With back-to-school in the air, there’s no better time to stock the shelves with some new books. Here’s a handful of new titles for kiddos of all ages, all written or illustrated by Seattle-area authors. (P.S. Be on the lookout next week for our roundup of new books for parentals!)

Washington Doodles by John Skewes

Best known for Larry Gets Lost in Seattle, John Skewes has now created a super-fun sketch book about Washington withWashington Doodles: Over 200 Doodles to Create Your Own Evergreen State.  It’s filled wth artistic brain teasers, cut outs, connect-the-dots and pictures to complete of familiar sights. Kids can draw climbers on Mount Rainier, or draw boats going through the Ballard Locks.  Our fave is the requisite Pike Place Market scene, where kids sketch the salmon being thrown from one vendor to another.  Doesn’t get more Seattleish than that!

Edsel McFarlan’s New Car by Max Holechek and Darrell Toland
Two Seattle dads are behind this entertaining book geared to the  4 to 8 year old set who are passionate about cars. The story follows young Edsel, who builds a model car and gets his whole neighborhood involved in a wild ride. Toland’s illustrations are action-packed and seem to jump off the page.

Before You Were Here, Mi Amor by Samantha Vamos
Anyone who has had a second child will love Vamos’s bilingual picture book, which shows what a family does to welcome a new babe into the flock. Spanish phrases are woven through the text and it’s especially heart-warming to read about all the members of the large Latina familia, from parents and siblings to aunties, uncles and grandparents. (Note: Look for Vamos’ second children’s book The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred coming out this fall.

Who Hoo Are You? and What is Green?  by Kate Endle
Endle’s two new board books feature playful ,collage-style illustrations in a smorgasbord of color. In Who Hoo Are You?, little ones will love the cheerful gang of animals, including the curious calico kitten, the hugely happy hippo and the pretty prancing pony.  What is Green? helps kids recognize familiar shapes and creatures that come in a rainbow of colors. (A fun little tid-bit: Endle is the wife of Seattle kiddie rocker Chris Ballew, aka Caspar Babypants!)
Mama, Is It Summer Yet? by Nikki McClure
Granted, it’s a bit late to be reading this to the kiddos considering we are at summer’s end.  But what a fun way to keep summer on the brain even when the rain starts falling again. Olympia-based McClure’s sweet tale is about a boy and his mother who follow the seasons looking for clues of summer, and is filled with her delightful paper-cut imagery (where each image is made from a single piece of black paper using an x-acto knife).

-Kavita Varma-White