8 Books to Read with Your Kids This Month / by Madeleine Riley

My reading pile is stacked with amazing children's literature right now, including this stack of eight picture books that are perfect for reading aloud with the littles in your life. We are a few weeks away from the start of a new school year, and I'm moving from second to first grade -- my youngest grade yet! I always gravitate towards picture books leading up to a new school season, as I'm looking to stock my shelves (and library holds list) with great picture books to share in our first few weeks of school. Here are the ones on my radar this month!

Pink is for Boys by Robb Pearlman

Thank you to Running Press Books for my free copy!

It's 2018 folks, and I'm still telling my students that no color gender specific. I love this for a beginning of the school year read aloud, to remind students that all people can like all colors. Bonus: these illustrations include a diverse array of children without making a big deal of it.

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It's Show and Tell, Dexter! by Lindsay Ward

Thank you to Blue Slip Media for my free copy!

Dexter T. Rexter is back and ready for show-and-tell day at school, but he's feeling really nervous. What if his owner decides to pick another toy? What if he's not cool enough? Or interesting enough? This fun picture book is silly and a good base for discussions about being yourself.

The Squirrels' Busy Year by Martin Jenkins

Thank you to Candlewick Press for my free copy!

This beautifully illustrated picture book is the perfect introduction to the cyclical nature of the four seasons. It follows a family of squirrels as the seasons change throughout the year. It's simple and could be a great mentor text for teaching perspective. It also includes questions in the back, to encourage young readers to look carefully through the book and think further about the science behind the seasons.

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Henry and the Yeti by Russell Ayto

Thank you to Bloomsbury for my free copy!

This quirky book made me giggle and I can't wait to share it with my students this year. Henry believes fiercely in yetis, yet everyone in his life demands proof of their existence. So, Henry sets out to find a yeti. This simple and charming tale would make for perfect bedtime reading.

Perfectly Norman by Tom Percival

Thank you to Bloomsbury for my free copy!

I absolutely love this picture book. It'll be the first book I read to the kids this year, with a message that "normal" doesn't exist, and when you feel free to be yourself, you'll discover more in common with others!

Maximillian Villainous by Margaret Chiu Greanias

Thank you to Running Press Books for my free copy!

Maximillian Villainous hails from a long line of infamous villains, but he's the oddball of the family. He's rather friendly and kind, and that makes his parents worry that he'll never live up to the family name. This story is great for beginning of the year reads or teaching that golden life lesson of, "If everyone's doing it, doesn't mean it's right!" Kindness prevails in the end, and Maximillian is endearing for readers of all ages. (This title releases on August 28, 2018.)

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Bear's Scare by Jacob Grant

Thank you to Bloomsbury for my free copy!

Bear loves a neat and tidy home. (Bear is my kindred spirit.) One day, he notices that something isn't quite right. There's a spiderweb...in his neat and tidy home. Bear searches everywhere for the spider, creating and mess and accidentally ripping his favorite teddy bear in the process. He's lots all hope when the spider reveals itself with a kind deed, and suddenly, Bear is happy to share his home with a new friend.

Eraser by Anna Kang

Thank you to Blue Slip Media for my free copy!

If you're a fan of The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors, then I think you'll like this one. Eraser is frustrated that she lacks the creativity of her school supply friends. Everyone else gets to make things, and all she can do is clean up their mess. She feels unappreciated until she realizes that everyone makes mistakes, and therefore she's one of the most important friends to have around.