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Change: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about change?

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

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, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about change, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Messy One to popular sellers like The Little House to some of our favorite hidden gems like Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut.

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

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Top 10 Books About Change

#1
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Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend!
Written & illustrated by Cori Doerrfeld
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the creator of The Rabbit Listened comes a gentle story about the difficulty of change . . . and the wonder that new beginnings can bring.

Change and transitions are hard, but Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend! demonstrates how, when one experience ends, it opens the door for another to begin. It follows two best friends as they say goodbye to snowmen, and hello to stomping in puddles. They say goodbye to long walks, butterflies, and the sun…and hello to long evening talks, fireflies, and the stars. But the hardest goodbye of all comes when one of the friends has to move away. Feeling alone isn’t easy, and sometimes new beginnings take time. But even the hardest days come to an end, and you never know what tomorrow will bring.

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#2
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Nobody Hugs A Cactus
Written & illustrated by Carter Goodrich
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Celebrated artist and lead character designer of Brave, Ratatouille, and Despicable Me, Carter Goodrich, shows that sometimes, even the prickliest people—or the crankiest cacti—need a little love. Hank is the prickliest cactus in the entire world. He sits in a pot in a window that faces the empty desert, which is just how he likes it. So, when all manner of creatures—from tumbleweed to lizard to owl—come to disturb his peace, Hank is annoyed. He doesn’t like noise, he doesn’t like rowdiness, and definitely does not like hugs. But the thing is, no one is offering one. Who would want to hug a plant so mean? Hank is beginning to discover that being alone can be, well, lonely. So he comes up with a plan to get the one thing he thought he would never need: a hug from a friend.

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#3
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Little Home Bird
Written & illustrated by Jo Empson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Little Bird loves everything about his home. He’s surrounded by his favourite branch, his favourite food, his favourite view and his favourite music. Why on earth would he ever want to change, even when his brother tells him that they must? Discover how Little Bird ends up finding happiness in his new home from home in this beautifully illustrated picture book. Perfect for all children who love home, however many they may have.

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#4
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Grandma
Written & illustrated by Jessica Shepherd
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Told in diary form, Oscar relates how his grandmother becomes less able to look after herself and enters a nursing home, with information about dementia to help children discuss their feelings and adjust to the changing relationship.

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#5
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Growing Season
Written & illustrated by Maryann Cocca-Leffler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

El and Jo are the smallest students in class–and best friends, too. But in springtime, something BIG happens: Jo starts growing like a weed . . . and El doesn’t. When their teacher asks every child to pick a plant to care for over the summer, poor El ends up with a tiny, flowerless aster. But slowly, the aster blooms–and so does El! A sweet picture book about the joys and challenges of growing up.

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#6
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Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
Written by Derrick Barnes & illustrated by Gordon C. James
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

Named one of the best books of 2017 by NPR, the Huffington Post , Publishers Weekly , Kirkus Reviews , the Los Angeles Times , the Boston Globe , the Horn Book Magazine , the News & Observer , BookPage , Chicago Public Library, and more

The barbershop is where the magic happens. Boys go in as lumps of clay and, with princely robes draped around their shoulders, a dab of cool shaving cream on their foreheads, and a slow, steady cut, they become royalty. That crisp yet subtle line makes boys sharper, more visible, more aware of every great thing that could happen to them when they look good: lesser grades turn into As; girls take notice; even a mother’s hug gets a little tighter. Everyone notices.

A fresh cut makes boys fly.

This rhythmic, read-aloud title is an unbridled celebration of the self-esteem, confidence, and swagger boys feel when they leave the barber’s chair—a tradition that places on their heads a figurative crown, beaming with jewels, that confirms their brilliance and worth and helps them not only love and accept themselves but also take a giant step toward caring how they present themselves to the world. The fresh cuts. That’s where it all begins.

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut is a high-spirited, engaging salute to the beautiful, raw, assured humanity of black boys and how they see themselves when they approve of their reflections in the mirror.

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#7
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Three Pennies
Written & illustrated by Melanie Crowder
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A girl in foster care tries to find her birth mother before she loses her forever in this “tender tale” (School Library Journal, starred review) about last chances and new opportunities. For a kid bouncing from foster home to foster home, The Book of Changes is the perfect companion. That’s why Marin carries three pennies and a pocket-sized I Ching with her everywhere she goes. Yet when everything in her life suddenly starts changing—like landing in a foster home that feels like somewhere she could stay, maybe forever—the pennies don’t have any answers for her. Marin is positive that all the wrongs in her life will be made right if only she can find her birth mother and convince her that they belong together. Marin is close, oh so close—until she gets some unwelcome news and her resolve, like the uneasy earth far beneath the city of San Francisco, is shaken

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#8
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Caspian Finds a Friend
Written by Jacqueline Véissid & illustrated by Merrilees Brown
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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.

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#9
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Little Tree
Written & illustrated by Loren Long
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

For graduates, for their parents, for anyone facing change, here is a gorgeously illustrated and stunningly heartfelt ode to the challenges of growing up and letting go. A story of the seasons and stepping stones as poignant for parents as for their kids, from the creator of Otis the tractor and illustrator of Love by Matt de la Pena.

“Long’s gentle but powerful story about a young tree who holds tight to his leaves, even as everyone else lets theirs drop, takes on nothing less than the pain and sorrow of growing up. . . . As in Long’s unaccountably profound books about Otis the tractor, a pure white background somehow adds to the depth.”—The New York Times Book Review

In the middle of a little forest, there lives a Little Tree who loves his life and the splendid leaves that keep him cool in the heat of long summer days. Life is perfect just the way it is.

Autumn arrives, and with it the cool winds that ruffle Little Tree’s leaves. One by one the other trees drop their leaves, facing the cold of winter head on. But not Little Tree—he hugs his leaves as tightly as he can. Year after year Little Tree remains unchanged, despite words of encouragement from a squirrel, a fawn, and a fox, his leaves having long since turned brown and withered. As Little Tree sits in the shadow of the other trees, now grown sturdy and tall as though to touch the sun, he remembers when they were all the same size. And he knows he has an important decision to make.

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#10
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Sofia Valdez, Future Prez
Written by Andrea Beaty & illustrated by David Roberts
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

The newest picture book from the creators of Iggy Peck, Architect; Rosie Revere, Engineer; and Ada Twist, Scientist stars Sofia Valdez, an activist and community leader who stands up for what she believes in!

Every morning, Abuelo walks Sofia to school . . . until one day, when Abuelo hurts his ankle at a local landfill and he can no longer do so. Sofia misses her Abuelo and wonders what she can do about the dangerous Mount Trashmore. Then she gets an idea—the town can turn the slimy mess into a park! She brainstorms and plans and finally works up the courage to go to City Hall—only to be told by a clerk that she can’t build a park because she’s just a kid! Sofia is down but not out, and she sets out to prove what one kid can do.

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Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Change and...

Books About Change and New Experiences

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Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend!
Written & illustrated by Cori Doerrfeld
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the creator of The Rabbit Listened comes a gentle story about the difficulty of change . . . and the wonder that new beginnings can bring.

Change and transitions are hard, but Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend! demonstrates how, when one experience ends, it opens the door for another to begin. It follows two best friends as they say goodbye to snowmen, and hello to stomping in puddles. They say goodbye to long walks, butterflies, and the sun…and hello to long evening talks, fireflies, and the stars. But the hardest goodbye of all comes when one of the friends has to move away. Feeling alone isn’t easy, and sometimes new beginnings take time. But even the hardest days come to an end, and you never know what tomorrow will bring.

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Grandma
Written & illustrated by Jessica Shepherd
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Told in diary form, Oscar relates how his grandmother becomes less able to look after herself and enters a nursing home, with information about dementia to help children discuss their feelings and adjust to the changing relationship.

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Ice in the Jungle
Written & illustrated by Ariane Hofmann-Maniyar
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

When Ice’s mother tells her that they’re going to move to an exciting new place, Ice isn’t so sure. She likes her home and her friends, and the fun they have together. The journey takes forever, and their new home is very strange. Everything is different – the weather, the food, the people and the language. Ice tries to make friends, but everyone seems too busy and preoccupied to care.Will anything happen to help Ice feel more at home?A charming debut picture book about the anxieties and hardships of moving, with a heart-warming, positive ending.

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. Cat Knit - Cat and Yarn are the best of friends. They have so much fun playing together, the two are inseparable. Until the day Girl takes Yarn away. When Yarn returns, he is completely changed, no longer Cat’s bright and rolly friend. Cat is mad! Soon, Cat begins to miss his best friend, and he just might realize that a little change isn’t so bad after all.

  2. Goodbye Brings Hello: A Book of Firsts - There are many ways of letting go. With each goodbye, a new hello. From being pushed on a swing to learning how to pump your legs yourself, from riding a beloved trike to mastering your first bike ride, from leaving the comforts of home behind to venturing forth on that first day of school, milestones are exciting but hard. They mean having to say goodbye to one moment in order to welcome the next. Honest and uplifting, this cheerfully illustrated ode to change gently empowers readers to brave life’s milestones, both large and small.

  3. The Very Last Leaf - Lance Cottonwood is the best and brightest of the leaves, but even the top students on the tree have worries. Can Lance conquer his fear of falling and just let go when the time comes for his final exam, or will he let his worries take over? In this funny and encouraging picture book, best-selling author Stef Wade (A Place for Pluto) tells an engaging story and deftly addresses social and emotional struggles many kids encounter each day…feeling anxious, wanting to be perfect, facing fears, etc. These themes combined with illustrator Jennifer Davison’s delightful characters and rich autumnal colors make The Very Last Leaf a perfect book for the start of a new school year, the arrival of autumn, or any period of transition in life.

Books About Change and Family

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Little Home Bird
Written & illustrated by Jo Empson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Little Bird loves everything about his home. He’s surrounded by his favourite branch, his favourite food, his favourite view and his favourite music. Why on earth would he ever want to change, even when his brother tells him that they must? Discover how Little Bird ends up finding happiness in his new home from home in this beautifully illustrated picture book. Perfect for all children who love home, however many they may have.

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Three Pennies
Written & illustrated by Melanie Crowder
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A girl in foster care tries to find her birth mother before she loses her forever in this “tender tale” (School Library Journal, starred review) about last chances and new opportunities. For a kid bouncing from foster home to foster home, The Book of Changes is the perfect companion. That’s why Marin carries three pennies and a pocket-sized I Ching with her everywhere she goes. Yet when everything in her life suddenly starts changing—like landing in a foster home that feels like somewhere she could stay, maybe forever—the pennies don’t have any answers for her. Marin is positive that all the wrongs in her life will be made right if only she can find her birth mother and convince her that they belong together. Marin is close, oh so close—until she gets some unwelcome news and her resolve, like the uneasy earth far beneath the city of San Francisco, is shaken

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Sofia Valdez, Future Prez
Written by Andrea Beaty & illustrated by David Roberts
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

The newest picture book from the creators of Iggy Peck, Architect; Rosie Revere, Engineer; and Ada Twist, Scientist stars Sofia Valdez, an activist and community leader who stands up for what she believes in!

Every morning, Abuelo walks Sofia to school . . . until one day, when Abuelo hurts his ankle at a local landfill and he can no longer do so. Sofia misses her Abuelo and wonders what she can do about the dangerous Mount Trashmore. Then she gets an idea—the town can turn the slimy mess into a park! She brainstorms and plans and finally works up the courage to go to City Hall—only to be told by a clerk that she can’t build a park because she’s just a kid! Sofia is down but not out, and she sets out to prove what one kid can do.

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$16.14
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Honorable Mentions
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  1. It Takes a Village - “It Takes a Village offers a universal, unifying message. It captures perfectly Clinton’s vision of a multicultural America working toward a constructive goal. So hopeful and forward-looking.” –The Washington Post “Inspired by her 2006 book of the same name, Clinton’s unadorned text celebrates how civic spirit emerges…Most of the storytelling is found in Frazee’s delicately textured images, which exude energy, hope, and emotional authenticity.” –Publishers Weekly “This work is a welcome reminder that all people ‘are born believers. And citizens, too.’” –Shelf Awareness “What does it take to change the world?” Former Secretary of State and Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton’s first book for young readers, inspired by the themes of her classic New York Times bestselling book It Takes a Village, and illustrated by two-time Caldecott Honor recipient Marla Frazee, asks readers what can they do to make the world a better place? It Takes a Village tells the heartwarming and universal story of a diverse community coming together to make a difference. All kinds of people working together, playing together, and living together in harmony makes a better village and many villages coming together can make a better world. Together we can build a better life for one another. Together we can change our world. The book will resonate with children and families and through the generations as it encourages readers to look for a way they can make a difference. It is a book that you will surely want to read again and again, a book you will want to share and a book that will inspire.

  2. Things That Go Away - A playful ode to things that come and go in life—and the one special bond that never fades There are many things that go away: leaves fall, tears dry, music lasts only for a few moments, and bubbles pop, vanishing without a trace. Everything in life passes, moves on, or transforms—except one thing that never fades. With her signature warmth, playfulness, and beautiful illustrations, Beatrice Alemagna reminds us that in a changing world, the love between parent and child remains constant.

  3. Finding Granny - Every two seconds, someone in the world suffers a stroke. In Finding Granny, that someone is Edie’s beloved grandmother. When Edie comes to the hospital, she is confronted by the physical changes in her grandmother: muddled words, a crooked face, a woman confined to bed. This isn’t the ‘playtime, bedtime, story-time pantomime Granny’ that Edie knows. “That’s not my Granny,” she says, as she waits outside in the corridor during her mother’s visits. But when her mother takes Edie to watch one of Granny’s art therapy sessions, Edie starts to understand that the Granny she loves is still there. Finding Granny is a heart-warming story of changing relationships and the bond between children and grandparents. It’s also a sensitive exploration of coping with illness and disability that will offer children much-needed comfort.

  4. Double Play - Allie loves baseball. It’s the one thing that has been consistent in her lately complicated life. Allie’s father left recently, and now Allie has a new family – her mother’s new girlfriend, Phyllis, and son Miles have moved in. It’s taking some adjustment, mostly because Miles seems determined to get under her skin. Things start looking up when Allie gets invited to join the boy’s baseball team as their new pitcher. But then Miles announces he’s quitting the boy’s team and tries out for Allie’s old team – a girl’s team! Allie is sure he’s doing it just to annoy her, but Miles insists that he just likes the girl’s style of play better. As Allie struggles to find her place on the boy’s team, she starts to see that Miles is just trying to fit in as well, and that it may be even harder for him than it has been for her.

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Books About Change and Feelings And Emotions

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Nobody Hugs A Cactus
Written & illustrated by Carter Goodrich
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Celebrated artist and lead character designer of Brave, Ratatouille, and Despicable Me, Carter Goodrich, shows that sometimes, even the prickliest people—or the crankiest cacti—need a little love. Hank is the prickliest cactus in the entire world. He sits in a pot in a window that faces the empty desert, which is just how he likes it. So, when all manner of creatures—from tumbleweed to lizard to owl—come to disturb his peace, Hank is annoyed. He doesn’t like noise, he doesn’t like rowdiness, and definitely does not like hugs. But the thing is, no one is offering one. Who would want to hug a plant so mean? Hank is beginning to discover that being alone can be, well, lonely. So he comes up with a plan to get the one thing he thought he would never need: a hug from a friend.

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Small Bunny's Blue Blanket
Written & illustrated by Tatyana Feeney
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Small Bunny does everything with Blue Blanket. Blue Blanket helps him paint the best pictures, go the highest on the swings, and read the hardest words. They need each other.

But one day, Small Bunny’s mother insists Blue Blanket needs to be washed.

She says Blue Blanket will be as good as new after. But Bunny isn’t sure he likes new. Will his friend ever be the same?

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Sleepytime Rhymes: Fox
Written & illustrated by Kelly Oriard and Callie Christensen
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-5

Fox’s story provides a resource for both parent and child when coping with family transitions. By encouraging children to express their feelings, they are able to find comfort through the challenges of change.

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  1. Same Way Ben - Ben likes things the same way every day at school—he sits at the same table, eats the same lunch, and likes the daily class routine. But when his teacher leaves to have her baby and a substitute teacher comes and changes everything, Ben gets upset. He liked everything the way it was before! But soon Ben starts to think differently about change and realizes that doing things another way can be fun.

  2. The Bad Seed - From the New York Times bestselling author of the Goodnight Already! series This is a book about a bad seed. A baaaaaaaaaad seed. How bad? Do you really want to know? He has a bad temper, bad manners, and a bad attitude. He’s been bad since he can remember! This seed cuts in line every time, stares at everybody and never listens. But what happens when one mischievous little seed changes his mind about himself, and decides that he wants to be—happy? With Jory John’s charming and endearing text and bold expressive illustrations by Pete Oswald, here is The Bad Seed: a funny yet touching tale that reminds us of the remarkably transformative power of will, acceptance, and just being you. Perfect for readers young and old, The Bad Seed proves that positive change is possible for each and every one of us.

  3. Anxious Charlie to the Rescue - A friend in need causes an anxious pup to confront his fear of change in this thoughtful and encouraging tale. Charlie follows the same routine every day: he hops out of bed in the morning, walks the same route to the market, and lines up his stuffed animals just so in the evening. If anything is slightly different, Charlie worries that something bad might happen. But when friends call one morning asking for Charlie’s help, he forgets to follow his usual routine. Will something bad happen, as Charlie fears? Or will he learn that change can be good? In this touching story by Terry Milne, readers will fall in love with the nervous little dog named Charlie and his ability to overcome his fear of change.

  4. Marlene, Marlene, Queen of Mean - Glee actress Jane Lynch takes a look at bullying head-on in her first picture book. Marlene is the self-appointed queen of the playground, the sidewalk, and the school. She is small but mighty . . . intimidating! Known for her cruel ways, the little Queen of Mean has kids cowering in fear—until big Freddy stands up to her and says what everyone has been too fearful to say. In Seussian rhyme, actress Jane Lynch, clinical psychologist Lara Embry, and former children’s book editor A. E. Mikesell gently and comically depict the undoing of a bully and her efforts to reform. Tricia Tusa’s charming illustrations make the story an even more accessible conversation starter for all ages.

Books About Change and Growing Up

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Growing Season
Written & illustrated by Maryann Cocca-Leffler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

El and Jo are the smallest students in class–and best friends, too. But in springtime, something BIG happens: Jo starts growing like a weed . . . and El doesn’t. When their teacher asks every child to pick a plant to care for over the summer, poor El ends up with a tiny, flowerless aster. But slowly, the aster blooms–and so does El! A sweet picture book about the joys and challenges of growing up.

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The Road Not Taken
Written by Robert Frost & illustrated by Vivian Mineker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

For all of life’s adventures comes this beautifully illustrated companion inspired by Robert Frost’s perennial poem “The Road Not Taken.” Heartwarming illustrations of a young boy journeying through a yellow wood accompany the original text of the poem. When a fork in the road arises for the boy, so too does the first of life’s many choices. And as the poem progresses, so does the boy’s life: college, career, marriage, family, loss, and, by journey’s end, the sweet satisfaction of a life fully lived. The first children’s book ever made of Frost’s famous poem, this moving presentation makes an inspiring gift for graduation, marriage, career moves, and all of life’s exciting roads.

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Bye-Bye Binky
Written & illustrated by Maria van Lieshout
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Babies use a binky. Do big kids? No! Big kids say, “Bye-bye, binky!” Every child’s life is filled with milestones. Some happen easily; others need a little extra support. Artist and mom Maria van Lieshout has been there. Drawing upon her own experiences, she has created an engaging series of books that are just right for children on the brink of major changes and the caregivers who encourage them.

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  1. I Sleep in a Big Bed - Babies sleep in cribs. Do big kids? No! Big kids sleep in a big bed. Every child’s life is filled with milestones. Some happen easily; others need a little extra support. Artist and mom Maria van Lieshout has been there. Drawing upon her own experiences, she has created an engaging series of books that are just right for children on the brink of major changes and the caregivers who encourage them.

  2. My Kicks - Boys love sneakers. But when a child finds that his toes have outgrown his favorite shoes, and they ve gotten too dirty and smelly, his mom says it s time for a new pair. Resistant to let go, the boy reminisces about all the good times he s had with his favorite kicks on the city streets. There s the paint splatter from his masterpiece and the drip from a Popsicle. There s the scuff from when he fell off his skateboard. And there are those frayed laces that he learned to tie in bows and doubles. A new pair just won t be the same. But, with bigger shoes to fill, the boy realizes new adventures await him. Maybe he could paint a little better? Or skate a little faster? This new picture book from the bestselling author of “I Am Yoga” explores the love and pride that kids have for their sneakers and the joy that can be found in growing up, growing out, and moving on. “

  3. Rosetown - From Newbery Medalist Cynthia Rylant comes the charming story of nine-year-old Flora Smallwood and the eventful year she spends in the quiet community of Rosetown, Indiana. For nine-year-old Flora Smallwood, Rosetown, Indiana, is full of surprises, many of the best of which happen at the Wing and a Chair Used Book Shop, where she loves to read vintage children’s books after school in the faded purple chair by the window. But lately, those surprises haven’t been so good. Her dear old dog, Laurence, recently passed away. Not long after, her parents decided to take a breather from their marriage, and now Flora has to move back and forth between their two houses. Plus, she’s just begun fourth grade, and it is so much different than third. Luckily Flora has two wonderful friends—one old and one new. And with them around to share thoughts and laughs and adventures big and small, life in Rosetown still has many sweet moments—and even some very happy surprises!

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Books About Change and Transitions

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Southwest Sunrise
Written by Nikki Grimes & illustrated by Wendell Minor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

From Children’s Literature Legacy Award winner Nikki Grimes and highly-acclaimed illustrator Wendell Minor comes a stunning picture book about the beauty of the natural world and finding a new place to call home.

The beauty of the natural world is just waiting to be discovered . . .

When Jayden touches down in New Mexico, he’s uncertain how this place could ever be home. But if he takes a walk outside, he just might find something glorious.

Flowers in bright shades . . .
Birds and lizards and turtles, all with a story to tell . . .
Red rock pillars towering in the distance . . .
Turquoise sky as far as the eye can see . . .

Perhaps this place could be home after all.

Gorgeously poetic and visually stunning, this story from acclaimed creators Nikki Grimes and Wendell Minor celebrates the beauty of the Southwest as a young boy sees it for the very first time.

Acclaim for One Last Word
A Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Winner
A New York Times Editor’s Choice

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The Red Boat
Written & illustrated by Hannah Cumming
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Posy is afraid of her new house and all the unknown that comes with it, but when she and her dog find a red boat in the garden, she imagines all kinds of adventures and gains confidence despite being the new kid.

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Big Sibling Getaway
Written & illustrated by Korrie Leer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

First came the boxes. Then the baby. Then the loud, nonstop crying! Desperate to get away, new big sister Cassie climbs into one of the empty boxes and sets off. She drives, she sails, and she soars…but she still hears whimpers. How far will Cassie have to go to finally get some peace and quiet? Perfect for families with new babies, this imaginative picture book lets big siblings escape–and makes them want to come back.

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  1. Mama's Work Shoes - All about the adjustment a toddler makes when her mother returns to work, this humorous picture book takes on a big emotional milestone with a light hand. Perry knows all of Mama’s shoes. She knows that the zip-zup shoes are for skipping and swinging in the park. She knows that the pat-put shoes are for splishing and splashing in the rain. And she knows that no-shoes are for bath time and bedtime. But, one morning Mama puts on click-clack shoes, and Perry wonders what these new shoes are for. When Mama drops Perry at Nan’s house, and the click-clack shoes take Mama away for the whole day, Perry decides she hates these shoes! Perry later hides the click-clack shoes . . . and all of Mama’s shoes, just in case. Mama then explains that the click-clack shoes bring her to work in the morning, and they will also bring her home to Perry every single evening–clickety-clack fast!

  2. Goodbye, Mr. Terupt - The seven kids who bonded in Mr. Terupt's fifth-grade class are in eighth grade now and reunited with their beloved teacher. Readers will once again be inspired by how the kids face their challenges and by the adults who help them along the way.

  3. Before I Leave - How do you say goodbye to your best friend? When a little hedgehog’s family tells her they’re moving far away, she and her anteater best friend decide to play one last time, like nothing is changing. And though it’s hard, they discover that while some things have to change, the most important things find a way of working out.

  4. Juana and Lucas: Big Problemas - When her mami meets someone new, Juana worries that everything will change in a humorous, heartwarming follow-up to the Pura Belpré Award-winning Juana & Lucas. Juana’s life is just about perfect. She lives in the beautiful city of Bogotá with her two most favorite people in the world: her mami and her dog, Lucas. Lately, though, things have become a little less perfect. Mami has a new hairdo and a new amigo named Luis with whom she has been spending a LOT of time. He is kind and teaches Juana about things like photography and jazz music, but sometimes Juana can’t help wishing things would go back to the way they were before. When Mami announces that she and Luis are getting married and that they will all be moving to a new casa, Juana is quite distraught. Lucky for her, though, some things will never change – like how much Mami loves her. Based on author-illustrator Juana Medina’s own childhood in Colombia, this joyful series is sure to resonate with readers of all ages.

Books About Change and Friendship

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Caspian Finds a Friend
Written by Jacqueline Véissid & illustrated by Merrilees Brown
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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.

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Lubna and Pebble
Written by Wendy Meddour & illustrated by Daniel Egneus
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In an unforgettable story that subtly addresses the refugee crisis, a young girl must decide if friendship means giving up the one item that gives her comfort during a time of utter uncertainty. Lubna’s best friend is a pebble. Pebble always listens to her stories. Pebble always smiles when she feels scared. But when a lost little boy arrives in the World of Tents, Lubna realizes that he needs Pebble even more than she does. This emotionally stirring and stunningly illustrated picture book explores one girl’s powerful act of friendship in the midst of an unknown situation.

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Say Hello to Zorro!
Written & illustrated by Carter Goodrich
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Mister Bud is a dog of routine. He has wake up time, nap time, rest time, dinner time, etc. And everyone knows to follow his schedule. <p/>Then disaster strikes. A stranger comes home at “make a fuss time” and throws everything off! Zorro is little bit bossy and Mister Bud wants nothing to do with him. But when the dogs discover they like the same things (like chasing the cat and napping), everything becomes more fun. As long as everyone follows the schedule.

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  1. Night on Fire - Thirteen-year-old Billie Simms doesn’t think her hometown of Anniston, Alabama, should be segregated, but few of the town’s residents share her opinion. As equality spreads across the country and the Civil Rights Movement gathers momentum, Billie can’t help but feel stuck—and helpless—in a stubborn town too set in its ways to realize that the world is passing it by. So when Billie learns that the Freedom Riders, a group of peace activists riding interstate buses to protest segregation, will be traveling through Anniston on their way to Montgomery, she thinks that maybe change is finally coming and her quiet little town will shed itself of its antiquated views. But what starts as a series of angry grumbles soon turns to brutality as Anniston residents show just how deep their racism runs. The Freedom Riders will resume their ride to Montgomery, and Billie is now faced with a choice: stand idly by in silence or take a stand for what she believes in. Through her own decisions and actions and a few unlikely friendships, Billie is about to come to grips with the deep-seated prejudice of those she once thought she knew, and with her own inherent racism that she didn’t even know she had.

  2. Karma Khullar's Mustache - In the tradition of Judy Blume, debut author Kristi Wientge tackles the uncomfortable—but all too relatable—subject of female body hair and self-esteem with this “sparkling and triumphant tale of a middle school misfit” (Heather Vogel Frederick). Karma Khullar is about to start middle school, and she is super nervous. Not just because it seems like her best friend has found a newer, blonder best friend. Or the fact that her home life is shaken up by the death of her dadima. Or even that her dad is the new stay-at-home parent, leading her mother to spend most of her time at work. But because she’s realized that she has seventeen hairs that have formed a mustache on her upper lip. With everyone around her focused on other things, Karma is left to figure out what to make of her terrifyingly hairy surprise all on her own.

  3. Amina's Voice - A Pakistani-American Muslim girl struggles to stay true to her family’s vibrant culture while simultaneously blending in at school after tragedy strikes her community in this “compassionate, timely novel” (Booklist, starred review) from the award-winning author of It’s Ramadan, Curious George and Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns. Amina has never been comfortable in the spotlight. She is happy just hanging out with her best friend, Soojin. Except now that she’s in middle school everything feels different. Soojin is suddenly hanging out with Emily, one of the “cool” girls in the class, and even talking about changing her name to something more “American.” Does Amina need to start changing too? Or hiding who she is to fit in? While Amina grapples with these questions, she is devastated when her local mosque is vandalized. Amina’s Voice brings to life the joys and challenges of a young Pakistani-American and highlights the many ways in which one girl’s voice can help bring a diverse community together to love and support each other.

Books About Change and Science And Nature

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Little Tree
Written & illustrated by Loren Long
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

For graduates, for their parents, for anyone facing change, here is a gorgeously illustrated and stunningly heartfelt ode to the challenges of growing up and letting go. A story of the seasons and stepping stones as poignant for parents as for their kids, from the creator of Otis the tractor and illustrator of Love by Matt de la Pena.

“Long’s gentle but powerful story about a young tree who holds tight to his leaves, even as everyone else lets theirs drop, takes on nothing less than the pain and sorrow of growing up. . . . As in Long’s unaccountably profound books about Otis the tractor, a pure white background somehow adds to the depth.”—The New York Times Book Review

In the middle of a little forest, there lives a Little Tree who loves his life and the splendid leaves that keep him cool in the heat of long summer days. Life is perfect just the way it is.

Autumn arrives, and with it the cool winds that ruffle Little Tree’s leaves. One by one the other trees drop their leaves, facing the cold of winter head on. But not Little Tree—he hugs his leaves as tightly as he can. Year after year Little Tree remains unchanged, despite words of encouragement from a squirrel, a fawn, and a fox, his leaves having long since turned brown and withered. As Little Tree sits in the shadow of the other trees, now grown sturdy and tall as though to touch the sun, he remembers when they were all the same size. And he knows he has an important decision to make.

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Spring After Spring
Written & illustrated by Stephanie Roth Sisson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the creator of “Star Stuff”comes a picture book biography of Rachel Carson, tracing her journey as scientist and writer, courageously speaking truth to an often hostile world through her book, and ultimately paving the way for the modern environmental movement. Full color.

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The Things That I Love about Trees
Written by Chris Butterworth & illustrated by Charlotte Voake
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Journey through the seasons and discover how much there is to love about trees! From brand-new buds in spring to the sound of the wind whooshing through the leaves in summer, from the fall colors to the feel of winter’s rough bark and the promise of spring returning again—no matter what time of year, there’s always something extraordinary to notice about the trees around your neighborhood. Chris Butterworth’s text, gently sprinkled with facts, captures the wonder of a child as Charlotte Voake’s busy, buoyant artwork conveys how something as simple and common as a tree can feel like magic taking root around you.

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  1. Bella's Fall Coat - Bella loves the sights and sounds of fall–the crinkle-crackle of fallen leaves, the crunch of crisp, red apples, the honking and flapping of migrating geese. She wants the season to last forever. She also wants her fall coat–the one her Grams made especially for her–to last forever. But the coat is worn-out and too small. . . . With a snip and a whir, Grams makes sure Bella will be warm when the first snowflakes fall. And Bella finds a perfect use for her old favorite coat – on the first snowman of the season. Adorned with beautiful fall oranges, reds, and yellows, and sprinkled with fun sound words, this read-aloud will help families celebrate both fall and winter.

  2. The Amazing Idea of You - Fans of Emily Winfield Martin will delight in this loving, gorgeously illustrated story that celebrates new life. Hidden inside every living thing is an idea. That idea can sprout, sing, wriggle, take wing . . . into something amazing! Exploring beginnings both small and great, The Amazing Idea of You bonds the human and natural worlds in a lyrical burst of celebration. So dig deep, fly high, look around, and find the extraordinary inside everything . . . including YOU!

  3. And Then the Seed Grew - In an ordinary garden full of flowers and plants, little Jack and Mr. Gnome live above the ground, while Yvonne the mole, the Field Mouse family, Paulie the earthworm and Colette the ant live below the ground. Everybody is happy in the garden. Until one day, a new seed arrives, which soon sprouts into a plant. As the plant begins to grow (and grow, and grow), its stalk and leaves get in the way of those aboveground, and its roots disrupt the homes and passageways of those underground. Before long, the plant has gotten so large, it has become a huge problem for the garden’s residents. So, the friends decided they must chop it down. Unless … wait! What’s that growing on the plant? In this multilayered (and multilevel!) picture book, international award-winning author-illustrator Marianne Dubuc humorously explores the concept of change as the characters resist but eventually accept the new addition, an excellent example of a growth mindset. The story also highlights the interconnectivity of living things and, thus, the concept of community. Animal habitats and the growth cycle of plants - from seed to fruit-bearing - are presented here with easy-to-understand, child-friendly visuals. The winsome illustrations are full of clever details, offering peeks into the animals’ fantastical homes, promising something new to discover with every look, and encouraging visual literacy.

  4. On the Other Side of the Garden - From one of the great creative teams in picture books, On the Other Side of the Garden is about a city girl learning to accept the change brought about by her parents' separation when she is taken to her grandmother's house in the country and befriended by an owl, a frog and a mouse.

Books About Change and Animals

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Tractor Mac: Autumn Is Here
Written & illustrated by Billy Steers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Tractor Mac and his vehicle and animal friends return in a jacketed hardcover about the seasonal changes of autumn. Fergie the calf does not like change, so when his pleasant routine on Stony Meadow Farm begins to change as summer turns to autumn. Fergie is not happy. Luckily his pals on the farm help him acclimate to, and even embrace, the change of seasons.

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The Someone New
Written by Jill Twiss & illustrated by EG Keller
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From Jill Twiss and EG Keller, the author and illustrator team behind the #1 New York Times bestselling picture book John Oliver Presents A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, comes The Someone New, a fresh and timely story about how it feels when someone new comes knocking at your door.

Jitterbug the chipmunk likes it when things stay the same. So when one day Pudding the snail comes into her woods, Jitterbug worries that everything will be different. What if Pudding spoils everything? What if there’s no more room for Jitterbug? With the help of her friends, can Jitterbug welcome the newcomer and learn that kindness is stronger than fear?

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Perfect Square
Written & illustrated by Michael Hall
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-5

"A book that begs for reams of colored paper, rooms full of imaginative hands, and a whole lot of clapping and giggling."--Washington Post

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  1. Newest Princess, Volume 1 - Itty Bitty Kitty is about to become the princess of Lollyland in this first adorable book in the Itty Bitty Princess Kitty chapter book series!

  2. The Messy One - Vivienne really enjoys being messy, but when she loses her favorite necklace she is determined to tidy up her room to find it.

  3. The Fox on the Swing - Once upon a time a boy called Paul lived in a treehouse with his mother and father. One day a fox appeared in Paul’s life - and when a fox comes into your life, Anything can happen. This sensitive story about friendship, dreams and happiness was written by Evelina Daciute and illustrated by Ausra Kiudulaite. It tells the story of Paul and the fox, whom he encounters one day when out buying bread for the family, and how their relationship begins, develops and shifts as life forces change on them both. The book’s themes are friendship, change, loss and the importance of seeking happiness in the little things of life

  4. We Are Not Friends - Two fuzzy friends are having a fun playdate when a new pal hops in. As the day continues, each friend feels left out at times. It isn’t so easy to figure out how to act when everything seems to change. With humor and heart, the beloved characters from Theodor Seuss Geisel Award winner You Are (Not) Small navigate a friendship triangle as only they can.

Books About Change and Family Life

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Lizzie Flying Solo
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A lyrical, poignant middle grade novel about embracing change, accepting help from others, and finding a place to call home. Perfect for fans of Raymie Nightingale. Lizzie St. Claire wants to be invisible. Forced to move out of her home, she and her mom now live in a transitional housing shelter, Good Hope, until they can get back on their feet. Lizzie just wants to keep her head down at Good Hope and her new school, so she doesn’t have to admit the real reason she and her mom lost everything. But when Lizzie finds herself at the nearby Birchwood Stables, some new friends—along with the arrival of a frightened pony named Fire—help Lizzie to open up and accept help from those around her, even if it means she’ll have more to lose if things change again.

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Completely Clementine
Written by Sara Pennypacker & illustrated by Marla Frazee
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

This<i> New York Times </i>bestselling chapter book series has been keeping readers engaged and laughing for more than a decade with over one million copies sold!</b><br>Summer is coming, and Clementine is not ready. She is not ready to start speaking to her father again, because she’s still mad at him for eating meat. Instead, she gives him drawings of animals she knows would not want to be somebody’s dinner. <p/>Then there is the new baby on the way. Clementine’s mom sure doesn’t seem ready. She’s suddenly crazy about cleaning (Dad says she is <i>nesting</i>), but she doesn’t even have a name picked out yet. Clementine just hopes the baby won’t be a dud. <p/>What Clementine <i>really</i> isn’t ready for is saying good-bye to her third grade teacher. She knows Mr. D’Matz is going to tell her all kinds of things that aren’t true. Everything else may be changing around her, but that doesn’t mean that Clementine has. <p/>But which is worse, saying good-bye, or <i>not</i> saying good-bye? <br>

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The Last Great Adventure of the PB & J Society
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

When her best friend’s house is threatened with foreclosure, young Annie Jenkins is full of ideas to save the home: selling her appendix on eBay, winning the lottery, facing down the bankers . . . anything to keep Jason from moving. But Jason’s out-of-work dad blows up at the smallest things, and he’s not very happy with Annie’s interventions, which always seem to get them into more trouble. But when Annie tracks a lost treasure to Jason’s backyard, she’s sure the booty will be enough to save Jason’s family. Pirate treasure in the Midwest seems far-fetched, even to Annie, but it could be the answer to all their problems. Now all she has to do is convince Jason. As the two hunt for answers and the pressure gets to Jason and his family, Annie discovers that the best-laid plans aren’t always enough and there are worse things than moving away.

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  1. Clementine and the Family Meeting - This<i> New York Times </i>bestselling chapter book series has been keeping readers engaged and laughing for more than a decade with over one million copies sold!</b><br> Clementine’s having a nervous breakdown. The <em>FAMILY MEETING!</em> sign is up in her house, and she just knows she’s in trouble for something. Has she been too mean to her little brother? Too sloppy? Eating too much junk food? Try as she might to find out what’s on the agenda, her parents won’t reveal anything before the meeting. <br>As far as Clementine is concerned, the agenda should be something like: “We’re getting a gorilla.” But no, it’s something entirely different. “We’re talking about a new baby,” says her father. “A sibling for you two. What do you think about that?” NO THANKS! is what Clementine thinks. After all, <em>four</em> is the perfect number for a family. There are four sides to a table, not five. Will Clementine learn to make room for one more? <p/>

  2. Cody and the Heart of a Champion - In Cody’s life, some people keep her on her toes—just like Mother Nature, who is warm one day and snowy the next. Or like Cody’s brother, Wyatt, who has started wearing collared shirts because his girlfriend likes them. Meanwhile, Pearl has begun playing soccer and it’s all she can talk about. Spencer is busy creating a mysterious museum underneath GG’s house and he’s never around to play. And Spencer’s mom doesn’t look any different. . . . Could she really have a baby growing inside her? Maybe the baby is like Cody’s beloved ants, waiting patiently inside the earth for spring to arrive. It seems like everything around Cody is changing—from seasons to friendships—but if she can just navigate it all with her trademark enthusiasm and charm, maybe the most important things will stay the same.

  3. Tiny Infinities - When Alice’s dad moves out, leaving her with her troubled mother, she does the only thing that feels right: she retreats to her family’s old Renaissance tent in the backyard, determined to live there until her dad comes home. In an attempt to keep at least one part of her summer from changing, Alice focuses on her quest to swim freestyle fast enough to get on her swim team’s record board. But summers contain multitudes, and soon Alice meets an odd new friend, Harriet, whose obsession with the school’s science fair is equal only to her conviction that Alice’s best stroke is backstroke, not freestyle. Most unexpected of all is an unusual babysitting charge, Piper, who is mute—until Alice hears her speak. A funny and honest middle-grade novel, this sharply observed depiction of family, friendship, and Alice’s determination to prove herself—as a babysitter, as a friend, as a daughter, as a person—rings loud and true.

  4. Ramona Forever - Newbery Medal winner Beverly Cleary continues to amuse readers with her wonderful, blunderful Ramona Quimby! Life can move pretty fast—especially when you’re in the third grade, your teenage sister’s moods drive you crazy, and your mom has a suspicious secret she just won’t share. Plus, Mr. Quimby’s new job offer could have the entire family relocating. It’s a lot to handle for Ramona. But whatever trial comes her way, Ramona can count on one thing for sure—she’ll always be Ramona…forever!

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