Our Top Picks of the Best Children’s Books for July 2022

You can learn a whole lot about life with a good children’s book. Lessons on kindness, love, acceptance, and courage fill vibrantly illustrated pages – making these timeless tales important for all ages to read. So, whether you are looking for a new book to enjoy with your little one, or if you simply want to enjoy a charming story, check out Bookshop’s children’s book collection today!  

The Awkward Avocado by CJ Zachary

The Awkward Avocado has been a hit on Bookshop for the entire Spring and into the early Summer – and for good reason! This adorable story is about acceptance and self-love. The protagonist, an avocado, reminds readers that it’s okay to be different. Authors CJ and Zac Zachary do a wonderful job of sharing such a meaningful lessons in an easy-to-read and approachable manner. I recommend this book for children in their early elementary years as they learn to embrace who they are and of course, what makes them wonderfully different. Who would have thought that an avocado could teach such important lessons about staying true and loving yourself! That is the magic of children’s books – life’s most meaningful lessons could be shared with such beautiful simplicity.

Formerly Known as Ella by Phoenix Baldwin

Phoenix Baldwin’s DinoToons series is adorable, relevant, and quite thoughtful. Formerly Known as Ella was highlighted on our storefront during Pride Month – and it remains equally important for children to read today. In the book, one dinosaur (formerly known as Ella) comes out as nonbinary to their new friend, Porter Protoceratops. Porter doesn’t initially understand and accept his friend. And in the book, children and their parents get to follow along as Porter and the newly-named Echo journey towards acceptance and much stronger friendship! This book definitely touched my heart, and is equally as important for parents as it is for children. Baldwin’s wonderful story helps us continue on our path towards becoming a more open, accepting, and loving society. Stories like Formerly Known as Ella are so important. They do meaningful work to change our perception of gender identity so more people can have the confidence and courage to stand tall and proud as who they truly are.

Poppy! A Tale of Leading with Love by Judi Marchand and Nancy Sosa

Inspired by real-life stories of President George H.W. Bush, this charming story is about a kind and gentle dog who learns that his greatest joy comes from helping others. Against a backdrop of beautiful Kennebunkport, Maine scenes, Poppy exemplifies President Bush’s believe that “Any definition of a successful life must include service to others.” The illustrations are wonderful, and the storytelling is charming, making this a must-have for your bookshelf. Like many children’s stories, it is timeless and relevant for children of all ages and backgrounds. Another contributing factor that makes this book so special is that the authors are donating their proceeds to the George and Barbara Bush Foundation which “aims to serve the legacies of President and Mrs. Bush primarily by supporting and promoting education and service oriented programs.”

Biron the Bee Who Couldn’t by Gregg McBride

Gregg McBride’s story needs to be on your bookshelf! It is whimsical, rhyming, and colorful – making it a great collectible. In the book, Biron the bee doesn’t know if he wants to be like the rest of the bees in the hive. But he isn’t sure if he would be good at anything other than making honey! But he takes off on an adventure that reminds him of the importance of believing in himself. Biron’s story reminds us that regardless of what we dream of becoming, none of it will come true until we believe or in Biron’s case… bee-lieve. This story will also appeal to the many adults who need a little reminder that they are never too old to dream big and reach for the stars! You can learn more about the book and Gregg McBride by watching his exclusive interview with me here.

Just Wait: A Lesson in Patience by Diane Roure Pleasant

There’s nothing quite like a lesson about patience. In this story, a caterpillar wants to be able to fly like a butterfly. It turns out, waiting is one of the hardest things the caterpillar ever has to do! Throughout Summer, Winder, and Fall, the little caterpillar waits. The story reminds children that although waiting can be challenging, patience is a virtuous trait that leads to amazing rewards. At the end of the story, when you wait, wonderful things happen. The little caterpillar can now fly free with all of the butterflies. Read this book to your children every time they are having a hard time waiting – whether that be before a big event, a holiday, or a birthday. Get your copy and share this beautiful story with family – as you all are reminded why it’s important to remain patient in life.

Xexeco the Spectacled Bear by Ines Bojlesen

Meet Xexeco, the Spectacled Bear! In this story, children are reminded that growing up is not always easy. But, if you are curious and adventurous like Xexeco, it can be quite fun! This book was originally published in Portuguese and now, English speaking readers get to enjoy the wonderful story. The illustrations are simply breathtaking, and not only does the book share important lessons for children, but it also teaches some fun facts about the Spectacled Bear – the only bear that lives in South America. Learn touching lessons while diving into the rich rainforests of Brazil and its kapok trees, bamboo groves, rivers, and lakes. Xexeco experiences a lot of challenges and fears throughout his adventures, but he is always supported by his loving parents.

Petit Cachon, Little Pig by Katherine Liang Chew

This book really stands out to me because of its eloquent and unique illustrations. Its exquisite watercolor drawings are so different than the artwork you see in most children’s books – and it helps highlight the rich tradition of Chinese folklore behind the story. In the book, the author shares a message about how the smallest piglet became a soccer star and a hero. It’s written in English and retold in French on the same page. The artwork alone makes this book special, but the story is also a marvelous work of juvenile fiction. Written in the style of a Chinese fable, this original story is built on the timeless themes of friendship, faithfulness, and perseverance.

Smiley, Happy Planet Earth by Anya Beltsina

This is an essential book to teach children about the beauty and wonder of our planet! Smiley, Happy Planet Earth shares lessons about the solar system and shares fundamental facts about Earth, its seasons, their differences, and inspires children to further explore the subject. Anya Beltsina’s story is the perfect introduction for children to not only learn about our planet, but get excited about environmentalism and taking care of the planet! It is colorful, rhyming, and entertaining. We highlighted this book for Earth Day, and I hope that it remains relevant throughout the entire year. The Earth, after all, is an extraordinary place. And this book is the perfect place for children to get excited about taking care of it.

When I Grow Up by Rae Ripple

Rae Ripple is a mom and an American metal artist who starred in the Netflix series, Metal Shop Masters. Her book is an empowering story for children that shares a lesson that should never be forgotten – you can do anything, and you can be anything. The book is about a young girl named Olivia who is trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up. Along her quest, she discovers a passion for metal sculpting and learns so much about herself along the way. Ripple’s book reminds children and their parents that there is no limitation to what you can do, and who you can become. As long as you have curiosity and determination, anything is possible. When I Grow Up is empowering, motivating, and relatable. It might just inspire you pursue your own passions!

Children’s books bring so much meaning into our lives. I hope that you can take the time to check out the books listed in this collection and discover one that inspires everyone in your family to dream big, be kind, and get in touch with an inner sense of wonder.  

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