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The Best Problem-Solving Books

Looking for a list of the best children's books about problem solving?

Whenever my son encounters a problem—be it building block pieces that won’t fit together the way he wants them to, a door he can’t open, or a bucket on the playground his friend won’t share—my mom heart immediately leaps to help him. I want to solve his problems for him, to help him be happy and make life easy . . . but the truth I know deep down is that if I always help him, I’m not helping him at all. By allowing him opportunities to problem solve himself when a problem of appropriate difficulty arises, while it may be painful for both of us at the moment, I know he’s developing crucial problem-solving skills, and problem-solving is one of those essential skills that, once developed, will serve children their entire lifetime. To help showcase different techniques for problem-solving, and hone metacognition for kids, we’ve collected here on this list the very best books for teaching problem solving through children’s literature! Reading these problem-solving books with your child provides an unparalleled opportunity to have shared references to help you as a team through a learning moment when it arises, plus you’ll get to enjoy the bonding moment of reading together!

Some books are absolute classics, such as “The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear,” that take a more humorous approach to problem-solving; others are popular titles you may be familiar with that take a more direct approach to flexible thinking techniques, such as New York Times Bestseller “What To Do With a Problem”; and some are hidden gems you may be discovering for the first time. There are books that teach social problem solving, highlight out-of-the-box thinking in innovation, speak to the role of teamwork in overcoming obstacles, and address the very real possibility that problem-solving may be needed to cope with failure at many stages of the process.

Because problem solving is important in all of life’s stages, this list includes board, picture and chapter books. Board books are best for infants and toddlers. Picture books are excellent for toddlers and also include stories for kindergarten and early elementary students (although we think picture books are great for all ages!). Chapter books are great for elementary- and middle school-age readers. If you know your target age group, feel free to filter to a single category, or just browse the entire list.

Without further ado, enjoy this problem-solving list, and let us know what titles you would include!

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To the Sea
Written & illustrated by Cale Atkinson
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
I absolutely LOVE To the Sea. The text is simple and relatively sparse, making it a pretty quick read while tackling the issues of loneliness and friendship in a kid-friendly and optimistic way. To help his friend get back to the sea, Tim brainstorms his best ideas and the sifts through them to find the perfect one... then puts in the hard work of pulling a whale on a bicycle to make it happen! The illustrations are fun, modern and so expressive—such a fun read aloud!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Sometimes Tim feels invisible at school-until one day, when Tim meets Sam. But Sam isn’t just any new friend: he’s a blue whale, and he can’t find his way home! Returning Sam to the sea is hard work, but Tim is determined to help. After all, it’s not every day you meet a new friend! This picture book about the power of friendship by new talent Cale Atkinson is brought to life by charming, dynamic illustrations.

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Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
Written by Chris Grabenstein
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

“Twelve-year-old Kyle gets to stay overnight in the new town library, designed by his hero (the famous gamemaker Luigi Lemoncello), with other students but finds that come morning he must work with friends to solve puzzles in order to escape”–

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A Piece of Cake
Written & illustrated by LeUyen Pham
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Reminiscent of the best of Peter Brown with the charming retro feel of classic Golden Books, A Piece of Cake is a delightful story about generosity, creativity, and improvisation from bestselling illustrator LeUyen Pham.Mouse has baked a special treat for Little Bird’s birthday! But delivering it to his friend isn’t easy–not when everyone he meets along the way offers to trade something for a piece of cake. . . . In A Piece of Cake, LeUyen Pham puts a unique spin on a classic tale. Kids will love the unexpected and hilarious turn the story takes. Its strong picture support; story elements, including setting, character, and plot development; and identification of a problem and solution make this a strong Common Core title.Supports the Common Core State Standards

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The Verdigris Pawn
Written by Alysa Wishingrad
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

A JUNIOR LIBRARY GUILD GOLD STANDARD SELECTION! A boy who underestimates his power . . . A girl with a gift long thought lost . . . A Land ready for revolution . . . The heir to the Land should be strong. Fierce. Ruthless. At least, that’s what Beau’s father has been telling him his whole life, since Beau is the exact opposite of what the heir should be. With little control over his future, Beau is kept locked away, just another pawn in his father’s quest for ultimate power.That is, until Beau meets a girl who shows him the secrets his father has kept hidden. For the first time, Beau begins to question everything he’s ever been told and sets off in search of a rebel who might hold the key to setting things right. Teaming up with a fiery runaway boy, their mission quickly turns into something far greater as sinister forces long lurking in the shadows prepare to make their final move–no matter what the cost. But it just might be Beau who wields the power he seeks . . . if he can go from pawn to player before the Land tears itself apart.

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The Language of Spells
Written by Garret Weyr & illustrated by Katie Harnett
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Grisha is a dragon in a world that’s forgotten how to see him. Maggie is a unusual child who thinks she’s perfectly ordinary. They’re an unlikely duo—but magic, like friendship, is funny. Sometimes it chooses those who might not look so likely. And magic has chosen Grisha and Maggie to solve the darkest mystery in Vienna. Decades ago, when World War II broke out, someone decided that there were too many dragons for all of them to be free. As they investigate, Grisha and Maggie ask the question everyone’s forgotten: Where have the missing dragons gone? And is there a way to save them? At once richly magical and tragically historical, The Language of Spells is a novel full of adventure about remembering old stories, forging new ones, and the transformative power of friendship.

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  • A Good Girl's Guide to Murder - THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING SERIES WITH OVER ONE MILLION COPIES SOLD- Everyone is talking about this addictive must-read mystery with shades of Serial and Making a Murderer about an investigation turned obsession, full of twists and turns and with an ending you’ll never expect. Everyone in Fairview knows the story. Pretty and popular high school senior Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh, who then killed himself. It was all anyone could talk about. And five years later, Pip sees how the tragedy still haunts her town. But she can’t shake the feeling that there was more to what happened that day. She knew Sal when she was a child, and he was always so kind to her. How could he possibly have been a killer? Now a senior herself, Pip decides to reexamine the closed case for her final project, at first just to cast doubt on the original investigation. But soon she discovers a trail of dark secrets that might actually prove Sal innocent . . . and the line between past and present begins to blur. Someone in Fairview doesn’t want Pip digging around for answers, and now her own life might be in danger. And don’t miss the sequel, Good Girl, Bad Blood! The perfect nail-biting mystery. –Natasha Preston, #1 New York Times bestselling author

  • Today I Will Fly! - Gerald is careful. Piggie is not. Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can. Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to. Gerald and Piggie are best friends. Today, I Will Fly! is the funny introduction to the characters. Piggie is determined to fly. But Gerald the elephant knows that’s impossible–isn’t it?

  • Ban This Book - You’re Never Too Young to Fight Censorship! In Ban This Book by Alan Gratz, a fourth grader fights back when From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg is challenged by a well-meaning parent and taken off the shelves of her school library. Amy Anne is shy and soft-spoken, but don’t mess with her when it comes to her favorite book in the whole world. Amy Anne and her lieutenants wage a battle for the books that will make you laugh and pump your fists as they start a secret banned books locker library, make up ridiculous reasons to ban every single book in the library to make a point, and take a stand against censorship. Ban This Book is a stirring defense against censorship that’s perfect for middle grade readers. Let kids know that they can make a difference in their schools, communities, and lives! “Readers, librarians, and all those books that have drawn a challenge have a brand new hero…. Stand up and cheer, book lovers. This one’s for you.” —Kathi Appelt, author of the Newbery Honor-winning The Underneath “Ban This Book is absolutely brilliant and belongs on the shelves of every library in the multiverse.”—Lauren Myracle, author of the bestselling Internet Girls series, the most challenged books of 2009 and 2011 “Quick paced and with clear, easy-to-read prose, this is a book poised for wide readership and classroom use.”—Booklist “A stout defense of the right to read.” —Kirkus Reviews “Gratz delivers a book lover’s book that speaks volumes about kids’ power to effect change at a grassroots level.” —Publishers Weekly

  • The Westing Game - A bizarre chain of events begins when sixteen unlikely people gather for the reading of Samuel W. Westing’s will. And though no one knows why the eccentric, game-loving millionaire has chosen a virtual stranger—and a possible murderer—to inherit his vast fortune, on things for sure: Sam Westing may be dead…but that won’t stop him from playing one last game!

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The Eleventh Trade
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

From debut author Alyssa Hollingsworth comes a story about living with fear, being a friend, and finding a new place to call home. They say you can’t get something for nothing, but nothing is all Sami has. When his grandfather’s most-prized possession—a traditional Afghan instrument called a rebab—is stolen, Sami resolves to get it back. He finds it at a music store, but it costs $700, and Sami doesn’t have even one penny. What he does have is a keychain that has caught the eye of his classmate. If he trades the keychain for something more valuable, could he keep trading until he has $700? Sami is about to find out. The Eleventh Trade is both a classic middle school story and a story about being a refugee. Like Katherine Applegate, author of Wishtree, Alyssa Hollingsworth tackles a big issue with a light touch.

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City Spies
Written by James Ponti
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In this thrilling new series that Stuart Gibbs called “a must-read,” Edgar Award winner James Ponti brings together five kids from all over the world and transforms them into real-life spies—perfect for fans of Spy School and Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls.

Sara Martinez is a hacker. She recently broke into the New York City foster care system to expose her foster parents as cheats and lawbreakers. However, instead of being hailed as a hero, Sara finds herself facing years in a juvenile detention facility and banned from using computers for the same stretch of time. Enter Mother, a British spy who not only gets Sara released from jail but also offers her a chance to make a home for herself within a secret MI5 agency.

Operating out of a base in Scotland, the City Spies are five kids from various parts of the world. When they’re not attending the local boarding school, they’re honing their unique skills, such as sleight of hand, breaking and entering, observation, and explosives. All of these allow them to go places in the world of espionage where adults can’t.

Before she knows what she’s doing, Sarah is heading to Paris for an international youth summit, hacking into a rival school’s computer to prevent them from winning a million euros, dangling thirty feet off the side of a building, and trying to stop a villain…all while navigating the complex dynamics of her new team.

No one said saving the world was easy…

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Dealing with Dragons
Written by Patricia C. Wrede
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-12

Meet Princess Cimorene–a princess who refustes to be proper. She is everything a princess is not supposed to be: headstrong, tomobyish smart…

And bored.

So bored that she runs away to live with a dragon. And not just any dragon, but Kazul–one of the most powerful and dangerous dragons arounds. Of course, Cimorene has a way of hooking up with dangerous characters, and soon she’s coping with a witch,a a jinn, a death-dealing talking bird, a stone prince, and some very oily wizards.

If this princess ran away to find some excitement, it looks like she’s found plenty! With a new look and new introduction from the author.

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Jasper Jones
Written by Craig Silvey
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 12-18

A 2012 Michael L. Printz Honor Book Charlie Bucktin, a bookish thirteen year old, is startled one summer night by an urgent knock on his bedroom window. His visitor is Jasper Jones, an outcast in their small mining town, and he has come to ask for Charlie’s help. Terribly afraid but desperate to impress, Charlie follows him into the night. Jasper takes him to his secret glade, where Charlie witnesses Jasper’s horrible discovery. With his secret like a brick in his belly, Charlie is pushed and pulled by a town closing in on itself in fear and suspicion. He locks horns with his tempestuous mother, falls nervously in love, and battles to keep a lid on his zealous best friend. In the simmering summer where everything changes, Charlie learns why the truth of things is so hard to know, and even harder to hold in his heart.

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Nooks & Crannies
Written by Jessica Lawson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Eleven-year-old Tabitha Crum, whose parents were just about to abandon her, is invited to the country estate of a wealthy countess along with five other children and told that one of them will become her heir.

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  • The Meaning of Maggie - As befits a future President of the United States of America, Maggie Mayfield has decided to write a memoir of the past year of her life. And what a banner year it’s been! During this period, she’s Student of the Month on a regular basis, an official shareholder in Coca-Cola stock, and defending Science Fair champion. Most importantly, though, this is the year Maggie has to pull up her bootstraps (the family motto) and finally learn why her cool dude dad is in a wheelchair, no matter how scary that is. Author Megan Jean Sovern, herself the daughter of a dad with multiple sclerosis, writes with the funny grace and assured prose of a new literary star. A portion of the proceeds of the sale of this book will be donated to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

  • Trouble at the Arcade - The first book in the chapter book refresh of the classic Hardy Boys series. In Trouble at the Arcade, nine-year-old Frank and eight-year-old Joe Hardy discover trouble lurking at the local arcade and decide they make pretty good detectives–just like their dad!

  • I Am the Messenger - Meet Ed Kennedy–underage cabdriver, pathetic cardplayer, and useless at romance. He lives in a shack with his coffee-addicted dog, the Doorman, and he’s hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence, until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery. That’s when the first Ace arrives. That’s when Ed becomes the messenger. . . . Chosen to care, he makes his way through town helping and hurting (when necessary), until only one question remains: Who’s behind Ed’s mission? Winner of the 2003 Children’s Book Council Book of the Year Award in Australia, I Am the Messenger is a cryptic journey filled with laughter, fists, and love. “From the Hardcover edition.”

  • Winterhouse - Elizabeth, eleven, spends Christmas break at Winterhouse hotel under strange circumstances, where she discovers that she has magic, and her love of puzzles helps her solve a mystery.

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Young Cam Jansen and the Dinosaur Game
Written by David A. Adler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Now even beginning readers can join in the fun of cracking cases with Cam Jansen, the red-headed detective with the photographic memory.

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The Castle
Written by Franz Kafka
chapter book
Recommend Ages: -

Franz Kafka’s final novel tells the haunting tale of a man known only as K. and of his relentless, unavailing struggle with an inscrutable authority in order to gain entrance to the Castle. Although Kafka seemed to consider “The Castle” a failure, critics, in wrestling with its enigmatic meaning, have recognized it as one of the great novels of our century. Unfinished at Kafka’s death in 1924, the manuscript of “The Castle” was edited for publication by Kafka’s friend and literary executor, Max Brod. Both Brod’s edition and the English-language translation of it that was prepared by Willa and Edwin Muir in 1930 have long been considered flawed.This new edition of Kafka’s terrifying and comic masterpiece is the product of an international team of experts who went back to Kafka’s original manuscript and notes to create an edition that is as close as possible to the way the author left it. The “Times Literary Supplement” hailed their work, saying that it will “decisively alter our understanding of Kafka and render previous editions obsolete.”Mark Harman’s brilliant translation closely follows the fluidity and breathlessness of the sparsely punctuated original manuscript, revealing levels of comedy, energy, and visual power that have not been previously accessible to English-language readers.W. H. Auden likened Kafka to Dante, Shakespeare, and Goethe as the single most important writer of his age. Here, in this new edition, is a Kafka for the twenty-first century.

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The Mystery of the Stolen Diamonds
Written by David A. Adler
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

The Cam Jansen books are perfect for young readers who are making the transition to chapter books, and Cam is a spunky young heroine whom readers have loved for over two decades. Now the first ten books in the series have updated covers that bring new life to these perennial best-sellers. Old fans and new readers will love Cam’s cool, modern look!

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Written by Mark Haddon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 12-18

A bestselling modern classic–both poignant and funny–about a boy with autism who sets out to solve the murder of a neighbor’s dog and discovers unexpected truths about himself and the world.Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow. This improbable story of Christopher’s quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog makes for one of the most captivating, unusual, and widely heralded novels in recent years.

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Duck, Duck, Porcupine!
Written by Salina Yoon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Meet Big Duck, Little Duck, and Porcupine, stars of the Geisel Honor-winning early reader series perfect for fans of Elephant & Piggie and Ballet Cat.Big Duck likes to boss around her younger brother, Little Duck, and she fancies herself the leader of their trio–when joined by their gentle friend Porcupine. Little Duck doesn’t speak yet, but through his expressions and his actions, he shows that he has a better grasp on any situation than his older sister. Told entirely through dialogue and visual storytelling with subtle humor throughout, Little Duck ends up getting the trio out of whatever jam they are in.Moving into an exciting new paper over board reader format, Salina Yoon’s early readers are perfect for fans of bestselling series like Elephant & Piggie and Ballet Cat, giving all her picture book fans a fantastic next step for reading fun.

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  • Ducks in Muck - “Ducks in muck. Ducks stuck in trucks. Trucks stuck in muck. How will the trucks and ducks get unstuck?” Discover what happens to a group of friendly ducks when they play in the muck and then are taken away in a truck!

  • The Case of the Missing Monkey - Deep in the heart of the city. . .Mac’s favorite glass monkey is missing. Who would take a glass monkey? And why?This sounds like a case for the High-Rise Private Eyes–Case #001, to be exact, “The Case of the Missing Monkey”Because no mystery is too mysterious, no puzzle to puzzling, no crime too criminal, no trouble too troubling for ace detectives and very best friends Bunny Brown and Jack Jones.

  • Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh - Some extraordinary rats come to the aid of a mouse family in this Newbery Medal Award–winning classic by notable children’s author Robert C. O’Brien. Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse with four small children, is faced with a terrible problem. She must move her family to their summer quarters immediately, or face almost certain death. But her youngest son, Timothy, lies ill with pneumonia and must not be moved. Fortunately, she encounters the rats of NIMH, an extraordinary breed of highly intelligent creatures, who come up with a brilliant solution to her dilemma. And Mrs. Frisby in turn renders them a great service.

  • Chilly Penguin - How can a chilly little penguin get warm? Themes of perseverance, problem-solving and friendship give caregivers and children lots to talk about, while the penguin’s amusing antics and the story’s sweet ending make for a fun storytime for toddlers.

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Picky Nicky
Written & illustrated by Cathy East Dubowski and Mark Dubowski
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Picky eater Nicky declares that she would rather eat bees and parrots than peas and carrots until her inventive family devises a clever plan to overcome her finicky habits. Original.

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Houndsley and Catina at the Library
Written by James Howe & illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

The charming duo returns with a love letter to the library, good friends, the joy of learning, and self-reinvention. It’s Saturday, and Houndsley, Catina, and their friend Bert are looking forward to their weekly visit to the library. But when the trio arrives, they find that Trixie, the librarian, seems different. She doesn’t tell a joke or recommend a book like she always does. That’s when the friends find out the news – the library is closing! With Trixie retiring and enrolled in circus school, there’s no one to take her place as head librarian . . . or is there? James Howe and Marie-Louise Gay have created another engaging tale about what it means to be a supportive friend and how it’s never too late to learn something new.

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The Strange Case of Origami Yoda
Written by Tom Angleberger
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In this funny, uncannily wise portrait of the dynamics of a sixth-grade class and of the greatness that sometimes comes in unlikely packages, Dwight, a loser, talks to his classmates via an origami finger puppet of Yoda. If that weren’t strange enough, the puppet is uncannily wise and prescient. Origami Yoda predicts the date of a pop quiz, guesses who stole the classroom Shakespeare bust, and saves a classmate from popularity-crushing embarrassment with some well-timed advice. Dwight’s classmate Tommy wonders how Yoda can be so smart when Dwight himself is so clueless. With contributions from his puzzled classmates, Tommy assembles this first case file in the blockbuster bestselling Origami Yoda series, written by Tom Angleberger, author of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side, and hailed by School Library Journal as “honest, funny, and immensely entertaining.”

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Ice Cream Soup
Written & illustrated by Ann Ingalls
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

A young boy tries to make an ice cream cake, but winds up making ice cream “soup” instead.

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The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear
Written & illustrated by Audrey Wood and Don Wood
Thoughts from Grammy
I have long loved this book and read it literally hundreds of times. The likable Little Mouse, loaded with personality, expends great effort and imagination to protect the strawberry from the thieving bear. Use of varying font sizes cues the reader and adds to the drama and suspense as do the delightful illustrations. There is one illustration in particular, where the mouse is desperately tugging on the stem of the strawberry, in which the manner of illustrating--visual vibrations-- communicate perfectly the mouse's actions. With plenty of suspense and humor along the way, this story has a satisfying ending, although it does leave one wondering just who has been speaking to the mouse.
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

First published in 1984, a picture book in which the Little Mouse will do all he can to save his strawberry from the Big, Hungry Bear, even if it means sharing it with the reader. The Little Mouse and the Big Hungry Bear are known and loved by millions of children around the world. Little Mouse loves strawberries, but so does the bear…How will Little Mouse stop the bear from eating his freshly picked, red, ripe strawberry.

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  • The Little I Who Lost His Dot - Little i can’t wait to meet his friends at school, but there’s just one problem: he can’t find his dot anywhere? Each letter offers a replacement–an acorn from Little a, a balloon from Little b, a clock from Little c–but nothing seems quite right. Adorable illustrations teach alphabet letters and sounds with a surprising and satisfying ending to Little i’s search.

  • Rosie Revere, Engineer - B is for Bookworm -

    I love this book! The fun and colorful illustrations and rhyme text are wonderful, but the story and message are the best. Rosie's a great female role-model and I love that she learns the great lesson that "the only true failure can come if you quit." Even when embarrassment or failure hold her back, she keeps on trying and recognizes that failure is a step towards success!

  • Off & Away - How would you get mail if you lived in the middle of the sea? It’s Jo’s dad’s job to deliver it, taking bottles wherever they need to go. He always comes home with exciting stories to tell-but Jo is far too afraid to go out on the ocean herself. Until Dad gets a bad sea cold, that is. With no one but Jo to deliver the bottles, she must find her courage and set sail alone. As she embarks on her mission, her fears just might be replaced with new friendships . . . and grand stories of her own. With beautiful, atmospheric art and endearing new characters by author-illustrator Cale Atkinson, this picturebook is a treasure.

  • Solutions for Cold Feet - What do you do when you’re missing a shoe? When you’re caught in the rain? Or when your ice cream melts? Solutions for Cold Feet is a sweet and gently humorous look at practical and creative answers for all the little daily problems in one young girl’s life, including her exuberant and pesky dog. Will her dog, who starts out as a problem, end up as solution?

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Cinder Edna
Written by Ellen Jackson & illustrated by Kevin O'Malley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Cinderella and Cinder Edna, who live with cruel stepmothers and stepsisters, have different approaches to life; and, although each ends up with the prince of her dreams, one is a great deal happier than the others.

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Dough Knights and Dragons
Written by Dee Leone & illustrated by George Ermos
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
I think this book is so fun! I love that the unlikely pair become friends, use their creativity and problem-solving skills, and most of all, that they stand up for what they think is right! Very cute illustrations, too! :)
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

In a mythical kingdom, a knight and a dragon cook up a delicious plan to save their friendship! In Dough Knights and Dragons, a curious knight and an amiable dragon meet serendipitously, and instantly bond over their shared love of baking. But the friends are filled with sadness when, according to the law, the two must duel one another. Can the unlikely pair find a way to evade the law, save their friendship, and spread good throughout the land? Kids will devour this scrumptiously clever tale!

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The Big Ideas of Buster Bickles
Written & illustrated by Dave Wasson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Buster Bickles’s big ideas are always getting him into trouble. But when Buster gets to test the newly invented What-if Machine, anything Buster imagines becomes reality. Packed with rivers of chocolate, robot dinosaurs, and eggs-ray vision, the world becomes Buster’s creation in this fantastically creative picture book by debut author-illustrator Dave Wasson.

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The Paper Bag Princess
Written by Robert Munsch & illustrated by Michael Martchenko
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Over five million copies in print!

When the fiercest dragon in the whole world smashes Princess Elizabeth’s castle, burns all her clothes, and captures her fiancé, Prince Ronald, Elizabeth takes matters into her own hands. With her wits alone and nothing but a paper bag to wear, the princess challenges the dragon to show his strength in the hopes of saving the prince. But is it worth all that trouble?

Readers the world-over have fallen in love with this classic story of girl power. Now a newly designed Classic Munsch edition will introduce the tale to a new generation of young feminists.

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Duncan the Story Dragon
Written & illustrated by Amanda Driscoll
Thoughts from Mom of Boys
Poor Duncan. He loves to read, but because he is a fire breathing dragon he can't seem to ever get to the end of the book without it catching fire. Talk about a problem that needs solving! Instead of giving up and becoming miserable, he finds the best solution of involving someone else, creating a lasting friendship. I like that this story shows that sometimes we do need to turn outwards and ask for help for some things we can't do on our own. This can be difficult, but often creates the most rewarding experiences.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Duncan the Dragon loves to read. When he reads a story, his imagination catches fire! Unfortunately . . . so does his book.

Fire breath is great for roasting marshmallows, but it’s not so great for reading. Duncan just wants to get to those two wonderful words, like the last sip of a chocolate milk shake: The End. Will he ever find out how the story ends?

This bright, warm tale champions determination, friendship, and a love for books. And milk shakes!

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  • Russell the Sheep - This is Russell. Sometimes Russell is just a little bit out of step with the rest of the flock. All the sheep are falling asleep – except Russell. What’s a sheep to do? Russell tries everything … until, at last, he falls asleep.

  • The Whale in My Swimming Pool - The Book Snob Mom -

    I'm a huge fan of Joyce Wan's signature illustration style (as a side note, did you know she can even make worms look cute?! I digress). This cute book combines a preposterous situation with one little boy's innovation and problem-solving to create happy humor and good feels all around.

  • Malala's Magic Pencil - Malala’s first picture book will inspire young readers everywhere to find the magic all around them. As a child in Pakistan, Malala made a wish for a magic pencil. She would use it to make everyone happy, to erase the smell of garbage from her city, to sleep an extra hour in the morning. But as she grew older, Malala saw that there were more important things to wish for. She saw a world that needed fixing. And even if she never found a magic pencil, Malala realized that she could still work hard every day to make her wishes come true. This beautifully illustrated volume tells Malala’s story for a younger audience and shows them the worldview that allowed Malala to hold on to hope even in the most difficult of times.

  • Beautiful Oops! - The Book Snob Mom -

    Near the very top of my list of things I want my children to learn is to not be afraid of mistakes or failure—they're simply part of the process. The interactive way multi-media mistakes are transformed in this book into quirky artwork is endearing and keeps the mood light and my little reader busy while I read the slightly more serious message present in the text. My toddler wants this "again" and "again", and thus far it's been sturdy enough to withstand toddler exploration, which is a plus!

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Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade
Written & illustrated by Melissa Sweet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Presents a tribute to the creator of the giant balloons that fill the sky during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, tracing the work of artist Tony Sarg, whose innovative “upside-down puppet” creations have become the parade’s trademark.

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What Do You Do with a Problem?
Written by Kobi Yamada & illustrated by Mae Besom
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

What do you do with a problem? Especially one that follows you around and doesn’t seem to be going away? Do you worry about it? Ignore it? Do you run and hide from it? This is the story of a persistent problem and the child who isn’t so sure what to make of it. The longer the problem is avoided, the bigger it seems to get. But when the child finally musters up the courage to face it, the problem turns out to be something quite different than it appeared. This is a story for anyone, at any age, who has ever had a problem that they wished would go away. It’s a story to inspire you to look closely at that problem and to find out why it’s here. Because you might discover something amazing about your problem and yourself. What are problems for? They challenge us, shape us, push us, and help us to discover just how strong and brave and capable we really are. Even though we don’t always want them, problems have a way of bringing unexpected gifts. So, what will you do with your problem?

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Marsha Is Magnetic
Written by Beth Ferry & illustrated by Lorena Alvarez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

It turns out that the best way to draw others to you is by being yourself in this sweet, STEAM-minded picture book from New York Times bestselling author Beth Ferry.

Marsha is a scientist who has never met a problem she couldn’t solve. But when it comes to making friends to invite to her birthday party, she is stumped. Luckily, Marsha knows the solution to being stumped: the scientific method. With equal parts creativity, determination, and humor, Marsha sets out to attract as many friends as she can–what could possibly go wrong? In this hilarious celebration of friendship and ingenuity, Beth Ferry and Lorena Alvarez show readers that the best way to attract friends is to simply be yourself.

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Gus's Garage
Written & illustrated by Leo Timmers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Gus’s workshop is chock-full of odds and ends. When his friend Rico comes over with a problem—his scooter seat is way too small for a rhino—Gus finds just the thing to fix it.

One by one Gus’s friends bring him their vehicles and Gus solves their troubles with ingenious solutions. No job is too difficult for Gus!

Soon the workshop is almost empty. Is anything left to solve Gus’s own problem at the end of a long day?

Gus’s Garage is Leo Timmers at his best: effortlessly simple text, intricately detailed illustrations, and vehicles galore.

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The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin
Written by Julia Finley Mosca & illustrated by Daniel Rieley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

If you’ve ever felt different, if you’ve ever been low, if you don’t quite fit in, there’s a name you should know… Meet Dr. Temple Grandin—one of the world’s quirkiest science heroes!

When young Temple was diagnosed with autism, no one expected her to talk, let alone become one of the most powerful voices in modern science. Yet, the determined visual thinker did just that. Her unique mind allowed her to connect with animals in a special way, helping her invent groundbreaking improvements for farms around the globe!

The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin is the first book in a brand new educational series about the inspirational lives of amazing scientists. In addition to the illustrated rhyming tale, you’ll find a complete biography, fun facts, a colorful timeline of events, and even a note from Temple herself!

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