Illustrated Books for Families this Fall

We’re well into the heart of the Fall and classrooms everywhere have been filled for over a month. Our children are busy learning and opening their minds to new concepts and ideas – making this a great time to introduce them to new books to read. Children’s books can convey profound concepts in an approachable manner – and if you’re looking for three books that effectively do that, here are my recommendations.

Unstuck Together by Aarti Love Mahtani

(Children’s Fiction / Ages 0-8)

Unstuck Together may be Aarti Love Mahtani’s debut book, but it already has the feeling of a timeless classic. This powerful story takes young readers on a heartwarming journey about friendship, conflict, and reconnecting with loved ones. It truly is a beautiful tale from beginning to end – flaunting both thoughtful storytelling and captivating illustrations. 

The story chronicles the lives of Fred and Fran, inseparable best friends who find themselves physically stuck together. As they struggle to free themselves, they realize that their once-unbreakable bond now feels strained and distant. As the tale progresses, readers journey to discover how Fred and Fran navigate through conflict and rediscover the true essence of their friendship. Both children and adults will learn so much from this endearing story. Sometimes, we grow distant from those who we love – but the book reminds us that we can overcome it. Through lessons on communication and empathy, we see the power of reconnecting with those who are important to us.

It’s a feel-good story filled with lasting life lessons that remind you to never lose sight of the goodness in our world. The book will raise your spirits and instill a sense of purpose to fight for true love and friendship, even during the most challenging times. 

The Adventures of Asher and Rocket by Shawna Keyes

(Children’s Non-fiction / Ages 0-2)

This vibrant children’s book stands out for many reasons – like its spectacular illustrations and easy-to-read storytelling. But notably, it does a beautiful job representing a topic that is rarely discussed in a positive light. Inspired by a true story, The Adventures of Asher and Rocket tells the NICU experience from Asher’s (the baby) perspective.

If you, or anyone you know, has experience with a child in the NICU, you understand how difficult it can be. Each moment seems to last a lifetime as you’re patiently awaiting to bring your child home. In the NICU, children must conquer milestones and confront adversity years before even understanding the concepts. For author Shawna Keyes, reading books to Asher was her way of connecting with him as he fought in the NICU. She noticed a gap in telling the NICU story. Influenced by his love for planets, she created this heartfelt journey that reminds parents and young readers to always have faith and remain strong, no matter what life throws at you. It’s a unique and heartfelt book that some will find relatable, and all will find meaningful.

Big Eyes and Hungry by Bonnie Feldman

(Children’s Fiction / Ages 5-11)

This story is a nostalgic reflection of many of the iconic children’s tales of the 20th century. With comforting illustrations and beautiful prose, the book chronicles the journey of a young family, their dog Charlie, and their two pet robins.

Can you imagine having 2 pet robins, that you can play with and feed? Even endangered, they refused to fly away from their familiar, loving home. This amazing tale has a surprise ending. It exemplifies how human kindness can foster otherwise unimaginable relationships. Bonnie Feldman’s wonderful story is written perfectly for readers in kindergarten or first grade. From the storytelling to the illustrations, it’s a beautifully written book that I recommend to families with early readers.

On top of being a memorable story, the book serves a significant cause. All proceeds from book sales are donated to the National Brain Tumor Society.

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