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The World: Books For Kids

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

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to the world. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about the world.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

We hope this list of kids books about the world can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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Global Babies
Written & illustrated by The Global Fund For Children
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Presents photographs of babies from all over the world in their native costume and describes how all babies are special. On board pages.

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Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth
Written & illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Oliver Jeffers, arguably the most influential creator of picture books today, offers a rare personal look inside his own hopes and wishes for his child—and in doing so gifts children and parents everywhere with a gently sweet and humorous missive about our world and those who call it home. Insightfully sweet, with a gentle humor and poignancy, here is Oliver Jeffers’ user’s guide to life on Earth. He created it specially for his son, yet with a universality that embraces all children and their parents. Be it a complex view of our planet’s terrain (bumpy, sharp, wet), a deep look at our place in space (it’s big), or a guide to all of humanity (don’t be fooled, we are all people), Oliver’s signature wit and humor combine with a value system of kindness and tolerance to create a must-have book for parents.

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Maps
Written & illustrated by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Provides an illustrated collection of maps covering the continents and major nations of the world, detailing cities, landmarks, and cultural icons for each.

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Everything & Everywhere
Written & illustrated by Marc Martin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

From Hong Kong to Reykjavík, Ulaanbaatar to New York City, enjoy a lush and unexpected journey around the world to discover what makes each place unique. Sleepy sloths, colorful cows, staggering skylines, terrible traffic—countless surprises await! All you need is a good guide and a little curiosity . . . so, what are you waiting for? Let’s go! From award-winning author and illustrator Marc Martin comes a quirky, fact-filled adventure for curious globe-trotters, young and old.

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Lines
Written by Sarvinder Naberhaus & illustrated by Melinda Beck
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Lines are all around us. They create squares. They form circles. They make up buildings within towns, and towns on Earth, and the Earth within the universe.

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  • Color Our World - From lavender fields in France, to the blue waters of the Philippines, colors are all around. This adorable board book features sturdy pull-out pages that extend the image with extra, colorful content. Plus with all-new artwork, the vibrant images are an eye-catching delight for young readers.

  • Moon! Earth's Best Friend - From writer Stacy McAnulty and illustrator Stevie Lewis, Moon! Earth’s Best Friend is a light-hearted nonfiction picture book about the formation and history of the moon—told from the perspective of the moon itself… Meet Moon! She’s more than just a rock—she’s Earth’s rock, her best friend she can always count on. Moon never turns her back on her friend (literally: she’s always facing Earth with the same side!). These two will stick together forever. With characteristic humor and charm, Stacy McAnulty channels the voice of Moon in this next celestial “autobiography” in the Our Universe series. Rich with kid-friendly facts and beautifully brought to life by Stevie Lewis, this is an equally charming and irresistible companion to Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years and Sun! One in a Billion.

  • Paper World: Planet Earth - This guide to our planet shows paper being engineered like never before. Paper World: Planet Earth uses ingenious paper cutouts to reveal the amazing details of our planet, from bubbling volcanoes to rushing rivers to the boiling hot interior of the Earth. With detailed art by studio Bomboland, a fact-filled text, and flaps and die-cuts on every spread, this one-of-a-kind novelty book will appeal to readers of all ages.

  • Inventors Who Changed the World - From the ranging curiosity of Leonardo da Vinci to the dedication and sacrifice of Marie Curie, Little Heroes: Inventors Who Changed the World is a young child’s first introduction to the brilliant people who taught us the meaning of perseverance and innovation. Simple text and adorable illustrations tell the contributions of nine renowned inventors from around the world: Cai Lun, Leonardo da Vinci, Marie Curie, Thomas Edison, Orville and Wilbur Wright, Grace Hopper, Mary Sherman Morgan, and Nikola Tesla. Inspire your own little inventor with the words of these inventive heroes who changed the world.

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From Tree To Sea
Written by Shelley Moore Thomas & illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From a child’s point of view, this lyrical picture book looks at the relationship of nature to the human world and the place we call home.

From the edge of the sea to a high mountain top, everything has its place in the world and all living things are connected. The world around us has a lot to tell us if we take the time to look and listen. This tender and comforting picture book celebrates the wisdom in many of the things great and small that make up our wonderful world.

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The World Shines for You
Written by Jeffrey Burton & illustrated by Don Clark
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-4

A gorgeous keepsake book that shines with emotion and foil on every spread, The World Shines for You is full of illumination and hope—perfect for the youngest readers in your life. There is a tree in the forest There are leaves on the wind There are clouds in the sky There are snowflakes drifting down A simple story connects the world, the seasons, change, and everything that shimmers in life with show-stopping foil, embossing, and spot UV on every page. This artistic and heartwarming first book truly says what every parent wants to share with their little ones: The World Shines for You.

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Tiny Blessings: For Giving Thanks
Written by Amy Parker & illustrated by Sarah Walsh
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Sweet, simple blessings that encourage thoughtful gratitude for life’s daily gifts and wonders. This accessible, wholesome board book is perfect for teaching babies and toddlers how to count their blessings every day. With simple, graspable text that inspires mindful thinking, and warm, vibrant illustrations, For Giving Thanks will fill children’s minds with positive thoughts and help them appreciate life’s special gifts.

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Landmarks
Written & illustrated by Katie Wilson
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Applying the tactile features of Montessori teaching, this innovative board book uses enhanced spot UV treatments to teach little ones about famous monuments from around the world, including the Eiffel Tower, The Statue of Liberty, and the Great Wall of China. One-of-a-kind colorful illustrations, sturdy board pages, and no moveable parts make this a unique addition to an early learning collection.

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Paris: A Book of Shapes
Written & illustrated by Ashley Evanson
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Introducing Hello, World, an exciting new board book series that pairs early learning concepts with colorful, stylish illustrations of cities around the world.

Paris is a treasure trove of fascinating shapes: there are triangles at the Louvre Museum, rectangles at Notre-Dame Cathedral, arches at the Arc de Triomphe, and stars in a beautiful Parisian night sky. Explore shapes all over Paris in this gorgeous board book!

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  • Many: the Diversity of Life on Earth - The more we study the world around us, the more living things we discover every day. The planet is full of millions of species of plants, birds, animals, and microbes, and every single one including us is part of a big, beautiful, complicated pattern. When humans interfere with parts of the pattern, by polluting the air and oceans, taking too much from the sea, and cutting down too many forests, animals and plants begin to disappear. What sort of world would it be if it went from having many types of living things to having just one?

  • If Polar Bears Disappeared - What would happen if polar bears disappeared from the planet? Find out in this gorgeous, accessible nonfiction picture book that imagines the consequences of a world without polar bears.

  • Through Your Eyes - From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Take Heart, My Child and popular FOX news anchor Ainsley Earhardt comes a sweet new book that celebrates everyday wonders and miracles. Ainsley Earhardt reflects on her experiences as a mother and viewing wonders of the world through a child’s eyes in this stunning follow up to Take Heart, My Child. So often as we race through life, we need the wisdom and perspective of a child to remind us what is important and what should be celebrated and remembered: the everyday joys and miracles and simple pleasures of life. Our children teach us and awaken our own inner child.

  • A Race Around the World: The True Story of Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland - In 1889, New York reporter Nellie Bly—inspired by Jules Verne’s book Around the World in 80 Days—began an around-the-world journey that she hoped to complete in less time. Her trip was sponsored by the newspaper that employed her, The World. Just hours after her ship set out across the Atlantic, the publisher of another New York publication, The Cosmopolitan magazine, put writer Elizabeth Bisland on a westbound train. Bisland was headed around the world in the opposite direction, thinking that she could beat Bly’s time. Only one woman could win the race, but both Bly and Bisland completed their journeys in record time and experienced unforgettable adventures.

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Water Land: Land and Water Forms Around the World
Written & illustrated by Christy Hale
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

This unique information book for the very young switches between bodies of water and corresponding land masses with the simple turn of a page. Full color.

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Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever
Written & illustrated by Richard Scarry
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Welcome to Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever! Featuring everything from an airport to a grocery store, this fun-filled book has hundreds of objects clearly labeled so that little readers can expand their vocabularies. In print for fifty years, this classic book has sold over 5 million copies around the world and brought billions of new words to little ones across the globe. Learning has never been more fun!

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Enemies
Written by Johnny Marchiano and Emily Chenoweth & illustrated by Robb Mommaerts
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Klawde is not your basic cat. He’s an emperor from another planet, exiled to Earth. He’s cruel. He’s cunning. He’s brilliant… and he’s also Raj Banerjee’s best friend. Klawde and Raj are back! As summer turns to fall, our favorite warlord cat remains in his pitiful exiled existence. But Raj has an even scarier prospect than cosmic exile: starting at a new school. And if things didn’t seem complicated enough, both cat and human are confronted with two figures from their past they did not expect to pop up in Elba, Oregon… Heavily illustrated, with a hilarious, biting voice that switches between Raj’s and Klawde’s perspectives, Klawde #2 is the story of an unlikely friendship that emerges as two fish out of water continue to find their footing in strange new worlds.

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San Francisco: A Book of Numbers
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Hello, World is an exciting board book series that pairs early learning concepts with colorful, stylish illustrations of cities around the world.

From the Golden Gate Bridge to seals to cable cars, there’s no shortage of bright, bold, and interesting things to count in San Francisco. Explore numbers through the best the city has to offer in this gorgeous board book!

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Spring After Spring: How Rachel Carson Inspired the Environmental Movement
Written & illustrated by Stephanie Roth Sisson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the creator of “Star Stuff”comes a picture book biography of Rachel Carson, tracing her journey as scientist and writer, courageously speaking truth to an often hostile world through her book, and ultimately paving the way for the modern environmental movement. Full color.

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  • Drawn from Nature - An intricately crafted journey through four seasons of flora and fauna Helen Ahpornsiri’s intricate artwork transforms leaves, petals, and seeds into bounding hares, swooping swallows, and blossoming trees. Using nothing but pressed plants, this journey through the seasons captures the wonder and magic of the natural world between the pages of a book. This standout title with beautiful nonfiction text will take readers through an extraordinary year in the wild.

  • Those Magnificent Sheep In Their Flying Machines - The sheep on the hillside were munching away, much as they always did, day after day, when suddenly something went ZOOM overhead! “Let’s go and see what it is!” they all said. And so begins a ripping, round-the-world adventure as the magnificent sheep take to skies in their spiffing, yellow flying machine…

  • What a Waste: Trash, Recycling, and Protecting our Planet - Everything you need to know about what we’re doing to our environment, good and bad, from pollution and litter to renewable energy and plastic recycling. This environmental book will teach young ecologists about how our actions affect planet Earth. Discover shocking facts about the waste we produce and where it goes. Did you know that every single plastic toothbrush ever made still exists? Or that there’s a floating mass of garbage twice the size of Texas drifting around the Pacific Ocean? It’s not all bad news though. As well as explaining where we’re going wrong, What a Waste shows what we’re doing right! Discover plans already in motion to save our seas, how countries are implementing schemes that are having a positive impact, and how your waste can be turned into something useful. Every small change helps our planet!

  • Listen, Listen - Introduce young readers to the sights and sounds of the year - from summer’s sizzling sun to winter’s crackling snow. Featuring breathtaking illustrations by internationally renowned illustrator, Alison Jay, this book will open your child’s eyes and ears to the world around them!

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Around the World in 80 Days
Written by Jules Verne
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

Take a thrilling whirlwind trip around the world with Phileas Fogg! When Fogg–a man of habit whose every day is just like the one before–makes a bet that he can circle the globe and be back in his men’s club in just 80 days, the race is on. Jules Verne’s classic tale bubbles with excitement, suspense, and colorful locations.

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One Day a Dot: The Story of You, The Universe, and Everything
Written by Ian Lendler & illustrated by Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

One Day a Dot explores the age-old question: Where did we come from? Where did everything come from? Starting with one tiny dot and continuing through the Big Bang to the rise of human societies, the story of our universe is told in simple and vivid terms. But the biggest question of all cannot be answered: Where did that one dot come from? One Day a Dot is a beautiful and vibrant picture book that uses the visual motif of circles as to guide young readers through the stages of life on Earth.

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Charles Darwin's Around-the-World Adventure
Written & illustrated by Jennifer Thermes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

In 1831, Charles Darwin embarked on his first voyage. Though he was a scientist by profession, he was an explorer at heart. While journeying around South America for the first time aboard a ninety-foot-long ship named the Beagle, Charles collected insets, dug up bones, galloped with gauchos, encountered volcanoes and earthquakes, and even ate armadillo for breakfast! The discoveries he made during this adventure would later inspire ideas that changed how we see the world. Complete with mesmerizing map work that charts Darwin’s thrilling five-year voyage, as well as “Fun Facts” and more, Charles Darwin’s Around-the-World Adventure captures the beauty and mystery of nature with wide-eyed wonder.

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The Knowing Book
Written by Rebecca Kai Dotlich & illustrated by Matthew Cordell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

This picture book is a celebration of life and the perfect gift to mark any milestone, from a new baby to a birthday to graduation. Illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Matthew Cordell!

In this inspiring story, a young rabbit travels through the wide world, experiencing joy and sorrow and wonder. Along the way he chooses a path and explores the unknown. And at the end of his journey, braver and more confident, he returns home—a place he can always count on. Author Rebecca Kai Dotlich’s wise words and Cordell’s beautiful illustrations combine in this book ideal for any special gift-giving occasion.

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Inside Outside
Written by Anne-Margot Ramstein & illustrated by Matthias Aregui
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the creators of Before After comes another striking book of opposites, this time exploring the concepts of within and without with bright, bold graphics. Safe inside its shell, a baby bird prepares to brave the world. A spelunker descends into a wide and glittering cavern while fellow explorers cluster around a crack in the earth. Fire-red ants march busily around their anthill, oblivious of a hungry anteater waiting above. Smart and stylish, this oversize art book takes a unique approach to the concept of inside and outside, offering clever and unexpected examples that will delight readers and spark conversations about context and perspective. Inside Outside is sure to find a place in collections, on coffee tables, in classrooms, and anywhere curious minds can be found.

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  • Festival of Colors - Youngsters can learn all about Holi, the Indian Festival of Colors, in this lush picture book from a “New York Times”-bestselling mother-and-son duo. Full color.

  • Who Was Ferdinand Magellan? - When Portuguese sailor Ferdinand Magellan set sail from Spain in 1519, he believed he could get to the Spice Islands by sailing west through or around the New World. He was right, but what he didn’t know was that the treacherous voyage would take him three years and cost him his life. Black-and-white line drawings illustrate Magellan’s life and voyage, with sidebars and a time line that enhance readers’ understanding of the period.

  • Danny, the Champion of the World - From the bestselling author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG! Danny has a life any boy would love—his home is a gypsy caravan, he’s the youngest master car mechanic around, and his best friend is his dad, who never runs out of wonderful stories to tell. But one night Danny discovers a shocking secret that his father has kept hidden for years. Soon Danny finds himself the mastermind behind the most incredible plot ever attempted against nasty Victor Hazell, a wealthy landowner with a bad attitude. Can they pull it off? If so, Danny will truly be the champion of the world.

  • Madame Martine - Madame Martine lives in Paris and follows the same routine every day. She takes for granted the beautiful things that exist all around her. She refuses to go to the Eiffel Tower because it’s “just for tourists.” One day Madame Martine finds a stray dog and decides to take him home. When she tries keeping her dog on the same schedule, he breaks free, leading Madame Martine on a wild chase up the Eiffel Tower! Upon reaching the top, she discovers how much beauty she has been missing all these years. From then on, the two friends try something different every week.

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The Mitten
Written & illustrated by Jan Brett
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

The bestselling modern classic, in an oversized board book edition perfect for sharing.

When Nicki drops his white mitten in the snow, he goes on without realizing that it is missing.

One by one, woodland animals find it and crawl in; first, a curious mole, then a rabbit, a badger and others, each one larger than the last. Finally, a big brown bear is followed in by a tiny brown mouse and what happens next makes for a wonderfully funny climax.

As the story of the animals in the mitten unfolds, the reader can see Nicki in the borders of each page, walking through the woods unaware of what is going on.

In her distinctive style, Jan Brett brings the animals to life with warmth and humor, and her illustrations are full of visual delights and details faithful to the Ukrainian tradition from which the story comes.

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Bob
Written by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Visiting her grandmother in Australia, Livy, ten, is reminded of the promise she made five years before to Bob, a strange, green creature who cannot recall who or what he is.

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Judy Moody Saves the World!
Written by Megan McDonald & illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

The mercurial Judy returns - and she’s in a mood to take on the world! Judy Moody did not set out to save the world. She set out to win a contest. A Band-Aid contest. It all started with the Crazy-Strip contest - and the dream that she, Judy Moody, might one day see her very own adhesive-bandage design covering the scraped knees of thousands. But when her “Heal the World” motif merits only an honorable mention, Judy Moody realizes it’s time to set her sights on something bigger. Class 3T is studying the environment, and Judy is amazed to learn about the destruction of the rain forest, the endangered species (not) in her own backyard, and her own family’s crummy recycling habits. Now she’s in a mood to whip the planet into shape - or her name isn’t Judy Monarch Moody!

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The Alphabet from the Sky
Written & illustrated by Benedikt Gross and Joey Lee
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Discover the alphabet from a bird’s-eye view!

Geographer and designer duo Benedikt Gross and Joey Lee have taken the alphabet to new heights—literally! Using satellite imagery and computer technology, the pair has discovered “accidental letters” all over the world: in roads, rivers, buildings, lakes, and more. Take a journey around the Earth in 26 letters with this special book.

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Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years
Written by Stacy McAnulty & illustrated by David Litchfield and Stacy McAnulty
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Prepare to learn all about Earth from the point-of-view of Earth herself! In this funny yet informative book, filled to the brim with kid-friendly facts, readers will discover key moments in Earth’s life, from her childhood more than four billion years ago all the way up to present day. Beloved children’s book author Stacy McAnulty helps Earth tell her story, and award-winning illustrator David Litchfield brings the words to life.

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  • Furry Friends - This adorable touch-and-feel book takes readers around the world in 16 sturdy board pages. It features characters from a number of different countries, along with their animal friends. Little ones will love petting a fuzzy polar bear and feeling a koala’s soft “fur.” The book includes brand-new artwork inspired by Mary Blair’s original art for the Disney theme park attraction, “It’s a Small World.”

  • Wow! Said the Owl: A Book About Colors - Here’s the story of a curious little owl determined to see what the world looks like during the day. And what does she discover? A wow-worthy symphony of colors―from red butterflies to orange flowers, from white clouds to green leaves. This boisterous and bright book is the perfect read-aloud to savor with curious little owls everywhere who are exploring the world of colors for the first time.

  • Harold Finds a Voice - Harold is an amazing mimic, and can imitate the sound of everything in his home. Tired of repeating the same old noises, he yearns to find out what other voices there are in the big, wide world. But what happens when he suddenly realises that he doesn’t yet have a voice of his own?This fantastic debut by author/illustrator Courtney Dicmas recounts Harold’s hilarious tale. It’s full of colour, humour and invention, and children will love to join in with Harold as he mimics everyday noises.

  • Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat - Klawde is not your average cat. He’s an emperor from another planet, exiled to Earth. He’s cruel. He’s cunning. He’s brilliant… and he’s about to become Raj Banerjee’s best friend. Whether he likes it or not. Klawde had everything. Sharp claws. Fine fur. And, being the High Commander of the planet Lyttyrboks, an entire world of warlike cats at his command. But when he is stripped of his feline throne, he is sentenced to the worst possible punishment: exile to a small planet in a quiet corner of the universe… named Earth. Raj had everything. A cool apartment in Brooklyn. Three friends who lived in his building. And pizza and comics within walking distance. But when his mom gets a job in Elba, Oregon, and he is forced to move, all of that changes. It’s now the beginning of summer, he has no friends, and because of his mother’s urgings, he has joined a nature camp. It’s only when his doorbell rings and he meets a furball of a cat that Raj begins to think maybe his luck is turning around… Heavily illustrated, with a hilarious, biting voice that switches between Raj and Klawde’s perspectives, Klawde is the story of an unlikely friendship that emerges as two fish out of water begin to find their footing in strange new worlds.

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How Things Grow
Written & illustrated by Eric Carle
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A brand-new title in this bestselling series from Eric Carle!

A tadpole becomes a frog, an acorn becomes an oak tree, and a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. By lifting the big, sturdy flaps, young readers will discover the world around them and how things grow through Eric Carle’s bright, beautiful images. A perfect companion title for Eric Carle’s ABC, Opposites, and All Around Us.

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Around the World in Eighty Days
Written by Jules Verne & illustrated by Eleanor H. Porter and Arthur Pober
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-17

Jules Verne—and his one-of-a-kind hero, Phileas Fogg—take children on an action-packed, whirlwind race around the world. For as long as anyone can remember, Fogg’s daily ritual has never varied by even a minute. Then, on a whim and a bet, he sets out to prove that he can span the globe and return to his club in London in only 80 days. Suddenly, his life is turned upside down, and every day offers an exciting new adventure. Kids will love it!

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Pancakes to Parathas: Breakfast Around the World
Written by Alice B. McGinty & illustrated by Tomoko Suzuki
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Breakfast varies from country to country, but it’s how all children begin their day. Explore the meals of twelve countries in this playful approach to the world!

From Australia to India to the USA, come travel around the world at dawn. Children everywhere are waking up to breakfast. In Japan, students eat soured soybeans called natto. In Brazil, even kids drink coffee–with lots of milk! With rhythm and rhymes and bold, graphic art, Pancakes to Parathas invites young readers to explore the world through the most important meal of the day.

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Strega Nona's Gift
Written & illustrated by Tomie dePaola
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In Strega Nona’s village, the holiday season is a time of celebrations – and nothing says celebration like a feast! All the kitchens are bustling from the Feast of San Nicola, when the children choose the food, to the Feast of Epiphany, when someone gets to be king or queen for the day. Even the animals share in the holiday spirit, and when Big Anthony smells the delicious treats Strega Nona is cooking for them, he decides that just a taste couldn’t hurt, right? Wrong! Big Anthony gets his just desserts, while Strega Nona surprises everyone with a special gift.

Starring two of Tomie dePaola’s best-loved characters, this funny story features beautiful art, introduces young readers to Italian holiday traditions, and lands Big Anthony in yet another silly predicament that will delight fans young and old.

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The Earth Gives More
Written by Sue Fliess & illustrated by Christiane Engel
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From leaves falling and becoming fertilizer to raindrops bringing plants to life in the spring, the cycle of every season has something to enjoy. While delighting in all nature offers, we need to remember to respect and treasure the world around us. This sweet rhyming story follows the change in seasons and illustrates how we can all be stewards of the Earth.

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