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Our Favorite Children's Books of 2022

At our house, we read A LOT of children's books! So, as a fun way to wrap-up 2022, we want to share some of our favorite books from the past 12 months with you. We've included everything from board books to chapter books, so feel free to skim the list and see if any appeal to your family. We hope you enjoy!

Just two girls who love reading books 😁

Nolan's Picks: Board Books

(Nolan is 15 months old and loves books but has a very short attention span.)


By: Sandra Boynton

Publisher: Little Simon (1995)

Recommended Ages: 0+

Book Description:

A cow says MOO.

A sheep says BAA.

Three singing pigs say


Sandra Boynton’s wildly popular, Moo, Baa, La La La! features her lively and spirited text that introduces readers to animals and the noises they make. A quiet final spread begs the little ones and their caregivers to OINK!, SNORT!, QUACK!, and MEOW! in a noisy animal ending.

Why We Love it:

  • Simple, short text

  • Lots of animal sounds

  • Teaches babies and toddlers the names of animals and the sounds they make

  • Good for very short attention spans 😊

  • Halloween and Christmas versions also available


Author: Jimmy Fallon

Illustrator: Miguel Ordonez

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends (2017)

Recommended Ages: 0+

Book Description: Take a lighthearted look at the world from your baby's point of view as different animals try to teach their children that there are other words in addition to MAMA for familiar objects and activities.

Why We Love It:

  • Perfect for babies who experience separation anxiety when away from mom (Nolan 😊)

  • Introduces babies and toddlers to common words and helps them associate the words with their pictures

Where's My Nose?

Written By: Susan Ring

Illustrated By: Stephanie Peterson

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap (2001)

Recommended Ages: 0+

Book Description:

Where's my nose?

Where's my nose?

I can see my fingers,

I can see my toes.

I know it's close 'cause it sniffs and blows,

but where's my nose?

Why We Love It:

  • Short, rhyming text that allows for interaction and sound effects

  • Introduces babies to body parts and other household concepts (furniture, clothes, etc.)

  • Mylar mirror at the end isn't super high-quality, but it still keeps baby's interest

Nolan's Picks: Sound Books

ABC and 123 Learning Songs

Illustrated By: Beatrice Costamagna

Publisher: Cottage Door Press (2017)

Recommended Ages: 0+

Book Description: Singing is learning and learning is fun! Toddlers and preschoolers can sing along with these popular learning songs in this fun songbook. Featuring a wooden inlay and sturdy construction, this book is sure to delight while teaching an appreciation for both music and together time. Come listen and sing along to children's favorites including Apples and Bananas, If Your Happy and You Know It, and The Ants Go Marching.

Why We Love It:

  • Includes 10 songs that are appropriate for a range of ages (Avery and Nolan approve)

  • Songs teach the alphabet, numbers, days of the week, months of the year, etc.

  • Great for long car rides and calming fussy babies 😅

What Do You Say, Little Blue Truck?

Written By: Alice Schertle

Illustrated By: Jill McElmurry

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2021)

Recommended Ages: 0+

Book Description: Hear Little Blue Truck say hello to all his animal friends in this interactive sound book, featuring a rollicking original story and eight different sounds! Will his friends BEEP! back like Blue, or will they say something new?

Why We Love It:

  • Simple, rhyming text teaches babies and toddlers farm animals and the sounds they make

  • Repetitive format helps even the youngest readers understand and predict patterns

  • The last two pages summarize the animals' sounds, so every button can be pushed in quick succession...big hit at our house! 😊

  • Beautiful illustrations

  • Even when Nolan was very young and had a very short attention span, this book kept his attention. To this day, he loves Little Blue Truck! 😊

Nolan's Picks: Lift-The-Flap Books

Dear Zoo

By: Rod Campbell

Publisher: Little Simon (1982)

Recommended Ages: 0+

Book Description:

I wrote to the zoo to send me a pet. They sent me an...

Young readers love lifting the flaps to discover the animals the zoo has sent—a monkey, a lion, and even an elephant! But will they ever find the perfect pet?

Why We Love It:

  • Simple, short text

  • Unique flap on every page

  • Teaches babies and toddlers to recognize zoo animals

  • Thick, sturdy pages

How Does Baby Feel?

By: Karen Katz

Publisher: Little Simon (2013)

Recommended Ages: 0+

Book Description: Baby feels happy, sleepy, hungry, and more in this delightful Karen Katz lift-the-flap board book!

Baby wants milk and and crackers.

How does Baby feel?


There are so many feelings that Baby can have! Little ones can lift the flaps to find Baby experiencing a range of emotions.

Why We Love It:

  • Simple, short text that allows for participation and sound effects

  • Simple, bright illustrations

  • Large flap on every page

  • Teaches babies and toddlers about common emotions in a way they can understand

Nolan's Picks: Touchy-Feely Books

That's not my puppy...

Written By: Fiona Watt

Illustrated By: Rachel Wells

Publisher: Usborne Publishing (1999)

Recommended Ages: 0+

Book Description: This delightful series of board books is aimed at very young children. The colorful pictures, with their patches of different textures, are designed to develop sensory and language awareness. Babies and toddlers will love turning the pages and touching the textures.

Why We Love It:

  • Simple, short text

  • Interesting textures on every page

  • Several versions available (the dinosaur version is also very good!)

Never touch A tiger!

Illustrated By: Stuart Lynch

Publisher: Make Believe Ideas Ltd. (2020)

Recommended Ages: 0+

Book Description: You must NEVER touch a tiger...except in this book! The jungle animals are a noisy bunch, and they love to go wild! Join the party in this funny rhyming book, and have fun touching the bumpy creatures...if you dare!

Why We Love It:

  • Interesting rhyming text

  • Bold textures on every page (Nolan loves the tiger's stripes on the cover! 😊)

  • Several versions available

Poke-A-Dot! The Wheels on the Bus Wild Safari

Publisher: Melissa & Doug, LLC (2019)

Recommended Ages: 0+

Book Description: Using irresistible click-to-count buttons, kids will love counting animals on a wild safari tour!

Why We Love It:

  • Text can be sung to the tune of The Wheels On The Bus

  • Includes plastic bubbles for kids to pop on every page

  • Teaches kids how to count to 10

  • Teaches babies and toddlers to recognize wild animals

  • Several versions available

  • Sturdy books with heavy-duty cardboard pages


Avery's Picks: Picture Books

(Avery is 5 years old and is an avid reader.)

The Very Impatient Caterpillar

By: Ross Burach

Publisher: Scholastic Press (2019)

Recommended Ages: 3+

Book Description: Ross Burach's clever sendup of every child's biggest challenge - being patient! - will make you flutter with glee, while also providing a tongue-in-cheek tutorial on metamorphosis.

Why We Love It:

  • It's funny!

  • Addresses learning to be patient

  • Teaches kids about the science of metamorphosis

The HICCUPotamus

By: Aaron Zenz

Publisher: Two Lions (2005)

Recommended Ages: 3+

Book Description:

Hic! Hic! Hic!

There was a hippopotamus

who hiccuped quite-a-lotamus,

and every time he got'emus...

...he'd fall upon his bottomus.

A hippopotamus gets a bad case of the hiccups and it causes quite a calamity!

Why We Love It:

  • It's funny!

  • Language is very interesting and fun...unlike any other book we've read.

  • Bold, bright illustrations

  • Includes a description of each character casted for the book, which is cute and clever

Sam & Dave Dig A Hole

Written By: Mac Barnett

Illustrated By: Jon Klassen

Publisher: Candlewick Press (2014)

Recommended Ages: 3+

Book Description: Sam and Dave are digging a hole, and they will not stop until they find something spectacular.

Why We Love It:

  • The text is so simple, but the illustrations add so much to the story, making it funny and letting the reader in on a secret that the characters only wish they knew. 😊

Diggersaurs Explore

By: Michael Whaite

Publisher: Scholastic Inc. (2018)

Recommended Ages: 3+

Book Description: A dozen diggersaurs crunch and crush, excavate and explore...perhaps for gold...or something more?

Why We Love It:

  • Fun, rhyming text full of bold verbs and onomatopoeia

  • We love dinosaurs! (Each diggersaur combines a dinosaur with a construction vehicle!)

  • Each diggersaur plays a specific role in helping the team find the treasure at the end.

  • Bold, bright illustrations

  • Hidden treasures in every picture

Ada Twist, Scientist

Written By: Andrea Beaty

Illustrated By: David Roberts

Publisher: Abrams Books For Young Readers (2016)

Recommended Ages: 3+

Book Description: Why are there pointy things stuck to a rose? Why are there hairs up inside of your nose? Ada Twist's head is full of questions. Like her classmates, Iggy and Rosie, Ada has always been endlessly curious. But when her fact-finding missions and elaborate scientific experiments go too far, her frazzled parents banish her to the Thinking Chair. Will all that thinking change Ada's mind?

Why We Love It:

  • It introduces interesting vocabulary and STEM concepts.

  • It promotes females in science and the use of the scientific method.

  • It is part of a series that includes picture books, chapter books, activity/project books, and more!

  • Of the picture books, our favorites are Ada Twist, Scientist and Iggy Peck, Architect.

Avery's Picks: Early Readers

Silly Milly (Level 1 Reader)

Written By: Wendy Cheyette Lewison

Illustrated By: Nadine Bernard Westcott

Publisher: Scholastic Inc. (2010)

Recommended Ages: 3+

Book Description: Why is Milly so silly? Can you solve the riddle?

Why We Love It:

  • Silly and fun read

  • The riddle is simple and yet not easy to figure out.

Nothing Fits A Dinosaur (Level 1 Reader)

By: Jonathan Fenske

Publisher: Simon Spotlight (2021)

Recommended Ages: 3+

Book Description: It is time to get dressed, but I am a dinosaur...and nothing fits a dinosaur!

Why We Love It:

  • The description doesn't do this book justice. The silly, rhyming text is fun to read, and,'s about dinosaurs. Did I mention that we love dinosaurs? 😊


(Level 1-2 Reader)

By: Jana Carson

Publisher: Treasure Bay, Inc. (2008)

Recommended Ages: 3+

Book Description: The unique We Both Read format is designed to allow parents and children to share the reading of a book by taking turns reading aloud. Parents read the more complex text and storyline on the left-hand pages and children read the right-hand pages, which feature text written at a specific early reading level. Developed with reading education specialists, this delightful series brings parents and children together for a wonderful new reading experience and faster reading development.

This particular book provides information and spectacular photographs of planets, moons, stars, and galaxies. The International Space Station, dwarf planets, and how astronauts live in space are just some of the topics covered.

Why We Love It:

  • Reading together is fun, and it takes some of the pressure off of the child who's learning to read. They can sit back and enjoy learning about new topics while the parent reads and then take a turn reading themselves.

  • There are numerous books in this series, so there is a topic for every child's interest.

Disney Frozen Story Collection

(Includes 5 Level 1-2 Early Readers)

Publisher: Disney Enterprises, Inc. and Random House Children's Books (2015)

Recommended Ages: 3+

Level 1 Readers Included:

Big Snowman, Little Snowman

Hello, Olaf!

Level 2 Readers Included:

Anna's Best Friend

A Tale of Two Sisters

The Christmas Party

Why We Love It:

  • It includes a Meet the Characters section at the beginning and five Frozen-themed early reader stories.

  • It takes a familiar story (with familiar characters) and simplifies it, making it easy and fun for young kids to learn to read.

Avery's Picks: Chapter Books

The Princess In Black Series

Written By: Shannon Hale and Dean Hale

Illustrated By: LeUyen Pham

Publisher: Walker Books (2015)

Recommended Ages: 5+

Book #1 Description: Princess Magnolia is having hot chocolate and scones with Duchess Wigtower when . . . Brring! Brring! The monster alarm! A big blue monster is threatening the goats! Stopping monsters is no job for dainty Princess Magnolia. But luckily Princess Magnolia has a secret —she’s also the Princess in Black, and stopping monsters is the perfect job for her! Can the princess sneak away, transform into her alter ego, and defeat the monster before the nosy duchess discovers her secret?

Why We Love It:

  • It's a great introduction to chapter books. The text and chapters are short, and each chapter includes multiple full-color illustrations.

  • As of today, there are nine books in the series, with the most recent one being published earlier this year. I expect more to be published in the near-future.

  • They are silly and funny, and they teach young girls that even "girly girls" can kick some major you-know-what. 😁

Nancy Drew and The Clue Crew Series

Written By: Carolyn Keene

Illustrated By: Macky Pamintuan

Publisher: Aladdin (2006)

Recommended Ages: 6+

Book #1 Description: Sleepover Sleuths

Eight-year-old Nancy Drew has her first case to crack! Can you help?

Nancy and her two best friends, George and Bess, are so excited! They have been invited to Deirdre's sleepover party! There will be pizza, cake, and even a pajama fashion show. But the most exciting thing is that the party has a City Girls doll theme. All of the guests are bringing their dolls with them!

But then Deirdre's City Girls doll -- Hollywood Heather -- goes missing. Is her sleepover ruined? Or is there a detective in the room who can make sense of this mystery?

Why We Love It:

  • These books include simple mysteries that are perfectly geared for young audiences (i.e., not scary).

  • I also like that the characters are just normal people who have to rely on gathering and recording information/clues and using brain power to put the pieces of the puzzle together. In other words, the books encourage kids to think critically and use logic to solve the mystery without them even realizing it.

  • The three main characters are female detectives. Go, girls, go! 😊

  • There are several books in the series, so there are lots of mysteries to keep us busy.

The Owl Diaries Series

By: Rebecca Elliott

Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. (2015)

Recommended Ages: 5+

Book #1 Description: Eva's Treetop Festival

This adorable New York Times bestselling early chapter book series is perfect for young girls who love friendship stories starring animal characters!

This series is part of Scholastic's early chapter book line called Branches, which is aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow! In Book #1, Eva Wingdale gets in over her head when she offers to organize a spring festival at school. Even with her best friend Lucy's help, there is NO way she will get everything done in time. Will Eva have to ask Sue (a.k.a. Meanie McMeanerson) for help? Or will the festival have to be cancelled? This book is written as Eva's diary -- with Rebecca Elliott's owl-dorable full-color illustrations throughout!

Why We Love It:

  • They have encouraged Avery, who has only started reading in the last year, to start reading chapter books already. The short, choppy text and plentiful color illustrations make these books accessible to even the youngest readers.


Jodi's Picks: Board Books

(Jodi is a 36-year-old mom who adores reading children's books. 😁)

Peekaboo Baby!

Illustrated By: Sarah Ward

Publisher: Tiger Tales (2016)

Recommended Ages: 0+

Book Description: Peekaboo, I see you! Join in the fun in this adorable first lift-the-flap book for Baby, with a surprise mirror at the end!

Why We Love It:

  • Simple, short text

  • Sturdy flap on each page

  • Teaches babies and toddlers about animals and some elements of a party

  • High-quality mirror at the end that babies can't resist

  • Both of my kids loved this book!

Hi-Five Farm!

By: Ross Burach

Publisher: Scholastic Press (2021)

Recommended Ages: 0+

Book Description: Hi-five go, hi-five stay! Who will you hi-five today?

Why We Love It:

  • It's interactive in a clever way!

  • Teaches opposites (fast/slow, high/low, whisper/shout, etc.)

  • Teaches babies and toddlers to high-five


Illustrated By: Jess Moorhouse

Publisher: Make Believe Ideas Ltd. (2021)

Recommended Ages: 0+

Book Description: Make some noise with the POP PETS as they bang their drums, honk their vehicles, and have lots of fun! Read the rhymes, then press the poppers to hear them POP!

Why We Love It:

  • Bold, fun, rhyming text

  • Really bright, busy illustrations

  • Plastic bubbles to pop on every page (bubbles could be higher quality, but the book is still a crowd-pleaser for little ones!)

Jodi's Picks: Picture Books

The Dot

By: Peter H. Reynolds

Publisher: Scholastic Inc. (2003)

Recommended Ages: 3+

Book Description: "Just make a mark and see where it takes you." The words of Vashti's teacher are a gentle invitation to self-expression. But Vashti can't draw - she's no artist. To prove her point, Vashti jabs at a blank sheet of paper, leaving an unremarkable, angry dot. But...that one little dot marks the beginning of Vashti's journey of surprise and self-discovery.

Why We Love It:

  • It fosters creativity, confidence, and belief in yourself in a simple, yet powerful way.

  • It helps kids overcome the tendency to create "perfect" art.

The Wondrous Dinosaurium

Written By: John Condon

Illustrated By: Steve Brown

Publisher: Maverick Arts Publishing (2018)

Recommended Ages: 3+

Book Description: Danny wants a new pet, but he doesn't want a cat or a dog or even a parrot: he wants a dinosaur! But it turns out dinosaurs aren't the easiest pets to keep...

Why We Love It:

  • We love dinosaurs!!! 😃

  • This book is full of humor and imagination.

  • The illustrations are adorable and add to the book's humor.

  • One of the characters, Mr. Ree, is a "hoot" in a fun, wacky way. He reminds me a bit of Willy Wonka, one of my all-time favorite characters.

The Most Magnificent Thing

By: Ashley Spires

Publisher: Kids Can Press (2014)

Recommended Ages: 3+

Book Description: The girl has a wonderful idea. She is going to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing! She knows just how it will look. She knows just how it will work. All she has to do is make it, and she makes things all the time. Easy-peasy! But making her magnificent thing is anything but easy, and the girl tries and fails, repeatedly. Eventually, the girl gets really, really mad. She is so mad, in fact, that she quits. But after her dog convinces her to take a walk, she comes back to her project with renewed enthusiasm and manages to get it just right.

Why We Love It:

  • It promotes STEM concepts and the power of perseverance to young girls!

Bear Has a Story to Tell

Written By: Philip C. Stead

Illustrated By: Erin E. Stead

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (2012)

Recommended Ages: 3+

Book Description: It was almost winter, and Bear was getting sleepy. But first, Bear had a story to tell. Bear found his friend Mouse, but Mouse was busy gathering seeds and didn't have time to listen to a story. Then Bear saw his friend Duck, but Duck was getting ready to fly south. What about his friend Frog? He was busy looking for a warm place to sleep. By the time Bear was through helping his friends get ready for winter, would anyone still be awake to hear his story?

Why We Love It:

  • It's an endearing story about friendship and helping others out.

  • The ending is so simple, yet so perfect.

The Wreck of the Zephyr

By: Chris Van Allsburg

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books For Children (1983)

Recommended Ages: 4+

Book Description: Caldecott-winning illustrator Chris Van Allsburg invites readers to peer over the edge of a cliff to consider the wreck of a small sailboat. Had a churning sea carried the Zephyr up in a storm? Could waves ever have been so impossibly high? And what happened to the boy who had believed, dared to chase the wind, no matter where it led? This is the story of a boy who was obsessed with becoming the world's greatest sailor and the storm that carried him to a place where boats sail on the wind instead of on the water.

Why We Love It:

  • This was such a memorable book from my childhood, and I just rediscovered it this year. I still love it!

  • It is written and illustrated by my all-time favorite children's author, Chris Van Allsburg, and, although it is perhaps less well-known than some of his other books, it has the same quintessential Van Allsburg style: impeccably-written story with a hint of mystery that subtly comes together at the end paired with incredibly realistic (almost ominous) artwork that makes you feel like you're there.

Library Lion

Written By: Michelle Knudsen

Illustrated By: Kevin Hawkes

Publisher: Candlewick Press (2006)

Recommended Ages: 4+

Book Description: Miss Merriweather, the head librarian, is very particular about rules in the library. But when a lion comes in one day, no one is sure what to do. There aren't any rules about lions in the library. It turns out, though, that the lion seems very well-suited for the library. His big feet are quiet on the library floor, and he never roars in the library - at least not anymore. But when something terrible happens, the lion helps in the only way he knows how. Could there ever be a good reason to break the rules?

Why We Love It:

  • This book is special, and it is hands-down my favorite book that we discovered this year (joining a pretty small group of my all-time favorite picture books)!

  • The story is lengthy but so well-crafted, and the ending is so satisfying and well-stated.

  • The illustration style is unique, and the depiction of the lion is magnificent - soft, warm, and friendly.

  • It teaches kids a very difficult concept to grasp: that it's important to follow the rules...except when circumstances require them to be broken.

Jodi's Picks: Chapter Books

The Magic Treehouse Series

Written By: Mary Pope Osborne

Illustrated By: Sal Murdocca

Publisher: Random House (1992)

Recommended Ages: 5+

Book #1 Description: Dinosaurs Before Dark

There's a mysterious tree house in the woods. Before Jack and Annie can find out where it came from, the tree house whisks them back to the prehistoric past. Now they have to figure out how to get home. Can they do it before dark...or will they become a dinosaur's dinner?

Why We Love It:

  • These books are great introductions to chapter books for kids. They are each ~70 pages long, with multiple black and white illustrations throughout.

  • There is an adventure to fit every child's interests.

  • There are non-fiction fact-tracker books that accompany several of the fiction stories and at least one spin-off series for older readers. Plus, there are educational activities that go along with the books that are accessible via the series' website.

  • Once Avery figured out that Jack and Annie always make it back home, we started devouring these books. In the past year, we've read every one...twice. 😊

The Questioneers Series

Written By: Andrea Beaty

Illustrated By: David Roberts

Publisher: Amulet Books (2018)

Recommended Ages: 6+

Book #1 Description: Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters

Rosie Revere is no stranger to flops and fails, kerfuffles and catastrophes. After all, engineering is all about perseverance! But this time, Rosie has a really important project to tackle- one that feels much bigger than herself. Rosie's beloved Aunt Rose and her friends, the Raucous Riveters- a group of fun-loving gals who built airplanes during World War II- need help inventing something new. And Rosie is just the engineer for the job! After one flop...then another...and another...Rosie starts to lose hope. But thanks to some help from her fellow Questioneers, Iggy Peck and Ada Twist, Rosie gets the job done. And, along with the Riveters, she rediscovers the meaning of home.

Why We Love It:

  • This series has all of the great qualities of the picture book series (see Avery's Picture Book Picks above), only in a longer, prose version that is perfect for older readers.

  • Each book is very well-written and promotes STEM concepts to kids in a fun and accessible way.

  • Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters is our favorite, but other books in the series are very good as well.


I'd love to keep going...really. There are so many good children's books out there. However, this danger-seeker needs constant supervision: 🤣

So, on that note, we sincerely hope that you enjoy these books as much as we have! To receive monthly book recommendations, you can always sign-up for my newsletter at the bottom of this page. Otherwise, if you have any children's book recommendations for us, please type them in the comments below. We are ALWAYS looking for fun new books to read! 😊

Happy holidays (and happy reading) from our family to yours!


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