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Award Winners: Early Readers

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What If Bedtime Didn't Exist?

A whimsical and lyrical celebration of imagination and exploration if we simply asked, “What if . . .”

Follow two siblings through their day as they let their imaginations run wild in this joyful ...

Mehndi Boy

By Zain Bandali
Illustrated by Jani Balakumar
Categories: Children's Fiction

"Delightful . . . the world needs more ‘mehndi boys!’” —Vivek Shraya, author of The Boy & the Bindi and God Loves Hair

“I was totally charmed by it.” —Ali Sethi, musician and author

An artistic, ...

Mira and Baku

By Sara Truuvert
Illustrated by Michelle Theodore
Categories: Children's Fiction

A Quill & Quire Book of the Year

With the help of a magical friend, a young girl searches for her missing father in this poignant story set during Japanese Canadian incarceration in World War II.

It’s ...

Sam Francisco, King of the Disco

By Sarah Tagholm
Illustrated by Binny Talib
Categories: Children's Fiction

A toe-tapping adventure celebrating optimism in the face of adversity about a community of cool cats who just want to have fun.

Superstar DJ Sam Francisco’s party is keeping his neighbor Buzzkill Bill ...

The Words We Share

By Jack Wong
Categories: Children's Fiction

“A must-buy.” —School Library Journal

A young girl helps her dad navigate life in a new country where she understands the language more than he does, in an unforgettable story about communication ...

Salma Writes a Book

By Danny Ramadan
Illustrated by Anna Bron
Categories: Children's Fiction
Series: The Salma Series

Salma is going to be a big sister! Can she figure out what it means to be a good sister before the baby arrives?

Silver Birch Express Award Finalist

OLA Top Ten Best Bets Winner

Salma’s determined to be ...

Angus Is Here

By Hadley Dyer
Illustrated by Paul Covello
Categories: Children's Fiction

A young child navigates grief after losing a beloved family pet and learns what it means for a loved one’s presence to remain even after they are gone.

Angus may be gone, but memories of him are still ...

Âmî Osâwâpikones (Dear Dandelion)

By SJ Okemow
Categories: Children's Fiction

A debut picture book that celebrates self-love, care, and resilience with one of the most widespread plants—the dandelion.

Both a love letter to the dandelion and a call to love ourselves in a difficult ...

Salma Makes a Home

By Danny Ramadan
Illustrated by Anna Bron
Categories: Children's Fiction
Series: The Salma Series

A 2023 NYPL Best Book for Kids!

Charming, creative Salma takes on big feelings with even bigger ideas as she navigates life in a new country, Syrian identity, family changes and new friendships in this ...

The Mystery of the Painted Fan

By Linda Trinh
Illustrated by Clayton Nguyen
Narrator Linda Trinh
Categories: Children's Fiction
Series: The Nguyen Kids

The third book in the early chapter book series The Nguyen Kids features the youngest sibling, Jacob, and continues the series’ exploration of social justice themes, specifically gender expression and ...