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Mother-son Relationships: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about mother-son relationships?

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

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 mother-son relationships, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Kissing Hand to popular sellers like Artemis Fowl to some of our favorite hidden gems like I Wanna Iguana.

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

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Top 10 Books About Mother-son Relationships

#1
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The Kissing Hand
Written by Audrey Penn & illustrated by Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

When Chester the raccoon is reluctant to go to kindergarten for the first time, his mother teaches him a secret way to carry her love with him.

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#2
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I Wanna Iguana
Written by Karen Kaufman Orloff & illustrated by David Catrow
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Alex just has to convince his mom to let him have an iguana, so he puts his arguments in writing. He promises that she won’t have to feed it or clean its cage or even see it if she doesn’t want to. Of course Mom imagines life with a six-foot-long iguana eating them out of house and home. Alex’s reassurances: It takes fifteen years for an iguana to get that big. I’ll be married by then and probably living in my own house. and his mom’s replies: How are you going to get a girl to marry you when you own a giant reptile? will have kids in hysterics as the negotiations go back and forth through notes. And the lively, imaginative illustrations show their polar opposite dreams of life with an iguana.

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#3
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One Whole Bunch
Written by Mary Meyer & illustrated by Sara Gillingham
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-4

In this new book illustrated by award-winning artist and designer Sara Gillingham, a boy gathers a bunch of flowers for a beautiful bouquet for his mother in this simple and sweet story that features a counting element: 10 to 1.

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#4
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I Love You the Purplest
Written by Barbara M. Joosse & illustrated by Mary Whyte
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

From the bestselling author of Mama, Do You Love Me?— and finally available in a board book format—this classic read-aloud provides a poetic and comforting answer to a universal question: Who do you love more? In this warm celebration of unconditional love, a wise mother reassures her children that each of them has a very special place in her heart, making this a perfect gift for the whole family.

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#5
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Little Orange Scarf
Written & illustrated by Tatyana Feeney
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Little Owl loves many things, including his tree house in City Park, riding his scooter, and eating ice cream. But he does not love the new orange scarf his mommy makes him wear. It’s too long. It’s too itchy. It’s too . . . orange!

After several attempts to lose his orange scarf, Little Owl finally succeeds. But a trip to the yarn store provides Mommy with the perfect solution to keep Little Owl warm and happy.

From the author of Small Bunny’s Blue Blanket comes another toddler-friendly—and parent-friendly—board book offering.

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#6
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Max and the Superheroes
Written by Rocio Bonilla & illustrated by Oriol Malet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Max is crazy about superheroes, like all his friends, but the one he loves most is Megapower–especially when she turns into his Mommy and gives him a goodnight kiss.

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#7
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Chocolate Me!
Written by Taye Diggs & illustrated by Shane W. Evans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The boy is teased for looking different than the other kids. His skin is darker, his hair curlier. He tells his mother he wishes he could be more like everyone else. And she helps him to see how beautiful he really, truly is.

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#8
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Herbie's Big Adventure
Written & illustrated by Jennie Poh
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Herbie is a little hedgehog who is perfectly happy at home with his mother. But one day Mommy tells Herbie that it’s time to go exploring―all by himself! Herbie is so not sure, but ready or not, a westerly wind sweeps Herbie into the wide world…and Herbie’s Big Adventure begins! Little Herbie finds that he’s braver than he thinks and even makes a friend before coming safely back home to Mommy.

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#9
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You and Me and the Wishing Tree
Written & illustrated by Nancy Tillman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

We woke up in the usual way,

but it was not a usual day.

Out on the lawn, plain as could be,

stood an orange wishing tree.

“I wish!” I said. “I wish!” said you.

And so our double wishes grew.

Wishes are a magical part of childhood. Whether we wish on stars or blow out candles on a cake, our dreams matter. Nancy Tillman captures the wonder of wishes as only she can, with love.

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#10
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A Field Guide to Getting Lost
Written & illustrated by Joy McCullough
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A girl with a passion for science and a boy who dreams of writing fantasy novels must figure out how to get along now that their parents are dating in this lively, endearing novel.

Sutton is having robot problems. Her mini-bot is supposed to be able to get through a maze in under a minute, but she must have gotten something wrong in the coding. Which is frustrating for a science-minded girl like Sutton—almost as frustrating as the fact that her mother probably won’t be home in time for Sutton’s tenth birthday.

Luis spends his days writing thrilling stories about brave kids, but there’s only so much inspiration you can find when you’re stuck inside all day. He’s allergic to bees, afraid of dogs, and has an overprotective mom to boot. So Luis can only dream of daring adventures in the wild.

Sutton and Luis couldn’t be more different from each other. Except now that their parents are dating, these two have to find some common ground. Will they be able to navigate their way down a path they never planned on exploring?

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Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Mother-son Relationships and...

Books About Mother-son Relationships and Feelings And Emotions

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The Kissing Hand
Written by Audrey Penn & illustrated by Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

When Chester the raccoon is reluctant to go to kindergarten for the first time, his mother teaches him a secret way to carry her love with him.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$11.70
Used $0.94
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
I Love You the Purplest
Written by Barbara M. Joosse & illustrated by Mary Whyte
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

From the bestselling author of Mama, Do You Love Me?— and finally available in a board book format—this classic read-aloud provides a poetic and comforting answer to a universal question: Who do you love more? In this warm celebration of unconditional love, a wise mother reassures her children that each of them has a very special place in her heart, making this a perfect gift for the whole family.

Buy book
$9.99
Bookshop
$8.49
Amazon
$9.99
Used $9.99
Prices as of Feb 25
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Froggy Learns to Swim
Written by Jonathan London & illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Zzzziiiinnngggg splash! Everyone’s favorite frog learns to swim!

Frogs are supposed to be great swimmers. “Not me!” says Froggy, who’s afraid of the water. But with a little encouragement, some practice, and the help of a silly song or two, Froggy becomes an expert frog-kicker!

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. I Love You More Each Day - Join Mommy Bear and Little Bear on a beautiful journey of love and discovery! Join Mommy Bear and Little Bear on a beautiful journey of love and discovery. With beautiful illustrations and a sweet message, this story is perfect for parents to read to their special little one at story time, bedtime, and any time in between!

  2. Road Trip with Max and His Mom - Third-grader Max is heading off on a road trip with Mom. With miles to travel, cousins to meet, and a tall roller coaster to ride (maybe), it will be an adventure! But Max always spends weekends with Dad; will Dad be okay if he’s left behind? And will Max be brave enough for all the new explorations ahead of him?

  3. I Love You, Little One - Offers a look at the special bond between mother and child as a mother bunny provides reassurance to her little one through demonstrations of love and affection.

  4. Love You Forever - Booksellers have sold more than 30 million copies of Love You Forever in paperback and hardcover. Now we have a board version, printed on light, crisp whiteboard and slightly reduced for child-sized hands. Yet it contains every word of the original, which is much-loved by grandparents and parents everywhere. Watch for major promotion this fall. A young mother holds her baby, and while she sings to it she rocks it back and forth. And through her life, and the stages of his life, she holds her son and rocks him back and forth as she tells him that she will love him forever.

Books About Mother-son Relationships and Friendship

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Max and the Superheroes
Written by Rocio Bonilla & illustrated by Oriol Malet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Max is crazy about superheroes, like all his friends, but the one he loves most is Megapower–especially when she turns into his Mommy and gives him a goodnight kiss.

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$14.99
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$12.74
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$14.29
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Add to list
A Field Guide to Getting Lost
Written & illustrated by Joy McCullough
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A girl with a passion for science and a boy who dreams of writing fantasy novels must figure out how to get along now that their parents are dating in this lively, endearing novel.

Sutton is having robot problems. Her mini-bot is supposed to be able to get through a maze in under a minute, but she must have gotten something wrong in the coding. Which is frustrating for a science-minded girl like Sutton—almost as frustrating as the fact that her mother probably won’t be home in time for Sutton’s tenth birthday.

Luis spends his days writing thrilling stories about brave kids, but there’s only so much inspiration you can find when you’re stuck inside all day. He’s allergic to bees, afraid of dogs, and has an overprotective mom to boot. So Luis can only dream of daring adventures in the wild.

Sutton and Luis couldn’t be more different from each other. Except now that their parents are dating, these two have to find some common ground. Will they be able to navigate their way down a path they never planned on exploring?

Buy book
$17.99
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The Only Thing Worse Than Witches
Written by Lauren Magaziner
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Eleven-year-old Rupert cannot resist applying to an advertisement for a witch’s apprentice but quickly finds himself over his head with the young witch-in-training who desperately needs his help.

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  1. Secret Sheriff of Sixth Grade - A new hilarious, honest, and inspirational middle-grade novel about finding your inner hero, from the author of Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie.

  2. Remarkable Inventions Of Walter Mortinson - In this sweeping and inventive debut novel that’s perfect for fans of Roald Dahl, Neil Gaiman, and Tim Burton, a prodigal inventor flees his home to find his destiny. In the humdrum town of Moormouth, Walter Mortinson’s unusual inventions cause nothing but trouble. After one of his contraptions throws the town into chaos, Walter’s mother demands he cut the nonsense and join the family mortuary business. Far off on Flaster Isle, famed inventor Horace Flasterborn plans to take Walter under his wing, just as he did Walter’s genius father decades ago. When a letter arrives by unusual means offering Walter an apprenticeship, it isn’t long before Walter decides to flee Moormouth to meet his destiny. Walter runs away in the family hearse along with Cordelia, the moody girl next door with one eye and plenty of secrets. Together they journey through a strange landscape of fish-people, giantess miners, and hypnotized honeybees in an adventure that will not only reveal the truth about Walter’s past, but direct his future.

  3. Lucky for Good - The residents of Hard Pan, California, come together to help Brigitte and Lucky when the County Health Department threatens to close down the cafâe, and meantime Miles’s life is complicated by his mother’s return.

  4. The Sky at Our Feet - This #ownvoices novel by bestselling author Nadia Hashimi tells the affecting story of an Afghan-American boy who believes his mother has been deported. For fans of Inside Out and Back Again and Counting by 7s. This middle grade novel is an excellent choice for tween readers in grades 5 to 6, especially during homeschooling. It's a fun way to keep your child entertained and engaged while not in the classroom.

Want to see books about friendship?

Books About Mother-son Relationships and Love

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Kisses and Cuddles
Written & illustrated by Little Bee Books
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

A little penguin loves to do many things during his fun day, but nothing beats getting kisses and cuddles from his mama! Follow a little penguin as he spends his day doing everything he loves–such as eating pancakes, playing with his toys, drinking hot chocolate, spotting rainbows, and more. But what does he love the most? Kisses and cuddles from his mama!

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You and Me and the Wishing Tree
Written & illustrated by Nancy Tillman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

We woke up in the usual way,

but it was not a usual day.

Out on the lawn, plain as could be,

stood an orange wishing tree.

“I wish!” I said. “I wish!” said you.

And so our double wishes grew.

Wishes are a magical part of childhood. Whether we wish on stars or blow out candles on a cake, our dreams matter. Nancy Tillman captures the wonder of wishes as only she can, with love.

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My Mama Is a Mechanic
Written & illustrated by Doug Cenko
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Snuggle with Mom for this sweet book about a mother as seen through her son’s eyes. To him, she is a surgeon when she repairs his favorite stuffed animal, a weightlifter when lugging in groceries, and a monster truck diver when driving him. But no matter what happens, she is always his mama, and that’s the most important thing of all!

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. Wild Honey from the Moon - In an epic adventure like no other, an unflappable mother will stop at nothing to find a cure for her ailing young son — even if it means traveling to the moon itself. “Where are you going?” “To the moon. A quick trip.” “But you can’t fly.” “Darling, I am your mother,” she said, and gave him one last kiss. On a cold winter’s eve, deep in the woods, a mother shrew frets about her sick young son. His head is cold and his feet are hot, and there is only one thing that can cure him: wild honey from the moon. Mother Shrew does not stop to wonder how she will make such an impossible journey. Instead, she grabs her trusty red umbrella, gives her darling son a kiss, and sets out into the unknown. Along the way, Mother Shrew encounters one obstacle after another, from a malevolent owl to a herd of restless “night mares” to an island humming with angry bees. But each can prove no match for a mother on a mission. From the mind of the uniquely talented Kenneth Kraegel comes an utterly original ode to the limitlessness of maternal love.

  2. One More Hug - A tree branch tapping on a window, a pretend sword breaking in two, the skreeeetch of a school bus door: one more hug by mom is always needed to comfort and reassure a young boy that he has the inner confidence to carry on. As time passes, and he outgrows his childhood fears, he returns the favor by giving his mother one more hug as he goes on his way. This timeless tale of unconditional love and comfort for an anxious young boy as he leaves the nest and starts his journey through life is a perfect story for mothers to share with their sons to show them that it’s okay to have fears and needs—even as they get older—and it’s okay to share those feelings with the people who love them.

Books About Mother-son Relationships and Social Themes

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Chocolate Me!
Written by Taye Diggs & illustrated by Shane W. Evans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The boy is teased for looking different than the other kids. His skin is darker, his hair curlier. He tells his mother he wishes he could be more like everyone else. And she helps him to see how beautiful he really, truly is.

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Knockout
Written & illustrated by K. A. Holt
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Levi just wants to be treated like a typical kid. As a baby, he had a serious disease that caused him respiratory issues. He’s fine now, but his mom and overprotective brother still think of him as damaged, and his schoolmates see him as the same class clown he’s always been. He feels stuck. So when his dad—divorced from his mom—suggests he take up boxing, he falls in love with the sport. And when he finds out about a school with a killer boxing team and a free-study curriculum, it feels like he’s found a ticket to a new Levi. But how can he tell his mom about boxing? And how can he convince his family to set him free?

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Boy & the Bindi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In this beautiful children's picture book by Vivek Shraya, author of the acclaimed God Loves Hair, a five-year-old South Asian boy becomes fascinated with his mother's bindi, the red dot commonly worn by Hindu women to indicate the point at which creation begins, and wishes to have one of his own. Rather than chastise her son, she agrees to it, and teaches him about its cultural significance, allowing the boy to discover the magic of the bindi, which in turn gives him permission to be more fully himself.

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  1. Stars in the Darkness - In the imagination of a young inner-city boy, police sirens sound like howling wolves, streetlights look like stars, and shots fired by neighborhood gangs sound like those stars cracking the darkness. But when his older brother joins a gang, he can no longer pretend. With the help of his mother, he comes up with a plan to save his brother and unite his neighbors in a stand for peace. The realistic yet uplifting words of best-selling author Barbara M. Joosse combine with powerful illustrations by award-winning artist R. Gregory Christie in this hope-filled story. One young boy’s courage can make a difference.

  2. And What If I Won't? - When Benny’s mother asks him to put his dirty plate in the sink, he responds by asking: “What would you do if I said no?” Her answer is predictable, but not enough for Benny, whose “what if?” line of questioning continues as he dreams up increasingly naughty behavior: What if he threw his plate at the wall? What if he jumped on the couch in muddy rain boots? What if he tore pages out of library books? Playing on their shared sense of humor and imagination, and showing more than a little bit of indulgence, his mother’s answers become equally outrageous. She sends Benny off to the zoo, sells him to the circus, and even happily shoots him off into outer space as punishment for his behavior.The story’s circular ending brings it all back home with a clever – and entirely reasonable – punchline.

Books About Mother-son Relationships and Parents

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Spot Loves His Mommy
Written & illustrated by Eric Hill
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Spot loves spending time with his Mom.Whether playing hide-and-seek, baking a cake, or reading his favorite story, Spot and Mommy have lots of fun together. Perfect for Mother’s Day and all year long, this touching and heartwarming book is great for sharing.

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Hair for Mama
Written by Kelly A. Tinkham & illustrated by Amy June Bates
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It’s family picture time for the Carters, but Mama does not want to be in the photo this year. All of her beautiful hair is gone because of chemotherapy treatments for her cancer, and she doesn’t want to be remembered without hair. Eight-year-old Marcus knows that the picture won’t be the same without Mama, so he comes up with a plan to find her some hair and make her better. Even though the plan doesn’t work in quite the way Marcus expects, he comes to understand that hair is nice to have, but not as nice as me having Mama and Mama having me. <P> This is a story for every family dealing with a serious illness. It is told with a touch of gentle humor in a style that children will readily understand, and the warm and inviting illustrations will bring comfort and hope to young and old alike. <BR>”

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A Monster Calls
Written by Patrick Ness & illustrated by Jim Kay
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 12-17

An unflinching, darkly funny, and deeply moving story of a boy, his seriously ill mother, and an unexpected monstrous visitor. <BR>At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting– he’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It’s ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth. From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd– whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself– Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined.

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  1. Don't Go to School! - Benno is really excited about his first day at school. But there’s one problem: Mommy! “DON’T GO TO SCHOOL!” she wails. “STAY HERE WITH ME!” Can the brave little bear convince Mom that everything’s okay? He comes up with an ingenious idea to help her adjust–one that many parents will recognize. Kids will love this laugh-out-loud twist on a familiar theme.

  2. Many Worlds of Albie Bright - Fun science meets humor and heart in this adventure about a boy who is searching for his mother . . . in a parallel universe.

  3. The Sign of the Cat - Talking cats, a missing princess, swordfights with villains, and secret identities combine in this epic tale of bravery and self-discovery on the high seas. Duncan is very smart. He also has a most unusual gift. So why does his mother encourage him to be perfectly average and insist he only get mediocre grades? His special talent is the ability to talk to cats―but Duncan longs more than anything for academic success. When Duncan rebels and gets a perfect test score, people start taking notice of him. And it turns out that some of those people may not have the best intentions . . . not by a long shot. From the same author of The Secret of Zoom and Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat, Lynne Jonell delivers another magical and unforgettable adventure in The Sign of the Cat.

  4. Sir Tim Has a Secret - Real knights are always honest. But when Sir Tim accidentally rips his cape, he tries to blame his friend Max. And when Mom leaves a strawberry shortcake on the table, he sneaks a bite. Keeping all these secrets begins to give Sir Tim a bellyache . . . A sweet and recognizable book about keeping secrets. For honest knights ages 4 and up.

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