5 Parents-Approved Children's Books to Read Right Now
Your monthly guide to making the most of story time and raising forever readers.
1. The Worm Family Has Its Picture Taken
Written by Jennifer Frank, illustrated by David Ezra Stein
This cute story about a young worm second-guessing her attire for a family portrait will wriggle its way into the stack of bedtime regulars. The worm fam show up for their photo session decked out in wigs and fake teeth—moves they copy from their animal pals of other species. The snappy text and fun details in Stein’s illustrations (especially the worms’ surprise final pose) help the bigger message—stay true to yourself, kids!—click for readers. Ages 4 to 8
2. I’m On It!
By Andrea Tsurumi
Mo Willems’s Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! series hits another home run with an amusing story that stealthily teaches kids about directional words. As Goat and Frog try to outdo each other with climbing and balancing antics, beginning readers can grasp vocabulary through the characters’ questions (“Am I near it? But are you through it?”) and boasts (“I’m so high up!”). The cherry on top: a nod to the fact that it’s okay to tell a pal you want to stop playing a game when you’re not having fun anymore. Ages 5 to 8
Written by Ruth Forman, illustrated by Geneva Bowers
Renowned poet Forman celebrates Black boy joy in this board book that takes place at the end of a perfect summer day of baseball and ice cream. As moonlight pierces the window at bathtime (a scene that comes to life in Bowers’s fiery art), the boy realizes he also shines. A welcome addition to the toddler-lit shelf, which could use more reads reinforcing identity and self-love. Ages 0 to 3
Written by Matt Ringler, illustrated by Raúl the Third and Elaine Bay
When the meltdown to end all meltdowns is about to happen (“Blocks block every path. Trains have become untrained.”), a dad takes his toddler on a surreal stroller ride through a Latinx neighborhood. The husband-and-wife illustrators show the father coasting up and down hills to pleas of “faster, faster.” The story reminds quarantine-weary families that there’s a safe, secret world of fun outside—we just have to use our imaginations to unlock it. Ages 4 to 8
5. Uma Wimple Charts Her House
Written by Reif Larsen, illustrated by Ben Gibson
In this entertaining story about the dangers of perfectionism, Uma, who has made charts for fun since she was 4 years old, sets the bar high for herself in a homework assignment to diagram her house. She buckles under the pressure until her younger brother helps her realize that she needs to let her heart—not her head—guide her work. The story’s strong opening lines and a smattering of Uma’s epic charts grab kids’ attention from page 1 and never let go. Ages 4 to 8