1 | Pablo and Birdy By Alison McGhee, illustrated by Ana Juan. $16.99. This story of a mysterious parrot, the boy who loves her, a little dog, and the boy’s ragtag island “family” is yearning, funny, and wholly unique. Grades 3–7.

2 | Renato and the Lion By Barbara DiLorenzo. $17.99. This poetic and magical story set in WWII Italy about leaving one’s home is a lesson in history, believing, and the power of saving what you love. Grades K–2.

3 | Baabwaa & Wooliam By David Elliott, illustrated by Melissa Sweet. $16.99. Baabwaa and Wooliam’s life is a little boring—until they meet a wolf who trades excitement for some lessons on reading and knitting. Grades K–3.

4 | Nerdy Birdy Tweets By Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Matt Davies. $17.99. This hilarious spoof on the perils of social media starring an obsessed bird and his wise vulture buddy is a lesson on true friendship. Grades K–3.

5 | King Louie’s Shoes By D. J. Steinberg, illustrated by Robert Neubecker. $17.99.
A very small king longs to be tall—but finally tosses away his platforms to dance in his stocking feet! With fascinating back matter on XIV. Grades K–2.

6 | Can an Aardvark Bark? By Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Steve Jenkins. $17.99. Animal sounds get a smart and fun take with a dream team that explores the sounds animals make—and the reasons why. Grades K–2.

7 | Under-the-Bed Fred By Linda Bailey, illustrated by Colin Jack. $12.99. This first-in-series early-grade chapter book about a boy and his monster, Fred (who “came with the bed”), is a buddy tale with heart and humor. Grades 1–3.

8 | Slider By Pete Hautman. $16.99. Step inside the stomach-turning world of eating contests in this humorous and surprisingly deep look at a small, tenacious boy trying to figure out his place among family and friends. Grades 3–6.

9 | Girls Who Code: The Friendship Code By Stacia Deutsch. $12.99. In a refreshing twist on BFF drama, sporty, techy, and, yes, fashionista girls band together to solve an intriguing coding mystery. First in series. Grades 3–6.

10 | The Night Garden By Polly Horvath. $16.99. What would you do with just one wish? Suspend belief and enter the night garden, with its cast of ghosts, mermaids, artists, clever children, and unlikely heroes. Grades 4–7.


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Photo (sidebar): Dani Wernere