I’ve got another roundup for you! Last time, it was 15 picture books for comfort. This time, it’s new and forthcoming picture books for the singular, uncertain time that is now.
New picture books I recommend for now come in two categories: picture books that nourish readers and picture books that focus on nature, both things we need.
You Matter by Christian Robinson (out June 2, 2020).
This picture book! It’s a new forever favorite. Super inventive in storytelling, scope, and style, You Matter says exactly that: you matter. Old, young, first, last, stuff too small to see.
Why now? All kids need to know they matter in the middle of big, scary stuff.
Why do We Cry? by Fran Pintadera and Ana Sender (2020).
An exploration of the many reasons we cry with acceptance and understanding of them all.
Why now? All the feelings and ups and downs.
I Am Brown by Ashok Banker, illustrated by Sandhya Prabhat (2020).
A celebration of brown-skinned kids—the wide scope of their play and food and languages and aspirations and pastimes and possibilities. This picture book brims with vibrance and joy.
Why now? We always need to celebrate kids, their experiences, their moments, their futures, and to show kids themselves in books.
The Ocean Calls by Tina Cho, illustrated by Jess X. Snow (out August 2020).
This gorgeous book centers Haenyeo or women divers in South Korea who can hold their breath for up to two minutes, a tradition that goes back hundreds of years. The purple and orange sunset illustrations are breathtaking and the experience of Dayeon going diving with her grandmother captures the fear and relatable false starts of trying anything new.
Why now? Kids and all of us are facing new things, diving new depths.
Taking Time by Jo Loring-Fisher (2020).
An invitation to take time to notice the moments and beauty all around us featuring children from all over the world.
Why now? Now is a time to remember awareness and stillness and small connections.
Outside In by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Cindy Derby (2020).
Another gorgeous picture book that invites the outside in, that shows us how it’s always with us, whose brush strokes and speckles capture its wonder, light, and magic.
Why now? We are more attuned to the outside as we spend time inside and alone—this book reminds that outside is always with us.
A New Green Day by Antoinette Portis (2020).
A guessing game of natural elements—original and playful like all of Portis’s work!
Why now? Playfulness and nature are bright spots in the gloom.
Hike by Pete Oswald (2020).
A day spent hiking, a son and a father who is a supportive, nurturing companion and safety net. Mostly wordless, refreshing, buoying, sweet.
Why now? Hikes with family are a-okay right now, they are healing, they are one way we can connect and grow.
The Big Bang Book by Asa Stahl, illustrated by Carly Allen-Fletcher (2020).
This picture book explores the big bang by an astrophysics student—what we know, what we don’t know, and the possibility of what we might know someday—with epic illustrations of how our galaxy and planet came to be.
Why now? Absorbing the massiveness of the universe might help with taking the long view of time and circumstance.