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Buildings And Structures: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about buildings and structures?

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

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.

When it comes to children’s stories about buildings and structures, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Hospital to popular sellers like Madeline to some of our favorite hidden gems like Hello Lighthouse.

We hope this list of kids books about buildings and structures can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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Madeline
Written & illustrated by Ludwig Bemelmans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

“In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines the smallest one was Madeline.”

Nothing frightens Madeline—not tigers, not mice, not even getting sick. With its endearing, courageous heroine, cheerful humor, and wonderful, whimsical drawings of Paris, the Madeline stories are true classics that continue to charm readers even after 75 years!

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When Jackie Saved Grand Central
Written by Natasha Wing & illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Before she was an iconic First Lady of the United States, Jackie Kennedy was a born-and-raised New Yorker. She loved everything about her city, from the natural beauty of the parks to the architectural history of the buildings. So when the owners of Grand Central wanted to build a skyscraper on top of the famous train station, Jackie knew they had to be stopped. She helped inspire thousands of people to come together and fight to protect the historic landmark. From letter-writing campaigns all the way to the Supreme Court, this little-known story celebrates winning in the face of immeasurable odds and how one person can make a big difference.

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Baby 101: Architecture for Babies
Written by Jonathan Litton & illustrated by Thomas Elliott
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-3

It’s never too early to get an A+ in architecture! Here’s a fun new board book series that introduces a wide array of nonfiction subjects to babies and toddlers. Welcome to Baby 101, where big subjects are tailored for little babies. Featuring simple words and bright and engaging illustrations, this introduction to architecture includes information about how buildings are made, featuring famous sites like the Colosseum, the Taj Mahal, and the pyramids. So don’t be late, because this is one class that babies won’t want to miss. Look for the surprise lift-the-flap ending!

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Hello Lighthouse
Written & illustrated by Sophie Blackall
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A lavish new picture book from Caldecott-winner Sophie Blackall that will transport readers to the seaside in timeless, nautical splendor! Watch the days and seasons pass as the wind blows, the fog rolls in, and icebergs drift by. Outside, there is water all around. Inside, the daily life of a lighthouse keeper and his family unfolds as the keeper boils water for tea, lights the lamp’s wick, and writes every detail in his logbook. Step back in time and through the door of this iconic lighthouse into a cozy dollhouse-like interior with the extraordinary award-winning artist Sophie Blackall.

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The Berenstain Bears: Hospital Friends
Written & illustrated by Mike Berenstain
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The Berenstain Bears take a trip to the hospital and get a special tour! While Brother and Sister Bear see all the amazing things that happen in the hospital, they make new friends along the way! Young readers will learn about doctors, nurses, patients, and more in this fun and informative 8x8 storybook.

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  • Caspian Finds a Friend - Caspian lives in a lighthouse surrounded by a cold gray-blue sea. Every day, he watches, wishing for a friend. But no one comes. So, Caspian decides that wishing is not enough. What follows is an imaginative journey that will inspire readers to reach out to others and remind us all that the power to change our world lies within ourselves.

  • Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey - The John J. Harvey fireboat was the largest, fastest, shiniest fireboatof its time, but by 1995, the city didn’t need old fireboats anymore. So the Harvey retired, until a group of friends decided to save it from the scrap heap. Then, one sunny September day in 2001, something so horrible happened that the whole world shook. And a call came from the fire department, asking if the Harvey could battle the roaring flames. In this inspiring true story, Maira Kalman brings a New York City icon to life and proves that old heroes never die.

  • Demolition - Illustrations and rhyming text show the enormous and powerful machines that are used to demolish a building so that a playground can be built.

  • Demolition - What’s even more exciting to preschoolers than seeing big machines that build things? Watching the massive ones that tear them down! Crush the stone. Crush the stone. Chip and grind and munch. Make new concrete from the old. Whirr! Churr! Crunch! From the huge crane with a swinging ball (crack! ) to the toothy jaws that ram the walls (thwock! ), this rambunctious demolition, reverberating with sound words, is guaranteed to have small kids rapt. Bright spreads showcase the gargantuan machines in all their glory, and a pictorial glossary explains what each one can do.

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Alamo All-Stars
Written & illustrated by Nathan Hale
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

“”Remember the Alamo!” That rallying cry has been a part of Texas lore for generations. But who were the ragtag group of adventurers behind the famous slogan, and how did they end up barricaded in a fort against a Mexican army? Who survived, who died, and how? This sixth book in the bestselling Hazardous Tales series tracks the Lone Star State’s bloody fight for independence from the Mexican government. It features the exploits of the notorious Jim Bowie, as well as Stephen Austin, Davy Crockett, and other settlers and soldiers who made the wild frontier of Texas their home–all told with the inimitable style and humor for which Nathan Hale is known”–

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The Man Who Walked Between the Towers
Written & illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A lyrical evocation of Philippe Petit’s 1974 tightrope walk between the World Trade Center towers.

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Larry Gets Lost in New York City
Written by John Skewes & illustrated by Michael Mullin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Follow Larry as he ping-pongs around the city, hitting all five boroughs in a day, and the places and things that make New York City what it is: hot dogs, Times Square, Wall Street, Radio City Music Hall, Coney Island, Madison Square Garden, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Greenwich Village, and Central Park, among others.

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The Hostile Hospital
Written by Lemony Snicket & illustrated by Brett Helquist and Michael Kupperman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The Baudelaires need a safe place to stay—somewhere far away from terrible villains and local police. A quiet refuge where misfortune never visits. Might Heimlich Hospital be just the place?

In Lemony Snicket’s eighth ghastly installment in A Series of Unfortunate Events, I’m sorry to say that the Baudelaire orphans will spend time in a hospital where they risk encountering a misleading newspaper headline, unnecessary surgery, an intercom system, anesthesia, heart-shaped balloons, and some very startling news about a fire.

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Secret Explorers and the Tomb Robbers
Written by DK
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Join The Secret Explorers as they go up against pyramid thieves in the third instalment of this action-packed, fact-filled book series.
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  • Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction - Readers worldwide recognize Caldecott Medal winner David Macaulay’s imaginary Cathedral of Chutreaux. This critically acclaimed book has been translated into a dozen languages and remains a classic of children’s literature and a touchstone for budding architects. Cathedral’s numerous awards include a prestigious Caldecott Honor and designation as a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year for Macaulay’s intricate pen-and-ink illustrations. Journey back to centuries long ago and visit the fictional people of twelfth-, thirteenth-, and fourteenth-century Europe whose dreams, like Cathedral, stand the test of time.

  • The Doll Hospital - It’s a quiet morning at the Doll Hospital until… DING-A-LING-A-LING! The emergency bells ring! Here comes a patient who needs Dr. Pegs’s help. Dr. Pegs is about to get to work when… DING-A-LING-A-LING! Here comes another patient! And another! How will Dr. Pegs take care of them all? Looks like the doctor needs some help herself!

  • Renato and the Lion - The touching, magical story of a boy in a war-torn country and the stone lion that rescues him. Renato loves his home in Florence, Italy. He loves playing with his friends in the Piazza della Signoria. He loves walking home by the beautiful buildings and fountains with his father in the evenings. And he especially loves the stone lion who seems to smile at him from a pedestal in the piazza. The lion makes him feel safe. But one day his father tells him that their family must leave. Their country is at war, and they will be safer in America. Renato can only think of his lion. Who will keep him safe? With luminous watercolor paintings, Barbara DiLorenzo captures the beauty of Florence in this heartwarming and ultimately magical picture book.

  • Sector 7 - A 2000 Caldecott Honor Book Only the person who gave us Tuesday could have devised this fantastic Caldecott Honor-winning tale, which begins with a school trip to the Empire State Building. There a boy makes friends with a mischievous little cloud, who whisks him away to the Cloud Dispatch Center for Sector 7 (the region that includes New York City). The clouds are bored with their everyday shapes, so the boy obligingly starts to sketch some new ones. . . . The wordless yet eloquent account of this unparalleled adventure is a funny, touching story about art, friendship, and the weather, as well as a visual tour de force.

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Lighthouse Family: The Storm
Written by Cynthia Rylant & illustrated by Preston Mcdaniels
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

Newbery Medalist Cynthia Rylant brings the peaceful sounds, sights, and characters of the coast vividly to life in the first book of the Lighthouse Family series, in which Pandora and Seabold discover what it means to be part of a family. <p/>Life with just the sea can be lonely. Just ask Pandora or Seabold. They’ve lived most of their lives with the sea, and they’re quite used to being alone. Or they were. But one extraordinary day, the same sea that brought Pandora and Seabold together gives them the ingredients for an adventure that neither of them had considered before–an adventure called “family.”

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School's First Day of School
Written by Adam Rex & illustrated by Christian Robinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It’s the first day of school at Frederick Douglass Elementary and everyone’s just a little bit nervous, especially the school itself. What will the children do once they come? Will they like the school? Will they be nice to him? The school has a rough start, but as the day goes on, he soon recovers when he sees that he’s not the only one going through first-day jitters.

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Good Enough
Written by Jen Petro-Roy
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-11

A young girl with an eating disorder must find the strength to recover in this moving middle-grade novel from Jen Petro-Roy

Before she had an eating disorder, twelve-year-old Riley was many things: an aspiring artist, a runner, a sister, and a friend.

But now, from inside the inpatient treatment center where she's receiving treatment for anorexia, it's easy to forget all of that. Especially since under the influence of her eating disorder, Riley alienated her friends, abandoned her art, turned running into something harmful, and destroyed her family's trust.

If Riley wants her life back, she has to recover. Part of her wants to get better. As she goes to therapy, makes friends in the hospital, and starts to draw again, things begin to look up.

But when her roommate starts to break the rules, triggering Riley's old behaviors and blackmailing her into silence, Riley realizes that recovery will be even harder than she thought. She starts to think that even if she does recover, there's no way she'll stay recovered once she leaves the hospital and is faced with her dieting mom, the school bully, and her gymnastics-star sister.

Written by an eating disorder survivor and activist, Good Enough is a realistic depiction of inpatient eating disorder treatment, and a moving story about a girl who has to fight herself to survive.

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Pyramid
Written & illustrated by David Macaulay
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Through concise text and richly detailed black and white illustrations we come to know the philosophy of life and death in ancient Egypt.

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The inside-outside book of New York City
Written by Roxie Munro
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Captioned illustrations depict noted sights in New York City, including the American Museum of Natural History, Statue of Liberty, subway at Times Square, and New York Zoological Park. Includes a section of text in the back of the book providing information on each sight.

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  • Angelo - High above the rooftops of Rome, Angelo begins his work restoring the façade of a once glorious church. As with every project, he starts his final masterpiece by clearing away the years of debris left behind by the many pigeons who nest in the nooks and crannies of Rome’s great architecture. There, among the sticks and feathers, he discovers a wounded bird. Finding no safe place to leave her, Angelo becomes the bird’s reluctant savior.<br> As the church nears completion, Angelo begins to worry about the future of his aviary friend. “What will become of you? Where will you go . . . where will you . . . live?” he asks her. Realizing what he must do, Angelo returns to the church to add one final finishing touch. Through his artistry as a master craftsman he answers the questions about his humble friend and assures that he will not be forgotten.<br> With his expressive illustrations, filled with detail and humor and infused with the warm, terra-cotta glow of the Mediterranean, David Macaulay will once again capture his readers’ hearts and imaginations with this poignant story of enduring friendship.

  • Bubble - Wonder meets Mark Haddon in the poignant and uplifting debut novel about superheroes, super-nurses, and the beauty you can find in hope. Eleven-year-old Joe has never had a life outside of the hospital, with its beeping machines and view of London’s rooftops. His condition means he’s not allowed outside, not even for a moment, and his few visitors risk bringing life-threatening germs inside his bubble. Then a new nurse offers Joe the possibility of going outside. But Joe doesn’t know if the nurse is serious—or whether he could survive the adventure. Bubble is the touching story of how Joe spends his days, copes with his loneliness and frustration, and looks—with superhero-style bravery, curiosity, and hope—to a future without limits.

  • The curse of the cheese pyramid - I’m off to Egypt! I climbed onboard a crabby old camel that would take me across the desert to the Great Cheese Pyramid. There, among mummies and hieroglyphics, I would learn the secret of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient Mouse World….

  • Unbuilding - This fictional account of the dismantling and removal of the Empire State Building describes the structure of a skyscraper and explains how such an edifice would be demolished.

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Old Penn Station
Written & illustrated by William Low
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

An illustrated account of the construction, history, and demolition of one of the most famous railroad stations in America– New York City’s Penn Station.

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Sea Chest
Written by Toni Buzzeo & illustrated by Margaret Spengler and Mary GrandPré
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-

From the author of the2013 Caldecott Honor Book, ONE COOL FRIEND! <BR> As they wait for the arrival of a new baby, Maita tells her great-grandniece the story of her remarkable childhood. Living sheltered on a lighthouse island with only her parents for company, Maita always longed for a sibling-longed not to be the only child the ragged island knew. And then one icy night, howling winds blew wave after wave against the shore, and from that fearsome storm came a sea chest-a gift that would change Maita’s life forever. <BR> From a beguiling Maine legend, newcomer Toni Buzzeo has fashioned this exquisitely lyrical, intimate tale, illustrated in vibrant oil paintings by Mary GrandPre. Together they have created a book of classic beauty and resonance.

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Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island
Written by Dana Alison Levy
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
Love the TV show Modern Family? Wait until you meet the family Fletcher! With two dads, four adopted brothers, two cats, and one pug, the Fletchers will have you laughing out loud!
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Skyscraper
Written & illustrated by Jorey Hurley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Acclaimed picture book creator Jorey Hurley whose work has been called “stunning” and “dramatic” tells the story perfect for the youngest reader of all the different and mighty trucks it takes to build a city skyscraper!

What once was a vacant lot, watch as truck by truck, a towering skyscraper is built in this beautifully illustrated picture book about trucks and construction. This beautiful picture book includes a glossary of fourteen truck images and their names.

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Sometimes
Written & illustrated by Rebecca Elliott
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Toby loves his big sister Clemmie. She always looks after him and he looks after her–no matter what. Toby knows his sister is very brave, but when she has to go to the hospital again, they both have to help each other face their fears. Together, they still find ways to have fun and make the hospital a much better place. Their uplifting story will be loved by parents and children alike who find themselves in a similar situation, and will help encourage children to ease their fears and feel better about spending time in intimidating hospitals.

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  • Paddington at St. Paul's - Celebrate the 60th anniversary of Paddington Bear with this final classic picture book adventure from beloved author Michael Bond. Paddington Bear’s adventures never go quite as planned. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t filled with fun and laughter! When Mr. Gruber takes Paddington on a special outing to St. Paul’s Cathedral, there is one surprise after another. And the biggest surprise of all comes when Paddington is mistaken for a choir bear and suddenly finds himself taking part in a most unusual rehearsal. For six decades, stories of Paddington have charmed readers all over the world. Now another generation of fans can join the beloved bear in this brand-new adventure written by Michael Bond and illustrated by artist R. W. Alley.

  • The Ghost in the Mirror - Mrs. Zimmermann hasn’t regained her powers from her last encounter with dark magic, and Uncle Jonathan and Lewis have left for the summer to travel, leaving her and Rose Rita bored and lonely at home. That is until Mrs. Zimmermann sees visions and shadows of her old magic teacher, Granny Wetherbee, trying to contact her from beyond the grave. Mrs. Zimmermann and Rose Rita set off to Pennsylvania to solve the mystery and in doing so travel back in time to Granny Wetherbee, who tells them that they must save a good wizard who is destined to die for a wrongdoing he didn’t commit.

  • The Lighthouse Mystery - Renting a lighthouse is unusual, but even more so is an unfriendly boy’s peculiar behavior.

  • Kasey & Ivy - Through twenty-six letters to her friend Nina, twelve-year-old Kasey chronicles the often humorous observations and impressions of her unexpected, month-long stay in a geriatric ward for the treatment of a rare but treatable bone disease (“osteo-something-something-itis”). Kasey tries to make her life less dull by wearing her own nightgowns, surrounding herself with her favorite stuffies and developing an unusual exercise routine. Hospital food, insomnia and the germy communal bath are enduring sources of dread, but some new (and unexpected) friends make her life bearable.

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Instructions for a Secondhand Heart
Written by Tamsyn Murray
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 15-99

A moving novel about grief, guilt, and the unpredictability of love, for fans of Everything, Everything and All the Bright Places. Jonny knows better than anyone that life is full of cruel ironies. He’s spent every day in a hospital hooked up to machines to keep his heart ticking. Then when a donor match is found for Jonny’s heart, that turns out to be the cruelest irony of all. Because for Jonny’s life to finally start, someone else’s had to end. That someone turns out to be Neve’s twin brother, Leo. When Leo was alive, all Neve wanted was for him (and all his glorious, overshadowing perfection) to leave. Now that Leo’s actually gone forever, Neve has no idea how to move forward. Then Jonny walks into her life looking for answers, her brother’s heart beating in his chest, and everything starts to change. Together, Neve and Jonny will have to face the future, no matter how frightening it is, while also learning to heal their hearts, no matter how much it hurts. The final book will feature select illustrations from “Jonny’s” sketchbook.

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Journey Through Islamic Art
Written by Nahima bint Robert & illustrated by Diana Mayo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A young girl’s imagination takes flight and carries her on a magical journey into the world of Islamic art and architecture. From colossal mosques to opulent palaces and lush ornamental gardens, she travels through Islamic world’s rich artistic heritage. A perfect way to introduce young readers to Islamic history and culture, Diana Mayo’s sumptuous illustrations bring the richness and splendour of Islamic art to life.

Some editions of this dual language book can be used with your TalkingPEN.

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Viking Ships At Sunrise
Written by Mary Pope Osborne & illustrated by Sal Murdocca
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

“Beware of Vikings!” warns Morgan. Then Jack and Annie are whisked back to ancient Ireland. They land on a cliff on a misty island. How will they find the story they are looking for? It will take a Viking invasion, the help of a jolly monk, and a lot of courage for Jack and Annie to succeed in Viking Ships at Sunrise.

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Dig, Dump, Roll
Written by Sally Sutton & illustrated by Brian Lovelock and Sally Sutton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Diggers, dump trucks, rollers, and more—it takes a lot of big, noisy machines to build a school! Every young child who has ever gawked at a building site will gravitate to this exciting new entry in the kid pleasing Construction Crew series.

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Urgency Emergency! Baaad Sheep
Written & illustrated by Dosh Archer
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Three sheep arrive at City Hospital with upset tummies. Have they had too much fun and soda pop at Old MacDonald’s farm? The gas inside their bellies is building up quickly! Can Doctor Glenda and Nurse Percy save the day once again? With brightly colored illustrations on every page, minimal easy-to-read text, and a brilliantly fast-paced plot, this animal hospital adventure based on the Little Bo Peep and Old MacDonald nursery rhymes will have young readers gulping up the pages!

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  • Up! Up! Up! Skyscraper - Snappy rhymes invite young readers to watch workers dig, pour, pound, and bolt a skyscraper into existence. Simple yet satis-fying sidebars provide further information about each step in the construction process. Perfect for preschoolers and all those who dig diggers. Quirky, colorful art enhance the appeal of a construction site with all the equipment and sounds of building. The 2017 Summer Reading Theme: Build a Better World!

  • Maisy Goes to the Hospital - One day as Maisy is bouncing on her trampoline, she bounces a LITTLE too high. Oh, no! What will happen after she falls and hurts her leg? Maisy’s friend Charley goes with her to the hospital, where X-rays, a cast, and an overnight stay ensue. Maisy feels strange to be away from home, but a friendly patient soon helps her feel better. Little readers will be relieved and intrigued to share a memorable — and perhaps familiar — experience with Maisy.

  • The Curse Of The Mummy's Tomb - Lost in a pyramid while on a visit to Egypt, Gabe suddenly realizes that he is not alone, and he soon learns the meaning of the legendary curse of the mummy’s tomb. Original.

  • One Lighthouse, One Moon - Here, in one book, are the days of the week, the months of the year, the four seasons, the basic colors, and an exciting counting adventure – all conceived, staged, and presented by the incomparable Anita Lobel. You can savor each of the three stories separately or think of them as three acts in one play. However you do it, a standing ovation is guaranteed! 10 Best Illustrated Books of 2000 (NY Times Book Review) 01 Riverbank Review Magazine’s Children’s Books of Distinction Award Nominations

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Hospital
Written & illustrated by Jess Stockham
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

How long will I be there? Will I stay the night? Who will look after me? Reading Hospital with your child is the perfect opportunity to talk about these questions, and many more!

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Noah's Garden: When Someone You Love Is in the Hospital
Written by Mo Johnson & illustrated by Annabelle Josse
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Noah and his family are living in The Children’s Hospital because his new sister, Jessica, was born with a serious medical condition. Normal family life is suspended indefinitely for Noah, but in the true spirit of childhood, he spends his days in the hospital garden, creating an imaginary world, longing for the day when Jess can join him.

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Ruby in the Ruins
Written & illustrated by Shirley Hughes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

From beloved British storyteller Shirley Hughes comes a touching tale of unconditional love as a family puts itself back together in postwar London. Ruby and Mum cling to each other while they live through the terrifying London Blitz, waiting for Dad to come home from the war. Day after day they hope for his return – but when the moment to meet him at the station finally comes, Ruby hardly recognizes the tall man who steps off the train. He’s big and sunburned, and he doesn’t seem to be as engaged as he once was. It’s easier to play outside in the wreckage of the bombings than to stay at home with a dad she doesn’t know anymore. But when Ruby hurts her knee in the ruins, there’s only one person who can rescue her and make her feel all right.

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