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Reptiles And Amphibians: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about reptiles and amphibians?

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

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 reptiles and amphibians, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like I Wanna Iguana to popular sellers like The Mixed-Up Chameleon to some of our favorite hidden gems like Art & Max.

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

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Blue Chameleon
Written & illustrated by Emily Gravett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Chameleon can turn himself into anything and appear to fit in anywhere, but it seems that neither the swirly snail, the green grasshopper nor the striped sock want to be friends. Will he ever find someone to talk to? Someone just like him?

With a subtle and witty interplay between words and illustrations this introduction to colors and shapes (and chameleons!) is sure to delight kids of all ages.

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A Girl and Her Gator
Written by Sean Bryan & illustrated by Tom Murphy
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

One day, a girl discovers an alligator on her head and, although she is afraid her friends will laugh, the ‘gator soon convinces her that she can still give her brother a scare, eat an eclair, and choose anything to wear as long as he is there.

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Spike, the Mixed-up Monster
Written by Susan Hood & illustrated by Melissa Sweet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Meet Spike, a lovable monster—and a real-life salamander—who’s looking for friends in this lively picture book that includes Spanish vocabulary. Spike is a scary-looking salamander who keeps trying to frighten other animals—until he finds that using fear is not the best way to make friends. And since Spike lives in Mexico (he is an endangered species called the axolotl), this story is peppered with easy-to-understand Spanish words. In addition to a charming tale of friendship, this picture book contains nonfiction information about the axolotl and a Spanish/English glossary.

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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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Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor: The Woman Who Loved Reptiles
Written by Patricia Valdez & illustrated by Felicita Sala
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Back in the days of long skirts and afternoon teas, young Joan Procter entertained the most unusual party guests: slithery and scaly ones, who turned over teacups and crawled past the crumpets…. While other girls played with dolls, Joan preferred the company of reptiles. She carried her favorite lizard with her everywhere—she even brought a crocodile to school!

When Joan grew older, she became the Curator of Reptiles at the British Museum. She went on to design the Reptile House at the London Zoo, including a home for the rumored-to-be-vicious komodo dragons. There, just like when she was a little girl, Joan hosted children’s tea parties—with her komodo dragon as the guest of honor.

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  • Beware of the Crocodile - You probably know a little about crocodiles already. They’re reptiles, they have an awful lot of teeth, and they’re pretty scary — at least, the big ones are! They’re not very fussy about what they eat, and when it comes to hunting down dinner, crocodiles are very determined . . . and very cunning. But there’s more to crocodiles than just their appetites. They love to nap on warm sandbanks and cool off in calm waters, and crocodile mothers are very gentle with their babies. This fascinating look at one of Earth’s most infamous creatures is full of information for amateur scientists, with back matter that includes an index, notes on species, and suggestions for further reading.

  • Art & Max - Max wants to be an artist like Arthur, but his first attempt at using a paintbrush sends the two friends on a whirlwind trip through various media, with unexpected consequences.

  • Slide-N-Seek Earth - Explore a new and exciting way to learn about what’s happening underground with this interactive Slide-N-Seek book. With a turn of the wheel, you’ll see colorful images transform before your very eyes. But don’t stop there, look closer and you’ll discover hidden images throughout every page. Kids will love this fun and educational format while learning about fascinating objects along the way.

  • How the Blue-Tongued Skink got his Blue Tongue - Travel with the courageous Dinky, the skink, as he encounters and challenges a bully, and find out how he gets a blue tongue while trying to do what’s right.

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Reptile Club, The
Written by Maureen Fergus & illustrated by Elina Ellis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

There are lots of clubs for Rory to join at his new school, but none seem quite right for him. So when his parents suggest he start his own club about something he loves, Rory knows exactly what it will be: a Reptile Club! He’s positive that there are other kids out there who share his passion. He sets up his first meeting and then waits and waits for students to show up. Just as he is about to give up, Rory hears whispering in the hallway and hurries over to see who it is. To his astonishment, it’s not his schoolmates who have arrived to attend the first meeting, but a crocodile, an anaconda and a gecko!

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Can I Play Too?
Written & illustrated by Mo Willems
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

Gerald is careful. Piggie is not. Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can.

Gerald and Piggie are best friends.

In Can I Play Too? Gerald and Piggie meet a new snake friend who wants to join in a game of catch. But don’t you need arms to catch?

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Franklin Plays the Game
Written by Paulette Bourgeois & illustrated by Brenda Clark
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

Franklin and his friends love to play soccer, even if they never succeed in scoring a goal, but when they learn to work together, their playing improves.

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Ultimate Reptileopedia: The Most Complete Reptile Reference Ever
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

The natural world experts at National Geographic present the ultimate reference book on reptiles, designed just for kids. Crawling with fascinating facts, lively text, and tons of cool, colorful, images of the weirdest and wackiest reptiles on planet Earth, it is sure to be their coveted, #1 reference. <p/> Snakey, slimey, scaley, and sensational! Welcome to the amazing world of the most popular reptiles on Earth. With colorful photographs and fun facts, this easy-to-use encyclopedia profiles snakes, lizards, amphibians, turtles and tortoises, crocodilians, and tuatara. Profiles are accompanied by Did You Know? details and fast facts including scientific name, size, diet, and habitat.

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Carmen and the House That Gaudí Built
Written by Susan Hughes & illustrated by Marianne Ferrer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
A joyful celebration of the nature-inspired work of architect Antoni Gaudí
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  • Claude: The True Story of a White Alligator - Claude is the story of the California Academy of Sciences' beloved albino alligator, from his birth in Louisiana to his present day life in his swamp at the Academy.

  • Great Smoky Mountains Salamander Ball - Children will delight in this fantastic tale of a young girl’s vacation in the Smoky Mountains. Wandering from her tent late one summer’s night, Sara finds an invitation she just can’t resist! She watches the grand ball from safely behind a tree until suddenly she is discovered. <p/>Author Lisa Horstman is the winner of the Dr.Seuss Picture Book Award for her first children’s book <i>Fast Friends</i>. <i>The Great Smoky Mountains Salamander Ball</i> won the National Park Service First Place Award for Excellence.<br>

  • Skink on the Brink - Stewie is a very special skink -- he has a beautiful blue tail which gives him a superpower against his enemies. Stewie loves singing his songs and rhymes as he dashes around his home. But as he grows up his beautiful blue tail starts to turn grey -- he can't call himself Stewie the Blue anymore! And without his rhymes, his home by the pond doesn't feel as special either. A new Tell-Me-More Storybook about self-esteem, change, and growing up.

  • Huggy the Python Hugs Too Hard - Help little ones learn how to give a BIG gentle hug with this first story in the brand-new Wee Beasties series from New York Times bestselling author Ame Dyckman. Huggy the Python loves to hug. The only problem is, he hugs WAY too hard. WAIT! Can you show Huggy how to give a gentle hug? Wee Beasties is a new board book series from New York Times bestselling author, Ame Dyckman, featuring silly animals doing the things they love just a little TOO much. In this first book about Huggy the Python and all the things he loves, little ones will learn how to give a big gentle hug.

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Sea Turtles
Written by Laura Marsh
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Who could resist celebrating sea turtles? They may seem like lazy ocean reptiles drifting with the oceans’ currents, but they are actually long-distance swimmers that spend their entire lives searching for food and a mate. What’s more, they come with their own built-in GPS, returning to the exact beach where they were born to lay their own eggs. Kids will learn all about these tranquil and mysterious animals through brilliant photography and illustrations, plus the trusted and distinctive content you love from NG Kids!

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Curse of the Were-Wiener
Written by Ursula Vernon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-10

Danny Dragonbreath and his best friend Wendell thought the hot dog from the school cafeteria looked a little . . . off. Then things got weird when the hot dog bit Wendell, and weirder still when Wendell started to sprout back hair. Could Wendell be morphing into a . . . (<i>cue ominous music</i>) were-wiener? All evidence points to yes. And unless he and Danny can get past the lunch ladies and slay the alpha-wurst, the whole school could be infected.<p>Written in Ursula Vernon’s trademark hybrid style of comic-book panels and text, this is the thrilling third book in the series. In a starred review, Kirkus Reviews said <i>Dragonbreath</i> will leave readers in stiches- and on tenterhooks waiting for the next one. Curse of the Were-Wiener will make kids everywhere laugh, shriek, and take a closer look at their lunches. Perfect for fans of <i>Wimpy Kid</i> and <i>Bad Kitty</i>.<br> </p>

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The Mixed-Up Chameleon
Written & illustrated by Eric Carle
Select type book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

There once was a small green chameleon that wished to be handsome like a flamingo, smart like a fox, and funny like a seal. But with each transformation in size, shape, and color, the chameleon learns that maybe being yourself is best of all!

The Mixed-Up Chameleon is sure to delight little readers with its interactive art, funny antics, and heartwarming message.

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Forget-Me-Not Lake
Written by Poppy Green & illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Sophie Mouse wishes she could play in the water at Forget-Me-Not Lake with her friends, but she can’t because she’s a mouse. Or can she? Find out in this third book of The Adventures of Sophie Mouse. <p/>Sophie Mouse likes being a mouse. So she’s excited that she and her classmates are making presentations for school about life as the type of animal they are. Sophie has already made a list of things she can do–run fast, scurry into small places, and more. But while playing at Forget-Me-Not Lake with her friends Hattie Frog and Owen Snake, Sophie realizes one thing she definitely can’t do: swim! <p/>Hattie and Owen are having so much fun in the water, and Sophie will never be able to join them. Sophie starts to think that being a mouse isn’t so special, after all. When Sophie’s friends notice her disappointment, can they figure out a way to get her out on the water? <p/>With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Adventures of Sophie Mouse chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.

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Franklin's Thanksgiving
Written by Paulette Bourgeois & illustrated by Brenda Clark
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

In this Franklin Classic Storybook, our young hero likes everything about Thanksgiving, from eating pumpkin-fly pie to making cornucopias. But what he likes best is having his Grandma and Grandpa share the holiday with him and his family. This year, however, his grandparents are traveling abroad. Thanksgiving just won’t be the same without guests around the table, so Franklin decides to invite some friends for dinner. What a nice surprise it will be for his parents. Only Franklin’s mother and father have the same idea, and on Thanksgiving Day all their friends show up for the festivities! With no more room in the house, where will the holiday meal take place?

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  • Rodney - Rodney is a small turtle with a BIG dream. All he wants is to be larger. Then one day, Rodney’s dream comes true - or does it? It’s all a matter of perspective!

  • The Greedy Python - In this classic picture book from Richard Buckley and Eric Carle, a greedy python eats every creature he comes across in the jungle. From a tiny mouse to an enormous elephant, the eaten animals befriend one another in the belly of the snake, where they team up and kick the inside of the python until he spits them out. This humorous tale about manners, respect, and friendship will delight readers!

  • A New Friend - In this first of a charming series about a little mouse and her forest friends, Sophie Mouse must convince her classmates–and herself–that a new student is nothing to fear. Even if he is a snake! Readers will delight in The Adventures of Sophie Mouse! <p/>In the first book of The Adventures of Sophie Mouse, springtime has arrived at Silverlake Forest! The animals are coming out of their homes, buds are blooming on the trees, and the air smells of honeysuckles and tree bark. Sophie Mouse can’t wait to go back to school after the long winter break. <p/>Even better, there’s a new student in class–Sophie loves meeting new animals! But the class gasps when Owen enters: he’s a snake! No one is brave enough to sit near him, or play with Owen at recess, or even talk to him. Can Sophie help her friends understand that Owen’s not scary after all? <p/>With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Adventures of Sophie Mouse chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.

  • Franklin's New Friend - Franklin has always lived in the same house in the same town, and he’s grown up with the same friends. Then new neighbors move in – the Moose family! At school, Mr. Owl asks Franklin to be Moose’s buddy. Initially, Franklin is afraid of Moose because of his size but he soon realizes that despite their differences, he has made a new friend in this Franklin Classic Storybook.

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Franklin Is Messy
Written by Paulette Bourgeois & illustrated by Brenda Clark
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

In this Franklin Classic Storybook, our hero can count forwards and backwards. He can zip zippers and button buttons. He can slide down a riverbank by himself. He can even sleep alone in his small, dark shell. But Franklin is so messy that he can hardly ever find his things!

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How a Frog Grows
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-7

Describes the life cycle of a frog, using a text that incorporates phonics instruction.

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Duckworth, the Difficult Child
Written by Michael Sussman & illustrated by Júlia Sardà
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Duckworth’s parents think he is a difficult child, so when a snake slides right up and swallows him whole, his parents don’t believe him! What’s poor Duckworth to do? Duckworth is a difficult child. At least that’s what his parents think. So when Duckworth tries to explain that a gigantic snake slithered out of his closet, his parents insist it’s all in his head—he is far too old to be imagining such nonsense. (And will he please do his chores?) But even when the cobra slides right up and swallows Duckworth whole, his parents remain unconvinced! (Where did he find that snake costume, and will he please put it away?) What’s poor Duckworth to do when his parents just won’t listen? With nods to the deliciously dark humor of Edward Gorey, Florence Parry Heide, and Jon Klassen, Michael Sussman and Júlia Sardà empathize with children everywhere who must find ways to deal with their difficult parents.

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Mary Had a Little Lizard
Written & illustrated by Kayla Harren
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A modern take on “Mary Had a Little Lamb” featuring hilarious antics as Lizard sneaks into Mary’s backpack and causes nothing but mayhem in her Kindergarten class. He eats someone’s lunch, makes a mess in the painting corner, and scares the teacher silly during story time before being sent to the principal’s office to wait for Mary’s mom to pick him up. It’s no fun being alone. But when Mary finally comes home from school, Lizard knows he’ll always have his very best friend. Rendered in a combination of traditional and digital color, Mary Had a Little Lizard is a silly, satisfying celebration of new experiences and friendships that can never be broken.

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Do Crocs Kiss?
Written & illustrated by Salina Yoon
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Do crocs cry? Do crocs clap? All I know is crocs go . . . SNAP! This novelty board book, with fun text and colorful illustrations, features adorable lions, tigers, and bears, as well as the snappy title reptile and other favorite creatures. Kids will happily lift the flap on each big animal “mouth” to discover what sound it makes. For a grand finale, all the animals appear together peering out from behind two gatefolds, so children can sneak a peek and say all the sounds again!

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  • The Kid and the Chameleon Sleepover (Time to Read, Level 3) - Tessy is so excited to have a sleepover with Newton, full of midnight snacks and bedtime stories and pillow fights. But Newton just wants to sleep! Can the friends find a way for both of them to have fun?

  • Fuzzy Freaks Out - The class pets are ready for Halloween – but are their classrooms haunted? Fuzzy is totally freaked out!<p></p>Fuzzy has a great new plan as the Adventure Director of the Class Pets Club – the pets are going to join the Halloween Parade with their kids! In disguises, of course. Finally, they won’t be missing all the fun!But then spooky things start happening, and not in a fun, Halloween way. Is Leo Gumpus Elementary… haunted? And if so, what’s an adventurous guinea pig going to do about it?

  • Little Skink's Tail - While Little Skink hunts yummy ants for breakfast, she is suddenly attacked by a crow! But she has a trick to escape - she snaps off her tail, and it keeps on wiggling! Little Skink is happy to be alive, but she misses her bright blue tail. Readers will enjoy pretending with her, trying on tail after tail. The first is too puffy-fluffy, and another too stinky! Then one day Little Skink gets a big surprise…and she doesn’t have to dream of tails anymore. The -For Creative Minds- section has information on tail adaptations and communications and a mix-and-match tail activity.

  • Nim's Island - A girl. An iguana. An island. And e-mail. Meet Nim-a modern-day Robinson Crusoe! She can chop down bananas with a machete, climb tall palm trees, and start a fire with a piece of glass. So she’s not afraid when her scientist dad sails off to study plankton for three days, leaving her alone on their island. Besides, it’s not as if no one’s looking after her-she’s got a sea lion to mother her and an iguana for comic relief. She also has an interesting new e-mail pal. But when her father’s cell-phone calls stop coming and disaster seems near, Nim has to be stronger and braver than she’s ever been before. <p/>And she’ll need all her friends to help her.

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101 Dinosaurs
Written by April Jones Prince & illustrated by Bob Kolar
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-5

Meet the long-necks, flyers, boneheads, duckbills, swimmers, armored, horned, plated, and sharp-toothed creatures of prehistoric times in this oversized board book with 101 creatures for kids to name and sound out! With bite-size information that’s perfect for this young age, phonetic spellings of each creature, and an interactive refrain, the first book in this young nonfiction series is sure to be a hit!

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I (Don't) Like Snakes
Written by Nicola Davies & illustrated by Luciano Lozano
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9
They're slithery and scaly, and they have icky, flicking tongues and creepy, unblinking eyes. What's to like about a snake? You'd be surprised!
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My Colorful Chameleon
Written by Leonie Roberts & illustrated by Mike Byrne
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Is a chameleon the ultimate pest of a pet or just a clever adapter to its environment? In this story, told in rhyme, our main character gets into trouble because she keeps losing sight of the family pet who just won’t stop blending into its surroundings. But that’s what chameleons do! This is a story which explores the unique physical traits of chameleons, and also offers readers lots of fun in spotting the animal before it disappears into the background.

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The Kid and the Chameleon Sleepover
Written by Sheri Mabry & illustrated by Joanie Stone
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Tessy is so excited to have a sleepover with Newton, full of midnight snacks and bedtime stories and pillow fights. But Newton just wants to sleep! Can the friends find a way for both of them to have fun?

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Chameleon Wore Chartreuse
Written by Bruce Hale
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Chet Gecko loves a good mystery. Almost more than he loves his fee–stinkbug pie.<br> So when fellow fourth grader Shirley Chameleon asks him to find her missing brother, Billy, Chet expects the case to be as easy a pie. But Billy’s disappearance is part of a larger plot, one that involves the Rat Sisters, a riddling junkyard dog, and a vicious Gila monster named Herman. If Chet doesn’t solve the case fast, the entire school could be humiliated. Worst of all, Chet might not get his fee. And Chet’s hungry. . . .<br>

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  • If You Give a T-Rex a Bone - Heads up, dino lovers! If by chance you end up in an ancient habitat, and if you offer a T-Rex a bone, things could get . . . well . . . interesting. Dangerously interesting! Storyteller and teacher Tim Myers magically introduces the reader to all types of dinosaurs in quirky sort of way. The boy in the story had a tough day, dodging T-Rex by hiding in the underbrush, only to encounter a toothy dimetrodon. He escapes into a nearby bay, only to attract a 42-foot kronsaurus . . . it was a long day, running to and fro among ancient habitats. There is lots of science, but no boring nonfiction here!

  • Green Lizards vs. Red Rectangles - The green lizards and the red rectangles are at war. Can there ever be a way to live peacefully together?

  • Neon Leon - Everyone knows that chameleons are the best at fitting in. But Leon is an exception. Leon is neon! In fact, he’s so bright that he keeps all the other chameleons awake at night. Poor Leon is lonely, so he goes off in search of somewhere he won’t be a nuisance. In this delightful interactive book filled with vibrant neon artwork, children can help Leon on his journey by counting his steps, sending him to sleep, and giving him lots of reassurance when he’s feeling down. But will he ever find a place where he can fit in?

  • Snakes on a Train - An adorable board book full of sibilant sounds and other word play, Snakes on a Train is as fun for parents as it is for children, and sure to be a read-aloud hit. The conductor takes the tickets as the snakes start crawling on. The tracks are checked, the whistle blows. It’s time to move along. Hissssssssssss goes the sound of the train.

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