Reviews and Recommendations for Young Readers
In this edition of Book Gathering, we focus on books for the youngest among us. Here are some of our favorite picture book titles that came out this year— stories and art compelling enough to hold a young reader's (or listener's) attention, with messages that resonate with readers of any age. And of course, they all make great gifts!
Staff Reviews
Feminist Baby
By Loryn Brantz

 For all the feminists with a baby in their life, this is the board book for you! Feminist baby loves to dance, likes the colors pink and blue, makes lots of noise, and can be whatever she wishes to be. This fun board book is the perfect gift for all future feminists and their families .   — Dara (RBB Staff)
Elephant and Piggie Biggie
by Mo Willems

Best friends Elephant Gerald and Piggie have five adventures in one BIGGIE book! From Piggie wanting to fly to Piggie trying to get Gerald to eat slop, the fun doesn’t stop. This five book-in-one package is a great gift idea for all the Elephant and Piggie fans out there, and the soon-to-be fans too!    — Dara (RBB Staff)
There's a Pest in the Garden!
By Jan Thomas

Duck is back with new friends! This time they are in the garden, and, oh dear, there is a pest eating all of the vegetables. Donkey is glad the pest ate the peas, becasue Donkey doesn't like peas. Duck has a plan, and, yes, it involves turnips. This is a wonderfully silly beginning reader .     — Julie (RBB Staff)
Malala's Magic Pencil
By Malala Yousafzai, Kerascoet Kerascoet (Illustrator)

Malala always wanted a magic pencil that could bring her imagination to life. She sees a girl her age sorting trash at the dump because powerful men have declared girls do not belong in school. Malala wishes she could use her pencil to draw a world that is fair to all. By sharing her story she touches millions of people and becomes the youngest person to ever earn a Nobel Peace Prize.
— Beth (RBB Staff)
By David Elliott, Melissa Sweet (Illustrator)

These two sheep spend their days reading and knitting. They truly enjoy those things but one day they decide it’s time to go in search of a bit of adventure. When they encounter a wolf in sheep’s clothing, they get plenty of adventure along with an unexpected new friend. A hilarious and charming story about literacy and friendship . — Holly (RBB Staff)
Hooray for Books  
By David Elliott, Melissa Sweet (Illustrator)

Turtle cannot find his favorite book, and must check with all of his animal friends to discover who has it. Hooray for Books! is full of the clever repetitions, excitement, and bright illustrations you can expect from Brian Won, plus a wonderful fold-out that comes at just the right moment. This is one of my favorite new additions to storytime! — Angela (RBB Staff)
The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse
By Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen (Illustrator)

If you've read any of the other books by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen, you know to expect strange, slightly macabre, and absolutely hilarious things from them, and this book does not disappoint. When a mouse is swallowed by a wolf, he finds that there is already a duck in there, living the high life and enjoying the relative safety of living in a wolf's stomach. But when the wolf is threatened by a hunter, the mouse and the duck must figure out a way to defend their new home. — Lily (RBB Staff)
By Andrea Tsurumi

An armadillo named Lola spills juice on her parents’ chair and — convinced it’s a catastrophe —runs away to hide until she’s grown up. Along the way she encounters other animals running from their mishaps. The town quickly fills with chaos and panic until a wise little bird whispers, “Accident. And now we make it better.” Starting with the words, “I’m sorry,” the town animals begin making things right. This hilarious book offers a great lesson about owning up to mistakes. — Holly (RBB Staff)
A Christmas for Bear
By  Bonny Becker Kady MacDonald Denton  (Illustrator)

When Mouse comes over for Bear's first real Christmas, Mouse can't wait to open gifts. But Bear has been studying Christmas and he's pretty sure that he knows what Christmas is all about: poems and pickles. This funny, heartfelt Christmas story will make you laugh while demonstrating the power and importance of friendship. — Beth (RBB Staff)
Through with the Zoo
By Jacob Grant

Oh, the joy when you find a book that tells your story! Goat just needs some space. But he lived in a petting zoo. He finally makes good his escape and finds that special place all to himself, but what he discovers is that what he really needs is balance. With delightful illustrations that add just the right amount of humor to the story. This could be my favorite book of the season! — Joan (RBB Staff)
More Books We Love
By Patricia MacLachlan
Yak and Dove
By Kyo Maclear,
Esme Shapiro (Illustrator)
Not Quite Narwhal
A Different Pond
By Bao Phi, Thi Bui (Illustrator)
By Derrick Barnes, Gordon C. James (Illustrator)
Here We Are: Note For Living on Planet Earth
By Oliver Jeffers