Reading Room: 2021 Book Picks for Kids

Reading Room: 2021 Book Picks for Kids

December

Carla and the Christmas Cornbread
By Carla Hall
Superstar chef Carla Hall shares the story of young Carla, who tries to make things right after eating one of Santa’s Christmas cookies.

Stuntboy, in the Meantime
By Jason Reynolds
Numerous award-winning author Jason Reynolds brings us a new chapter book about superhero Portico Reeves, who must battle an archnemesis, fighting parents and anxiety all while keeping those he loves safe.

Ada Twist, Scientist: The Why Files: Exploring Flight
By Andrea Beaty
Take off with this new nonfiction series that is also a new Netflix show. This first volume explores flight, from creatures that fly to the technology that allows humans to soar through the air.

– Book Recommendations Courtesy of Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library, we247.org

November

Disney Baby Baby Signs: First Words
By Disney Books and illustrated by Disney Storybook Art Team
For little ones 8 months to 2 years old who haven’t developed the verbal skills to express their needs and emotions comes baby sign language. This board book packed with Disney characters introduces 12 easy-to-learn signs, so babies and toddlers can tell you when they are happy, hungry, and more. 

Beautifully Me
By Nabela Noor and illustrated by Nabi H. Ali
When Zubi sees her mother frowning in the mirror and talking about being “too big,” she starts to worry about her own body and how she looks. As her day goes on, she hears people being critical of each other’s and their own bodies. Find out how Zubi sees that we can all make the world a more beautiful place by being beautifully ourselves.

Cat Problems
By Jory John and illustrated by Lane Smith
If your family has cats, you might relate to this feline friend. Like most cats, he lives an extremely comfortable life. But he has his problems, too! The sun spot he’s trying to bathe in won’t stop moving. And don’t get him started on the vacuum and the nosy neighbor squirrel that just can’t seem to mind its own business. Will this cat ever find the silver lining?

North American Indians
By Marie and Douglas Gorsline
This easy-to-read picture book is an introduction to the first Americans, including the Seminole, Iroquois, Sioux, Hopi, and more. Learn more about the history, cultures and traditions of over 12 Native North American peoples, including how they hunted and fished for food, how they adapted to their climates, and what their lives were like.

October

Room on the Broom
By Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler
The witch and her cat are happily flying through the sky on a broomstick when the wind picks up and blows away the witch’s hat, then her bow, and then her wand! Luckily, three helpful animals find the missing items, and all they want in return are rides on the broom.

Pumpkin Soup
By Helen Cooper
Deep in the woods in an old white cabin, three animal friends make their pumpkin soup the same way every day. But one day, there is a squabble, and one friend leaves the cabin in a huff. The other friends start to worry and look for him.


BabyLit Edgar 
Allan Poe Books

There are many interesting ways to introduce kids to Edgar Allan Poe, poet and fiction writer, through the BabyLit books. In the stories by Jennifer Adams, such as “Edgar Gets Ready for Bed: Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Raven,’” a raven quoths “Nevermore” during his nighttime routine. Learning about Poe in a family-friendly book can include “Edgar and the Tree House of Usher: Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Fall of the House of Usher,”’ and “Little Poet Edgar Allan Poe: Nevermore!” by Kate Coombs. BabyLit has books for all the literary heroes your family cherishes.   

— Angela Gartner

Sassy Sisters vs The Sock Monster
By Jacquese Groves
Sydney and Kennedy are sisters and best friends who are attached at the hip. When Sydney overhears Mommy tell Daddy that the sock monster got their socks again, adventure ensues. The fearless little sister hatches a plan to catch the mysterious sock monster and convinces her big sister to come along for the ride.

September

Memory Jar
By Vera Brosgo
Freda begins to save all her favorite things. But when it turns out that saving everything also means she can’t enjoy anything, Freda realizes that some things are best saved as memories.

Maya and the Robot
By Eve L. Ewing and illustrated by Christine Almeda
Maya is nervous about fifth grade. Just when too much seems to be changing, she finds a robot named Ralph in the back of Mr. Mac’s convenience store closet. Once she uses her science skills to get him up and running, a whole new world of connection opens up.

Theo TheSaurus: The Dinosaur Who Loved Big Words
By Shelli R. Johannes and illustrated by Mike Moran
Theo TheSaurus is determined to share his love of words with the classmates in his new school, even if they don’t understand him at first. His newfound friends find a way to show they care, and Theo learns that sometimes, there are things more important than words.

August

The Bad Guys Episode 13: Cut to the Chase
By Aaron Blabey
This is the thirteenth installment of a hilarious easy reader graphic novel collection about some bad guys who want to do good deeds. 

Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem
By Amanda Gorman
Presidential Inaugural Youth Poet Laureate Gorman shares this gorgeously illustrated (by Loren Long) book that will inspire all readers to recognize that they can change the world.

Where are the Constellations?
By Stephanie Sabol
In this installment of the incredibly popular “Where Is?” series, explore everything about the constellations, from the stories behind their names, to how they were formed, and more.

— Book recommendations for the month of August are from Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library, we247.org

June/July

Pancakes, Pancakes!
By Eric Carle
When Eric Carle, author and illustrator of more than 70 children’s books, died on May 23, newspaper tributes raved about his 1969 classic, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” But my children adored his colorful collages for Bill Martin Jr.’s book “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” They also loved Carle’s “Pancakes, Pancakes!” about a boy named Jack gathering the ingredients to make his breakfast pancake. By the end of the book, we were all hungry for pancakes.  — Janet Cho

Awesome Science Experiments for Kids: 100+ Fun STEM/STEM Projects and Why They Work
By Crystal Chatterton
As kids grow older, they become more curious about the world around them, often asking, “How does this work?” “Awesome Science Experiments for Kid” teaches budding scientists the nuts and bolts of the scientific method, using fun, hands-on experiments designed to show kids how to hypothesize, experiment, and then record their findings.

The Mindfulness Journal for Teens: Prompts and Practices to Help You Stay Cool, Calm, and Present
By Jennie Marie Battistin, MA LMFT
Between school stress, extracurriculars, friend drama, and more, being a teenager is tough. Mindfulness—pausing to experience the present moment only—is a great way to stay focused and practice dealing with one feeling at a time. This journal offers a toolbox of simple breathing exercises, easy meditations, and dozens of writing prompts to help teens bring mindfulness into their daily routines.

And Then Comes Summer
By Tom Brenner and Illustrated by Jaime Kim
From flip-flops and hide-and-seek to fireworks and ice-cream trucks, from lemonade stands and late bedtimes to swimming in the lake and toasting marshmallows, there’s something for everyone in this bright and buoyant celebration of the sunny season.

May

How to Draw 101 Animals
By Dan Green
Imagine That. This 48-page book contains step-by-step line drawings to help budding artists draw 101 different animals of various shapes, sizes and poses.

Thank You, Teacher, from The Very Hungry Caterpillar
By Eric Carle
This book of pictures is the colorful way to tell loved ones “Thanks!” Featuring art from the World of Eric Carle, it follows “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and celebrates all that makes us most thankful.

Count on Me 123
By J. B. Frank and illustrated by Ela Smietanka.
Though many things in the world are uncertain, there are some people we can always count on—so let’s count them! In this colorful board book filled with adorable, diverse characters, children count the everyday heroes.

How to Raise a Mom
By Jean Reagan and Lee Wildish.
Written in an instructional style, two siblings suggest the best ways to raise a happy, healthy mom—from waking her up in the morning to arranging play dates, to making sure she gets enough exercise, some quiet time, and plenty of veggies.

April

Little Dandelion Seeds the World
By Julia Richardson and illustrated by Kristen Howdeshell and Kevin Howdeshell
Did you know dandelions thrive on all seven continents? In this lyrical book, learn how the crafty plant travels on the wind and hitches rides in order to spread far and wide. 

Where’d My Giggle Go?
By Max Lucado and illustrated by Sarah Jennings
It follows a boy who looks all over— from the circus to the bakery to his own pocket— for his giggle.
The picture book helps kids process their emotions in a fun, healthy way, so they can transform from grumpy to laugh-out-loud happy.

A Stick Is an Excellent Thing: Poems Celebrating Outdoor Play
By Marilyn Singer and illustrated by LeUyen Pham
Lyrical poems capture the energy of a group of children in one neighborhood as they amuse themselves over the course of a summer day. 

March

I Love My Bunny (Love Meez #3)
By Caroline Jayne Church
With touch-and-feels on every page, follow along as Caroline Jayne Church’s adorable Love Meez preschooler Sarah shows readers what makes her bunny so special.

Curls
By Ruth Forman and illustrated by Geneva Bowers 
This simple, playful and beautiful board book stars four friends who celebrate the joy of their hairstyles from bouncing curls to swinging braids.

 

 

My New Baby/Mi Nuevo Bebé Books
By Rachel Fuller (illustrator) and translator Teresa Mlawer 
This series of four board books deals with the anticipation of waiting for the new baby, the excitement of the arrival itself, and the beginnings of the special relationship that develops between siblings. It comes in both English and Spanish versions.

 

February 

How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You?
By Jane Yolen and illustrated by Mark Teague
Parents and children can never have enough ways to say “I love you” — and these dinosaurs are giving families a funny book, perfect for bedtime, story time, anytime.

The ABCs of Black History
By Rio Cortez and illustrated by Lauren Semmer
Letter by letter, the book celebrates a story of Black culture and history that spans continents and centuries, triumph and heartbreak, creativity and joy.

 

 

What Is the Civil Rights Movement?
By Sherri L. Smith, Who HQ and illustrated by Tim Foley
The book brings to life momentous events through the words and stories of the people who were on the front lines of the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

 

 

Mixed Me!
By Taye Diggs and illustrated by Shane W. Evans
Mike has awesome hair and is the perfect blend of his parents. He has to answer questions about being mixed. And he does, with joy, in this story about the life of a mixed-race child.

 

 

I Am a Kindness Hero
By Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Carme Lemniscates
Follow the adventures of a young boy as he practices kindness throughout his day, from rescuing a puppy to standing up to bullies to helping his younger sister tie her shoe.

 

 

January

Libby Loves Science: Mix and Measure
By Kimberly Derting and Shelli R. Johannes; illustrated by Joelle Murray
In this STEM-themed story, Libby hosts a puppy party for her friends and their dogs. With the help of her friend Rosa and little brother, Libby decorates, stuffs goody bags and bakes delicious cupcakes. But when they realize they’ve forgotten an important ingredient, they use science to solve the problem — just in the nick of time.

 

Focused
By Alyson Gerber
Clea can’t control her thoughts. She knows she has to do her homework, but she gets distracted. It’s starting to be a problem — not just in school, but when Clea is playing chess or just hanging out with her best friend. She finds out that she has ADHD, which means her attention is all over the place instead of where it needs to be. She’s not sure how to fix the problem, but that’s what she’s going to have to do find a way to focus.

 

Telling Time 
By David A. Adler and illustrated by Edward Miller 
Readers follow along as a lovable crew of kid astronauts and their Martian friends go about their daily routines, exploring the differences between seconds, minutes and hours, what a.m. and p.m. mean, and how to tell time on both digital and analog clocks. Ten seconds to lift off! Are you ready?

 

View 2020’s
Book Picks here!

1 Comment

  1. If you like FOCUSED, your group might like TROUBLE WITH A TINY T, a middle grade about a boy with ADHD who accidentally brings a tiny T. rex to life in his room.

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