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 2022. Add these new releases to your “To Read” list, or check them out from the library today!

Best Picture Books of 2022

Best Children's Books of 2022 | Librarian List

The Year We Learned to Fly

By Jacqueline Woodson
Picture Book

By heeding their wise grandmother’s advice, a brother and sister discover the ability to lift themselves up and imagine a better world.

The Three Billy Goats Gruff

By Mac Barnett
Picture Book

Once there was a bridge and a terrible and VERY hungry troll lived underneath it. When the three Billy Goats Gruff decide to clip-clop across the bridge to get to the grassy ridge, the troll is already imagining all the way to prepare a delicious goat dinner. But the troll underestimates those seemingly sweet but oh-so-savvy goats!

Knight Owl

By Christopher Denise
Picture Book

After achieving his dream of becoming a knight, a small owl protects the castle from a hungry dragon.

I’m Not Scared, You’re Scared

By Seth Meyers
Picture Book

Bear is so timid that he is even afraid of his own reflection, but he does not like to admit that he is scared to his friend, Rabbit, who is very daring—but when Rabbit is in danger, Bear finds the courage to rescue his friend.

Endlessly Ever After

By Laurel Snyder
Picture Book

In this rhyming mash-up of many fairy tales, the reader is invited to follow Rosie down the many possible paths which may lead to a sleeping maiden, a hungry wolf, a girl locked in a tower, or a goose that lays golden eggs—but with some luck, and some smart choices, Rosie may save herself and her fellow fairy tale characters.

Runner-up: Chester Van Chime Who Forgot How to Rhyme by Avery Monsen

Best Beginner and Intermediate Books of 2022

The Bad Seed Goes to the Library

By Jory John
Beginner Book

The bad seed is in a good mood . . . for once. That’s because there’s a really cool book at the library available for checkout. The bad seed reads, and reads, until the book can’t be read anymore. But suddenly, he gets bad news: The book must be returned to the library so another seed can enjoy it. Will the bad seed return to his baaaaaad ways and keep the book?

The Princess in Black and the Mermaid Princess

By Shannon Hale and Dean Hale
Intermediate Book

The Princess in Black and her friends are enjoying a day of sun and sea on Princess Sneezewort’s royal boat when a real, live mermaid princess emerges from the waves! Eeeeeee! Princess Posy needs their help protecting her very cute sea goats from being eaten by a very greedy kraken. But the princesses and the Goat Avenger quickly realize that fighting underwater can be tough for land dwellers, and only the mermaid Princess Posy can save the day. Can the masked heroes help her learn that being a princess means more than just being nice—it means speaking up?

Cat Kid Comic Club: On Purpose

By Dav Pilkey
Intermediate Book

The comic club is going in all different directions! Naomi, Melvin, and siblings are each trying to find their purpose. Naomi has an idea to get rich quick that causes a lot of commotion and emotion. And when faced with rejections, the friends try and try again to stay true to their vision. To top it off, a surprise visitor comes to class to stir things up. Will a desire for money and power cloud Naomi’s purpose? Is it quitting time? Will the club ever be the same?

Pizza and Taco: Too Cool for School

By Stephen Shaskan
Intermediate Book

Best friends Pizza and Taco are ready to head back to school, but there are lots of other cool kids, like Cheeseburger and B.L.T.

The Bad Guys in Open Wide and Say Arrrgh!

By Aaron Blabey
Intermediate Book

WEIRD?! Nothing weird EVER happens in The Bad Guys. Like, you would NEVER see a chain-saw monster confronting a velociraptor who has eaten an elderly piranha, or the disturbing antics of a deranged dentist running amok with an oversized drill. NOPE. None of that nonsense here. So relax and be entirely unsurprised by the Bad Guys’ next adventure!

Runner-up: Jada Jones, Nature Lover by Kelly Starling Lyons

Best Junior Books of 2022

The Patron Thief of Bread

By Lindsay Eagar
Junior Fiction

Fished from the river as an infant and raised by a roving band of street urchins who call themselves the Crowns, eight-year-old Duck keeps her head down and her mouth shut. It’s a rollicking life, always thieving, always on the run—until the ragtag Crowns infiltrate an abandoned cathedral in the city of Odierne and decide to set down roots. It’s all part of the bold new plan hatched by the Crowns’ fearless leader, Gnat: one of their very own will pose as an apprentice to the local baker, relieving Master Griselde of bread and coin to fill the bellies and line the pockets of all the Crowns. But no sooner is Duck apprenticed to the kindly Griselde than Duck’s allegiances start to blur. Who is she really—a Crown or an apprentice baker? And who does she want to be? Meanwhile, high above the streets of Odierne, on the roof of the unfinished cathedral, an old and ugly gargoyle grows weary of waiting to fulfill his own destiny—to watch and protect. Told in alternating viewpoints, this exquisite novel evokes a timeless tale of love, self-discovery, and what it means to be rescued.

Bastille vs. the Evil Librarians

By Brandon Sanderson and Janci Patterson
Junior Fiction

Biblioden, founder of the Evil Librarians, is back to complete his goal of world domination and it is up to Bastille to lead the charge against him.

The Ogress and the Orphans

By Kelly Barnhill
Junior Fiction

When a child goes missing from the Orphan House in the town of Stone-in-the-Glen, the mayor suggests the kindly Ogress is responsible, but the orphans do not believe that and try to make their deluded neighbors see the real villain among them.


By Alex Gino
Junior Fiction

When people look at Melissa, they think they see a boy named George. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl. Melissa thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. Melissa really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part . . . because she’s a boy. With the help of her best friend, Kelly, Melissa comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte—but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.

The Marvellers

By Dhonielle Clayton
Junior Fiction

Eleven-year-old Ella Durand is the first Conjuror to attend the Arcanum Training Institute, a magic school in the clouds where Marvellers from around the world practice their cultural arts. Despite her excitement, Ella discovers that being the first isn’t easy—some Marvellers mistrust her magic. Eventually, she finds friends in elixirs teacher, Masterji Thakur, and fellow misfits Brigit and Jason. When a dangerous criminal escapes prison, supposedly with a Conjuror’s aid, Ella becomes the target of suspicion. Worse, Masterji Thakur mysteriously disappears while away on a research trip. With the help of her friends and her own growing powers, Ella must find a way to clear her family’s name and track down her mentor before it’s too late.

Runner-up: Those Kids from Fawn Creek by Erin Entrada Kelly

Best Junior Nonfiction Books of 2022

Blue: A History of the Color as Deep as the Sea and as Wide as the Sky

By Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond
Junior Nonfiction

This picture book follows one color’s journey throughout history—from ancient Afghan painters to 1905, when a chemical blue dye was created—and around the world, as it becomes the blue we know today.

She Persisted: Malala Yousafzai

By Aisha Saeed
Junior Nonfiction

Inspired by the #1 New York Times bestseller She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton and Alexandra Boiger comes a chapter book series about women who spoke up and rose up against the odds—including Malala Yousafzai!

Cultured Donuts: Take a Bite Out of History

By Chloe Tyler
Junior Nonfiction

Chloe Tyler explores the art styles of master artists from da Vinci to Basquiat in this tasty book for art lovers of all ages. Each pink frosted donut was created to show the techniques used by the artist and explore how artists have influenced each other over time. Every donut is paired with information about the artist, their art style, and what makes them unique.

A Book, Too, Can Be a Star: The Story of Madeleine L’Engle and the Making of A Wrinkle in Time

By Charlotte Jones
Junior Nonfiction

When Madeleine L’Engle was very small, she marvelled at the stars. They guided her throughout her life, making her feel part of a big and exciting world, even when she felt alone. They made her want to ask big questions and let her imagination take flight. Books, too, were like stars—asking questions and proposing answers. Books kept Madeleine company, and soon, she began to write and share her own. But would other people see the wonder she found in the world?

Foldout Anatomy: An Interactive Look Inside Humans and Animals

By Jana Albrechtová
Junior Nonfiction

Humans and animals: are we similar? Different? Do we all have blood? Do we all smell and taste and think? How is it that birds can fly, fish can breathe underwater, but humans can’t do either? Explore the amazing diversity of the animal kingdom and compare the body systems of over fifty animal species with those inside of you! Fourteen tall, page-length foldouts open to reveal animal inner workings and provide extra details about these fascinating curiosities of the animal kingdom.

Runner-up: The Tower of Life: How Yaffa Eliach Rebuilt Her Village in Stories and Photographs by Chana Stiefel

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