Best new books for young kids

Turn your preschooler through second grader onto this season's top new page turners.

By Susan Freinkel

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By Mary Lyn Ray, illustrated by Maria Frazee

Ages: 3 and up

This sweet ode to stars begins and ends with the night sky. In between, Stars explores all sorts of other places where stars can be found, both literally and figuratively: on pajamas or school papers; in snowflakes or the flowers in a pumpkin patch. A star can transform a stick into a magic wand or a kid into a sheriff. Ray’s simple prose and Frazee’s playful illustrations combine to create a lovely stream-of-consciousness feel that encourages a child's mind to wander and wonder.

Bottom line: Reading with your child is sure to spark conversation and inspire star-related crafts and a star hunt of your own.

Susan Freinkel is the author of Plastic: A Toxic Love Story and has written for the New York Times, Discover, Smithsonian, Real Simple, and other national publications.

Comments from readers

"Would you take a look at my book, "Monsters Do Ugly Things", as a possible add-on to this list? "