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Delightful New Books for Everyone on Your Holiday List

From preschoolers to grown-ups, we’ve got book ideas for all your loved ones

Published on: December 08, 2023

Delightful New Books for Everyone on Your Holiday List


Picks for elementary-age kids

Everything in Its Place: A Story of Books and Belonging” by Pauline David-Sax, illustrated by Charnelle Pinkney 

A book lover’s book and 2023 Ezra Jack Keats Award Honor, this book is layered with messages of belonging told through the template of a library. Young little Nicky finds solace in her school library, but when it’s closed for a week, she finds herself without her sanctuary. At her mother’s diner, Nicky finds herself in the company of the members of a women’s motorcycle club who show Nicky the value of community and that feeling different doesn’t mean you are alone. 

Real to Me” by Minh Lê, illustrated by Raissa Figueroa 

With thousands of children’s picture books out there, finding a story that resonates with the age group but also whisks a child away with its illustrations is a rare thing. In “Real to Me” a child’s imaginary friend is the center of their world, until one day the friend is gone. Though the child searches high and low, the friend does not return. As time marches on, new friends are found, but the imaginary friend remains a real memory. This book feels like not only a tribute to wonder and imagination but also honors the reality of loss, helping children to cope with the complexity of change and a message of hope. All with hauntingly beautiful illustrations by a Coretta Scott King Honoree. 

Mother of Sharks” by Melissa Cristina Márquez, illustrated by Devin Elle Kurtz 

If you’ve got a budding marine biologist in the house, this semi-autobiographical story written by renowned shark scientist Melissa Cristina Márquez is for you. A sea-loving child is taken on a magical adventure to discover her true purpose as the Mother of Sharks. As the pages turn, we dive deep into the ocean, get lost in research in the library, hear a powerful speaker talk about shark conservation and follow along on the journey to help protect sharks. Kids garner messages not only about the delicate ecosystem of the ocean, but also about the importance of Latina women in STEM, as well as diversity and inclusion in the sciences. Illustrations invoke the magic and wonder of the ocean itself. 

Mazie’s Amazing Machines” by Sheryl Haft, illustrated by Jeremy Holmes

Young Mazie McGear is an engineer, working to solve all manner of household problems. Using whimsical illustrations by Jeremy Holmes, author Sherly Haft helps children discover the inner workings of simple machines designed by young Mazie to assist with everyday tasks like feeding the dog, lifting big packages and waking up on time. Includes a cool fold-out spread. 

Frankie and Friends: Breaking News” by Christine Platt, illustrations by Alea Marley 

Would-be reporters will devour this first book in a new series aimed at early chapter book readers that center on Black women in journalism. Frankie’s mother is a journalist who must report the breaking news. When her mom leaves on a trip, Frankie decides she’s going to cover some breaking news herself. An absolute delight to read, the story offers kids encouragement and value in their own worldview.

Up next: Middle-grade reads

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