With falling leaves and cooler weather there’s nothing better than cozying up with a good book. September is packed with them, but after reading through hundreds of new releases, we can say with great confidence these belong on every kid’s shelf.

Baby, See the Colors!

The ever-popular Indestructibles series is back this month with three new titles: Baby, See the Colors!, Baby Let's Count! and Baby, Find the Shapes! Each book are built for the ways babies "read"—with their mouths and hands! The books are seriously indestructible and feature bold colors, fun pictures and lessons in counting, colors and shapes.  

Bonus: A new title, Hanukkah Baby will be released in October 2019.

Ages: baby to toddlers

Available on amazon.com for $5.39

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An ABC of Equality

It's never too early to teach kids about empathy, kindness and acceptance. This board book by Chana Ginelle Ewing, the Founder and CEO of Geenie, a women's empowerment platform, makes learning about concepts like gender, immigration and ability accessible to even the youngest of readers. Flip through the colorful pages to find letters like D is for difference or J is for justice explained in a way anyone can grasp. For any parent hoping to teach their child about multiculturalism and acceptance, this book is for you.

Ages: 3+ (as recommended on Amazon but this book is suited for any reader)

Available on amazon.com for $14.99

photo: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company

Be Bold, Baby: Sonia Sotomayor

This month's Be Bold, Baby series releases include spotlights on Sonia Sotomayor and J.K. Rowling. These board books will teach your kids resilience, patience and fairness like these female leaders. Each book ends with a special message (and cool mirror): just be you. 

Ages: baby to 3 years old

Available on amazon.com for $9.99

Reading Beauty

If you cringe at your child's adoration of all-things princess, check out this modern fairy tale that puts a fresh, empowering spin on the classic Sleeping Beauty. Lex, a book-loving space princess, sets off on an adventure to break her own curse with the help of her adorable side-kick pup. It's the perfect bedtme story for crown-wearing bibliophiles (and want-to-be space explorers). 

Ages: 3 & up

Find it on Amazon.com for $17.99

photo: Chronicle Books

Get Up, Stand Up

This new picture book by Cedella Marley, inspired by one of Bob Marley's most loved songs, will inspire your kids (and you) to stand up for their rights and the rights of others. "When you meet someone talking big and thinking small...and their stinging words push your back against the wall...When their words bite, STAND UP for what's right." Beautifully illustrated by John Jay Cabuay, it's a perfect antidote in a bully-ish world. 

Ages: 3-5

Find it here, $16.99.

photo: North Atlantic Books

Bad Day

Everyone has a bad day once in a while, kids and grown-ups alike. So when you're feeling overwhelmed, grab this book. When you have a bad day even small things seem like a big deal, and that's just what's happening for little Hennie in Ruby Roth's newest book, Bad Day. But guess what? With a little time to take deep breaths and a little space to oneself, anyone can change their bad day to good. A great story of resilience, validation of feelings and how normal it is to not always feel great. 

Ages: 3-7

Find it here, $16.50

photo: Candlewick Press

Smell My Foot

A brand-new illustrated early chapter book by Newbery Honor Winner Cece Bell (El Deafo). In the vein of Elephant & Piggie, Chick and Brain's adventures will make your littles laugh out loud while learning a few manners along the way.

Ages: 4-8

Find it here, $10.55, hardcover

Draw Here: An Activity Book

This new activity book from Herve Tullet will keep your creative kids—drawing both inside and outside the lines—busy for hours. Turn each page to find a fun prompt like "Scribble on all the dots" or "Connect two dots of the same color with loops." Your kids will use their imagination and drawing skills to fill each page with their signature creativity.

Ages: 3-5

Available on amazon.com for $14.99

I Want a Dog

Kids begging for a dog? If so, this new picture book by Jon Agee will have you entertained and amused. In this tale, what happens when you go to the animal shelter and they have every other animal but a dog? What's a kid to do? Snag this read-aloud book for some funny slap-stick humor

Ages 4+

Available on amazon.com for $17.99 

photo: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Here and Now

Right now, as you are reading this book review, "many many things are happening. Rain is forming in the belly of a cloud. An ant has finished its home on the other side of the planet..." Inspired by a poem the author, Julia Denos, wrote and accompanied by beautiful, dreamy illustrations by E.B. Goodale, this picture book is a practice in mindfulness and the wonders of any given moment. Perfect for readers discovering the world outside their doorstep.

Ages: 4-7

Find it here, $16.19

photo: Penguin Random House

Five Minutes

Five minutes can fly by (when you're having fun) and it can be an eternity (when you're waiting in line). This adorable book, by Audrey Vernick and Liz Garton Scanlon, and illustrated by Olivier Tallec, will be as relatable to parents as it is for the kids. 

Ages: 3-7

Find it now at amazon.com, $16.99

Three Cheers for Kid McGear!

Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site crew has a brand new friend joining the ranks: Kid McGear, Skid Steer! You'll love Kid McGear's positive attitude as she's up for any task her friends undertake. Find out what happens when Kid McGear's skills and enthusiasm are put to the test: is she tough enough for this new job or will she back down? With illustrations and rhymes your kids know and love, this new read will be a welcome addition to your bookshelf.

Ages 5-6

Available on amazon.com for $16.19

photo: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Little Libraries, Big Heroes

Miranda Paul's Little Libraries, Big Heroes tells the backstory of an ordinary hero: Todd Bol, one of the founders of the Little Free Library movements. John Parra's beautiful illustrations celebrate the diversity of Little Free Libraries everywhere, and the many people who have come together to improve their neighborhoods, one little library at a time. We loved the author's note at the back telling her own story as it relates to Little Free Libraries. 

Ages: 4-7

Get it here. $17.79

 

The Fate of Fausto: A Painted Fable

This gorgeous picture book from celebrated illustrator and artist Oliver Jeffers (of The Day the Crayons Quit fame) is a tale of a greedy man named Fausto and his journey to claim everything belonged to him. From claiming a flower to facing the sea, this simple but important story reminds us all of the power of kindness. Illustrated in traditional lithographic printmaking techniques, the images alone make this a must-have addition to your bookshelf. 

Ages: 4-8

Buy it here, $22.49.

I am Marie Curie

The 19th book in the "Ordinary People Change the World" series is all about Marie Curie, the first woman to win the Nobel Prize. A physicist and chemist, Curie is featured in adorable illustrations as she attends the Flying University and begins her own science experiments at the young age of 18, to her meeting with the President of the United States.

Ages 5-8

Find it on Amazon for $14.39.

Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You

When Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has something to say, we listen! Reflecting on her own childhood of growing up with diabetes, Sotomayor parallels the beauty of a garden with different plants and flowers to a world filled with unique children. The story encourages children to "Just ask" when they meet new people who may differ from them.

Ages 4-8

Available on Amazon for $10.94.

Hey Grandude!

Oh, Hey Grandude! The adventurous new tale from musician Paul McCartney followers a super cool grandpa as he takes his four grandkids on the trip of a lifetime. Told with beautiful illustrations, the whimsical story is great for your little wayfarers.

Ages: 4-6

Buy on Amazon for $11.59.

The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family

Olympic medalist and social justice activist Ibtihaj Muhammad's children's book, The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family is beautifully inspiring. Following Faizah on her first day of school that also coincides with her big sister's first day of Hijab, Muhammad tells the story of being proud of who you are and the unbreakable bond of siblings.

Ages 4-8

Find it on Amazon for $16.19.

Grown-Ups Never Do That

Grown-ups never misbehave, sulk or lose their temper like kids do, right? The text in this picture book lists lots of things a grown-up would never, ever do...alongside funny illustrations of adults doing those exact things. Kids will laugh at the silly pictures and learn that grown-ups, even their parents, are just like them. 

Ages: 5-8

Available on amazon.com for $11.39.

The End of Something Wonderful: A Practical Guide to a Backyard Funeral

Dealing with the death of a family pet can be a hard topic to get right when it comes to kids. This new book from author Stephanie V. W. Lucianovic is a practical guide to burying something wonderful that is now something dead. What could be an awkward topic turns into something delightfully empathetic with Lucianovic's prose and the charming illustrations of artist George Ermos.

Ages: 5-8

Buy it here, $16.95.

Dr. Seuss's Horse Museum

In 2013, 21 years after his death, a manuscript and sketches by the Theodore Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss) were discovered. This book, illustrated by Andrew Joyner, is a result of that discovery! Take a trip through a museum with a horse as your guide. Readers will not find the ususal, quirky rhyming prose but rather a kid-friendly lesson in the beauty and importance of art. 

Ages: 7 and up 

Find your copy today here, $11.39

Monument Maker

This is the story of Daniel French, the sculptor who created the famous Lincoln Memorial. It is also the story of the Memorial itself. Shawn Fields' evocative, black-and-white illustrations accompany Linda Booth Sweeney's intelligent and relatable text, as kids move through this biography that is anything but boring. Parents will learn a thing to two, too. 

Ages: 8-11

Find it here, $19.95

Harry Potter: Magical Places: A Paper Scene Book

Almost a backdrop for creative play rather than a picture book, this 3D-style die-cut diorama book depicts famous locations from the Harry Potter series, details about each place and even includes interesting facts from the films. A lovely gift for any Potterhead out there. 

Ages: 8-10

Buy it here, $25.99.

The Last Kids on Earth: Midnight Blade

Number five in the popular series by Max Brallier (look for the Netflix show!) has Jack and his friends coming out of the first winter after the Monster Apocalypse. He’ll learn about the new powers of his Louisville Slicer and fight plenty of zombies, all while trying to help his friend Dirk deal with his issues related to the zombies. There’ll be a new villain to deal with too, and the question remains: will Jack and his friends be able to save the rest of the world? 

Ages 8-12

Available at amazon.com, $10.29

The Magic Misfits: The Minor Third

The third installment of the Magic Misfits has arrived! Neil Patrick Harris' beloved character, Theo Stein-Meyer is back with his trusty pals and in this adventure where they're chosen to combat the evil Emerald Ring. The magic-themed tale reinforces the power of friendship and adventure.

Ages 8 to 12.

Find it on Amazon for $11.79.

photo: Andrews McMeel Publshing

Diary of a 5th Grade Outlaw (Book 1)

Written by Gina Loveless  with spot illustrations by Andrea Bell, this chapter book follows the adventures of ten-year-old Robin, who is about to start the 5th Grade at Nottingham Elementary. Her quest? Win back the friendship of her bestie, Mary Ann. To do this, she has to stand up to a bully and become a legendary outlaw of Nottingham. We can't wait to see more books in this series. 

Ages: 8-12

Get it here, $13.99 (hardcover) 

Guts

Another great book from Raina Telgemeier, our editor first noticed this book at her son's schools book fair. It sold out: every day multiple kids (boys and girls) were buying it and sharing it with one another. The tale of a Raina facing her fears--this time they manifest in the form of a stomach ache. For every kid that has dread or worries about school, friends, and more, this one is relatable and as well-written as Telgemeier's many other books. 

A true story from Raina Telgemeier, the #1 New York Times bestselling, multiple Eisner Award-winning author of SmileSistersDrama, and Ghosts!

Ages: 8-12

Find your copy here, just $7.99 for the paperback. 

photo: amazon

The Ables: Strings

The second release in a new series from the creator of Cinema Sins, the popular YouTube channel, this book starts three years after the first one ended, and high school superhero Phillip and his crew are facing new challenges. What's unique about this Marvel-esque universe is that The Ables are all in special ed class, and deal with disabilities like blindness and anxiety, all while trying to save the world. Ages: 12 & up. Buy it here, $15.29.

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