2021 Staff Picks: Ages 0-5

By Skokie Staff Youth Services

Staff favorites from 2021 to share with kids ages 0-5.

  • Wonder Walkers

    2021 by Archer, Micha

    Two kiddos decide to go on a nature walk and get curious along the way. I love the way that this book activates curiosity and questioning, but the observations are more poetic than scientific. Recommended by Jane.

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  • Stanley's Toy Box

    2021 by Bee, William

    We're big Stanley fans in my house, so we love this latest volume of his adventures with his friend Little Woo as they head to the park for a day of fun. There are bright colors, great action words, and a few harmless mishaps. Recommended by Jane.

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  • Amara's Farm

    2021 by Brown-Wood, JaNay

    Amara is having a potluck celebration and she wants to include pumpkins. She goes on a search, checking all of the different kind of plants she has. I love the way Amara shows kids (and grownups like me) how all the different plants grow. Who knew how kumquats grew? Recommended by Cathy.

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  • Ten Little Dumplings

    2021 by Fan, Larissa

    This is for the child who feels overshadowed by siblings or life in general--and what little one doesn't feel that sometimes? I love that this book will inspire girls and invite everyone to rethink the impact that women can make on the world. Recommended by Shelley.

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  • We All Play: Kimêtawânaw

    2021 by Flett, Julie

    I was so happy to see a book about play and joy after this challenging past year. Play is universal; something human and animal children enjoy equally. I love how Julie Flett shows us how we're one with nature; connected to who and what is around us in so many ways. Recommended by Gudrun.

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  • No Pants!

    2021 by Grant, Jacob

    Pants--who needs 'em? Pablo and his dad are every family who has somewhere to go but are having a hard time getting out the door because of a difference in opinion on what to wear (or not wear!). I love the delightful twist ending. Recommended by Jane.

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  • The Leaf Thief

    2021 by Hemming, Alice

    This is an adorable book that teaches about autumn and adapting to change. The characters are fun and the illustrations are super cute. Preschoolers love it and I did too! Recommended by Mary Montoye.

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  • Norman Didn't Do It!: (Yes, He Did)

    2021 by Higgins, Ryan T.

    Another gem from Ryan T. Higgins about the complexities of sharing old friends with new ones. I love this book because it's classic Higgins: a hilarious story that is full of heart. Recommended by Christine.

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  • Three

    2021 by King, Stephen Michael

    I loved Three's optimistic view as he makes his way through the world, and the lovely acceptance he finds with his forever family. Recommended by Meleesa.

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  • My City Speaks

    2021 by Lebeuf, Darren

    This city is an adventure for the senses from the perspective of a girl who is visually impaired. Beautiful lyrical text gives us a peek into what a walk along busy city streets feels like. Recommended by Gudrun.

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  • Our Skin: A First Conversation About Race

    2021 by Madison, Megan

    This board book is the best discussion-starter about race for very young kids I've come across. It addresses the differences in the color of people's skin, and it addresses racism in a very kid-friendly way. It's in a board book or picture book format, and it's great for both toddlers and preschoolers. Recommended by Shelley.

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  • What Does Little Crocodile Say?

    2021 by Montanari, Eva

    Told entirely via simple, expressive artwork and onomatopoeia, this beautiful book takes us through a day in the life of a preschooler. I loved being invited into Little Crocodile's world. It's a beautiful (if noisy!) place to be. Recommended by Caitlin S.

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  • Bright Star

    2021 by Morales, Yuyi

    With very few words and stunning pictures, this book touches on so many important and heartfelt topics: love, creating safety for us and our communities, speaking out against injustice, connection with family, community, and the natural world, and immigration. I love that this book is so hopeful! This is a great book to spark discussion, emotion, and inspiration in all of us. Recommended by Shelley & Christine.

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  • 1 2 3 Cats

    2021 by Newman, Lesléa

    This board book is a great introduction to counting. I love it for the fun, rhyming texts and Isabella Kung's adorable illustrations. Recommended by Christine.

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  • Peace Train

    2021 by Stevens, Cat

    When I found out that one of my favorite musicians was collaborating with one of my favorite author/illustrators, I knew I was in for a treat. Peter Reynolds’ colorful and playful art magically pairs with Cat Stevens’ iconic song, featuring a perfect message for the world right now. Recommended by Mandy.

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  • Little Zoologist

    2021 by Taylor, Dan (ILT)

    This board book is part of a new Smithsonian Institute science series for toddlers! I love the simple text and charming illustrations. Recommended by Christine.

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  • Good Night, Alligator

    2021 by Van Slyke, Rebecca

    Anybody who regularly puts a toddler to bed will find a lot to love in this brilliant bedtime story. I love the artwork, I love the adult/reptile negotiations, but most of all, I love how these parents have accepted their alligator exactly as she is. All 80 teeth. Recommended by Caitlin S.

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