New Children’s Books for January 2012

2012 is off to a great start in the world of children’s books. From wonderful, inspiring tales to silly, slap-stick stories, there is something for every child on our list of the best new books for January, 2012. Let’s take a look at the best new books to hit the shelves.

Top 5 Picture Books for January 2012

extra yarn Extra Yarn: A dark, uninspiring monochrome town gets quite a change in attitude and color when a girl named Annabelle shows up with a box full of yarn. She quickly gets to work knitting clothes for all those around her, turning the ill-tempered into smiling, happy folks. She creates beautiful patterns of warmth not just for people, but for the animals and objects in the town as well. When a greedy archduke tries to steal her never-ending box of yarn, he quickly learns a lesson that will have kids laughing. This is a book that focuses on the importance of kindness and doing for others.
little treasures: endearments from around the world Little Treasures: Endearments from Around the World: This is a great book to teach kids how even though cultures may differ from one another, they also have plenty in common. People from all corners of the world shower their kids with endearments, from the English, “Sweetie Pie,” or “Peanut,” to the Spanish “Angelito” (which means little angel) or the Hindi, “Mera Chanda,” (which translates to mean sweet little moon). The story incorporates 14 different languages and teaches parents and kids alike how parents across the world show their love for their own wonderful children. A heart-warming, unique and important book, this is a great choice for lessons in multiculturalism.
pezzettino Pezzettino: One of the best new children’s picture books, this tells the tale of Pezzettino, who lives in a world where everyone else is big, daring, and doing wonderful things. He feels small, and as though he’s just a ‘little piece’ (which is the English translation of Pezettino). Certain that he’s just a part of someone else, and isn’t worth much on his own, this book follows his trials and tribulations as he learns that he is indeed worth quite a bit on his own! Told with beautiful, mosaic pictures, and ending in a positive, satisfying conclusion, this is an uplifting tale.
smile, principessa! Smile, Principessa!: Papa has been taking pictures of his adorable daughter since she was just a baby, and Principessa has always felt like his special princess. That is, until the day her new baby brother comes along. Now no one calls her princess, and Papa spends his picture-taking time on her little brother. When a picture-taking contest comes up, and the prize is set to go to the child with the best smile, Principessa needs quite the coaxing to even try! Eventually, her parents show her that just because they love her little brother too, it doesn’t mean they love her any less.
everybody gets the blues Everybody Gets the Blues: Whether dog, cat, mom, dad, or even the littlest baby – we all get the blues! This book shows kids that if you help others when they’re feeling down, then you might just find yourself cheered up as well. It also offers other solutions to deal with the blues, like listening to the blues with the Blue Guys, or simply having a friend sit by your side. Written by a native New Orleans artist and writer, the author was inspired after seeing the healing that went on after Hurricane Katrina. Written in rhythmic, bluesy words and with eye-popping illustrations, this is the perfect book for anyone who’s ever had the blues.

Other Great New Picture Books for January 2012

time for a hug Time for a Hug: What’s the best time for a hug? Any time of the day or night! One of the best new children’s books of 2012, this story is chock full of adorable animals, and wonderful illustrations. Little Bunny, the bouncing main character, loves to give hugs from the moment she wakes up until the stars start to shine. Big Bunny is always happy to shower the little one with hugs, even when they’re baking, building, biking, or hiking! This is a plain ole feel-good book that will get kids to giggle – and reach their arms out for a hug from their favorite family and friends.
duck & goose, here comes the easter bunny! Duck & Goose, Here Comes the Easter Bunny!: Here come Duck & Goose again, that silly twosome from the New York Times best-selling writer and illustrator, Tad Hills. Our most beloved feathered pals are here to get ready for spring, and they have lots of ideas about how they can find the illusive Easter Bunny! Will they succeed? You’ll have to read it to find out, but you can bet there will be plenty of hilarious hijinks along the way! Kids will love this beautifully illustrated book, full of stories of their favorite characters, tons of bright Easter eggs – and of course the Easter Bunny himself!
when my baby dreams When My Baby Dreams: Little baby Mila has lots of dreams. In some, she’s a beautiful, majestic butterfly. In others, she’s a studious bookworm. In some dreams she’s a sunny surfer girl, riding the waves of the ocean! She even dreams that she’s orbiting space as an astronaut. Because you see, when Mila dreams – she can be anything she wants! Written by the imaginative and adorable mind of Adele Enersen, this takes you through a very unique journey into the dreams of a newborn. This book is like a love letter to babies everywhere, and to everyone else who dares to dream the impossible.
sora the cloud Sora the Cloud: A little boy who’s growing older by the day dreams one daydream more often than all the others – to soar with the clouds! Little boy Sora was once just a baby, crawling around, but now he can climb high into the trees, where a friendly cloud waits for him. This book has a host of exciting characters, from birds, kites, to fireworks. With his cloud’s eye view, Sora enjoys everything in the world around him as he embarks on a journey of self-discovery. One of the most unique aspects of this expressive book is the bilingual Japanese translations that accompany the text.
maudie and bear Maudie and Bear: Bear, best friend of Maudie, revolves his entire world around Maudie. In turn, Maudie’s world revolves around… herself! This is an example of children’s picture books that teach a great lesson while also engaging the reader in a fun-filled adventure. From bike riding, fixing a lunch-time snack, or dancing to funky music with one another, this unlikely duo has a wonderful time together. The prose is beautiful, the illustrations are masterful, and the story is that of a pair of friends who are as different as can be, yet love one another – each in their own special way.
suppose you meet a dinosaur: a first book of manners Suppose You Meet a Dinosaur: A First Book of Manners: When a funny little girl goes grocery shopping, she has no idea what’s in store for her. Indeed, she meets a dinosaur! But not just any dinosaur – this is a friendly, polite dinosaur who has much to teach her new little friend. This book is funny, melodic and full of rhymes that roll off the tongue. Kids can learn how to help their friends and neighbors, and when it’s appropriate to say things like, “Thank You,” “Excuse Me,” and “I’m Sorry.” The illustrations are done by Tim Bower, who adds an extra layer of fun to this picture book.
izzy the whiz and passover mcclean Izzy the Whiz and Passover Mcclean: This book stars an amateur inventor who goes by the whimsical name Izzy the Whiz and creates a super duper machine right before the holiday of Passover. The machine whirs, and it purrs – it munches and it crunches! But the real impressive thing is that it cleans the entire house just in time for the family get together – and there’s no havoc along the way! The rhymes in this funny, crazy, laugh-out-loud book will remind parents of Dr. Seuss, while kids will love it for the original illustrations that depict the hilarious characters in all their glory.
things i love about bedtime Things I Love About Bedtime: A wonderful example of children’s picture books that celebrate all the good things about bedtime, this book includes examples of all the ways that getting ready for bed is fun! From playing, to reading, to talking and dreaming, this is a book that kids will cherish before they go to bed. It shows fun, colorful examples of taking a splashing bath, brushing the pearly whites, putting on adorable pajamas and reading a favorite book in bed. The story follows a happy bunny baby as it goes through its own nighttime ritual. This is a book that puts “sweet” in “sweet dreams.”
the koala bounces back The Koala Bounces Back: Finally, Karri feels comfortable and among friends in the bush. But then a gang of pesky cats shows up, and starts scaring all the animals in sight! What is Karri to do? These fearsome cats won’t stop chasing the bush creatures – but they won’t leave either! After all, even fearsome cats need a place to live. Finally the cats come to a compromise with Karri. They’ll all play a game, and whoever wins gets to stay in the bush. Will Karri and his friends win? Where will they go if they don’t? This hilarious book is full of twists and turns.
barnyard purim Barnyard Purim: Purim is always a time of topsy-turvy – even when you live on a farm! The barnyard animals decide they want to stage a Purim shpiel, and the adapt Chicken decides he’s going to assign the parts. The Blushing Duck is cast as Queen Esther, Silly Horse gets the role of Ahashuerus, and Bearded Goat will play the epic Mordechai. The trouble begins when the animals try to transform Shy Little Sheep into the mean spirited Haman… and something quite unexpected happens! This is another of the children’s books that has plenty of surprises and twists that will keep young readers guessing.
peepsqueak! Peepsqueak!: Peepsqueak the little chick bursts out of his shell, and right away he gets on the move! He is determined that he’s not just going to fly, he’s going to fly high…higher…the highest! He quickly realizes though – he’s quite too small to reach all the way to the sky! This is a debut book from Leslie Ann Clark, but it’s clear from the lyrical prose and beautiful illustrations that this is a children’s author you can expect to see a lot more of. This charming tale shows kids how important it is to never give up – especially when you’re reaching for the stars!
petunia goes wild Petunia Goes Wild: Petunia has had enough in the newest installment of a favorite author of children’s books. She doesn’t want to be human anymore. So many baths to take, so many good manners to learn and follow. Clean clothes, combed hair – when does it ever end?! Young Petunia is quite clever in her attempts to get away from all the ‘have-tos’ and to finally live the care-free, wild life she dreams off. Of course, once she gets what she thinks she wants, she realizes that being a human child is not so bad after all. In fact, all those good manners and good hygiene are more important an useful than she realized.
my heart will not sit down My Heart Will Not Sit Down: Kedi learns about the Great Depression in America, and it completely breaks her heart. She discovers that there are many men and women who cannot find work, that there are children going hungry. Kedi lives in Africa, but her teacher is from the village of New York City, where people starve because they can’t afford food. Is there anything Kedi can do from her far away home of Cameroon? What can be done across the great salt river in America? This book, inspired by true events, brings to life the amazing story of the vision, passion and dedication of child.
carl at the dog show Carl at the Dog Show: While Madeleine’s mom gets ready to help Carl’s Cousin get his own dog ready for an event in a dog show, she tells Carl and Madeleine to meet her near the dog show ring – but do they listen? Of course they don’t! Instead, they head off on their own adventure, during which they groom dogs, eat a snack, try out dog beds, come up with an agility test of their own making – all with hilarious results, of course – and mom none the wiser. This book has minimal text but truly inspiring artwork, and is sure to be a favorite of those who love children’s picture books.
pinkalicious and the pink hat parade Pinkalicious and the Pink Hat Parade: Both the adorable Pinkalicious and Peter enter into the Spring Hat Parade contest, and create their own custom hats. They use many kinds of paper, glittering glitter – and of course a healthy dose of imagination – to make their unique creations. Pinkalicious is very successful in making a sparkly masterpiece, but Peter ends up in quite the sticky situation. Fortunately for everyone, Pinkalicious know just what to do to save the day. This is a great book for creative kids who love to make crafts of their own, and is especially beloved by those who love all thinks pink.

The books on this list may be fresh on the shelves, but they’re destined to become favorites in their own right. With so many topics covered, a wide range of artistic methods used, and a variety of literary styles, children’s literature is becoming more varied and accessible than ever before.

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