mentor Public Library,

I Am Yoga
By Susan Verde
Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

If you love books that encourage kids to get up and get moving, this one is for you. Parents and kids can get up and follow along with each of the yoga poses — after all, a nice stretch will do you good. — Recommended by Mentor Public Library,

Out of Wonder bookOut of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets
By Kwame Alexander

Alexander, along with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth, present original poems that pay homage to 20 famed poets who have made the authors’ hearts sing and their minds wonder.  — Recommended by Westlake Porter Public Library,

Flap Your Wings, Little Robin
By Andrea Legg

A new group of friends is living in the woods, but how is such a quiet little robin supposed to communicate with a loud, rowdy bunch? Will he find a way to help his new friends understand him? The book includes an American Sign Language guide.

Andrea Legg is a public librarian from Northeast Ohio whose writing has been featured on Scary Mommy and The Mighty. She is a member of the Ohio Library Council and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Happy Me! Relax and Breathe
By Eileen Michele

Featuring three short, rhyming stories designed for young readers, this book showcases simple controlled-breathing techniques that will help children calm themselves during stressful times. Michele’s stories were developed from real-life experience out of desperation to help her daughter relax and breathe again, due to her anxiety.

I Survived the Children’s Blizzard, 1888
By Lauren Tarshis

The newest entry in the popular “I Survived” series takes readers to the American Midwest in 1888, where 11-year-old John Hale is about to experience one of the deadliest blizzards in American history. John is trapped outside in the building snow. Will he ever make it home?
— Recommended by Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library,

I Love My Bunny (Love Meez #3)
By Caroline Jayne Church

Love Meez preschooler Sarah shows readers just what makes her bunny so special in this touch-and-feel picture book.

How To Grow a Dinosaur
By Jill Esbaum

A young dinosaur is anxious to meet his new baby brother, until he realizes that with all the fun of having a new brother, also comes responsibility. How does he teach his baby brother everything from Peekaboo to roaring to manners to bedtime?
— Recommended by the Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library,

Honestly, Red Riding Hood Was Rotten! (The Other Side of the Story)
By Trisha Speed Shaskan, illustrated by Gerald Claude Guerlais

The story is told by Wolf, who provides his version of the events that happened with Red Riding Hood. The author offers a whole series of classic fairy tales that provide a version of the story not from the hero or heroine, but from the supposed villain.

Pete the Cat and the Lost Tooth
By James Dean

A tooth goes missing while Pete is helping the Tooth Fairy do her job. Pete enjoys spreading cheer until he finds Platypus, who does not have a tooth under his pillow. Can Pete find the missing tooth in time and save the day?
— Recommended by the Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library,

Megan Knight, of Medina, helps her youngest son participate in the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program. Below, she shares her sons’ (twins Gavin and Tyler, 6, and Casey, 2) favorite reads.

Amazing Giant Wild Animals
By Marie

Casey loves to point out all the animals, Knight says. And the giant flaps help keep his attention to reinforce listening for his busy, quick personality.

Bats at the Ballgame
By Brian Lies

This book is about an exciting, nail biter of a baseball game. Tyler loves when his mom reads it with all the intensity of a close rival game. Now, he likes to practice reading it himself, Knight says.

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
By Dr. Seuss

Gavin is learning to read in kindergarten, so this is perfect for him to practice reading, learn to sound out words, and keep his vibrant imagination, his mom says.

Editor’s Pick
How Do Dinosaurs Learn to Read?
By Jane Yolen, illustrated by Mark Teague

From the authors of “How do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?” (a Gartner family favorite) and other wonderful books in this series comes a new book to help kids who are feeling overwhelmed with the task of learning to read. Each book in the “How do Dinosaurs” series provides colorful illustrations and a rhythm that is easily understood and fun for all readers. These books are a must-have on any child’s bookshelf.
— Angela Gartner

Local Author Spotlight
The Pasta Family
By Laureen & Cory Tilson, illustrated by Alex Rodgers

When The Pasta Family heads to Marinara Beach for a day of fun in the sun, you know that excitement is right around the corner! But when the family dog (Ziti) wanders off of his leash, the family goes in search of their favorite pet. Join The Pasta Family on their latest beach adventure, catch a wave at the annual surfing competition, and help find Ziti in a surprise ending.

100 Bugs!
By Kate Narita,
illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman

This is a great summer read for those little ones learning how to count. From walking sticks to spittlebugs, dragonflies to katydids, discovering 10 bugs at a time, you just might see 100 bugs.

What Do You Do With a Problem?
By Kobi Yamada, illustrated by Mae Besom

This is the story of a persistent problem and the child who isn’t so sure what to make of it. The longer the problem is avoided, the bigger it seems to get. But when the child finally musters up the courage to face it, the problem turns out to be something quite different than it appeared.

Learning Addition with Puppies and Kittens
By Eustacia Moldovo and Patricia J. Murphy

In this adorable nonfiction book, puppies and kittens are used to represent numbers to help explain easy math problems. Concepts are described in a way that young children can understand, and then the visual element of animals is added to help further their understanding of the concepts.
— Recommended by the Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library,

Click, Clack, Quack to School! (A Click Clack Book)
By Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin

They can stand in line (sort of), use indoor voices (perhaps), and are capable of sharing (rumor has it), so the Click Clack critters are ready for school…but is school ready for them?

The Last Kids on Earth Book and the Cosmic Beyond
By Max Brallier, illustrated by Douglas Holgate
This is the fourth book in the popular series. It’s the first winter after the Monster Apocalypse. For Jack and his buddies, that means sled catapults, epic snowball battles, and one monstrous Christmas celebration. But their winter wonderland turns dark when a villainess begins hunting them.
Release date: Sept. 18.

Saving Fiona: The Story of the World’s Most Famous Baby Hippo
By Thayne Maynard
This is the incredible story of the Cincinnati Zoo’s efforts to save a premature baby hippo named Fiona, who has since become the zoo’s biggest celebrity.
— Recommended by the Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library,

Mixed: A Colorful Story
By Arree Chung
Red, yellow and blue discover the beauty of allowing themselves to mix to create new colors.
— Recommended by the Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library,

One Little Monster
By Mark Gonyea
Lively, colorful illustrations tell the story of a boy and his 10 silly monsters. Just in time for Halloween, your child will enjoy counting all the monsters as they pop up along the way!
— Recommended by the Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library,

Editor’s Review:
Help Kids Get Inspired by Classical Literature with BabyLit Board Books
For those who love the classic tales and want to share them with their children, author Jennifer Adams brings you the BabyLit board book series. Introduce your little ones to classic tales, such as “The Odyssey,” “Les Miserables,” “Treasure Island,” and more, in a hilarious and adorable way — a way only a baby or toddler would understand. Poe fans should try the Edgar Allan Poe-inspired book series starting with “Edgar Gets Ready for Bed.” Edgar the Raven is a mischievous, disobedient and contrary toddler. Dinnertime, clean-up time, and bedtime are all met with one word: NEVERMORE! Also, check out other titles in the series, including “Edgar and the Tattle-Tale Heart” and “Edgar and the Tree House Usher.”
— Angela Gartner
Visit a bookseller or library to inquire about BabyLit Board Books, or visit

Good Night – Buenas Noches
By Meritxell Martí, illustrated by Xavier Salomó
This bilingual slide-the-tab board book, with text in English and Spanish, provides a number of gentle good night wishes for baby at bedtime as baby, along with the cat, the trees outside, and even baby’s house, all close their eyes and fall asleep.

What if You Had Animal Eyes?
By Sandra Markle
The question of “What if you had animal eyes?” is answered by this nonfiction picture book that features many different types of bugs and animals with interesting eyes. The book include ridiculous illustrations of all sorts of different children and eyes while providing factual information about how animals’ eyes work.
— Recommended by Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library,

New Release
I Lost My Tooth
By Mo Willems
Zoom Squirrel has lost a front tooth. The Squirrels leap into action when they discover the missing tooth is a baby tooth. Do you know more about teeth than the Squirrels do? You will by the end of this book.

About the author

Angela Gartner has been the editor at Northeast Ohio Parent Magazine since 2014. She has won local and national awards for her features, columns and photography over the years. Previously, her work appeared in publications including The News-Herald, Sun Newspapers and The Chicago Tribune. She grew up in Northeast Ohio and is a mom of two boys. The whole family is busy every weekend with sports and finding new happenings around the region. She is also a board member and past president at the Cleveland Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. She loves reading, writing poetry and taking the family's Scottish Terrier on walks.

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