Memory Jars by Vera BrosgolWhat it's about: After turning freshly picked blueberries into jam with her Gran, Freda becomes obsessed with preserving all of her dearest memories.
Who it's for: Kids who like edgy humor will be amused by Freda's attempts to collect everything (from a warm cookie to the stars in the sky to Gran herself), while those who crave reassurance will appreciate the conclusion.
Kids might also like: the more poignant memory collection in Deborah Marcero's In a Jar.
No Pants! by Jacob GrantWhat it's about: Pablo and his dad are getting ready to go to a birthday party, but there's one major holdup: Pablo absolutely refuses to put on pants.
Why kids might like it: Pablo's silly rebuttals to his dad's patient reasoning are sure to provoke giggles, while the colorful cut-paper art and dialogue-only text makes for a standout storytime.
Try this next: Rowboat Watkins' Pete With No Pants or Peter Brown's Fred Gets Dressed.
Hudson and Tallulah Take Sides by Anna Kang; illustrated by Christopher WeyantStarring: ebullient pooch Hudson and prim kitty Tallulah, adversaries and next-door neighbors.
What happens: The two pets seem to be complete opposites -- Tallulah is horrified by Hudson's garbage can feast, while Hudson can't believe Tallulah is friends with the mail carrier -- until a splashy encounter shows them what they have in common.
Read it for: perfectly pitched comedy and expressive cartoon illustrations.
The Museum of Everything by Lynne Rae PerkinsWhat it is: a whimsical tour through imaginary museum exhibits, and an invitation to understand the world by observing "little pieces of it, one at a time."
What's inside: a gallery of shrubs that double as skirts; an exhibit of islands from varying perspectives; a book filled with clouds and colors; and much more.
Art alert: The three-dimensional, mixed-media illustrations incorporate found objects, creating a homemade diorama effect that might encourage kids to make museum exhibits of their own.
And Then Came Hope by Stephen SavageWhat it's about: When Submarine is sniffly, Ferry is feverish, and Barge gets bonked in an accident, there's only one ship who can help them: Hope the hospital ship, who has everything they need to feel better.
Art alert: All crisp shapes and bold, solid colors, Stephen Savage's illustrations are just right for very young children, as well as vehicle-obsessed kids.
Don't miss: the note at the end describing the real-life hospital ship that inspired this story.
Celebrating Asian Authors and Illustrators
Danbi Leads the School Parade by Anna KimWhat it's about: On her first day in American school since her family moved from Korea, Danbi is excited, even though her new classmates stare at her and it's tough to join in unfamiliar activities. Luckily, lunchtime gives imaginative Danbi a perfect opening to show the other kids how much fun they can have together.
Art alert: Delicate, softly shaded illustrations heighten the sweetness of this uplifting school story.
A Different Pond by Bao Phi; illustrated by Thi BuiWhat it's about: the cherished pre-dawn hours in which a young Vietnamese American boy and his father fish for their family's supper, and the father shares memories of home in pre-war Vietnam.
Read it for: emotional heft and atmospheric, closely observed illustrations.
Further reading: Pick up Andrea Wang's Watercress for another quietly moving picture book about second generation kids learning context for their family history and cultural heritage.
Bilal Cooks Daal by Aisha Saeed; illustrated by Anoosha SyedWhat’s cooking? Lentils, cumin, turmeric, chili...Bilal and his dad are making chana daal, with help from Bilal’s friends Elias and Morgan.
Is it ready yet? Making daal takes patience, and though Bilal worries that his friends might not like it, he’s reassured by their enthusiastic slurping when mealtime finally rolls around.
For your next course: try F. Zia’s Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji, another upbeat picture book about preparing and sharing delicious South Asian food.
Mommy Sayang by Rosana SullivanWhat it's about: In a lively Malaysian village, Aleeya is inseparable from her beloved Mommy. Whether they're reading, praying, eating, or doing chores, they're always together -- and when Mommy gets sick, Aleeya knows how to help her recover.
About the author: Rosana Sullivan's background at Pixar is evident in the warmth of her storytelling and the contemporary, evocative style of her illustrations.
Kids might also like: Rukhsanna Guidroz's Leila in Saffron and Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow's Mommy's Khimar.
Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao by Kat Zhang; illustrated by Charlene ChuaWhat it is: a how-to guide for making, pinching, and steaming bao, as experienced by little Amy, who's determined to make beautiful bao just like her mom, dad, and grandma.
Read it for: the bubbly tone, cheerful cartoon art, cooperative family dynamics, and recipe for kids and caregivers to try.
Series alert: Find out what's next for the irrepressible Amy in Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon.
Contact your librarian for more great books for ages 0-8!