Category: Books for Kids

9 lovely children’s books about the immigrant experience to help encourage more kindness and empathy.

I’m a child of an immigrant. And so I jumped at the chance to put together a list of some of my favorite children’s books about the immigrant experience. I know first-hand just how difficult it is for someone to get to America for a better life and work toward citizenship, let alone having to leave their homeland, family members, and the only life they’ve known behind, sometimes forever. With immigration a big topic in our country right now, our children are hearing about these issues too. They have so many questions, whether they’re watching the news with you, discussing it in...

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Congrats to the 2017 Caldecott, Newbery, and Coretta Scott King medal winners. They are truly award-worthy!

Today, there’s excitement about the Oscar nominations, but yesterday was the Academy Awards for book lovers. The ALA made its big announcement of the books worthy of the annual Caldecott, Newbery, and Coretta Scott King medal winners, as well as many other notable awards, for children’s lit and young adult books. We are really excited to see that some of our very own recommendations have been honored. They truly deserve it. Related: 18 best children’s books of 2016 | Editors’ Best of 2016 CMP is an rstyle and Amazon affiliate Awarded the 2017 John Newbery Medal The prize given for the most outstanding contribution to...

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A trio of fantastic STEM-inspired picture books that celebrate curious children.

Often, some of the very best children’s books are the ones inspired by a writer’s own child (like Mo Willems’ Knuffle Bunny). These books tend to be favorites among kids and parents alike because they come from a place of authenticity. Which is why I think families will love Andrea Beaty’s trio of STEM-inspired picture books, which was created from the author’s personal experience with her young son who would build things, anything, from random things. The series isn’t new; in fact, the first book published a decade ago. But she continues to add to the series every few years, which is a big...

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The heroes of these fantastic fairy tales? Real women. (Really.)

When it comes to imaginative stories and tales, my kids have always been somewhat confused by what’s real and what’s make-believe. This is especially true of anything Star Wars (“Did his hand really come off?”), Harry Potter (“Do house elves really exist?”), and fairy tales (“Can someone really have hair that long?”). But now, they’ll get the Yes-es they’ve been looking for. And it will surely blow their minds. Related: Girl power! Empowering books for girls In Queen Girls stories, the heroes don’t wait for a magical kiss from a handsome prince, or a swift flick of the wand from a fairy godmother who can quick-fix their...

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An excellent list of MLK books, videos and resources to help kids understand the reason for the holiday.

Over the years, we’ve put together so many fantastic ways to help honor the important, impactful work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., especially to help families be able to discuss how we might all carry on his legacy. We hope you’ll check out these books, videos, websites, craft ideas and activities, with the hope that more of our kids are inspired do their own part to create a world filled with peace, equality and justice for all.   4 Fantastic Books for Kids about Martin Luther King to Help Educate While You Celebrate Here’s his entire I Have a Dream...

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10 outstanding children’s books about activism in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

As we approach MLK Day, we’re thinking it’s the perfect time to get our kids learning about activism and about how one man, through his peaceful and steadfast fight for equal rights for all, made lasting changes and a huge impact on generations. Inspired by his words — “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” — and motivated by his actions, we’ve put together a list of 10 children’s books about activism that we think will inspire our kids, in turn. From stories our littlest readers will enjoy to non-fiction books that motivate our older kids to take action about those things they believe in, we...

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Little Big Girl by Claire Keane: The perfect gift for a new big sister.

When you’ve been the littlest in your family your whole entire life, but things are about to get real because a new sibling comes along, you need the book Little Big Girl by Claire Keane. This sweet story about a little girl growing up and getting bigger and bigger (sniff) has captured the imagination and attention of my three kids, as they’re planning to welcome a new little sister very soon. If you’re looking for a sweet gift to help your child transition to having a new younger sibling, this is it. Related: The ultimate new-baby sibling gift In Little Big Girl, Matisse (the real name of author Claire...

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The best lists of the best children’s books of 2016, all in one place

Once again, we’re happy to have compiled the best lists of all the best children’s books of the year, curated by the top publishers, reviewers, organizations, and bloggers we respect. And boy, was it a fantastic year for children’s literature and storybooks. You’ll surely find lots of great new discoveries from the New York Times to the American Library Association, from NPR to well-curated blogs like Brainpickings and Brightly and…well, us! So start with our own list of the best children’s books of 2016, then check out some other perspectives. We bet a few of your kids’ favorites will be on here, and you’ll surely find some new ones you’ll be excited to add to...

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18 best children’s books of 2016 | Editors’ Best of 2016

As the year comes to a close, we’re looking back at our picks for the best children’s books of 2016 — according to our editors, writers, and of course our children! What a perfect way to kick off our Editors Picks of the Year. As our readers know, we all adore books here at Cool Mom Picks and we’ve collectively read hundreds of great kids’ books this year, from the sweetest board books for babies, to excellent picture books for early readers, to compelling graphic novels  — and it’s not an easy job to whittle it down to just a few favorites. Ultimately, we go with the books...

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17 of the best subscription gifts for kids: From babies to teens, we’ve found something for everyone.

It feels like the holidays are going to be here in a minute, and I’m not ready! If you’re like me and are still scrambling for a few great gifts that will make your kids think you’re pretty awesome, then you might want to look into one of the cool subscription gifts for kids we’ve been scouting out. Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen so many companies with such good ideas for subscription boxes that range from developmental toys for babies to science kits for our bigger kids. And we know from experience that our kids are thrilled to receive actual, real packages...

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This year’s best new books for Christmas, to help your kids get even more excited for the big day.

My family has a tradition of reading Christmas books at bedtime every night during Advent. Some years, I wrap each holiday book in our collection, so they’ll be surprised which book we’re reading each night. Other years, we take turns choosing a favorite. But every year, I like to add new books to our collection. And this year is no exception. I was excited to find some new, beautifully illustrated traditional stories as well as some clever books that are quick, funny reads (perfect for those nights when we’ve been out to a holiday party way past bedtime). I’ll be adding a couple of...

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An exquisite gift for book-loving kids from award-winning authors | Sponsored message

This is a sponsored message from Candlewick Press Award-winning children’s book author and illustrator Oliver Jeffers and fine artist Sam Winston have teamed up to create a gorgeous children’s book that’s a tribute to the power of a great story — and just in time for holiday gifting. The 2016 New York Times #1 bestseller, A Child of Books, is an imaginative adventure through the world of storytelling. The two young main characters discover the magic found in books, as they explore forests of fairy tales, sneak past monsters in haunted castles, and climb mountains of make-believe — all presented to the reader with a genius visual...

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The papercraft book that makes Christmas crafting so, so easy.

Houses up and down our street are starting to turn on their holiday lights, and it’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas in our neighborhood. My craft-loving kids would like for us to DIY everything holiday around here — cotton-ball snowmen, reindeer food, glitter wreaths…you name it. So when I discovered Papermade’s new book Paper Holiday, I knew I’d hit the holiday craft jackpot. The book includes 20 Christmas ornaments you can make in about 10 minutes each — just punch-out, fold up, and hang on the tree. No scissors, glue, or tape required. It even includes paper hooks. The ornaments are definitely Christmas specific,...

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This new book for girls has us shouting, WOW!

WOWsdom! The Girl’s Guide to the Positive and the Possible is a new interactive book I found recently on Kickstarter that has one very important mission: to help raise our female leaders of tomorrow. And they’ve set out to do just that by sharing the intimate and life-changing experiences of other women and girls so that those who may not have a mentor in their lives can still find ways to connect, learn, and grow into smart, empowered women. Truly wow-worthy, in my opinion. Related: Epic tees for epic teens and tweens, designed by epic teens and tweens. Epic. WOWsdom! is the work of Generation WOW, an organization...

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Art With Edge coloring books for tweens and teens makes coloring in the lines cool again.

Move over grown ups, there’s a new coloring demographic in town. And, we’re not talking about kiddie books filled with hearts and teddy bears. Art With Edge — Crayola’s latest line of seven cool coloring books and two coloring kits — are filled with zombies, sugar skulls, graffiti, bold and fearless sayings, and quirky cartoons just begging to be filled in with color by the tweens and teens in your life. (They also have two superhero books, Justice League and Batman, which may be a great option for some kids, but to me, they didn’t seem to fit in with Crayola’s new and edgy line for our bigger kids.) My girls, ages 12...

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These 6 new books for kids about the arts are sure to inspire young painters, musicians, and writers.

I’ve noticed a trend lately among the hundreds of children’s books I receive for review: stellar new books for kids about the arts. We tend to promote a lot of STEM toys, books, and opportunities for kids because we’re passionate about science and technology and the digital world our kids will live and work in. But we still love to find great books for kids about the arts that can inspire young painters, musicians, and writers too. These 6 books for kids about the arts will encourage your littlest ones to try their hand at creativity, or they can be used to supplement your elementary-age children’s...

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10 graphic novels loaded with girl power. Let’s hear it for more Roar!

Graphic novels are so popular in children’s literature these days and it’s easy to see why. The long misunderstood genre (“comic books” no more) is finally receiving recognition as engaging literature that combines visual and compelling storylines to appeal to kids who may not be ordinarily inclined to choose a book over a screen. But one common misconception about graphic novels is that they appeal mostly to boys. In fact, my own daughters, and lots of other girls I know, love graphic novels too — especially the titles that feature smart, engaging, strong, and courageous female characters. And if anything has become apparent over the past year, it’s that...

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The Barefoot Book of Children is the perfect bedtime story during this election week.

With all the negative discourse going in the world right now (particularly right now), I’ve been on the lookout for positive things that make me and my children feel better. I try to take some time each day to find the good in the world: reading about random acts of kindness, watching videos of parents giving pep talks to their kids, and reading books that teach empathy with my girls. So I was really excited when just recently I received a copy of The Barefoot Book of Children to review. If, like me, you’re already a fan of Barefoot Books, then...

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The Journey by Francesca Sanna: A powerful look at the refugee experience, for children.

My kids hate to see me cry, but there have been times when I’m following the Syrian refugee crisis that I can’t help it. They’ve caught me looking at the haunting photo of Omran Daqneesh in the ambulance, seeing the tragic body of 3-year-old Alan Kurdi on a Turkish beach, and watching desperate mothers and fathers trying to get their families to safety while “reporters” trip them as they run from armed guards. But, you know, I think it’s a good thing that they see me cry at images like this. As strongly as I feel about it, I’ve still struggled to explain the Syrian...

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Move over family movie night — we found 4 fun art activity books the whole family can enjoy together.

In an effort to reduce screentime at home, especially with Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks around the bend, I’ve been stocking up on some arts and crafts-type activity books for kids. Instead of everyone sitting on the couch, looking at their own devices, now we sit around the kitchen table and work on these projects together. And yes, of course, it’s blissfully peaceful and it happens every single night. Heh. In reality, though, sometimes I just pass an art activity book over to my kid to keep them busy while I’m working on something else. There’s no craft supply shopping or Pinterest-searching required;...

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Why everybody needs to read Rad Women Worldwide. Like, right now.

Let’s face it: women are rad. At everything — from sports to science, and painting and political activism. And since so much of our history focuses on men, and the Eurocentric ones at that, we love books that introduce us to new heroines from places beyond our daily view. Which is why I am so stoked to have found Rad Women Worldwide, written and illustrated by the women behind another of our favorites and New York Times bestselling, Rad American Women A-Z. Related: How about some rad women in the STEM fields? Yep, we’ve got those, too. This awesome book is a beautiful...

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Give the gift of reading all in one cool gift box, from the new Brightly Gifts | Sponsored Message

This is a sponsored message from Brightly Gifts Whether you’re shopping for a special gift for your own child, grandchild, niece, nephew or best friend’s cool kid, books are at the top of so many wish lists. Which is why you’ll want to check out Brightly Gifts, a brand new shop filled with thoughtfully curated, high quality gift boxes of books to suit babies and early readers. Special offer for Cool Mom Picks readers: Save 20% off your order + get free ground shipping at Brightly Gifts with code CMPGIFTS2016. From the creators of Brightly, a popular site trusted by thousands...

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4 favorite new kids picture books that celebrate fall beautifully

Like many people who love the cooler months of the year, I am very happy we’ve enter the season of crisp air, cozy sweaters, and pumpkin spice everything. But one of my favorite things about fall is the colors. Those breathtakingly beautiful fall colors. And I love that there are so many gorgeous new picture books for kids that capture what I love about the season — and all just in time for the later fall foliage we’re experiencing this year in the northeast. So, no rushing into holiday and snow stories just yet! For now, curl up with the kids under a warmer quilt, and check...

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Are we excited about the newest Mo Willems’ book, Nanette’s Baguette? You bet!

For those of you still mourning the final installment of Elephant and Piggie, there’s good news. Mo Willems has delivered to us a new heroine who’s equally lovable. His newest children’s book Nanette’s Baguette follows Nanette as she embarks on her first big adventure: bringing home a baguette for dinner. Related: 6 clever ways to get your reluctant reader to love reading This rhyming for days children’s book explores Nanette’s commitment to her duty, which is unflagging, unwavering, rock solid! Except when she runs into her friends Georgette, Suzette, and Bret with his clarinet. And then again when the temptation of freshly baked bread gets...

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Just Like Me: A book subscription box created for children of color who want to see themselves in the books they read, too.

I did the research, and in 2013, out of 3,200 children’s books published, only 93 featured African American characters. Sadly, that’s even more than I had expected. And the numbers aren’t much better for other races and ethnicities. Thankfully, campaigns like #WeNeedDiverseBooks and #1000blackgirlbooks have brought some awareness and change to the publishing industry, which I’m definitely cheering — I know that moms of all kinds would love to fill their kids’ bookshelves with more diverse stories about more diverse characters. But as the mother of two biracial girls, this is really personal for me. That’s why I’m thrilled to find the new Just Like Me! Book Box, a monthly...

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Crafting with Feminism: Smashing the patriarchy with a hot glue gun.

My daughter is 10 and already bemoaning her leg hair and asking why the boy who used to be her friend now teases her mercilessly. No wonder she gravitated toward a fabulous new book the moment it landed in our mailbox. Crafting with Feminism by noted geek and author Bonnie Burton (whom you might know from Felicia Day’s Vaginal Fantasy Book Club? No? Okay, anyway she’s awesome…) has put together 25 cool, easy, and fun crafts centered on taking pride in feminism. So far, my daughter is determined to make matching NOPE necklaces (for herself and me), Monster Week Maxipad Cases, and Food...

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A book to remind you why books make the best kids’ gifts. | Sponsored message

This is a sponsored message from Candlewick Press The much-anticipated finale of Caldecott Honoree Aaron Becker’s wordless adventure trilogy is here, and kids and parents everywhere are rejoicing. Check out Return, the epic #1 New York Times bestseller and follow-up to the award-winning Journey and Quest. Suspenseful, moving, and stunningly beautiful, Becker’s lonely young heroine once more escapes to a fantastic world of kings, emperors, castles, exotic creatures, and enchanting landscapes — all of which unlock the power of imagination to have your kids reenacting their own fantasy adventures. While Return is thrilling all on its own, if you don’t yet own Becker’s trilogy, all three makes for the perfect holiday...

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Dan Yaccarino’s Happyland board books help our kids understand worry, gratitude and sharing. You know, the easy stuff.

If you’ve ever had this tune stuck in your head, “We’ve got the whole wide world in our yard to explore…”, you can thank Dan Yaccarino. He designed Pablo, Uniqua and the rest of the Backyardigans crew, and he’s also the creator of the adorable show Oswald. Best of all, he’s been a huge help to our kids in developing their imaginations and learning how to work well with others. With his new Happyland board books series, he’s aiming to teach children about social-emotional aspects of growing up — and, in our opinion, he nails it. We can only hope there are more books to...

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Got a kid who loves cars, planes, boats and art? They need the new book Project Kid: Crafts that Go.

Two years ago, when I learned about Parents magazine lifestyle editor Amanda Kingloff’s cool, modern crafts book Project Kid, I flipped. For joy. These were crafts my kids could easily make, and I’d actually want to keep. (Sorry, glitter macaroni necklace. You’re hitting the trash.) So when I found out her new book, Project Kid: Crafts that Go, is focused completely on crafts for kids who love planes, cars, trains, and boats, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Of course, it’s every bit as awesome as her first book. I love her ingenious hacks for household items — like turning an old cardboard box into...

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Midnight Creatures: A pop-up book that’s way more than a pop-up book

We’re all big fans of artful, creative pop-up books around here, but when I checked out a copy of Midnight Creatures: A Pop-up Shadow Search, it didn’t cross my mind just how extraordinarily creative it would be — and how much it would captivate even my 9-year-old. Illustrator and cut-paper artist Helen Friel’s book is truly a marvel; a series of spreads that introduce nocturnal animals who inhabit the ocean, the woods, caves and beyond. At first, each of the three black, die-cut pop ups on each spread looks somewhat abstract. But on closer glance, you see they’re filled with the hidden shapes of creatures identified on...

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