Each year, Orem Library staff compile a list of our favorite books, movies, and music released in that year. Here’s our list of the best children’s books of 2023. This list includes picture books and other books for young children, as well as books for tweens. Add these new releases to your “To Be Read” list, or check them out from the library today!

Best Picture Books of 2023

Best Children's Books of 2023 | Librarian List

What You Need to Be Warm

By Neil Gaiman
Picture Book

During the coldest season, when the world feels scary — what do you remember about being warm? Baked potatoes. Trust. A kettle on the stove. Blankets. A smile. And, most of all, the reassurance that you belong.

The Truth about Dragons

By Julie Leung
Picture Book

In a mix of Eastern and Western mythologies, a mother tells her child about two forests inhabited by different, but equally enchanting dragons that coexist within the child’s heart.

I Cannot Draw a Bicycle

By Charlise Harper
Picture Book

The book cannot draw a bicycle, but the horse really wants a bicycle. Will horse’s wheely dreams come true–or will they end in pieces?

The Loud Librarian

By Jenna Beatrice
Picture Book

When loud-voiced Penelope becomes student-librarian, she is determined to prove she is perfect for the job while staying true to herself.

Problem Solved!

By Jan Thomas
Picture Book

Rabbit has a problem! Her room is a mess. Luckily, Pete the Problem-Solving Porcupine shows up just in time. He can save the day! Except…things don’t go quite to plan, and Rabbit realizes that Pete may actually be a problem-causer!

Best Beginner and Intermediate Books of 2023

The Princess in Black and the Prince in Pink

By Shannon Hale
Intermediate Book

Princess Magnolia is at the Flower Festival prepping for the evening ball when suddenly she hears a commotion. Oh no! She isn’t prepared to fight a monster or… a grumpy emu! To her surprise, a knight in shining armor comes to the rescue, but not before the princess’s prized decorations are stomped on and destroyed. Luckily, the gallant Prince Valerian has his own secret identity — the Prince in Pink — and has been yearning for a chance to show off his special skills, with the help of some twinkle-twinkle and major glam. Glitter has been restored, but then the angry emu returns — with friends! Can the party heroes step up to save the day again?

Pizza and Taco: Dare to be Scared

By Stephen Shaskan
Intermediate Book

Besties Pizza and Taco are on a mission to prove they’re not scared of anything, including scary movies and Ghost Peppers.

Elena Rides

By Juana Medina
Beginner Book

Elena wants to ride her bike. She readies, she steadies. She wobbles, she bobbles . . . KA-BANG! Learning to ride a bike is hard. But Elena can do it. Try, try again!

The Story of Gumluck the Wizard

By Adam Rex
Intermediate Book

Gumluck, a young, naĆ­ve wizard, does his best to help the local townspeople (and a small friendly ghost) with his sometimes critical raven sidekick, Helvetica.

Worm and Caterpillar are Friends

By Kaz Windness
Beginner Book

A worm and a caterpillar are best friends. When one of them is about to go through a big change, they both learn what is inside is what counts.

Best Junior Books of 2023

Percy Jackson and the Chalice of the Gods

By Rick Riordan
Junior Fiction

Percy Jackson’s hope for a normal senior year is shattered as the gods present him with three quests, beginning with the retrieval of Zeus’s goblet, in order to get the necessary three letters of recommendation for college.

Remember Us

By Jacqueline Woodson
Junior Fiction

It seems like Sage’s whole world is on fire the summer before she starts seventh grade. As house after house burns down, her Bushwick neighborhood gets referred to as “The Matchbox” in the local newspaper. And while Sage prefers to spend her time shooting hoops with the guys, she’s also still trying to figure out her place inside the circle of girls she’s known since childhood. A group that each day, feels further and further away from her. But it’s also the summer of Freddy, a new kid who truly gets Sage.

The Windeby Puzzle

By Lois Lowry
Junior Fiction

Told in two voices, two outcasts in an Iron Age village befriend each other, as disabled, orphaned Varick helps Estrild achieve her dream of becoming the first female warrior.

The Candy Shop War: Carnival Quest

By Brandon Mull
Junior Fiction

When the third White sibling brings a carnival to town, giving everyone who visited strange nightmares and weird dreams, the Blue Falcons, with a host of new candies, must tap into the power of their own dreams to battle their greatest adversary yet.

Sisters of the Lost Marsh

By Lucy Strange
Junior Fiction

Living in fear of their father, six cursed sisters sneak out to visit Full Moon Fayre, but when Grace, the oldest sister, goes missing, they must battle inner doubts and the legends that have haunted their family to save her.

Best Junior Nonfiction Books of 2023

The Official Harry Potter Cookbook

By Joanna Farrow
Junior Nonfiction

Cook your way through Hogwarts and the rest of the Wizarding World in this official cookbook inspired by the Harry Potter films! Whip up some Owl Post savory crepes, Hagrid’s hearty soup, Draco Malfoy blondies, Sir Cadogan’s sword kebabs, a troll bogey smoothie, and more! Plus, this cookbook features tons of cooking tips and advice for the youngest aspiring chefs, including recipes with step-by-step instructions that are easy for kids to follow.

Stars of the Night: The Courageous Children of the Czech Kindertransport

By Caren B Stelson
Junior Nonfiction

This powerful story is told from the collective perspective of the children who were rescued from Czechoslovakia on the eve of World War II, as Hitler’s campaign of hatred toward Jews and political dissidents took hold.

Butt or Face

By Kari Lavelle
Junior Nonfiction

Butt or Face offers kids a delightfully cheeky challenge: examine a close-up photo of an animal, and then guess whether you’re looking at the top or the…um…bottom. Readers will discover animals like the Cuyaba dwarf frog whose backside looks like a pair of eyes, the Mary River turtle that breathes through its butt, and many more!

Ancestory: The Mystery and Majesty of Ancient Cave Art

By Hannah Salyer
Junior Nonfiction

Around the world, our ancient ancestors’ mysterious art is left behind on cave walls, in rain forests, and with ink made from charcoal and crushed clay. These people told their stories in magnificent drawings that still speak to us today, echoing across generations.

Jumper: A Day in the Life of a Backyard Jumping Spider

By Jessica Lanan
Junior Nonfiction

What if you were as small as a bean and could walk on the walls and ceiling, sense vibrarions through your elbows, jump five times your body length, see the world through eight eyes, and hear using tiny hairs all over your body? That is Jumper’s world. Open this book and discover the fascinating hidden life of a backyard jumping spider.