“Sleep Like a Tiger by Mary Logue. The art is gorgeous and it tells the story of a little girl going to bed so gently. In response to her assertion that she isn’t tired, her parents just say, ’We understand. Please brush your teeth. You can stay up as late as you like.′ It’s just lovely and presents an example of engaging with your child that isn’t adversarial. I think it’s a nice model and so pretty.” ― Allison Sook


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.
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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From picture books to graphic novels, fantasy to family fun, these must-read books have the power to hook both boys and girls. Some are cultural touchstones that belong in every kid's library. Others open kids' minds to cultures beyond their own. And some are modern releases that have the timeless quality of classics -- the kinds that get handed down to siblings and passed around classrooms. Whether you have a reluctant reader or budding bookworm, check out these surefire, kid-tested titles. (We've included a few rated best for 12 and up for the precocious readers out there!)
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This breezy story starts with Circle rolling, bumping into Triangle then popping, turning thereby into smaller circles that cause Square to sneeze a flurry of shapes — Diamond, Star, etc.. — that bounce into and bend Line. Eventually, Octagon has to break everyone up and Heart has to straighten Line and repair Circle. The illustrations are as simple as the story, playful and clear. It is clearly a book written to conform to the wishes of children, not how we wish children to be, but nonetheless adeptly communicates both geometry and personal responsibility.

3 years & up. Explore early childhood concepts while using the rhythm, rhyme, and repetition that children love with this Dr. Seuss favorite. Bring the mischievous twins from Cat In The Hat, Thing 1 & Thing 2, to life with this double-sided plush hand puppet. One side of the puppet features a delightful Thing 1 twin with open eyes and the other side features Thing 2 with closed eyes. Puppets are surface wash only. Puppet size 10" tall. Hardback book has 72 pages. Included: Cat in the… More »
“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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