Book Recommendations for Beloved Characters

Imagining what books I might suggest for some beloved book characters.

The gifted books are indicated by asterisks (thank you so much to Candlewick and to Chronicle!) and the links are all affiliate, so thank you for using them or for shopping your independent bookstore.

  • For Anne Shirley:  Daphne Palasi Andreades’s Brown Girls
    • Poetic and immersive, I think Anne would soak this one up.
  • For Heidi: Rajani LaRocca’s and Sara Palacios’ I’ll Go and Come Back
    • The bond of a grandparent and grandchild would certainly appeal to Heidi and I know she’d relate to the feeling of being overwhelmed by everything in a new place. Personally, I loved the Tamil phrase “I’ll go and come back” instead of goodbye and how the immersive illustrations beautifully highlight this tender story.
  • For Peeta: Kiah Thomas’s The Callers*
    • The world-building in this one immediately brought me back to the joy I first felt as an adult re-immersing myself into young adult dystopian books.  The descriptions of color in this one made me really wish I could paint, so hopefully Peeta will do that for me.  It’s a quieter middle grade that still completely engages you from the first pages and plunges you into some really lovely world building.  This one comes out on April 5 and I highly recommend you pre-order yourself a copy.
  • For Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbes): Sergio Ruzzier’s Fox & Chick: Up and Down*
    • Two pals who are imaginative and adventurous, and a bit zany, in a familiar looking form might make for a fun read. I’ll also add that our 3 year old loves pretending to be Chick and giggles so much through these stories. We read these ones often and I can see this series as being a great entrance point for kids who might be more reluctant readers.
  • For Harriet M. Welsh: Kate Racculia’s Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts
    • Mystery steeped in setting would keep Harriet up reading with her flashlight, which I can only assume she still does as an adult.
  • For Bilbo Baggins: Bill Bryson’s Home
    • I mean, the title alone.  Bilbo’s more adventurous side might have fun exploring the why of it all.  Many meals can be had throughout.
  • For Madeline: Valerie Bolling’s and Kaylani Juanita’s Together We Ride*
    • The gumption to keep going and the easy rhyme feel like an updated Madeline in San Francisco.
  • For Scout: Rebecca Balcárcel Shine On, Luz Véliz!*
    • I hope Scout would love this gem as much as I did.  She’d definitely be excited by Luz’s passion for soccer and coding and I’m guessing she could relate to the explorations of fitting in and want to learn more about immigration and belonging.  This is a very huggable middle grade that I can see so many of you adoring as much as I did.  It comes out on May 3 and, again, surprise future you with this gem!
  • For Toad: Matthew Cordell’s Cornbread and Poppy
    • I think Toad would see a lot of himself in Cornbread and feel reassured by the outcome of this story.  We’re reading this early reader on repeat around here.
  • For Sister and Brother Bear: Mac Barnett’s and Kate Berube’s John’s Turn*
    • First of all, our toddler told us this was her favorite new book.  After the first time we read it, she immediately wanted to dress like the character and try out his dance moves, which are illustrated beautifully, and she’s repeatedly pored over the pages since before pretending to be him again and again.  We love it because it never once makes him being a boy dancing ballet a thing.  It just is.  As it should be.  As for Sister and Brother, I know they’d both relate to the stage fright and, personally, I’d love to see them be better about gender stereotypes.
  • For Piglet: Mary Murphy’s Chirp*
    • I want Piglet to feel the joy of using his own voice.  I think he’d love reading this vibrant, cheerful book aloud with his friends, too, since it’s definitely one our toddler smiles through.
  • For Dumbledore: Nina LaCour’s and Kaylani Juanita’s Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle*
    • I want Albus to have stories where being gay is just part of life and not something that the story has to revolve around.  This one is about a little girl missing her mommy when she goes off on a work trip and it’s so thoughtful, affirming, and filled with love.
  • For Mary Lenox: Allan Wolf’s and Daniel Duncan’s Behold Our Magical Garden: Poems Fresh from a School Garden* and Tim Hopgood’s My Big Book of Outdoors*
    • I could see Mary, Dickon, and Colin poring over these.  We’ve already brought both outside to delight in.  My Big Book of Outdoors in particular feels like the type of book that your kid will pull out at every season and begin to tie special memories to, particularly since it also has wonderful suggestions for activities.  We immediately recognized Hopgood’s distinctively joyful artistic style and it’s been a happy companion on several picnics.
  • For Morrigan Crow: B.B. Alston’s Amari and the Night Brothers
    • I think Morrigan might like seeing someone else who feels like an outsider and yet is repeatedly pulled to be in a leadership position to save the day.  Maybe she’d take it to The Smoking Parlor for some relaxation in between some heart-pounding adventures.

If you would like to join in on the fun, please go to the submissions page!

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