Reading Room: 2022 Book Picks for Kids

Reading Room: 2022 Book Picks for Kids

Looking for some great reads for your kids? Here’s a list of books recommended by local libraries, Northeast Ohio Parent editors and more. Put these on your library wish list or gift them to someone you know.


Merriam-Webster’s Ready-for-School Words: 1,000 Words for Big Kids
Enter the world of Merriam-Webster’sReady-for-School Words and discover the words needed to describe the people, places, and things in your community and beyond! Featuring 1,000 words children should know before they start school.



Word Play
By Adam Lehraupt and illustrated by Jared Chapman
When the parts of speech gather on the playground, Verb is always the star. She can climb! She can frolic! She can do anything! Her friends Adjective, Adverb, and Interjection all watch admiringly. 



Five Little Ducks Nursery Games
By Ailie Busby
Spend time with your toddler exploring this book of nursery games. Here you’ll find many well-known games, with a sprinkling of modern variations, for every occasion in a young child’s day.



We Say Goodnight
By Salina Yoon
This book features the faces of children from many nations speaking seven languages: English, Chinese, Spanish, Hindi, Arabic, French, and Tagalog. Readers can lift a flap to discover a speech bubble with a familiar phrase translated. Includes phonetic pronunciations for each language, as well as characters for Arabic, Hindi, and Mandarin Chinese. 



I Color Myself Different

By Colin Kaepernick, illustrated by Eric Wilkerson

One day in school, Colin’s teacher asks the children to draw what their families look like. “This is going to be easy,” Colin tells himself. “I have the best family ever.” But when he shows his drawing to his classmates, one asks: “Why are you the only brown one in your family?” Another adds: “Why did you color yourself different?” Colin freezes. What happens next, and how his classmates and teacher respond, turns their awkward questions into a joyful affirmation. (Based on a true event from Kaepernick’s childhood.)

— Janet Cho — Editor’s Pick



My Dad Loves Me!
by Marianne Richmond 
Illustrates all the ways dad shows his love to his little ones! Celebrating all the daddy hugs, kisses, and special moments, kids can relive their best times with Dad every day.



The Lion of Mars
by Jennifer L. Holm
Bell has spent his whole life—all eleven years of it—on Mars. But he’s still just a regular kid—he loves cats and any kind of cake, and is curious about the secrets the adults in the US colony are keeping. It’s up to Bell—a regular kid in a very different world—to uncover the truth and save his family…and possibly unite an entire planet.


The Storm
by Victoria Harris and illustrated by Brigid Malloy
A huge storm turns Benny’s world upside down. But can a journey to a magic tree restore some balance? Join Benny on an adventure where he learns some skills to navigate big feelings.


Celebrating National Foster Care Care Month

Home For A While
By Lauren Kerstein and illustrated by Natalia Moore
Calvin is in foster care, and he wants to trust someone, anyone, but is afraid to open his heart. He has lived in a lot of houses, but he still hasn’t found his home. When he moves in with Maggie, she shows him respect, offers him kindness, and makes him see things in himself that he’s never noticed before. 


Kinda Like Brothers
By Coe Booth
Jarrett doesn’t trust Kevon. But he’s got to share a room with him anyway. It was one thing when Jarrett’s mom took care of foster babies who needed help. But this time it’s different. This time the baby who needs help has an older brother — a kid Jarrett’s age named Kevon. Everyone thinks Jarrett and Kevon should be friends — but that’s not gonna happen. This is a story of two boys who really don’t get along — but have to find a way to figure it out.




Reshuffled: Stories of Hope and Resilience from Foster Care
By Tracy Gharbo and Linda Palmer
Within “Reshuffled,” former foster children share their trials and strategies to gain footing in their unpredictable lives with the hope that their stories can model, inspire, and encourage youth facing similar situations today.   



Knight Owl
By Christopher Denise
Owl dreamed of becoming a real knight. He may not be the biggest or the strongest, but his sharp nocturnal instincts can help protect the castle, especially since many knights have recently gone missing. 



Around the World on Eighty Legs: Animal Poems
By Amy Gibson and Illustrated by Daniel Salmieri
As readers explore habitats ranging from the Arctic to the Savanna, they will learn fun and humorous information about the animals who live there.



Too Many Carrots
By Katy Hudson
Rabbit loves carrots a little too much. In fact, his carrots are crowding him out of his cozy burrow. When his friends offer to help, they’re just asking for trouble. A lot of trouble.


Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art
By James Nestor
Nestor tracks down men and women exploring the hidden science behind ancient breathing practices like Pranayama, Sudarshan Kriya, and Tummo, and teams up with pulmonary tinkerers to scientifically test long-held beliefs about how we breathe.


The Pigeon HAS to Go to School!
By Mo Willems
Why does the Pigeon have to go to school? He already knows everything! And what if he doesn’t like it? What if the teacher doesn’t like him? What if he learns too much? In this celebrated series, the Pigeon helps get kids excited about school.



Eyes That Speak to the Stars
By Joanna Ho and illustrated by Dung Ho
A young boy comes to recognize his own power and ability to change the future. When a friend at school creates a hurtful drawing, the boy turns to his family for comfort. He realizes that his eyes rise to the skies and speak to the stars, shine like sunlit rays, and glimpse trails of light from those who came before him.


Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13
By Helaine Becker and illustrated by Dow Phumiruk
This is the story of Katherine Johnson, an African-American mathematician who worked for NASA during the space race and was depicted in the 2016 film “Hidden Figures,” from her beginnings as a gifted student to her heroic accomplishments as a brilliant mathematician at NASA.





I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug!
By Caroline B. Cooney and illustrated by Tim Warnes
A playful and comforting bedtime book that helps your child imagine all the wonderful and silly ways to give and receive a hug. Whether it’s a big bear, gasp-for-air, knock-over-a-chair hug, or a wet and drippy, slimy, slippy fish hug, children will giggle their way through all the imaginative examples of hugs we can give and receive.



Bedtime for Sweet Creatures
By Nikki Grimes and illustrator Elizabeth Zunon
Mommy needs to wrangle her sweet creature to bed so the whole family can sleep. From tigers to squirrels to snakes, the little boy dodges around his bedtime, until he is tired enough to finally sleep. His imaginative animal friends weave their way through the illustrations, eventually joining him in curling up for the night.


Dr. Seuss’ Winter Things  Thing One and Thing Two spend a winter’s day enjoying all the activities the season has to offer: making snow angels, sledding, ice skating, and more! Celebrate the season, and introduce the very youngest children to the magical world of Dr. Seuss!



My First 100 Mathematics Words
By Chris Ferrie and illustrated by Lindsay Dale-Scott
Babies and toddlers are curious and ready to learn! Introduce your little one to math words that go beyond the basics with this first 100 words baby board book. From algebra to calculus, from geometry to statistics, from logic to computing and more, this is the bright and simple introduction to the smart words every budding scholar needs.

Child of the Civil Rights Movement
By Paula Young Shelton and illustrated by Raul Colón
Paula Young Shelton, daughter of Civil Rights activist Andrew Young, brings a child’s unique perspective to an important chapter in America’s history. With an activist father and a community of leaders surrounding her, including Uncle Martin (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.), she watched and listened to the struggles, eventually joining her family in a historic march.

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