Northeast Ohio Parent Reading Room for 2019: Book Picks for Kids

Northeast Ohio Parent Reading Room for 2019: Book Picks for Kids

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. 


Click here to view last year’s list.




Editor’s Review:
Nibbles the Book Monster
By Emma Yarlett
Last month, we asked readers about their favorite children’s book to read to their kids. Many said “Nibbles the Book Monster.” Curious, I got the book for my boys. The character, Nibbles, devours different parts of the book while introducing kids (or reminding them) about other classic tales. Kids will enjoy this interactive and fun hardcover book, which provides a unique way to fuel the passion for reading.
— Angela Gartner


Rosie Revere, Engineer
By Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts
Rosie Revere dreams of becoming a great engineer. She creates inventions from odds and ends, but she hides them away until a fateful visit from her great-great-aunt Rose, who shows her that the first flop isn’t something to fear — it’s something to celebrate. Look for other books with her friends in this STEM series.



Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History
By Vashti Harrison
This book educates and inspires as it relates true stories of 40 trailblazing black women in American history. Illuminating text paired with irresistible illustrations bring to life both iconic and lesser-known female figures of black history, such as abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, chemist Alice Ball, mathematician Katherine Johnson, poet Maya Angelou and more.
— Barnes and Noble,


Middle School: Born to Rock
By James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts, illustrated by Neil Swaab
Will Rafe’s sister Georgia win the Battle of the Bands? Find out in this newest Middle School installment
— Recommended by Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library,



I Love You, Little Pookie
By Sandra Boynton
This book is an affectionate and heartfelt celebration — for Valentine’s Day and every day — enlivened with Boynton’s drawings. It offers a declaration of unwavering love from mom to her wonderful child.



Peel + Discover Series
By Megan Hewe Butler, illustrated by Chad Thomas
These aren’t your average sticker books. With hundreds of stickers (conveniently placed throughout the book), educational activities and puzzles, and interesting facts hidden beneath the stickers themselves, the Peel + Discover series will keep kids busy for hours. Topics such as dinosaurs, Washington, D.C., horses, and more come to life through the activities, stickers and children’s imaginations. Recommended for ages 6+. Workman Publishing,
— Denise Koeth



By Barroux
This bedtime book is whimsical and calming. The story describes all the bedtime activities of various animals as the moon slowly lulls them to sleep and reminds them to be peaceful. Shhh!
— Recommended by Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library,



The Good Egg
By Jory John
The author of “The Bad Seed” introduces us to an egg that is so good, he is about to crack under the pressure of feeling like he has to be perfect. The story focuses on the importance of self-care, balance and acceptance.
— Recommended by Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library,



The 104-Story Treehouse: Dental Dramas & Jokes Galore!
By Andy Griffiths
In the hilarious eighth book in this illustrated chapter book series perfect for fans of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” and “Captain Underpants,” Andy and Terry decide that their 91-story treehouse needs a few more floors.
— Recommended by Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library,



By Kayla Miller
Fans of Raina Telgemeier will love this new graphic novel that follows Olive as she navigates new experiences and gets out of her comfort zone. Also, check out Olive’s other adventure, “Click.”
— Recommended by Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library,



The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
By John Boyne
If you have a middle schooler, they likely already have or will do the “Book Tower Challenge” project, which has them reading 10-20 books throughout the school year. My son chose this book for his historical fiction requirement. It’s about a boy named Bruno whose soldier father lived near Auschwitz concentration camp. The 8-year-old wasn’t aware of the happenings at the camp. He met a boy who was wearing “striped pajamas” on the other side of the fence and they became friends. The story, which eventually became a 2008 movie, has an impactful meaning that will stick with your mature reader. My 12-year-old son, who was engrossed in the book for several days before finally finishing, said it was a “sad and action-packed book.” As a parent, I would recommend you see the movie or read the book with your child — and be ready for a discussion about the subject matter.
— Angela Gartner



Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson’s Journal
By Jeff Kinney
Highly anticipated by all “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” fans. What begins as Rowley’s diary — illustrated in Kinney’s familiar stick-figure style — quickly morphs into a biography of Greg. What follows is a retelling of some indignities that Rowley has suffered at Greg’s hands: Greg’s manipulation of Rowley extends to every facet of their friendship.
— Recommended by Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library,



That’s What Dinosaurs Do
By Jory John, illustrated by Pete Oswald
William the dinosaur never lets the chance to roar pass him by, even if others find it rather bothersome. That’s until he gets a sore throat and the doctor warns him not to roar for a WHOLE week. But can this overexcited, boisterous, giant lizard not do what dinosaurs are meant to do?




Hair Love
By Matthew Cherry, illustrated by Vashti Harrison
Zuri’s hair has a mind of its own…It’s up to Daddy to give his daughter an extra-special hairstyle in this ode to self-confidence and the love between fathers and daughters.



My Life as a Meme
By Janet Tashjian, illustrated by Jake Tashjian
Derek Fallon and his friends are back for another hilarious adventure in Book 8 of the My Life series — this time featuring epic “meme” adventures.



The Books have Landed…

In July, the U.S. celebrates the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s Moon Landing. Here are some recommended reads for your aspiring space adventurer.


The Apollo Missions for Kids: The People and Engineering Behind the Race to the Moon (with 21 Activities)
By Jerome Pohlen
This story is told from the perspective of those who lived it — the astronauts and their families, the controllers and engineers, technicians and politicians who made the impossible possible.
— Recommended by Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library,



Go for the Moon: A Rocket, a Boy, and the First Moon Landing
By Chris Gall
A young boy anticipates the launch of Apollo 11 with some astronaut preparations of his own. He explains the design of the spacecraft, the flight from the Earth to the moon, and the drama of touching down.
— Recommended by Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library,



I Was a Teenage Space Reporter: From Apollo 11 to Our Future in Space
By David Chudwin
As a 19-year-old college journalist, Chudwin covered the launch from Florida in July 1969. The book’s author, representing the college press, had access to the astronauts, rocket scientists, launch pads, rockets and control centers.



Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls (Dog Man #7)
By Dav Pilkey (creator of Captain Underpants)
The Supa Buddies have been working hard to help Dog Man overcome his bad habits. But when his obsessions turn to fears, Dog Man finds himself the target of an all-new supervillain.



Horse and Buggy Paint it Out
By Ethan Long
This very silly, very simple book is about making a plan, following through, and the help from a good friend.
— Recommended by Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library,



You Get What You Get
By Julie Gassman
Melvin throws fit after fit when he doesn’t get what he wants. He must learn how to deal with disappointment. After all, you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.



Click, Clack, Surprise!
By Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin
Join everyone’s favorite farm characters as they plan a birthday party for Little Duck! The repetition and familiar concepts make this a perfect book for beginning readers.
— Recommended by Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library,



By Rainbow Rowell, illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks
Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends. Every autumn, all through high school, they’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world. They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1. But this year is different — Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch: their last shift together and their last good-bye.
— Recommended by Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library,



*Parent’s Book Nook
Timeless Advice for Parents of Young Children: How to Understand Your Child’s Behavior and Respond Effectively in Almost Any Situation
Children don’t come with an instruction manual, but this parenting book is about as close as you can get. Written by a group of wise early-childhood development experts, it’s an easy-to-read behavioral guide to what’s going on in your young child’s mind in almost any situation — from public tantrums to noticing people with disabilities to preparing for the first day of preschool. Whether you read it cover to cover or reach for it when the going gets tough, it will help bring out that loving, nurturing, patient and resourceful parent that lives in all of us. The authors are early childhood experts with long-standing connections with Hanna Perkins Center for Child Development. They are Maria Kaiser, M. Ed; Kathy Smith Baker, M. Ed.; Georgianna (Gann) Roberts, M. Ed.; Ginny Steininger, M. Ed; and Coordinator Barbara Streeter, M.S. (Bank Street), LPCC. Collectively, they have decades of experience and have helped several thousand children lead happier lives.
Visit for more information.



*Young Adult New Release! 

His Hideous Heart: 13 of Edgar Allan Poe’s Most Unsettling Tales Reimagined
Edited by Dahlia Adler
Edgar Allan Poe may be 150 years beyond this world, but the themes of his beloved works have much in common with modern young adult fiction. Whether the stories are familiar to readers or discovered for the first time, readers will revel in Edgar Allan Poe’s classic tales and how they’ve been brought to life in 13 unique and unforgettable ways.
— Recommended by Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library,


Hey Grandude!
By Paul McCartney
Beatles legend Paul McCartney brings us a fantastic picture book adventure about what kinds of outrageous fun grandparents and grandkids can get into. From dodging stampedes to escaping avalanches, this crazy family never has a dull moment.
— Recommended by Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library,


Paint by Sticker Kids: Halloween
By Workman Publishing
The activity series includes everything kids need to create 10 vibrant images, including jack-o-lanterns, a haunted house, a mummy and a pair of friendly ghosts.


Cami Kangaroo Has Too Much Stuff
By Stacy C. Bauer
Cami Kangaroo loves stuff! Rocks, shells, feathers, toys…she loves them all. She collects them, sorts them and builds with them. There’s only one problem: her room is so messy that it’s nearly impossible for her to find things! The book provides parents with advice and tips to help guide their children as they declutter their space and find peace in their surroundings. 


My Camel Wants To Be a Unicorn
By Julia Inserro
Why would a camel want to be a unicorn? Did she eat too many unicorn cupcakes? What could possibly be the problem? A story to reinforce the concept of empathy — don’t make assumptions about others, ask and observe.


Hey, Kiddo
By Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Jarrett Krosoczka’s mom is an addict, in and out of rehab, and in and out of Jarrett’s life. His father is a mystery — Jarrett doesn’t know where to find him, or even what his name is. Jarrett lives with his grandparents and, as a teenager, Jarrett begins to piece together the truth of his family, reckoning with his mother and tracking down his father. This memoir is about growing up in a family grappling with addiction and finding the art that helps you survive.


Parent Book Review:
‘The Scarecrow’
Written by Beth Ferry; illustrated by the Fan Brothers

New York Times bestselling picture book author Beth Ferry and acclaimed illustrators Eric and Terry Fan present a heartwarming timeless tale of unlikely friendship in “The Scarecrow.” The story follows the eponymous scarecrow through the seasons, all the while exploring themes of loneliness, compassion and hope.

“All the woodland creatures know not to mess with old Scarecrow” so he finds himself alone until a chance encounter with a baby crow. Scarecrow “does the strangest thing” and sets into motion a series of events that bring “joyful hearts.”

With each changing season comes a renewed sense of purpose for Scarecrow. As springtime blossoms so does friendship. What is broken becomes mended, and what is empty becomes full. Only when Scarecrow opens his heart can love grow by finding happiness in helping others.

The beautiful, whimsical illustrations — created in pencil, ballpoint and Photoshop — have a soft, romantic quality. Detail and texture bring the characters and landscape to life — you can almost feel the brisk autumn wind and blustery snow.

While it can easily become a foreboding figure, this scarecrow is endearing in windowpane plaid, weathered blue denim, burlap and hay. The soft expressions on his burlap face – painted blue eyes, triangular nose and stitched mouth – perfectly capture the emotions throughout the story.

The poetic rhyming text begs to be read aloud at bedtime or school story time. Recommended for ages 4 to 8, this sweet story is sure to tug at the heartstrings of all ages. Young audiences will recognize lessons of kindness and getting what you give, while mature readers can appreciate symbolism in the imagery and find deeper meaning in the relationships, which, like the seasons, come full circle.

— Lindsey Geiss



Unicorn Wings
By Mallory Loehr
Unicorn books are in high demand and this cute little story will be perfect. This is a story about a unicorn that wanted wings, and the illustrations are vibrant and gorgeous and assist in the storytelling.
— Submitted by Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library



Suggested Reading
By Dave Connis
Clara Evans is horrified when she discovers her principal’s “prohibited media” hit list. The iconic books on the list have been pulled from the library and aren’t allowed anywhere on the school’s premises. Students caught with the contraband will be sternly punished. So Clara starts an underground library in her locker, doing a shady trade in titles like “Speak” and “The Chocolate War.” But when one of the books she loves most is connected to a tragedy she never saw coming, Clara’s forced to face her role in it.
— Submitted by Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library


Ladybird Favourite Stories (for boys or girls)
By Mandy Archer
There are two versions of this book, for girls and boys, with each featuring eight classic tales. My youngest son really enjoyed the book that has fables such as “Three Billy Goats Gruff,” “The Elves and the Shoemaker,” “Jack and the Beanstalk” and “Three Little Pigs.” While these stories are written during a different time, one without modern technologies, they seem to never lose appeal or go out of style for kids — or adults. This author’s version of these classic tales has a light, kid-friendly and cheery tone. 

This is a book I chose randomly one day when going to the bookstore. I loved how it had all these classic stories in one binding. Yes, since I have boys, I thought it would appease my all-boy youngest son. However, I think the only disappointing thing about the book is its split audience — I feel everyone could enjoy it.
— Angela Gartner


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