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Toys, Dolls And Puppets: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about toys, dolls and puppets?

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

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 toys, dolls and puppets, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Clue in the Old Album to popular sellers like Winnie-the-Pooh to some of our favorite hidden gems like The Velveteen Rabbit.

We hope this list of kids books about toys, dolls and puppets can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

Top 10 Books About Toys, Dolls And Puppets

Corduroy Lost and Found book
#1
Corduroy Lost and Found
Written by B.G. Hennessy & illustrated by Jody Wheeler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A new adventure for a classic teddy bear! Corduroy the beloved bear slips out very early one morning to get a birthday present for Lisa. He spies what he thinks is a yellow balloon up in the sky, thinking that would be perfect for her. But when the sun rises, the balloon (really the full moon) disappears. And now Corduroy is lost. Lisa finds him, but not before Corduroy succeeds in getting just the right gift—a lollipop as yellow and round as the moon. Written in the whimsical style of Don Freeman and illustrated in the exact scratchboard technique he used to create Corduroy and A Pocket for Corduroy.

What Is Given from the Heart book
#2
What Is Given from the Heart
Written by Patricia C. McKissack & illustrated by April Harrison
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This final, magnificent picture book from three-time Coretta Scott King Award winner and Newbery Honor author Patricia McKissack is a poignant and uplifting celebration of the joy of giving.

“Misery loves company,” Mama says to James Otis. It’s been a rough couple of months for them, but Mama says as long as they have their health and strength, they’re blessed. One Sunday before Valentine’s Day, Reverend Dennis makes an announcement during the service— the Temples have lost everything in a fire, and the church is collecting anything that might be useful to them. James thinks hard about what he can add to the Temple’s “love box,” but what does he have worth giving? With her extraordinary gift for storytelling, McKissack—with stunning illustrations by Harrison—delivers a touching, powerful tale of compassion and reminds us all that what is given from the heart, reaches the heart.

You Are Special book
#3
You Are Special
Written by Max Lucado & illustrated by Sergio Martinez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Every day the small wooden people called Wemmicks do the same thing: stick either gold stars or gray dots on one another. The pretty ones―those with smooth wood and fine paint―always get stars. The talented ones do, too. Others, though, who can do little or who have chipped paint, get ugly gray dots. Like Punchinello.

In this heartwarming children’s tale from best-selling author Max Lucado, Eli the woodcarver helps Punchinello understand how special he is―no matter what other Wemmicks may think. It’s a vital message for children everywhere: that regardless of how the world evaluates them, God cherishes each of them, just as they are.

This tale originally appeared within one of the chapters in the award-winning children’s bestseller Tell Me the Secrets.

Max's Castle book
#4
Max's Castle
Written by Kate Banks & illustrated by Boris Kulikov
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When Max finds a pile of forgotten toys under the bed, his brothers Benjamin and Karl wonder what’s so special about some old blocks. So Max shows them. With some clever twists of both blocks and imagination, he constructs not only a castle but an entire adventure, complete with pirates and knights, a dark dungeon and a dragon. This ingenious sequel to Max’s Words and Max’s Dragons shows readers just how much fun wordplay can be.

The Little Rabbit book
#5
The Little Rabbit
Written & illustrated by Nicola Killen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From beloved author/illustrator Nicola Killen comes an enchanting spring story about a magical friendship between a little girl and her stuffed rabbit who comes to life, lovingly told and illustrated in limited color with lovely foil and interactive die cut pages.

Ollie and her favorite friend bunny have been waiting for the rain to stop and spring to come, and at long last the sun arrives. Ollie puts on her rain boots, wraps bunny in a warm scarf, and the two set off for exploring. Then a sudden breeze whispers past and bunny’s nose twitches and their magical adventure begins…

The Little Rabbit is sure to enchant and charm young readers and is great for sharing with a friend.

Little Fox in the Forest book
#6
Little Fox in the Forest
Written & illustrated by Stephanie Graegin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Fans of Aaron Becker’s Caldecott Honor winner Journey will love this utterly enchanting wordless picture book in which two friends follow a young fox deep into the woods and discover a wondrous and magical world.

When a young girl brings her beloved stuffed fox to the playground, much to her astonishment, a real fox takes off with it! The girl chases the fox into the woods with her friend, the boy, following close behind, but soon the two children lose track of the fox. Wandering deeper and deeper into the forest, they come across a tall hedge with an archway. What do they find on the other side? A marvelous village of miniature stone cottages, tiny treehouses, and, most extraordinary of all, woodland creatures of every shape and size. But where is the little fox? And how will they find him?

Stephanie Graegin’s oh-so-charming illustrations are simply irresistible, and readers young and old will want to pore over the pages of this delightful fantasy adventure again and again.

Lion's Lullaby book
#7
Lion's Lullaby
Written by Mij Kelly & illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

With the help of hugs and lullabies, a young girl tucks her stuffed animals into bed, one by one, in this cuddly good-night read. Holly Clifton-Brown’s soft palette and adorable illustrations paired with Mij Kelly’s comforting rhyming text set the perfect tone for bedtime.

The Little Engine That Could: 90th Anniversary Edition book
#8
The Little Engine That Could: 90th Anniversary Edition
Written by Watty Piper & illustrated by Dan Santat
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Celebrate the 90th anniversary of The Little Engine That Could with this all-time classic reillustrated by Caldecott Award-winning artist Dan Santat!

The kindness and determination of the Little Blue Engine have inspired millions of children around the world since the story was first published in 1930. Cherished by readers for ninety years, The Little Engine That Could is a classic tale of a little engine that, despite her size, triumphantly pulls a train full of wonderful things to the children waiting on the other side of a mountain.

This anniversary edition features the original text, all-new reimagined artwork and an introduction from Caldecott Medal-winner Dan Santat, and a special letter from Dolly Parton, award-winning singer-songwriter and founder of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

Harry and Horsie book
#9
Harry and Horsie
Written by Katie Van Camp & illustrated by Lincoln Agnew
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When a boy named Harry sneaks out of bed one night with his best friend, Horsie, to play with his Super Duper Bubble Blooper — an out-of-this-world adventure begins! Illustrated with retro-comic art, this is a charming story about the power of friendship and imagination from a talented new team.

Miss Suzy book
#10
Miss Suzy
Written by Miriam Young & illustrated by Arnold Lobel
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Miss Suzy is a little gray squirrel who lives happily in her oak-tree home until she is chased away by some mean red squirrels. Poor Miss Suzy is very sad. But soon she finds a beautiful dollhouse and meets a band of brave toy soldiers. How Miss Suzy and the soldiers help each other makes a gentle, old-fashioned tale that has captured the imaginations of girls and boys alike for forty years. Arnold Lobel’s enchanting pictures are sure to make the kind squirrel and the gallant soldiers the everlasting friends of all who turn these pages.

Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Toys, Dolls And Puppets and...

Books About Toys, Dolls And Puppets and Toys

You Are Special
Written by Max Lucado & illustrated by Sergio Martinez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Every day the small wooden people called Wemmicks do the same thing: stick either gold stars or gray dots on one another. The pretty ones―those with smooth wood and fine paint―always get stars. The talented ones do, too. Others, though, who can do little or who have chipped paint, get ugly gray dots. Like Punchinello.

In this heartwarming children’s tale from best-selling author Max Lucado, Eli the woodcarver helps Punchinello understand how special he is―no matter what other Wemmicks may think. It’s a vital message for children everywhere: that regardless of how the world evaluates them, God cherishes each of them, just as they are.

This tale originally appeared within one of the chapters in the award-winning children’s bestseller Tell Me the Secrets.

The Little Engine That Could: 90th Anniversary Edition
Written by Watty Piper & illustrated by Dan Santat
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Celebrate the 90th anniversary of The Little Engine That Could with this all-time classic reillustrated by Caldecott Award-winning artist Dan Santat!

The kindness and determination of the Little Blue Engine have inspired millions of children around the world since the story was first published in 1930. Cherished by readers for ninety years, The Little Engine That Could is a classic tale of a little engine that, despite her size, triumphantly pulls a train full of wonderful things to the children waiting on the other side of a mountain.

This anniversary edition features the original text, all-new reimagined artwork and an introduction from Caldecott Medal-winner Dan Santat, and a special letter from Dolly Parton, award-winning singer-songwriter and founder of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

The Best Bear in All the World
Written by Paul Bright, Brian Sibley, Kate Saunders, and Jeanne Willis & illustrated by Mark Burgess
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

For the 90th anniversary of Winnie-the-Pooh, a sequel featuring new stories and a new character from the Hundred Acre Wood.

Now a New York Times Bestseller.

The Trustees of the Pooh Properties have commissioned four authors to write in the timeless style of A.A. Milne to create a quartet of charming new adventures for Winnie-the-Pooh, Christopher Robin, and their friends. Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall: take a trip back to the Hundred Acre Wood with a collection of tales sure to delight year-round.

One story finds Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet on a quest to discover the “Sauce of the Nile” (they suspect it’s apple). And in another, all the animals rally around poor Eeyore when he thinks he sees another donkey eyeing his clover. The winter story features a new penguin character, based on a stuffed toy owned by Christopher Robin Milne himself. Readers of all ages will love rediscovering old friends and making new ones in this essential new volume of Pooh stories.

The book feature beautiful color artwork in the style of Ernest H. Shepard by Mark Burgess.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Velveteen Rabbit - Margery Williams’ famous story tells of a young boy and his treasured favorite toy, a splendid “fat and bunchy” rabbit, whose ears are lined with pink sateen. He carries it everywhere, talks to it, pretends with it, sleeps with it each night. The love he steadfastly bestows on his toy helps him through a serious illness and afterwards saves his beloved bunny from a terrible fate.

  2. Dad and the Dinosaur - A heartwarming father-son story about bravery and facing fears. Nicholas was afraid of the dark outside his door, the bushes where the giant bugs live, and the underside of manhole covers. His dad was not afraid of anything. Nicholas wants to be as brave as his dad, but he needs help. That’s why he needs a dinosaur. After all, dinosaurs like the dark, bugs are nothing to them, and they eat manhole covers for lunch (and everything under them for dinner). With his toy dinosaur, Nicholas can scale tall walls, swim in deep water, even score a goal against the huge goalie everyone calls Gorilla. But when the dinosaur goes missing, everything is scary again. Luckily, his dad knows that even the bravest people can get scared, and it’s okay to ask for help facing your fears. It’s just guy stuff.

  3. The Indian in the Cupboard - Full of magic and appealing characters, this classic novel takes readers on a remarkable adventure. It’s Omri’s birthday, but all he gets from his best friend, Patrick, is a little plastic Indian toy. Trying to hide his disappointment, Omri puts the Indian in a metal cupboard and locks the door with a mysterious skeleton key that once belonged to his great-grandmother. Little does Omri know that by turning the key, he will transform his ordinary plastic Indian into a real live man from an altogether different time and place! Omri and the tiny warrior called Little Bear could hardly be more different, yet soon the two forge a very special friendship. Will Omri be able to keep Little Bear without anyone finding out and taking his precious Indian from him?

  4. A Pocket for Corduroy - This much-beloved classic is now available as a lap board book! Don Freeman’s classic character, Corduroy, is even more popular today than he was when he first came on the scene nearly fifty years ago. And now, the story of a teddy bear’s overnight laundromat adventures and the girl who loves him will inspire even more readers in this new format. With unabridged text and sturdy pages, this lap board book edition is perfect for family sharing.

Books About Toys, Dolls And Puppets and Teddy Bears

Corduroy Lost and Found
Written by B.G. Hennessy & illustrated by Jody Wheeler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A new adventure for a classic teddy bear! Corduroy the beloved bear slips out very early one morning to get a birthday present for Lisa. He spies what he thinks is a yellow balloon up in the sky, thinking that would be perfect for her. But when the sun rises, the balloon (really the full moon) disappears. And now Corduroy is lost. Lisa finds him, but not before Corduroy succeeds in getting just the right gift—a lollipop as yellow and round as the moon. Written in the whimsical style of Don Freeman and illustrated in the exact scratchboard technique he used to create Corduroy and A Pocket for Corduroy.

Loved to Bits
Written by Teresa Heapy & illustrated by Katie Cleminson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Ted and his boy do everything together.They fight beasts and have feasts.They tickle monsters then flee on rafts, They search, explore, escape. . . . and laugh.But sometimes things get rough, and Teddy loses an ear.He’s still got his best one though, never fear! And an eye? PING!It’s nothing-he didn’t feel a thing!A leg, then the other. An arm, and then the next.What do you do with a broken Ted?You lay down with him at night and snuggle in bed.

Corduroy
Written & illustrated by Don Freeman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Corduroy was first introduced to readers in 1968, and in the fifty years since, his adventures have never stopped.

Corduroy has been on the department store shelf for a long time. Yet as soon as Lisa sees him, she knows that he’s the bear for her. Her mother, though, thinks he’s a little shopworn—he’s even missing a button! Still, Corduroy knows that with a bit of work he can tidy himself up and be just the bear for Lisa. And where better to start than with a nighttime adventure through the department store, searching for a new button!

Celebrate 50 years of this irresistible childhood classic, a heartwarming story about a little bear and a little girl finding the friend they have always wanted in each other.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Bear in the Air - Lost by the child who loves him, a devoted teddy bear begins an amazing seaside journey home that involves an ocean swim, a flight with seagulls and a sailor’s assistance. By the award-winning author of Puppies! Puppies! Puppies!

  2. The Teddy Bear Book - From the author and illustrator team who brought us the best-selling The Tea Party Book, here’s a charming collection of teddy bear-inspired crafts and activities. This warm fuzzy of a book, is bursting at the seams with sensational yet simple ideas for making teddy bears, growing a teddy bear garden, throwing a teddy bear party, and designing teddy bear t-shirts and jewelry. An enchanting gift book for children of all ages.

  3. A Christmas Wish for Corduroy - A classic holiday story about a teddy bear loved by children for 50 years. It’s almost Christmas and Corduroy sits on a department store shelf, wishing he could be a child’s holiday gift—but he’s a plain bear, and nobody seems to notice him. He sets out across the store to ask Santa Claus for help, but he can’t visit without wearing a special outfit! After stopping to try on hats, boots, and even baby clothes, Corduroy finally arrives at the North Pole. Can Santa help Corduroy find a new home in time for Christmas? With warm humor and classic art, A Christmas Wish for Corduroy takes readers back to the beginning and shows how Corduroy became the beloved bear we know today. This is a heartwarming story about the power of hope, perseverance, and friendship–an important addition to any Corduroy collection, and the perfect way to celebrate Corduroy’s 50th anniversary.

  4. Corduroy's Christmas - A holiday story starring the classic teddy bear beloved by children for 50 years Celebrate Christmas with everyone’s favorite bear and this charming lift-the-flap book. Join in all of Corduroy’s holiday activities, from trimming the tree to baking Christmas cookies. Discover the magic of Christmas with Corduroy in this festive tale, perfect for even the youngest reader.

Books About Toys, Dolls And Puppets and Animals

Little Fox in the Forest
Written & illustrated by Stephanie Graegin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Fans of Aaron Becker’s Caldecott Honor winner Journey will love this utterly enchanting wordless picture book in which two friends follow a young fox deep into the woods and discover a wondrous and magical world.

When a young girl brings her beloved stuffed fox to the playground, much to her astonishment, a real fox takes off with it! The girl chases the fox into the woods with her friend, the boy, following close behind, but soon the two children lose track of the fox. Wandering deeper and deeper into the forest, they come across a tall hedge with an archway. What do they find on the other side? A marvelous village of miniature stone cottages, tiny treehouses, and, most extraordinary of all, woodland creatures of every shape and size. But where is the little fox? And how will they find him?

Stephanie Graegin’s oh-so-charming illustrations are simply irresistible, and readers young and old will want to pore over the pages of this delightful fantasy adventure again and again.

Harry and Horsie
Written by Katie Van Camp & illustrated by Lincoln Agnew
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When a boy named Harry sneaks out of bed one night with his best friend, Horsie, to play with his Super Duper Bubble Blooper — an out-of-this-world adventure begins! Illustrated with retro-comic art, this is a charming story about the power of friendship and imagination from a talented new team.

What's That Noise? Tap! Tap!
Written & illustrated by Cocoretto
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

“What’s that noise? Lift the flap to find out! Perfect for guessing, prediction and memory skills — and simply joining in!”—Page 4 of cover.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Me . . . Jane - In his characteristic heartwarming style, Patrick McDonnell tells the story of the young Jane Goodall and her special childhood toy chimpanzee named Jubilee. As the young Jane observes the natural world around her with wonder, she dreams of “a life living with and helping all animals,” until one day she finds that her dream has come true. One of the world’s most inspiring women, Dr. Jane Goodall is a renowned humanitarian, conservationist, animal activist, environmentalist, and United Nations Messenger of Peace. In 1977 she founded the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), a global nonprofit organization that empowers people to make a difference for all living things. With anecdotes taken directly from Jane Goodall’s autobiography, McDonnell makes this very true story accessible for the very young—and young at heart.

  2. Fantastic Toys - This delightfully imaginative book catalogs eleven fantastical inventions of magical toys, with detailed descriptions and vivid illustrations that will make kids want to create their own fantastic toys Fantastic Toys is a dream catalog of eleven marvelous inventions, magical toys that would make the world far more interesting, if only they existed. Here are inventions based on fantasy, like winged jumping boots that let you leap so high you startle the birds; inventions to assuage fears, like a glowing teddy bear; inventions to improve upon boring tasks or gloomy weather, like child-size bath-foam animals and animal umbrellas; and even educational inventions, like the treasure-hunt letter maze. Best of all are the inventions just for fun: the skipping machine that should be in every playground and the sheep toboggan (real sheep not included) that takes sledding to a whole new level. In a perfect mimicry of marketing, each toy is advertised with an earnest, compelling description and a detailed hand-drawn illustration of happy children demonstrating the fun that can be had. Reminiscent of Marjorie Winslow’s Mud Pies and Other Recipes, Fantastic Toys is a book not only for reading but for marveling, inventing, and building. Who knows what other fantastic toys are just waiting to be invented?

  3. Baby Llama: Finger Puppet Book - Meet Baby Llama! What is Baby Llama’s favorite snack? What does Baby Llama do for fun? Follow along as she experiences her world, from playtime to bedtime. An adorable finger puppet, warm illustrations, and a comforting story about the rhythms of a baby llama’s day make this perfect for the very youngest readers.

  4. Lulu & Pip - Lulu takes her doll Pip on a camping trip, where they make friends with an old donkey, build a tent, eat dessert over a campfire, and fall asleep underneath the stars.

Books About Toys, Dolls And Puppets and Imagination

Max's Castle
Written by Kate Banks & illustrated by Boris Kulikov
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When Max finds a pile of forgotten toys under the bed, his brothers Benjamin and Karl wonder what’s so special about some old blocks. So Max shows them. With some clever twists of both blocks and imagination, he constructs not only a castle but an entire adventure, complete with pirates and knights, a dark dungeon and a dragon. This ingenious sequel to Max’s Words and Max’s Dragons shows readers just how much fun wordplay can be.

Brave Enough for Two
Written & illustrated by Jonathan D. Voss
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

In the spirit of “Goodnight Moon” and “The Night Gardener” comes a heartwarming picture book about a little girl, her stuffed-animal owl, and their loving friendship from debut author-illustrator Voss. Full color.

The Bear's Garden
Written by Marcie Colleen & illustrated by Alison Oliver
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Inspired by the true story of a community garden in Brooklyn, New York, The Bear’s Garden by Marcie Colleen is a testament to how imagination and dedication can transform communities and create beauty for everyone in unexpected places.

A little girl sees an empty lot in a city and imagines what it can be.

She sees a place to grow, a place to play, and a place to love.

With the help of her stuffed bear, the girl brings her community together to create a beautiful garden.

An Imprint Book

Honorable Mentions
  1. Rumble Grumble . . . Hush - In a spare, lyrical text, young listeners and readers will follow a little boy through his day, from early morning till bedtime, and watch as what fills his active imagination becomes real. Toys grow to life-size: a tin monkey plays a real drum and fiddle—rat-a-tat, toot!—a stuffed lion roars—rumble, grumble—and a dump truck empties its load—BANG! But when quiet time comes, and a hush settles over his bedroom, animals nap, and the boy becomes absorbed in other activities, like reading and drawing. Here is an irresistible read-aloud by a picture-book master that captures all the joy of a child’s play, and renders a boy’s imagination real.

  2. This Is My Dollhouse - A girl makes her own dollhouse in this picture book that celebrates creativity and imagination! A little girl proudly walks the reader through her handmade dollhouse, pointing out the bricks she painted on the outside, the wallpaper she drew on the inside, the fancy clothes she made for her dolls, and the little elevator she made out of a paper cup. She’s proud of her house and has lots of fun using her imagination to play with it—until she discovers her friend Sophie’s “perfect” storebought house. Sophie thinks her house, with everything matching and even a toilet seat that goes up and down, is pretty perfect too, until both girls discover that the narrator’s handmade dollhouse is really a lot more fun. “Celebrates the best of free play, capturing what it’s like to be fully engaged and inspired.” —The New York Times “Readers will feel right at home with this cozy tribute to imagination.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred “The realization that creative, outside-the-box artistry can be more inspiring than anything manufactured makes for a wonderful story.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred

  3. Spy Toys: Out of Control - Fresh from the success of their first mission, our heroes the Spy Toys – Dan the Snugaliffic Cuddlestar Bear, Arabella the Loadsasmiles Sunshine Doll and Flax the custom-made police robot rabbit – are ready for their next task. This time, the secret code that controls every Snaztacular Ultrafun toy has been stolen and all over the world toys are revolting and turning against the children who own them. Can Arabella disguise herself as a super-sweet little doll in order to spy on the daughter of Snaztacular’s top scientist? Can Dan and Flax chase down Jade the Jigsaw, the puzzling prime suspect for the robbery? And can they save the day before the mind-controlled toys forget what it means to play nice? Featuring hilarious illustrations throughout, this hilarious book has reluctant reader appeal written all over it.

  4. Tell Me About Your Day Today - A boy and his favorite stuffed animals share their days with one another in this cozy bedtime picture book from Mem Fox. There was once a boy who loved bedtime. What could be more wonderful than sharing bedtime with beloved friends? The little boy in this gentle and fun story loves to talk to his stuffed animals each evening and share with them all the things that happened to him that day—and to hear about their days, too. From bestselling author Mem Fox and award-winning illustrator Lauren Stinger, here is a celebration of imagination, play, friendship, and coziness certain to touch a chord with young children everywhere.

Books About Toys, Dolls And Puppets and Dolls

What Is Given from the Heart
Written by Patricia C. McKissack & illustrated by April Harrison
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This final, magnificent picture book from three-time Coretta Scott King Award winner and Newbery Honor author Patricia McKissack is a poignant and uplifting celebration of the joy of giving.

“Misery loves company,” Mama says to James Otis. It’s been a rough couple of months for them, but Mama says as long as they have their health and strength, they’re blessed. One Sunday before Valentine’s Day, Reverend Dennis makes an announcement during the service— the Temples have lost everything in a fire, and the church is collecting anything that might be useful to them. James thinks hard about what he can add to the Temple’s “love box,” but what does he have worth giving? With her extraordinary gift for storytelling, McKissack—with stunning illustrations by Harrison—delivers a touching, powerful tale of compassion and reminds us all that what is given from the heart, reaches the heart.

The Doll People
Written by Laura Godwin and Ann M. Martin & illustrated by Brian Selznick
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Annabelle Doll is eight years old-she has been for more than a hundred years. Not a lot has happened to her, cooped up in the dollhouse, with the same doll family, day after day, year after year. . . until one day the Funcrafts move in.

Button and Bundle
Written by Gretchen McLellan & illustrated by Gillian Flint
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A tender story about two best friends who must move away from each other. With a sprinkle of imagination and a lot of love, Button and Bundle will learn the true meaning of friendship.

Button and Bundle are best friends. So are their dolls.

But when Button has to move away, she’s sad and lonely without Bundle.

Until one day, Button finds a single yellow balloon and an idea. With a little luck, maybe she can reunite Bundle with their dolls again!

Knowing that her faraway friend would be happy is the happiest idea of all.

This sweet and charming friendship story addresses how to cherish old friendships while making new ones. With fun, imaginative play, Button and Bundle create a world they’ll share no matter how far apart they are.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Emily's Idea - How a simple creative act spreads a message of love and acceptance around the world? Emily’s idea started small. Many beautiful ideas do. She folded, doodled, and snipped. But also, like many ideas, Emily’s small idea grew. When a little girl decides to create a paper chain of dolls, her idea catches on. Then it spreads far and wide as children around the world begin to create and share their own. This is the story of how that girl makes it happen.

  2. Jasmine Toguchi, Flamingo Keeper - Book four in this charming chapter book series, starring a spunky Japanese- American heroine. Jasmine’s best friend, Linnie, has just gotten a puppy. And now Jasmine wants a pet of her own—a flamingo! So when her grandmother sends Jasmine a daruma doll as a surprise gift, Jasmine colors in one doll eye and wishes for a flamingo to keep. Next, Jasmine tries to convince her parents that she’s responsible enough for a pet. She cleans her room, brushes her teeth, takes out the trash, and, most importantly, researches everything she can about flamingos. But soon it becomes clear that her wish may never come true! Will Jasmine’s daruma doll ever get its second eye? Luckily her big sister, Sophie, has a surprise planned that fulfills Jasmine’s wish beyond her wildest dreams. Debbi Michiko Florence is at her best in this sweet, special story of sisterhood and new responsibilities!

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

  4. A Is for Annabelle: A Doll's Alphabet - Learn the alphabet from A to Z with the help of Annabelle the doll. Each gorgeously illustrated spread features one of her favorite things. With antique boxes, parasols, and yarn for knitting, children can learn the alphabet in grand style. Amazon.com Review Young children will welcome the return of a classic from the mother of children’s illustrators, Tasha Tudor. A Is for Annabelle is a quaint, old-fashioned alphabet book graced with Tudor’s intricately detailed, highly appealing illustrations. Annabelle is a china doll that belonged to Grandmother. Two little girls play their way through the alphabet, dressing up this lovely doll (“H is her Hat with an elegant feather”) all the way through X (“the letter for which I’ve no rhyme”), Y (“the Yarn her stockings to mend”), and Z (“her Zither and this is the end”). Alternating black-and-white illustrations with full-color spreads, Tudor surrounds each page with a graceful floral border and includes such charming details as a sewing basket with a pincushion, a cricket peering at a pink patchwork quilt, and the tiny boxes containing Annabelle’s hats, slippers, and earrings. Little girls will find Annabelle and her alphabetical wardrobe irresistible. Tasha Tudor is the Caldecott Honor artist of 1 Is One and more than 90 other well-loved picture books. (Ages 3 to 7) —Emilie Coulter

Books About Toys, Dolls And Puppets and Bedtime And Dreams

Lion's Lullaby
Written by Mij Kelly & illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

With the help of hugs and lullabies, a young girl tucks her stuffed animals into bed, one by one, in this cuddly good-night read. Holly Clifton-Brown’s soft palette and adorable illustrations paired with Mij Kelly’s comforting rhyming text set the perfect tone for bedtime.

Henry & Leo
Written & illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Leo isn t just a stuffed toy, he is Henry s best friend and brother. He is as real as a tree, a cloud, the sun, the moon, the stars, and the wind. But when the two are accidentally separated, no one in Henry sfamily believes Leo is real enough to find his way home. With beautiful mixed-media paintings, the Caldecott Honor winning artist Pamela Zagarenski explores the transcendent nature of friendship and love.”

Maisy's Bedtime
Written & illustrated by Lucy Cousins
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Maisy’s fun and familiar world reflects the lively adventures young children have every day.

In Maisy’s Bedtime, Maisy and her friends get ready for bed. As always, toddlers, preschoolers, and parents will find the ordinary extraordinary with Maisy!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Pedro's Monster - Despite his father’s reassurances, Pedro is frightened by the monsters in his dreams—until he finds a way to use his love of monster trucks to defeat his dream monsters.

  2. I Love You, Bunny - Sometimes Suzie gets scared in the night, but Bunny White is always there to look after for her. One night, a strange shadow creeps into the room, and Bunny White is nowhere to be found. I Love You, Bunny is a beautiful debut about overcoming being afraid of the dark, illustrated in a classic, nostalgic style. The heartwarming story is perfect for before bed reading, and Alina Surnaite displays a rare drawing talent reminiscent of Shirley Hughes and Martin Waddell.

Books About Toys, Dolls And Puppets and Family

Masha and Her Sisters
Written by & illustrated by Suzy Ultman
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Meet Masha and her sisters in this charming die-cut novelty board book inspired by Russian nesting dolls. Featuring shaped pages with brightly painted edges, and culminating in a satisfying finale, these nestled dolls reinforce a sweet message: they may be different, but they’re a perfect fit!

Bun Bun Button
Written & illustrated by Patricia Polacco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Paige loves cuddling with Gramma and all of Gramma’s pets in the Old Blue Chair. And when Gramma makes her Bun Bun Button, an adorable homemade stuffed bunny with a button nose, this special time becomes even more cozy. Then a balloon carries the little bunny away. Bun Bun braves honking geese and a wide night sky, until luck - or love - magically brings her back home to the little girl who loves her.

This heartwarming story celebrates the special bond between grandparents and grandchildren, and is perfect for children who imagine their toys have secret adventures when no one’s watching.

A Fire Engine for Ruthie
Written by Leslea Newman & illustrated by Cyd Moore
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Ruthie loves to visit Nana, but they don’t always like to play with the same things. Ruthie loves fire engines and motorcycles, while Nana loves dolls and dress-up clothes. Nana’s neighbor, Brian, gets to play with fire engines and motorcycles. So why doesn’t Ruthie? Energetic illustrations capture the loving relationship between Ruthie and Nana in this insightful and sensitive story.

Honorable Mentions
  1. My Blue Bunny, Bubbit - A little girl who loves her blue wool bunny makes a special toy friend for her new baby brother.

  2. You Poked My Heart! - Introducing You Poked My Heart!, a sweet board book featuring adorable puppies! Mom has a surprise for Sue and Lou. Two balloons! A red heart for Lou and a yellow one for Sue. Lou loves his red balloon, but Sue is disappointed with hers and wants Lou’s. She tries to take his balloon and accidentally pops it, prompting him to say, “You poked my heart!” Lou becomes very sad. Sue tries to fix the situation and finds a long, skinny red balloon, which she twists and fashions into a heart shape. Sue and Lou make up, and all is well again. Featuring adorable puppy illustrations by illustrator Laura Logan, this book is sure to tug (not poke!) at everyone’s heart!

  3. The Doll Shop Downstairs - Nine-year-old Anna and her sisters love to play with the dolls in their parents’ doll repair shop. But when World War I begins, an embargo on German-made goods-including the parts Papa needs to repair the dolls-threatens to put the family’s shop out of business. Fortunately, Anna has an idea that just might save the day. Inspired by the true story of Madame Alexander, this is a timeless tale of family and imagination. This beautiful gift edition of The Doll Shop Downstairs, featuring an eye-catching foil embossed cover, will make a perfect holiday present for dreamers and doll lovers everywhere.

  4. Except When They Don't - This rhyming picture book encourages children to celebrate their individuality and lets them know that it’s okay to play with whatever toys they want to! Girls perform to fairy songs. Boys play football all day long. Boys yell, “Boo!” and run away. Girls like kittens and ballet. Except when they don’t. Children are often told by many different people about what toys they’re supposed to play with, what interests they should have, and who they should be simply because of their gender. This stereotype-breaking book invites children to examine what they’re told “boy” and “girl” activities are and encourages them to play with whatever they want to and to be exactly who they are! This book is published in partnership with GLAAD to accelerate LGBTQ inclusivity and acceptance.

Want to see books about family?

Books About Toys, Dolls And Puppets and Bunnies And Rabbits

The Little Rabbit
Written & illustrated by Nicola Killen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From beloved author/illustrator Nicola Killen comes an enchanting spring story about a magical friendship between a little girl and her stuffed rabbit who comes to life, lovingly told and illustrated in limited color with lovely foil and interactive die cut pages.

Ollie and her favorite friend bunny have been waiting for the rain to stop and spring to come, and at long last the sun arrives. Ollie puts on her rain boots, wraps bunny in a warm scarf, and the two set off for exploring. Then a sudden breeze whispers past and bunny’s nose twitches and their magical adventure begins…

The Little Rabbit is sure to enchant and charm young readers and is great for sharing with a friend.

Gideon & Otto
Written & illustrated by Olivier Dunrea
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Otto the toy octopus goes everywhere with Gideon, a small gosling, but while Gideon is playing with some rabbits Otto falls off the wall on which he was left and makes a new acquaintance.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
Written by Kate DiCamillo & illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

A timeless tale by the incomparable Kate DiCamillo, complete with stunning full-color plates by Bagram Ibatoulline, honors the enduring power of love. “Someone will come for you, but first you must open your heart. . . .” Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, and for good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who treated him with the utmost care and adored him completely. And then, one day, he was lost. Kate DiCamillo takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the depths of the ocean to the net of a fisherman, from the top of a garbage heap to the fireside of a hoboes’ camp, from the bedside of an ailing child to the bustling streets of Memphis. And along the way, we are shown a true miracle — that even a heart of the most breakable kind can learn to love, to lose, and to love again.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Mimi and Bear in the Snow - Every day is more fun with a best friend by your side. Wherever Mimi goes, Bear is sure to be there. But what happens when Mimi can’t find Bear? Find out in this adorable board book that is sure to bring a big smile to anyone who has ever lost a beloved toy.

  2. The Velveteen Rabbit - This beautiful gift edition includes an exclusive downloadable reading by Juliet Stevenson. When the Velveteen Rabbit first arrives in the nursery, he is snubbed by the other toys. But the Rabbit soon makes friends with the Skin Horse, who explains how toys can become “real” if they are loved enough. The Velveteen Rabbit longs for this to happen, and one day he finds that he has become the Boy’s very favorite toy. They play together through a long, golden summer, Rabbit becoming shabbier and shabbier as he becomes real to the boy who loves him. The rabbits in the garden think otherwise — how can Rabbit be real when he can’t leap and hop? When Boy takes ill with scarlet fever and Rabbit must be discarded, a magical fairy appears to transform him into a real, wild rabbit, though her parting words remind him that he was always real to the Boy. A perfect gift for delivering an old favorite to a new generation, this beautifully illustrated version of Margery Williams’s time-honored tale is the first in a series of Nosy Crow classics.

  3. The Velveteen Rabbit Oversized Padded Board Book - The beloved story of the Velveteen Rabbit, the toy rabbit made real by the love of a boy, is now available in a beautiful, padded, oversized board book format featuring Charles Santore’s award-winning illustrations. Originally published in 1922, The Velveteen Rabbit is a treasured classic that has warmed many hearts for decades. The same magnificent artwork as in the hardcover classic edition has been faithfully reproduced on sturdy board stock that will withstand repeated reading and handling…and the padded cover is perfect for toddler-sized hands! This stunning, oversized, padded board book will bring smiles to faces young and old for years to come!

  4. The Backup Bunny - Everybody needs a backup plan, especially when you lose your favorite toy. When Max loses his favorite toy—Bunny—his clever mom brings out the “backup bunny”—Fluffy—to save the day. Fluffy is thrilled to have the chance to play with Max, but is soon rejected by the observant child who notices that his ears are too new and perky. Can Fluffy find a way into his favorite boy’s heart? The Backup Bunny will keep you laughing and inspire you to make room for another favorite story.

Books About Toys, Dolls And Puppets and Friendship

Miss Suzy
Written by Miriam Young & illustrated by Arnold Lobel
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Miss Suzy is a little gray squirrel who lives happily in her oak-tree home until she is chased away by some mean red squirrels. Poor Miss Suzy is very sad. But soon she finds a beautiful dollhouse and meets a band of brave toy soldiers. How Miss Suzy and the soldiers help each other makes a gentle, old-fashioned tale that has captured the imaginations of girls and boys alike for forty years. Arnold Lobel’s enchanting pictures are sure to make the kind squirrel and the gallant soldiers the everlasting friends of all who turn these pages.

Oh, Bear
Written by Melissa Nelson Greenberg & illustrated by Ruth Hengeveld
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Bear receives a bright yellow kite for his birthday and flies it until . . . it gets stuck in a tree and rips. Oh, Bear. Lucky for Bear, Bird is busy building a nest and flies his broken kite home, where an even better surprise awaits him. A story about nature, renewal, and friendship—the best gift of all.

Clink
Written by Kelly DiPucchio & illustrated by Matthew Myers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Clink was a state-of-the-art robot with the dazzling ability to make toast and play music at the same time. But that was many years ago.

Now kids want snazzier robots who do things like play baseball and bake cookies. So day after day, Clink sits on a shelf and sadly watches as his friends leave with their new owners. He almost gives up on ever finding a home—until the day Clink spies a boy who just might be able to be the right one for him. . . .

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelly DiPucchio and new talent Matthew Myers comes a funny and heartwarming story that lovers of Corduroy will adore.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Where Is My Balloon? - Owl and Monkey from I Have a Balloon are back! But what happened to Owl’s balloon? Find out in this hilarious picture book about making mistakes and finding forgiveness. Owl has a balloon. Monkey has a sock with a star and a perfectly shaped hole. But then Owl asks Monkey to hold his balloon, just for a second. What do you think happens? POP! When Owl returns and asks for his balloon, Monkey offers him everything under the sun…except for the balloon. Can their friendship survive this catastrophe? Kirkus Reviews praised Owl and Monkey’s first adventure, I Have a Balloon, “This tightly paced narrative soars,” in a starred review.

  2. Halloween Is Here, Corduroy! - Corduroy and his friends love to trick-or-treat, and they are excited for Halloween! His friends all have the perfect costumes in mind, but Corduroy can?t decide what to be. With a little help from his friends, though, Corduroy will have the best Halloween ever!

  3. Monster High/Ever After High: The Legend of Shadow High - A dangerous story is bubbling and almost all the Narrators are scared to tell it. Cracks in the World of Stories are spreading, and the ominous Shadow High is gaining power. Only one young, brave Narrator, Brooke Page, is ready to tell this tale. As the first cracks show, Frankie and Draculaura are accidentally transported to Ever After High, where they meet Raven Queen and Apple White. After the girls recover from the shock of learning that fairytales and monsters are real, they discover that the Evil Queen has escaped her mirror prison in search of the ultimate power, hidden in Shadow High. Frankie, Raven, Draculaura, Apple, and Brooke must stop the Evil Queen and save the World of Stories from the evil that lurks in Shadow High! ©2017 Mattel. All Rights Reserved.

Books About Toys, Dolls And Puppets and Stuffed Animal Friends

Ollie's Odyssey
Written by William Joyce
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-11

From the creator of The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore and The Guardians of Childhood comes a grand adventure of valor, friendship, and a look into the mysterious world of favorite toys.

In the secret realm of toys, there are many mysteries.

There is the Code of the Toys, which is as ancient as childhood.

There’s also the magic of becoming a child’s favorite, the highest honor in the Toy World.

Made by hand by Billy’s mother, Ollie is a special toy, “a toy who will matter.” He becomes Billy’s best friend, confidant, pal, and yes, Billy’s “favorite.”

But there are villains in the Toy World, and Zozo, the clown king, is the most feared. He and his toy henchman (the Creeps) have sworn to steal and imprison favorite toys until they forget their children and become forever lost.

When Ollie is toynapped, Billy must rescue his beloved favorite from Zozo’s subterranean lair in the old Carnival Place, past the park, through the woods, and into the night.

Never has a journey of ten blocks been more epic.

Knuffle Bunny
Written & illustrated by Mo Willems
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Trixie, Daddy, and Knuffle Bunny take a trip to the neighborhood Laundromat. But the exciting adventure takes a dramatic turn when Trixie realizes somebunny was left behind? Using a combination of muted black-and-white photographs and expressive illustrations, this stunning book tells a brilliantly true-to-life tale about what happens when Daddy’s in charge and things go terribly, hilariously wrong.

Have You Seen Duck?
Written by Janet A. Holmes & illustrated by Jonathan Bentley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A beloved stuffed Duck does everything with his boy. So when Duck goes missing, the boy looks everywhere for him. “He won’t know what to do without me,” he says. The boy asks the shopkeeper, the postman, the bus driver, and the dog next door. No one has seen Duck.

Back at home, what’s hiding between the couch cushions? Duck!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Winnie-the-Pooh - The four Pooh books created by A. A. Milne and Ernest H. Shepard have long been cherished by children and adults. These stories - starring the round, endearing Bear of Little Brain and his friends Piglet, Eeyore, Christopher Robin, and others - are as popular today as when they first enchanted readers more than seventy years ago.

  2. Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator! - 6½ stories about 2 surprising friends. Having a stuffed alligator for a best friend can be surprising. Sometimes Amanda surprises her alligator with books. Sometimes Alligator surprises Amanda by eating them. But what happens when Amanda brings home a special—and not entirely welcome—surprise? The result might be unexpected indeed. Beloved author-illustrator Mo Willems has created a funny and tender portrait of friendship that readers of any age will love.

  3. Dragon Meets Boy - Michael Slack’s Dragon Meets Boy is a moving friendship story about the universal joys and tender heartaches of growing up, for fans of Toy Story. One summer day a boy meets a dragon. They become instant friends and share incredible adventures together. When Boy is sad, Dragon cheers him up. When Boy is scared, Dragon makes him feel brave. But, in time, things start to change. Boy gets bigger, while Dragon stays the same. Dragon seems so lonely, until the circle continues with a new generation with Boy’s daughter! This deftly poignant story captures the lifelong friendship between a child and a beloved toy. Christy Ottaviano Books

  4. I Don't Like Koala - What’s not to love about a cute, cuddly…creepy toy koala? This is the story of a boy and the stuffed animal he just can’t seem to shake. Adam does not like Koala. Koala is a little creepy. Adam tries explaining this to his parents. He tries putting Koala away—far away. He tries taking Koala on a long, long walk. Nothing works. Will Adam ever be rid of Koala? This darkly funny debut picture book from Sean Ferrell and Charles Santoso celebrates imagination and bravery while addressing a universal childhood dilemma: what to do about that one stuffed animal who just won’t stop staring at you.

Books About Toys, Dolls And Puppets and Playing

Little Horse: Finger Puppet Book
Written & illustrated by ImageBooks and Chronicle Books
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A new title in the bestselling finger puppet series! Watch Little Horse prance in the sun in this simple, comforting story. The book features a permanently attached plush finger puppet and peek-a-boo holes in every page, giving parents and children a fun, interactive way to play and read together.

Shhh!
Written & illustrated by Valeri Gorbachev
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

When baby brother is sleeping, it’s time to be ever so quiet. There’s no singing or jumping or laughing at all. Even the toys need to be quiet! The pirates stop firing their cannons, the knights stop fighting, even the tiger stops growling. But when baby wakes up . . . it’s time to jump and laugh and sing again! And the knights begin to fight, the pirates fire up the cannons, and the tiger growls so loudly! Until it’s time to be quiet once again.

In this beautifully and expressively illustrated picture book, we celebrate the love between siblings as a big brother uses his imagination to calm his urge to cause a ruckus so that his little brother can sleep.

Little Shark: Finger Puppet Book
Written & illustrated by ImageBooks and Chronicle Books
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A new title in the bestselling finger puppet series! Tiny tots can enjoy swimming among the fish with Little Shark in this simple, comforting story. The book features a permanently attached plush finger puppet and peek-a-boo holes in every page, giving parents and children a fun, interactive way to play and read together.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Ball - A dog with a ball is one of the most relentlessly hopeful creatures on Earth. After his best little-girl pal leaves for school, this dog hits up yoga mom, baby, and even the angry cat for a quick throw. No luck. Forced to go solo, the dog begins a hilarious one-sided game of fetch until naptime’s wild, ball-centric dream sequence. The pictures speak a thousand words in this comic book-style ode to canine monomania. Ball? Ball.

  2. Ball & Balloon - Balloon can soar, he can fly, he can dip, duck, and hover—all on his own. Balloon is full of gas. He knows it, too. It makes Ball feel grounded by gravity. Balloon is super special. What if Ball is not so special? Turns out Ball’s got some moves of his own.

  3. Ladybug Girl and the Best Ever Playdate - This latest hardcover picture book from the New York Times bestselling Ladybug Girl series proves that true friendship is better than any toy Lulu is excited about her playdate with Finny—and especially excited about Finny’s Rolly-Roo. In fact, Lulu loves the toy so much that she . . . kind of forgets to play with Finny. So when the girls accidentally break the Rolly-Roo, will Lulu realize her mistake? In this compassionate and charming story about the value of a great friend, Lulu and Finny repair the broken toy, and soon forget all about it, blasting off on new imaginative adventures together as Ladybug Girl and Grasshopper Girl. Great for fans of Fancy Nancy, Olivia, and Knuffle Bunny, this beloved series is celebrated for its gentle and authentic look at kid-truths.

Books About Toys, Dolls And Puppets and Puppets

Balloons Over Broadway
Written & illustrated by Melissa Sweet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Presents a tribute to the creator of the giant balloons that fill the sky during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, tracing the work of artist Tony Sarg, whose innovative “upside-down puppet” creations have become the parade’s trademark.

Pinocchio
Written by Carlo Collodi & illustrated by Quentin Greban
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Perhaps the most popular and beloved children’s story of all time, Pinocchio tells the story of a wooden puppet that longs to become a real boy.

The Word for Friend
Written & illustrated by Aidan Cassie
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From author/illustrator Aidan Cassie, the creator of Sterling, Best Dog Ever and Little Juniper Makes It Big!, comes The Word for Friend, an adorable and timely picture book story about ways to welcome, friendship, and overcoming language barriers that will connect classmates and cultures alike.

Kemala the pangolin is sure she’s going to make friends at her new school in her new country. After all, Kemala loves to talk. The kids at school like talking, too—but their words are all different. This country speaks a language Kemala doesn’t know.

At first, no one understands Kemala either. This realization makes her curl into a little ball, like most pangolins do when they’re nervous. But a classmate helps draw her out with an art project that doubles as a vocabulary exchange. Soon, Kemala is learning the most universal language of all: friendship.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Nancy Drew 39: The Clue of the Dancing Puppet - When the eerie performances of a life-size puppet begin to haunt the old Van Pelt estate, where an amateur acting group – The Footlighters – have their theater, Nancy Drew is called upon to unravel the baffling mystery. From the moment the detective and her friends Bess and George arrive at the mansion, the dancing puppet puzzle is further complicated by Tammi Whitlock, the Footlighters’ temperamental leading lady, and Emmet Calhoun, a Shakespearean actor. Nancy’s search of the mansion’s dark, musty attic for clues to the weird mystery starts a frightening chain reaction. A phone call from a stranger with a witchlike, cackling voice warns her to “Get out!” Next an encounter with two jewel theft suspects adds another perplexing angle to the puzzle. When Nancy finally sees the life-size puppet flitting across the moonlit lawn and chases it, she learns that someone with a sinister motive is determined to keep her form solving the case. Is it one of the Footlighters? Or is it an outsider?

  2. Fuddles and Puddles - The perfectly pampered world of Fuddles comes screeching to a halt when Puddles, a new puppy, joins the family, and Fuddles schemes of ways to get rid of him and return to his charmed life.

  3. Night of the Living Dummy II - Requesting a new dummy when her old one loses its head, young ventriloquist Amy receives Slappy, a strange, used dummy that moves of its own accord and disrupts things with the intent of making Amy’s life miserable. Original.

  4. The Great Easter Race! - Race along with the Sesame Street gang on Easter morning!A new entry in Sourcebooks’ Sesame Scribbles series, which continues to show strong salesEye-catching design, lively rhymed text, and lovable characters make for a memorable reading experience to share between parents and childrenSesame Street continues to be one of the most familiar and best-loved brands around the worldIt’s a bright Easter morning, and all of Sesame Street is gathered at the park for the Great Easter Race. Who will win the day? Will it be the turtle, who moves slowly and steadily toward the finish? Or will it be the bunny, who runs faster than thunder, but seems easily distracted? What could be more important for the bunny than the race on Easter? Fun surprises wait around every turn, so come along with Elmo and all the Sesame Street friends!

Want to see books about puppets?

Books About Toys, Dolls And Puppets and Being Yourself

Penny and Penelope
Written by Dan Richards & illustrated by Claire Almon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Two girls on a play date learn there’s more to each other than meets the eye with a little help from their dolls in this exciting picture book adventure. Penny and Penelope are very different dolls. Penelope is a sweet princess, while Penny is a fierce secret agent. Penelope wants to ride her pony through the countryside, while Penny wants to wrestle alligators. How can they possibly get along playing in an imaginary kingdom? Luckily, Penny and Penelope are more than their packaging. After all, you can’t judge a doll by its outfit.

Where Oliver Fits
Written & illustrated by Cale Atkinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Oliver has always dreamed about where he will fit. Will he be in the mane of a unicorn? The tentacle of a pirate squid? The helmet of an astronaut? When he finally goes in search of his perfect place, he finds that trying to fit in is a lot harder than he thought. But like any puzzle, a little trial and error leads to a solution, and Oliver figures out exactly where he belongs.

Where Oliver Fits is a sweet and funny story that explores all the highs and lows of learning to be yourself and shows that fitting in isn’t always the best fit.

Rosa Plays Cars
Written & illustrated by Jessica Spanyol
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Let’s find out which toys Rosa and her friends are playing with today! An important series that celebrates inclusivity, promotes gender equality and embraces the uniqueness of every child.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Elbert, the Curious Clock Tower Bear - An inquisitive bear discovers the wonders of the world around him in this utterly charming picture book that celebrates curiosity, asking questions, and being true to yourself. Unlike the other mechanical bears in the village clock tower, Elbert can’t help but notice all the marvelous things around him–snow falling in winter, fireworks in the night sky, the magnificent stag standing in the cobbled street below. But when Elbert’s growing curiosity threatens to disrupt the orderly life of the clock tower, the other bears decide Elbert must go. What’s a small bear with a big curiosity to do? Explore, of course! And maybe even find a way to spread his inquisitive spirit. Here’s the perfect book for readers young and old who believe that staying curious is more important than following the rules.

  2. Rosa Loves Dinosaurs - Let’s find out which toys Rosa and her friends are playing with today! An important series that celebrates inclusivity, promotes gender equality and embraces the uniqueness of every child.

Books About Toys, Dolls And Puppets and Christmas And Advent

The Nutcracker
Written by Patrick Regan & illustrated by Natasha Kuricheva
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-8

Experience the magic of Tchaikovsky’s classic tale with this lavishly illustrated keepsake book. The Nutcracker is a magical story beloved by generations of children. Follow along as enchanted toys spring to life, dancers glide and twirl, and a little girl learns that kindness is the greatest gift of all. This familiar and charming tale combines with Natasha Kuricheva’s lavishly painted illustrations to create a keepsake book for the whole family to enjoy.

The Sound Orchestra: The Nutcracker
Written & illustrated by Jessica Courtney-Tickle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Follow Clara on a magical Christmas adventure in this retelling of the classic ballet story. Watch the Nutcracker battle the Mouse King, meet the Sugar Plum Fairy and journey to the Land of Sweets, where wonder and excitement await… Including music from: ‘The Dance of the Reed Flutes’, ‘The Waltz of Flowers’ and ‘The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy’.

Peppermint Post
Written by Bruce Hale & illustrated by Stephanie Laberis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Honorable Mentions
  1. The Nutcracker - In this retelling of the original 1816 German story, Godfather Drosselmeier gives young Marie a nutcracker for Christmas, and she finds herself in a magical realm where she saves a boy from an evil curse.

  2. One Christmas Wish - From beloved author Katherine Rundell comes a clever, funny, and poignant picture book about a lonely little boy who wishes not to be alone on Christmas. A young boy’s Christmas Eve wish on a shooting star leads to an adventure with an ever-hungry rocking horse, an angel whose wings are molting, a robin who has forgotten how to sing, and a rusting tin drummer boy in Katherine Rundell’s classic Christmas story, with Emily Sutton’s gorgeous paintings.

  3. The Nutcracker - New York Times bestselling artist and Caldecott Honor winner Susan Jeffers has created a Nutcracker as only she can—with lavish illustrations, magnificent detail, a glitter-brushed cover, and enchanting holiday scenes on every page. This is The Nutcracker as you’ve never seen it before! Makes a lovely keepsake and gift. Join Marie, Fritz, and the intriguing Nutcracker himself on a magical Christmas Eve adventure. Behold the frightful Mouse King, the elegant Sugar Plum fairies, and the entire Land of Sweets in this dazzling, gorgeously illustrated holiday classic. With spare text based on the story in the ballet, this book offers a front-row seat to the enthralling tale that is a perennial favorite of adults and children alike. And for Susan Jeffers fans looking for extra content, an author’s note is included at the end of the book, in which she explains what inspired her to turn this holiday tradition into a show-stopping picture book.

  4. The Christmas Puppy - Discover a treasure trove of beautifully illustrated books with our new series, G+D Vintage! Featuring books from our Wonder Books line originally published in the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s, there’s something for every reader in these timeless stories accompanied by classic illustrations. This year, every child in town wants a toy dog for Christmas, but Santa runs out before he can get to Polly’s house! So instead, Santa makes the holiday extra special by giving Polly a sweet, loveable, real puppy. Polly—and the puppy—couldn’t be happier!

Books About Toys, Dolls And Puppets and Action And Adventure

Ten Rules of Being a Superhero
Written & illustrated by Deb Pilutti
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

An instruction manual for aspiring superheroes that follows the adventures of action-figure Captain Magma and his sidekick/owner Lava Boy as they outsmart a villainous dinosaur, evade a bee, and save a worm from certain destruction.

The Too Little Fire Engine
Written & illustrated by Jane Flory
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Discover a treasure trove of beautifully illustrated books with our new series, G+D Vintage! Featuring books from our Wonder Books line originally published in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, there’s something for every reader in these timeless stories accompanied by classic illustrations.

The little red fire engine wants a big job—but he’s quite little! After putting out small sparks at a big fire and stopping flames in a wastebasket, he realizes that he’s perfectly suited to solve little problems of all kinds.

Traction Man Is Here!
Written & illustrated by Mini Grey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Traction Man—wearing combat boots, battle pants, and his warfare shirt—comes in a box, but very quickly finds the way into the imagination of his lucky boy owner. This superhero searches for the Lost Wreck of the Sieve as the boy makes a game of doing the dishes, and later in the bathtub, he conquers the Mysterious Toes that are stealing his pet, the brave little Scrubbing Brush. These are just a few of the action-packed adventures played out by the boy and his new toy that may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but can vanquish all manner of villains lurking around the house. Mini Grey’s story in words and pictures is an irresistible invitation to the private world of a child’s play.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Drummer Boy - In a wintry little town, a drummer boy appears on a child’s doorstep. And when it is still and quiet, the drummer boy plays, boom pum pum boom pum, and warms the child’s heart. But one day the drummer boy is accidentally knocked into the trash, sending him on a journey he never imagined–a journey on which he continues to play his drum, warming the hearts of others, from a rat to an owl to a snowman. And in a touching conclusion, his own heart is warmed as he plays to his most perfect audience: the baby in a manger. Loren Long brings this story of an unforgettable little drummer boy to vivid life with his timeless and magical art.

  2. The Meanest Doll in the World - Annabelle and Tiffany, dolls who are best friends living in the Palmer house, have an adventure when they hide in Kate Palmer’s backpack, are carried to school, mistakenly go to another house, and try to stop Princess Mimi, a doll who threatens all dollkind.

  3. The Castle in the Attic (35th Anniversary Edition) - A miniature Medieval castle seems like the perfect gift—and it leads William on the adventure of a lifetime. Presenting the 35th anniversary edition of this beloved adventure. William thinks the miniature castle, complete with a drawbridge, portcullis, and a silver knight, is the perfect gift. But when a problem arises, William finds himself entering the castle and getting caught up on a daring quest, having to face a dragon, and needing to face a few personal challenges, too, before he can save the kingdom.

  4. The Littlest Train - In this endearing story of a tiny toy train, the creator of the hit series Dinotrux now breathes life into more than a half-dozen trains that climb, haul, chug, zip, and zoom. In a small room, down a short flight of stairs, there lives a little toy train…about to have a BIG adventure! There’s an endless world to explore, and awe-inspiring new friends to meet. Mighty Max, Chloe Cogs, Sara Speedster, and Farley Freighter can reach all the best sights, lickety-split. But when the day is done and the sun goes down, will the littlest train find his way home? Calling all train lovers: All aboard!

Books About Toys, Dolls And Puppets and School

Ruthie and the (Not So) Teeny Tiny Lie
Written & illustrated by Laura Rankin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Laura Rankin touches on an important childhood issue of lying with gentleness and humor, offering a reassuring look at how standing up for the truth can help cut even the biggest mistake down to size.

Ruthie loves little things-the smaller the better. So when she finds a teeny tiny camera on the school playground one afternoon, she can hardly believe her luck. She wants to keep the camera in the worst way, but there’s one little problem: It isn’t hers.

Ruthie swears to her teacher and to her classmate Martin that she got the camera for her birthday. But deep down, Ruthie knows better, and all day long that teeny tiny camera weighs on her conscience until she can hardly stand it. How could one little camera turn into such a great big problem?

Ever After High: The Storybook of Legends
Written by Shannon Hale
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Releasing for the first time in paperback is Shannon Hale’s The Storybook of Legends. This book started the hugely popular EAH franchise! At Ever After High, the children of fairytale legends prepare to fulfill their destinies as the next Snow Whites, Princes, and Evil Queens. Each year on Legacy Day, students sign the Storybook of Legends to seal their scripted fates. For generations, the Village of Book End has whispered that refusing to sign means The End—both for a story and for a life. As daughter of the Evil Queen, Raven Queen’s destiny is to follow in her mother’s footsteps, but evil is not Raven’s style. She wonders what if she rewrote her own story? Apple White, daughter of Snow White, has a happy ever after planned for herself as long as Raven feeds her a poison apple in their future.

The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee
Written & illustrated by Tom Angleberger
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

With Dwight attending Tippett Academy this semester, the kids of McQuarrie Middle School are on their ownNno Origami Yoda to give advice. Then Sara gets a gift she says is from DwightNa paper fortune-teller in the form of Chewbacca. It’s a Fortune Wookiee, and it seems to give advice that’s just as good as Yoda’s.

Honorable Mentions
  1. I'm Afraid Your Teddy Is in the Principal's Office - What do your favorite toys get up to when you’re at school? Teddy and friends bring their creative mayhem to the classroom in a gleefully vicarious comic romp. What would happen if your teddy bear stowed away in your backpack and followed you to school? And what if your teddy convinced all your friends’ stuffed animals to come along for the party? Would you believe they might sneak into the cafeteria to play Pizza Disc, head to the band room to put bubbles in the wind instruments, make a clever glue trap for the art teacher, and roll around in finger paint as well? Luckily, the principal remembers what it was like to be young and may let the rambunctious teddy bear and crew off just this once. Author Jancee Dunn and illustrator Scott Nash bring Teddy and friends back for more mischief in a high-spirited tale of uninhibited fun.

  2. The Strange Case of Origami Yoda - In this funny, uncannily wise portrait of the dynamics of a sixth-grade class and of the greatness that sometimes comes in unlikely packages, Dwight, a loser, talks to his classmates via an origami finger puppet of Yoda. If that weren’t strange enough, the puppet is uncannily wise and prescient. Origami Yoda predicts the date of a pop quiz, guesses who stole the classroom Shakespeare bust, and saves a classmate from popularity-crushing embarrassment with some well-timed advice. Dwight’s classmate Tommy wonders how Yoda can be so smart when Dwight himself is so clueless. With contributions from his puzzled classmates, Tommy assembles this first case file in the blockbuster bestselling Origami Yoda series, written by Tom Angleberger, author of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side, and hailed by School Library Journal as “honest, funny, and immensely entertaining.”

  3. Pete & Polos Big School Adventure - Despite Pete’s enthusiasm over the first day of school, Polo, the stuffed polar bear, is reluctant to attend until he learns how much fun school is and how welcome he and Pete are there.

Want to see books about school?

Books About Toys, Dolls And Puppets and Being Lost

Where's My Teddy?
Written & illustrated by Jez Alborough
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Eddy’s lost his teddy, Freddy, so he goes off into the woods in search of the missing bear. The dark, horrible woods hold a gigantic surprise for Eddy, who discovers his teddy bear has grown much too big to cuddle. Could it be a case of mistaken identity? Fast-paced and fun, this comedy of errors from beloved children’s illustrator Jez Alborough has delighted young readers for two and a half decades.

A Ball for Daisy
Written & illustrated by Chris Raschka
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Winner of the 2012 Randolph Caldecott Medal

This New York Times Bestseller and New York Times Best Illustrated Book relates a story about love and loss as only Chris Rashcka can tell it. Any child who has ever had a beloved toy break will relate to Daisy’s anguish when her favorite ball is destroyed by a bigger dog. In the tradition of his nearly wordless picture book Yo! Yes?, Caldecott Medalist Chris Raschka explores in pictures the joy and sadness that having a special toy can bring. Raschka’s signature swirling, impressionistic illustrations and his affectionate story will particularly appeal to young dog lovers and teachers and parents who have children dealing with the loss of something special.

Bunny Boo Has Lost Her Teddy
Written & illustrated by Nosy Crow
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

It’s bedtime for Bunny Boo. But where is her teddy? Is he on the bookselves? No,that’s Hippo! Perhaps he’s in the laundry room? No, that’s Dog and Frog. A delightful peekaboo book with chunky tabs for little hands to push and pull.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Willa and the Bear - More than anything, Willa adores her ragdoll, Rosie, made just for her by Grandma. But one day, on a bumpy sleigh ride to Grandma’s birthday dinner, Rosie falls into the snow and disappears. Willa is inconsolable—until, mysteriously, Rosie reappears at Grandma’s door. Can Willa find a way to thank the special friend who returned her doll? This picture book will warm the heart of every child who has ever had a favorite toy.

  2. Bobo the Sailor Man! - Willie finds all sorts of interesting things while he and Bobo the stuffed monkey are exploring, including a bucket that would be a perfect boat for Bobo, but before he knows it, Bobo and the “boat” have disappeared.

  3. Teddy's Favorite Toy - “Teddy’s favorite toy has the best manners, and the sickest fighting skills, and the ability to pull off a number of fierce looks. But when his toy goes missing, it turns out there’s another woman around who’s pretty fierce—it’s Teddy’s mom, and she will stop at nothing to reunite Teddy with his favorite toy”—

  4. Lost Property Office - A little girl and her mother are on the train, going to visit Grandpa. It’s very busy—hold on tight! But when they arrive at their destination and get off the train they realize something is wrong: the little girl’s beloved teddy bear has gone missing! Just when it looks like she’ll never see Teddy again, Grandpa has an idea! And suddenly the little girl is off on a magical journey to rescue her favorite stuffed friend. Have you ever wondered where your lost objects go? With charming and stylish illustrations, this book is perfect for curious minds.

Want to see books about being lost?

Books About Toys, Dolls And Puppets and First Concepts

10 Little Rubber Ducks
Written & illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Ahoy! Here We Go Around the World with 10 Little Rubber Ducks “Ducks overboard!” shouts the captain, as a giant wave washes a box of 10 little rubber ducks off his cargo ship and into the sea. The 10 little rubber ducks are swept away in various directions. One drifts west, where a friendly dolphin jumps over it. A whale sings to another. But, as the sun sets, the 10th little rubber duck is left all alone, bobbing helplessly on the big wide sea. Small readers and listeners will empathize with the little duck’s plight — and will rejoice at the heartwarming surprise ending. In this poignant and funny story, illustrated with strikingly designed collages, Eric Carle also takes readers on an exciting voyage of discovery. Following the little ducks as they float to all parts of the globe, young explorers can see for themselves the meanings of directional words, and learn simple math concepts such as counting and the use of cardinal and ordinal numbers. Each creature the ducks meet is seen in its own habitat and behaves in a true-to-life manner, offering a very simple first view of biology and geography. All aboard for a world of learning and fun!

I Lost My Bear
Written & illustrated by Jules Feiffer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

It’s not under the bed, or on the chair, or beneath the couch, or behind the curtains.It’s GONE! What do you do when your favorite toy disappears, and you can’t find it where you left it? What if your family is NO help at all? A determined little detective heads up the search, and discovers more than she ever expected! No one will help look for Bearsy. Mom’s too busy. Dad’s reading, and Sister’s grumpy. But when Jules Feiffer’s spunky heroine strikes out on her own to find her favorite stuffed toy, she discovers much more than anyone ever expected! With a simple text and bold, expressive pictures, here is a playful salute to a girl who won’t give up. 00-01 Young Reader’s Choice Award Program Masterlist

From Mother to Mother
Written & illustrated by Émilie Vast
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

“Looking back at Baby’s ancestors, Mother describes how long, long, long, long ago, her mother’s mother’s mother’s mother gave birth to her mother’s mother’s mother. And so it goes, describing Baby’s lineage through to present day. Russian nesting dolls (matryoshka) illustrated on each spread get smaller with each page turn, and each is a different color decorated with animals, flowers, and other nature-based items”—

Honorable Mentions
  1. Changes, Changes - A charming, wordless picture book that the very youngest can “read” all by themselves. The little wooden couple are happy in their building-block house—until it catches fire. The solution? They transform the house into a fire engine! But then there’s so much water that they have to build a boat… Follow these inventive dolls as they use their imagination to adapt to each situation they encounter.

  2. From Father to Father - “Looking back at Baby’s ancestors, Father describes how long, long, long, long ago, his father’s father’s father’s father welcomed to the family his father’s father’s father. And so it goes, describing Baby’s lineage through to present day. Russian nesting dolls (matryoshka) illustrated on each spread get smaller with each page turn, and each is a different color decorated with animals, flowers, and other nature-based items”—

  3. The Biggest Smallest Christmas Present - The Night Before Christmas meets Thumbelina in a toy-filled tale that celebrates the excitement and magic of the holiday season. Clementine is a teeny-tiny girl who lives with her average-sized family. It’s mostly fun being the smallest, but Christmas can be tricky. Santa brings beautiful toys, but they are too big for this little girl. Every year, Clementine tries to tell Santa she’s small. But the cookies she ices with a message to Santa are eaten, and the words she stamps out on the roof are covered by fresh snow. It’ll take a whole lot of Christmas spirit for Clementine to find the right way to reach Santa—and when she does, she just might get the toy of her dreams! Harriet Muncaster’s whimsical illustrations shine in this celebration of creativity, gratitude, and the magic of Christmas.

Books About Toys, Dolls And Puppets and Feelings And Emotions

Grin & Bear it: The Wit and Wisdom of Corduroy
Written by Don Freeman & illustrated by Jody Wheeler and Don Freeman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Adventurous, imaginative, and always optimistic, Corduroy offers up wit and wisdom that will bring a little bit of sunshine to readers of all ages. Since Corduroy’s first publication in 1968, this adventuresome stuffed animal has been delighting readers of all ages. Now America’s favorite teddy bear is here to share with you fifty years of his accumulated wit and wisdom, all in one adorable little book. Charming and inspirational, this is the perfect gift for graduation, or any other occasion when you might need a little confidence boost.

The Troublemaker
Written & illustrated by Lauren Castillo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Bored and restless on a summer day, a little boy steals his sister’s bunny and sends it on an adventure. He is well satisfied with the results—until his own stuffed animal disappears. Could it be that he is not the only troublemaker around . . . ?

A case of sibling rivalry is neatly resolved with the “assistance” of a hilarious raccoon in Lauren Castillo’s warm, simple text and gorgeous classic illustrations.

A Ball for Daisy
Written & illustrated by Chris Raschka
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Winner of the 2012 Randolph Caldecott Medal

This New York Times Bestseller and New York Times Best Illustrated Book relates a story about love and loss as only Chris Rashcka can tell it. Any child who has ever had a beloved toy break will relate to Daisy’s anguish when her favorite ball is destroyed by a bigger dog. In the tradition of his nearly wordless picture book Yo! Yes?, Caldecott Medalist Chris Raschka explores in pictures the joy and sadness that having a special toy can bring. Raschka’s signature swirling, impressionistic illustrations and his affectionate story will particularly appeal to young dog lovers and teachers and parents who have children dealing with the loss of something special.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Dear Bunny - A little girl writes to her bunny, telling him all the things she likes when they’re together, from how he blows on her porridge to cool it down to playing in the park and holding hands at the zoo. As they adventure the world, they see big things, small things, creatures, colours and wonderful surprises wherever they go, but at the end, the little girl realises that the thing she loves most is her bunny! With a simple message about learning to be grateful for the things we have, most especially our loved ones, this is an ideal bedtime picture book.

  2. Bear Despair - Don’t ever take a bear’s teddy bear, no matter how cute you think it is. If you do, you’ll be in for trouble. Big trouble. For a bear whose teddy has been stolen isn’t simply heartbroken, but determined to get it back. So determined that he might just gobble up more than honey to do so! However, should he succeed in getting his teddy back, then there just might be a surprise in store. This is a book that all readers will relish, and one they will want to read again and again.

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