If you’re reading this, then chances are you’re looking for some new books for the discerning pint-sized reader in your life. First, let me congratulate you on picking an excellent time to update your favorite kiddo’s shelves. Whether centering on music or friendship or the glory of adventure, there are literary masterpieces aplenty for the miniature set this month. And because picky readers are a lot like picky eaters, you can be certain we’ve accounted for them, too and that these titles are guaranteed not to be pushed around a plate, but chewed on, digested, and asked for again and again.
Gus & Me, by Keith and Theodora Richards
In Gus & Me, we learn the story of Keith Richards, and how a special bond with his granddad and the feeling of his first guitar beneath his fingers led to a lifelong love of music. Richards, the guitarist in arguably the world’s greatest rock & roll band—the Rolling Stones—was born into a exceptionally musical family, but no one motivated him more than his granddad, Theodore Augustus Dupree, or “Gus,” the former big band leader and multi-instrument expert. Rendered in beautiful illustrations by Keith’s daughter Theodora, Gus & Me is a wonderfully tender story that underscores the importance of sharing the things you love with the people you love. Don’t miss it!
Uni the Unicorn, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Brigette Barrager
This sweet story follows Uni, the unicorn who dared to believe in little girls, and the little girl who was similarly convinced of the existence of unicorns. The two are mocked and teased by their respective peers—of COURSE such nonsense isn’t possible!—but they persevere, and are rewarded with learning the true meaning of friendship.
Mix it Up, by Herve Tullet
If you and your little one loved Press Here, then Mix it Up offers another colorful adventure that relies exclusively on the magical power of your child’s fingertips. Watch your little reader dab, smush, and shake the pages of this adorable book of primary colors to make purple, green, and orange. The best part for you? No clean up!
Little Elliot, Big City, by Mike Curato
Little Elliot is a diminutive elephant in an enormous city. Being too short to reach doorknobs, toothbrushes, and even bakery counters makes life difficult. But when Elliot meets a mouse—who’s even smaller!—he realizes that no problem is too big for two friends working together.
Goodnight Goodnight, Construction Site Sound Book, by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld
If you haven’t yet lulled your little tyke to sleep with the soothing sounds of a bulldozer or a backhoe, then I implore you to check out the sound version of this modern bedtime classic.
Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla, by Katherine Applegate and G. Brian Karas
From Newbery medalist Applegate, learn the incredibly true story of Ivan, the shopping mall gorilla. Captured as a baby in the Congo and brought to a Tacoma, Washington, mall to attract patrons, Ivan continually shocked and amazed his audience and his keepers, ultimately paving the way for a much happier existence at the Atlanta Zoo. Share Ivan’s inspirational story with your little reader tonight.
The Right Word: Roget and his Thesaurus, by Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet
Peter Mark Roget is shy and quiet, and books are his favorite companions. So it comes as no surprise to anyone when he decides to write his own story. But what he ends up with isn’t a narrative—it’s a list! Young Peter’s love of words—and finding the perfect one for any situation—leads to one of the most definitive reference books in the English language. Filled with whimsical illustrations and melodic prose, Roget’s story is a delight; be assured that your search for the perfect book has come to an end!
Once Upon an Alphabet: Short Stories for all the Letters, by Oliver Jeffers
At 112 pages, this brilliantly quirky alphabet book sets a new precedent for the hundreds of books in its subgenre, and may require more than one sitting. With a short story for each letter of the alphabet (e.g., an Astronaut who’s afraid of heights, or a Cup that’s stuck in a cupboard), Once Upon an Alphabet cleverly weaves together 26 narratives, offering something for everybody to love. You’ve never read anything like it!
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen
On Monday, Sam and Dave set out to dig a hole; they’re in search of something spectacular. They dig, and dig, and dig some more. They split apart and come back together again, but still, they find nothing. It’s only when they fall asleep that something SPECTACULAR happens! This is a spunky story of hard work and determination, and will surely reinforce your belief in the possibilities all around us.
Telephone, by Mac Barnett and Jen Corace
This hilarious interpretation of the classic playground game is a must-read this month. Anxious for her little bird to get home for a nutritious dinner, Mama Bird passes a message to Peter, but with so many beaks garbling her message down the line, will he get there in time? Or at all? It’s a wildly imaginative romp through the neighborhood, and your little one will want to hear it again and again!
What books are you tucking your little one in with tonight?