Churro and the Magician by Gastón CabaWhat it's about: When magic-loving bunny Churro acquires a wand and begins transfiguring things all over town, havoc is the result. (Maybe turning a cab into a rampaging dinosaur wasn't the best idea...) Can Churro find help before things get out of control?
Why kids might like it: a light tone and ice cream color palette makes the mayhem seem playful, never scary.
Who it's for: This wordless graphic novel is just right for beginners who are honing their story-sequencing skills.
I Am Golden by Eva Chen; illustrated by Sophie DiaoWhat it is: a lyrical and sumptuously illustrated ode to one little girl from her loving immigrant parents, celebrating the beauty of her Chinese American heritage and the powerful promise she holds.
Want a taste? "You are the lotus flower unfurling...Your voice is the call of the magpie, joyful and unapologetic."
For fans of: Joanna Ho's Eyes That Kiss in the Corners and Mark Gonzales' Yo Soy Muslim, two further identity-affirming books that combine poetry and pride.
Mina by Matthew ForsytheStarring: Mina, a bookish mouse who is usually undisturbed by her optimistic dad's high jinks.
What happens: After her dad brings home a "squirrel" who is clearly a cat, Mina begins to doubt his insistence that there's nothing to worry about. (Readers shouldn't worry either -- it all ends well.)
Art alert: Dreamy, whimsical illustrations heighten the drama -- such as when the huge cat looms behind the mice in their cozy beds -- and emphasize the story's dry humor.
Somewhere by Robie H. Harris; illustrated by Armando MariñoWhat it's about: While walking with her dad, a child in search of "something new" ventures solo into a leafy park, discovering small treasures to share when she returns. (Dad remains nearby, allowing for both security and self-determination.)
Read it for: the lyrical, empowering depiction of how a child's independent exploration can enrich family bonds.
Kids might also like: Darren LeBeuf's My Forest is Green.
Powwow Day by Traci Sorell; illustrated by Madelyn GoodnightWhat it's about: Jingle dancer River longs to join in the Grand Entry on powwow day, but illness has left her too weak to dance. While watching the other dancers, however, she gains a sense of healing connection that allows her to "feel the drum's heartbeat" again.
About the creators: Author Traci Sorell (Cherokee Nation) and illustrator Madelyn Goodnight (Chickasaw Nation) authentically portray the atmosphere and regalia of a powwow.
Not So Different: What You Really Want to Ask About Having a Disability by Shane Burcaw; photographs by Matt CarrWhat it is: answers to questions Shane Burcaw gets from children wondering what it's like to live with spinal muscular atrophy.
What's inside: photos and graphics provide visual support for Q&As such as "What's wrong with you?" ("Absolutely nothing!"), "How do you play with your friends?", and "How does your wheelchair work?"
About the author: Known for his irreverent writing for teens, activist Burcaw pivots to a funny, approachable tone that will speak to nondisabled kids, or anyone unfamiliar with SMA.
Ten Ways to Hear Snow by Cathy Camper; illustrated by Kenard PakWhat it is: a quiet, gentle picture book inviting children into the sensory experience of snow and the bond between a girl and her grandma.
What happens: The morning after a snowfall, Lina walks to Sitti's home so they can make stuffed grape leaves, a favorite in their Lebanese American family. Knowing that Sitti doesn't see well, Lina makes a list of ways she could hear snow, such as crunching boots and scraping shovels. The final entry on her list, however, is a surprising one shared by Sitti herself.
Just in Case You Want to Fly by Julie Fogliano; illustrated by Christian RobinsonWhat it is: a rhythmic, collage-illustrated poem offering support in all kinds of ways, such as providing the wind and sky for flight, a tissue and a sigh for sadness, and a map for finding the way home.
Why kids might like it: Though it makes an ideal bedtime read-aloud, this reassuring book is suitable for all-day encouragement.
Kids might also like: When's My Birthday?, also by the author and illustrator duo of Julie Fogliano and Christian Robinson.
The Happy Book by Andy RashDon't judge a book by its cover: While The Happy Book might look like an ode to chirpy positivity, this clever, thoughtful volume may help kids parse a variety of emotions.
What happens: Besties Camper and Clam live in the bright-yellow zone of the Happy Book, but a falling-out between them propels them through the variously colored Sad Book, Angry Book, and Scared Book -- until they realize that friendship is about sharing all of their feelings.
For fans of: Pixar's Inside Out.
Accident by Andrea TsurumiWhat it's about: "I've ruined everything!" wails Lola the armadillo. Mortified that she spilled juice on the couch, she decides to run away to the library, but her journey is hampered by other hapless animals, creating an epic pile-up of mishaps and mayhem.
Why kids might like it: Though it's crowded with countless calamities, this uproarious read is ultimately reassuring.
Reviewers say: "poring over the riotous illustrations is pure joy" (Booklist).
Contact your librarian for more great books for ages 0-8!