December 16, 2023
This week bookseller extraordinaire Leah Bronstein guest-edits the newsletter to share some of her favorite books for young readers from 2023. At a time when books are being banned from schools and libraries at an alarming rate, it is important to remember, in the words of Dr. Seuss: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
Buyer, The Center for Fiction Bookstore
Vegetables in Pajamas
By Jared Chapman
Published by Abrams
Age 0–3, Board Book
From the author of Fruits in Suits comes a hilarious offbeat tale about pajama-loving vegetables. Young turnips, carrots, and potatoes get sleep-ready while showing off their best mixed, matched, and striped nightwear. A delightful evening read that will have kids saying “3, 2, 1… Bedtime!” in no time.
This Is Music: Strings
By Rekha S. Rajan; Art by Tania Yakunova
Published by Rise x Penguin Workshop
Age 0–3, Board Book
Musically-inclined little ones will love this interactive book about strings! Follow a colorful cast of characters as they pluck, press, and strum their way through a short introduction to stringed instruments..
100 Mighty Dragons All Named Broccoli
By David Larochelle; Illustrated by Lian Cho
Published by Dial Books
Age 3–7, Picture Book
It is a truth universally acknowledged that learning to count is always more fun when dragons are involved. These richly hued beasties aren’t your run-of-the-mill fire-breathers either. Ten of them are surfers, three decamp to North Carolina, and two decide to start a heavy-metal band in New York City. Elementary-aged kids will get a kick out of Cho’s depictions of the Broccoli crew.
The Museum of Nothing
By Steven Guarnaccia
Published by Minerva
Oona and Otto take a trip to a curious museum, one that prides itself not for what it has but what it doesn’t! Empty pedestals, a library full of blank books, and an exhibit full of black holes are the norm at the Museum of Nothing. A clever answer to the question: what is art? Well, everything and nothing. A quirky read for zany youngsters (and the young at heart)..
The Curious League of Detectives and Thieves: S.O.S.
By Tom Phillips
Published by Pixel+Ink
A sequel to last year’s Egypt’s Fire, S.O.S. is an absolutely wacky cat-and-mouse game that takes place on an airship headed to Brazil. John Boarhog, a 12-year-old detective-in-training, must stop a criminal mastermind who escaped from the Central Park Zoo all while trying to prove himself to the Society of Sleuths. But with the help of some new friends and his guardian Inspector Toadius McGee—a chaotic cross between Wonka and Poirot—John should be just fine. Maybe.
Valentina Salazar Is Not a Monster Hunter
By Zoraida Córdova
Published by Scholastic
Valentina and her siblings used to spend their time saving and rehabilitating monsters. But after a family tragedy, the Salazars left that all behind for a ‘normal’ life in upstate New York. Of course, nothing is that easy where the supernatural is concerned and Valentina soon finds herself facing actual monster-hunters who are bent on destroying her family legacy..
Gwen & Art Are Not in Love
By Lex Croucher
Published by Wednesday Books
Lex Croucher knows what the people want. And that’s a queer, medieval rom-com inspired by the legend of King Arthur! There is banter, a badass knight by the name of Bridget Leclair, and so. much. pining. Oh, and there’s also jousting, can’t forget the jousting. Perfect for fans of I Kissed Shara Wheeler and Heartstopper.
By Dan Nott
Published by Random House Graphic
How does an email travel? What exactly is an electrical grid? And how does fresh water make it into our homes each day? Using an engaging and creative graphic nonfiction format, Dan Nott answers these questions and more. Hidden reminds readers that there is far more to our everyday life than meets the eye..