Parent’s Magazine has just released their list of the Top 10 Children’s books for the year just in time for holiday gift ideas!
Hi! By Ethan Long
In this story about the ways animals and humans say hello, bouncy rhymes like “hoo” and “moo” and “chirp” and “slurp” made our toddler testers giggle. “The comic-like illustrations are just as much fun as the text,” says one mom of a 3-year-old. Birth to 3, $8
Wolfie the Bunny, by Ame Dyckman and Zachariah O’Hora
A zany premise (a family of bunnies adopts a baby wolf left at its doorstep) leads to suspense (repeated refrains of “He’s going to eat us all up,” from his bunny sister) and a surprise ending. “This fresh take on sibling rivalry is so much fun to read aloud,” says Ginny Collier, a children’s librarian in Atlanta. Ages 3 to 6.
Counting Dogs, by Eric Barclay
The format won families over: Bound in a sturdy box, the book contains graduated pages and die-cut tabs. Turning each one reveals an adorable spotted dog encountering an increasing number of animals, such as three turtles, nine fish, and, finally, ten counting dogs that look just like him. Ages 1 to 4.
Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh, by Sally M. Walker and Jonathan D. Voss
“No way—Winnie is real?” exclaimed one 6-year-old reviewer after hearing this sweet-as-honey account about a Canadian soldier who brought his pet bear Winnie (short for Winnipeg) to be cared for at the London Zoo while he was in battle. Christopher Robin came to visit the zoo with his family, and the rest is history. Ages 4 to 8, $18
The Day the Crayons Came Home, by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers
The story is funnier than the creators’ original blockbuster, The Day the Crayons Quit. Each crayon sends Duncan, the main character, a postcard highlighting what’s happened since they walked out. From neon red: “Looks like I’m almost home. … Just crossing New Jersey by camel now! New Jersey has giant pyramids, right?” Ages 4 to 8, $19
Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret, by Bob Shea
Although the vocabulary is simple enough for early readers, the story of a cat and a pony doesn’t lack substance. “It helps children learn how they can express their desires without compromising a friendship,” says Lorie Bonapfel, children’s librarian at The Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County. Ages 4 to 6
Journey to the Moon, by Andy Mansfield
Kids oohed and aahed over the pop-ups (especially the spirally moon landing), but parents got a kick out of the twist ending (let’s just say it’s extraterrestrial!).Ages 4 to 8, $13
The Story of Diva and Flea, by Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi
Fans of Willems’s Elephant & Piggie series will grow into this 80-page story about a streetwise cat and a tiny dog who explore Paris. Says one 8-year-old tester: “I liked the pencil illustrations.” Ages 6 to 9, $15
Roller Girl, by Victoria Jamieson
A relatable main character, realistic dialogue, and expressive illustrations won over our tween reviewers. “Even though I can barely roller-skate, I felt like I was reading about me and a couple of my best friends,” says one 9-year-old. Ages 7+, $13
The Marvels, by Brian Selznick
Testers thrived on unraveling the mystery of how two seemingly stand-alone stories (one told entirely through nearly 400 pages of illustrations) are connected. Says children’s librarian Elizabeth Bird: “It will keep your kids guessing.” Ages 8+, $33
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