Featured Image

20 Terrific Children’s Books by Brooklyn Authors

By Elizabeth Kohen | November 11, 2017

It’s no secret that Brooklyn is a well-known writer’s mecca, and for obvious reasons: a strong sense of community, tree-lined beauty, homes with a sense of history, fantastic parks, a family-friendly vibe, and an abundance of options to either feed your procrastination or fuel your next masterpiece.

Below are 20 of our family’s favorite kid-approved children’s books, written by Brooklyn authors. Find them in local bookstores, like Powerhouse Books, Community Bookstore, Terrace Books,  Greenlight Bookstore, Stories Bookshop + Storytelling Lab, Word, and more.

B Is for Brooklyn by Selina Alko

What do Prospect Park, Coney Island, and Atlantic Avenue have in common? They are all located in Brooklyn, New York, a magical place where you can listen to jazz music, eat bagels and lox, and sit on the stoop of a brownstone and daydream. Children will recognize aspects of their own neighborhoods in this celebration of urban culture and community.

Bird in a Box by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Otis, Willie, and Hibernia are three children with a lot in common: they’ve all lost a loved one, they each have secret dreams, and they won’t stop fighting for what they want. And they’re also a lot like their hero, famed boxer Joe Louis. Throughout this moving novel, their lives gradually converge to form friendship, family, and love. Their trials and triumphs echo those of Joe Louis, as he fights to become the heavyweight boxing champion.

Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown

Otis, Willie, and Hibernia are three children with a lot in common: they’ve all lost a loved one, they each have secret dreams, and they won’t stop fighting for what they want. And they’re also a lot like their hero, famed boxer Joe Louis. Throughout this moving novel, their lives gradually converge to form friendship, family, and love. Their trials and triumphs echo those of Joe Louis, as he fights to become the heavyweight boxing champion.

Click, Clack, Moo by Doreen Cronin & Betsy Lewin

Farmer Brown has a problem. His cows like to type. All day long he hears

Click, clack, MOO.

Click, clack, MOO.

Clickety, clack, MOO.

But Farmer Brown’s problems REALLY begin when his cows start leaving him notes….

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems

When a bus driver takes a break from his route, a very unlikely volunteer springs up to take his place-a pigeon! But you’ve never met one like this before. As he pleads, wheedles, and begs his way through the book, children will love being able to answer back and decide his fate. In his hilarious picture book debut, popular cartoonist Mo Willems perfectly captures a preschooler’s temper tantrum.

Down in the Subway by Melanie Hope Greenberg

It’s hot down in that subway train. But one cool passenger catches young Oscar’s eye. She’s the Island Lady, and from her bag she pulls a blue island breeze, the Caribbean Sea, the Calypso Man, a steel band, little lizards, and a whole island town. Oscar gets so tingly he just has to dance – and you will too, on this tropical vacation where you would least expect it: down in the subway!

Dragons Love Tacos by Daniel Salmieri

Dragons love tacos. They love chicken tacos, beef tacos, great big tacos, and teeny tiny tacos. So if you want to lure a bunch of dragons to your party, you should definitely serve tacos. Buckets and buckets of tacos. Unfortunately, where there are tacos, there is also salsa. And if a dragon accidentally eats spicy salsa . . . oh, boy. You’re in red-hot trouble.

I Live in Brooklyn by Mari Takabayashi

From days on the stoop, playing hopscotch and watching fireworks from the rooftops, to school field trips into the city, where zoos and museums await, Michelle introduces readers to her favorite places and things to do. Mari Takabayashi’s diminutive scenes, busy with cheerful detail, bring the beauty and bustle of New York City to life for children all around the world.

Last Stop On Market Street by Matt de la Peña

Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them.

Locomotive by Brian Floca

It is the summer of 1869, and trains, crews, and family are traveling together, riding America’s brand-new transcontinental railroad. These pages come alive with the details of the trip and the sounds, speed, and strength of the mighty locomotives; the work that keeps them moving; and the thrill of travel from plains to mountain to ocean.

My Subway Ride by Paul DuBois Jacobs & Jennifer Swender

My Subway Ride whisks you through the vivid sounds, sights, and rhythms of the heart of New York City’s subway and all the great stops along the way. From the “pitch, smack, home run!” of Yankee Stadium, to the rattle of the Cyclone and the sticky cotton candy on Coney Island, to the pulse of the crowd in Times Square, this book immerses you in the movement of the city.

Ooko by Esme Shapiro

Ooko has everything a fox could want: a stick, a leaf and a rock. Well, almost everything . . . Ooko wants someone to play with too! The foxes in town always seem to be playing with their two-legged friends, the Debbies. Maybe if he tries to look like the other foxes, one of the Debbies will play with him too. But when Ooko finally finds his very own Debbie, things don’t turn out quite as he had expected!

Radiant Child by Javaka Steptoe

Jean-Michel Basquiat and his unique, collage-style paintings rocketed to fame in the 1980s as a cultural phenomenon unlike anything the art world had ever seen. But before that, he was a little boy who saw art everywhere: in poetry books and museums, in games and in the words that we speak, and in the pulsing energy of New York City.

Stuck by Oliver Jeffers

When Floyd’s kite gets stuck in a tree, he’s determined to get it out. But how? Well, by knocking it down with his shoe, of course. But strangely enough, it too gets stuck. And the only logical course of action . . . is to throw his other shoe. Only now it’s stuck! Surely there must be something he can use to get his kite unstuck. An orangutan? A boat? His front door? Yes, yes, and yes. And that’s only the beginning.

The Honeybee Man by Lela Nargi

Every morning, Fred climbs three flights of stairs—up to his rooftop in Brooklyn, New York—and greets the members of his enormous family: “Good morning, my bees, my darlings!” His honeybee workers are busy—they tend the hive, feed babies, and make wax rooms. They also forage in flowers abloom across Brooklyn… so that, one day, Fred can make his famous honey, something the entire neighborhood looks forward to tasting.

The Moon Is Going To Addy’s House by Ida Pearl

After a play date in the city, Addy heads home to the country with her family. And through the long drive, the moon seems to be following them closely—Addy’s faithful guardian and friend.

The Teacher’s Pet by Anica Mrose Rissi

When a class pet proves to be more than a handful, the students agree they cannot keep him, but how will they convince their teacher, Mr. Stricter, who loves the strange creature? On the day the tadpoles hatch, the whole class is amazed—they’ve never seen their teacher so excited. Mr. Stricter has always wanted a pet, so he tells the students they can keep just one. The class chooses Bruno, the smallest of the bunch. But Bruno doesn’t stay small for long. Soon he’s grown into a giant, classroom-wrecking creature: He eats desks, farts for show-and-tell, and sneezes slime all over everything! Everyone can see that Bruno is trouble. Everyone except Mr. Stricter.With their teacher blinded by love for the pet, the students must step up and take matters into their own heroic hands.

This is the Rope by Jacqueline Woodson

The story of one family’s journey north during the Great Migration starts with a little girl in South Carolina who finds a rope under a tree one summer. She has no idea the rope will become part of her family’s history. But for three generations, that rope is passed down, used for everything from jump rope games to tying suitcases onto a car for the big move north to New York City, and even for a family reunion where that first little girl is now a grandmother.

Ursa’s Light by Deborah Marcero

There were all the other bears . . . and then, there was Ursa. One night Ursa had an idea. An amazing idea. A wild idea. She was going to fly! It was such a crazy idea that no one believed she could do it. She was a bear, for goodness sake, and bears don’t fly! Or do they . . . ?

Why Am I Me? by Sean Qualls

Have you ever wondered why you are you? Or who you would be if you were someone else? Someone taller, faster, smaller, smarter? Someone lighter, older, darker, bolder? Presented as a poetic exchange between two characters–who don’t realize they are thinking and asking the very same questions–this beautiful celebration of our humanity and diversity invites readers of all ages to imagine a world where there is no you or me, only we.

More Articles