Staff Picks 2022: Fiction, Graphic Novels, Readers, and Nonfiction for Grades K-3

By Skokie Staff Youth Services

As kids in grades K-3 become more independent readers, they start to branch out from their still beloved picture books. It's a great time to explore lots of different topics and types of books.

  • Simon and Chester

    2021 by Atkinson, Cale

    Simon and Chester are not your usual detective duo–Simon is a ghost, after all! It’s fun to follow along as these two super sleuths go undercover to solve the case of the mysterious pug. I love how funny and silly these characters are--it's a great book to share together. Suggested by Katie.

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  • Cornbread & Poppy

    2022 by Cordell, Matthew

    I love what I call "opposite buddy" books for kids this age. Cornbread loves to plan, prepare, and get ready for things while Poppy is more of an adventure-loving, go-with-the-flow kind of mouse. When winter comes, she is anything but ready for it. Suggested by Shelley.

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  • Smile Out Loud

    2022 by Coelho, Joseph

    I love a good poetry book to enjoy with your child. This one is perfect as it's meant to be read out loud, and the author even provides hints for the best effects. The illustrations are bright and colorful--you can't help but smile. Suggested by Gudrun.

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  • I'm Ogre It

    2022 by Ebbeler, Jeffrey

    It makes a librarian's heart happy when the power of imagination and a sibling's love triumph over a video game! Suggested by Shelley.

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  • Esme's Birthday Conga Line

    2022 by Heuer, Lourdes

    I love how Esme takes everything into her own hands and plans her own birthday party. The illustrations complement the hilarious story, and of course everyone (including the reader) has a great time celebrating! Suggested by Shelley.

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  • Listen to the Language of the Trees: A Story of How Forests Communicate Underground

    2022 by Kelley, Tera

    I've been trying to learn more about the fascinating ways trees communicate ever since learning about their amazing underground fungi "internet." I love how this book brings the concept to a preschool level while still making it interesting for grown-ups. Suggested by Gudrun.

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  • April & Mae and the Tea Party: The Sunday Book

    2022 by Lambert, Megan Dowd

    Simple, repetitive (but not boring!) sentences, an empathetic storyline, and straightforward pictures make this an excellent choice for brand new chapter readers. I love these two tea-partiers, their pets, and their strong friendship. Suggested by Caitlin.

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  • Reina Ramos Works It Out!

    2022 by Otheguy, Emma

    The school and friend drama seems very real in this early reader, but the two best friends end up working it out! Suggested by Shelley.

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  • Bessie the Motorcycle Queen

    2022 by Smith, Charles R.

    If you do what you love, you can achieve anything. Bessie overcame many obstacles to be one of the best motorcyclists of her time. Bessie is more than a motorcycle queen, she is a life queen! Suggested by Cathy.

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  • Fitz and Cleo

    2021 by Stutzman, Jonathan

    This ghostly duo, Fitz and Cleo, also happen to be siblings and best friends. Along with their cat, Mr. Boo, Fitz and Cleo entertain us with their silly banter and funny exploits. I love to read these books with my kids! Suggested by Katie.

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  • Sir Ladybug

    2022 by Tabor, Corey R.

    Sir Ladybug and his friends take on a quest. This is really funny (for kids and grown-ups), and it's a great introduction to graphic novels. There's lots to talk about too--with some pretty wise words. Suggested by Gudrun.

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  • Captain Cat Goes to Mars

    2022 by Virján, Emma J.

    In this fun and silly easy reader, Captain Cat and Pilot Matt "see lots of stars and head straight for Mars." Will they meet scary aliens or make new friends? I love the funny pictures and the simple but clever story. Suggested by Shelley.

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  • One Wish: Fatima Al-Fihri and the World's Oldest University

    2022 by Yuksel, M. O.

    I love this inspirational story of Fatima al-Fihri and her amazing achievement of building the world's oldest university--that still exists today in Morocco! She was truly a trailblazer. Suggested by Rumannah.

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