21 exciting kids books coming out in 2023 to look forward to


An experimental memoir of transracial adoption. A playful new interactive book by the author of Press Here. A celebration of a simple food that bridges generations. If you thought 2022 was a fantastic year for children’s books, just wait until you see just what the best books of 2023 will bring to your story times. Read on to see some of the most highly anticipated books for kids.

Best new books for babies and toddlers

Baby Ballers

Baby Ballers: Venus and Serena Williams by Bernadette Baillie, illustrated by Marta Garatea

The latest book in the adorable board book Baby Ballers series focuses on the Williams sisters and their early life growing up together in Compton, California. Ages zero to two. 

Publication date: January 3, 2023

No Feeling Lasts Forever

No Feeling Lasts Forever: Recognizing Emotions in Ourselves and Others by Sara Olsher

The first in a series of books geared specifically toward very young readers (ages three to five), designed to help create a foundation of what author Sara Olsher calls emotional literacy. Giving kids the first steps to learn to identify their feelings and ask for what they need results in less frustration. Read it together as a tool to help your kids learn to express themselves during the time of their life when words are new and emotions are huge. 

Publication date: January 3, 2023

Tiny T Rex

Tiny T. Rex and the Grand Ta-Da! by Jonathan Stutzman, illustrated by Jay Fleck

The newest book in this popular Tiny T. Rex series finds Tiny and Pointy entering a school talent show as magicians. Geared toward young readers, kids will feel right at home with the adorable characters. Ages three to five. 

Publication date: April 11, 2023

Tap Tap Tap herve

Tap! Tap! Tap! Dance! Dance! Dance! By Herve Tullet

From the New York Times bestselling creator behind Press Here, the newest book from Hever Tullet is all about getting the kids moving. He’s done it again with another interactive picture book that invites children to dance using their hands as the dancers and the book as the dance floor. Ages three to five. 

Publication date: May 16, 2023

Good Night Badlands

Good Night, Badlands by by Adam Gamble and Mark Jasper, illustrated by Ute Simon

Releasing just in time for summer adventures, Goodnight Badlands takes newbie readers through the highlights of this beloved National Park. It will publish along with several other new books in the Good Night Our World board book series, including Good Night Arches National Park, Good Night Bryce Canyon, and Good Night Grand Teton.  Ages zero to three.

Publication date: June 20, 2023

Best new books for preK and early elementary readers

This Is Not My Home

This Is Not My Home by Vivienne Chang, illustrated by Eugenia Yoh

A reverse immigration story, this is the story of a young Taiwanese American girl who moves to Taiwan with her mother to care for her elderly Ah Ma, her grandmother. An exploration of what home means from a child’s point of view, both leaving and finding one, it’s beautifully illustrated and written with a rhythm that opens your heart with every word. Ages four to eight. 

Publication date: January 24, 2023

Babas Gift

Baba’s Gift: A Persian Father’s Love of Family by Ariana Shaheen Amini and Christina Maheen Amini, illustrated by Elaheh Taherian

A joyful celebration of a Persian father’s love of family, from his boyhood in Iran to his new life in America, written in the voice of his two daughters telling the story of their Baba (“father” in Farsi). It’s a love letter for father’s everywhere. Ages four to eight. 

Publication date: February 7, 2023

Woven of the World

Woven of the World by Katey Howes, illustrated by Dinara Mirtalipova

Gorgeously illustrated and lyrical words make this book a must-read together for parents and their kids. Told from the point of view of a young girl learning to weave, from the brightly dyed wool to the rhythm of the loom, the entire book is as enchanting as the weaving process itself. This book invites readers to see their own story intertwined on a loom and in the world around them as they learn about weaving practices from across the globe. 

Publication date: February 7, 2023

The Song That Called Them Home

The Song That Called Them Home by David A. Robertson, illustrated by Maya McKibbin

Written by acclaimed Indigenous writer David A. Robertson, Lauren and her little brother James head out onto the lake to fish while their Moshom (grandfather naps), but soon the waters grow rocky and James is swept away beneath the waters of the lake to the domain of the Memekwesewak— creatures who live in and around water who interfere with humans. Lauren must venture into the watery realm to rescue her brother, but she also has to fight the enchanting song of the Memekwesewak. Ages four to eight. 

Publication date: April 4, 2023


Plátanos Are Love by Alyssa Reynoso-Morris, illustrated by Mariyah Rahman

Abuela says, “Sí, Esme. Los plátanos son la comida of our ancestors.”  This is the story of plátanos as a food, but also as an important part of culture. And more importantly, as a symbol of love. You’ll fall in love with the story, the artwork and the recipes in the back of the book! 

Publication date:  April 11, 2023


Martina Has Too Many Tías by by Emma Otheguy, illustrated by Sara Palacios

A young girl in a large, loud Latinx family finds herself overwhelmed by the sounds, especially when all of her tías come to visit. But a magical journey helps her understand her place as a quiet member of a not-so-quiet group of people who are bonded by love. Full of magic and enchantingly illustrated, it’s a story within a story that addresses anxiety and celebrates differences. Also being simultaneously published in Spanish! Ages four to eight. 

Publication date: June 20, 2023


What Your Ribbon Skirt Means to Me

What Your Ribbon Skirt Means to Me: Deb Haaland's Historic Inauguration by Alexis Bunten, illustrated by Nicole Neidhardt

Told through the eyes of a young girl in an urban Indigenous community, this book celebrates the barrier breaking Secretary Deb Haaland. Young Pia and her friends gather round the television on March 18, 2021, to witness Secretary Deb Haaalnd in her ribbon skirt as she becomes the first Native American to serve as a cabinet secretary.

Publication date: July 25, 2023

Best new books for upper elementary readers

Thor and Loki

Thor and Loki: Midgard Family Mayhem by Jeffery Brown

Creator of the cult hit Darth Vader and Son series as well as the beloved Jedi Academy books, Jeffery Brown is at it again with this new graphic novel focused on the Marvel heroes and infamous gods of thunder (Thor) and mischief (Loki). We find them trying to ride the school bus, playing freeze tag, making Odin an All-Father’s Day present and so much more. Ages seven to ten. 

Publication date: April 18, 2023 

Misfit Mansion

Misfit Mansion by by Kay Devault

A middle-grade graphic novel about a monster girl named Iris who is able to escape her “foster home of horrors” (a mansion full of supernatural creatures) when a human boy breaks the sealing spell that keeps the creatures in Iris sets out to seek her forever family in a town full of humans, but there are adventures, bad and good, that lie ahead. Ages eight and up. 

Publication date: July 25, 2023

Best new books for middle grade readers

The Girl I Am

The Girl I Am, Was, and Never Will Be: A Speculative Memoir of Transracial Adoption by Shannon Gibney

From the author of Dream Country and See No Color, Minnesota Book Award winner Shannon Gibney delivers what might be her most powerful work to date. Entirely unique and genre-bending, Gibney mixes personal experience, photos, and letters from her own life as a mixed-Black, transracial adoptee along with speculative fiction in the voice of Erin Powers, the name Gibney was given by her birth mother. By using this creative exploration of her own life, Gibney brings to life the complex experience of her story, but also the story of someone who was and was not, all at once. Compelling and honest, it also asks us to look at our own stories: what we know, what we don’t know, and what we never will know. Ages 12 to 17.

Publication date: January 10, 2023

Finally Seen

Finally Seen by Kelly Yang

Families are often torn apart by immigration: family members left behind while some move away to establish what they hope will be a better life for everyone. In Finally Seen, New York TImes bestselling author Kelly Yang tackles one of the toughest topics of all: what happens when your parents immigrate to America and you are the one left behind? Told from the point of view of a ten-year-old Lina Gao, who comes to Los Angeles after not seeing her parents and her little sister in five years, Lina enters a world that is different than she imagined it to be, as she struggles to cope with being the “left behind girl” she’s felt like for so long. Ages eight to 12. 

Publication date: February 28, 2023

Hanging with Vampires

Hanging with Vampires: A Totally Factual Field Guide to the Supernatural by Insha Fitzpatrick

The first book in a new series for middle-grade readers explores the origins of vampire myths, science, weird facts, and more as you learn to identify, fight, and even shine like a vampire. Ages eight to 12.

Publication date: March 28, 2023

Time to Roll

Time to Roll by Jamie Sumner

The sequel to Sumner’s hit middle-grade novel, Roll with It, finds Ellie entering a beauty pageant at the encouragement of her besties.  But the pageant director wants Ellie and her wheelchair front and center, which is so not Eliie’s thing. Join her as she navigates life outside of her comfort zone, from a pageant to spending the summer with her dad while her mom is on her honeymoon. Ages nine to 12.

Publication date: April 4, 2023

Once There Was

Once There Was by Kiyash Monsef

A fantasy novel about an Iranian American girl who learns her father was a veterinarian to a host of secret magical creatures. But after his death, Marjan learns that what she thought were wild stories her father told her to entertain her were true, and she must now take up the care of these beasts. Ages 10 and up. 

Publication date: April 4, 2023

A Work in Progress

A Work in Progress by Jarrett Lerner

Written in diary form with illustrations throughout, this book is “for anyone who has ever felt less than.” In fourth grade, Will is called “fat” in the hallway by another angry student. With painful honesty, Lerner writes the truth about how these words stay with you, no matter how hard you try. Will loses friends and self-worth, avoiding hallways and the lunchroom and even the pretty girl he likes who also loves to draw. When Will finally tells his parents how he feels, with their help he slowly begins to repair the negative voices in his head. For parents, it’s a painful but necessary reminder that society has a distorted view of what is “worthy” and “good” and for kids, it’s a wake-up call that words hurt, and, more importantly, that they are not alone. Ages eight to 12. 

Publication date: May 2, 2023

Code Red

Code Red by Joy McCullough

Joy McCullough celebrates the awkwardness of puberty and menstruation in this middle grade novel that helps highlight an often ignored issue: period poverty. After an injury, middle schooler Eden feels lost when she is no longer able to continue her career as an elite gymnast. And to make matters worse, her mom is doing a presentation in front of the entire school about the company she runs: one that produces period products like tampons. Not surprisingly, she is teased about it, getting into a fight with a boy that lands her in suspension. This turns out to be an insightful gift, when she volunteers at the food bank and sees first hand the issues of poverty and not only food insecurity, but what it’s like to not have the basic period products you need each month. 

Publication date: June 13, 2023

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