Welcome to the Astra Books for Young Readers 2022 picture book gift guide! Picture books make the best gifts for children—they can be enjoyed over and over again, create special moments and memories for families, and bring out the warmth and joy in classrooms.
Each book on this list is a gift that will bring a smile to the face of any child who unwraps it (and don’t miss our pairing advice to create an unforgettable holiday experience)!
By Daniel Bernstrom, illustrated by Brandon James Scott
Boisterous and buzzing, A Bear, a Bee, and a Honey Tree is destined to be an instant classic . . . with delightfully funny illustrations and clever, fun-to-read text, from the acclaimed author of One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree.
Pair it with…a stuffed bear and a stuffed bee will inspire kids to act out this funny story about a bear and a bee and their little game of cat and mouse!
By Diane Kruger, illustrated by Christa Unzner
“Beautiful….Such a great new baby gift – on my go-to gift list.” — Zibby Owens, Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books “Beautiful.” — Hoda Kotb, Today with Hoda & Jenna “Diane Kruger is celebrating the power of a name.” — People Magazine.
Pair it with…a monogrammed or engraved blanket, a necklace or keychain with a child’s initials, or a personal letter explaining how a child’s own name was chosen.
By Linda Ashman, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
FOUR STARRED REVIEWS!
★ Booklist ★ Kirkus ★ Publishers Weekly ★ School Library Journal
Perfect for fans of firefighters and fire trucks, this energetic rhyming picture book shows how a fire chief and her crew keep their community safe.
Pair it with…toy fire trucks, coloring books, or a fire chief costume.
By Michael Garland
In this charming and nostalgia-filled companion to the best-selling picture book Grandpa’s Tractor, a grandmother shares her fond memories of farm life.
“[R]eading the book feels like peering over Grandma’s shoulder as she shares her scrapbook and stories with Timmy. The story is alive with farm life details that young readers will appreciate… A warm tale of passing the love of the family farm from one generation to the next.” —Kirkus Reviews
Pair it with…a grandmother’s special recipe, a trip to a real-life farm, a toy kitchen, toy tractors, and/or a copy of Grandpa’s Tractor.
By Michael Garland
Generations have fallen in love with this classic story of a grandson and grandfather whose visit to a family farm with a special tractor brings back memories. In this story, Grandpa Joe takes his grandson Timmy back to the site of his family’s farm, where the old house and a ramshackle barn still stand. The visit stirs up memories for Grandpa Joe—in particular, the majesty of his own father’s shiny red tractor, now rusting in the forgotten fields.
Pair it with…farm toys, toy tractors, and/or a copy of Grandma’s Farm.
By Elsa Mrozieciwz
Chomp! Crunch! Snarf! Toddlers will roar with laughter as mischievous animals leave their marks on the pages of this clever board book.
From the creator of the popular Peek-a-Who? and Peek-a-Who Too? board books comes this funny guessing game in which a parade of beautifully illustrated animals invades the pages of the book.
Pair it with…more board books, stuffed animals, and/or a set of wind-up chomping teeth.
By Giuliano Ferri
Kids will love the BIG surprises that await in this interactive board book, with an animal hiding behind each double flap. Guess each animal and see its true size unfold!
Is that a scary tiger—or just a playful kitten? A reaching earthworm—or a chameleon grabbing a snack? A sea anemone—or a giant puffer fish? This interactive board book offers so much for little animal lovers, as each spread folds out twice to reveal a larger-than-life creature practically leaping off the page. Toddlers who love guessing games will be delighted by the magnitude of the surprises in this developmentally appropriate book.
Pair it with…more board books, a set of puppets, or stuffed animals to play hide-and-seek with.
By Zhu Yingchun
Doodlers, daydreamers, journal-keepers, and bug-lovers alike will be inspired again and again by this utterly unique notebook.
On each page of this playful notebook, a narrative unfolds featuring a bug having fun with a few of the lines—some roll them up, some eat them, some tangle them. In the tiny, adorable illustrations, each bug’s story showcases its typical behavior. Creator Zhu Yingchun is beloved around the world for his inquisitive approach to storytelling and his clever designs that highlight the distinctive beauty of nature. In the company of these entertainingly drawn bugs, your own creativity will be unleashed as you write or draw.
Pair it with…colored pens and pencils, bug stickers, and other gifts to inspire creativity.
By Jamie Michalak, illustrated by Sabine Timm
Can YOU help Lemon find the party? Explore Lemon’s world and meet a rainbow-tastical collection of friends: cats wearing boots, fruits dressed in suits, dogs made of bread, and pigeons named Fred. With eye-popping art from beloved creator, Sabine Timm (@virgin_honey on Instagram) and bouncy rhyming text, Come On In offers up a fresh take on the theme of inclusivity, and will have crafty kids and DIYers smiling, pointing, and thinking: I bet I can make those, too!
Pair it with…arts and crafts supplies to fuel kids’ creativity and encourage them to create their own delightful characters!