This second entry in Barnett and Klassen’s planned shape trilogy grapples with such topics as anxiety, the nature of art, friendship, and imposter syndrome. Heady stuff, to be sure, but in the hands of Barnett and Klassen, who are responsible for some of the best children’s books of the past decade, it’s charming, funny, and beautifully wrought. And Square, who tries everything to impress Circle and, in the process, experiences an existential doozy that would cause most to ask for a double scotch on the rocks, is a character any kid would love: fragile, but full of hope and energy.
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“Someday by Alison McGhee. I still can’t even read it without choking up. It is about the life cycle, about your first memories with your baby, watching them grow, the conflicting feelings you have in life. It says so much with so few words. The line is something like, ‘Sometimes I watch you sleep, and I dream too...’ (seriously crying just writing this and my kid is 4-and-a-half).” ― Amber Manke
Birth & up. Get ready for bedtime with Llama Llama! The Llama Llama Blanky makes a great companion for little ones as it combines a blanket and plush toy that is ideal for comforting hugs and snuggles. In the book, Llama Llama must splish and splash in the tub then put on his red pajamas leading up to the best part of bedtime... stories with Mama! Llama Llama books celebrate the bond between mother and child. This fun story features catchy rhymes, effortless rhythm, and adorable illustrations.… More »
Story time is a nightly ritual your child will grow to love in only a few months. Reading to children of all ages is important. That’s why it’s great to have personalized bedtime stories so babies and toddlers can hear their own names. Bright colors and cute characters also keep them engaged. After hearing their mom or dad’s voice read to them, little ones are sure to sleep peacefully.
Written by Fatherly editor-at-large Joshua David Stein, Brick follows a young Brick as she searches for her place in the world. Inspired by the idea that “Great things begin with small bricks,” she visits castles and churches and walls and apartments around the world, searching for places she might fit in. It’s a fun book with a heap of great illustrations by Julia Rothman and it’s about much more than architecture and fitting in. Yeah, we sort of had to mention it because Joshua works for us. But, if he didn’t, we would’ve included it on this list anyway.
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Crane, Dozer, and Digger are the anthropomorphized construction equipment of this story but Digger is the only one with a thumping heart. It is he who stumbles upon a single blue flower growing on the last bare patch of land in the city and subsequently saves it from harm before nurturing it back to life. It’s a spare story about protecting nature told without much humor but instead, like its main character, a lot of heart and compassion.
We’re living in a golden age of young-adult literature, when books ostensibly written for teens are equally adored by readers of every generation. In the likes of Harry Potter and Katniss Everdeen, they’ve produced characters and conceits that have become the currency of our pop-culture discourse—and inspired some of our best writers to contribute to the genre. To honor the best books for young adults and children, TIME compiled this survey in consultation with respected peers such as U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate Kenn Nesbitt, children’s-book historian Leonard Marcus, the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, the Young Readers Center at the Library of Congress, the Every Child a Reader literacy foundation and 10 independent booksellers. With their help, we’ve created two all-time lists of classics: 100 Best Young-Adult Books and 100 Best Children’s Books. Vote for your favorite in the poll below.
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