Best Selling Paperback Books by Kevin Henkes

Kevin Henkes is the author of Winter Is Here (2020), My Garden (2010), Chrysanthemum Big Book (2007), Old Bear (2008), Penny and Her Song (2012) and other 94 books.

For more book recommendations, please check out New York Times® Best Sellers, Children's Book Recommendations or the complete list of Featured Book Lists and Award Winners

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Winter Is Here

release date: Nov 03, 2020
Winter Is Here
From Caldecott Medalist and Newbery Honor author Kevin Henkes and acclaimed painter Laura Dronzek, the bestselling and award-winning creators of When Spring Comes and In the Middle of Fall, this picture book about winter celebrates the sights, sounds, and smells of the season. Snow falls, animals burrow, and children prepare for the wonders winter brings. Caldecott Medalist and award-winning author Kevin Henkes''s striking text introduces basic concepts of language and the unique beauty of the winter season. Laura Dronzek''s expressive paintings beautifully capture the joyful wonders of winter. This is an engaging companion to the best-selling When Spring Comes and In the Middle of Fall. Winter Is Here is an ideal choice for story time, seasonal curriculums, and bedtime reading.

My Garden

release date: Feb 23, 2010
My Garden
The girl in this book grows chocolate rabbits, tomatoes as big as beach balls, flowers that change color, and seashells in her garden. How does your garden grow?

Chrysanthemum Big Book

release date: Oct 02, 2007
Chrysanthemum Big Book
She was a perfect baby, and she had a perfect name. Chrysanthemum. Chrysanthemum loved her name—until she started school. A terrific read-aloud for the classroom and libraries!

Old Bear

release date: Aug 19, 2008
Old Bear
Snug and warm, curled and furry, Old Bear sleeps. Red, orange, and brown leaves fly through the air, and it is snowing hard. Old Bear doesn''t notice. Old Bear is dreaming about being a cub again. He is dreaming about the beauty of the world. He is dreaming of everything he loves about the forest that is his home. Turn the page and you will see!

Penny and Her Song

release date: Aug 21, 2012
Penny and Her Song
Meet Penny, the sweet and curious mouse, in Caldecott Medalist and bestselling author Kevin Henkes’s instant classic story for young readers, perfect for fans Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, Owen, and Chrysanthemum. When Penny comes home from school, she is ready to sing her song. But the babies are sleeping, and Mama and Papa are worried that Penny will wake them up. Oh, but it is a good song, a really wonderful song . . . and Penny wants more than anything to sing it. Will it ever be the right time to sing it? Penny and Her Song is a Level One I Can Read book, which means it''s perfect for children learning to sound out words and sentences. Kevin Henkes is a master at creating beautifully illustrated books that resonate with young children. The Penny books are new classics for beginning readers and will appeal to fans of Frog and Toad, Little Bear, and Henry and Mudge. Don''t miss Penny''s newest adventures in Penny and Her Sled!

Words of Stone

release date: Jul 02, 2013
Words of Stone
Blaze Werla is having a typical summer. He lives in the country with his father and grandmother. He spends his days alone, wandering around the hill beside his home. Then the message appears on the side of the hill. And Blaze''s summer suddenly takes a turn toward the mysterious. By the time Blaze meets Joselle Stark, the unexpected seems almost normal.

Protecting Marie

release date: Jul 02, 2013
Protecting Marie
"Fanny sensed that from the moment she was born she was meant to have a dog. It was as though some unique and independent organ deep inside her, like a tiny heart, couldn''t thrive properly without one." With humor and compassion Kevin Henkes tells Fanny''s story. But this is not just a dog story. This is a story about a girl and tier father. This is a story about growing up. This is a story about wanting and getting and realizing that nothing is simple or easy.

Chester's Way

release date: Dec 14, 2021
Chester's Way
“I like croquet and peanut butter and making my bed.” There is only one way for Chester to do things—his own way. “You definitely have a mind of your own,” said Chester’s mother. “That’s one way to put it,” said Chester’s father. Luckily Chester’s best friend, Wilson, likes doing things just the same way as Chester. When they cut their sandwiches, it''s always diagonally. When they ride their bikes, they always use hand signals. If Chester is hungry, Wilson is too. They''re two of a kind—until indomitable Lilly, who has her own way of doing things, moves into the neighborhood. Because Lilly has her own way of doing things! Written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes, the nationally bestselling and celebrated creator of Lilly''s Purple Plastic Purse, Kitten''s First Full Moon, and Chrysanthemum, Chester''s Way is a classic picture book about friendship for kids ages 3-7. With sweet good humor and charming pictures, the book''s themes of making new friends, accepting others, and trying new things resonate when curled up with a parent or at story time.

Sun & Spoon

release date: Jan 01, 2001
Sun & Spoon
It''s been only two months since Spoon Gilmore''s grandmother died, but already he''s worried that he''ll forget her. He needs to own something of Gran''s, something special. But Spoon''s little sister, Joanie, won''t give him time alone to think, even when they go to their grandfather''s house. What happens there will stay with readers long after they finish Sun & Spoon. Kevin Henkes''s innate understanding of childhood illuminates his work with a rare glow." Henkes offers another meticulously crafted, quietly engaging epiphany...Infused with the same good humor, wisdom, and respect for children''s hearts and minds that characterize all his works." -- Kirkus Reviews, pointer review" Once again, Henkes captures young angst with respect and honesty....Images of supportive parents and love between generations shine through." -- School Library Journal, starred review

Oh!

release date: Oct 28, 1999
Oh!
The snow falls all night. Everything is white. And everyone wants to play. You can play, too! Come and join the squirrel, the rabbit, the cat, the dog, and all the children. You don''t even need your snowsuit!

Birds

release date: Feb 17, 2009
Birds
Birds come in all sizes, shapes, and colors. Birds are magic. Birds are everywhere. If you listen very carefully you will hear them, no matter where you live. And if you look very closely you will see them, no matter where you are. And if you can''t go outside right this minute, you can always read this book!

All Alone

release date: May 13, 2003
All Alone
When you are alone, you can do all sorts of things -- pretend you are tiny (or enormous), hear things other people can''t hear, and see things they can''t see. Being alone is fine -- sometimes. Kevin Henke''s first book makes it clear that he remembers his own childhood and respects that time in others. His remarkable paintings have a life and luminescense that are unforgettable.

Kitten's First Full Moon

release date: Mar 02, 2004
Kitten's First Full Moon
What a night! The moon is full. Kitten is hungry and inquisitive and brave and fast and persistent and unlucky . . . then lucky! What a night!

Shhhh

release date: Aug 15, 1989
Shhhh
Someone just woke up. Quietly she moves around the house. Everyone else is still asleep... A perfect Good Morning for early -- and late -- risers.

A Good Day

release date: Feb 27, 2007
A Good Day
It started out as a bad day for little yellow bird, little white dog, little orange fox, and little brown squirrel. Until . . . A discovery, and love, and luck and persistence, and a different point of view changed all that. What can turn a bad day into a good day? You decide.

Two Under Par

release date: Jul 02, 2013
Two Under Par
It seemed to ten-year-old Wedge that most of the time nothing made sense anymore. Suddenly he had a brand-new stepfather and a five-year-old stepbrother, Andrew. He lived in a new house, far from his friends, and his bedroom window looked out on a seven-foot castle that marked the eighteenth hole of the miniature golf course his stepfather owned. He hated it. Wedge does not easily let go of his anger, but the moment does come when things again begin to make sense. Kevin Henkes tells the story of Wedge''s journey to understanding and acceptance with humor and sympathy.

Julius, the Baby of the World

release date: Jan 01, 1990
Julius, the Baby of the World
"Lilly is convinced that the arrival of her new baby brother is the worst thing that has happened in their house, until Cousin Garland comes to visit"--Title page verso.

The Birthday Room

release date: Jul 10, 2008
The Birthday Room
When twelve-year-old Ben visits his uncle in Oregon, he feels caught in the strained relationship between his mother and her brother while he also begins to accept himself as an artist.

A Box Full of Lilly

release date: Oct 17, 2006
A Box Full of Lilly
Lilly has starred in two picture books with her name in the title: Lilly''s Purple Plastic Purse and Lilly''s Big Day. Now these two hardcover books are available in A Box Full of Lilly. The sturdy slipcase features art by Kevin Henkes and the package includes a limited edition print (of Lilly, of course) that is suitable for framing.

Sheila Rae, the Brave

release date: Aug 31, 2021
Sheila Rae, the Brave
Sheila Rae, the Brave is a warm, humorous, and loving story of sibling sympathy and support. Just because Sheila Rae is older, she doesn''t always know better! This classic picture book about overcoming fear is written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes, the nationally bestselling and celebrated creator of Lilly''s Purple Plastic Purse, Owen, and Kitten''s First Full Moon. "I am very brave," Sheila Rae said, patting herself on the back. She wasn''t afraid of anything—not thunder, not lightning, not the big black dog at the end of the block. And when she wanted to walk home a new way and Louise wouldn''t, she called her sister a scaredy-cat and set out alone. But all the bravado in the world failed to help when Sheila Rae found herself lost. Luckily, her sister was not far behind. "Children will love it."—School Library Journal

Olive's Ocean

release date: Apr 26, 2005
Olive's Ocean
Sometimes life can change in an instant Martha Boyle and Olive Barstow could have been friends, but they weren''t. Weeks after a tragic accident, all that is left are eerie connections between the two girls, former classmates who both kept the same secret without knowing it. Now, even while on vacation at the ocean, Martha can''t stop thinking about Olive. Things only get more complicated when Martha begins to like Jimmy Manning, a neighbor boy she used to despise. What is going on? Can life for Martha be the same ever again?

A House

release date: Sep 08, 2021

Sweeping Up the Heart

release date: Mar 19, 2019
Sweeping Up the Heart
From two-time Newbery Honor and New York Times–bestselling author Kevin Henkes, this timeless novel about loss, loneliness, and friendship tells the story of the spring break that changes seventh-grader Amelia Albright’s life forever. Amelia Albright dreams about going to Florida for spring break like everyone else in her class, but her father—a cranky and stubborn English professor—has decided Florida is too much adventure. Now Amelia is stuck at home with him and her babysitter, the beloved Mrs. O’Brien. The week ahead promises to be boring, until Amelia meets Casey at her neighborhood art studio. Amelia has never been friends with a boy before, and the experience is both fraught and thrilling. When Casey claims to see the spirit of Amelia’s mother (who died ten years before), the pair embarks on an altogether different journey in their attempt to find her. Using crisp, lyrical, literary writing and moments of humor and truth, award-winning author Kevin Henkes deftly captures how it feels to be almost thirteen. With themes of family, death, grief, creativity, and loyalty, Sweeping Up the Heart is for readers of Kate DiCamillo, Rebecca Stead, Lauren Wolk, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, and Pam Muñoz Ryan.

The Zebra Wall

release date: Jul 10, 2009

Penny and Her Doll

release date: Aug 21, 2012
Penny and Her Doll
When Penny receives a surprise box in the mail from Gram, she is thrilled. The surprise is a doll, and she is absolutely perfect, from her head to her toes. Penny loves her immediately. She introduces her new doll to Mama and to the babies and to Papa. But then Papa asks what the doll''s name is, and Penny realizes that she doesn''t know. What do you think will happen?

Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse

release date: Aug 19, 1996
Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse
Lilly loves everything about school, especially her cool teacher, Mr. Slinger. But when Lilly brings her purple plastic purse and its treasures to school and can''t wait until sharing time, Mr. Slinger confiscates her prized possessions. Lilly''s fury leads to revenge and then to remorse and she sets out to make amends. Lilly, the star of Chester''s Way and Julius, the Baby of the World, is back. And this time she has her name in the title - something she''s wanted all along. If you thought Lilly was funny before, you are in for a treat. So hurry up and start reading. Lilly can''t wait for you to find out more about her.

Billy Miller Makes a Wish

release date: Apr 06, 2021
Billy Miller Makes a Wish
“Full of heart and depth.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “Henkes is a master of characterization. —The Horn Book (starred review) “A first-rate choice for reading aloud.”—Booklist (starred review) Billy Miller is back! This stand-alone companion to two-time Newbery Honor author Kevin Henkes’s award-winning, acclaimed, and bestselling The Year of Billy Miller, Billy Miller Makes a Wish is a laugh-out-loud funny and accessible story about summer, family, and wishes that (almost) come true. Billy Miller Makes a Wish is illustrated in black-and-white throughout by the author, and is perfect for fans of the Ramona books and the Clementine series. On his birthday, Billy Miller wishes for something exciting to happen. But he immediately regrets his wish when an ambulance rushes to his neighbor’s house. Is Billy responsible? Award-winning author Kevin Henkes delivers a short, funny, and emotionally complex novel complete with misplaced love letters, surprising critters, art projects, misguided tattoos—and another surprise for Billy and his family, maybe the best one yet! Illustrated throughout with black-and-white art by the author, this is a perfect novel for the early elementary grades and an essential choice for summer reading. A stand-alone companion to The Year of Billy Miller, a Newbery Honor Book.

Little White Rabbit

release date: Jan 25, 2011
Little White Rabbit
One bright spring day a little white rabbit sets out from home on an adventure. What does he find? Look! Everything is new.Anything is possible. . . .

Bird Lake Moon

release date: Jul 02, 2013
Bird Lake Moon
Told in alternating voices, this smart and engaging middle grade novel from the beloved Kevin Henkes is the story of two boys coming together in friendship as they struggle with family conflicts and tragedy. There are ghosts at Bird Lake, and they''re haunting Mitch and Spencer. Not the Halloween kind, but ghosts of the past. Memories of how life was before—before the divorce, before the accident. Can their ghosts bring Mitch and Spencer together, as friends? Or will their secrets keep them apart? Mitch feels isolated at his grandparents’ house and can’t help hating his father, who walked out on him and his mom two and a half weeks earlier. Spencer’s family has decided it’s finally time to return to Bird Lake, years after his brother, Matty, drowned there. Both boys arrive at the lake scarred and fragile, but as they become friends, the sharp edges of their lives smooth out and, slowly, they are able to start healing. “Superbly crafted. A ‘must have’ for every library.” —School Library Journal (starred review) “In a novel as tender as his acclaimed Olive’s Ocean, Henkes probes the psyches of two boys facing family conflicts.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Jessica

release date: May 27, 1998
Jessica
"There is no Jessica," said Ruthie''s parents. But of course there was. She ate with Ruthie, played with Ruthie, and was sorry when Ruthie was bad. Nobody could see Jessica -- except Ruthie. When it came time for Ruthie to go to school, Jessica went with her. Her parents hoped Ruthie would find a friend at school who would replace Jessica. They were in for a (happy) surprise!

Lilly's Big Day

release date: May 01, 2007
Lilly's Big Day
When her teacher announces that he is getting married, Lilly the mouse sets her heart on being the flower girl at his wedding. By the creator of Kitten''s First Full Moon. Read by Laura Hamilton.

Grandpa and Bo

release date: Apr 16, 2002
Grandpa and Bo
Bo was spending the summer with Grandpa. they walked and fished and made thing together. They celebrated Christmas together -- a very special summer Christmas. But best of all, they talked and laughed and talked some more. And when they finally saw the shooting star at the end of the summer, there was no question the their wishes would be the same.

Winter Is Here Board Book

release date: Oct 29, 2019
Winter Is Here Board Book
From Caldecott Medalist and Newbery Honor author Kevin Henkes and acclaimed painter Laura Dronzek, the bestselling and award-winning creators of When Spring Comes and In the Middle of Fall, this picture book about winter celebrates the sights, sounds, and smells of the season. Snow falls, animals burrow, and children prepare for the wonders winter brings. Caldecott Medalist and award-winning author Kevin Henkes’s striking text introduces basic concepts of language and the unique beauty of the winter season. Laura Dronzek’s expressive paintings beautifully capture the joyful wonders of winter. This is an engaging companion to the best-selling When Spring Comes and In the Middle of Fall. Winter Is Here is an ideal choice for story time, seasonal curriculums, and bedtime reading.

Wemberly Worried

release date: Jul 25, 2000
Wemberly Worried
Wemberly worried about everything. Big things. Little things. And things in between. Then it was time for school to start.And Wemberly worried even more. If you ever worry (or know someone who does), this is the book for you.

Circle Dogs

release date: Jan 09, 2001
Circle Dogs
Shhh. They''re sleeping now... In the big, square house live the two circle dogs. When the sun comes up and the baby cries, the circle dogs wake up. With a flip-flap of their tails, they''re ready to play in a big square yard. They like to eat and take a nap. Then it''s time to play again. And when night comes, the circle dogs like to sleep and sleep and sleep. Shhh...

Bailey Goes Camping

release date: Apr 24, 1997
Bailey Goes Camping
Bruce and Betty were going camping. Bailey had to stay home. "You''re too little," said his brother. "You can go in a few years," said his sister. But Bailey didn''t want to wait. And, with the help of Mama and Papa, Bailey went camping right where he was!

Margaret & Taylor

release date: Jul 02, 2013
Margaret & Taylor
Relates several short episodes of Margaret and her brother Taylor, all pertaining to Grandpa''s surprise birthday party.

Penny and Her Sled

release date: Oct 29, 2019
Penny and Her Sled
“A gentle story of patience.”—Horn Book (starred review) Caldecott Medal–winner Kevin Henkes’s award-winning and bestselling mouse, Penny, stars in an irresistible story about anticipation, disappointment, and a brand-new sled. Told in five short chapters, Penny and Her Sled is perfect for reading alone, reading aloud, and sharing together. When Penny, a sweet and curious mouse, gets a new sled, she can’t wait to use it. But there’s one big problem—there’s no snow! Patiently, Penny waits and watches for the snow to appear. She puts on her scarf and hat. She sleeps with her mittens. Maybe if she’s ready, the snow will finally come. But day after day, the snow does not arrive. Finally, Penny decides she will use her sled for other things—it’s too wonderful not to! With a little imagination, the sled becomes a bridge for her glass animals to cross. It becomes a bed for her doll, Rose. It becomes a magic carpet that takes Penny and Rose on adventures all around the world. And as Penny waits for a snowfall that may never appear, she learns all about the power of patience, imagination, play . . . and spring! Told in five short chapters, and with an emphasis on family and patience, Penny and Her Sled is the perfect choice for emergent readers and for family sharing.
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