HomeBooks by AgeAges 0-3Best New Kids Books | January 2016
Best New Kids Books | January 2016

Best New Kids Books | January 2016

The Children’s Book Review | January 3, 2016

Best New Kids Books | January 2016

Hot New Releases & Popular Kids Stories

Take a look at our selection of hot new releases and popular kids’ books and let us know which titles and covers catch your eyes. There are so many amazing new kids books coming in 2016!

Cat Nap by Toni YulyCat Nap

Written and Illustrated by Toni Yuly

Publisher’s Synopsis: It’s naptime, and Cat is ready for Kitten to settle down. But Kitten has other ideas! In this book filled with opposites (big and little, black and white, sleepy and awake) Toni Yuly proves once again, as she did with Early Bird and Night Owl – that simple concepts come alive for the youngest readers through bold art and charming language.

Ages 1-3 | Publisher: Feiwel & Friends | Jan. 26 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-1250054586

Shape Shift by Joyce HesselberthShape Shift

Written and Illustrated by Joyce Hesselberth

Publisher’s Synopsis: Round, curvy, pointy, or straight-shapes are all around us.

With vibrant illustrations that highlight shapes in all their forms, this informative book reinforces the identification of circles, squares, crescents, diamonds, triangles, rectangles, trapezoids, and ovals while encouraging kids to pair shapes together to make new forms.

Ages 2-6 | Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. | Jan. 12 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-1627790574

The Hueys- What's the OppositeThe Hueys: What’s the Opposite?

Written and Illustrated by

Publisher’s Synopsis: Explore the humorous world of opposites with the #1 bestselling illustrator of The Day the Crayons Quit and his band of Hueys!

“What’s the opposite of the beginning?” A sensible question to ask when opening a book that teaches the reader about opposites. But maybe we should start with something a little easier? For example, it’s quite unlucky when a Huey finds himself stranded on a hot, deserted island—but how lucky it is when a fan arrives to provide some cool air! Oh, wait . . . nowhere to plug it in? Unlucky, once again. Now for a harder one: What’s the difference between half full and half empty?

Stumped? Don’t worry, that one will make a Huey’s head hurt too.

Ages 3-5 | Publisher: Philomel Books | Jan. 12 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0399257704

The Perfect TreeThe Perfect Tree

Written and Illustrated by Chloe Bonfield

Publisher’s Synopsis: Jack is searching for the perfect tree—one that he can chop, hack, and stack! But when it becomes too hard to find, Jack stumbles across three unlikely friends who want to show him their perfect trees.

In this lively, enchanting story, The Perfect Tree is a reminder to notice the wonders we often overlook, and to value our friendship with the natural world.

Ages 3-6 | Publisher: Running Press Kids | Jan. 5 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0762455867

Be a Friend by Salina YoonBe a Friend

Written and Illustrated by Salina Yoon

Publisher’s Synopsis: Dennis is an ordinary boy who expresses himself in extraordinary ways. Some children do show-and-tell. Dennis mimes his. Some children climb trees. Dennis is happy to BE a tree . . . But being a mime can be lonely. It isn’t until Dennis meets a girl named Joy that he discovers the power of friendship–and how special he truly is! At its core, this book is a heartwarming story of self-acceptance, courage, and unbreakable friendship for anyone who has ever felt “different.”

Countless readers and reviewers have fallen in love with Salina Yoon. Now, she showcases her talent in a brand new way, wrapping a simple yet emotionally rich text in a special package. The gorgeous final book will feature uncoated paper, a highly designed jacket, and a debossed art inset on the case.

Ages 3-6 | Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens | Jan. 5 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-1619639515

Henry Wants More by Linda AshmanHenry Wants More!

Written by Linda Ashman

Illustrated by Brooke Boynton Hughes

Publisher’s Synopsis: More games, more races, more tickles, more books—little Henry can’t get enough! When a toddler is armed with that useful word and the world is full of brand-new things, his family just doesn’t stand a chance. Follow Henry on his exhausting and all-too-familiar day filled with play . . . and a lot of love! Buoyant rhymes and charming illustrations strike a heartwarming note that will ring true with families of energetic little ones.

Ages 3-7 | Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers | Jan. 26 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0385385121

All Year RoundAll Year Round

Written by Susan B. Katz

Illustrated by Eiko Ojala

Publisher’s Synopsis: A world of shapes, twelve months abound,
from four-cornered square, to circle, round.

Circle round, ready to roll. Add two sticks, a carrot and coal. (January)
A sporty diamond, player at bat. Bases loaded, tilt your hat. (June)
Triangle treats-pumpkin, peach. Want some pie? Excuse my reach! (November)

Poetic text by Susan B. Katz (ABC Baby Me!My Mama EarthABC School’s for Me) is paired with debut illustrator Eiko Ojala’s intricate cut-paper artwork to bring the months and their shapes to life! Bold colors, adorable characters, and lyrical text fuse together perfectly in this truly creative look at the world around us.

Ages 4-6 | Publisher: Orchard Books | Jan. 5 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0545741002

Worm Loves WormWorm Loves Worm

Written by J.J. Austrian

Illustrated by Mike Curato

Publisher’s Synopsis: Perfect for fans of And Tango Makes Three and The Sissy Duckling, this irresistible picture book is a celebration of love in all its splendid forms from debut author J. J. Austrian and the acclaimed author-illustrator of Little Elliot, Big City, Mike Curato.

You are cordially invited to celebrate the wedding of a worm . . . and a worm.

When a worm meets a special worm and they fall in love, you know what happens next: They get married! But their friends want to know—who will wear the dress? And who will wear the tux?

The answer is: It doesn’t matter. Because Worm loves worm.

Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Balzer + Bray | Jan. 5 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0062386335

Hillary Rodham Clinton- Some Girls Are Born to LeadHillary Rodham Clinton: Some Girls Are Born to Lead

Written by Michelle Markel

Illustrated by LeUyen Pham

Publisher’s Synopsis: In the spirit of Barack Obama: Son of PromiseChild of Hope and Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ridecomes an inspiring portrait of Hillary Rodham Clinton: a girl who fought to make a difference—and paved the way for women everywhere—from Michelle Markel and LeUyen Pham.

In the 1950s, it was a man’s world. Girls weren’t supposed to act smart, tough, or ambitious. Even though, deep inside, they may have felt that way. And then along came Hillary. Brave, brilliant, and unstoppable, she was out to change the world.

They said a woman couldn’t be a mother and a lawyer. Hillary was both. They said a woman shouldn’t be too strong or too smart. Hillary was fearlessly herself.

It didn’t matter what people said—she was born to lead.

With illustrations packed full of historical figures and details, this gorgeous and informative picture book biography is perfect for every budding leader. Includes a timeline, artist’s note, and bibliography.

Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Balzer + Bray | Jan. 5 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0062381224

Peddles by Elizabeth Rose StantonPeddles

Written and Illustrated by Elizabeth Rose Stanton

Publisher’s Synopsis: In a quirky, clever, and heartwarming picture book from the beloved author of Henny, Peddles the pig is on a mission to make his dreams come true with the help of his porcine pals.

Peddles is tired of being the same old pig—he wants to be different.

He wants to stop doing the usual pig things like oinking and sleeping. He’d much rather stand, climb, and dance! And Peddles finally gets his chance when he bumps into a pile of shoes and finds a pair of red boots that fits just right! But as soon as Peddles tries them on, he falls on his back and can’t get up! Until his special friends come along and show him how to make his dreams come true!

Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books | Jan. 5 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-1481416917

Pugs of the Frozen North philip-reevePugs of the Frozen North

Written by Philip Reeve

Illustrated by Sarah Mcintyre

Publisher’s Synopsis: With a little luck and a pack of pugs, anything is paws-ible!

When True Winter comes, it’s time for the Great Northern Race! The best sled teams in the world must reach a mysterious man called the Snowfather. He will grant one wish to the winners. Young racers Sika and Shen want to win more than anything. But they don’t have big sled dogs—all they have is sixty-six yappy, yippy puppy pugs. Can this unlikely team make their dreams come true?

For early chapter book readers who are ready for something longer, the Not-So-Impossible Tales are packed with humor, action, and color illustrations on almost every page.

Ages 7-10 | Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers | Jan. 26 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0385387965

Magic Treehouse 54 mary-pope-osborneMagic Tree House #54: Balto of the Blue Dawn

Written by Mary Pope Osborne

Illustrated by Sal Murdocca

Publisher’s Synopsis: Pack your snowshoes! The magic tree house is taking Jack and Annie to Alaska in this NEW adventure in the New York Times bestselling Magic Tree House series!

The magic tree house has returned and it’s taking Jack and Annie back in time to Alaska, 1925. There they meet Balto, a jet-black Siberian husky destined to save victims of the diphtheria epidemic. But the trail isn’t easy, and Balto is going to need Jack and Annie’s help!

Have more fun with Jack and Annie on the Magic Tree House® website at MagicTreeHouse.com.

Ages 7-10 | Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers | Jan. 5 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0553510850

Manatee Rescue  by Nicola DaviesManatee Rescue (Heroes of the Wild)

Written by Nicola Davies

Illustrated by Annabel Wright

Publisher’s Synopsis: Zoologist Nicola Davies merges a heart-pounding adventure with a conservation message triggered by a life-changing—and mind-changing—encounter.

Manuela had imagined that killing a manatee would be like killing a very big fish, just more exciting. But when her father successfully harpoons one, leaving its baby orphaned, she finds that her feelings have changed. She vows to rescue the baby manatee and return it to the river. But she soon realizes what an enormous task she’s taken on. Will she be able to save the baby manatee—and protect him from being hunted in the future, too?

Ages 7-10 | Publisher: Candlewick | Jan. 5 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0763678302

Mr. Lemoncello's Library OlympicsMr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics

Written by Chris Grabenstein

Publisher’s Synopsis: The much-anticipated, puzzle-packed sequel to the New York Times bestselling, award-winning ESCAPE FROM MR. LEMONCELLO’S LIBRARY!

Welcome, boys and girls, readers of all ages, to the first-ever Library Olympiad! Kyle and his teammates are back, and the world-famous game maker, Luigi Lemoncello, is at it again!

This time Mr. Lemoncello has invited teams from all across America to compete in the first ever LIBRARY OLYMPICS. Will it be fun? Like the commercials say. . . HELLO? It’s a Lemoncello! But something suspicious is going on . . . books are missing from Mr. Lemoncello’s library. Is someone trying to CENSOR what the kids are reading?! In between figuring out mind-boggling challenges, the kids will have to band together to get to the bottom of this mystery.

Now it’s not just a game—can Mr. Lemoncello find the real defenders of books and champions of libraries? Packed with puzzles, clues, and thrilling surprises, this is a deliciously fun, action-packed sequel to the New York Times bestselling Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library. Let the games begin!

Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers | Jan. 5 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0553510409

Ruby Lee and Me Scholastic PressRuby Lee and Me

Written by Shannon Hitchcock

Publisher’s Synopsis: Everything’s changing for Sarah Beth Willis. After Robin’s tragic accident, everyone seems different somehow. Days on the farm aren’t the same, and the simple fun of riding a bike or playing outside can be scary. And there’s talk in town about the new sixth-grade teacher at Shady Creek. Word is spreading quickly–Mrs. Smyre is like no other teacher anyone has ever seen around these parts. She’s the first African American teacher. It’s 1969, and while black folks and white folks are cordial, having a black teacher at an all-white school is a strange new happening. For Sarah Beth, there are so many unanswered questions. What is all this talk about Freedom Riders and school integration? Why can’t she and Ruby become best friends? And who says school isn’t for anybody who wants to learn–or teach? In a world filled with uncertainty, one very special teacher shows her young students and the adults in their lives that change invites unexpected possibilities.

Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Scholastic Press | Jan. 5 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0545782302

Oona Finds an Egg (The Oodlethunks #1)Oona Finds an Egg (The Oodlethunks #1)

Written by Adele Griffin

Illustrated by Mike Wu

Publisher’s Synopsis: Oona has found a very special egg. Oh, how she loves her baby! She’ll do anything to protect this egg until it hatches. Then she can find out what’s inside, even though it might just gobble her up! But Oona’s precious bundle of eggy joy may never see the light of day. It seems everyone wants Oona’s egg. Her little brother, Thunk, that smelly kid, Bruce Brute, and a bunch of others in her West Wog world all want a piece of Oona’s treasure. Oona the protector, Oona the curious, Oona the mighty will do whatever it takes to safeguard her darling. No one will get their grimy, Cro-Magnony hands on her egg. Because, more than anything, Oona wants something of her very own to care for.

National Book Award finalist Adele Griffin pairs with artist Mike Wu to deliver a cast of lovable, primitive family and friends in West Wog. The stories pop with adventure, original language, and an unstoppable protagonist who is as adorable as the egg she’s working so hard to protect.

Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Scholastic Press | Jan. 5 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0545732796

Audacity Jones to the Rescue (Audacity Jones #1)Audacity Jones to the Rescue (Audacity Jones #1)

Written by Kirby Larson

Publisher’s Synopsis: Audacity Jones is an eleven-year-old orphan who aches for adventure, a challenge to break up the monotony of her life at Miss Maisie’s School for Wayward Girls. Life as a wayward girl isn’t so bad; Audie has the best of friends, a clever cat companion, and plenty of books to read. Still, she longs for some excitement, like the characters in the novels she so loves encounter.

So when the mysterious Commodore Crutchfield visits the school and whisks Audie off to Washington, DC, she knows she’s in for the journey of a lifetime. But soon, it becomes clear that the Commodore has unsavory plans for Audie — plans that involve the president of the United States and a sinister kidnapping plot. Before she knows it, Audie winds up in the White House kitchens, where she’s determined to stop the Commodore dead in his tracks. Can Audie save the day before it’s too late?

Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Scholastic Press | Jan. 26 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0545840569

Some Kind of CourageSome Kind of Courage

Written by Dan Gemeinhart

Publisher’s Synopsis: Joseph Johnson has lost just about everyone he’s ever loved. He lost his pa in an accident. He lost his ma and his little sister to sickness. And now, he’s lost his pony-fast, fierce, beautiful Sarah, taken away by a man who had no right to take her.

Joseph can sure enough get her back, though. The odds are stacked against him, but he isn’t about to give up. He will face down deadly animals, dangerous men, and the fury of nature itself on his quest to be reunited with the only family he has left.

Because Joseph Johnson may have lost just about everything. But he hasn’t lost hope. And he hasn’t lost the fire in his belly that says he’s getting his Sarah back-no matter what.

The critically acclaimed author of The Honest Truth returns with a poignant, hopeful, and action-packed story about hearts that won’t be tamed… and spirits that refuse to be broken.

Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Scholastic Press | Jan. 26 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0545665773

Paper Wishes by Lois SepahbanPaper Wishes

Written by Lois Sepahban

Publisher’s Synopsis: Ten-year-old Manami did not realize how peaceful her family’s life on Bainbridge Island was until the day it all changed. It’s 1942, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Manami and her family are Japanese American, which means that the government says they must leave their home by the sea and join other Japanese Americans at a prison camp in the desert. Manami is sad to go, but even worse is that they are going to have to give her and her grandfather’s dog, Yujiin, to a neighbor to take care of. Manami decides to sneak Yujiin under her coat and gets as far as the mainland before she is caught and forced to abandon Yujiin. She and her grandfather are devastated, but Manami clings to the hope that somehow Yujiin will find his way to the camp and make her family whole again. It isn’t until she finds a way to let go of her guilt that Manami can reclaim the piece of herself that she left behind and accept all that has happened to her family.

Ages 9-12 | Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux | Jan. 5 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0374302160

The Turn of the Tide by Rosanne ParryThe Turn of the Tide

Written by Rosanne Parry

Publisher’s Synopsis: From Rosanne Parry, author of the acclaimed Heart of a Shepherd, comes an exciting and tender friendship story about two cousins looking for their destiny.

On a beautiful day in June, the ground broke open.

In Japan, you’re always prepared for an earthquake. That’s why Kai knows just what to do when the first rumbles shake the earth. And then he does the exact opposite of what you’re supposed to do: He runs. And then the tsunami hits.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Pacific, Kai’s cousin Jet sets sail off the coast of Astoria, Oregon. She knows she should have checked the tide—she always checks the tide. Except this time she didn’t.

When the biggest mistakes of their lives bring them together, Jet and Kai spend the summer regretting that one moment when they made the wrong decision. But there’s something about friendship that heals all wounds and, together, Jet and Kai find the one thing they never thought they’d have again—hope.

Ages 9-12 | Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers | Jan. 12 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0375869723

When Mishchief Came to Town Katrina NannestadWhen Mischief Came to Town

Written by Katrina Nannestad

Publisher’s Synopsis: In the tradition of ANNE OF GREEN GABLES and PIPPI LONGSTOCKING comes a heart-warming novel about love, family, grief, joy and the power of laughter and imagination.
When Inge Maria arrives on the tiny island of Bornholm in Denmark to live with her grandmother, she’s not sure what to expect. Her grandmother is stern, the people on the island are strange, and children are supposed to be seen and not heard.   But no matter how hard Inge tries to be good, mischief has a way of finding her.     Could it be that a bit of mischief is exactly what Grandmother and the people of Bornholm need? 

Ages 10-12 | Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers | Jan. 5 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0544534322

For more of the best new kids stories and popular books for kids, follow along with our tag for Popular Kids Stories.

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Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

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