Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead book cover

Welcome to the April edition of our monthly what to read to kids column! Keeping new books in the mix keeps family reading time fresh for your child (and you), as well as introducing them to new subjects and vocabulary.

That’s why we curate some of our best recommendations for diverse picture books around timely topics each month. We hope this inspires you to find some awesome new-to-you reads for your child at your local library or independent bookstore. 

Plus, the last Saturday in April is Independent Bookstore Day, so why not grab this list and show some love to your local bookshop? Go in person and share the joy of browsing with your child, or shop independent bookstores around the country online.

Here are some books to delve into with your child this month:

Picture Books for Earth Day

Whatever else unites or divides us, our planet is truly everyone’s business. And on April 22, Earth Day provides a powerful opportunity to remember that, as well as to pass on a message of stewardship to the next generation. 

From fostering environmentalism and climate to inculcating habits of physical activity and mindfulness, Earth Day opens the door to a plethora of valuable lessons. And you can introduce and reinforce them all with a few choice reads. Find recommendations for awesome picture books to read on Earth Day, plus fun activities, in our free DIY Earth-shaped bookmark printable post, our article on Earth Day activities from nature walk story times to recycled art, and our article about easy ways to teach kids to care for the planet.

Kids’ Books about Easter, Passover, & Ramadan

The world’s major monotheistic religions all have important holidays this month. It’s a great time to share some picture books to celebrate your family’s traditions and/or to learn about other cultures. 

Check out our lists of Ramadan picture books and Passover picture books to get you started, and your local library should have plenty of titles featured for all three holidays. We’ve also got a bunch of fun Easter literacy activities, including a super-easy Read with Me Recipe for “Easter Egg Bread,” as well as tutorials for literacy-supporting DIY Easter basket gifts.

Picture Books about Baseball

Plaaaaay ball! It’s baseball season… and that’s one more reason to pick up some new picture books. 

Whether your child is obsessed with baseball or barely knows what it is, our recommended baseball picture books will engage them with fun and inspiring stories—plus life lessons about teamwork, discipline, perseverance, and resilience. What’s more, the sport’s past and present can spark important conversations about history, racism, progress, and values. 

If your child is a player or a fan, so much the better—one of the best ways to engage children in reading is to share books about topics they’re interested in. When kids are excited to cheer on their favorite players or love to play sports themselves, books by and about athletes are ideal to capture their attention. 

MayaSmart.com is your one-stop-shop for raising a reader. Check out our other kids’ book lists and articles. In addition to bringing books into your reading time that tackle timely topics or important subjects, be sure to follow their interests, as well. If your kid loves science or animals—read about those topics. Following their interests keeps them engaged and helps you build a responsive relationship with your child. 

We’ll be back next month with our guide for what to read to your child in May. Meanwhile, go ahead and browse around the site for more tips and tutorials, or message Maya with your questions. We’re so happy to have you here!

What are you reading with your child this month?