New Picture Books Kids Will Love

by Cassie Wefald

New Picture Books Kids Will Love

by Laura Ransom, Children’s Program Coordinator

I love discovering new picture books at our Manhattan Public Library. Here are a few notable newcomers that captured my attention.

Little Hearts,” written by Charles Ghigna and illustrated by Jacqueline East, features friendly animals strolling through nature. A rabbit, bear, fox and wild boar discover heart-shaped tree branches, clouds and even butterflies! Kids of all ages can spot the hearts on every page. The endpapers of “Little Hearts” also include a map of the friends’ travels, which might inspire readers to go on their own nature walk to look for hearts.

Roxie Munro’s “ABCity” is a fabulous choice for kids who love “Where’s Waldo?” or Richard Scarry’s “Busytown” books. The illustrated buildings and sidewalks are all shaped like letters of the alphabet. Each page has a list of items to find such as balloons and books hidden on the “B” page. You’ll find even more unlisted items hiding in the pictures. There are many tiny details for kids to discover.

Need a new bedtime story? Check out “Tiptoe Tiger” by Jane Clarke with illustrations by Britta Teckentrup. Tara the tiger does not want to go to bed. She looks around the jungle for a friend to play with, but her loud roars scare away the owls, butterflies and other animals who want to be quiet. Kids can help with the story by telling Tara she needs to tiptoe! Each illustration also gives the reader a clue to which animal she will meet next. Teckentrup’s illustrations are eye-catching, especially Tara’s neon orange fur.

I loved “Yes You Can, Cow!” by Rashmi Sirdeshpande and Rikin Parekh, inspired by the nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle.” The characters from the rhyme are about to put on a show, but Cow is feeling extremely nervous. She’s supposed to jump over the moon, but what if she crashes? What if the audience laughs at her? The animals let her know they believe she can do it, and Cow finally decides to practice jumping. Cow’s friends inspire her to have courage instead of hiding and giving up. It is such a sweet book about overcoming fear and helping one another.

Super Pizza and Kid Kale” by Phaea Crede and illustrator Zach Smith is a goofy story about a super friendship formed after a freak accident in the school cafeteria transforms kale and pizza into superheroes. Their mighty strength helps kids lift heavy stacks of books and rescues the children when they fall on the playground. Super Pizza starts to get more attention, and Kid Kale feels left out of the fun. When the superheroes remember how awesome their teamwork can be, their friendship is saved. I love the quirky artwork and puns in this book, including the last line of the story, “Best foods forever!”

Kids who are fans of “Arnie the Doughnut” will love “Wake Me Up in 20 Coconuts!” by the same creator, Laurie Keller. In this new book, an apartment building is filled with friendly neighbors who love to chat and visit each other every day. One lady asks her neighbor to “Wake me up in 20 coconuts,” and he is completely puzzled. How long do 20 coconuts last and how could you possibly count time that way? This neighbor is known throughout the building as the know-it-all, so he starts to panic when others ask him to explain what “20 coconuts” means. All of Mr. Know-It-All’s neighbors rally around him and let him know that it’s okay not to know something. Not knowing can turn into an opportunity to learn and receive help from the people around you. This is a light-hearted story that teaches a meaningful lesson in humility and cooperation!

For more great children’s book recommendations, stop by the library and ask a librarian in the Children’s Room. Call us at 785-776-4741 ext. 400 or email You can also find book recommendations on our website at