A few weeks ago we were on a trip with three other couples and their kids, and we stumbled into the most adorable toy and book store for kids that I've ever seen. It had so many of the small shop products I recognized from Instagram, but in person. So often when shopping small we have to buy online without seeing it first, but it was so nice to get to feel and try out so many of these specialty toys and books in one place (It's Captain Little if you ever find yourself in small town Olympia, Washington.)

They had this incredible book display, and it introduced me to so many new books I wasn't familiar with. So fun to discover new ones and wanted to share some highlights here. (Organized by publisher.)


This is How We Do it, Marvelous Cornelius, Green is a Chili Pepper, Vehicles, ABC, and My Big Touch and Feel Word Book by Chronicle Books

These books are SO AWESOME.

This Is How We Do It highlights a day in the life of seven children from around the world, based on real families: the different things they eat, what school looks like, how they get there, what they wear, and so on. The book is illustrated but there are photos of the actual families in the back. The authors even note that while they did their best to find authentic representations of the cultures, that, still, "not everyone in Peru likes to play soccer, in the same way that you and your friends may have to do different chores and may wear different clothes. While none of these kids can be representative of their country, this genuine glimpse into their daily lives can reveal wonderful insights about lifestyles and traditions that may differ from our own." So well done.

Marvelous Cornelius is a folktale based on a true story of Cornelius Washington, who was a garbage man during Hurricane Katrina, and shows the power of people rallying together after destruction. The introduction has an inspiring quote from MLK: "Even if it's called your lot to be a street sweeper, go out and sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Handel and Beethoven composed music, sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say, "Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well." -Martin Luther King Jr.

Green Is A Chili Pepper highlights Hispanic culture, rhyming, colors, and a few words in Spanish. Colorful illustrations and a Spanish glossary in the back make this book both educational and fun.

The last three are from the "Touch Think Learn" series, and the illustrations have these raised indentations, it's kind of hard to describe, but you can kind of see from the front cover that each page kind of fits together like a puzzle. So artfully done and so appreciated for children of designers of all kinds. The last one also has interactive tactile sensations with varied textures on each page. This style of "word" book is excellent for language and early vocabulary development. These are the only book boards featured in this post and perhaps the most appropriate for the toddler age range. We really love these three.

My Dad Used to Be so Cool, Tough Guys Have Feelings Too, and The Little Gardener by Flying Eye Books

The first two are both by a local author out of Washington, Keith Negley. I liked them for Trey because it's hard to find books that address feelings (especially specifically for boys) and I thought the Dad one would be cute for Father's Day.

The Little Gardener is a cute story about a boy and his garden, and working hard and giving hope. Beautifully done and perfect as we approach spring.


Home, Maps, and Jabari Jumps by Candlewick Press

These are as beautiful on display as they are in little hands. Maps is like a coffee table book, big, and intricately illustrated with lots to look at on each page. I've seen a DIY project of cutting out the pages in that book to use as a wallpaper in a boys' room, and I love the idea.

Home is a beautiful rendition of all the different kinds of homes people live in. It highlights different people, cultures, and the places they live so nicely. "Clean homes, messy homes, tall homes, short homes." Plus the illustrations look straight out of Anthropolgie.

Jabari Jumps is a heart warming story featuring a little boy demonstrating a courageous act of jumping off the high dive thanks to the encouragement of his dad telling him it's ok to feel scared. The main character is a race other than white which is rare to see, and I love that.

Additionally, Candlewick Press has a #weneeddiversebooks campaign, highlighting people and stories that you don't see as often in children's literature, and many of those titles are listed here.

Happy reading!

Shared in partnership with all publishers.