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Funk is a software engineer with the nonprofit Girls Who Code so it’s no surprise that computer language saves the day in this story. While many would stumble with such an earnest conceit (coding is great kids!) this story, in which a young girl and her robot buddy solve a sandcastle building problem via coding techniques, introduces basic knowledge in a way that doesn’t feel forced or anything but genuine.

The best children’s books not only help young readers understand themselves and the world better, but make them giggle, think, worry, consider, and engage all their other feelings, too. These books also tug adult readers back towards childhood, reminding us of our youth and bigger things beyond our own lives. This is no easy trick, but it feels natural when a great book pulls it off with grace. And so far, there have been dozens of releases this year that do just that.
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Peter Reynold’s story of Jerome, a logophiliac young man, is one of the few books out there that delights in language. Though many children’s books are written beautifully, relatively few are about words themselves. (A major wonderful exception is 2014’s The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus.)  In Reynolds’s story,  however, Jerome collects scraps with words on them, finding joy in each syllable and multi-syllable word. He is a reader reading and his pleasure in words is mirrored by those who read of his vocabularistic adventure.
These lap size board books are perfect for sharing and entertaining small groups of infants, toddlers and twos as well as with individual children that might have visual impairments. Designed for the younger child, these books are similar to big books for 3-5 year olds. These oversized board books also have larger pictures and larger print. A lap-sized books measures approx. 10" x 9" as opposed to the traditional size of 5" x 5".
Even if we didn’t spot the Tribe Called Quest and Mingus vinyl in the background,  Zach O’Hora’s tale of mistaken identity — Ralph for Niblet; Niblet for Ralph — has enough sophistication and nuance to amuse adult readers while the sweet simple message (be neighborly) and O’Hora’s strong illustrations (turquoise, ochre, thick black line) make it kiddie catnip.

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100 Great Children’s Books has been published on the occasion of The New York Public Library’s acclaimed exhibition The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter, on view at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. The list was selected by The New York Public Library’s Jeanne Lamb, Coordinator, Youth Collections, and Elizabeth Bird, Supervising Librarian. 
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