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.

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

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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

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.

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.

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.

 

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