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The Year My Life Went Down the Toilet

Jake Maia Arlow

A hilariously honest book about surviving middle school while navigating a chronic illness from the Stonewall Honor-winning author of Almost Flying.

Twelve-year-old Al Schneider is too scared to talk about the two biggest things in her life:

1. Her stomach hurts all the time and she has no idea why.
2. She’s almost definitely 100% sure she likes girls.

So she holds it in…until she can’t. After nearly having an accident of the lavatorial variety in gym class, Al finds herself getting a colonoscopy and an answer—she has Crohn’s disease.

But rather than solving all her problems, Al's diagnosis just makes everything worse. It’s scary and embarrassing. And worst of all, everyone wants her to talk about it—her overprotective mom, her best friend, and most annoyingly her gastroenterologist, who keeps trying to get her to go to a support group for kids with similar chronic illnesses. But, who wants to talk about what you do in the bathroom?

The Year My Life Went Down the Toilet is a wildly funny and honest story about finding community, telling the truth even when it’s hard, and the many indignities of middle school life.

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Meowloween (Meowl-o-ween)

Diane Muldrow

It's Halloween night, also known as Meowl-o-ween! Cats are on the prowl, ready to give trick-or-treaters a fright. But one lost kitten is scared--will she find her way and join the fun?

On frightful, delightful Meowl-o-ween, cats slink by carved pumpkins and prepare to spook the trick-or-treaters parading the streets. But not all of the cats are enjoying the flashing lights and costumes. A lone kitten is overwhelmed by the crowds and doesn’t know which way to turn! This fresh Halloween tale is a rhyming read-aloud that shows even the smallest scaredy-cat can find the courage to overcome their fears and anxieties.

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The Duck Never Blinks

Alex Latimer

Can you make a duck blink?

Probably not.

But you can try, in this irreverent and hilarious staring contest between you and a duck that never, ever blinks.


Do you see that duck over there?

That duck doesn't blink.
Even if you look away then look back real quick.
Even if you tell it a really funny joke!

Perfect for fans of interactive stories like Do Not Lick This Book and Duck! Rabbit!, The Duck Never Blinks will have kids and adults alike bawling with laughter as they spend time with this one very sly duck.

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The Boo Crew Needs YOU!

Vicky Fang

Trouble's come to Monster Town, and emergencies abound!

There's no time to wait around... get the Boo Crew!

Get ready for a spooky interactive story experience with Lula, Bones, and Fang-a ghost, skeleton, and vampire team who need YOUR help fixing all the messes and frights of a Halloween night gone wrong! Whether it's tapping the page to mend a broken pumpkin or turning the book to set a toppling haunted house back upright, the action prompts let kids join in on the fun and save the day.

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A Walk in the Woods

Nikki Grimes

In this moving account of loss, a boy takes a walk in the woods and makes a discovery that changes his understanding of his father.

A week after the funeral
I stare in the morning mirror
Angry that my father’s eyes
Stare back at me.

Confused and distraught after the death of his father, a boy opens an envelope he left behind and is surprised to find a map of the woods beyond their house, with one spot marked in bright red. But why? The woods had been something they shared together, why would his father want him to go alone?

Slowly, his mind settles as he sets off through the spaces he once explored with his dad, passing familiar beech and black oak trees, flitting Carolina wrens, and a garter snake they named Sal. When he reaches the spot marked on the map, he finds pages upon pages of drawings of woodland creatures, made by his father when he was his age. What he sees shows him a side of his dad he never knew, and something even deeper for them to share together. His dad knew what he really needed was a walk in the woods.

New York Times bestselling author Nikki Grimes and the Caldecott Award winning illustrator Jerry Pinkney spent the early days of the pandemic emailing back and forth and talking about collaborating on a book, with Jerry sharing all of the pictures he took of the woods around his house. From this, they conjured a story of a boy’s struggle with grief, and all the things he sees and feels on a walk through the forest.

Jerry sadly passed away in the fall of 2021, but not before he delivered tight pencil sketches of the forests he loved. When his son Brian took on the task of completing the illustrations, he found himself connecting with his father in a whole new way, his experience mirroring that of the boy in the book. The result is a simultaneously touching and deeply authentic story about the ways shared pastimes keep us close to those we’ve lost.

A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

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Not A Monster

Claudia Guadalupe Martínez

With Spanish vocabulary and a clever color concept, this poetic picture book shares the life cycle of beloved amphibian—the axolotl—in its natural habitat.

An axolotl may look like one, but it is certainly Not a Monster. This curious creature, made popular by Minecraft, is actually a salamander that will never lose its gills or fins. Not a Monster explores the traits of the axolotl, the Aztec origin myth about the species, and the way pollution is affecting its natural habitat: the canals of Xochimilco in Mexico City.

Fun and engaging, this playful and informative read-aloud introduces curious readers on one cool character who is NOT a monster!

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Conjure Island

Eden Royce

From the award-winning author of Root Magic comes the story of a girl forced to spend the summer with a great-grandmother she's never met--only to discover she runs a school for Southern conjure magic.

If you ask Delphinia Baker, she'd tell you she has all the family she needs. Sure, her mom passed away when she was young, her dad is often away on deployment, but even though Del has never had anyone she can call her people, she has always had her grandmother--and that's enough. Besides, having no roots just makes it that much easier when you have to move again.

All of that changes, though, when Gramma falls ill and Del is sent to stay with her great-grandmother. Del has never even heard of Nana Rose, and she has no interest in spending the summer on an unbearably hot island off the South Carolina coast. And when Nana Rose starts talking about the school she runs dedicated to their family's traditions--something called "conjure magic"--Del knows she's in for a weird, awkward summer.

That is, until the magic turns out to be real.

Soon, Del is surrounded by teachers who call themselves witches, kids with strange abilities, creatures and ghosts who can speak to her. She has a hundred questions, but one more than any other: Why didn't Gramma ever tell her about her family, the island, this magic? As Del sets out to find her place in a world she never knew existed, she also discovers a shadowy presence on the island--and comes to believe that it all might be connected.

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Hope in the Valley

Mitali Perkins

Hope in the Valley, from National Book Award Nominee Mitali Perkins, is a middle-grade novel exploring grief, friendship, family, and growing up in a community facing a housing crisis.

Twelve-year-old Indian-American Pandita Paul doesn't like change. She's not ready to start middle school and leave the comforts of childhood behind. Most of all, Pandita doesn't want to feel like she's leaving her mother, who died a few years ago, behind. After a falling out with her best friend, Pandita is planning to spend most of her summer break reading and writing in her favorite secret space: the abandoned but majestic mansion across the street.

But then the unthinkable happens. The town announces that the old home will be bulldozed in favor of new—maybe affordable—housing. With her family on opposing sides of the issue, Pandita must find her voice—and the strength to move on—in order to give her community hope.

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The Secret Society of Aunts & Uncles

Jake Gyllenhaal

WARNING: This book is for aunts, uncles, nieces and/or nephews ONLY!

Let's face it, being an aunt or uncle is AWESOME. There are countless adventures to be had, from eating dessert before dinner to activities with the perfect amount of HDD - Healthy Dose of Danger. But that isn't all. In order to master the sacred art of Auntieology and Uncleology, you must be tested by a distinguished panel of nieces and nephews, as there are rules and regulations to follow. For instance: when is bedtime? 8 o'clock you say? WRONG!*

The Secret Society of Aunts & Uncles is a madcap, magical adventure into the heart of what it means to have an aunt or uncle—how we learn to keep each other close and find love in the simplest things. Jake Gyllenhaal and Greta Caruso paint a goofy, loving portrait of one of the most important relationships in children’s lives in this funny and heartfelt romp of a picture book with witty and inventive illustrations by award-winning illustrator Dan Santat. This is the perfect gift for the nice or nephew in anyone's life.


*If a parental unit is reading this, bedtime is DEFINITELY 8 o'clock sharp, aunts and uncles will not make any exceptions! (Okay, now that that's out of the way. . .Secret Society rules state it is ALWAYS exactly three minutes before the parental units get home. . .but that's just between us.)

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The Scariest Kitten in the World

Kate Messner

The Scariest Kitten in the World is a hilarious picture book by Kate Messner and illustrated by MacKenzie Haley in the vein of The Monster at the End of This Book about a not-so-scary kitten and a not-too-terrifying haunted house.

WARNING! This is a VERY scary story.
It is the most spine-chilling story anyone could ever read.
It takes place in a horrifying haunted house (okay, not that terrifying) . . .
with a creepy creature (well, maybe not that creepy) . . .
and its frightening friends (but are they that frightening?).
Seriously. You’re going to be scared right out of your underpants by these guys!
There’s no way they’re the cutest little critters you’ve ever seen . . . right?

Packed with humor and heart and adorable illustrations, this not-quite-scary story will keep you laughing until the very last page.

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Happy Sloth Day!

April Pulley Sayre

Take a stunning sloth’s-eye view of the world in this beautiful and informative photographic nonfiction picture book from award-winning author and photographer April Pulley Sayre.

Come meet sloths in the rainforest canopy where these slow, gentle creatures live and see what they eat, how they hide from predators, and much more. Young readers will also learn about some of the other creatures that share this interconnected and fragile tropical forest ecosystem. With gorgeous photographs, a text that’s perfect for reading aloud, info-packed side bars, and detailed end matter, this book will captivate sloth enthusiasts of all ages!

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Famous Robberies

Soledad Romero

As one thief wrote on the armored vault of a bank he'd just emptied: "Without weapons or violence and with no hate." Stealing a world-famous piece of art from a museum or snatching diamonds under 24-hour surveillance: there is a certain fascination for impressive robberies. And the world has seen some truly legendary ones. Famous Robberies tells the real adventures of those who walked through walls and did the impossible. It introduces the perpetrators of infamous hits like the Great Train Robbery, the Antwerp diamond heist, or the Citibank Hack. With chapters designed in retro-newspaper style, this book will fascinate children for historical events as much as for the investigations and reporting around them.

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I Will Protect You

Eva Mozes Kor

The illuminating and deeply moving true story of twin sisters who survived Nazi experimentation, against all odds, during the Holocaust.



Eva and her identical twin sister, Miriam, had a mostly happy childhood. Theirs was the only Jewish family in their small village in the Transylvanian mountains, but they didn't think much of it until anti-Semitism reared its ugly head in their school. Then, in 1944, ten-year-old Eva and her family were deported to Auschwitz. At its gates, Eva and Miriam were separated from their parents and other siblings, selected as subjects for Dr. Mengele's infamous medical experiments.



During the course of the war, Mengele would experiment on 3,000 twins. Only 160 would survive--including Eva and Miriam.



Writing with her friend Danica Davidson, Eva reveals how two young girls were able to survive the unimaginable cruelty of the Nazi regime, while also eventually finding healing and the capacity to forgive. Spare and poignant, I Will Protect You is a vital memoir of survival, loss, and forgiveness.

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Blips on a Screen

Kate Hannigan

 

An engaging picture book biography based on the incredible true story of a Jewish refugee who pioneered home video games and launched a worldwide obsession.
Do you ever wonder how video gaming was invented? What came before your PlayStation or Xbox? This is the story of Ralph Baer, a refugee from Nazi Germany, who used his skills--and a lot of ingenuity and persistence--to make life a little more fun. 
 
Television was new when Ralph returned from serving in World War II, but he didn't settle for watching TV. He knew it could be even more fun if you could play with it. He tinkered and tested, got help and rejected, but with perseverance and skill, he made his vision come true! This is the inspiring story of a fearless inventor who made TV video games a reality.

 

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Dinosaur Club: The T-Rex Attack

Rex Stone

 

Travel back in time to the world of the dinosaurs! Children will be inspired to discover the prehistoric world with this edge-of-your-seat adventure dinosaur storybook.
Dino-crazy kids can follow Jamie and Tess on a prehistoric adventure of a lifetime where they meet Wanna — a new dinosaur friend. However, they soon learn that not all dinosaurs are so friendly when they encounter the T.rex — the King of the dinosaurs!

This beautiful children’s dinosaur book for 5-year-olds and up contains:

   • Beautifully illustrated line art accompanied by expertly written text
   • Plenty of humor and delightful dinosaur fun facts
   • Reference material that contextualizes each narrative, including timelines, quizzes, fact files and glossaries

Jamie is one of the biggest dinosaur fans ever. He's a member of the Dinosaur Club — a network of kids around the world who share dinosaur knowledge. While exploring Ammonite Bay, Jamie meets Tess, a fellow Dinosaur Club member. Tess shows Jamie her favorite place — a secret cave with fossils all over the walls. They see a strange tunnel at the back and go through it together. You won’t believe what they discover next — actual dinosaurs! 

Learn all about dinosaurs and the prehistoric world in this first installment of DK's new children’s book series. A beautiful marriage of fiction and fact, Dinosaur Club is a modern revision of the popular Dinosaur Cove series fully updated for a new audience, featuring a brand new premise, new characters, totally new artwork throughout, and all the latest dinosaur information and discoveries. 

At the end of this fictional book, you'll find "The Dino Files" which is a summary of all the scientific facts and discoveries made throughout the story. With fun illustrations, quizzes and a vocabulary list, the value of this educational book is outstanding and great for a classroom read!

Add Dinosaur Club: A Triceratops Charge, to your collection next, and keep an eye out for the next releases due in 2022, Dinosaur Club: Saving a Stegosaurus and Dinosaur Club: Tracking the Diplodocus.

 

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Operation Sisterhood

Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich

Fans of the Netflix reboot of The Babysitters Club will delight as four new sisters band together in the heart of New York City. Discover this jubilant novel about the difficulties of change, the loyalty of sisters, and the love of family from a prolific award-winning author.

"[A] jubilant middle grade novel." -The New York Times

Bo and her mom always had their own rhythm. But ever since they moved to Harlem, Bo’s world has fallen out of sync. She and Mum are now living with Mum’s boyfriend Bill, his daughter Sunday, the twins, Lili and Lee, the twins' parents…along with a dog, two cats, a bearded dragon, a turtle, and chickens. All in one brownstone! With so many people squished together, Bo isn’t so sure there is room for her.

Set against the bursting energy of a New York City summer, award-winning author Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich delivers a joyful novel about a new family that hits all the right notes!

“This ode to Black girlhood and the communities that serve them offers humor, tenderness, and charm.” –Renée Watson, New York Times bestselling author

“A beautiful, rich, and deeply comforting story about family and the powerful choice to live with joy, Operation Sisterhood is a book to savor.” –Rebecca Stead, New York Times bestselling author
“Operation Sisterhoodbubbles over with humor, heart, and big-blended-family enthusiasm --a joyful love letter to Black girls, New YorkCity, and the transformative power of sisterhood.” –Kate Messner, author of Chirpand Breakout

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Operation Do-Over

Gordon Korman

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Unteachables, Gordon Korman, comes a hilarious new high-concept friendship story in the vein of Back to the Future. Perfect for fans of Korman's Restart.

Mason and Ty were once the very best of friends, like two nerdy sides of the same coin . . . until seventh grade, when Ava Petrakis came along. Now Mason can trace everything bad in his life to that terrible fight they had over the new girl. The one thing he'd give anything for is a do-over. But that can't happen in real life--can it?

As a science kid, Mason knows do-overs are impossible, so he can't believe it when he wakes up from a freak accident and finds himself magically transported back to seventh grade. His parents aren't yet divorced and his beloved sheepdog is still alive. Best of all, he and Ty haven't had their falling-out yet.

It makes no logical sense, but Mason is determined to use this second chance to not only save his friendship (and his dog!) but do other things differently--like trying out for the football team and giving new friends a chance. There's just one person he'll be avoiding at all costs: Ava. But despite his best efforts, will he be able to stop the chain of events that made his previous life implode?

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Anybody Here Seen Frenchie?

Leslie Connor

A big-hearted, beautiful, and funny novel told from multiple viewpoints about neurodiversity, friendship, and community from the award-winning author of The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle, Leslie Connor.

Eleven-year-old Aurora Petrequin's best friend has never spoken a word to her. In fact, Frenchie Livernois doesn't talk.

Aurora is bouncy, loud and impulsive--"a big old blurter." Making friends has never come easily. When Frenchie, who is autistic, silently chose Aurora as his person back in third grade, she chose him back. They make a good team, sharing their love of the natural world in coastal Maine.

In the woods, Aurora and Frenchie encounter a piebald deer, a rare creature with a coat like a patchwork quilt. Whenever it appears, Aurora feels compelled to follow.

At school, Aurora looks out for Frenchie, who has been her classmate until this year. One morning, Frenchie doesn't make it to his classroom. Aurora feels she's to blame. The entire town begins to search, and everyone wonders: how is it possible that nobody has seen Frenchie?

At the heart of this story is the friendship between hyper-talkative Aurora and nonvocal Frenchie. Conflict arises when Aurora is better able to expand her social abilities and finds new friends. When Frenchie goes missing, Aurora must figure out how to use her voice to help find him, and lift him up when he is found.

Featuring a compelling mystery and a memorable voice, this is a natural next-read after Leslie Connor's The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle.

* Kids' Indie Next Pick * New England Book Award Finalists 2022 *

"Leslie Connor brilliantly depicts a genuine and meaningful friendship between a dynamic girl and her nonvocal friend. By showing the ways Aurora and Frenchie communicate, Connor gives us a blueprint for seeing autistic children in a new light. I loved, loved, loved this book!" --Cammie McGovern, author of Frankie and Amelia and Chester and Gus

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How to Heal a Gryphon

Meg Cannistra

"A funny, fantastical mystery. . . Perfect for fans of Rick Riordan." --Laura Ruby, Two-Time National Book Award Finalist and author of the YORK Trilogy



"I could live with these characters and in this world for a good long while. Bring on the sequel!" --New York Times bestselling author Julie Murphy



To save her family, she'll have to make a dangerous bargain and tip the scales of balance.



With her thirteenth birthday just around the corner, Giada Bellantuono has to make a big decision: Will she join the family business and become a healer or follow her dreams? But even though she knows her calling is to heal vulnerable animals, using her powers to treat magical creatures is decidedly not allowed.



When a group of witches kidnaps her beloved older brother, Rocco, and her parents are away, Giada is the only person left who can rescue him. Swept into the magical underground city of Malafi, Giada will need the help of her new companions to save her brother--or risk losing him forever.

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Nothing Interesting Ever Happens to Ethan Fairmont

Nick Brooks

Something cool happening in Ferrous City? Not a chance.

Until one day . . . when self-proclaimed genius inventor Ethan Fairmont runs into an abandoned car factory to avoid a local bully and accidentally stumbles across his ex-best friend Kareem, new kid Juan Carlos, and an extraterrestrial visitor. Cheese (the alien) is stuck on Earth in need of some serious repairs, spicy snacks--and absolute, total secrecy. That's easier said than done when mysterious agents descend on Ferrous City to search for Cheese. With time running out and their family and friends in potential danger, can Ethan, Kareem, and Juan Carlos pull off an intergalactic rescue before they're all found out?

E.T. meets Stranger Things in the kickoff to Nick Brooks's middle-grade series that weaves contemporary issues of racial profiling, industrial community struggles, and everyday life in a fast-paced out-of-this-world adventure.

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The Lodge That Beaver Built

Randi Sonenshine

A lush companion to The Nest That Wren Built brings to light the habits of a secretive creature with lifelike illustrations and a lyrical, informative text.

Resourceful Beaver and his family work every day to build the perfect lodge in the pond, made of branches from the shore willow and silty mud from the streambed. Secure and safe from the elements and all the forest animals who come by, the beavers sleep, play, and grow inside the lodge. But come springtime’s flood, this family of beavers will move on, leaving behind the remains of the lodge that Beaver built. Gently scientific and accessible, with soft, glowing illustrations from award-winning artist Anne Hunter, this lilting, poetic companion to The Nest That Wren Built introduces young children to the engineering feat of dam-building and the life cycle of beaver families. Budding nature lovers can explore more beaver facts, a glossary, and a list of suggested resources in the back matter.

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How to Party Like a Snail

Naseem Hrab

An introverted snail throws his own kind of party to celebrate all things quiet

Snail is a party animal. Well...kind of. He loves the quiet things about parties: confetti, making new friends (using his indoor voice, of course), and the silence before everyone yells, "SURPRISE!" But when parties get loud, Snail retreats into his shell. He's still partying, but no one can tell he's having a good time while he's tucked inside. His friends don't understand why he doesn't love loud parties like they do, and soon Snail's party invites begin to dry up.

In response, Snail decides to plan his own quiet party, complete with warm milk and lullaby lip-syncing. But something is missing--does Snail long for the "loud" after all? That's when Stump, a fellow introvert, chimes in with an idea. Maybe Snail isn't missing the "loud"...maybe he's just missing a friend to share the quiet. Together, Stump and Snail turn the lullabies down low and celebrate "the shush" together.

With comics-style storytelling and lovable characters, this hilarious tale makes quiet so fun that even the most extroverted readers will want to SHHHelebrate!

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Daddy-Daughter Day

Pierce Freelon

A celebration of the love #girldads share with their daughters, musician Pierce Freelon's picture book debut is a joyous anthem brought to life by Olivia Duchess's beautiful and adorable illustrations.



A daddy and daughter can't let this perfect day go to waste--so what will they do and where will they go?



Play hopscotch in the park or build a pillow fort and stay inside?

Shoot the perfect alley-oop or host a tea party on the half-court line?

Frolic like princesses or find a big tree to climb?



If life gives them puddles, they'll jump and splash and play!




 

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Professor Goose Debunks Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Paulette Bourgeois

The first in a new series by the author of Franklin the Turtle! Join Professor Goose in this STEM-filled picture book as she fact-checks classic fairy tales and shares the science behind these flawed stories.

Mother Goose's fairy tales are NOT based in science, and her great niece Professor Goose thinks it's time to share the truth. Join Professor Goose as she — literally — travels through the pages of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, fact-checking, exposing the flaws and explaining the science. Bears don't live in cottages — they prefer dens! The smallest bowl of porridge wouldn't be "just right" — it would have been the coldest! Professor Goose is delighted to see Baby Bear use the scientific method and Goldilocks's fight or flight response. And maybe Goldilocks should have used a GPS so she wouldn't have gotten lost in the first place?

Jammed with jokes and wonderfully silly illustrations, this book entertains while it introduces basic scientific laws and rules to young readers. At the back of the book, readers will find Professor Goose's instructions on how to engineer their own chair for a (teddy) bear!

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The Best Gift for Bear

Jennifer A. Bell

Just right for the holidays, this charming story about finding a perfect present introduces an endearing hedgehog and bear--and includes a gingerbread-cookie recipe.

Hedgehog has been busy making gifts for all of her friends. But what could possibly be grand enough for her dear friend Bear? Bear had shown Hedgehog the wonders of butterflies and taught her to ice-skate, after all. When Hedgehog finally finds her inspiration and delivers the gift, it doesn't quite turn out as she expected...

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Fitting In

Haruka Aoki

A heart-warming, inclusive, and whimsical picture book about a square trying to fit into a world of circles. This book celebrates what makes everyone unique and special.
 

  • Perfect for teachers and parents to teach kids the importance of inclusivity.
  • Great resource for discussing topics like acceptance, empathy, bullying, and more.
  • A universal message that applies to anyone!


In a world of circles, Square feels different! In public, Square wears extra shapes to try to fit in, but pretending to be a circle all the time is hard work.

When Square trips and falls at a big, beautiful circle party, everyone learns the truth about Square’s identity. In the end, Square realizes many friends are different shapes, too, and learns to celebrate the uniqueness of every shape (including the square!). 

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