Valerie Koehler, owner of the Blue Willow Bookshops, shares her favorites for the new year. For more of her picks, visit www.BlueWilliowBookshops.com
Love You Baby by Tiger Tales
Adorable animal characters and peppy rhyming text make this great for reading over and over in the car, at nap time, or anytime lap time is needed.
Sprinkle With Kisses Sweet Baby Smiles by Emma Dodd
(BES Publishing March 2018)
Babies love to smile! This sweet board book will make both reader and child smile with delight. The peep through shapes are perfect for little fingers.
A World of Kindness by Anne Featherstone
(Pajama Press, October 2018)
Simple questions for the youngest of listeners encourage all to practice kindness every day. Inspire the whole family with this challenge.
Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima
(Simon & Schuster Books, February 2017)
Kelp, a narwhal, knows he looks different from the others. It’s a gentle opening to talking about differences and acceptance.
Carmela Full of Wishes by Matt de la Pena
(Penguin Books, October 2018)
It’s Carmela’s birthday, and she is trying to decide what to wish for. She and her brother share a day of learning to be kind and forgiving.
I Walk With Vanessa by Kerascoet
(S&W Books, April 2018)
This wordless picture book has a powerful message about bullying and kindness and is perfect for the classroom and home.
Rescue & Jessica by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes
(Candlewick Press, April 2018)
Inspired by the true story of Jessica Kensky, a Boston Marathon survivor, this story of friendship is told by Jessica and Rescue, the service dog who is trained to help her.
Hope In The Holler by Lisa Lewis Tyre
(Nancy Paulsen Books, January 2018)
The Truth As Told By Mason Buttle by Leslie Conner
(Katherine Tegen Books, January 2018)
After Mason befriends a new boy in the neighborhood, he learns that he can move past the death of his only other friend.
Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish by Pablo Cartaya
(Viking Books, August 2018)
Though the biggest boy in middle school, Marcus is still a target for bullying in this slyly funny and ultimately empowering story.
A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi
(Harper Books, October 2018)
When hijab-wearing Shirin starts at a new school after the 9/11 attacks, she must learn to deal with bullies, first love, and the worries of high school.
Puddin’ by Julie Murphy
(Balzer & Bray, May 2018)
In this companion book to Dumplin’ (now on Netflix) Millie, a fat camp regular, and Callie, the presumptive captain of the dance team, must work together.