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Kat Hats

2022

by Daniel Pinkwater and Aaron Renier

"A wild picture book starring a world-renowned cat, his trainer, a cast of quirky characters from award-winning creators Daniel Pinkwater and Aaron Renier Thermal Herman 6-7/8 is the top Kat Hat in Matt Katz’s company. A trained cat who is able to form himself into specialty hats, Thermal Herman is world-renowned for his warmth and agility. When a friend wanders off with a brain freeze and finds themself in peril, Thermal Herman must rush in to save the day in this zany and cleverly illustrated picture book, sure to make young readers giggle with every page." -- publisher

Incidental

48 Grasshopper Estates

2021

by Sara de Waal and Erika Medina

"A little girl uses imagination and inventiveness to spread friendship through her community. But will she find a friend of her own? Whether it’s a supersonic sandwich maker or a twelve-tailed dragon, Sicily Bridges can make almost anything from materials she finds around her apartment complex. But when it comes to making friends, Sicily has yet to find the perfect fit. With a diverse cast of characters brought to life by illustrator Erika Medina, Sara de Waal’s whimsical debut emphasizes the power of imagination and finding companionship where you least expect it." -- publisher

Any Child Cross Group

A Friend Like You

2021

by Charnaie Gordon, Frank Murphy and Kayla Harren

"There's nothing in the world like a wonderful friend. Friends are there to laugh with you and ready with a hug when you need one. There are forever friends and brand new friends. Friends for adventures and friends for cozy days indoors. Friends who are just like you and friends who are nothing like you at all. In this book, celebrate ALL the marvelous ways to be a friend! There's nothing in the world like a wonderful friend. Friends are there to laugh with you and ready with a hug when you need one. There are forever friends and brand new friends. Friends for adventures and friends for cozy days indoors. Friends who are just like you and friends who are nothing like you at all. In this book, celebrate ALL the marvelous ways to be a friend!" -- publisher

Any Child

A Kid is a Kid is a Kid

2021

by Sara O'Leary and Qin Leng

"Being the new kid is hard, a child in the school playground tells us. I can think of better things to ask than if I’m a boy or a girl. Another child comes along and says she gets asked why she always has her nose in a book. Someone else gets asked where they come from. One after another, children share the questions they’re tired of being asked again and again — as opposed to what they believe are the most important or interesting things about themselves. As they move around the playground, picking up new friends along the way, there is a feeling of understanding and acceptance among them. And in the end, the new kid comes up with the question they would definitely all like to hear: “Hey kid, want to play?” Sara O’Leary’s thoughtful text and Qin Leng’s expressive illustrations tell a story about children who are all different, all themselves, all just kids." -- publisher

Any Child Cross Group

A Sky-Blue Bench

2021

by Bahram Rahman and Peggy Collins

"A young Afghani amputee matter-of-factly removes her own barrier to education, building a bench from discarded wood so that she and her “helper-leg” can sit through school in comfort. It's Afghani schoolgirl Aria's first day back at school since her accident. She's excited, but she's also worried about sitting on the hard floor all day with her new prosthetic "helper-leg." Just as Aria feared, sitting on the floor is so uncomfortable that she can't think about learning at all. She knows that before the war changed many things in Afghanistan, schools like hers had benches for students to sit at. If she had a bench, her leg would not hurt so much. The answer is obvious: she will gather materials, talk to Kaka Najar, the carpenter in the old city, and learn to build a bench for herself. In A Sky-Blue Bench, Bahram Rahman, author of The Library Bus, returns again to the setting of his homeland, Afghanistan, to reveal the resilience and resolve of young children—especially young girls—who face barriers to education. Illustrator Peggy Collins imbues Aria with an infectious spunkiness and grit that make her relatable even to readers with a very different school experience. An author's note gently introduces an age-appropriate discussion of landmines and their impact on the lives of children in many nations, especially Afghanistan, which has the highest concentration of landmines of any country in the world." -- publisher

Oppression & Resilience

A Small Kindness

2021

by Stacy McAnulty and Wendy Leach

"Teach the importance of goodwill with this impactful picture book with a solid pay-it-forward message to encourage kindness in young children—from the award-winning author of Excellent Ed and Sun! One In a Billion. It was like a game of tag, with one small act of kindness spreading throughout a small community of kids and teachers alike. Award-winning children's book author Stacy McAnulty packs a powerful punch with minimal text, providing a sweet message about all the small ways one can be kind. Illustrator Wendy Leach creates a diverse cast of characters while using color as a visual cue to how kindness is able to spread, even in a small community like a school. Overall, A Small Kindness is sure to speak to this new generation of children and their parents." -- publisher

Cross Group Incidental

Bloom

2021

by Anne Booth and Robyn Wilson-Owen

"There was once a beautiful flower and a little girl who loved it. She talked to it every morning on her way to school. The owner of the flower shouted at her. The next day, the flower did not open. The angry man didn't understand. He tried watering it. He tried giving it shade and he tried talking to it. He told it how wonderful he was, how important his job was and how lonely he felt. But it still refused to open. So, he asked the little girl. "Why don't you tell it how wonderful it is and how much you love it?" she said. As he did so, his own heart filled with love. And the flower bloomed." -- publisher

Any Child

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