September is a huge month for new release children’s books, and there are heaps of great new titles coming out, so keep your eyes peeled in libraries and bookshops. Here we highlight just some of our favourites, and no asterisks are needed because these books are all ones that we particularly loved.
Jen’s picks for September 2019
My Big Wimmelbook: Cars and Things That Go by Stefan Lohr (4 September, The Experiment)
My Big Wimmelbooks are large format board books and fabulous search and find books. A bit like Where’s Wally? (Where’s Waldo, for the American readers), but I actually like these better — the objects are bigger and there is more space in each spread so it’s easier to find things, but there’s still enough going on that it can be a bit of a challenge. Cars and Things That Go was one that Tilly and I had a lot of fun with.
The Moose of Ewenki by Gerelchimeg Blackcrane, illustrated by Jiu Er (10 September, Greystone)
This is a beautiful book about an elder hunter-gatherer in Inner Mongolia and the friendship he strikes up with a moose calf. I loved that this book highlighted a place and way of life that isn’t commonly known, and in such a gorgeous way. The story is moving (and a bit sad, if I’m honest), and the illustrations are detailed and lovely.
Two Tough Trucks by Corey Rosen Schwartz and Rebecca J. Gomez (17 September, Orchard Books)
I didn’t realise this until recently, but I really enjoy books about cars and trucks and other heavy machinery. This is a very cute story about two trucks’ first day of school, and the unlikely partnership that emerges between speedy Mack and tentative Rig. It’s a fun read-aloud book and I adore the illustrations.
Fly! by Mark Teague (17 September, Beach Lane Books)
An adorable and funny wordless picture book about a bird who doesn’t want to learn to fly and his arguments with his mother about why he doesn’t need to know how. This is a wonderfully clever picture book that I loved.
Spur: A Wolf’s Story by Eliza Robertson, illustrated by Nora Aoyagi (17 September, Greystone)
An evocative book about a young wolf who gets separated from her pack and her attempt to find her way back. The illustrations in this book are gorgeous, and I like that we see the impact of human activity on nature but from a perspective that we rarely see. The ‘save the animals’ message isn’t an overt and obvious one but it is clear that there is respect for and admiration of the natural environment.
Three Cheers for Kid McGear by Sherri Duskey Rinker, illustrated by AG Ford (24 September, Chronicle)
Yup, I’m definitely a fan of trucks and heavy machinery in children’s books. This book is part of the Mighty Mighty Construction Site series, which I love, and this book focuses on one character — Kid McGear, Skid Steer, the newest truck on the team. I love that the first book in this series to focus on one character focuses on a little truck who also happens to be female. Great read-aloud potential, wonderful illustrations.
Birdsong by Julie Flett (24 September, Greystone)
A beautiful, beautiful book about change, home, unexpected cross-generational friendships, time passing, and seasons. A warm and moving story with lovely, perfect illustrations.
Margaret’s Picks for September 2019
Future Astronaut (Future Baby) and Future Engineer (Future Baby) by Lori Alexander, illustrated by Allison Black (01 and 17 September, Scholastic)
These science board books are essentials for future STEM babies. They give basic definitions of what it means to be an astronaut or engineer and compare the definitions to what a baby already does. The illustrations are fun and I’m happy to see the diverse characters.
Proud to Be Latino: Food/Comida (English and Spanish Edition) by Ashley Marie Mireles, Illustrated by Edith Valle (01 September, Familius)
As Marian would say, “Mmmmm, yummy!” This bright and engaging board book defines Latino foods by category: Arroz & Frijoles, Salsa, Dulces, etc. It then shows examples of the food types and their names. All of the words are in both English and Spanish.
Astro Girl by Ken Wilson-Max (03 September, Candlewick)
Astrid dreams of going to space one day, just like her mother. Until then, she pretend-plays with her stay-at-home dad about going to the stars. It’s hard to find good books with active father figures. Here’s one!
Hawks Kettle, Puffins Wheel: And Other Poems of Birds in Flight by Susan Vande Griek, Illustrated by Mark Hoffman (03 September, Kids Can)
This book combines two things I love: poetry and birds. It also has beautiful illustrations that are frame-worthy. In the back, there’s a small field guide for the birds in the book, as well as feather identification. I’m looking forward to reading this with Marian when she’s a little older! It’s ideal for elementary-aged children. “High and fast the falcon flies–winds beating, body banking–till its keen, watchful eye spies prey below.”
The Piano Recital by Akiko Miyakoshi (03 September, Kids Can)
This picture book is lovely and sweet, and the pops of red in the black and white drawings are gorgeous. Momo is nervous about her first piano recital, but a little mouse’s whimsy gives her courage.
I Love Me by Sally Morgan and Amberlin Kwaymullina (03 September, Andrews McMeel)
Marian loves this board book. We read it a dozen times on the day it came in. It’s written by two indigenous Australians, to celebrate all the parts of the body. This is the only book we own by indigenous Australians. Marian loves to touch all her body parts and name them as we flip through the book. She’s also very big on hugs and love so I think the combination of body parts and hugging make this one a big hit with her.
Around the Table That Grandad Built by Melanie Heuiser, Illustrated by Jaime Kim (10 September, Candlewick)
This picture book would be a great Thanksgiving read. In rhythmic prose, it tells the story of preparing the table that Grandad built for a big feast. I like that it includes both diverse characters and diverse foods. It’s not just mashed potatoes and green beans on this table!
Between Us and Abuela: A Family Story from the Border by Mitali Perkins, illustrated by Sara Palacios (10 September, Farrar, Strous, Giroux)
This picture book and Hawks Kettle are my two favorites on the list. Sister and brother Maria and Juan are going to the Mexican/California border to exchange presents with their Abuela–through the wall. But when Juan’s gift can’t fit through the wall, they have to get creative to make sure Abuela receives it. This book is heartwarming and poignant and so cute.
Octopus Stew by Eric Velasquez (17 September, Holiday House)
This has two action-packed stories in one, about what happens when Ramsey’s grandma is captured by an octopus she’s trying to cook in her delicious, tradition Puerto-Rican octopus stew. It also includes the recipe!
Lejos / Far and Cerca / Close by Juan Felipe Herrera, illustrated by Blanca Gomez (17 September, Candlewick)
These two bilingual board books introduce babies and toddlers to position words. The pictures are cute with lots of things for toddlers to point at and name.
Mr. Scruff by Simon James (24 September, Candlewick)
I grew up in a house where dogs were constantly being adopted (probably because we were frequent volunteers at the humane society). Mr. Scruff tells the story of one such older dog being adopted into a family, and also about other dogs and their owners. The prose is swift and rhythmic.
What September children’s books are you looking forward to? Any on this list?