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We hope you enjoy these book recommendations by Liz from @MrsChavezReads!Graphic showing a stack of books with the year, 2022, stamped on one book spine.As 2022 comes to a close, I'm highlighting some of this year's best new picture books. These books are fun, fresh, and feature a wide representation of families and communities. Each book is relatable for both little readers and their grown-ups.

Image of a smiling grown-up jogging alongside a child riding a bicycle.

Together We Ride | written by Valerie Bolling and illustrated by Kaylani Juanita | Chronicle Books 

With minimal, rhyming text and incredible, detailed illustrations, Together We Ride, shows the classic childhood journey of a loving father teaching his child how to ride a two-wheel bicycle. Their journey is filled with beginning nerves, early confidence, a crash, the courage to try again, and finally, joyful pride as the whole family takes a RIDE!

This book is a great gift for wanna-be bike riders, almost-bike riders, or new bike riders. Together We Ride is a perfect companion book for a bicycle gift this holiday season! 

Image of child and adult walking and holding hands on a busy street.

Mommy’s Hometown | written by Hope Lim and illustrated by Jaime Kim | Candlewick Press

In Mommy’s Hometown, a mother takes her child back to her village, the place she grew up. So much has changed since the mother has left, but she is able to show her child the important places of her childhood memories, even if they are different now. Thankfully, the river remains, and they get to play with the rocks and water just like the mother remembers.

This book is a great gift for children who are interested in learning more about their family’s history. Mommy’s Hometown will help you and your child connect over the important history of your family, no matter how much has changed over the years!

Image of a grown-up and child peering up through the leaves and branches of a berry bush.

Berry Song | written and illustrated by Michaela Goade | Little, Brown and Company

Berry Song is a touching and stunning intergenerational story about a Tlingit (native) grandmother and her grandchild foraging for berries while creating deeper bonds with the land and their ancestors. They make many yummy foods with the beautiful berries they collect and continue to pass on the love of the berries, as well as the appreciation and knowledge of their land and culture to the younger generation. 

This book is a great gift for children who love berries, family time, or nature, as it is filled with incredible illustrations of the Alaskan island and sea. Berry Song complements this season well, as many families will make important cultural foods and gather with loved ones in the coming weeks. 

Image of a smiling adult waving goodbye to a child and the child's caretaker standing on the door threshold.

I’ll Always Come Back to You | by Carmen Tafolla and illustrated by Grace Zong | Eerdmans Books for Young Readers

I’ll Always Come Back to You is a humorous and heartwarming story with rhyming text and funny illustrations showing a working mom heading out the door and a little girl worried when she’ll be back. The humorous situations the mom encounters will entertain young readers while also reassuring them that no matter what, their person will always come back! 

This book is a great gift for children that have difficulty separating from a parent, be it for a few hours, a whole day, or for longer stretches for work or play. The funny situations featured will help lighten the mood for little ones waiting on their person to return!

Image of a smiling child sitting and resting with friends.

Sam’s Super Seats | written by Keah Brown and illustrated by Sharee Miller | Kokila

Are you looking for a fun book that features disability kid joy and confidence? Sam’s Super Seats is the story of Sam, a child with cerebral palsy, shopping for back-to-school clothes at the mall with her mom and friends. The reader will meet all of Sam’s favorite resting spots — her super seats — while Sam has lots of fashionable fun with her awesome friends! 

This book is a great gift for all kids. Both disabled kids and able-bodied kids need to see children like Sam enjoying a day with friends and honoring her needs by resting! As the author Keah Brown says, “Rest is a right!”

Image of five frazzled family members attempting to bathe a pet cat.

Bathe the Cat | written by Alice B. McGinty and illustrated by David Roberts | Chronicle Books

Get ready to laugh!!! Bathe the Cat is full of silly fun as this family frantically prepares for a visit from Grandma. There are chores on the refrigerator for everyone but the cat keeps causing chaos by mixing the letters! Will everything get done in time?

This book is a great gift for children who love wacky stories — it’s so silly and fun! The mixing of the letters makes for great reading practice for beginning readers, too. 

Illustrated blue knick knacks hanging on a wall. Books are on a shelf and picture are hanging

The list above is full of new, engaging books children will love! We are so lucky to be readers at a time when such high quality, inclusive children’s literature is available to all readers. Happy reading!

Liz Chavez of MrsChavezReads is a mom, teacher and small bookseller. Her Instagram account helps families find ways to raise inclusive readers and leaders through book recommendations and parenting tips. Follow her at @MrsChavezReads to learn more, and find more picture book recommendations at her affiliate Bookshop

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Nugget highly recommends shopping for books at your local bookstore, which keeps your dollars in your community. And if you’re looking to upgrade your cozy reading nook with the coziest play couch on the planet, you know what to do!


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