Best of 2022: Kids & picture books

Oak Park’s Best of 2022 returns! Our annual librarian-curated selection of titles features some of the titles most requested and checked out by Oak Parkers.

See our kids and picture books favorites on this page or browse more using the links below.

Adult fiction: General | Adult fiction: Romance, lives & relationships | Adult fiction: Mystery, history & sci-fi | Adult nonfiction | Teen fiction | Kids books | Picture books | TV shows | Movies | Music

Kids books

Witches of Brooklyn: 3, S'more Magic by Sophie Escabasse

Why you should try it: "I will live and die by this series and can't wait for more!"—Megha, Children's Services Library Specialist

Description: School's out, and Effie is ready for SUMMER! Too bad she's being sent off to the wilderness for boring old summer camp. Nothing says "exciting new adventure" like being stuck in nature with mosquitoes. Sure, other witches might be there. And maybe she'll learn some cool new magic. But Effie would rather spend time with the friends she already has.

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Oh, Sal by Kevin Henkes

Why you should try it: "Henkes is a favorite of mine, and this new early chapter book so perfectly captures the thoughts and feelings of a young child."—Jenna, Collection Management Librarian

Description: The Miller family is celebrating its first holiday with the new baby. Billy is excited that Uncle Jake is visiting, but nothing about this holiday season is making Billy's little sister Sal happy. The baby is a noisy nuisance and hogging all of Mama's attention. Plus, the baby doesn't even have a name yet. To make matters worse, Sal lost the very best gift that Santa gave her!

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Expedition Backyard: Exploring Nature From Country to City by Rosemary Mosco

Why you should try it: "Mole and Vole go on adventures together, and it's utterly adorable."—Andrea, Collection Management Librarian

Description: Join two best friends—a mole and vole—on their everyday expeditions to find beautiful plants, meet new animals, and learn more about the world all around them in this nonfiction graphic novel.

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Pizza! A Slice of History by Greg Pizzoli

Why you should try it: "Pizza facts and cute illustrations!"—Andrea, Collection Management Librarian

Description: Join award-winning author and illustrator Greg Pizzoli as he travels through time and around the globe to discover the mouth-watering history of pizza.

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The Flames of Hope by Tui Sutherland

Why you should try it: "The final book of the Lost Continent Prophecy arc, this Wings of Fire delivers answers about the world the dragons live in and has the satisfying consequences for our favorite (and not-so-favorite!) characters."—Amy, Creative Technology Librarian

Description: Luna has always wanted to change the world—to fix it, to free it—even if she's never actually known how. Now that all of dragon—and humankind—are in mortal danger, Luna is flying back home to Pantala with a team of dragons on a rescue mission, determined to be brave and useful.

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Anne of West Philly: A Modern Graphic Retelling of Anne of Green Gables by Ivy Noelle Weir

Why you should try it: "Anne Shirley is my friend in basically every version, from the 1934 film to Anne with an E. The author made really smart updates, including a less brittle Marilla and a more vocally supportive Matthew, and the art is beautiful. Absolutely delightful and a joy."—Shelley, Children's Services Librarian

Description: When Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert decide to foster a teenage girl for the first time, their lives are changed forever. Their redheaded foster daughter, Anne Shirley, is in search of an exciting life and has decided that West Philly is where she's going to find it.

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Kids picture books

Sato the Rabbit: The Moon by Juki Ainoya

Why you should try it: "Just the cutest ending to a beautiful trilogy about a boy who is also a rabbit."—Megha, Children's Services Library Specialist

Description: In this third installment of the whimsical series originally published in Japan, the titular Sato continues his adventures, exploring both expansive landscapes—snowy fields, forests, oceans made of tea—and tiny microcosms of worlds, found in unlikely places—like within a freshly-baked pie!

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Little Monster, What Pan Dulce Do You Want? = Monstruito ¿Qué Pan Dulce Quieres? by Ana C. Esparza

Why you should try it: "A great bilingual board book about pan dulce and cute monsters, what's not to love?"—Andrea, Collection Management Librarian

Description: Parents will appreciate this bilingual English-Spanish board book due to the celebration of Halloween and Día de los Muertos holidays, but also for the determination in making a simple decision and sticking to it.

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I Am! A Book of Reminders by Juana Medina

Why you should try it: "I love that the spare text allows for fantastic conversations about different ways to be strong or confident and that the illustrations highlight disabled kids. These are great reminders for kids and also grown-ups!"—Shelley, Children's Services Librarian

Description: The words and pictures in this book are here to remind the reader how wonderful they are! Focusing on helping to build emotional literacy, self-esteem, and self-worth as well as improving communication skills, I AM! is the perfect read-aloud for kids and adults of any age.

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Love in the Library by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

Why you should try it: "A moving and heartwarming love story."—Megha, Children's Services Library Specialist

Description: Set in an incarceration camp where the United States cruelly detained Japanese Americans during WWII and based on true events, this moving love story finds hope in heartbreak.

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Luli & the Language of Tea by Andrea Wang

Why you should try it: "I love tea, and this story of classmates coming together over tea despite speaking different languages is so adorable."—Jenna, Collection Management Librarian

Description: When five-year-old Luli joins her new English as a Second Language class, the playroom is quiet. Luli can't speak English, neither can anyone else. That's when she has a brilliant idea to host a tea party and bring them all together.

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