“The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn. It’s hard to let your children go to preschool or kindergarten. This book has a Mama Raccoon who kisses her child’s palm before she leaves him at school. If he misses her he can place his palm with the kiss on his cheek, and he will know his mother loves him. Baby Raccoon also kisses his mother’s palm before he heads off to school. Real love endures even when we’re away from our loved ones. Sweet story. Beautiful artwork.” ― Donna Worthington Shiro
Fifty years after Don Freeman introduced the lovable bear to the world, actor Viola Davis updates the series. Davis, who grew up poor in Rhode Island, used to spend her afternoons at the library where Freeman’s stories of the bear and his benefactor, a young African American girl named Lisa, kept the young actress company. Now she returns the favor with Corduroy Takes A Bow in which the bear takes a much-belated interest in the world of theater.

“Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? from Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle. All of my babies have loved this book. We all have it memorized and when we are in the car and the youngest one gets fussy we all start reciting the book, with the same pace and inflection I did when they were all babies. I always give it as a gift for a baby shower or first birthday.” ― Wendy Fortner


Birth & up. Venture to the Hundred Acre Wood with Winnie the Pooh and friends! This Winnie the Pooh Classic plush makes a great companion for little ones that is ideal for comforting hugs and snuggles. Read along in Winnie the Pooh's 1,2,3 Board Book to learn numbers and counting. This book features an elegant, timeless look with beautiful illustrations. Board book includes 18 pages.
Elmore is a young Hedgehog who can’t convince anyone to be his friend. The reason? His quills are too intimidating. Eventually, with the help of his uncle, Elmore eventually shows everyone why his quills are nothing to fear — and learns to appreciate himself, too. It’s a classic story of learning to love thyself, made all the better because Elmore is never a sadsack. Rather, he’s a plucky, problem-solver who takes matters into his own hand.
6 years & up. Chandra and Deena's family have a smoky oil lamp at home, which makes their baby brother cough. One day at the market, the sisters spot a man selling lamps that are powered by the sun -- and would be healthier for their brother! How will they afford to buy one of the "magic" lamps? Book includes facts about Nepal and instructions for making a solar-powered oven. Paperback. 40 pages.
2018 has been a great year for children’s books, with familiar authors and newcomers alike exploring topics and themes with style, wit, and sensibility that resonate far longer after the last page is reached. Below are our favorite children’s books of the year so far; aimed at kids from 2-7 years old. These are books that made us and our kids laugh, think, dream, wonder, feel calm, and forget about the real world for a time. Take a look.

“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
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