The 5 O'Clock Band by Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews; illustrated by Bryan CollierWelcome to: New Orleans, where musician Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews shares an episode from his own childhood.
What happens: After missing a band practice with his friends, young Shorty wonders if he's cut out to be a bandleader. Luckily, several notable New Orleans figures are on hand to offer him advice.
Series alert: This inspiring follow-up to Trombone Shorty features similarly vivid collage art by award-winning illustrator Bryan Collier.
Geraldine by Elizabeth LillyStarring: Geraldine, a melodramatic giraffe who absolutely does NOT want to move from familiar Giraffe City to a new town where she's the only giraffe in her class.
Why kids might like it: Geraldine's outsize feelings are reflected in the contortions of her long neck, and kids will giggle at the book's silly sight gags even as they relish watching Geraldine transform from lonely and sad to friendly and proud.
The Dinosaur Expert by Margaret McNamara; illustrated by G. Brian KarasWhat it's about: Young fossil collector Kimmy is bursting with facts to share during a class trip to the museum, but after Jake declares that "girls aren't scientists," she goes quiet. Will encouragement from her teacher help Kimmy reclaim her enthusiasm?
Don't miss: the concluding gallery of female paleontologists.
Series alert: This is the 4th relatable read from the Mr. Tiffin's Classroom series, which begins with How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?
Jump by David McPhailWhat it is: an exuberant, watercolor-illustrated celebration of jumping, as demonstrated by two kids, a rabbit, a frog, a bug, a kangaroo, a hippo, and a cow (who jumps over the moon, naturally).
Who it's for: beginning readers who are gearing up for the leap into independence, as well as wiggly little ones in need of a high-energy read-aloud.
How to Be a Lion by Ed VereWhat it's about: Illustrated in bold lines and deep colors, this is the story of Leonard, a gentle, poetry-writing lion; his best friend Marianne, a duck; and the other lions, who claim that lions must be fierce and that ducks are only good for chomping.
Want a taste? "If there must be a must, then this we must try...Why don't you, be you...And I, will be I."
Kids might also like: Munro Leaf's classic The Story of Ferdinand.
Colette's Lost Pet by Isabelle ArsenaultWhat it's about: "I lost my pet," announces Colette to her new next-door neighbors. When questioned, Colette improvises (her pet is, um…a parakeet!), elaborating on her tale with each neighbor she meets. But how will Colette's new friends feel when they discover that her lost parakeet is merely a flight of fancy?
Why kids might like it: Charming and minimally colored, this picture book will keep readers curious right through to the unexpected ending.
From There to Here by Laurel Croza; illustrated by Matt JamesWhat it's about: Moving from rural Saskatchewan to urban Toronto prompts homesick comparisons from one little girl: gravel versus pavement, trees versus buildings, Northern lights versus streetlights…but in the end, a new friend is the deciding factor.
Reviewers say: "a low-key, emotionally true approach to a common and usually upsetting childhood experience" (Kirkus Reviews).
Malaika's Winter Carnival by Nadia L. Hohn; illustrated by Irene LuxbacherWhat it's about: After Malaika's mom marries Mr. Frédéric, Malaika moves from Jamaica to Québec, where she must deal with a new sister, a new language, cold weather, and being apart from Grandma.
Art alert: Vibrant, textured illustrations believably depict Malaika's emotions as she adjusts to a different culture.
Kids might also like: Malaika's Costume, which offers a slice of Malaika's life in Jamaica; or Jeri Hanel Watts' A Piece of Home, another heartfelt story about moving to a new country.
Lenny & Lucy by Philip C. Stead; illustrated by Erin E. SteadStarring: Peter, who's uneasy about the ominous forest surrounding his family's new house.
What happens: Peter builds Lenny and Lucy, two patchwork guardians who watch the woods until new neighbor Millie convinces Peter that the woods aren't as scary as they seem.
Why kids might like it: Though the initial color palette is chilly and austere, readers will warm up along with Peter and his bright new friends.
Bad Bye, Good Bye by Deborah Underwood; illustrated by Jonathan BeanWhat it's about: Waving farewell to his old home feels like a "bad bye" to the little boy in this story -- though his spirits lift when his family reaches their new home and he finds a friend who warrants a "good bye" at the end of the day.
Who it's for: Realistically portraying the challenges of moving, this expressive book in verse may soothe the worries of children facing a big change.
Contact your librarian for more great books for ages 0-8!