A couple of years ago I would take time at the beginning of each month to look ahead and see what picture books were all coming out that month that we were looking forward to reading and then wrote a blog post about it. I thought it would be fun to do that again but instead of making it a monthly post this year it will probably be quarterly-ish.
That’s what today’s post is. The books on this list are all coming out at the beginning of 2019 (or may have just came out) and based on the cover (cause yes, I totally judge a book by its cover) and description, I’m excited to read them!
Now, because I haven’t actually read the books yet this list will be different than most of my other book lists where I am generally telling you our favorite books, ones that I can highly recommend, there are no guarantees with this list and I would suggest checking to see if your library has the books or is planning on getting them soon. I have linked to Amazon because they show the publication date, that way you can see when the book is coming out.
I plan on having a few “favorite books of 2019” lists this year and those will be books that pass our tests. This list is for those of you who are curious about new books and enjoy making use of your library (or don’t mind bringing a book you bought to the thrift store).
I have done one other thing differently than my previous “books we are looking forward to” lists – I’ve included a few chapter/middle grade books! When I did these lists a few years ago Raeca wasn’t at the point of reading much more than very very short chapter books but she is an avid reader now and I’ve included some books that sound good that I think she will enjoy. Some of them I may end up proof reading or finding other people’s reviews before putting the books into her hands.
Okay, this is an incredibly long post, so let’s get on to the books!
PICTURE BOOKS WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2019
If this book is any good I want to buy it, I feel like cover totally represents my kids, a rare find (now, if only there was a cat instead of a dog, it would be perfect).
Something about seeing a beloved child come into the world, grow, and experience the wonder and pain of life drives adults to pray for the kids they love. When I Pray for You celebrates the dreams, hopes, and longings we pray over our children, and shares with the little ones how much care, concern, and love a parent, family member, or friend feels for them.
From the moment I saw you,
I started to pray.
Big prayers and small ones
I have sent God’s way.
I prayed you felt safe,
full of joy and content.
When I whispered “I love you,”
you knew what I meant.
This book has me rooting for Tiny T. Rex, look how adorable he is!
Tiny T. Rex has a HUGE problem. His friend Pointy needs cheering up and only a hug will do. But with his short stature and teeny T. Rex arms, is a hug impossible? Not if Tiny has anything to say about it! Join this plucky little dinosaur in his very first adventure—a warm and funny tale that proves the best hugs come from the biggest hearts.
This looks like a cute wordless picture book!
Christian Robinson brings young readers on a playful, imaginative journey into another world.
What if you…
encountered another perspective?
Discovered another world?
Met another you?
What might you do?
The most important rule is #1: It must be your birthday.
After that’s been established, a crew of hilarious animals help picture book pros Tom Lichtenheld and Beth Ferry take readers through a joyous romp that covers the most important elements of every year’s most essential holiday, including singing; closing your eyes and making a wish; blowing out candles on a cake, then settling into bed and dreaming of your wish coming true.
I think this one is actually already published and being re-published as a board book, but it looks adorable, I can’t wait to read it.
Of all the children that ever could be,
You are the one made just for me.
From a child’s first uttered “Dada” to his or her first unsteady steps, nothing can adequately convey the joy and awe of watching the birth and growth of a new child. Now releasing as a board book filled with adorable illustrations and the refrain, “You are the one made just for me,” Made for Me is a winning presentation of tender moments that tie a father and his new child together forever.
Can you catch the unicorn?
You’ll have to use your brain,
So set your traps and prep your team
To pet that rainbow mane!
All of life’s possibilities are just a page turn away in this beautiful pop-up book from renowned paper artist Robert Sabuda. Throughout, phrases and images evoking potential (an acorn, an egg, a paper airplane) are answered by a glorious 3-D image on the following spread (a towering tree, a flock of birds, a rocket soaring upward). An ideal gift for graduates from kindergarten to college and beyond, Believe is the perfect way to celebrate life’s passages and look forward to new horizons.
As mama bear and her cub cuddle together before closing their eyes for a good night’s sleep, they reflect on the everyday wonders of life that make them happy.
Inspired by her own nighttime routine with her daughter, Haley Joy, Kotb creates another beautiful treasure for parents and children to enjoy together. With charming and lush illustrations from bestselling artist Suzie Mason, this soothing yet playful lullaby explores the simple joy of taking a moment to be grateful.
The joy of the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—has existed for all eternity. That indescribable joy bubbled over to make creation. God made so many wonderful things, but we are by far His greatest work of art.
Share that precious truth with your little one with this unique children’s book celebrating the miracle of God’s creation. Boys and girls will learn about God as the Trinity, the Creator, and about how they are made in His image.
Mo Willems, a number one New York Times best-selling author and illustrator, composes a powerful symphony of chance, discovery, persistence, and magic in this moving tale of a young girl’s journey to center stage.
This book is about Circle. This book is also about Circle’s friends, Triangle and Square. Also it is about a rule that Circle makes, and how she has to rescue Triangle when he breaks that rule. With their usual pitch-perfect pacing and subtle, sharp wit, Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen come full circle in the third and final chapter of their clever shapes trilogy.
The world needs your voice. If you have a brilliant idea… say something!If you see an injustice… say something!
In this empowering new picture book, beloved author Peter H. Reynolds explores the many ways that a single voice can make a difference. Each of us, each and every day, have the chance to say something: with our actions, our words, and our voices. Perfect for kid activists everywhere, this timely story reminds readers of the undeniable importance and power of their voice. There are so many ways to tell the world who you are… what you are thinking… and what you believe. And how you’ll make it better. The time is now: SAY SOMETHING!
Meet the good egg. He’s a verrrrrry good egg indeed.
But trying to be so good is hard when everyone else is plain ol’ rotten.
As the other eggs in the dozen behave badly, the good egg starts to crack from all the pressure of feeling like he has to be perfect.
So, he decides enough is enough! It’s time for him to make a change…
Dynamic duo Jory John and Pete Oswald hatch a funny and charming story that reminds us of the importance of balance, self-care, and accepting those who we love (even if they are sometimes a bit rotten).
What’s that you say? You’re hungry? Right this very minute? Then you need a farmer. You have the stories of so many right here on your table! Award winners Lisl H. Detlefsen and Renee Kurilla’s delicious celebration of food and farming is sure to inspire readers of all ages to learn more about where their food comes from – right this very minute!
In We Are the Gardeners, Joanna and the kids chronicle the adventures of starting their own family garden. From their failed endeavors, obstacles to overcome (bunnies that eat everything!), and all the knowledge they’ve gained along the way, the Gaines family shares how they learned to grow a happy, successful garden. As it turns out, trying something new isn’t always easy, but the hardest work often yields the greatest reward. There are always new lessons to be learned in the garden!
My heart is a window. My heart is a slide. My heart can be closed…or opened up wide.
Some days your heart is a puddle or a fence to keep the world out. But some days it is wide open to the love that surrounds you.
This little book holds the message of dignity that every child on this earth needs to hear: You are loved. You matter. You make me smile. You make me the happiest person in the world, just by being you.
“Have I ever told you that, for me, there is no one more special than you? That for me, you are the most special child in the world, and that I love you now and will love you forever? Have I ever told you that?”
Lindsay Moore’s remarkable and beautifully illustrated picture book follows a lone polar bear as she makes her way across sea ice in the Arctic. Sea Bear is a deeply moving and informative story about perseverance, family, nature, and climate change that will resonate with readers of all ages.
Together, parents and children will giggle their way through I Love You, Funny Bunny as they discover the fun and loving parts of their own relationship.
“Misery loves company,” Mama says to James Otis. It’s been a rough couple of months for them, but Mama says as long as they have their health and strength, they’re blessed. One Sunday before Valentine’s Day, Reverend Dennis makes an announcement during the service– the Temples have lost everything in a fire, and the church is collecting anything that might be useful to them. James thinks hard about what he can add to the Temple’s “love box,” but what does he have worth giving? With her extraordinary gift for storytelling, McKissack–with stunning illustrations by Harrison–delivers a touching, powerful tale of compassion and reminds us all that what is given from the heart, reaches the heart.
A tough gumshoe of a cat–the name’s Muffin–protects his territory: The Little Bear Bakery. But there are no bears here. Not on Muffin’s watch.
One night, Muffin hears a suspicious noise. Mouse? Raccoon? Bat? Nope, not the usual suspects. But Muffin hears . . . growling. Could it be? Yup. A bear. Just a cub. Whose stomach is definitely growling. Muffin’s got this case solved–clearly this bear needs some donuts.
What’s a seal to do when she’s new to the zoo? Make new friends, of course!
But when the other animals aren’t so friendly, a wise sparrow inspires them to surprise Seal with a special treat.
Here’s the perfect book for anyone who wants to introduce rock ‘n’ roll and its king to the child in their lives. In single- page “chapters” with titles like “The First Cheeseburger Ever Eaten by Elvis” and “Shazam! A Blond Boy Turns into a Black-Haired Teenager,” readers can follow key moments in Presley’s life, from his birth on the wrong side of the railroad tracks in the Deep South, to playing his first guitar in grade school, to being so nervous during a performance as a teenager that he starts shaking . . . and changes the world!
The chickens on the farm have a message for their farm owners! They’re tired of arugula salad, how about putting a fan in their hot coop, and HEY—watch out for that snake in your tent.
As the children walk around their beloved farm, they discover more and more chicken talk scratched into the dirt. The family can hardly believe it. What will the chickens possibly say next!?
A little-known but fascinating and larger-than-life character, Mary Fields is one of the unsung, trailblazing African American women who helped settle the American West. A former slave, Fields became the first African American woman stagecoach driver in 1895, when, in her 60s, she beat out all the cowboys applying for the job by being the fastest to hitch a team of six horses. She won the dangerous and challenging job, and for many years traveled the badlands with her pet eagle, protecting the mail from outlaws and wild animals, never losing a single horse or package. Fields helped pave the way for other women and people of color to become stagecoach drivers and postal workers.
Janet Collins wanted to be a ballerina in the 1930s and 40s, a time when racial segregation was widespread in the United States. Janet pursued dance with a passion, despite being rejected from discriminatory dance schools. When she was accepted into the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo as a teenager on the condition that she paint her skin white for performances, Janet refused. She continued to go after her dreams, never compromising her values along the way. From her early childhood lessons to the height of her success as the first African American prima ballerina in the Metropolitan Opera, this is the story of a remarkable pioneer.
Sadness can be scary and confusing at any age! When we feel sad, especially for long periods of time, it can seem as if the sadness is a part of who we are–an overwhelming, invisible, and scary sensation.
In When Sadness Is at Your Door, Eva Eland brilliantly approaches this feeling as if it is a visitor. She gives it a shape and a face, and encourages the reader to give it a name, all of which helps to demystify it and distinguish it from ourselves. She suggests activities to do with it, like sitting quietly, drawing, and going outside for a walk. The beauty of this approach is in the respect the book has for the feeling, and the absence of a narrative that encourages the reader to “get over” it or indicates that it’s “bad,” both of which are anxiety-producing notions.
Every single morning, the overseer of the plantation rings the bell. Daddy gathers wood. Mama cooks. Ben and the other slaves go out to work. Each day is the same. Full of grueling work and sweltering heat. Every day, except one, when the bell rings and Ben is nowhere to be found. Because Ben ran. Yet, despite their fear and sadness, his family remains hopeful that maybe, just maybe, he made it North. That he is free.
In her first Travel with Me & See adventure, B invites readers to explore the city of Paris, France. Her goal is to reach the Eiffel Tower by night so she can view the lights sparkle for 5 magical minutes. Finding friendship along the way, B and her readers learn about French culture, language and Parisian historical landmarks including:
– Eiffel Tower
– The Church of Notre Dame
– Stravinsky Fountain
– Louvre Museum
– Mona Lisa
– Sacré Coeur Church
– Arc de Triomphe
– Seine River
Limerick Comics offers lighthearted original limericks on a wide range of history and science
topics, each with an informational panel of surprising fun facts, all presented in entertaining
comics. Young readers age 8 and up are invited to linger on each page to enjoy the humor, ponder inferences, and view the evocative details of each illustrated panel. The book is crafted to appeal to reluctant and advanced readers alike. The informational panel on each page can provide a springboard for discussion between parents and children about each topic.
In the tradition of Shel Silverstein, these poems bring a fresh new twist to the classic dilemmas of childhood as well as a perceptive eye to the foibles of modern family life. Full of clever wordplay and bright visual gags–and toilet humor to spare–these twenty-three rhyming poems make for an ideal read-aloud experience.
Taking on the subjects of a bullying baseball coach and annoying little brothers with equally sly humor, renowned lyricist Rhett Miller’s clever verses will have the whole family cackling.
CHAPTER BOOKS WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2019
I so enjoy Andrea Beaty’s picture books and can’t wait to check out the chapter book series (apparently I already missed book one!)
Ada Twist is full of questions. A scientist to her very core, Ada asks why again and again. One question always leads to another until she’s off on a journey of discovery! When Rosie Revere’s Uncle Ned gets a little carried away wearing his famous helium pants, it’s up to Ada and friends to chase him down. As Uncle Ned floats farther and farther away, Ada starts asking lots of questions: How high can a balloon float? Is it possible for Uncle Ned to float into outer space? And what’s the best plan for getting him down?
Third grader and inventor extraordinaire Ada Lace is on spring break. But it’s just a little less relaxing than she’d imagined. Nina is beside herself with excitement about meeting her favorite artist and enlists Ada and Mr. Peebles’s coding-whiz nephew to help revamp her online portfolio.
When Nina finally meets Miroir, he snubs her, and her confidence is shaken—but not enough to miss the art show opening. While there, Ada spots a suspiciously familiar painting that may mean Miroir isn’t the original he claims to be.
Will the friends be able to reveal the artist’s true nature, before he fools someone else?
Raeca loves all things fantasy and this book sounds like one she would enjoy.
Claire Martinson and her sister Sophie have decided to stay in Arden–the magical land they discovered by climbing up a chimney in their great-aunt’s manor. If what they’ve learned is true, the sisters are the last descendants of the royal family, and only a true heir of Arden–with magic in her blood–can awaken the unicorns.
Since Sophie has does not have magic, the land’s last hope rests on Claire. The sisters journey to Stonehaven, a famed Gemmer school high in the mountains of Arden, so Claire can train in the magic of stone. As Claire struggles through classes, Sophie uncovers dangerous secrets about the people they thought they could trust. With Arden on the brink of crumbling, can Claire prove she is the prophesied heir and unlock the magic of the unicorns before it’s too late?
Hansel and Gretel will not listen to their storyteller. For one thing, who leaves a trail of bread crumbs lying around, when there are people starving? Not Hansel, that’s for sure! And that sweet old lady who lives in a house made of cookies and candy? There’s no way she’s an evil witch! As for Gretel, well, she’s about to set the record straight—after all, who says the story can’t be called Gretel and Hansel? It’s time for these wacky siblings to take their fairy tale into their own hands. So sit back and enjoy the gingerbread!
With laugh-out-loud dialogue and bold, playful art (including hidden search-and-find fairy-tale creatures), this Hansel and Gretel retelling will have kids giggling right up to the delicious ending!
I remember reading one of the Baxter family books years and years ago and I’m very interested to see there is now a children’s series based on the family, I think it sounds like something Raeca would enjoy.
Brooke is the perfect older sister. For that reason, Kari and Ashley work hard to make their parents just as proud of them as they are of Brooke. Each girl has her own talents. Brooke is an excellent student. Kari is a great soccer player. Ashley, a talented artist. And they are always there for each other. But when the news comes that Dr. Baxter is moving the family from Ann Arbor to Bloomington, Indiana, and the Baxters need to leave the only home and friends they’ve ever known, no one is happy. Saying goodbye is hard but the family still has what’s most important—their faith and their love for each other.
The first book in the Baxter Family Children series, #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury and Tyler Russell tell the story of what it was like to grow up in the Baxter family, the best family ever.
Gordon Korman is an author I remember reading when I was young, I might just read this one for nostalgia’s sake!
The Unteachables are a notorious class of misfits, delinquents, and academic train wrecks. Like Aldo, with anger management issues; Parker, who can’t read; Kiana, who doesn’t even belong in the class—or any class; and Elaine (rhymes with pain). The Unteachables have been removed from the student body and isolated in room 117.
Their teacher is Mr. Zachary Kermit, the most burned-out teacher in all of Greenwich. He was once a rising star, but his career was shattered by a cheating scandal that still haunts him. After years of phoning it in, he is finally one year away from early retirement. But the superintendent has his own plans to torpedo that idea—and it involves assigning Mr. Kermit to the Unteachables.
The Unteachables never thought they’d find a teacher who had a worse attitude than they did. And Mr. Kermit never thought he would actually care about teaching again. Over the course of a school year, though, room 117 will experience mayhem, destruction—and maybe even a shot at redemption.
Raeca and I both have a not-so-secret dream to live in a motorhome or bus so this book sounds amazing!
That’s how long Coyote and her dad, Rodeo, have lived on the road in an old school bus, criss-crossing the nation.
It’s also how long ago Coyote lost her mom and two sisters in a car crash.
Coyote hasn’t been home in all that time, but when she learns that the park in her old neighborhood is being demolished―the very same park where she, her mom, and her sisters buried a treasured memory box―she devises an elaborate plan to get her dad to drive 3,600 miles back to Washington state in four days…without him realizing it.
Along the way, they’ll pick up a strange crew of misfit travelers. Lester has a lady love to meet. Salvador and his mom are looking to start over. Val needs a safe place to be herself. And then there’s Gladys…
Over the course of thousands of miles, Coyote will learn that going home can sometimes be the hardest journey of all…but that with friends by her side, she just might be able to turn her “once upon a time” into a “happily ever after.”
Which ones are you excited to read first?
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