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Diverse Books For All Ages

Books That Celebrate Every Story, Every Voice, Every Child

Picture Books That Celebrate Books, Libraries, and the Joy of Reading

Updated: Sep 23, 2023

The Best new Children's Books

These picture books serve as love letters to the magic that books and libraries hold.


They invite children to embark on literary adventures, fostering a lifelong love affair with reading and a genuine connection to the enchanting world of books.


For your convenience, we've included publisher's descriptions along with each book.

In this lyrical picture book, world-renowned poet, New York Times bestselling author, and Coretta Scott King Honor winner Nikki Giovanni and fine artist Erin Robinson craft an ode to the magic of a library as a place not only for knowledge but also for imagination, exploration, and escape.


In what other place can a child "sail their dreams" and "surf the rainbow" without ever leaving the room? This ode to libraries is a celebration for everyone who loves stories, from seasoned readers to those just learning to love words, and it will have kids and parents alike imagining where their library can take them.


This inspiring read-aloud includes stunning illustrations and a note from Nikki Giovanni about the importance of libraries in her own childhood.



From Caldecott and Newbery Honoree Grace Lin and bestselling author Kate Messner comes a modern folktale about the joy of reading.


Once upon a time, there was a girl. She went to a place alive with colors, where even the morning dew was warm.


Alice loves to imagine herself in the magical pages of her favorite book. So when it flaps its pages and invites her in, she is swept away to a world of wonder and adventure, riding camels in the desert, swimming under the sea with colorful fish, floating in outer space, and more! But when her imaginative journey comes to an end, she yearns for the place she loves best of all.


Paired with vibrant illustrations, this lyrical, expressive story invites the reader to savor each page and indulge in the power of imagination.



Stacey's Remarkable Books, from political leader Stacey Abrams and artist Kitt Thomas.


Stacey's favorite day of the week is Thursday, when the whole class goes to the library and she gets to lose herself in her beloved books.


On one of these special days, Stacey discovers that a new student named Julie has trouble reading in English, so they begin sharing books and stories to practice. Soon, more students start to join them.


Books take the group on magical adventures and reveal other worlds and cultures--but best of all, they bring them together as friends. This is another inspiring tale, based on a true story from Stacey Abrams's childhood, about the life-changing power of books.



Plucky activist Rocket returns in another inspiring picture book, rallying her community to SPEAK UP! to save their town library.


When Rocket finds out that her town's library is closing, she knows something must be done. Inspired by the activism of Rosa Parks, Rocket rallies support from her peers, and together they lead a peaceful protest that spreads awareness and raises enough money to save their beloved library.


Perfect for fans of Rocket Says Look Up!, Rocket Says Clean Up!, and Ada Twist, Scientist, this book is for any youngster--and parent--interested in community activism. Rocket Says Speak Up! will inspire readers of all ages to take a stand for what they believe in and will teach them that one small person can make a BIG difference.



An inspiring and poetic story about reading, libraries, and overcoming shyness to find community.


I gather the books in my arms and give them a hug. "Welcome back," I whisper.


Nicky is a shy girl who feels most at home in the safe space of her school library, but the library closes for a week and Nicky is forced to face her social anxiety. When she meets a group of unique, diverse, inspiring women at her mother's diner--members of a women's motorcycle club--Nicky realizes that being different doesn't have to mean being alone, and that there's a place for everyone.


Book lovers of all ages will find inspiration in this beautiful love letter to reading--and how words help us find empathy and connections with the world around us.



Set in an incarceration camp where the United States cruelly detained Japanese Americans during WWII and based on true events, this moving love story finds hope in heartbreak.


To fall in love is already a gift. But to fall in love in a place like Minidoka, a place built to make people feel like they weren't human--that was miraculous.


After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Tama is sent to live in a War Relocation Center in the desert. All Japanese Americans from the West Coast--elderly people, children, babies--now live in prison camps like Minidoka. To be who she is has become a crime, it seems, and Tama doesn't know when or if she will ever leave.


Trying not to think of the life she once had, she works in the camp's tiny library, taking solace in pages bursting with color and light, love and fairness. And she isn't the only one. George waits each morning by the door, his arms piled with books checked out the day before. As their friendship grows, Tama wonders: Can anyone possibly read so much? Is she the reason George comes to the library every day?


Maggie Tokuda-Hall's beautifully illustrated, elegant love story features a photo of the real Tama and George--the author's grandparents--along with an afterword and other back matter for readers to learn more about a time in our history that continues to resonate.



Children's literacy advocate John Schu and Caldecott Honor recipient Lauren Castillo celebrate the power of finding the perfect book--in a story that's more relevant than ever.


This is a word on a page.

This is a page in a book.

This is a book on a shelf . . . waiting.


With a sea-horse kite in hand, a child heads out with Dad to the library. On the way they stop at a park, joining lots of people, some of whom are flying kites, too. At the library, a person toting a big pile of books hands over a story on a favorite subject: the sea horse. All around, there are readers poring over books, each with their own questions, ideas to explore, hopes for the future, and imaginations ready to spark.


With a warm, lyrical text and tenderly expressive illustrations, John Schu and Lauren Castillo invite us to imagine the myriad ways that books can foster connection and understanding--and how they can empower children, through their own passions, to transform the world.



Award-winning author-illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh sheds light on the significance of Aztec manuscripts and culture


Our world, little brother, is an amoxtlalpan, a land of books.

In the jungles where the jaguar dwells, the Mayas make books.

In the mountains the cloud people, the Mixtecs, make them as well. So do others in the coast and in the forests.

And we the Mexica of the mighty Aztec empire, who dwell in the valley of the volcanoes, make them too.


A young Aztec girl tells her little brother how their parents create beautiful painted manuscripts, or codices. She explains to him how paper is made from local plants and how the long paper is folded into a book. Her parents and others paint the codices to tell the story of their people's way of life, documenting their history, science, tributes, and sacred rituals.


Duncan Tonatiuh's lyrical prose and beloved illustration style, inspired by the pre-Columbian codices, tell the story of how--contrary to the historical narrative that European colonizers bestowed "civilization" and knowledge to the Americas--the Aztec and their neighbors in the Valley of Mexico painted books and records long before Columbus arrived, and continued doing so among their Nahua-speaking descendants for generations after the Spanish Conquest.


From an award-winning author-illustrator, A Land of Books pays tribute to Mesoamerican ingenuity and celebrates the universal power of books.



From Super Bowl champion and literacy crusader Malcolm Mitchell comes an exciting new story that shows even reluctant readers that there is a book out there for everyone!


Meet Henley, an all-around good kid, who hates to read. When he's supposed to be reading, he would rather do anything else. But one day, he gets the scariest homework assignment in the world: find your favorite book to share with the class tomorrow.


What's a kid to do? How can Henley find a story that speaks to everything inside of him?


Malcolm Mitchell, bestselling author of The Magician's Hat, pulls from his own literary triumph to deliver another hilarious and empowering picture book for readers of all abilities. Through his advocacy and his books, Malcolm imparts the important message that every story has the potential to become a favorite.



Looking for more great read aloud ideas? Visit these fabulous book lists:

 

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