2023 Staff Picks for Kids - Beginning Readers

Each year, we follow the latest children's book releases and publish an annual roundup of our favorites. From board books to nonfiction to books in Spanish, discover something great for all the young readers in your life! 

Explore More 2023 Staff Picks for Kids:

Lunch in the Leaves Book Cover
Abbas, Marzieh

Nadia and Nadir spend a fun autumn day playing in the leaves. After things get a little too rough, they decide to create natural art while waiting for their Abu and Ammi to make a cozy barbecue lunch.

I Like This Color Book Cover
Dubois, Liz Goulet

Duck and Cluck learn important lessons about manners and listening when they each make their case for why a dull, drab page should be a certain color.

The Case of the Strange Splash Book Cover
Winkler, Henry

Willow Feathers McBeaver, aka Detective Duck, and her pond animal pals investigate puzzling mysteries caused by human disruptions to their habitat.

Who Will Win? Book Cover
David, Arihhonni

When a quick-footed bear and a quick-witted turtle race across a frozen lake, Turtle has a secret plan to win!

Ali the Great and the Market Mishap Book Cover
Faruqi, Saadia

Second-grader Ali, his grandfather, and little brother Fateh head to the South Asian market to buy some snacks, but Ali loses Fateh and has to figure out quickly how to find him among the market's many aisles.

Cat Sees Snow Book Cover
Gehl, Laura

Cat sees snow. Dog can not blow the snow. Pig is slow in the snow. How can they go in the snow?

Dot the Ladybug: Dot Day Book Cover
George, K.

Dot the ladybug can't wait to celebrate her Dot Day with her friends. But when she goes to Spots' house, she doesn't spot anyone. Not here. Not there. Not anywhere! Dot must follow the clues to solve the mystery. Kallie George's fun yet simple wordplay pairs perfectly with Stephanie Fizer Coleman's vibrant illustrations in this My First I Can Read adventure for beginning readers. With simple, playful text and joyful, bright art, this My First I Can Read book is perfect for shared reading with a child. Books at this level feature basic language, word repetition, and whimsical illustrations, ideal for sharing with emergent readers. The active, engaging stories have appealing plots and lovable characters, encouraging children to continue their reading journey.

See the Ghost: Three Stories About Things You Cannot See Book Cover
LaRochelle, David

It's not easy to enjoy a picnic when you have unseeable interlopers to contend with! In a new trio of stories for beginning readers, the affable Max the dog and mischievous Baby Cakes the cat encounter a scare-happy ghost who has a run-in with a mirror, the wind at its blustery best, and a teeny-tiny fairy with a wayward wand who may have met her match.

Elena Rides Book Cover
Medina, Juana

Elena wants to ride her bike. She steadies, she readies. She wobbles, she bobbles...KA-BANG! Learning to ride a bike is hard. But Elena can do it. She just has to try, try again.

Baking With MI Abuelita Book Cover
Mora, Julissa

Family members head into the kitchen to help Abuelita bake a tres leches cake for Papi's birthday.

Kitty-Cam and Puppy-Cam Book Cover
Palatini, Margie

Puppy-Cam - Through a video camera positioned on the puppy’s head, readers will follow along from the puppy’s point of view as it tries to catch a ball, follow birds, and dig, but gets a surprise instead! Go, Puppy, go! 

Kitty-Cam - A camera on a kitty’s head captures its adventures in a typical day as it jumps, shakes, chases, and naps! 



Liam and the Worst Dog in the World Book Cover
Stark, Andrew (Ojibwa Indian)

When Liam, an Ojibwa boy, and his mom go to adopt a dog from the shelter, Liam chooses Gizmo, a Chihuahua mix with behavior problems.

Chicken Karaoke Book Cover
Stemple, Heidi E. Y.

On Chicken karaoke night, duck wants to shine in the spotlight, but she must overcome her stage fright.

Fox Has a Problem Book Cover
Tabor, Corey R.

Fox has a not-so-new problem, and every possible solution leads to more problems for the other animals, until they all come together with the ultimate fix.

Bright Star Book Cover
Todd, Brandon

After a visiting the library to search for new adventure ideas, Miguel and Clarke go on a trip that is out of this world.

Once Upon a Zombie: Tales for Brave Readers Book Cover
Underwood, Deborah

A child lulls an attacking zombie with undead-themed fairy tales.

Summaries provided by DPL's catalog unless otherwise noted. Click on each title to view more information.

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