One girl goes on a very unique trip to Grandma’s house in The Bus Ride by Marianne Dubac (Kids Can Press, 2015). At first, as she boards a bus with her mother’s watchful eye, the reader may believe she is just any kid traveling to Grandmother’s house. To the reader’s surprise, this girl enters a

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A Friend for Mole by Nancy Armo is about a mole who stumbles out of his hole and feels lonely because he’s afraid of the light, as well as a wolf who got lost from his home in the middle of the night and is afraid of the dark. Since they are afraid of the opposite

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I read a number of Cybils nominees again this week, but today I bring you just one. It is unlike any other picture book I’ve read this year! In a bizarre twist of storytelling, Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown (Simon and Schuster 2012) is a ridiculous story about carrots who

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Too Tall Houses by Gianna Marino (Viking, 2012) is a story of two friends, a rabbit and an owl, who share a hilltop lookout for their homes. But when Rabbit’s vegetables start blocking Owl’s view of the forest, the two friends become bitter as they try to out-smart the other. As their homes grow taller

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Penguin and Pinecone: A Friendship Story by Salina Yoon (Walker and Company, 2012) is a sweet story about a friendship between a penguin and a pinecone. In the story, Penguin befriends a pinecone (an anthropomorphic pinecone that returns feelings of affection). Although the two friends live far apart, Penguin knits scarves for his pinecone friend

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Back to School Tortoise by Lucy George and illustration by Merel Eyckerman (Albert Whitman, 2011) is a perfect back-to-school story for the student or teacher you may know. Like many, Tortoise is a bit nervous about the first day of school. The story follows his worries and then takes him to the door of his classroom, where

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Poor Sam the giraffe is a painfully shy young student, but in Too Shy for Show-and-Tell by Beth Bracken and illustrated by Jennifer Bell (Picture Window Books, August 2011), he finds the courage to speak up and share some of his favorite things. Although the thought of talking to his class makes his stomach hurt in the beginning,

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Bear has to learn what it means to have and be a friend in the “Story of True Friendship” Bug and Bear by Ann Bonwill and illustrated by Layn Marlow (Marshall Cavendish Children, 2011). Bear is too tired to play with his annoying friend Bug, but when he is finally left alone, he misses his

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Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl is not just for preteens; it’s a classic Roald Dahl novel, which means anyone will probably enjoy it. Three farmers determine to destroy the fox invading their storage sheds, and so they hunt after Mr. Fox. He is not to be deterred, though, when his family’s life is on

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George and Martha by James Marshall. George and Martha are best friends, and James Marshall’s storybooks show us what that means. They tell the truth to each other, even if it hurts; they respect each other’s privacy; they learn what it means to be friends. They are also hippos, and that makes the illustrations to

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Bedtime books are the best. One of my favorites is Sandra Boynton’s Going to Bed Book. It’s a silly goodnight book because after taking a bath and getting jammies on, the animal kids all exercise for a few minutes before they head to bed. Boynton’s illustrations are as whimsical as always. The animals are acting

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Sandra Boynton’s Pookie books are a lot of fun. My son received Let’s Dance, Little Pookie by Sandra Boynton for his first birthday, a previously unknown (to me) new Boynton classic. In Let’s Dance, Mama helps Pookie dance the “Pookie Shimmy.” I think it’s very cute. My son likes the part where we march all

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