Reading is an integral part of every child’s education, and finding the right books is essential to making storytime a satisfying affair. Here are some of the best new books of 2023. Our library at Crème de la Crème is well stocked with top picks such as these. Schedule a tour to see our campus yourself.

For Infants and Toddlers

A child in bed reading a book.

baby sitting on bed while reading on book by Iana Dmytrenko is licensed with Unsplash License

Our programs start at just 6 weeks of age, so we’re always on the lookout for infant and toddler books to engage the very youngest audience. These stories are visually engaging and highly repeatable so your young children can enjoy them again and again as they grow.

Bee: A Peek-Through Board Book 

By Britta Teckentrup.

Winner of a “Good Housekeeping” 2023 Best Kids’ Books Award, “Bee” illuminates the lives of pollinators and offers an engaging look into the intricacies of nature and science. This charming rhyming story takes readers through the day of a busy bee, right into the cooperative beehive. The visually stunning tale is sure to capture the attention of even the youngest audience.

Kind Crocodile

By Leo Timmers.

“Kind Crocodile” tells the tale of a generous croc who’s determined to help his friends at all costs. The crocodile rescues three animals from predators before finally encountering a lion that requires some teamwork to scare away. The story concludes with a sly joke from the crocodile, who is himself a predator. This colorful board book is a playful tale with just enough complexity to encourage readers to come back again and again.


By Matthew Cordell.

Another winner of the 2023 Good Housekeeping Best Book Awards, “Evergreen” is a story about a sweet squirrel who’s on a mission to deliver soup to her grandmother. Though Evergreen is afraid of many things, her courage grows through the trials of this tale. The pen and watercolor artwork paints a charming picture of the squirrel’s adventures as she overcomes fear after fear in her pursuit to always do the right thing. 

For Young Children

Designed for children around preschool and Kindergarten age, these stories begin to branch out into more verbose and complex tales. The stories themselves have enough depth to engage older children as well, so you can gather the whole family for storytime.

Can We Please Give the Police Department to the Grandmothers?

Written by Junauda Petrus with illustrations by Kristen Uroda.

Based on a poem by the same name, “Can We Please Give the Police Department to the Grandmothers?” is a radical story that explores how the world would look if social justice were given over to the community. It highlights the beauty of intergenerational wisdom and explores a world where kids who are up to no good are taken home for a hot meal and plenty of love.

The Umbrella

By Beth Ferry and Tom Lichtenheld.

This poetic rhyming story beats to the time of the rain as the heroine and her dog head out for a dreary walk. The weather sends them into a curio shop where they pick up a tattered umbrella for free. The pieces of the umbrella ultimately sprout a host of new umbrellas that our heroine later hands out to the community, ending the tale on a cheerful note of generosity.

The Fantastic Bureau of Imagination 

Written by Brad Montague with illustrations by Brad and Kristi Montague.

“The Fantastic Bureau of Imagination” breaks the fourth wall by inviting readers to participate in this imaginative tale. The book takes readers to the Cave of Untold Stories which is overflowing with untapped creativity that simply must be released. Readers are encouraged to help with the task of managing the massive load of untold stories by bravely sharing their own works. This is a great tale to accompany a child’s writing project and kick off the fun of writing stories of their own.

For Older Children

Designed for later elementary school students, these books begin to incorporate short chapters. They offer the ideal introduction to longer stories with themes that are highly engaging and often humorous.

The Eyes and the Impossible 

By Dave Eggers.

The “Eyes and the Impossible” departs from the typical animal-laden picture book to deliver a story so rich that it’ll captivate children and adults alike. Johannes the dog serves as the “eyes” for three resident bison in the park he patrols. When strange changes start to occur in the park, Johannes has the opportunity to discover a world of new things, from art to goats. 

These revelations ultimately lead him to make some changes in the world himself. This adventure-packed read goes above and beyond the tired tropes of most animal books and delivers a fresh new tale that’s destined to become a classic.

Henry, Like Always

Written by Jenn Bailey with illustrations by Mika Song.

“Henry, Like Always” follows up on a young autistic boy named Henry who first appeared in “A Friend for Henry.” Henry likes predictability and routine, so he’s understandably dismayed when he finds out that the usual Friday Share Time will be replaced with a special parade. While navigating this distressing change, Henry encounters another child who’s struggling for a different reason. Ultimately, the two learn how to successfully navigate new experiences.

Mercy Watson is Missing!

Written by Kate DiCamillo with illustrations by Chris Van Dusen.

“Mercy Watson is Missing!” wraps up the Mercy Watson series with a tale brimming with humor and comedy. This action-packed book incorporates a heaping dose of fun wrapped up in short chapters and ample dialogue that helps kids hone their reading skills in a highly entertaining manner.

Find the Right Educational Program for Your Child

At Crème de la Crème, we excel at providing children with well-rounded educational and development programs. Reading provides the foundation for nearly every other subject that children will eventually explore. We strive to help every student develop a deep love for the written word as well as the artistic illustrations that go with many of these books. Schedule a tour at your nearest Crème de la Crème facility to learn more about our philosophy and programs.