10 Kids Book Picks from McNally Jackson
Looking for some new books for story time? McNally Jackson Books in the Seaport District is open for socially-distanced and online shopping, and the passionate team of booksellers have plenty of great recommendations for all ages. Whether you swing by between 11am–7:30pm, or place an order online for shipping or in-store pickup, this list of 10 kids book recommendations will steer you in the right direction.
1. Where Is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox, Judy Horacek
This board book for littles aged 0–4 features sleepy rhymes and bright illustrations, and comes recommended by two members of the McNally Jackson team. “I love a good mystery,” says Bekah, while Kate says, “Mem Fox is fantastic, and so are these sheep. It’s perfect for bedtime or anytime.”
2. Julius, the Baby of the World by Kevin Henkes
Baby Julius is doted upon by his parents in this picture book classic for kids ages 3–7, and big sister Lilly is anything but pleased. “If you’ve ever had an intolerable younger sibling upon whom your entire family inexplicably lavished nauseating amounts of attention, you’ve acted like Lilly,” says McNally Jackson bookseller Matt. “Read this, laugh a lot at Lilly, then laugh at how terrible you used to be, and then call your sibling up and apologize.”
3. In My Heart by Jo Witek, Christine Roussey
The Growing Hearts series explores how different emotions make us feel, and are a great resource for kids ages 3–7. “I didn’t realize how important it would be to have a book about feelings until my son turned four and it suddenly became very, very important indeed,” says bookseller Kate. “This one is extra special, and I wish I could give it to every child in the world, along with a big hug.”
4. I Really Want to See You, Grandma by Taro Gomi
This title sounds totally relatable right now, but don’t worry, it’s not a tear-jerker. This is the sweet story of Yumi and her grandmother who set out to go and see each other but keep missing each other along the way. “It’s a story of true love and six kinds of transportation,” says McNally Jackson’s Bekah of the warm-hearted book for kids ages 2–6.
5. Fruits in Suits by Jared Chapman
The follow-up to Vegetables in Underwear will introduce kids aged 3–6 to bananas in bikinis and grapes in goggles. It’s silly and irreverent and tons of fun. In the words of Cristin at McNally Jackson, “The weight of knowing just how wrong they were must be crushing all the fools who thought life couldn’t get better after Vegetables in Underwear.”
6. Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen
The gist of this story is right there in the title, but the book’s twist comes when Sam and Dave continue to dig and continue to find… nothing. There’s a lesson in there somewhere, but one told with wit and charm. McNally Jackson’s Kate recommends this book for kids ages 4–8 and calls it a story “in which a dog just can’t even with these kids.”
7. Petra by Marianna Coppo
The star of this picture book is Petra, a little rock. How exciting could that be? McNally Jackson bookseller Margaret explains: “Petra is a mountain, silent and unmoving. She is a weather-worn pebble tumbling through a singing stream. She has been many things, hidden and visible, majestic and small. She is the scaffold for a universe of your imaginings, the steadfast keeper of your make-believes.” Readers aged 4–8 will enjoy Petra’s humorous adventures and the book’s celebration of believing in yourself.
8. Real Friends by Shannon Hale, LeUyen Pham
What happens when one half of a best friend duo wants to hang out with a new group of friends? McNally Jackson’s Laurel calls this book a “fifth-grade Mean Girls memoir” for readers ages 7–11. “This book was slightly painful to read, but only because it rang so true and close to my heart,” Laurel explains. “A moving and funny exploration of the complications of trying to remain your true, weird, individual self even in the face of elementary schoolgirl groupthink.”
9. Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley
“Read this book if you’re a fan of Roald Dahl, circuses, or epic villains,” says Kate from McNally Jackson. The book for ages 9–12 explores Micah’s enchantment with the magical Circus Mirandus his dying Grandpa Ephraim tells him about. “It’s a truly beautiful, truly magical tale of friendship, love, and believing in the impossible,” says Kate.
10. Hurricane Child by Kacen Callender
This award-winning novel for readers aged 9–14 follows Caroline, a 12-year-old who is being bullied at school on St. Thomas. Things get worse when Caroline’s mother leaves, but the arrival of a new student, Kalinda, starts to turn things around. As the girls grow closer, they set out in a hurricane to find Caroline’s missing mother. “With the beautiful backdrop of the U.S. Virgin Islands, this book will have you wishing for warmer weather and a bit of Caroline’s magic,” says McNally Jackson’s Annie.