2023 Favorite Picture Book Presentation Titles from Betsy Bird and Brian E. Wilson

Kids , Book List

A-Train Allen

Title: A-Train Allen
By: Younge, Lesley
Published: 2023

Recommended ages are from the publishers.

Allen, known as A-Train because he is the fastest kid around, races through the city towards the one thing that will get him to slow down.

Ages 4 to 8

Afterward, Everything Was Different

Title: Afterward, Everything Was Different
By: Yockteng, Rafael
Published: 2023

Once upon a time, during the era we now call the Pleistocene, somewhere between two and a half million and ten thousand years ago, small groups of people traveled around their known world, hunting for food, seeking shelter, and slowly becoming more like the people we are today. In this book of few words, we see one very special young girl who seems to notice everything that happens around her as her people search for a cave to shelter in for the winter.

Ages 4 to 8

American Story, An

Title: American Story, An
By: Alexander, Kwame
Published: 2023

A picture book in verse that threads together past and present to explore the legacy of slavery during a classroom lesson.

Ages 4 to 8

Ancient Night

Title: Ancient Night
By: Bowles, David
Published: 2023

A twist on two Nahuatl traditions: the rabbit which the Feathered Serpent placed on the moon, and Yaushu, the Lord Opossum who ruled the earth before humans came, and who stole fire from the gods to create the sun.

Ages 4 to 8

Bear and the Wildcat, The

Title: Bear and the Wildcat, The
By: Yumoto, Kazumi
Published: 2023

"When the little bird dies, his friend the bear is inconsolable. Full of grief, he locks himself in his house and ventures out again only when the smell of young spring grass blows through his window. He always carries a small box, which he opens for no one. He meets a wildcat who understands his need to carry the box. As the cat plays on her violin, the bear remembers all the beauty he experienced with the little bird.

Ages 5 to 9

Benita and the Night Creatures

Title: Benita and the Night Creatures
By: Llanos, Mariana
Published: 2023

Benita loves to read in bed but keeps getting interrupted by a whistling Tunche, a scary Supay and other spooky creatures from Peruvian lore. To the creatures' disbelief, Benita is so absorbed by her book that she's not the least bit scared of them. This humorous celebration of bedtime reading puts a global twist on taking the "scary" out of monsters.

Ages 4 to 9


Title: Big
By: Harrison, Vashti
Published: 2023

Praised for acting like a big girl when she is small, as a young girl grows, "big" becomes a word of criticism, until the girl realizes that she is fine just the way she is.

Ages 4 to 8

Bing! Bang! Chugga! Beep!

Title: Bing! Bang! Chugga! Beep!
By: Martin, Bill, Jr.
Published: 2023

This old car has been everywhere from the backyard to the sky, from the hills to the water. Bouncing between the mud in the ground and the clouds up high, the old car is loved by a clever young boy.

Ages 2 to 6

Brothers Zzli, The

Title: Brothers Zzli, The
By: Cousseau, Alex
Published: 2023

With bright, charming illustrations, The Brothers Zzli invites readers to join a bear family's search for home and belonging. This poignant story will spark lasting conversations about the struggles of refugees, the impact of prejudice, and what it means to welcome others.

Ages 6 to 10

Catside Up, Catside Down

Title: Catside Up, Catside Down
By: Hrachovec, Anna
Published: 2023

In this charming introduction to prepositions, a collection of cozy, knitted cats find themselves in silly situations and PAW-sitively hilarious positions.

Ages 2 to 5


Title: Corner
By: Zo-o
Published: 2023

In this (almost wordless) picture book, the sole character, a crow, finds themselves in a new and completely empty space. With nothing to do, boredom sets in, and the crow decides to take matters into their own hands. The crow starts to decorate, adding a bed, a bookshelf, a lamp, and even a potted plant. Everything is placed neatly in the corner of the room, and slowly the corner begins to reflect the life and personality of its occupant.

Ages 3 to 7

Dim Sum Palace

Title: Dim Sum Palace
By: Fang, X.
Published: 2023

Liddy is so excited about going to the Dim Sum Palace tomorrow with her family that she can't sleep. So when a delicious smell wafts into her room, she hops out of bed, opens her door and steps into . . . an actual palace of dim sum!

Ages 3 to 7


Title: Eclipse
By: Rash, Andy
Published: 2023

After hearing about the total solar eclipse happening in two months, a boy makes a plan with his father to go see it. They drive to the perfect campsite, not wanting to miss the couple of minutes when the sun will be completely hidden by the moon. When the moment happens, being together makes it even more special.

Ages 4 to 8

Hanukkah Upside Down

Title: Hanukkah Upside Down
By: Weissman, Elissa Brent
Published: 2023

From their homes in New York and New Zealand, cousins Noah and Nora have a competition to decide who can have the world's best Hanukkah, winter or summer, but as the eight nights of Hanukkah go on, they realize they have more in common than they thought.

I Can Open It For You

Title: I Can Open It For You
By: Yoshitake, Shinsuke
Published: 2023

A little boy imagines all the things he will be able to open once he gets bigger, but for now he needs his parents' help.

Ages 3 to 5

Just One Flake

Title: Just One Flake
By: Jonker, Travis
Published: 2023

Determined to catch a perfect snowflake, Liam sticks out his tongue and tries a number of tricks, all to no avail, but after giving it one last shot, he grabs one in an unexpected way.

Ages 4 to 8

Like Lava in My Veins

Title: Like Lava in My Veins
By: Barnes, Derrick
Published: 2023

Bobby Beacon has trouble controlling his hot temper at his superhero school.

Ages 5 to 8

Mama Shamsi at the Bazaar

Title: Mama Shamsi at the Bazaar
By: Hassani, Mojdeh
Published: 2023

As Samira and her grandmother get closer and closer to the market, Samira is worried about getting lost in the crowded streets of Tehran, until she has an idea: She can hide under her grandmother's chador. But when Mama Shamsi says no--if Samira hides under there, the pair of them will look like a strange animal! In imaginary spreads, Samira and Mama Shamsi turn into a donkey, a giraffe, a kangaroo, a turtle--hiding isn't working at all.

Ages 4 to 8


Title: Mine!
By: Fleming, Candace
Published: 2023

A group of forest animals vie for the same delicious red apple that is just about to drop.

Ages 3 to 7

Mr. S

Title: Mr. S
By: Arnaldo, Monica
Published: 2023

When a kindergarten class arrives for the first day at school, they are greeted only by the words "Mr. S" on the chalkboard and a delicious-looking sandwich, resulting in merry mayhem as the kids wonder if the sandwich is their teacher.

Ages 4 to 8

Mnoomin Maan'gowing/The Gift of Mnoomin

Title: Mnoomin Maan'gowing/The Gift of Mnoomin
By: Luby, Brittany
Published: 2023

In this bilingual book, an Anishinaabe child explores the story of a precious mnoomin seed and the circle of life mnoomin sustains. Written in Anishinaabemowin and English, the story opens at harvest time. A child holds a mnoomin seed and imagines all the life that made a single seed possible--Mayfly, Pike, Muskrat, Eagle and Moose, all had a part to play in bringing the seed into being. What will happen if the seed sprouts?

Ages 3 to 6

Night Tent, The

Title: Night Tent, The
By: Blair, Landis
Published: 2023

Watson is having trouble sleeping when he notices a mysterious light coming from under his covers which leads him down a path through a forest and onto a magical adventure.

Ages 4 to 8

Not a Monster

Title: Not a Monster
By: Martinez, Claudia Gonzalez
Published: 2023

An axolotl egg hatches and matures in the Xochimilco canals in Mexico City, the only natural habitat of these unique salamanders that spend their lives in water.

Ages 3 to 7

Oh, Olive!

Title: Oh, Olive!
By: Cho, Lian
Published: 2023

Young artist Olive likes to smear, splatter, splash, and even lick. With a brush in each hand, Olive cascades through town with her friends in tow, painting what she wants to, what she feels--until she reaches her parents' pristine art museum...

Ages 4 to 8

Once Upon a Book

Title: Once Upon a Book
By: Lin, Grace
Published: 2023

Alice can go anywhere in the magical pages of her favorite book. So when it flaps its pages and invites her in, she is swept away to a world of wonder and adventure. But at the end of her imaginative journey, she yearns for the place she loves best of all.

Co-author: Kate Messner

Ages 4 to 8

Papá's Magical Water-jug Clock

Title: Papá's Magical Water-jug Clock
By: Trejo, Jesus
Published: 2023

Today, little Jesús has a big job to do. He's helping Papá at work, and he's in charge of the water jug--which is also a magical clock! When it's empty, Papá explains, the workday is done. But what about all these thirsty animals?

Ages 4 to 8


Title: Ploof
By: Clanton, Ben
Published: 2023

Ploof is a puffy cloud who's a little lonely -- but now you're here, and the fun can begin! Can you help Ploof overcome their shyness? Play pretend? Make Ploof laugh with your funny faces, find their hiding spot, give them a high five! Full of imaginative and interactive fun, each page of this perfect book for preschoolers offers a chance to play.

Co-author: Andy Chou Musser

Ages 2 to 5

Problem Solved!

Title: Problem Solved!
By: Thomas, Jan
Published: 2023

Rabbit needs to clean her room, but when Pete the Problem-Solving Porcupine's plan causes more of a mess, Rabbit needs to quickly come up with her own strategy before chaos ensues.

Ages 4 to 8

Quiet Time with My Seeya

Title: Quiet Time with My Seeya
By: Dabarera, Dinalie
Published: 2023

Sometimes, the moments that Sona spends with her Sinhalese grandfather, her seeya, are quiet. They speak different languages and don't always use words. But they do communicate in other ways. Sometimes, they're loud. They play dress-up, stomp in puddles, and pretend to be puppies. They cook pittu, tease each other when they're messy, and read to each other, even though they might not understand what the other is saying.

Ages 3 to 6

Rabbi and His Donkey, The

Title: Rabbi and His Donkey, The
By: Tarcov, Susan
Published: 2023

Hamor the donkey proudly takes Rabbi Moses Maimonides to the sultan's palace every day, but when Hamor is replaced by a faster horse, both Hamor and the Rabbi soon miss their symbiotic relationship.

Ages 3 to 8

Real Story, The

Title: Real Story, The
By: Ruzzier, Sergio
Published: 2023

When Cat asks Mouse how the cookie jar broke and where the cookies went, Mouse tells Cat implausible story after implausible story.

Ages 3 to 6


Title: Remembering
By: Gonzalez, Xelena
Published: 2023

On Día de los Muertos, a family prepares an ofrenda for their favorite furry family member, remembering all the ways that their beloved pet brought love and comfort to their lives.

Ages 4 to 8

Simon the the Better Bone

Title: Simon the the Better Bone
By: Tabor, Corey R.
Published: 2023

One day, down by the pond, Simon meets another dog just like him. And that dog has a bone just like his, only better! How will Simon ever get him to trade, when the other pup knows all the same tricks? Using the same innovative format as his Caldecott Honor winner, Mel Fell, Corey R. Tabor reimagines Aesop's "The Dog and His Reflection" in a clever, charming tale of empathy and generosity.

Ages 4 to 8

Song That Called Them Home, The

Title: Song That Called Them Home, The
By: Robertson, David A.
Published: 2023

One summer day, Lauren and her little brother, James, go on a trip to the land with their Moshom (grandfather). After they've arrived, the children decide to fish for dinner while Moshom naps. They are in their canoe in the middle of the lake when the water around them begins to swirl and crash. They are thrown overboard and when Lauren surfaces she sees her brother being pulled away by the Memekwesewak--creatures who live in and around water and like to interfere with humans.

Ages 4 to 8

10 Cats

Title: 10 Cats
By: Gravett, Emily
Published: 2023

Follow the lives of ten kittens as they playfully pounce, bat, and swat while their mother sleeps. Buckets of paint quickly turn the kittens--and their sleeping mother--into brilliant works of art. When mama cat wakes up, playtime turns into bath time. Full of playful and engaging art, this inventive cat book creates page after page of spot-the-difference fun perfect for repeat reading.

Ages 3 to 5

Ten-Word Tiny Tales: To Inspire and Unsettle

Title: Ten-Word Tiny Tales: To Inspire and Unsettle
By: Coehlo, Joseph
Published: 2023

Presents twenty tiny tales--each one illustrated by a different artist, and each just ten words long--in a book that's as much a work of art as an invitation to budding writers. Is it possible to spin a tale using just ten words? In this magnificent compendium, author and poet Joseph Coelho proves that it is--with mini-stories of underwater worlds, demon hamsters, bears in outer space, and portals to places unknown.

Ages 7 to 10

There Was a Party for Langston

Title: There Was a Party for Langston
By: Reynolds, Jason
Published: 2023

A celebration of Langston Hughes and African American authors he inspired, told through the lens of the party held at the New York Public Library's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in 1991.

Ages 4 to 8

Tree and the River, The

Title: Tree and the River, The
By: Becker, Aaron
Published: 2023

In an alternate past--or possible future--a mighty tree stands on the banks of a winding river, bearing silent witness to the flow of time and change. A family farms the fertile valley. Soon, a village sprouts, and not long after, a town. Residents learn to harness the water, the wind, and the animals in order to survive and thrive.

Ages 5 to 9

Walk in the Woods, A

Title: Walk in the Woods, A
By: Grimes, Nikki
Published: 2023

A grieving son follows a treasure map his late father left him through the woods they used to explore together.

Ages 4 to 8

You Go First

Title: You Go First
By: Bernstein, Ariel
Published: 2023

Cat learns that being a good friend means trying new things and putting others first.

Ages 3 to 7

Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.

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