Cup of Tea’s Best Books of 2021: Children Books

Welcome to the Cup of Tea’s Best Books of the Year, where I list the best of the best books I read this year.

I may be a young adult librarian but that doesn’t stop me from reading children books. Not only does it give me a chance to encounter books for displays and help the patrons with book recommendations but reading children books can be very relaxing and therapeutic, especially if you spent a year of reading dark and gloomy mysteries. So if you are looking for great reads for the young one in your life or you just want to try reading a relaxing book, here are the books I deemed the best children’s books of 2021:


My Monster and Me by Nadiya Hussain and illustrated by Ella Bailey

A beautifully illustrated picture book about how young children can learn how to express their feelings but it also fine to have those feelings and it’s something that may be with you always. A great read for parents to read to their kids!

My Nana’s Garden by Dawn Casey and illustrated by Jessica Courtney-Tickle

I loved the imagery in this book. The illustrations are just so beautifully drawn and vibrant that it is so captivating. The story is also sad and uplifting on haw a garden through the seasons and life changes can still bring a family together.

The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess by Tom Gauld

Tom Gauld brings his typical genius in his first ever picture book! With a touching lesson and a story that will immediately be a classic, this is picture book that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

Saturday at the Food Pantry by Brizida Magro and illustrated by Diane O’Neill

This book really explores the importance of food pantry, the fact that they exist and it is okay if you use them. Like the motto of the book says “everybody needs help sometimes.” I think this an important to have in all library collections, but most importantly in low income neighborhoods. 

Hannah and the Ramadan Gift by Qasim Rashid and illustrated by Aaliya Jaleel 

The debut picture book by human rights activist and attorney Qasim Rashid tells a timely story full of warmth and heart about the observance of Ramadan and the power of good deeds. (Credit: Viking Books for Young Readers)

Our Table by Peter H. Reynolds

I loved this! A beautiful and diverse picture book that depicts the importance of family and togetherness. I really loved how the colors of the pictures started off as a purple, somber tone but when they come together, it more jubilant and bright. A great way for kids to see what is happy and sad. This is must need picture book that is perfect for family story time!

Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem by Amanda Gorman and illustrated by Loren Long

In this stirring, much-anticipated picture book by presidential inaugural poet and activist Amanda Gorman, anything is possible when our voices join together. As a young girl leads a cast of characters on a musical journey, they learn that they have the power to make changes—big or small—in the world, in their communities, and in most importantly, in themselves. (Credit: Viking Books for Young Readers)

Milo Imagines the World by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson

Maybe you can’t really know anyone just by looking at their face.” Such a beautiful picture book for children that has such an important lesson. And the twist at the end was great! Made it more realistic!

The Big Bad Wolf in My House by Valérie Fontaine and illustrated by Nathalie Dion

Such a moving story about an issue that doesn’t get discussed widely amongst younger children, although a portion have to deal with everyday. The beautiful illustrations really bring out the fear yet hopefulness of the story. 

Bodies Are Cool by Tyler Feder

A great picture book that expresses and illustrates the diversity and differences of the human body. Also the illustrations are bright and eye-catching to young readers’ eyes.


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