Our Favorite Children’s Books of 2022

Annie Newman
5 min readNov 19, 2022


These may not (in fact, probably not) have been published in 2022, but this is the year we discovered them! Most of them we checked out from the library (and later purchased, in some of the most beloved cases) or were gifted to us. While I enjoyed these books — and really delighted in a few of them — these are my girls’ top picks based on how many times they were requested and how actively with which they were engaged.

I always encourage people to shop second-hand first — we love ThriftBooks and if you sign up through this link we’ll both get a free book credit after $30. But since those platforms do not offer affiliate links yet, buying through the links below will help a mama out, should you chose to buy new.

Priscilla Gorilla by Barbara Bottner and Michael Emberly — Priscilla loves gorillas…and it’s starting to become a problem at school. My girls reveled in Priscilla’s behavior (especially her refusal to take off her gorilla suit) and I adored the expressive line work of the illustrations.

Clover Kitty Goes to Kittygarten by Laura Purdie Salas and Hiroe Nakata — I checked this book out in August, since my youngest was about to start kindergarten, and didn’t look at any more than the name. I didn’t know that Clover is a sensory-sensitive kitty and quite honestly probably an autistic kitty, so it worked doubly-well for our family. My oldest still repeats parts of this book in her echolalia communication and both of them play “Clover Kitty” as one of their games from time to time. It was such a great find!

Every Night is Pizza Night by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt and Gianna Ruggiero — We were gifted this book by a family member. Both my kids are picky eaters, and this book follows the food-tasting journey of another picky eater. The illustrations are chock-full of things to look at and keep my kids super-engaged. Since pizza is one of their favorite foods, they also really identify with the main character. It’s super cute and encouraging without being preachy. Maybe your picky eaters might try something new, too, after reading it!

I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child — I fell in love with Lauren Child’s other book The New Small Person, which I checked out of the library to read to my oldest when I was pregnant with her sister. (Side note — the main character in that book is autistic, which I didn’t know at the time nor did I know Emmy was, but what a serendipitous find!) But back to the book at hand — can you sense a theme here? Picky eating continues to be a challenge in this house. And while my kids still don’t eat tomatoes, this book was an enjoyable read for all of us.

That’s Not My Name by Anoosha Syed — This actually is a new book, published in 2022. The illustrations are what really caught my eye: clean and expressive with just the right amount of detail in them. Reading the story just endeared this book to me more. I have read so many children’s books trying to teach values by knocking you over the head with them. This one was not that way at all, and the message flowed organically from the story. But that’s why I love it. My kids love it for a very specific page in the book where the little girl screams — you guessed it — “That’s not my name!” For some reason that one illustration makes them giggle over and over again.

Leave Me Alone by Vera Brosgol — this is one of my all-time favorite children’s books. Everything works in it: the illustrations, the text, the flow…it is just *chef’s kiss.* My kids agree. They wait with baited breath for their turn to shout “Leave me alone!” with the old lady at every turn in the story. Of all the girls’ favorites this year, this one is my favorite.

The Bad Seed by Jory John and Pete Oswald — the girls loved both this one and The Good Egg by the same duo, but if I had to pick I would say The Bad Seed was the favorite of the two. What is it about the villian that we love so much? As a mom, I liked seeing the “villian’s” transformation into a (mostly) good guy. Also, I didn’t realize these are just the first two in a whole six-book series and am looking forward to reading the rest of them.

Just a Baby Bird by Mercer Mayer — I read some Mercer Mayer books when I was younger and it’s fun that my girls like them, too. This is part of the My First I Can Read series, which my oldest really enjoys. After a few rounds of reading it to her, she read it to me a few times!

A Savior is Born by Patti Rokus — this is such a quirky little book. I checked out a ton of Christmas books sight unseen last year, and ended up having to renew this one three times the girls loved it so much. The illustrations are all pictures of pebbles arranged to make scenes from the Nativity story. My girls call it the “Rock Jesus” book and you can bet it’s going to be checked out again this Christmas season. I wish I could tell you more of why they love it so much — maybe rock illustrations are just different enough to capture their imagination?

Never Touch the Grumpy Pumpkins by Rosie Greening and Stuart Lynch — technically my girls are too old for this board book, but it caught Emmy’s eye at the book fair at the beginning of the school year. She loved its tactile nature and played literally for hours with the silicone pumpkins, going through the book over and over again smushing and petting them. It also encouraged her to read. As with the Baby Bird book, I read it to her a few times and then she started reading it to me. Seeing how much she loved it, we might have to invest in more tactile board books!

Annie Newman is a substitute teacher, mom, and aspiring children’s book author raising two children: one neurotypical and one autistic. You can also follow her day-to-day learning on Instagram and on Tiktok.



Annie Newman

Two kids, one NT and one Autistic. On a learning and therapy journey that is constantly evolving.