Picture books ignite the imagination, and these are some of the most imaginative of the holiday season. Give these to your own children and you'll find yourself reading them again and again, with you enjoying them as much as your little ones do!
By Hervé Tullet
Experiment, play, and DRAW! This interactive book is perfect for a little one honing their motor skills. Primary colors and opportunities to create fill every page!
The Fate of Fausto
By Oliver Jeffers
We can all learn something about respect and ownership from The Fate of Fausto. Who owns the sky? Who owns the mountains? They own themselves! From the beloved author Oliver Jeffers, which means beautiful illustrations, of course.2 .
By Laurel Snyder, Illustrated by Chuck Groenink
Calling all kids with lion-sized imaginations! Calling all Sendak enthusiasts! Here is a fable of moods—a boy named Jim wakes up cranky, with a beastly appetite, and the rest is yours to discover… Suffice it to say, we’re all Jim sometimes. This book is hilarious, and it is also offers a helpful look at feelings that can be hard to name.
By Sonia Sotomayor, Illustrated by Rafael Lopez
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and award-winning artist Rafael Lopez create a kind and caring book about the differences that make each of us unique. We all face challenges, after all, and this book celebrates difference but also inquiry. Learning about others is the first step toward empathy, and this book is perfect for a child just beginning to open their eyes to the world.4 .
Kiki and Jax
By Marie Kondo, Co-written and Illustrated by Salina Yoon
Tidying queen Marie Kondo makes her children’s book debut with a story about valuing and making space for the things and people that you love. One of the most adorable books in some time, this is great for kids who are disorganized, easily overwhelmed, welcoming a new sibling into their lives, or having a hard time letting go.
By Vashti Harrison
Following Little Leaders and Little Dreamers, Vashti Harrison compiles a beautifully illustrated archive of exceptional men in black history for all ages! Featuring Alvin Ailey, James Balswin, Aaron Douglas, Activist Eddie Mabo, Harry Belafonte—a great addition to any home library.6 .
By Jennifer Thermes
A beautifully illustrated 400-year photographic history of the island of Manhattan based on archival maps which will delight and educate readers about what formed this island—from natural disasters to immigration, the slave trade, from building to parks. 8 years & up, and adults, too.
Parker Looks Up
By Parker Curry and Jessica Curry, Illustrated by Brittany Jackson
Based on the true story of Parker Curry and the day that she came face to face with Amy Sherald’s transcendent portrait of first lady Michelle Obama at the National Portrait Gallery. Together with her mother and illustrator Brittany Jackson, Parker recalls the mesmerizing moment that was immortalized by the viral photo taken by another museum goer. Check out the back cover for a sweet surprise!8 .
Pokko and the Drum
By Matthew Forsythe
From E.B. White Read Aloud honor artist Matthew Forsythe comes a picture book about a magical drum, an emerald forest, and the little frog who dares to make her own music. Dreamlike and involving, like all the best picture books. When we read this recently at story time, all the kids already seemed to know it and love it. Destined to be a classic.
By Oge Mora
A mother and daughter plan a fun Saturday together. Everything that could go wrong does! Both learn the importance of being together. Beautiful book, amazing collages!10 .
By Beth Ferry, The Fan Brothers
This book is as strange as it is cute. A scarecrow goes against his nature to save a baby bird, showing children that friends come in all shapes and sizes!
The Serious Goose
By Jimmy Kimmel
Kimmel’s entrée into picture books is a fun read-aloud book for the whole family as you try to make a very serious goose smile. Proceeds of the books sales will go to children’s hospitals around America. Silliness + charity = perfect gift.12 .
Small in the City
By Sydney Smith
A book for kids intimidated by the noise of the big city. What is there to do? How do you stay warm? Where are you safe? This book answers all these questions!
Sofia Valdez, Future Prez
By Andrea Beaty, Illustrated by David Roberts
A perfect companion to this popular series about accomplishment and empowerment! Sofia‘s motivation to become a community activist takes her to City Hall as she defies the odds to turn a landfill into a park. Sofia is a great inspiration for kids 5 to 9.14 .
Spencer's New Pet
By Jessie Sima
This charming book is stylized like a silent film about little Spencer and his precious balloon dog. Something awful happens along the adventure, but it’s nothing that can’t be fixed, good as new.
A Stone Sat Still
By Brendan Wenzel
The perfect book for your yoga teacher’s new child. A celebration of mindfulness and the natural world that can be read again and again.16 .
By Lupita Nyong'o, Illustrated by Vashti Harrison
Award-winning Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o makes her literary debut in this lyrical, heart-warming picture book about being comfortable in one’s own skin. A wonderful folk tale about self-esteem with a timely message for our current days.
Who Wet My Pants?
By Bob Shea, Illustrated by Zachariah Ohora
The title says it all. A laugh-out-loud lesson in friendship, humility, and the kinds of embarrassing situations everyone (admit it!) can find relatable.18 .
Wrinkles? They are a part of life. This book is all about them. JR uses his iconic black and white photographs to document Wrinkles around the world.