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Best of 2022: Children's Books

Updated: January 13, 2023

The best books of the year, as selected by Los Angeles Public Library staff. Perfect for holiday gift-giving! More books for children are at LAPL Kids Path.

Book cover for Amazing Artworks: The Biggest, Oldest, Most Jaw-Dropping Creations
Amazing Artworks: The Biggest, Oldest, Most Jaw-Dropping Creations
Bensard, Eva
Call Number: x 701 B474

Grades: 3 - up

A fun and funny tour of art from around the world and throughout human history perfect for budding artists of all kinds. 

Book cover for Big truck, little island
Big Truck, Little Island
Van Dusen, Chris
Call Number: xz

Grades: Pre-K - 2: When a big truck gets stuck and disrupts all the traffic on a small island, it’s the kids who figure out a solution. Based on a true story, and showing cooperation and community at its finest.

Book cover for Blue: A History of the Color as Deep as the Sea and as Wide as the Sky
Blue: A History of the Color as Deep as the Sea and as Wide as the Sky
Brew-Hammond, Nana Ekua
Call Number: x 535 B847

Grades: 1 - 4: This informational picture book weaves together art, science, and history to tell a complex story of the color blue. Gorgeous illustrations by Daniel Minter depict the varying blues of nature, as well as the historical attempts to reproduce these vivid hues for human consumption. Brew-Hammond celebrates these artistic and technological innovations, but does not ignore the costs and repercussions to the people whose labor made them possible.

Book cover for The book of sisters : biographies of incredible siblings through history
The book of sisters : biographies of incredible siblings through history
Meikle, Olivia
Call Number: x 920 M512

Grades: 4 - 7

Two real-life sisters share tales of sisters throughout history (and mythology) with lots of entertaining and eye-opening facts on the side. 

Book cover for Chester van Chime who forgot how to rhyme
Chester van Chime who forgot how to rhyme
Monsen, Avery
Call Number: xz

Grades: K - 3

Chester’s sudden lack of rhyme offers a fun and (dare we say) educational opportunity for listeners to practice their own rhyming skills. 

Book cover for The crab ballet
The Crab Ballet
LaTulippe, Renée
Call Number: xz

Grades: Pre-K - 2: For anyone who likes to dance, prance, or perform, this story is in rhyme and interacts with readers, "Welcome. Enter. Sit right there, upon our finest driftwood chair." A beautiful, hilarious show that even has an intermission. Perfect for young ocean explorers as well as ballet fans, with pastel watercolor illustrations. Ballet terms and their definitions are provided at the end of the book.

Book cover for Cress Watercress
Cress Watercress
Maguire, Gregory
Call Number: x

Grades: 3 - 6

A lovely, lavishly illustrated read-aloud animal fantasy from the author of Wicked, about a family of rabbits dealing with change when they move into “The Broken Arms” and encounter their fellow tenants.

Book cover for Gibberish
Vo, Young
Call Number: xz

Grades: K - 3

Dat experiences his first day of school as a series of surreal encounters with monsters and blobs making nonsensical sounds. Then a classmate takes the time to try and make friends, and the world becomes a real place again.

Book cover for I will! : a book of promises
I will! : a book of promises
Medina, Juana, 1980-
Call Number: xz

Grades:  Pre-K - 3

Affirmations shared by a diverse, inclusive cast of children, promoting healthy and positive practices. 

Book cover for Little houses
Little houses
Henkes, Kevin
Call Number: xz

Grades: Pre-K - 2

A simple walk on the beach inspires a child to wonder about the wide world beyond. The soft acrylic illustrations by Laura Dronzek show not only the things we can find on the seashore - shells, birds, rocks, friends, and kindly grandparents - but also offer a glimpse at what’s living under the sea. A gentle picture book that works on a number of levels.

Book cover for Lola Out Loud: Inspired by the Childhood of Activist Dolores Huerta
Lola Out Loud: Inspired by the Childhood of Activist Dolores Huerta
Torres, Jennifer

Grades: K - 3

This illustrated biography of Dolores Huerta gives us a glimpse into who Dolores (nicknamed Lola) was before we knew her as a labor leader and civil rights activist. It is an imagined story based on a time when Lola was a Girl Scout.  Even then she was too young to adhere to ALL the rules and expectations at home, but she certainly recognized injustice when she saw it. A reminder to readers that some courageous adults were courageous kids, and one is never too young to stand up for what they know is right. 


Book cover for The Marvellers
The Marvellers
Clayton, Dhonielle
Call Number: x

Grade: 5 - 7

In this series starter we meet Ella, the first Conjuror who attends the Arcanum Training Institute where kids from around the world practice and learn magic.  She quickly learns that being the first is not easy. Without having met her, there are those who show prejudice towards her. Just as she finds her foothold, a beloved teacher disappears and a renowned villain breaks out of jail.

Book cover for Miss Quinces
Miss Quinces
Fajardo, Kat
Call Number: x GN M678435

Grades: 4 - 7

A graphic novel about a young girl who will do anything not to celebrate her quinceañera. Sue would rather be hanging out with her friends this summer but has to go visit family in Honduras, and gets a surprise... she's having her party there! How will she get through everything this summer? 

Book cover for Over and out
Over and Out
Walsh, Jenni L.
Call Number: x

Grades: 4 - 7

Twelve-year-old Sophie lives in Communist East Berlin during the Cold War, where the Stasi police watch everyone.  She and her best friend Katrina pass by the infamous Berlin Wall every day, dreaming up ways to get out of East Berlin.  When the Stasi tells Sophie to spy on her neighbor or else her mother will be put in a facility for the disabled, the two best friends display great courage and ingenuity in figuring out how to do just that. A gripping historical novel.

Book cover for Packing for Mars for kids
Packing for Mars for kids
Roach, Mary
Call Number: x 629.4 R628

Grades: 4 - 7

All the best (read: exciting, scary, icky) parts of traveling in space, shared by one of the most engaging nonfiction authors around. 

Book cover for Two dogs
Two dogs
Falconer, Ian, 1959-
Call Number: xz

Grades: Pre-K - 2

When two dachshunds brothers are left alone at home they can't help but get into some trouble. First they need to figure out a plan to get outside and figure out who to blame for the mischievousness before Mom gets home. 

Book cover for The world belonged to us
The world belonged to us
Woodson, Jacqueline
Call Number: xz

Grades: Pre-K - 3

Woodson reminisces about childhood “in Brooklyn in the summer not so long ago,” when kids had the freedom to play in the streets all day long. Leo Espinosa’s illustrations are the perfect complement, portraying bell-bottoms, afros, and roller skates in the style of a 1970s cartoon. Parents and grandparents will want to share their own memories of childhood as they read.