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.
Photo (sidebar): Dani Wernere