Read-Alikes: 6 Future Children’s Book Classics to Add to Your Bookshelf

National Literacy Month is the perfect time to help young people fall in love with reading, and also celebrate some new and exciting titles in the kidlit world.

Here are some of our favorite newer releases that have relatable themes and messages like other more well known classics. You can find these recommendations on our Bookshop page.

For many years, The Colors of Us was one of only a handful of books that talked about skin color and racial identity. Now, caregivers and educators can select from a much more authentic and inclusive selection of books like Our Skin: A First Conversation About Race and Honeysmoke: A Story About Finding Your Color. Both books are authored and illustrated by BIPOC creators. They provide incredible entry points for young, curious learners and children who are seeking understanding, belonging and identity affirmation.

The Kissing Hand is a classic book that caregivers and educators often use to help young children navigate separation and change. We recommend the book, LOVE, that tackles similar themes of separation, grief and loss in a child-friendly and heartwarming way. When a child starts school, she’s worried that being away from her family will change their love. Her mother helps her see how love connects people no matter what.

Very few books have been as consistently popular with children and adults as Where the Wild Things Are. First published in 1963, it is one of the most popular children’s books of all time. Bedtime for Sweet Creatures is a fun and relatable book that’s sure to be a new classic. In this imaginative tale, a parent goes through the familiar motions of putting their “sweet creature” to bed - only to find them tossing their mane like a lion, clinging to them like a koala, and sneaking from their bed like a sly wolf.

Love You Forever has left generations of grown-ups in tears. We love the updated and equally touching story Stay This Way Forever. It features a Black family, and is told from the perspective of a mother who wants to remember all the ordinary moments of each day that make watching little people grow so extraordinary. Her wish for her children is for them to hold onto the parts of themselves that are so open and free, and for them to always remember how much they are loved.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is a beloved story about Alexander’s very worst day ever. He learns that the only thing that helps sometimes is knowing that other people have those types of days too. In Gitty and Kvetch, Gitty is an eternal optimist who wants to have a special day with her grumpy friend, Kvetch. After a series of mishaps, even Gitty finds herself feeling down, but can Kvetch help her turn everything around? This delightful story is full of whimsy, lively dialogue and Yiddish words. It is a great story for navigating tough feelings and uplifting those you love.

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