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.
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.
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“Grandma” Gatewood is finally getting her due. Just this summer, the New York Times gave a long overdue obituary of Emma Gatewood, the first woman to hike the Appalachian Trail by herself in one season (at the ripe old age of 67). Gatewood was a mother of 11, a grandmother, and great-grandmother when she first hiked the trail. By the time she died 16 years after her first hike in 1973, she had completed the AT three times — setting the record as the first person to ever complete the trail more than once. Her story has also, finally, made it’s way to a children’s book this year, one whose clear, sparkling prose and beautiful illustrations by Jennifer Thermes give this real-life tale the inspirational platform it deserves.

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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.
How do you capture love and all of its various permutations on the page, let alone make it palatable for young readers? Somehow, Pena and illustrator Loren Long are able to do both in this book. As a collection of poems about the titular emotion, this book is successful because de la Pena is a good writer and a great observer who documents love in all its forms; from a baby hearing his parents’ voices to a child looking in the mirror. The poem dances on the precipice of precious but sticks the landing. And even if you think love is a battlefield, the illustration by Loren Long will soften you enough to let this one in.

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Rare is the story that’s able to nimbly explain how children process difficult feelings. But Doerrfield sticks the landing. After a toy brick-stacking tragedy strikes Taylor, the young child is approached by a variety of animals each of whom has intentions to help. However, all they do is talk at Taylor. The bear yells and tells Taylor to yell. The snake hisses and tells Taylor to hiss. They all have good intentions but it’s not what Taylor requires. What Taylor really needs, however, is someone who will listen, which is exactly what the rabbit provides. This is a wonderful story on its own, and one that becomes all the more powerful when young children are confronted with and need to work through tragedy.
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{"id":539877310513,"title":"100 Ways to Make the World Better!","handle":"100-ways-to-make-the-world-better","truncated_description":"\u003cp\u003eThis uplifting book inspires the next generation to step up and make the world a better place. In keeping with the Nat Geo Kids mission, it is full of practical, positive, and powerful ideas that every kid can consider, from simple acts of kindness to creative adventures to good-for-the-planet projects.\u003c\/p\u003e","description":"This uplifting book inspires the next generation to step up and make the world a better place. In keeping with the Nat Geo Kids mission, it is full of practical, positive, and powerful ideas that every kid can consider, from simple acts of kindness to creative adventures to good-for-the-planet projects.","published_at":"2018-03-07T19:00:00-05:00","created_at":"2018-03-08T17:36:06-05:00","vendor":"National Geographic Books","type":"Kids Books","tags":["9 to 12","ALLOWDISCOUNT","Kids Books","National Geographic","Under $10"],"price":849,"price_min":849,"price_max":849,"available":true,"price_varies":false,"compare_at_price":999,"compare_at_price_min":999,"compare_at_price_max":999,"compare_at_price_varies":false,"variants":[{"id":7262759026737,"title":"Default Title","option1":"Default Title","option2":null,"option3":null,"sku":"NGOGEOKB1BET","requires_shipping":true,"taxable":true,"featured_image":null,"available":true,"name":"100 Ways to Make the World Better!","public_title":null,"options":["Default Title"],"price":849,"weight":0,"compare_at_price":999,"inventory_management":"shopify","barcode":""}],"images":["\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/2959\/2384\/products\/ngogeokb1bet_b6fedfa8-4f2a-4eeb-b9d3-09e3babc092a.jpg?v=1528702818"],"featured_image":"\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/2959\/2384\/products\/ngogeokb1bet_b6fedfa8-4f2a-4eeb-b9d3-09e3babc092a.jpg?v=1528702818","options":["Title"],"content":"This uplifting book inspires the next generation to step up and make the world a better place. In keeping with the Nat Geo Kids mission, it is full of practical, positive, and powerful ideas that every kid can consider, from simple acts of kindness to creative adventures to good-for-the-planet projects."}
The history of the world was built upon the backs of explorers — those who give in to their every curiosity to make the world a bigger place for us all. The Long Island captures the explorer in all of us with a spare, haunting book that shows the wakening of a monstrous curiosity in a group of people who simply want to see what’s on the other side of the island. Reminiscent of Where the Wild Things Are in its spare prose and powerful imagery, it’s a book that takes your breath away — before leading to deep discussions about the tantalizing unknowns in our world.
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.
(4) If either you or National Geographic wants to arbitrate a Dispute, you or National Geographic must first send by mail to the other a written Notice of Dispute (“Notice”) that sets forth the name, address, and contact information of the party giving notice, the specific facts giving rise to the Dispute, the NG Service to which the Notice relates, and the relief requested. Your Notice to the National Geographic must be sent by mail to Arbitration Notice of Dispute, c/o Business and Legal Affairs, Litigation VP, 1145 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. The National Geographic will send any Notice to you at the contact information we have for you or that you provide. It is the sender’s responsibility to ensure that the recipient receives the Notice. During the first 45 days after you or we send a Notice to the other, you and we may try to reach a settlement of the Dispute.
4 - 8 years. Baby bat Stellaluna's life is flitting along right on schedule--until an owl attacks her mother one night, knocking the bewildered batlet out of her mother's loving grasp. The tiny bat is lucky enough to land in a nest of baby birds, but her whole world has just turned upside down. This gorgeously illustrated book is sure to be an all-time favorite with readers, whether they've left the nest or not. Hardback. 28 pages.
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