By the Sea, You and Me

A new picture book tells a magically simple tale of a lonely boy, a stranded whale and a dad who rises to the occasion.

The World at Night

A new picture book says goodnight in a blissful pastoral setting.

CHILDREN'S BOOKS; Bookshelf: Laughs

SAM AND DAVE DIG A HOLE By Mac Barnett. Illustrated by Jon Klassen. 36 pp. Candlewick. $16.99. (Picture book; ages 2 to 8) 
Two brothers are determined to find “something spectacular” in this clever second...

Walks on the Wild Side

Swallowing their fears, these adventuresome characters set off down unfamiliar streets and explore unknown worlds.

Rare Bird

In this middle-grade novel, a girl finds a way forward after the loss of her mother.

Secret Histories

Students at a therapeutic boarding school discover a way to return to the past, before their personal traumas.

Waging Two Wars

A picture book about an African-American regiment in World War I that confronted racists as well as the German Army.

Words to Live By

A follow-up to the middle-grades novel “Wonder” offers a snippet of story and a pithy saying for each day of the year.

Folk Tales for a New Age

Two new picture books have the feel of folk tales and a sweet, rustic appeal.

Enchanted Words

Kelly Barnhill’s “The Witch’s Boy” is set in an absorbing world of kingdoms and prophecies in which transformation comes through language, courage and self-awareness.

Painting Partners

Two new books present the artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera in striking ways.

On the Road

Raina and her younger sister work out their sibling rivalry on a long and eventful car trip to a family reunion.

To Be Young Again

Galileo. Newton. Salk. Curie. Science can change the world, but has Ellie’s grandfather gone too far?

Must Love Dogs

Some are prim and petite, while others are stout and slobbery. But one way or another, these canine characters come out on top.

Who Are They Kidding?

The characters in three books for early readers are propelled by their self-deception and passion.

Wild on the Inside

In this young adult novel, a teenager indulges a rebellious streak lurking beneath her “apple pie” appearance.

Sonic Youth

Making new friends at school can be tough, but doing so while wearing a bulky hearing aid? That requires superpowers!

Where We Enter

Jacqueline Woodson’s memoir in verse offers poems about sibling rivalry, parents and the friends who help you through.

Solo Acts

In three picture books, dancers who prefer to practice alone learn to share their talents with others.

The Whole Wide World

Two new picture books help children comprehend the very small and the very big.