Every year, Cracking the Cover compiles a list of books that make great additions to your library. The following picture books were published in 2023. Books are listed in order of publication, January through December. All synopsizes are italicized in blue and provided by respective publishers. Reviews are by Jessica. Scroll down for the complete list or click or tap the following links to directly visit a section: BOARD BOOK • AGES 2 AND UP • AGES 3 AND UP • AGES 4 AND UP • AGES 5 AND UP • AGES 6 AND UP AGES 7 AND UP • AGES 8 AND UP
HELLO HUMMINGBIRDS: READ AND PLAY IN THE TREE! by Hannah Rogge and Emily Dove, Chronicle Books, May 2, 2023, Board Book, $12.99 (ages 2-4)
Simply “fly” the two hummingbird characters — attached to the board book with ribbons — through the illustrated pages to hover over flowers, sip sweet nectar, and build a cozy nest for their eggs. Full of playful and informative touches, this book is a sweet introduction to these bright and irresistibly appealing little birds. —Synopsis provided by Chronicle Books
This charming board book is exactly the sort of thing my daughter would have loved as a toddler. The unique design of this book means it becomes a tree when opened and fanned out. That means kids can “fly” the hummingbirds from place to place while reading or just playing. The text is simple but informative and the illustrations are charming. This is a no-brainer.
FLORA AND FRIENDS ABC, by Molly Idle, Chronicle Books, Sept. 19, 2023, Board Book, $12.99 (ages 0-3)
A bird lover’s alphabet! Flora takes center stage in this new ABC book that celebrates all kinds of friendships. From imaginary friends to those who are there for you in fair weather and fowl, Flora has bird buddies for each letter of the alphabet. —Synopsis provided by Chronicle Books
This charming board book features big flaps and delightful illustrations that little ones will immediately love. This straightforward ABC book is full of visual surprises. It’s a great option for a baby, birthday or holiday gift.
OUR UNDERWATER WORLD: A FIRST DIVE INTO OCEANS, LAKES, AND RIVERS, by Sue Lowell Gallion and Lisk Feng, Phaidon Press, Aug. 24, 2023, Board Book, $19.95 (ages 2-5)
The youngest readers are invited to explore and experience our blue planet’s amazing underwater ecosystems through rhyming verse and lush illustrations: from freshwater ponds to the deepest depths of the ocean, streams, and rivers, to coral reefs and polar waters. Secondary text offers more detailed, curriculum-focused facts and encourages readers to learn about different plants and animals found in various watery habitats across the globe. —Synopsis provided by Phaidon Press
The draw of Our Underwater World is undeniably the book’s innovative shape. It opens up to create a freestanding globe, which makes it almost a play object in addition to its being a book. Made of heavy board, it can withstand lots of use. There are two reading parts to Our Underwater World that make it suited for both younger (ages 2-5) and older (5-8) readers. The first part features rhythmic text that echoes waves crashing ashore. Shorter sentences covering broad subjects take place here. The second part is printed in much smaller font and goes into a lot more detail.
ALPHABOT, by Vicky Fang, MIT Kids Press, Sept. 12, 2023, Board Book, $14.99 (ages 3-7)
Found your circuit-board head? Your voice-control torso? Your hydrojet feet? Hooray! You’ve made one of the 729 mix-and-match robots that are possible with this innovative flip-flap book. Alongside the illustrations of robot parts is a basic alphabetical listing of terms from android to gears, neural network to program, wheels to Z-drive—and a basic definition of each. —Synopsis provided by MIT Kids Press
It’s hard not to be drawn to Alphabot. There are three rows of flaps held together by a spiral binding, allowing for multiple layers of exploration and play. And though some of the words like “yaw” or “treads” may seem a bit far-reaching for young kids, they’re really not. This book will expand vocabularies and get little ones thinking about magnets and gears and neural networks. Charming illustrations accompany words with clear definitions. Its heavy-duty construction means it should hold up to a lot of use.
AGES 2 AND UP
SOME OF THESE ARE SNAILS, by Carter Higgins, Chronicle Books, May 2, 2023, Hardcover, $15.99 (ages 2-4)
From the creative mind behind Circle Under Berry comes this deceptively simple concept book that explores sorting, classification, and patterns as it teases the brain in unusual ways. With an elegant and simple approach, this thought-provoking book shows young readers that even the most familiar things can be seen from infinite perspectives. You read it once, read it ten times — and see something new every time. —Synopsis provided by Chronicle Books
At 52 pages, Some of These Are Snails is what’s considered a “long” picture book, but it doesn’t feel that way. Creator Carter Higgins has designed this book in a way that flows perfectly. Each topic builds on the next, asking kids to be active participants as they move through the pages. Higgins’ art has some serious nods to Eric Carle. Bright, textured colors and strong, simple shapes enhance the message and add to the fun. On top of all that, Some of These Are Snails is fun to read aloud, too.
STOMP AND CHOMP: My First Book of Dinosaurs, by Simon Mole and Matt Hunt, Candlewick, Oct. 10, 2023, Hardcover, $19.99 (ages 2-5)
Did you know that Giganotosaurus had a tongue big enough to be your bed? That plant eaters evolved at different heights to assure there would be more than enough food for all—with each nibbling at a different point on the tree? Thirty exuberant poems, divided into four fact-packed sections, put readers up close and personal with species from T. rex and Triceratops to Stegosaurus and Velociraptor. Some have lines of terrible teeth, while others sport feathery peacock tails. All thunder off the page in illustrations pitched to poems, while relaying well-researched facts about dinosaur anatomy, diet, herd behavior, and more. —Synopsis provided by Candlewick
Enter the world of dinosaurs who have personality. Artist Matt Hunt channels his inner Eric Carle for his colorful and expressive illustrations. And Simon Mole’s poems are a delight to read aloud.
WHEN I SMILE: A BOOK OF KINDNESS (Growing Hearts), by Jo Witek and Christine Roussey, Abrams Appleseed, Nov. 14, 2023, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 2-4)
A girl discusses the power of a smile and the many different smiles she gives to those around her throughout the day. There are soft, sleepy smiles that greet a new day; goofy smiles with her best friend; and even playful, supportive smiles, which help her sister when she’s feeling down. With charming text and bright full-color illustrations, this story shows the power and gift of a smile. —Synopsis provided by Abrams Appleseed
When I Smile is the ninth book in the Growing Hearts series, which celebrates the milestones of a toddler’s emotional development. It’s a great series — we own seven and love them. Though geared toward toddlers, even kids as old as 6 will still enjoy them. Tender text and charming illustrations make this one of the best series out there.
AGES 3 AND UP
BE THE BUS: The Lost & Profound Wisdom of The Pigeon, by Mo Willems, Union Square & Co., April 4, 2023, Hardcover, $15.99 (ages 3 and up)
#1 New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Mo Willems shares wit and wisdom from The Pigeon in this one-of-a-kind humor book for adults. Discover important tips, thoughts, opinions, quotes, complaints, and basic philosophical misunderstandings in this profound collection of Pigeon-isms. This 80-page, gift-sized collector’s title features all-new original art along with big (and little) Pigeon-y tidbits to ponder. —Synopsis provided by Union Square & Co.
Created for an adult audience, Be the Bus still has broad appeal. Kids will still think it’s funny and be drawn to a familiar character.
HAVE YOU SEEN MY INVISIBLE DINOSAUR? by Helen Yoon, Candlewick, May 9, 2023, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 3-7)
Help! This little girl has lost her best friend. He’s a dinosaur (not the extinct kind). He’s enormous (bigger than a panda!). He was last seen before she gave him a bath and washed off all the mud (maybe that wasn’t a good idea?). She’s tried to lure him with snacks and put up Lost Dinosaur posters, but nothing has helped. If only it weren’t such a clear day — if only it were raining, or snowing, or the leaves were falling, or . . . something. Would it help if she drew a picture? —Synopsis provided by Candlewick
There are some books you just know are going to be a hit as soon as they cross your path. That’s exactly the case with Have You Seen My Invisible Dinosaur? The entire book is a delight, and even my 9-year-old wanted to take it for a spin. This whimsical tale is a celebration of a child’s imagination and their doggedness to see things through. The charming illustrations will have little ones giggling up a storm. I highly recommend this one.
TAP! TAP! TAP!: DANCE! DANCE! DANCE! by Herve Tullet, Chronicle Books, May 16, 2023, Hardcover, $19.99 (Ages 3-5)
Harnessing his love of dance, the passion of his illustrations, and the great big format of this book, Hervé Tullet invites you to a very special dance: your hand becoming the dancer and the book the dance floor. Starting with a gentle glide, growing in complexity and animation, finally building to a crescendo of color, action, and movement. A celebration not only of releasing emotion but also of carefully controlling motion and dexterity. It’s the perfect activity for getting your ya-yas out and a welcome boon for parents, gift-givers, and teachers looking for an ultra-creative way of channeling energy. —Synopsis provided by Chronicle Books
There are lots of reasons to like Tap! Tap! Tap!: Dance! Dance! Dance! The book invites readers to interact with it, belaying the sedentary assumptions about reading. It asks kids to use their imaginations, to move their bodies and to think beyond the colorful splashes and words on the page. But most of all, it’s just plain fun. I can’t think of any kid I know that wouldn’t have a blast working their way through the book. And even though the age range is 3-5, older kids would enjoy it, too. I can see it incorporated into the classroom in a number of ways.
THE POP-UP GUIDE: CITIES AROUND THE WORLD, by Maud Poulain and Sandra de la Prada, Twirl, Aug. 15, 2023, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 3-5)
A unique look at some of the world’s most beautiful cities: The iconic landmarks of New York City, Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town, London, and other international cities fill the eye-opening pages of this Pop-Up Guide. Featuring the Empire State Building, Copacabana Beach, Big Ben, and many more attractions, the multilayered 3-D scenes encourages children to explore further! Synopsis provided by Twirl
If you’ve ever taken a minute to peruse one of Twirl’s Pop-Up Guides, you know how fun they are, and Cities Around the World is no different. Each spread features some basic information with a pop-up skyline. It has a heavy board-book style cover and thick card stock pages that will stand up to little hands.
FUNGI GROW, by Maria Gianferrari and Diana Sudyka, Beach Lane Books, Oct. 17, 2023, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 3-8)
Above ground, below ground, all around, fungi grow. They root and fruit and twist and twine everywhere on earth. Some are edible, some are medicinal, some are even poisonous. Step into this book and discover the amazing array of mushrooms and see how they multiply. Learn how fungi heal and help humans. Explore the underground fungal network that helps forests thrive. And so much more! —Synopsis provided by Beach Lane Books
Fungi Grow is the type of book that actually grows with readers. It features two kinds of text. First, is Maria Gianferrari’s sparse, poetic prose. This is the framework. Second, is pockets of much more informative text that go into detail about how fungi grows, spreads, etc. This is the scaffolding. The words are linked together by Diana Sudyka’s detailed gouache watercolor illustrations. These images have a feeling of movement and really bring the fungi to life. Fungi Grow is a beautifully rendered nonfiction picture book that would make a good addition to a classroom or home library.
THE LITTLE BOOK OF WORDS THAT MATTER: 100 WORDS FOR EVERY CHILD TO UNDERSTAND, by Joanne Ruelos Diaz and Annelies Draws, Harry N. Abrams, Nov. 7, 2023, Hardcover, $19.99 (ages 3-8)
This pocket-size book features a collection of words to teach children about the world we live in and how to navigate their way through it. Each page offers a word and age-appropriate definition, along with a related activity, resource, or mindful prompt, beautifully illustrated by Instagram star Annelies Draws. The book is split into four chapters that each includes relevant words: Feelings Matter (Afraid, Frustrated, Proud); You Matter (Authentic, Consent, Resilience); Differences Matter (Disability, Equity, Race); and Changemakers Matter (Conservation, Feminism, Teamwork). —Synopsis provided by Harry N. Abrams
This book features a how-to guide for adults at the back. The design makes this book look more like a novel than a picture book, however, the illustrations are geared toward younger readers. It actually would be a fun one to look at over a period of time.
AGES 4 AND UP
THE INDESTRUCTIBLE TOM CREAN: HEROIC EXPLORER OF THE ANTARCTIC, by Jennifer Thermes, Viking Books for Young Readers, Jan. 24, 2023, Hardcover, $19.99 (ages 4-8)
The Indestructible Tom Crean reveals the true stories of Crean’s adventures on the Discovery, Terra Nova, and Endurance expeditions. He hauls 800-pound sleds full of supplies, escapes from drifting ice floes, and trudges miles alone across a treacherous ice shelf. When the Endurance becomes trapped in the frozen sea and sinks, it is up to Crean and several others to go for help. They sail a tiny lifeboat through the most violent seas in the world and cross a daunting glacial mountain range by foot in order to save their fellow explorers. Tom Crean’s heroic acts of courage, perseverance, and teamwork inspire the men to keep going. —Synopsis provided by Viking Books for Young Readers
Written and illustrated by Jennifer Thermes, The Indestructible Tom Crean is informative, creative and awe-inspiring. From the moment you open the cover and find front pages filled with facts and end pages filled with animals of Antarctica, you know you’re not only going to go on an adventure, but you’re going to learn something, too. Through her text and artwork, Thermes captures the wonders and dangers of Antarctica. Comic-book-like panels give way to full-page spreads, creating impact and showing scale. Beautiful illustrations show emotion and movement. And Thermes’ utilization of present tense adds intensity to her writing.
MY POWERFUL HAIR, by Carole Lindstrom and Steph Littlebird, Harry N. Abrams, March 21, 2023, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 4-8)
Our ancestors say our hair is our memories,
our source of strength and power,
a celebration of our lives.
Mom never had long hair—she was told it was too wild. Grandma couldn’t have long hair—hers was taken from her. But one young girl can’t wait to grow her hair long: for herself, for her family, for her connection to her culture and the Earth, and to honor the strength and resilience of those who came before her. —Synopsis provided by Harry N. Abrams
My Powerful Hair is a powerful book of family and traditions. The idea of hair holding memories is beautiful and significant to Indigenous cultures. Carole Lindstrom’s lyrical text is weighted in authenticity, and Steph Littlebird’s illustrations are full of color and heart.
PARTY HEARTY KITTY-CORN, by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham, Harry N. Abrams, March 28, 2023, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 4-8)
Kitty has a grand idea — “Let’s throw a kitty-corn party!” But when newcomer Puppy messes up Kitty’s perfectly laid plans and steals Unicorn’s attention and affection, Kitty is NOT pleased. When jealousy takes hold, can Unicorn help Kitty see that nothing will ever threaten a friendship as strong as theirs? —Synopsis provided by Harry N. Abrams
This is the third book in the Kitty-corn universe, and it’s just as fun as the previous two. A simple, yet charming, story is paired with loveable characters that you just want to hug. What’s not to love?
KETANJI BROWN JACKSON: A JUSTICE FOR ALL, by Tami Charles and Jemma Skidmore, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, April 4, 2023, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 4-8)
After 232 years and 115 appointments, Ketanji Onyika Brown Jackson became the first Black woman appointed to serve on the US Supreme Court. Readers learn about the narratives that have shaped the Justice’s life, and how this historic moment will be impressed upon the minds of the young dreamers of the future. —Synopsis provided by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
In a nod to Ketanji Brown Jackson’s daughter Leila, author Tami Charles wrote Ketanji Brown Jackson: A Justice for All to “shine a light on the pride children feel when they witness loved ones following their dreams.” It’s through lyrical text that briefly explores some 400 years of history, that Charles accomplishes just that. Her prose is the kind you feel moved to read aloud. Jemma Skidmore’s gouache and wax pencil illustrations are bold and brilliant. Her use of blank space adds to the narrative and her images are full of expression. An extensive author’s note, important dates and more information on people and history shown in the art are included at the end.
MOVING THE MILLERS’ MINNIE MOORE MINE MANSION: A True Story, by Dave Eggers and Júlia Sardà, Candlewick, June 6, 2023, Hardcover, $19.99 (ages 4-8)
It all started when John “Minnie” Moore built a mine in Idaho and sold it to Englishman Henry Miller. Then Henry married a local lass named Annie and built her a mansion, hence the “Millers’ Minnie Moore Mine Mansion.” After Henry died and Annie was hoodwinked — losing all but the mansion — she and her son took to raising pigs in the yard, as some are wont to do. But the town wanted those pigs out. Who could have guessed that Annie and her crew would remove the whole mansion instead — rolling it away slowly on logs — while she and her son were still living in it? —Synopsis provided by Candlewick
Moving the Millers’ Minnie Moore Mine Mansion is the kind of book you just have to pick up. From its tongue-twister title to its stylized illustrations, it’s one that’s fun to read from beginning to end. There’s a special kind of energy to Moving the Millers’ Minnie Moore Mine Mansion that makes you want to dig it. Eggers’ phrasing makes it a joy to read aloud and Júlia Sardà’s lively artwork begs to be explored.
THE SEARCH FOR THE GIANT ARCTIC JELLYFISH, by Chloe Savage, Candlewick, June 6, 2023, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 4-8)
Dr. Morley absolutely loves jellyfish. Her entire life, she has been fascinated by one specific species, a legendary creature that no one has ever seen. Does the giant Arctic jellyfish even exist? After years of research, Dr. Morley and her crew don their red parkas and set off to icy northern waters in hopes of finding the mysterious creature. The Arctic Circle is filled with wonders: playful orcas, the glowing aurora borealis, and formidable ice shelves — but will Dr. Morley find what she is searching for? Or, perhaps, will it find her? —Synopsis provided by Candlewick
The moment you pick up The Search for the Giant Arctic Jellyfish you know it is special. Author/illustrator Chloe Savage’s use of color is inspired. The juxtaposition of blue and red and white with hints of green and yellow is bold and exciting. Meticulously drawn characters and environments draw you in, encouraging you to peruse the detail. And the detail is tempered by the whimsy captured in both images and text.
THE BIG BOOK OF NATURE ART, by Yuval Zommer, Thames & Hudson, June 20, 2023, Hardcover, $19.95 (ages 4-8)
From best-selling author Yuval Zommer, The Big Book of Nature Art is packed with easy art activities inspired by nature. Drawing on Zommer’s years of experience running art workshops for children, The Big Book of Nature Art includes his tips for stress-free ways to get creative with kids and fun facts about the natural world.
Each of the activities can be achieved in four simple steps using natural materials combined with recycled or found materials from around the home. With a total of 22 art activities, each requiring no more than a five-minute setup and cleanup, the crafts are easy to complete and fun for everyone involved. The book also encourages children to see the creative potential in the natural and everyday treasures all around us―from twigs, seed pods, petals, and leaves to pencil shavings, take-out cups, toilet-paper rolls, and more. —Synopsis provided by Thames & Hudson
This book is a nature-lover’s paradise. Creating art out of natural items is exciting and not something kids get to do often. Not only do they get to be creative, but that creativity is extremely tactile. Color images include photographs of actual creations, and step-by-step instructions are easy to understand.
GRAND OLD OAK AND THE BIRTHDAY BALL (Brown Bear Wood), by Rachel Piercey and Freya Harta, Harry N. Abrams, Aug. 8, 2023, Hardcover, $19.99 (ages 4-6)
Old Oak is Bear’s favorite tree in the woodland. With its gnarled trunk, giant branches, and glossy leaves, Oak supports hundreds of Bear’s friends, big and small. So when Bear learns that Oak is turning 500 years old, he decides to plan an extra-special birthday celebration.
With original poems by acclaimed writer Rachel Piercey and color art by Freya Hartas, this tale features more than 100 hidden objects to spot and makes a great birthday present for children to immerse themselves in and explore. —Synopsis provided by Harry N. Abrams
This fun, interactive book celebrates friendships and love as kids learn about what goes into planning a party. There’s a lot for young readers to enjoy, with detailed pictures on every page. A list of animals and objects for kids to find appears with each spread.
THE STORY OF A BOOK, by Joy McCullough and Devon Holzwarth, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Aug. 29, 2023, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 4-8)
An incredible journey begins for every person who turns the pages of a book. Together, book and reader make a special kind of magic — a magic that’s even sweeter when you share it! —Synopsis provided by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
If you love reading, then you’ll love The Story of a Book. It perfectly captures the magic that happens when the right reader meets the right book. Not only does author Joy McCullough acknowledge that not all books are the same to all people but that there is power when you choose the book yourself. She recognizes that the magic can be hard to understand and that accidents happen. Illustrator Devon Holzwarth takes McCullough’s words and runs with them. His artwork is full of color, movement and imagination.
BODY MUSIC: POEMS ABOUT THE NOISES YOUR BODY MAKES, by Jane Yolen, Ryan G. Van Cleave, Luis San Vicente, Moonshower, Sept. 5, 2023, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages
They burp. They fart. They creak. They crack. Bodies make MUSIC!
And let’s face it: kids love every note! In Body Music, bestselling authors Jane Yolen and Ryan G. Van Cleave bring their trademark wit to fifteen hilarious poems that celebrate the sounds of the human body, from sniffles to snaps, sneezes to wheezes, hiccups to yawns, and more! Each poem is illustrated with bright, lively artwork and is accompanied by scientific facts that answer questions like: What is a knuckle crack? Why do we sneeze? and What makes a tummy rumble? —Synopsis provided by Moonshower
From beginning to end, Body Music is a joy. Lovely, bouncy rhymes are a delight to read aloud and brightly colored, silly illustrations are sure to make readers laugh out loud. This one would be really fun for older siblings to read to their younger sisters or brothers.
A WALK IN THE WOODS, by Nikki Grimes , Jerry Pinkney, Brian Pinkey, Neal Porter Books, Sept. 12, 2023, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 4-8)
Confused and distraught after the death of his father, a boy opens an envelope he left behind and is surprised to find a map of the woods beyond their house, with one spot marked in bright red. But why? The woods had been something they shared together, why would his father want him to go alone? Slowly, his mind settles as he sets off through the spaces he once explored with his dad, passing familiar beech and black oak trees, flitting Carolina wrens, and a garter snake they named Sal. When he reaches the spot marked on the map, he finds pages upon pages of drawings of woodland creatures, made by his father when he was his age. What he sees shows him a side of his dad he never knew, and something even deeper for them to share together. His dad knew what he really needed was a walk in the woods. —Synopsis provided by Neal Porter Books
A Walk in the Woods is a profoundly moving book about loss, love and moving forward. Nikki Grimes’ lyrical prose has a pondering, reflective feel that gives the reader room to pause and reflect. Jerry Pinkney’s tight pencil sketches are fascinating in their form. And son Brian Pinkney’s use of watercolor and gouache is inspired. His bold use of color conveys movement and emotion. Paired together, readers are treated to a stunning visual experience unlike any other.
SMALL PLACES, CLOSE TO HOME: A Child’s Declaration of Rights: Inspired by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, by Deborah Hopkinson and Kate Gardiner, Balzer + Bray, Oct. 3, 2023, Hardcover, $19.99 (ages 4-8)
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, drafted by Eleanor Roosevelt and signed on December 10, 1948, marked the first time that countries agreed on a comprehensive statement of inalienable human rights. This adaptation for children reminds us that universal rights begin in small places, close to home.
We all deserve to live free,
to feel safe,
—Synopsis provided by Balzer + Bray
Small Places Close to Home belongs in every home and classroom. If we all followed the words in this beautifully written and illustrated book, the world would be an infinitely better place to live. Hopkinson’s poetic prose is clear and comforting. Illustrator Kate Gardiner’s lovely images has an elegant folk art feel.
BEULAH HAS A HUNCH!: Inside the Colorful Mind of Master Inventor Beulah Louise Henry, by Katie Mazeika, Beach Lane Books, Oct. 17, 2023, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 4-8)
Growing up in the 1890s, when Beulah Louise Henry spotted a problem, she had to find a solution, turning it around and around in her mind until…aha! She had a hunch—what she called the inventions she came up with to solve the puzzles she saw all around her. Beulah’s brain worked differently. She had hyperphantasia, which meant she saw things in extreme detail in her mind, as well as synesthesia, which caused words and numbers and even music notes to show up as different colors in her brain. Beulah’s unique way of seeing the world helped her think up vivid solutions to problems. Beulah’s inventions improved daily life in lots of ways, earning her the nickname “Lady Edison,” and she became one of the most prolific inventors in American history. —Synopsis provided by Beach Lane Books
Author/illustrator Katie Mazeika’s writing is clear and conversational. She gets to the meat of the matter while remaining exciting. Her pacing is strong, hitting highlights while never rushing though. Her illustrations are bright and engaging. And her use of color and thought bubbles emphasize Beulah’s thought process. Beulah Has a Hunch! is one of those books that kids, especially young girls, will be drawn to. It’s a fascinating read that is sure to inspire.
WHAT’S INSIDE A CATERPILLAR COCOON?: And Other Questions About Moths & Butterflies, by Rachel Ignotofsky, Crown Books for Young Readers, Sept. 5, 2023, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 4-8)
Butterflies soar in the sunlight. While moths flutter under the moon and stars. Find out more about these mysterious and majestic insects similarities and differences, and their awestrucking metamorphosis! —Synopsis provided by Crown Books for Young Readers
From beginning to end, What’s Inside a Caterpillar Cocoon? is a visual feast. Author/illustrator Rachel Ignotofsky has really outdone herself here. Each page is full of her distinctive art that feels scientifically sound but with personality. Her intricate illustrations of fully grown moths and butterflies are gorgeous. Her book is full of facts, too, that are not only informative but interesting. Kids will really get a kick out of seeing the two insects develop side-by-side. And they’ll love learning about how they can help feed pollinators at their own homes.
THE ENCHANTED SYMPHONY, by Julie Andrews , Emma Walton Hamilton, Elly MacKay, Harry N. Abrams, Sept. 12, 2023, Hardcover, $19.99 (ages 4-8)
When a lively village is beset by a mysterious fog, the town turns dull and silent; melancholy neighbors stop visiting each other and even going outside. Until one day, when a boy’s simple melody strikes a chord, reminding everyone of what matters most—even in the darkest of times. —Synopsis provided by Harry N. Abrams
The Enchanted Symphony is a hopeful look at music and its impact on our lives. This beautiful tale celebrates the power of art, nature and community. This simple but effective story is heartwarming. And Elly MacKay’s warm illustrations have a lovely, ethereal feel.
THE WILDERNESS, by Steve McCarthy, Candlewick, Oct. 3, 2023, Hardcover, $17.99 (ages 4-8)
The Vasylenko family are all adventurers who love wild places and wild things. All, that is, except young Oktober. He also dreams of adventure, but it’s the kind that takes place between the pages of a book, indoors, where it’s safe and warm. Unlike the rest of his family, he dreads venturing out where it’s cold, wet, and home to a creature he calls the Wilderness. One day on a hike, Oktober gets separated from his family, and because he doesn’t believe he’s brave enough to be an adventurer, he’s certain his fate is sealed. But maybe getting lost is just what Oktober needs to find courage and a new perspective . . . and an unexpected friend. —Synopsis provided by Candlewick
The Wilderness is just a fantastic book from beginning to end. The story in and of itself is spot-on. This metaphor for facing fears is something kids will immediately relate to. Steve McCarthy’s prose is conversational and his pacing perfect. Equally enjoyable is McCarthy’s vibrant, stylized illustrations that immediately draw you in. His use of color and texture is fantastic, with his images always giving you just a little bit more to explore.
THERE WAS A PARTY FOR LANGSTON, by Jason Reynolds, Jerome Pumphrey, Jarrett Pumphrey, Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, Oct. 3, 2023, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 4-8)
Back in the day, there was a heckuva party, a jam, for a word-making man. The King of Letters. Langston Hughes. His ABCs became drums, bumping jumping thumping like a heart the size of the whole country. They sent some people yelling and others, his word-children, to write their own glory. Maya Angelou, Amiri Baraka, and more came be-bopping to recite poems at their hero’s feet at that heckuva party at the Schomberg Library, dancing boom da boom, stepping and stomping, all in praise and love for Langston, world-mending word man. Oh, yeah, there was hoopla in Harlem, for its Renaissance man. A party for Langston. —Synopsis provided by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
There Was a Party for Langston is a celebration of words. Words that have the power to make people dance. In particular, the words of Langston Hughes. Langston was a poet, novelist, fiction writer, and playwright whose words have inspired millions. It turns out that poems can “make you nod your head and tap your feet. Do a little shimmy,” Reynolds writes in his author’s note. He hopes that There Was a Party for Langston will do that for readers. Accompanying art by Jerome Pumphrey and Jarrett Pumphrey helps set the tone. Bright colors, graphic text and stylized illustrations bring a smile to the face.
A STONE IS A STORY, by Leslie Barnard Booth and Marc Martin, Margaret K. McElderry Books, Oct. 3, 2023, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 4-8)
“Where do rocks come from?” A stone is not just a stone: a stone is a story. Embark on a journey across time to see how one stone can change and transform, from magma under Earth’s crust to the sand swept up by a rushing river to the very heart of the tallest mountain. Watch what happens when rain, ice, and wind mold this rock into something new, something you might even hold in your hand—something full of endless possibility. Complete with additional information about geology and the rock cycle, this story invites readers to experience the wonder of the natural world around us, and to see—in every cliff, pebble, and stone—a window into Earth’s deep past. —Synopsis provided by Margaret K. McElderry Books
This nonfiction picture book challenges readers to think bigger — and smaller — as they consider the building blocks of our world. Booth’s text has a lovely movement to it, with pauses and flares that are a joy to read aloud. Geological end notes expand on the ideas presented in a accessible text. Illustrator Marc Martin’s striking watercolors are the perfect accompaniment, providing scope and structure.
Welcome to the Opera: Discover the Enchanting World of Opera with Mozart’s The Magic Flute, by Carolyn Sloan and Kaly Quarles, Workman Publishing Company, Oct. 10, 2023, Hardcover, $29.99 (ages 4 and up)
Join three adorable dogs for a performance of Mozart’s beloved masterpiece The Magic Flute in this illustrated introduction to opera. As the story unfolds readers learn about the essential parts of opera—voice parts like soprano and tenor; vocal techniques like recitative and melisma; arias, the orchestra, the chorus, sets, costumes, plot, and more. Plus, 12 interactive sound buttons let readers hear examples of the musical concepts as they read: a soprano sings a heartfelt aria, a powerful bass sings recitative, and the chorus harmonizes during the dramatic finale! —Synopsis provided by Workman Publishing Company
Welcome to the Opera is the third title in music educator Carolyn Sloan’s successful Welcome to… sound chip picture book series that introduces classic musical genres to young readers. The sound chip picture book series introduces classic musical genres to young readers. The first two books Welcome to the Symphony and Welcome to Jazz are a big hit in my house, and my now-9-year-old can’t wait to get her hands on Welcome to the Opera. At nearly $30, Welcome to the Opera is not inexpensive, but it’s a book that will grow with your child.
TINY JUMPER: How Tiny Broadwick Created the Parachute Rip Cord, by Candy Dahl and Maithili Joshi, little bee books, Oct. 10, 2023, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 4-8)
This biography tells the story of Tiny Broadwick, the first woman to ever parachute from a plane and the inventor of the parachute rip cord, and how her determination, courage, adventurousness, and joy in doing what she loved lifted her up to stand as tall as a pioneer in flight. —Synopsis provided by little bee books
Tiny Broadwick’s story is one that children — especially girls — will find thrilling. Tiny’s bravery and her sheer determination are an inspiration. In Tiny Jumper, author Candy Dahl mixes engaging narration with Tiny’s own words, further enhancing the experience. And illustrator Maithili Joshi’s dynamic illustrations bring all Tiny’s adventures to life. An author’s note at the end provides more in-depth information and includes three photographs of Tiny in her element.
WILLOW AND BUNNY, by Anitra Rowe Schulte and Christopher Denise, Two Lions, Oct. 10, 2023, Hardcover, $17.99 (ages 4-8)
Bunny needs a new home. After a long journey, he meets Willow and knows he will be safe beneath her branches. Every day is theirs to share. Just Bunny and Willow, Willow and Bunny. Then, one evening, an angry spiral whips through the wood. Every creature in the forest runs to Willow for shelter. As the storm rages, Willow shields and protects them with all her might. But when the calm returns, Willow’s beautiful branches are tattered, twisted, and forever changed. Bunny and the other creatures know it is their turn to help. —Synopsis provided by Two Lions
At the heart of Willow and Bunny is a story of friendship. It’s also about community, selflessness and the hope that comes after hardship. Author Anitra Rowe Schulte’s gentle prose sets the tone. In her text, she translates a big concept into terms little ones can easily understand. Caldecott Honor artist Christopher Denise’s illustrations have a lovely glow that makes you want to look closer. His almost grainy renderings are full of movement and depth, giving his images an almost ethereal feel.
MINI ARTISTS: 20 PROJECTS INSPIRED BY THE GREAT ARTISTS, by Joséphine Seblon and Robert Sae-Heng, Thames & Hudson, Oct. 17, 2023, Paperback, $1995 (ages 4-8)
Mini Artists introduces young children to art through twenty fun and easy craft projects inspired by famous artworks. The 20 projects in Mini Artists engage children with art through making. They’ll travel through time and explore art from different periods. Grounded in art history, Mini Artists also features a range of interesting art techniques that are ideal for teaching new motor skills. Each project requires minimal setup and cleanup. The step-by-step instructions show photographs of the projects in progress so they can be followed at a glance, and the projects use simple materials, such as clay, ink, or paint. Illustrated in color throughout. —Synopsis provided by Thames & Hudson
If you’re wondering how much work you as a parent have to put in to make the 20 projects presented in Mini Artists, the answer is not that much. The projects are easy enough for young kids to do with some help and older ones to do on their own. The messiest medium is paint, but even that calls for the washable kind. Mini Artists offers up lots of family fun for after school, weekends, holidays or summer breaks. It encourages kids to think outside the box and explore the world through the eyes of creators.
STRONGER THAN SHE THINKS, by Nancy Kerrigan, Ryan G. Van Cleave, Arief Putra, Bushel & Peck Books, Nov. 21, 2023, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 4-8)
Nancy and her family sacrifice time, money, and effort into her clear skill, talent, and passion for figure skating. She’s really good at it, but money is tight while she’s learning to land the hardest of figure skating jumps — the axel. And she must be able to do one in order to go to her first competition.
Her skates are too small, her feet hurt, but try after try, she gets up off the ice and takes another turn around the ice until she finally lands that first (wobbly) axel and then lands it solidly at her first competition. —Synopsis provided by Bushel & Peck Books
In Stronger Than She Thinks, figure skater Nancy Kerrigan recounts her experience learning how to land her first axel jump. This book celebrates hard work and self-confidence. Simple, clear text is paired with bright, expressive illustrations that utilize white space. This fun read will appeal to young readers, especially those involved in any sort of sport
AGES 5 AND UP
WOVEN OF THE WORLD, by Katey Howes and Dinara Mirtalipova, Chronicle Books, Feb. 7, 2023, Hardcover, $17.99 (ages 5-8)
This picture book shares the history and practice of weaving through the centuries and around the world, as imagined by a young weaver learning her craft. Her family’s weaving practice helps her feel connected to the past and hopeful for the future. It shows her that each of us is a tapestry: a unique, rich, and beautifully interwoven combination of traits and traditions, with a pattern that is still emerging. —Synopsis provided by Chronicle Books
Woven of the World celebrates the both the technical skills and cultural traditions associated with weaving. With each turn of the page, readers are introduced to different points in history and world cultures ranging from the nomadic Fulani of West Africa to the Coastal Salish of North America, and from Uzbekistan to Peru to Egypt. Author Katey Howe’s lyrical text is full of imagery and heart: “It sings of flaxen fibers spun by fingers deft and proud — threads destined from a dancer’s robe of for a pharaoh’s shroud.” It’s a joy to read aloud. Equally lovely are Dinara Mirtalipova’s intricate illustrations. Her folk-art style is perfect for exploring time and place.
THE FIRE OF STARS: THE LIFE AND BRILLIANCE OF THE WOMAN WHO DISCOVERED WHAT STARS ARE MADE OF, by Kirsten W. Larson and Katherine Roy, Chronicle Books, Feb. 7, 2023, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 5-8)
Astronomer and astrophysicist Cecilia Payne was the first person to discover what burns at the heart of stars. But she didn’t start out as the groundbreaking scientist she would eventually become. She started out as a girl full of curiosity, hoping one day to unlock the mysteries of the universe. This biography parallels the kindling of Cecilia Payne’s own curiosity and her scientific career with the process of a star’s birth, from mere possibility in an expanse of space to an eventual, breathtaking explosion of light. —Synopsis provided by Chronicle Books
The Fire of Stars is a gorgeous picture book biography. Kirsten W. Larson’s text is lovely. Her poem of an emerging star juxtaposed with Cecilia’s journey is a genius move. Katherine Roy’s accompanying illustrations further enhance the comparison. Roy’s art is full of color and energy. It’s beautiful.
ANIMALS IN PANTS, by Suzy Levinson, Kristen and Kevin Howdeshell, Harry N. Abrams, April 11, 2023, Hardcover, $17.99 (ages 5-7)
What? You’ve never seen animals in pants? A dog in yoga pants, a goat in overalls, a yak in slacks? Animals in Pants presents a parade of poems about animals wearing perfectly pressed pants. —Synopsis provided by Harry N. Abrams
If you’re in the mood for some silliness, then Animals in Pants is a great choice. Suzy Levinson’s bouncy poems are a joy to read aloud. Her concept really gets imaginations going, and would be fun to read aloud with or without pictures in a classroom. That said, Kristen and Kevin Howdeshell’s images really bring the poems to life. Their animals have great personality and movement. Their stylized illustrations and chosen color palate take the writing over the top.
DO YOU KNOW?: MUSIC (TW Do You Know), by Julie Delas, Twirl; 1st edition, Aug. 8, 2023, Hardcover, $16.99 (ages 5 and up)
When did people start making music? What types of music are there? How are musical instruments made? The Do You Know? series provides in-depth looks at a wide range of popular subjects. Appealing to children who want to know everything, each thought-provoking book features:
• 96 pages of engaging and educational answers to many popular questions
• Hundreds of labeled full-color illustrations
• An index to key terms
—Synopsis provided by Twirl
This nonfiction book is dedicated to all things music. Short snippets of text paired with bright colors and cute illustrations make it a good option for home or in the classroom.
WHERE’S WALDO? AMAZING JOURNEYs, by Martin Handford, Candlewick, Sept. 12, 2023, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 5-9)
Join Waldo on his most labyrinthine vacation ever, where every place he visits is a mind-boggling maze! Head to the airport and trace your finger along the paths to plot a route from start to finish. Blast off to an awesome space center, where the mission is following rocket trails to find one that reaches all the way to the orange moon. Line up to explore a cave, elaborate gardens, a museum, a film studio, a candy factory . . . even a disco where you can strut your stuff across the dance floor. More than fifty routes to tackle! And when you reach the end of the book, you’re not done yet—you’ll find checklists with over one hundred more things to search for throughout. Good thing the fun is always in the journey, because reaching your destination will take all the wits you can muster! —Synopsis provided by Candlewick
Waldo is a perennial favorite. He’s been around for more than four decades, and he’s still as popular now as when he was created. This book offers more of the same fun with a few twists along the way. It’s fun for kids of all ages and their parents.
SPECTACULAR: MIRACLES OF NATURE, by Philippe Nessmann and Alex Asfour, Twirl; 1st edition, Sept. 19, 2023, Hardcover, $19.99 (ages 5 and up)
Pink lakes, giant crystal caves, ice flowers, and polar lights are some of the spectacular natural phenomena featured in this large format book. The illustrations are accompanied by facts about the phenomena and the science behind them. —Synopsis provided by Twirl
Spectacular: Miracles of Nature is a supersized book with supersized spreads featuring bite-sized nuggets of information from geysers and salt flats to celestial marvels and mysterious phenomena. This is the type of book that doesn’t have to be read cover-to-cover and could be easily utilized in a classroom. The illustrations are bold and engaging and the text is accessible.
DAVID ATHERTON’S BAKING BOOK FOR KIDS: DELICIOUS RECIPES FOR BUDDING BAKERS (Bake, Make and Learn to Cook), by David Atherton and Harry Woodgate, Candlewick, Sept. 19, 2023, Hardcover, $17.99 (ages 5-9)
This third serving from Great British Baking Show winner David Atherton guides readers through sweet and savory baked treats. From snacky samosas to hot cross hedgehogs, from loaves baked in flowerpots to an ombre cake, these recipes are delicious and easy to follow. Featuring oven-hot tips, a review of a baker’s cupboard, an equipment list, step-by-step instructions, and illustrations by award-winning illustrator Harry Woodgate, this collection of recipes from David Atherton will bring little bakers and their loved ones together in the kitchen again and again. —Synopsis provided by Candlewick
The best thing about David Atherton’s Baking Book for Kids is just how simple and accessible Atherton has made his recipes. There aren’t a ton of ingredients and the instructions are illustrated step-by-step, helping bakers see exactly what they should be doing when. Younger bakers will still need some guidance, but I was able to hand the book to my 9-year-old, and she was able to do it pretty much on her own. This is one of the best cookbooks I’ve seen for kids. It’s a great option for families and for fans of Junior Bake-off.
THE SUN AND PLANETS, by Patricia Geis, Bushel & Peck Books, Oct. 10, 2023, Hardcover, $29.99 (ages 5-10)
The Sun and Planets provides updated information with detail and lots of moving parts. As children greet the celestial bodies designed by Patricia Geis, they will learn facts about each and how they affect our daily lives. Content includes the most up-to-date information about the sun, moon, and planets of our solar system along with information about our galaxy and the entire universe. —Synopsis provided by Bushel & Peck Books
The interactive book has a lot of appeal, especially for kids who love all things space. It simplifies complex concepts and the interactive elements help kids understand them — for example, kids can move the moon into different positions to understand phases and eclipses.
AGES 6 AND UP
THE STORY OF THE SAXOPHONE, by Lesa Cline-Ransome and James E. Ransome, Holiday House, March 28, 2023, Hardcover, $19.99 (ages 6-9)
You may think that the story of the saxophone begins with Dexter Gordon or Charlie Parker, or on a street corner in New Orleans. It really began in 1840 in Belgium with a young daydreamer named Joseph-Antoine Adolphe Sax — a boy with bad luck but great ideas. Coretta Scott King Honoree Lesa Cline-Ransome unravels the history of how Adolphe’s once reviled instrument was transported across Europe and Mexico to New Orleans. Follow the saxophone’s journey from Adolphe’s imagination to the pawn shop window where it caught the eye of musician Sidney Bechet and became the iconic symbol of jazz music it is today. —Synopsis provided by Holiday House
Cline-Ransome’s melodious text is accessible and informative. She makes you want to keep turning the pages and learn more. Ransome’s beautiful illustrations are full movement and emotion. You can practically hear the saxophone playing out of his images. End pages feature well-known saxophone musicians and inside the jacket is a poster featuring iconic jazz musicians Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Stan Getz, Dexter Gordon and Cannonball Adderley.
AGES 7 AND UP
THE BRAINIAC’S BOOK OF ROBOTS AND AI (The Brainiac’s Series), by Paul Virr and Harriet Russel, Thames & Hudson, May 23, 2023, Hardcover, $17.95 (ages 7-10)
This new addition to the Brainiac series approaches science and technology from a creative angle to make STEM learning accessible and fun.
Hands-on activities include building a grippy robot hand, making a mechanical hopping frog, testing yourself for artificial intelligence, and writing the first bill of robot rights. Readers will also find out which gross and scary jobs only robots can do, how nanobots could battle bugs inside the human body, and why self-driving cars might save lives.
Through quirky stories, infographic data dumps, and entertaining activities, readers will discover all there is to know about robots and artificial intelligence. —Synopsis provided by Thames & Hudson
This is a book for curious kids. Or kids who learn by seeing. Or kids who like robots. Really, it’s going to appeal to most kids. There’s a lot of information packed into tiny nuggets that are easy to absorb and understand.
MONA LISA AND THE OTHERS, by Alice Harman and Quentin Blake, Thames & Hudson, June 6, 2023, Hardcover, $19.95 (ages 7-10)
With a focus on portraits and other person-centered artworks, Mona Lisa and the Others reveals the stories behind some of the Louvre’s most famous pieces. Napoleon Bonaparte takes readers behind the scenesat his own coronation; the Venus de Milo explains what happened to her missing arms; the Seated Scribe lets slip some gossip about the ancient Egyptian royal family. And of course, Mona Lisa reveals that there’s more to her portrait than her mysterious smile… —Synopsis provided by Thames & Hudson
Mona Lisa and the Others is a fun and accessible look at art. Alice Harman’s light-hearted text has a slightly tongue-in-cheek tone to it that’s a pleasure to read. It’s informative and a bit snarky and moves quickly. Illustrations by Sir Quentin Blake build upon the original art, adding energy and brightness throughout. Excellent backmatter includes sections on the Louvre; ways to think about art; a timeline; glossary; list of artworks; and an index.
GLOW: THE WILD WONDERS OF BIOLUMINESCENCE, by Jennifer N R Smith, Thames & Hudson, June 13, 2023, Hardcover, $24.95 (ages 7-10)
The natural world is an infinite source of wonder, and the phenomenon of bioluminescence is no exception. Glow explores the remarkable way creatures light up of their own accord, and what we can learn from their incredible glow-in-the-dark abilities. Written and illustrated by Jennifer N. R. Smith, Glow takes readers on a journey to the deepest ocean trenches, through winding networks of caves, and into the dark of the forest to experience the marvel of bioluminescence.
The first in a series of nonfiction children’s books exploring natural phenomena, Glow introduces readers to creatures that glow in the dark, including anglerfish, firefly squid, lanternfish, the glowing sucker octopus, Flor de Coco, and Honey fungi, as well as hosts of fireflies and glowworms. It also celebrates the scientists and deep-sea explorers who have traveled to the darkest and most dangerous corners of the planet to study bioluminescence. Combining natural history with STEM, Glow considers how bioluminescence works and what we can learn from it, including ways to prevent climate change and tackle pollution. —Synopsis provided by Thames & Hudson
Glow is visually stunning. Each and every turn of the page brings another equally spectacular spread. And though the images are awesome, the text is the framework that holds this book together. Information is provided in short sections that allow readers to flip through and focus on what interests them.
TEN-WORD TINY TALES: TO INSPIRE AND UNSETTLE, by Joseph Coelho and Various, Candlewick, Sept. 12, 2023, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 7-10)
Is it possible to spin a tale using just ten words? In this magnificent compendium, author and poet Joseph Coelho proves that it is—with mini-stories of underwater worlds, demon hamsters, bears in outer space, and portals to places unknown. From charming to creepy, fantastical to mysterious, each tale is paired with an outstanding illustrator, and together words and pictures inspire creativity as young readers are prompted to continue the story. Prefaced with a note from the author and offering two writing challenges at the end, this is an ideal gift for anyone ready to unleash their imagination. —Synopsis provided by Candlewick
This is exactly the type of book that gets imaginative juices flowing. It would be a great resource for in the classroom or at home. Creative kids will immediately be drawn to it. And even kids who are less likely to create will get a kick out of it. This will be one of my 9-year-old’s Christmas gifts.
SUPERPOWERED ANIMALS: Meet the World’s Strongest, Smartest, and Swiftest Creatures, by Soledad Romero Mariño and Sonia Pulido, Phaidon Press, Oct. 5, 2023, Hardcover, $19.95 (ages 7 and up)
Over thousands of years of evolution, certain animals have become masters of survival. They are capable of exceptional abilities, from perceiving sounds and smells that humans can’t detect, to creating powerful chemical formulas. Each animal ‘superhero’ is given a stunning visual portrait as well as superpower icons, from superstrength and vision, to superspeed and intelligence. Important key facts, such as the animals’ habitat and predators, give context to their super abilities. —Synopsis provided by Phaidon Press
Superpowered Animals is one of those books that children and kids will be drawn to. Sure, the superpower aspect is a big enticement, but once you open this nonfiction book, the bold, graphic elements and fantastic illustrations keep you flipping. Kids will love all the facts, and parents won’t mind leaving this one out on the coffee table as a conversation starter.
DRAGONOLOGY: The Complete Book of Dragons (Ologies), by Dr. Ernest Drake, Dugald A. Steer, Candlewick, 2003, Hardcover, $29.99 (ages 7 and up)
Do you believe in dragons? Now, for the first time, the long-lost research of renowned nineteenth century dragonologist Dr. Ernest Drake is presented in all its eccentric glory, happily bridging the gap between dragon legend and fact. The meticulous Dr. Drake assigns Latin names to various dragon species, ruminates on why dragons are able to speak, speculates on how they could fly, and explains the true purpose of their notorious hoarding habits. —Synopsis provided by Candlewick
Celebrate the 20th anniversary of Dragonology with this new edition featuring: tactile samples of dragon wings and dragon scales, as well as a packet of dragon dust; a booklet of dragon riddles; and a sealed envelope containing a powerful dragon-calling spell. This beautifully illustrated book will be loved particularly by dragon aficionados.
AGES 8 AND UP
SLOW DOWN AND BE HERE NOW: More Nature Stories to Make You Stop, Look, and Be Amazed by the Tiniest Things, by Laura Brand and Freya Hartas, Harry N. Abrams, March 14, 2023, Hardcover, $22.99 (ages 8-12)
Twenty stories with full-color illustrations inspire children to slow down and take a look at the world around them. Zoom in to observe a hummingbird drinking nectar or a pea shoot appear. Delight in a little snail as he comes come out to drink. Charming text paired with real science invite you to observe nature up close. Let it stop you in your tracks, so that you can truly find joy in the present moment. Each story features a tiny nature moment to treasure, with facts and figures on animals, plants, weather, and more, making this the perfect book for young nature lovers. —Synopsis provided by Harry N. Abrams
This book encourages readers to marvel at the things we often pass by, to discover magic in the little moments. Colorful and detailed illustrations are paired with fascinating information. It’s a lovely read.
WONDERS OF THE NIGHT SKY: Astronomy Starts with Just Looking Up, by Raman Prinja and Jan Bielecki, Aladdin/Beyond Words, May 9, 2023, Hardcover, $19.99 (ages 8 and up)
For millennia, curious people have looked to the sky and wanted to understand the wonders that appeared. Readers can connect to the many parts of our universe visible to the naked eye and make inspiring connections to the science behind the stellar backdrop with this well-researched book that gives a definitive look at the marvels above us with accessible facts and dazzling illustrations. —Synopsis provided by Aladdin/Beyond Words
Wonders of the Night Sky is wonderful. While it will especially appeal to readers who are interested in space, it has a little of something for everyone — constellations, planets, the moon, auroras, exploration and activities. Engaging illustrations are paired with accessible text, making this a good option for home or the classroom.
PAPER WORLD: HUMAN BODY, by The Templar Company LTD and Gail Armstrong, Big Picture Press, Sept. 26, 2023, Hardcover, $24.99 (ages 8-12)
Paper World: Human Body uses paper cut-outs to reveal the wonders of the human body, from taking a closer look at the inner workings of your brain to following the journey of a single bite of food through the intestinal track. With detailed art by Gail Armstrong, a fact-filled text, and flaps and die-cuts on every spread, this one-of-a-kind book will appeal to readers of all ages. —Synopsis provided by Big Picture Press
Human Body is one of those books that sort of speaks for itself. From the moment you pick it up, you know that there’s something a bit special. Gail Armstrong’s cut-paper designs give the illustrations a 3D effect that’s kind of mind blowing. Then, you add in all the flaps that create layer upon layer, and the construction of this book becomes kind of mind-boggling. These illustrations paired with easy-to-digest information make for an engaging read. A glossary is also included at the end.
Copyright © 2023 Cracking the Cover. Unless otherwise noted, all books — digital and physical — have been provided by publishers in exchange for honest and unbiased reviews. All thoughts and opinions are those of the reviewer.