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Self-esteem And Self-reliance: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about self-esteem and self-reliance?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to self-esteem and self-reliance. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about self-esteem and self-reliance.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

We hope this list of kids books about self-esteem and self-reliance can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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The Year of Billy Miller
Written & illustrated by Kevin Henkes
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Award-winning, nationally bestselling author Kevin Henkes introduces second-grader Billy Miller in this fast-paced and funny Newbery Honor story about friendship, sibling rivalry, and elementary school. The Year of Billy Miller includes black-and-white art by Kevin Henkes and is perfect for fans of the Ramona books; Frindle, by Andrew Clements; and the Clementine series. This chapter book is an excellent choice to share during homeschooling, in particular for children ages 6 to 8 who are ready to read independently. It’s a fun way to keep your child engaged and as a supplement for activity books for children.The New York Times declared: Henkes’s delightful story is restrained and vivid . . . forgoing the overdramatic or zany, it shows the substance, warmth and adaptability of beautifully common family love. When Billy Miller has a mishap at the statue of the Jolly Green Giant at the end of summer vacation, he ends up with a big lump on his head. What a way to start second grade, with a lump on your head! As the year goes by, though, Billy figures out how to navigate elementary school, how to appreciate his little sister, and how to be a more grown up and responsible member of the family and a help to his busy working mom and stay-at-home dad. Newbery Honor author and Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes delivers a short, satisfying, laugh-out-loud-funny school and family story that features a diorama homework assignment, a school poetry slam, cancelled sleepovers, and epic sibling temper tantrums. This is a perfect short novel for the early elementary grades.–Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

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Caleb and Kit
Written by Beth Vrabel
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

From award-winning author Beth Vrabel comes a powerfully moving story about a magical friendship, coping with disability, and the pains of growing up and growing apart. Twelve-year-old Caleb is shorter, frailer, and more protected than most kids his age. That’s because he has cystic fibrosis, a diagnosis meaning lungs that fill with mucus and a shortened lifespan. Caleb tries not to let his disorder define him, but it can be hard with an overprotective mom and a perfect big brother. Then Caleb meets Kit–a vibrant, independent, and free girl–and his world changes instantly. Kit reads Caleb’s palm and tells him they are destined to become friends. She calls birds down from the sky and turns every day into an adventure. Her magic is contagious, making Caleb question the rules and order in his life. But being Kit’s friend means embracing deception and danger, and soon Caleb will have to decide if his friendship with Kit is really what’s best for him–or her. This new paperback edition includes a Q&A with the author as well as a sneak peek at Beth Vrabel’s next middle grade novel, The Humiliations of Pipi McGee.

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Maybe He Just Likes You
Written by Barbara Dee
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13

A 2020 ALA Notable Children’s Book A Washington Post Best Children’s Book of 2019 Barbara Dee explores the subject of #MeToo for the middle grade audience in this heart-wrenching–and ultimately uplifting–novel about experiencing harassment and unwanted attention from classmates. For seventh-grader Mila, it starts with some boys giving her an unwanted hug on the school blacktop. A few days later, at recess, one of the boys (and fellow trumpet player) Callum tells Mila it’s his birthday, and asks her for a “birthday hug.” He’s just being friendly, isn’t he? And how can she say no? But Callum’s hug lasts a few seconds too long, and feels…weird. According to her friend, Zara, Mila is being immature and overreacting. Doesn’t she know what flirting looks like? But the boys don’t leave Mila alone. On the bus. In the halls. During band practice–the one place Mila could always escape. It doesn’t feel like flirting–so what is it? Thanks to a chance meeting, Mila begins to find solace in a new place: karate class. Slowly, with the help of a fellow classmate, Mila learns how to stand her ground and how to respect others–and herself. From the author of Everything I Know About You, Halfway Normal, and Star-Crossed comes this timely story of a middle school girl standing up and finding her voice.”

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Slay
Written by Brittney Morris
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 13-18

A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2019! “Gripping and timely.” –People “The YA debut we’re most excited for this year.” –Entertainment Weekly “A book that knocks you off your feet while dropping the kind of knowledge that’ll keep you down for the count. Prepare to BE slain.” –Nic Stone, New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin and Odd One Out Ready Player One meets The Hate U Give in this dynamite debut novel that follows a fierce teen game developer as she battles a real-life troll intent on ruining the Black Panther-inspired video game she created and the safe community it represents for Black gamers. By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is an honors student, a math tutor, and one of the only Black kids at Jefferson Academy. But at home, she joins hundreds of thousands of Black gamers who duel worldwide as Nubian personas in the secret multiplayer online role-playing card game, SLAY. No one knows Kiera is the game developer, not her friends, her family, not even her boyfriend, Malcolm, who believes video games are partially responsible for the “downfall of the Black man.” But when a teen in Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, news of the game reaches mainstream media, and SLAY is labeled a racist, exclusionist, violent hub for thugs and criminals. Even worse, an anonymous troll infiltrates the game, threatening to sue Kiera for “anti-white discrimination.” Driven to save the only world in which she can be herself, Kiera must preserve her secret identity and harness what it means to be unapologetically Black in a world intimidated by Blackness. But can she protect her game without losing herself in the process?

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The Most Beautiful Place in the World
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-11

“Seven-year-old Juan lives in Guatemala, a place of stunning beauty and grimeconomic reality. Abandoned by his mother, Juan lives with his grandmother andshines shoes. He passionately wants to attend school, but fears Grandmotherwill say no. Finally gathering his courage, he is surprised when she not onlyagrees to send him to school but also chides him about the importance ofstanding up for himself. Juan tells this bittersweet story, which readssmoothly and powerfully on several levels, with warmth anddignity.”– “Booklist. “

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  • I Am Perfectly Designed - I Am Perfectly Designed is an exuberant celebration of loving who you are, exactly as you are, from Karamo Brown, the Culture Expert of Netflix’s hit series Queer Eye, and Jason Brown–featuring illustrations by Anoosha Syed. In this empowering ode to modern families, a boy and his father take a joyful walk through the city, discovering all the ways in which they are perfectly designed for each other. With tenderness and wit, this story captures the magic of building strong childhood memories. The Browns and Syed celebrate the special bond between parent and child with joy and flair…Syed’s bright, cartoon illustrations enrich the tale with a meaningful message of kindness and inclusion.–Kirkus

  • Eliza and Her Monsters - “A love letter to fandom, friendship, and the stories that shape us, Eliza and Her Monsters is absolutely magical.”–Marieke Nijkamp, New York Times-bestselling author of This Is Where It Ends Eighteen-year-old Eliza Mirk is the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea, but when a new boy at school tempts her to live a life offline, everything she’s worked for begins to crumble.Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl meets Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona in this acclaimed novel about art, fandom, and finding the courage to be yourself. “A must-have.”–School Library JournalIn the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, Eliza is LadyConstellation, anonymous creator of a popular webcomic called Monstrous Sea. With millions of followers and fans throughout the world, Eliza’s persona is popular. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves her digital community. Then Wallace Warland transfers to her school and Eliza begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile. But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built–her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity–begins to fall apart. With pages from Eliza’s webcomic, as well as screenshots from Eliza’s online forums, this uniquely formatted book will appeal to fans of Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona and Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl.Young Adult Library Services Association Best BookBest Fiction for Young Adults Top TenKirkus Best Book Texas Tayshas Pick

  • The Skin I'm in - Sharon Flake’s award-winning debut novel, repackaged with a new cover just in time for it’s 20th anniversary! Maleeka suffers every day from the taunts of the other kids in her class. If they’re not getting at her about her homemade clothes or her good grades, it’s about her dark, black skin. When a new teacher, whose face is blotched with a startling white patch, starts at their school, Maleeka can see there is bound to be trouble for her too. But the new teacher’s attitude surprises Maleeka. Miss Saunders loves the skin she’s in. Can Maleeka learn to do the same?

  • Sulwe - From Academy Award–winning actress Lupita Nyong’o comes a powerful, moving picture book about colorism, self-esteem, and learning that true beauty comes from within. Sulwe has skin the color of midnight. She is darker than everyone in her family. She is darker than anyone in her school. Sulwe just wants to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. Then a magical journey in the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything. In this stunning debut picture book, actress Lupita Nyong’o creates a whimsical and heartwarming story to inspire children to see their own unique beauty.

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The Truth about Forever
Written by Sarah Dessen
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 12-18

Macy’s summer stretches before her, carefully planned and outlined. She will spend her days sitting at the library information desk. She will spend her evenings studying for the SATs. Spare time will be used to help her obsessive mother prepare for the big opening of the townhouse section of her luxury development. But Macy’s plans don’t anticipate a surprising and chaotic job with Wish Catering, a motley crew of new friends, or … Wes. Tattooed, artistic, anything-but-expected Wes. He doesn’t fit Macy’s life at all–so why does she feel so comfortable with him? So … happy? What is it about him that makes her let down her guard and finally talk about how much she misses her father, who died before he eyes the year before? Sarah Dessen delivers a page-turning novel that carries readers on a roller coaster of denial, grief, comfort, and love as we watch a broken but resilient girl pick up the pieces of her life and fit them back together.

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Twinky the Dinky Dog
Written by Kate Klimo & illustrated by Michael Fleming
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

The world treats Twinky like a dinky dog. The only problem is that Twinky doesn’t feel dinky. What can a little dog do to prove the age-old adage that size doesn’t matter? With engaging characters, easy-to-follow plots, and popular topics, “ Twinky The Dinky Dog” is an ideal Step 3 reader for children who are ready to begin reading on their own.

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As Brave As You
Written & illustrated by Jason Reynolds
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Kirkus Award Finalist Schneider Family Book Award Winner Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book

When two brothers decide to prove how brave they are, everything backfires—literally—in this piercing middle grade novel by the winner of the Coretta Scott King – John Steptoe Award.

Genie’s summer is full of surprises. The first is that he and his big brother, Ernie, are leaving Brooklyn for the very first time to spend the summer with their grandparents all the way in Virginia—in the COUNTRY! The second surprise comes when Genie figures out that their grandfather is blind. Thunderstruck and—being a curious kid—Genie peppers Grandpop with questions about how he covers it so well (besides wearing way cool Ray-Bans).

How does he match his clothes? Know where to walk? Cook with a gas stove? Pour a glass of sweet tea without spilling it? Genie thinks Grandpop must be the bravest guy he’s ever known, but he starts to notice that his grandfather never leaves the house—as in NEVER. And when he finds the secret room that Grandpop is always disappearing into—a room so full of songbirds and plants that it’s almost as if it’s been pulled inside-out—he begins to wonder if his grandfather is really so brave after all.

Then Ernie lets him down in the bravery department. It’s his fourteenth birthday, and, Grandpop says to become a man, you have to learn how to shoot a gun. Genie thinks that is AWESOME until he realizes Ernie has no interest in learning how to shoot. None. Nada. Dumbfounded by Ernie’s reluctance, Genie is left to wonder—is bravery and becoming a man only about proving something, or is it just as important to own up to what you won’t do?

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The Witch Who Was Afraid of Witches
Written by Alice Low & illustrated by Jane Manning
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

A bewitching tale for beginning readers, the perfect early chapter book story for Halloween!

Wendy is a little witch who is afraid of her mean, bossy witch sisters—until one special Halloween night when she makes a magical discovery: Wendy’s sisters can fly fast, cackle loudly, and cast spells, but Wendy can fly even faster. Can she find a way to out-witch her sisters?

In this I Can Read Level 4 paperback—complete with full-color art and short chapters—Alice Low has adapted her popular story specifically for readers bridging to chapter books.

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I Am the Messenger
Written by Markus Zusak
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 14-18

Meet Ed Kennedy–underage cabdriver, pathetic cardplayer, and useless at romance. He lives in a shack with his coffee-addicted dog, the Doorman, and he’s hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence, until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery. That’s when the first Ace arrives. That’s when Ed becomes the messenger. . . . Chosen to care, he makes his way through town helping and hurting (when necessary), until only one question remains: Who’s behind Ed’s mission? Winner of the 2003 Children’s Book Council Book of the Year Award in Australia, I Am the Messenger is a cryptic journey filled with laughter, fists, and love. “From the Hardcover edition.”

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  • Kitty and the Moonlight Rescue - Girl by day. Cat by night. Ready for an adventure. Kitty and the Moonlight Rescue is the first book in a chapter book series about Kitty and her superhero adventures. This chapter book is an excellent choice to share during homeschooling, in particular for children ages 6 to 8 who are ready to read independently. It’s a fun way to keep your child engaged and as a supplement for activity books for children.Meet Kitty, a charming chapter book character with catlike superpowers. With dramatic two-color art on every page and an emphasis on friendship, family, bravery, and building self-confidence, Kitty and the Moonlight Rescue is a perfect choice for independent readers and fans of Rebecca Elliott’s Owl Diaries. Kitty is special. Her mother is a superhero with catlike powers that Kitty and her little brother Max will someday inherit. But being a superhero involves going on daring adventures at night, and Kitty doesn’t know if she’ll ever be brave enough for that! One night though, Kitty finds a sleek black cat with white paws waiting at her window. When he introduces himself, Kitty is shocked to realize she can understand him–her powers have arrived! The cat, Figaro, has a problem. There’s a terrible meowing sound coming from the clock tower, and the other cats don’t know what to do. The night outside looks cold and uninviting, and Kitty is afraid of the dark. But she musters up her courage and sets out to find the source of the mysterious sound. Along the way, she makes new friends, uncovers her confidence, and learns what it means to be brave. With an aspirational main character, a kindle of cats, striking two-color art on every page, and fun facts included at the end of each story, these chapter books are just right for newly independent readers.–Kirkus Reviews

  • Fangirl - In Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life–and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving. Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere. Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone. For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind? A New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Book of 2013 A New York Times Best Seller!

  • I Am a Warrior Goddess - A young girl finds strength and courage through her connection to nature, taking care of her mind and body, and treating others with kindness A warrior goddess is strong, powerful, and kind. She’s friends with the sun and the wind. She takes care of her body and mind. She helps others and makes the world a better place. In this empowering tale of a little girl with big dreams, young readers learn how each day is full of opportunities to make a positive impact with ordinary actions. Our heroine is generous, grateful, and fierce. As she connects with the Earth, takes care of her body, and finds strength in kindness, she discovers her inner warrior goddess and inspires young girls everywhere to do the same.

  • Shiloh - Marty will do anything to save his new friend Shiloh in this Newbery Medal–winning novel from Phillis Reynolds Naylor. When Marty Preston comes across a young beagle in the hills behind his home, it’s love at first sight—and also big trouble. It turns out the dog, which Marty names Shiloh, belongs to Judd Travers, who drinks too much and has a gun—and abuses his dogs. So when Shiloh runs away from Judd to Marty, Marty just has to hide him and protect him from Judd. But Marty’s secret becomes too big for him to keep to himself, and it exposes his entire family to Judd’s anger. How far will Marty have to go to make Shiloh his?

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How to Make a Shark Smile: How a Positive Mindset Spreads Happiness
Written by & illustrated by Claudia Ranucci
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“[How to Make a Shark Smile] teaches that a gesture as simple as a smile can have a profound effect on others.”–Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project and Happier at HomeA story about choosing happiness and the ripple effect of a positive mindset. Includes seven happiness exercises at the back of the book to encourage kids to fit them in every single day!Ripple the dolphin just moved to a new aquarium and is excited to make some friends! But as she swims around, she notices the water is still and quiet. The eels have no zing. The neon fishes don’t glow. The seahorses aren’t horsing around. Everyone’s too afraid of a mean shark named Snark!Ripple is determined to show her new friends that they shouldn’t be afraid–it’s all about mindset. They can choose to be happy!But just as the aquarium begins to liven up, Snark the shark shows up ready to prove Ripple wrong. Can Ripple get Snark to smile too?Bestselling authors and happiness experts Shawn Achor and Amy Blankson invite you to dive in and learn how you can spread joy to those around you with Ripple and her friends.Perfect for: Parents who want to introduce their children to a positive mindset, help them build self-confidence, and set them up for personal and professional successEducators and librarians who need a funny, engaging picture book to include in their growth mindset curriculum and collections

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Wonder
Written by R. J. Palacio
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Born with a facial deformity that initially prevented his attendance at public school, Auggie Pullman enters the fifth grade at Beecher Prep and struggles with the dynamics of being both new and different, in a sparsely written tale about acceptance and self-esteem.

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A Letter to My Teacher
Written by Deborah Hopkinson & illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This funny, touching picture book—the perfect gift for a child to give to their own teacher—celebrates the difference a good teacher can make. Written as a thank-you note to a special teacher from the student who never forgot her, this moving story makes a great read-aloud and a perfect gift for Teacher Appreciation Day or Graduation!

Dear Teacher, Whenever I had something to tell you, I tugged on your shirt and whispered in your ear. This time I’m writing a letter. So begins this heartfelt picture book about a girl who prefers running and jumping to listening and learning–and the teacher who gently inspires her. From stomping through creeks on a field trip to pretending to choke when called upon to read aloud, this book’s young heroine would be a challenge to any teacher. But this teacher isn’t just any teacher. By listening carefully and knowing just the right thing to say, she quickly learns that the girl’s unruly behavior is due to her struggles with reading. And at the very end, we learn what this former student is now: a teacher herself.

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Little Pea
Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal & illustrated by Jen Corace
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Ten years ago, Amy Krouse Rosenthal burst into children’s books with Little Pea, a book destined to become a classic. Her witty text about a little pea who won’t eat his sweets combined with the whimsical yet warm hearted art by Jen Corace create a go-to baby gift, a hilarious read-aloud, and the perfect intervention for picky eaters.

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You Are Special
Written by Max Lucado & illustrated by Sergio Martinez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Every day the small wooden people called Wemmicks do the same thing: stick either gold stars or gray dots on one another. The pretty ones―those with smooth wood and fine paint―always get stars. The talented ones do, too. Others, though, who can do little or who have chipped paint, get ugly gray dots. Like Punchinello.

In this heartwarming children’s tale from best-selling author Max Lucado, Eli the woodcarver helps Punchinello understand how special he is―no matter what other Wemmicks may think. It’s a vital message for children everywhere: that regardless of how the world evaluates them, God cherishes each of them, just as they are.

This tale originally appeared within one of the chapters in the award-winning children’s bestseller Tell Me the Secrets.

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  • Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon - Be yourself like Molly Lou Melon no matter what a bully may do. Molly Lou Melon is short and clumsy, has buck teeth, and has a voice that sounds like a bullfrog being squeezed by a boa constrictor. She doesn’t mind. Her grandmother has always told her to walk proud, smile big, and sing loud, and she takes that advice to heart. But then Molly Lou has to start in a new school. A horrible bully picks on her on the very first day, but Molly Lou Melon knows just what to do about that.

  • Petra - The humorous adventures of an irresistible little rock who finds herself in constantly changing circumstances, Petra is a picture book that celebrates the power of perspective and believing in yourself. Petra is a little rock who believes she is a mighty mountain . . . until a dog fetches her for its owner, and she is tossed into a bird’s nest. A mountain? No, Petra is now an egg! An egg of the world in a world of possibility. Until she’s flung into a pond, and becomes an amazing island . . . and, eventually, a little girl’s pet rock. What will she be tomorrow? Who knows? But she’s a rock, and this is how she rolls!

  • A Bad Case of Stripes - In order to ensure her popularity, Camilla Cream always does what is expected, until the day arrives when she no longer recognizes herself.

  • Believe: A Pop-Up Book of Possibilities - Consummate pop-up master Robert Sabuda offers an elegant ode to possibility that will inspire anyone setting off on a new life chapter. All of life’s possibilities are just a page turn away in this beautiful pop-up book from renowned paper artist Robert Sabuda. Throughout, phrases and images evoking potential (an acorn, an egg, a paper airplane) are answered by a glorious 3-D image on the following spread (a towering tree, a flock of birds, a rocket soaring upward). An ideal gift for graduates from kindergarten to college and beyond, Believe is the perfect way to celebrate life’s passages and look forward to new horizons.

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So Few of Me
Written & illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Just the message overscheduled families need in today’s frantic world . . . delivered with humor and terrific artwork. – John de Graaf, national coordinator, Take Back Your TimeLeo’s list of things to do keeps growing, until one day he wishes, If only there were two of me. Just as the words are out of his mouth, poof! Another Leo appears! Two Leos become three, three become four, and four become more . . . but Leo can’t help but notice that he has even more to do than before. As he struggles to deal with his overcomplicated life, Leo realizes that there may be a simpler solution to his overscheduling woes. Peter H. Reynolds, the award-winning author-illustrator of The Dot and Ish, returns with an important message for readers of all ages: stop and take a little time to dream.

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If Only I Had a Green Nose
Written by Max Lucado & illustrated by Sergio Martinez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A green nose. How silly, thought Punchinello. It wouldn’t make him faster, stronger, or even smarter. It would only make him greener–and make him look just like all the other Wemmicks! Why would he want that when he knows Eli made each of them different for a reason?

But when Punchinello stops visiting Eli regularly, a painted nose somehow doesn’t seem as foolish anymore. Now more than ever, Punchinello needs to hear his maker say, “I’ll always help you be who I made you to be.”

Just like Punchinello, we all want to fit in. To be accepted by the crowd. But at times that may mean we either have to look and act like others–or risk being rejected.

Punchinello’s hard-earned lesson shows us how important it is to be who we were created to be, and why that matters. So let this wonderful tale help you remember two things: that you were made unique for a reason, and that there is one who will always help you be you–wonderfully you.

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The Tale of You
Written & illustrated by Beatrix Potter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-10

This inspirational guide to life featuring Peter Rabbit, in the same vein as the Dr. Seuss classic Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, is the perfect graduation gift! As Peter Rabbit bounces out into the big, wide world he will face triumphs and setbacks, hopes and fears. He will meet true friends and fearsome foes, but will always have a home to return to, and a family waiting to hear stories of his adventures. Featuring a brilliantly rhythmical rhyming text with characterful new illustrations, this new book is set to become a beloved classic!

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Go, Pea, Go!
Written & illustrated by Joe Moshier and Chris Sonnenburg
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Pea Junior has to go, go, go, go! The end feels so far away, but with his family and friends cheering him on, Pea knows he can make it and go number one! A potty chart, a sheet of stickers, and the lyrics and music notation for the “Go, Pea, Go!” song are included to make an easy, all-in-one, go-to book for parents to help ease the pressure of the race to the Pea Bowl.

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The Little Engine That Could: 90th Anniversary Edition
Written by Watty Piper & illustrated by Dan Santat
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Celebrate the 90th anniversary of The Little Engine That Could with this all-time classic reillustrated by Caldecott Award-winning artist Dan Santat!

The kindness and determination of the Little Blue Engine have inspired millions of children around the world since the story was first published in 1930. Cherished by readers for ninety years, The Little Engine That Could is a classic tale of a little engine that, despite her size, triumphantly pulls a train full of wonderful things to the children waiting on the other side of a mountain.

This anniversary edition features the original text, all-new reimagined artwork and an introduction from Caldecott Medal-winner Dan Santat, and a special letter from Dolly Parton, award-winning singer-songwriter and founder of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

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  • The Art of Miss Chew - After spending the summer with her artist grandmother, Trisha knows she wants to be an artist, too. She’s thrilled when her sketches get her into Miss Chew’s special art class at the high school. A substitute teacher tells her she’s wasting time on art when she should be studying – but fortunately, this is one battle that Miss Chew and Trisha are up for! This true story shows just how important a teacher can be in a child’s life – and celebrates the power of art itself.

  • The Paper Bag Princess - Over five million copies in print! When the fiercest dragon in the whole world smashes Princess Elizabeth’s castle, burns all her clothes, and captures her fiancé, Prince Ronald, Elizabeth takes matters into her own hands. With her wits alone and nothing but a paper bag to wear, the princess challenges the dragon to show his strength in the hopes of saving the prince. But is it worth all that trouble? Readers the world-over have fallen in love with this classic story of girl power. Now a newly designed Classic Munsch edition will introduce the tale to a new generation of young feminists.

  • Thank You, Mr. Falker - The real-life, classic story of a dyslexic girl and the teacher who would not let her fail. A perfect gift for teachers and for reading students of any age. Patricia Polacco is now one of America’s most loved children’s book creators, but once upon a time, she was a little girl named Trisha starting school. Trisha could paint and draw beautifully, but when she looked at words on a page, all she could see was jumble. It took a very special teacher to recognize little Trisha’s dyslexia: Mr. Falker, who encouraged her to overcome her reading disability. Patricia Polacco will never forget him, and neither will we. This inspiring story is available in a deluxe slipcased edition, complete with a personal letter to readers from Patricia Polacco herself. Thank You, Mr. Falker will make a beautiful gift for the special child who needs encouragement or any special teacher who has made a difference in the child’s life.

  • Ish - Ramon loved to draw. Anytime. Anything. Anywhere. Drawing is what Ramon does. It¹s what makes him happy. But in one split second, all that changes. A single reckless remark by Ramon’s older brother, Leon, turns Ramon’s carefree sketches into joyless struggles. Luckily for Ramon, though, his little sister, Marisol, sees the world differently. She opens his eyes to something a lot more valuable than getting things just “right.” Combining the spareness of fable with the potency of parable, Peter Reynolds shines a bright beam of light on the need to kindle and tend our creative flames with care.

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The Dot
Written & illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

Vashti believes that she cannot draw, but her art teacher’s encouragement leads her to change her mind.

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Maurice the Unbeastly
Written by Amy Dixon & illustrated by Karl James Mountford
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

No ordinary beast, Maurice is neat, polite, photogenic, and his roar is delightful to the ear, which leads his parents to enroll him at the Abominable Academy for Brutish Beasts, where he realizes he has a few things he can teach his fellow beasts.

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My Brave Year of Firsts: Tries, Sighs, and High Fives
Written by Jamie Lee Curtis & illustrated by Laura Cornell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

While Frankie learns to ride a bike, tie her shoes, make new friends, try new foods, and work with her dad, she also learns that trying new things is how she grows–and that being brave enough to do so is what growing up is all about.

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Count on Me
Written by Miguel Tanco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A young girl sees the world differently in this beautiful picture book celebration of math. Everyone has a passion. For some, it’s music. For others, it’s art. For our heroine, it’s math. When she looks around the world, she sees math in all the beautiful things: the concentric circles a stone makes in a lake, the curve of a slide, the geometric shapes in the playground. Others don’t understand her passion, but she doesn’t mind. There are infinite ways to see the world. And through math is one of them. This book is a gorgeous ode to something vital but rarely celebrated. In the eyes of this little girl, math takes its place alongside painting, drawing and song as a way to ponder the beauty of the world.

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Antoinette
Written by Kelly DiPucchio & illustrated by Christian Robinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Meet Gaston’s friend Antoinette!

Antoinette—a very special poodle—learns to follow her heart and be herself in this charming companion to Kelly DiPucchio and Christian Robinson’s beloved Gaston.

Antoinette’s three burly brothers each have a special talent. Rocky is clever. Ricky is fast! And Bruno is STRONG. Mrs. Bulldog reassures Antoinette that there is something extra special about her—but Antoinette is not so sure.

Then one day, while Antoinette plays in the park with her friend Gaston, Gaston’s sister Ooh-La-La goes missing. Antoinette feels a tug in her heart and a twitch in her nose. She must find Ooh-La-La. She will not give up!

Can Antoinette rescue the puppy in peril—and discover what makes her extra special along the way?

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  • Giraffes Can't Dance - Gerald the giraffe is too clumsy to dance with all the other animals at the Jungle Dance, until he finds the right music. On board pages.

  • Greta and the Giants: inspired by Greta Thunberg's stand to save the world - This inspiring picture book retells the story of Nobel Peace Prize nominee Greta Thunberg—the Swedish teenager who has led a global movement to raise awareness about the world’s climate crisis—using allegory to make this important topic accessible to young children. Greta is a little girl who lives in a beautiful forest threatened by Giants. When the Giants first came to the forest, they chopped down trees to make houses. Then they chopped down more trees and made even bigger homes. The houses grew into towns and the towns grew into cities, until now there is hardly any forest left. Greta knows she has to help the animals who live in the forest, but how? Luckily, Greta has an idea… A section at the back explains that, in reality, the fight against the “giants” isn’t over and explains how you can help Greta in her fight. This book has been printed sustainably in the US on 100% recycled paper. By buying a copy of this book, you are making a donation of 3% of the cover price to 350.org.

  • Florence Frizzball - A funny, heart-warming sibling story from Claire Freedman, author of the bestselling Aliens Love Underpants series and picture books Oliver and Patch and The Great Snortle Hunt. Florence’s curly-whirly, wild and crazy hair couldn’t be more different from her brother Ben’s sleek and shiny do. She begs her mum to let a hairdresser try and tame it, but when she gets the restyle she’s after, will Florence be happy with the outcome? Claire Freedman’s rhyming text and Jane Massey’s gorgeous illustrations perfectly combine to create laugh-out-loud moments and deliver an important message about being comfortable in your own skin.

  • Cinderella Liberator - In her debut children’s book, Rebecca Solnit reimagines a classic fairytale with a fresh, feminist Cinderella and new plot twists that will inspire young readers to change the world, featuring gorgeous silhouettes from Arthur Rackham on each page. In this modern twist on the classic story, Cinderella, who would rather just be Ella, meets her fairy godmother, goes to a ball, and makes friends with a prince. But that is where the familiar story ends. Instead of waiting to be rescued, Cinderella learns that she can save herself and those around her by being true to herself and standing up for what she believes.

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Alma and How She Got Her Name
Written & illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

What’s in a name? For one little girl, her very long name tells the vibrant story of where she came from – and who she may one day be. If you ask her, Alma Sofia Esperanza Jose Pura Candela has way too many names: six! How did such a small person wind up with such a large name? Alma turns to Daddy for an answer and learns of Sofia, the grandmother who loved books and flowers; Esperanza, the great-grandmother who longed to travel; Jose, the grandfather who was an artist; and other namesakes, too. As she hears the story of her name, Alma starts to think it might be a perfect fit after all – and realizes that she will one day have her own story to tell. In her author-illustrator debut, Juana Martinez-Neal opens a treasure box of discovery for children who may be curious about their own origin stories or names.

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Stephanie's Ponytail
Written by Robert Munsch & illustrated by Michael Martchenko
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Another laugh-out-loud book from the author of The Paper Bag Princess!

Everyone is copying Stephanie’s ponytail! No matter which way she wears it, the list of copycats keeps growing. But when Stephanie declares her next hair style, she tries to shake all of her followers loose.

A newly designed Classic Munsch picture book introduces this tale of trend-setting hairdos to a young generation of readers.

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Amazing Grace
Written by Mary Hoffman & illustrated by Caroline Binch
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Although a classmate says that she cannot play Peter Pan in the school play because she is black, Grace discovers that she can do anything she sets her mind to do.

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What Do You Do with an Idea?
Written by Kobi Yamada & illustrated by Mae Besom
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A New York Times Best Seller and award-winning book, What Do You Do With an Idea? is for anyone who’s ever had a big idea.

This is the story of one brilliant idea and the child who helps to bring it into the world. As the child’s confidence grows, so does the idea itself. And then, one day, something amazing happens. This is a story for anyone, at any age, who’s ever had an idea that seemed a little too big, too odd, too difficult. It’s a story to inspire you to welcome that idea, to give it some space to grow, and to see what happens next. Because your idea isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s just getting started.

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The Two Princesses of Bamarre
Written by Gail Carson Levine
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

When plague strikes Bamarre, Princess Addie must fulfill an ancient prophecy. Brave and adventurous, Princess Meryl dreams of fighting dragons and protecting the kingdom of Bamarre. Shy and fearful, Princess Addie is content to stay within the safety of the castle walls. The one thing that the sisters share is their unwavering love for each other. The tables are turned, however, when the Gray Death leaves Meryl fatally ill. To save her sister, meek Princess Addie must find the courage to set out on a dangerous quest filled with dragons, unknown magic, and death itself. Time is running out, and the sisters’ lives—and the future of the kingdom of Bamarre—hang in the balance.

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