Today, the Amazon Books Editors announced their annual mid-year list of the Best Books of the Year So Far, including a hand-picked list of The Best Children’s Books of the Year So Far. And I’ll get to them allll in a sec.

But first, there’s one book in particular that I absolutely have to gush about, because I was so happy to find it on this list:Buffalo Fluffalo, written by author and Emmy-award-winning comedy writer Bess Kalb and illustrated stunningly by Erin Kran.

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Buffalo Fluffalo by Bess Kalb: One of the best new children's books of the year

I have been wildly overdue in sharing this national best-seller written by the author of my absolute favorite memoir (for grownups) of recent years — and for that I apologize! But now, I make it up to you, Bess, with a recommendation as strong as the title character’s ego.

Buffalo Fluffalo is such a funny, engaging, rhyming book centering on — you guessed it — a Buffalo named Fluffalo. He’s full of bravado, and so sure of his superiority over the other creatures that he refuses all of their offers to be friends. That is, until a rain shower turns him into a soggy mess that dampens his intimidatingly fluffy fur and turns him into a “very wee” buffalo. With his emotional defenses gone, and with the help of the other animals, Mr. Fluff finally sees that he doesn’t need to be grumbly and tough; he can  embrace his his snuggly, huggable side and just be,,,a friend.

It is rare that you find a rhyming picture book with language that’s this fun, this silly, this perfect that you actually can’t wait to turn the next page and see what’s coming next.

Plus, I just love the message about about honoring your true self in all its complexities (a theme that I’m happy to see more in children’s books these days), to ignore whatever stereotypes we think we need to live up to, and to remember that real friends will like you just the way you are.

Find Buffalo Fluffalo, by Bess Kalb and Erin Kran on Amazon, order for pickup at your neighborhood Barnes & Noble, or purchase from and support your favorite independent bookshop, 

The complete list of Best Children’s Books of the Year So Far from the Amazon Editors

Amazon Editors Top 20 Children's Books of 2024 So Far

And board books for babies: