Summer is prime time to catch up on new books and perhaps those launches you might have missed earlier in the year. Plus, somehow a few hours lazing at the beach somehow revs up those book-reading juices. Good thing there are plenty of great debuts this season. See below for a few highlights.
Ages 0 - 2
Find Spot at the Museum by Eric Hill With easy-to-comprehend language and bright simple drawings, the Spot series is a favorite for younger kids. The lift-the-flap feature also is a draw for curious chubby fingers. And with it’s cultural enrichment angle—it’s a trip to the museum after all!—this particular Spot story can easily grow with your little one.
What Does Baby Want? by Tutera Tutera This clever circular book by a Tokyo-based husband and wife duo is really a multi-tasker. It’s engaging for babies and teaches care to older siblings. Via imagery (think two circles when the book is open), it also reinforces the soothing aspects of breastfeeding. Pretty genius stuff.
Ages 2 to 4
Raybot and Weebot by Adam F. Watkins For any tot getting ready for a new little brother or sister, this hardcover book by Adam F. Watkins of the Raybot series puts a sweet spin on the idea of tag-a-long siblings. The illustrations are amusing while the emotions conveyed are important but also easy to understand.
Black Belt Bunny by Jacky Davis, illustrated by Jay Fleck Have an active kid? Channel their non-stop energy into this dynamic book featuring one cute karate-chopping bunny. Aside from the sheer joy of side kicks, air chops and knee drops, Black Belt Bunny also sneaks in healthy messages for eating and exercise. Win, win, win, in our books.
She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World by Chelsea Clinton From women being interrupted by men to mansplaining, feminism is perhaps more alive than ever. Enter this charming publication by none other than Chelsea Clinton that gives little girls great role models to look up to.
If Sharks Disappeared by Lily Williams Books on the environment can be complex and stiff. Not so with this informative yet fun book on saving those bad boys of the seas—sharks, of course. (Although we’d save this for the older part of this age range.) Williams’s illustrations are also quite the draw. She trained as an animator for Sony Pictures.
Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall ‘Tis the season for pool time and my bets are on this book (set at a pool, naturally) to become the hit of the summer. Cornwall teaches a sweet lesson of overcoming your fears via a father and son tale that’s sure to become a modern day classic.
Funny Girl: Funniest. Stories. Ever. Edited by Betsy Bird Whoever says girls aren’t funny, Betsy Bird is out to prove them wrong. Bird, a former specialist in the New York Public Library system and currently of the Evanston Public Library, reviews books for Kirkus and occasionally the New York Times, but she’s found a dearth of funny books for girls by girls. This compilation of short stories, essays and comics from the likes of Delaney Yeager (former Daily Show writer) and standup comedian/YouTube star Akilah Hughes sets to turn that paradigm around.
King Flashypants and the Evil Emperor by Andy Riley More laughs and silliness to be had this summer with this hilarious book featuring Edwin, an adventurous boy who is actually a king with a crown and a dastardly next door neighbor (enter Evil Emperor). The humor has a distinct Monty Python vibe and the writing by Riley, who is an Emmy award winner for Veep and the author of Bunny Suicides, is sterling. This is Riley’s first time writing for children and there’s more to come: this is the first book in a three-part series.