Our Favorite Books (read-aloud edition)

by Melanie Gasmen-Fleck

Right now we can't run to the library like we used to, but that doesn't mean we can't still enjoy books and discover new favorites. Here is a round-up of nine of our favorite books with options to watch a read-aloud version and purchase from a small book store or Amazon.  

Book round-up by Kate Marchewka

All the Ways to be Smart by Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys.

Being smart doesn't just mean acing your math test or writing an amazing essay—there are lots of different ways to be smart. You can be smart with your heart and with the ways in which you treat other people, too! Bright, eye-catching illustrations and lyrical, rhyming text make this one a complete joy to read.

Sofia Valdez, Future Prez by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts
The latest installment from the geniuses behind Iggy Peck, Architect and Ada Twist, Scientist brings inspiration in the form of young Sofia, angling for change even when the grown-ups tell her she's too young to try. Sofia has pluck and doesn't give up; we love a kid with the motivation to make a difference.
Mary Wears What She Wants by Keith Negley 
Can you imagine if wearing what you wanted to wear was against the law? Such was the case for real-life doctor Mary Edwards Walker, who decided that she did not want to follow a law that applied only to her gender and broke the rules in the best way possible. Think of her every time you choose pants (or anything, really) from your closet and no one minds.
Windows by Julia Denos and E.B. Goodale
Have you ever walked through your neighborhood at dusk, paying extra-close attention to the world around you? There are so many people living their different lives behind all those windows. And sometimes, it can make you extra grateful to walk back through your own front door. We love this quiet, thoughtful book.
Bonus! Here is the author and illustrator discussing the book
On a Magical Do-Nothing Day by Beatrice Alemagna
Screen time can be fun, but nothing beats the adventures, joy, and mysteries to be uncovered when you head out into nature. Join this child on their journey from boredom inside the house on a rainy day to wonder at all there is to see and experience outside.
Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love
It doesn't take many words to help this book's gorgeous illustrations shine. Each page shows the love and acceptance between a boy who dreams of dressing like a mermaid, and his grandmother who helps show him that it's both important and beautiful to be exactly who you are. 
The Book About Moomin, Mymble, and Little My by Tove Jansson
A singular story from the wildly creative mind of Finnish author Tove Jansson, this book leads us on a grand adventure with friendly, helpful Moomin and his friends Mymble and Little My, who set out to find some milk for Moomin's mother. The entirely original world and characters will entrance readers of all ages, and hand-lettered text and cut-outs on each page add to the fun.
Tough Guys Have Feelings Too by Keith Negley
We're pretty sure you know this, but sometimes it's good to have a reminder that everyone cries sometimes. Everyone! And it's okay to let those feelings show, regardless of who you are. Tough Guys leaves room for great discussions around what might have made each character feel sad or upset and encourages readers to talk about their own emotions as well.
National Parks of the U.S.A. by Kate Siber and Chris Turnham
In the United States, we're lucky to live in a country so massive that we have fifty-eight national parks. That's a lot of nature to see! Plan out your next grand exploration (hopefully soon!) with this beautifully rendered book that highlights many of the top US national parks, including what animals, plants, and trees you can expect to see once you hit the trailheads.
*video above features just one section from the National Parks of the U.S.A book.