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Writing: Books For Kids

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

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

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 writing, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Dear Yeti to popular sellers like Inkheart to some of our favorite hidden gems like The Night Before Christmas.

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

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Top 10 Books About Writing

#1
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The Little I Who Lost His Dot
Written by Kimberlee Gard & illustrated by Sandie Sonke
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Little i can’t wait to meet his friends at school, but there’s just one problem: he can’t find his dot anywhere? Each letter offers a replacement–an acorn from Little a, a balloon from Little b, a clock from Little c–but nothing seems quite right. Adorable illustrations teach alphabet letters and sounds with a surprising and satisfying ending to Little i’s search.

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#2
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Dia de Los Muertos
Written by Roseanne Greenfield Thong & illustrated by Carles Ballesteros
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It’s Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and children throughout the pueblo, or town, are getting ready to celebrate! They decorate with colored streamers, calaveras, or sugar skulls, and pan de muertos, or bread of the dead. There are altars draped in cloth and covered in marigolds and twinkling candles. Music fills the streets. Join the fun and festivities, learn about a different cultural tradition, and brush up on your Spanish vocabulary, as the town honors their dearly departed in a traditional, time-honored style. ¡Es el Día de los Muertos y todos los niños del pueblo y ciudad están listos para celebrar! Decoran con calaveras lo calavera de azucar, pan de muertos y banderas. Hay altares cubriertos de manta con muchas flores, y velas parpadiendo. Musica llena las calles. Hay que unirse con los festivales y abrender una diferente cultura y traduciones y repasar el vocabulario en español, mientras el pueblo honra sus queridos en una tradución con el transcurso y con el estilo del tiempo.

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#3
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Library Mouse #1
Written & illustrated by Daniel Kirk
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Sam, a shy but creative mouse who lives in a library, decides to write and illustrate his own stories which he places on the shelves with the other library books but when children find the tales, they all want to meet the author. 10,000 first printing.

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#4
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An Inconvenient Alphabet
Written by Beth Anderson & illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

Do you ever wish English was eez-ee-yer to spell? Ben Franklin and Noah Webster did! Debut author Beth Anderson and the New York Times bestselling illustrator of I Dissent, Elizabeth Baddeley, tell the story of two patriots and their attempt to revolutionize the English alphabet. Once upon a revolutionary time, two great American patriots tried to make life easier. They knew how hard it was to spell words in English. They knew that sounds didn’t match letters. They knew that the problem was an inconvenient English alphabet. In 1786, Ben Franklin, at age eighty, and Noah Webster, twenty-eight, teamed up. Their goal? Make English easier to read and write. But even for great thinkers, what seems easy can turn out to be hard. Children today will be delighted to learn that when they “sound out” words, they are doing eg-zakt-lee what Ben and Noah wanted.

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#5
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Explosion at the Poem Factory
Written by Kyle Lukoff & illustrated by Mark Hoffmann
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Kilmer Watts makes his living teaching piano lessons, but when automatic pianos arrive in town, he realizes he’s out of a job. He spots a “Help Wanted” sign at the poem factory and decides to investigate – he’s always been curious about how poems are made.

The foreman explains that machines and assembly lines are used for poetry these days. So Kilmer learns how to operate the “meter meter” and empty the “cliché bins.” He assembles a poem by picking out a rhyme scheme, sprinkling in some similes and adding alliteration.

But one day the machines malfunction, and there is a dramatic explosion at the poem factory. How will poetry ever survive?

Kyle Lukoff’s funny story, rich in wordplay, is complemented by Mark Hoffmann’s lively, quirky art. The backmatter includes definitions of poetic feet, types of poems (with illustrated examples) and a glossary of other terms. An author’s note explains the inspiration for the story.

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#6
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Box: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom
Written by Carole Boston Weatherford & illustrated by Michele Wood
picture book
Recommend Ages: 10-13

In a moving, lyrical tale about the cost and fragility of freedom, a New York Times best-selling author and an acclaimed artist follow the life of a man who courageously shipped himself out of slavery.

What have I to fear?
My master broke every promise to me.
I lost my beloved wife and our dear children.
All, sold South. Neither my time nor my body is mine.
The breath of life is all I have to lose.
And bondage is suffocating me.

Henry Brown wrote that long before he came to be known as Box, he “entered the world a slave.” He was put to work as a child and passed down from one generation to the next – as property. When he was an adult, his wife and children were sold away from him out of spite. Henry Brown watched as his family left bound in chains, headed to the deeper South. What more could be taken from him? But then hope – and help – came in the form of the Underground Railroad. Escape!

In stanzas of six lines each, each line representing one side of a box, celebrated poet Carole Boston Weatherford powerfully narrates Henry Brown’s story of how he came to send himself in a box from slavery to freedom. Strikingly illustrated in rich hues and patterns by artist Michele Wood, Box is augmented with historical records and an introductory excerpt from Henry’s own writing as well as a time line, notes from the author and illustrator, and a bibliography.

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#7
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My Very First Mother Goose
Written by Iona Opie & illustrated by Rosemary Wells
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

To a small child, words are magical. And the most magical of all are the beloved, venerable words of Mother Goose. Now folklorist Iona Opie has gathered more than sixty treasured rhymes in their most perfect, honest form. From “Hey Diddle, Diddle” and “Pat-a-Cake” to “Little Jack Horner” and “Pussycat, Pussycat,” these are familiar verses that have been passed from parent to child for generations; these are the rhymes that are every child’s birthright. With watercolors by Rosemary Wells that may prove equally enduring, MY VERY FIRST MOTHER GOOSE captures the simple joy and the sly humor that are the essence of Mother Goose. Parents and children will find themselves exploring this volume together, savoring delightful details and funny surprises on every page. This is a book that promises hours of quiet smiles and merry grins for readers of all ages.

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#8
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If You Come to Earth
Written & illustrated by Sophie Blackall
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
From two-time Caldecott Winner author-illustrator Sophie Blackall!
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#9
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The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles
Written by Michelle Cuevas & illustrated by Erin E. Stead
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A message in a bottle holds the promise of surprise and wonder, as told in this enthralling picture book by Caldecott Medalist Erin E. Stead

The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles, who lives alone atop a hill, has a job of the utmost importance. It is his task to open any bottles found at sea and make sure that the messages are delivered. He loves his job, though he has always wished that, someday, one of the letters would be addressed to him. One day he opens a party invitation—but there’s no name attached. As he devotes himself to the mystery of the intended recipient, he ends up finding something even more special: the possibility of new friends.

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#10
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Malala's Magic Pencil
Written by Malala Yousafzai & illustrated by Kerascoet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Malala’s first picture book will inspire young readers everywhere to find the magic all around them. As a child in Pakistan, Malala made a wish for a magic pencil. She would use it to make everyone happy, to erase the smell of garbage from her city, to sleep an extra hour in the morning. But as she grew older, Malala saw that there were more important things to wish for. She saw a world that needed fixing. And even if she never found a magic pencil, Malala realized that she could still work hard every day to make her wishes come true. This beautifully illustrated volume tells Malala’s story for a younger audience and shows them the worldview that allowed Malala to hold on to hope even in the most difficult of times.

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

Books About Writing and Letter Writing

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The Little I Who Lost His Dot
Written by Kimberlee Gard & illustrated by Sandie Sonke
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Little i can’t wait to meet his friends at school, but there’s just one problem: he can’t find his dot anywhere? Each letter offers a replacement–an acorn from Little a, a balloon from Little b, a clock from Little c–but nothing seems quite right. Adorable illustrations teach alphabet letters and sounds with a surprising and satisfying ending to Little i’s search.

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If You Come to Earth
Written & illustrated by Sophie Blackall
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
From two-time Caldecott Winner author-illustrator Sophie Blackall!
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The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles
Written by Michelle Cuevas & illustrated by Erin E. Stead
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A message in a bottle holds the promise of surprise and wonder, as told in this enthralling picture book by Caldecott Medalist Erin E. Stead

The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles, who lives alone atop a hill, has a job of the utmost importance. It is his task to open any bottles found at sea and make sure that the messages are delivered. He loves his job, though he has always wished that, someday, one of the letters would be addressed to him. One day he opens a party invitation—but there’s no name attached. As he devotes himself to the mystery of the intended recipient, he ends up finding something even more special: the possibility of new friends.

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. I Wanna Iguana - 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.

  2. The Jolly Postman - This gorgeously illustrated, full-color classic celebrates a time before email by depicting amusing correspondence between fairy tale and Mother Goose characters. What could possibly be in a letter from Goldilocks to the Three Bears? Who would write to the Wicked Witch? Open this book, take out the letters, and discover what favorite characters would write to each other–and reimagine best-loved tales together.

  3. The Day the Crayons Quit - Poor Duncan just wants to color. But when he opens his box of crayons, he finds only letters, all saying the same thing: His crayons have had enough! They quit! Beige Crayon is tired of playing second fiddle to Brown Crayon. Black wants to be used for more than just outlining. Blue needs a break from coloring all those bodies of water. And Orange and Yellow are no longer speaking—each believes he is the true color of the sun. What can Duncan possibly do to appease all of the crayons and get them back to doing what they do best?

  4. Our Tree Named Steve - Dear Kids, A long time ago, when you were little, Mom and I took you to where we wanted to build a house. . . . I remember there was one tree, however, that the three of you couldn’t stop staring at. . . . After the family spares him from the builders, Steve the tree quickly works his way into their lives. He holds their underwear when the dryer breaks down, he’s there when Adam and Lindsay get their first crushes, and he’s the centerpiece at their outdoor family parties. With a surprising lack of anthropomorphizing, this is a uniquely poignant celebration of fatherhood, families, love, and change.

Books About Writing and Girls And Women

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Malala's Magic Pencil
Written by Malala Yousafzai & illustrated by Kerascoet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Malala’s first picture book will inspire young readers everywhere to find the magic all around them. As a child in Pakistan, Malala made a wish for a magic pencil. She would use it to make everyone happy, to erase the smell of garbage from her city, to sleep an extra hour in the morning. But as she grew older, Malala saw that there were more important things to wish for. She saw a world that needed fixing. And even if she never found a magic pencil, Malala realized that she could still work hard every day to make her wishes come true. This beautifully illustrated volume tells Malala’s story for a younger audience and shows them the worldview that allowed Malala to hold on to hope even in the most difficult of times.

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Emily Writes
Written by Jane Yolen & illustrated by Christine Davenier
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

An imagined and evocative picture book account of Emily Dickinson’s childhood poetic beginnings. As a young girl, Emily Dickinson loved to scribble curlicues and circles, imagine new rhymes, and connect with the natural world around her. The sounds, sights, and smells of home swirled through her mind, and Emily began to explore writing and rhyming her thoughts and impressions. She things about the real and the unreal. Perhaps poems are the in-between. This thoughtful spotlight on Emily’s early experimentations with poetry offers a unique window into one of the world’s most famous and influential poets. Christy Ottaviano Books

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Saving the Countryside: The Story of Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit
Written by Linda Marshall & illustrated by Ilaria Urbinati and Linda Marshall
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“An exceptionally accurate portrait of Beatrix Potter told with humor and surprise. Beautifully done.” Linda Lear, author of Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature

Through she’s universally known as the creator of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter did so much more. This is the true story about how she helped save the English countryside!

Growing up in London, Beatrix Potter felt the restraints of Victorian times. Girls didn’t go to school and weren’t expected to work. But she longed to do something important, something that truly mattered. As Beatrix spent her summers in the country and found inspiration in nature, it was through this passion that her creativity flourished.

There, she crafted The Tale of Peter Rabbit. She would eventually move to the countryside full-time, but developers sought to change the land. To save it, Beatrix used the money from the success of her books and bought acres and acres of land and farms to prevent the development of the countryside that both she and Peter Rabbit so cherished. Because of her efforts, it’s been preserved just as she left it.

This beautiful picture book shines a light on Beatrix Potter’s lesser-known history and her desire to do something for the greater good.

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  1. Fania's Heart - Ten-year-old Sorale discovers a tiny heart-shaped book among her mother’s belongings. Its pages are shaped like four-petaled flowers, upon which are written words in languages Sorale does not understand. Who wrote these words? Where did the heart come from? Why has her mother never mentioned this tiny book before? Fania’s Heart reveals the story of the crafting of the heart, against all odds, within the confines of Auschwitz, and of the women of immeasurable resilience, courage and loyalty who risked their lives for Sorale’s mother, their friend.

  2. Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire - Cilla Lee-Jenkins is 50% Chinese, 50% Caucasian, and 100% destined for literary greatness! Priscilla “Cilla” Lee-Jenkins is on a tight deadline. Her baby sister is about to be born, and Cilla needs to become a bestselling author before her family forgets all about her. So she writes about what she knows best—herself! Stories from her bestselling memoir include: - How she dealt with being bald until she was five - How she overcame her struggles with reading - How family traditions with her Grandma and Grandpa Jenkins and her Chinese grandparents, Nai Nai and Ye Ye, are so different Debut author Susan Tan has written a novel bursting with love and humor, as told through a bright, irresistible biracial protagonist who will win your heart and make you laugh.

  3. Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire - Priscilla “Cilla” Lee-Jenkins is on a tight deadline. Her baby sister is about to be born, and Cilla needs to become a bestselling author before her family forgets all about her. So she writes about what she knows best―herself! Stories from her bestselling memoir, Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire, include:

    • How she dealt with being bald until she was five
    • How she overcame her struggles with reading
    • How family traditions with her Grandma and Grandpa Jenkins and her Chinese grandparents, Nai Nai and Ye Ye, are so different
    Debut author Susan Tan has written a novel bursting with love and humor, as told through a bright, irresistible biracial protagonist who will win your heart and make you laugh.

  4. Little House Sampler - For everyone who loves the Little House books-a reissue of a charming collection of early stories and reminiscences by Laura Ingalls Wilder, along with essays and writings from her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, who was an award-winning writer. This charming collection of early stories contains many never before published newspaper pieces, stories and essays by Laura Ingalls and Rose Wilder. Inspiring the popular series, these works are a vivid and personal testament to American life and history as seen by two remarkable pioneers.

Books About Writing and America

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An Inconvenient Alphabet
Written by Beth Anderson & illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

Do you ever wish English was eez-ee-yer to spell? Ben Franklin and Noah Webster did! Debut author Beth Anderson and the New York Times bestselling illustrator of I Dissent, Elizabeth Baddeley, tell the story of two patriots and their attempt to revolutionize the English alphabet. Once upon a revolutionary time, two great American patriots tried to make life easier. They knew how hard it was to spell words in English. They knew that sounds didn’t match letters. They knew that the problem was an inconvenient English alphabet. In 1786, Ben Franklin, at age eighty, and Noah Webster, twenty-eight, teamed up. Their goal? Make English easier to read and write. But even for great thinkers, what seems easy can turn out to be hard. Children today will be delighted to learn that when they “sound out” words, they are doing eg-zakt-lee what Ben and Noah wanted.

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A Poem for Peter
Written by Andrea Davis Pinkney & illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

A celebration of the extraordinary life of Ezra Jack Keats, creator of The Snowy Day.

The story of The Snowy Day begins more than one hundred years ago, when Ezra Jack Keats was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. The family were struggling Polish immigrants, and despite Keats’s obvious talent, his father worried that Ezra’s dream of being an artist was an unrealistic one. But Ezra was determined. By high school he was winning prizes and scholarships. Later, jobs followed with the WPA and Marvel comics. But it was many years before Keats’s greatest dream was realized and he had the opportunity to write and illustrate his own book.

For more than two decades, Ezra had kept pinned to his wall a series of photographs of an adorable African American child. In Keats’s hands, the boy morphed into Peter, a boy in a red snowsuit, out enjoying the pristine snow; the book became The Snowy Day, winner of the Caldecott Medal, the first mainstream book to feature an African American child. It was also the first of many books featuring Peter and the children of his — and Keats’s — neighborhood.

Andrea Davis Pinkney’s lyrical narrative tells the inspiring story of a boy who pursued a dream, and who, in turn, inspired generations of other dreamers.

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Some Writer!: The Story of E. B. White
Written by Melissa Sweet
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

6 Starred Reviews! New York Times Bestseller! A People Magazine Best Children’s Book! A Washington Post Best Book! A Publishers Weekly Best Book! Boston Globe-Horn Book Nonfiction Award Honor recipient Caldecott Honor winner Sweet mixes White’s personal letters, photos, and family ephemera with her own exquisite artwork to tell the story of this American literary icon. Readers young and old will be fascinated and inspired by the journalist, New Yorker contributor, and children’s book author who loved words his whole life. This authorized tribute, a New York Times bestseller, includes an afterword by Martha White, his granddaughter.

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  1. My Brother Charlie - “Charlie has autism. His brain works in a special way. It’s harder for him to make friends. Or show his true feelings. Or stay safe.” But as his big sister tells us, for everything that Charlie can’t do well, there are plenty more things that he’s good at. He knows the names of all the American presidents. He knows stuff about airplanes. And he can even play the piano better than anyone he knows. Actress and national autism spokesperson Holly Robinson Peete collaborates with her daughter on this book based on Holly’s 10-year-old son, who has autism.

  2. I Love You, Michael Collins - A funny and heartwarming middle-grade historical fiction novel about a girl who writes letters to her favorite astronaut as America prepares for the moon landing. It’s 1969 and the country is gearing up for what looks to be the most exciting moment in U.S. history: men landing on the moon. Ten-year-old Mamie’s class is given an assignment to write letters to the astronauts. All the girls write to Neil Armstrong (“So cute!”) and all the boys write to Buzz Aldrin (“So cool!”). Only Mamie writes to Michael Collins, the astronaut who will come so close but never achieve everyone else’s dream of walking on the moon, because he is the one who must stay out in space with the ship. After school ends, Mamie keeps writing to Michael Collins, taking comfort in telling someone about what’s going on with her family as, one by one, they leave the house thinking that someone else is taking care of her—until she is all alone except for her cat and her best friend, Buster. And as the date of the launch nears, Mamie can’t help but wonder: Does no one stay with the ship anymore? With I Love You, Michael Collins, Lauren Baratz-Logsted has created a heartwarming story about family and being true to yourself. A Margaret Ferguson Book “Baratz-Logsted weaves in just enough history to root Mamie’s story in her time, a moment when a nation came together and felt proud of human possibilities. . . . Readers will be charmed by Mamie’s story of hope in a difficult moment in American history.” —Kirkus Reviews

  3. Phoenix Goes to School: A Story to Support Transgender and Gender Diverse Children - My Mommy tells me I'm perfect and to be brave.

    "You know who you are," she says,

    "Just be yourself and always listen to your heart."

  4. Our Story Begins - From award-winning author Elissa Brent Weissman comes a collection of quirky, smart, and vulnerable childhood works by some of today’s foremost children’s authors and illustrators—revealing young talent, the storytellers they would one day become, and the creativity they inspire today.Everyone’s story begins somewhere…For Linda Sue Park, it was a trip to the ocean, a brand-new typewriter, and a little creative license. For Jarrett J. Krosoczka, it was a third grade writing assignment that ignited a creative fire in a kid who liked to draw. For Kwame Alexander, it was a loving poem composed for Mother’s Day—and perfected through draft after discarded draft. For others, it was a teacher, a parent, a beloved book, a word of encouragement. It was trying, and failing, and trying again. It was a love of words, and pictures, and stories.Your story is beginning, too. Where will it go?

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Books About Writing and Books

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Ike's Incredible Ink
Written & illustrated by Brianne Farley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Cleaning his room and talking to his best friend while preparing to write what he knows will be an incredible story, little Ike discovers that he is missing just the right ink to get his project underway, a need that requires extraordinary effort to fulfill.

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How This Book Was Made
Written by Mac Barnett & illustrated by Adam Rex
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

You may think you know how this book was made, but you don’t. Sure, the author wrote many drafts, and the illustrator took a long time creating the art, but then what? How’d it get into your hands? Well, open the cover and read through these pages to find out. Just beware of the pirates and angry tiger.

New York Times best-selling creators Mac Barnett and Adam Rex reveal the nitty gritty process of making a book . . . with a few unexpected twists along the way! Budding writers and artists will laugh at the mix of reality and the absurd as the story makes its way to a shelf, and a reader.

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A Book
Written & illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Among a family who lives in a book, the youngest daughter is the only one who doesn’t have a story to belong to, so she sets out among fairy tales, adventures, mysteries, histories, science fiction, and others to track down her story. By the Calecott Medal winner of The Man Who Walked Between the Towers.

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  1. By Mouse and Frog - One morning, Mouse woke up epecially early, eager to write a brand-new story . . . Praise for Deborah Freedman-‘Shines in both concept and beauty.’ Kirkus Reviews, starred review of The Story of Fish and Snail’ A delightful treat.’ Booklist, starred review of Blue Chicken ‘Simply exquisite.’ Kirkus Reviews, starred reviewof Blue Chicken

  2. Inkspellinkspell - Although a year has passed, not a day goes by without Meggie thinking of INKHEART, the book whose characters became real. But for Dustfinger, the fire-eater brought into being from words, the need to return to the tale has become desperate. When he finds a crooked storyteller with the ability to read him back, Dustfinger leaves behind his young apprentice Farid and plunges into the medieval world of his past. Distraught, Farid goes in search of Meggie, and before long, both are caught inside the book, too. But the story is threatening to evolve in ways neither of them could ever have imagined.

  3. Inkspell -

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Books About Writing and Imagination And Play

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Bear's Book
Written by Claire Freedman & illustrated by Alison Friend
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A story about stories, writing, reading, and friendship When Bear’s favorite book of stories falls apart, he is determined to write one of his own. He ventures into the forest for inspiration, but writing is harder than he thinks, and he soon discovers that he needs help from his friends. See how Bear transforms their day into a wonderful adventure in this story about creativity and friendship.

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I Have an Idea!
Written & illustrated by Herve Tullet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

From one of the true creative geniuses of this generation comes a unique meditation on and celebration of the magic of the birth of a simple idea. Sparkling with visual wit and bubbling with imagination, this is a richly emotional exploration of the creative process: from an initial tentative inkling, to the frustration of chasing the wrong notion, to finally the exhilaration of capturing—and nurturing—just the right idea. I Have an Idea! is a scrumptious cloth-spined package of color and inspiration equally at home on a child’s bookshelf, in a new graduate’s backpack, or atop a creative’s desk.

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Polly Diamond and the Magic Book
Written by Alice Kuipers & illustrated by Diana Toledano
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Polly loves words. And she loves writing stories. So when a magic book appears on her doorstep that can make everything she writes happen in real life, Polly is certain all of her dreams are about to come true. But she soon learns that what you write and what you mean are not always the same thing! Funny and touching, this new chapter book series will entertain readers and inspire budding writers.

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  1. Rufus the Writer - Rather than a lemonade stand, Rufus sets up a story stand one summer and makes a series of trades with his friends–a story for a shell, for a kitten, for a surprise, and one more as a special birthday gift for his sister.

  2. Also an Octopus - Even the most totally awesome story starts with a little bit of nothing. What happens next is up to you! A delightfully meta picture book that will set imaginations soaring. It begins with an octopus who plays the ukulele. Since this is a story, the octopus has to want something—maybe to travel to faraway galaxies in a totally awesome purple spaceship. Then the octopus sets out to build a spaceship out of soda cans, glue, umbrellas, glitter, and waffles. OK, maybe the octopus needs some help, like from an adorable bunny friend, and maybe that bunny turns out to be . . . a rocket scientist? (Probably not.) But could something even more amazing come to pass? Debut author Maggie Tokuda-Hall, with the help of illustrator Benji Davies, sets up an endearingly funny story, then hands the baton to readers, who will be more than primed to take it away.

  3. The 78-Story Treehouse - Andy and Terry live in a 78-story treehouse. (It used to be a 65-story treehouse, but they just keep building more levels!) It has a drive-thru car wash, a courtroom with a robot judge called Edward Gavelhead, a scribbletorium, a combining machine, an ALL-BALL sports stadium, a high-security potato chip storage facility, and an open-air movie theatre with a super-giant screen . . . which is a very useful thing to have now that Terry’s going to be a big-shot movie star! After Andy gets cut out of the movie, he and Terry have a big fight and decide they don’t want to be best friends anymore. But with a herd of sneaky spy cows out to steal all their story ideas, can Andy and Terry make up before it’s too late?

  4. 39-Story Treehouse: Mean Machines & Mad Professors! - Andy and Terry are once again inviting readers to come hang out with them in their astonishing 39-story treehouse (it used to be 13 stories, then 26 stories, but they keep expanding). And this year they will have even more time to jump on the world's highest trampoline, toast marshmallows in an active volcano, swim in the chocolate waterfall, pet baby dinosaurs, and go head-to-trunk with the Trunkinator, since Terry has created the greatest invention that he--or anyone else--has ever invented . . . a Once-upon-a-time machine that will write and illustrate their entire book for them! Join New York Times-bestselling author Andy Griffiths and illustrator Terry Denton on another wild storytelling adventure in a series Publishers Weekly described as Anarchic absurdity at its best. Welcome to The 39-Story Treehouse...What are you waiting for? Come on up! This title has Common Core connections.

Books About Writing and Books And Libraries

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Library Mouse #1
Written & illustrated by Daniel Kirk
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Sam, a shy but creative mouse who lives in a library, decides to write and illustrate his own stories which he places on the shelves with the other library books but when children find the tales, they all want to meet the author. 10,000 first printing.

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Through the Wardrobe: How C. S. Lewis Created Narnia
Written & illustrated by Lina Maslo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A lyrical nonfiction picture book about the inspired life of C. S. Lewis, the beloved author of the Chronicles of Narnia—from Free as a Bird author-illustrator Lina Maslo. Perfect for fans of The Important Thing About Margaret Wise Brown and Some Writer!: The Story of E.B. White.

As a child, Clive Staples Lewis imagined many things . . .

heroic animals

and knights in armor

and a faraway land called Boxen.

He even thought of a new name for himself—at four years old, he decided he was more of a Jack.

As he grew up, though, Jack found that the real world was not as just as the one in his imagination. No magic could heal the sick or stop a war, and a bully’s words could pierce as sharply as a sword. So Jack withdrew into books and eventually became a well-known author for adults.

But he never forgot the epic tales of his boyhood, and one day a young girl’s question about an old family wardrobe inspired him to write a children’s story about a world hidden beyond its fur coats . . . a world of fauns and queens and a lion named Aslan. A world of battles between good and evil, where people learned courage and love and forgiveness.

A magical realm called Narnia.

And the books he would write about this kingdom would change his life and that of children the world over.

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Blueberry Pancakes Forever: Finding Serendipity Book Three
Written by Angelica Banks
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In this third middle-grade adventure from the author of Finding Serendipity, Tuesday McGillycuddy must grapple with a new villain in the Land of Story.

After an unthinkable loss, time seems to freeze for Tuesday and her mother, the famous author Serendipity Smith. In the land of story, Vivienne Small’s world is frozen too—a perpetual winter has fallen. When a terrible villain takes Vivienne hostage, it’s up to Tuesday to save her friend—and herself. On her quest, she’ll discover what lies at the bottom of her heart, and at the heart of her writing.

Beautifully told with warmth and joy, this great adventure is a celebration of life—and love. Don’t miss this heartwarming conclusion to the Finding Serendipity series!

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  1. Chloe and the Lion - Meet Chloe: Every week, she collects loose change so she can buy tickets to ride the merry-go-round. But one fateful day, she gets lost in the woods on her way home, and a large dragon leaps out from-“Wait! It’s supposed to be a lion,” says Mac Barnett, the author of this book. But Adam Rex, the illustrator, thinks a dragon would be so much cooler (don’t you agree?). <p/>Mac’s power of the pen is at odds with Adam’s brush, and Chloe’s story hangs in the balance. Can she help them out of this quandary to be the heroine of her own story? <br>Mac Barnett and Adam Rex are a dynamic duo, and two of the strongest contemporary voices in picture books today. In an accessible and funny way, <i>Chloe and the Lion</i> talks about the creative process and the joys and trials of collaboration.

  2. Nightbooks - A boy is imprisoned by a witch and must tell her a new scary story each night to stay alive. This thrilling contemporary fantasy from J. A. White, the acclaimed author of the Thickety series, brings to life the magic and craft of storytelling. Alex’s original hair-raising tales are the only thing keeping the witch Natacha happy, but soon he’ll run out of pages to read from and be trapped forever. He’s loved scary stories his whole life, and he knows most don’t have a happily ever after. Now that Alex is trapped in a true terrifying tale, he’s desperate for a different ending—and a way out of this twisted place. This modern spin on the Scheherazade story is perfect for fans of Coraline and A Tale Dark and Grimm. With interwoven tips on writing with suspense, adding in plot twists, hooks, interior logic, and dealing with writer’s block, this is the ideal book for budding writers and all readers of delightfully just-dark-enough tales.

  3. Where Are the Words? - Period wants to write a story but can’t find the words, so his friends offer their help. Question Mark asks around and Exclamation Point finds some enthusiastic words from some unexpected place. Now all Period needs is an idea, but from whom?

  4. King Alice - A young girl wakes her father by informing him that she is Queen Alice, then draws him and other family members into her imaginative activities, from writing a book to a sleepover with fairies.

Books About Writing and Creative Writing

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Poppy's Best Paper
Written by Susan Eaddy & illustrated by Rosalinde Bonnet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Fans of Olivia and Lilly will delight in Poppy, a little rabbit with big dreams—and an even bigger personality.

More than anything, Poppy wants to be a verrrry famous writer. She’s sure Mrs. Rose will pick her paper to read to the whole class! Trouble is, she has tall ambitions but is short on effort, and her jealousy takes over when her best friend’s paper is chosen instead. In the end, Poppy discovers that she has to get out of her own way if her big dreams are going to come true.

Rosalinde’s adorable, expressive illustrations make memorable, quirky Poppy a real star!

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Once Upon a Baby Brother
Written by Sarah Sullivan & illustrated by Tricia Tusa
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

When he goes away on a trip, Lizzie, who loves to tell and write stories, is surprised to discover that much of her storytelling inspiration comes from her messy baby brother Marvin.

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Little Red Writing
Written by Joan Holub & illustrated by Melissa Sweet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Acclaimed writer Joan Holub and Caldecott Honoree Melissa Sweet team up in this hilarious and exuberant retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, in which a brave little red pencil finds her way through the many perils of writing a story.

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  1. Yasmin the Writer - Ms. Alex has assigned Yasmin’s class to write about their heroes. Yasmin loves to write, but she can’t decide who her hero is. After dismissing lots of ideas, could it be that Yasmin’s hero has been right beside her all along?

  2. Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets - A Newbery Medalist and a Caldecott Honoree’s New York Times best-selling ode to poets who have sparked a sense of wonder. Out of gratitude for the poet’s art form, Newbery Award–winning author and poet Kwame Alexander, along with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth, present original poems that pay homage to twenty famed poets who have made the authors’ hearts sing and their minds wonder. Stunning mixed-media images by Ekua Holmes, winner of a Caldecott Honor and a John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award, complete the celebration and invite the reader to listen, wonder, and perhaps even pick up a pen.

  3. Writing Radar - The Newbery Award–winning author of Dead End in Norvelt shares advice for how to be the best brilliant writer in this funny and practical creative writing guide perfect for all kids who dream of seeing their name on the spine of a book. With the signature wit and humor that have garnered him legions of fans, Jack Gantos instructs young writers on using their “writing radar” to unearth story ideas from their everyday lives. Incorporating his own misadventures as a developing writer, Gantos inspires readers to build confidence and establish good writing habits as they create, revise, and perfect their stories. Pop-out text boxes highlight key tips, alongside Gantos’s own illustrations, sample stories, and snippets from his childhood journals. More than just a how-to guide, Writing Radar is a celebration of the power of storytelling and an ode to the characters who—many unwittingly—inspired Gantos’s own writing career.

  4. Bears Make the Best Writing Buddies - Adelaide loves writing. Bear loves writing. But Theo does NOT love writing. Thankfully, Adelaide and Bear are ready to team up and persuade the entire class, including Mrs. Fitz-Pea, that Bears make the best writing buddies. After all, who better to teach you how to fish and forage for new ideas than a bear? This third picture book in Carmen Oliver’s Bears Make the Best…series is sure to encourage even the most reluctant writer to write a story.

Books About Writing and Books And Reading

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Finding Serendipity
Written by Angelica Banks & illustrated by Stevie Lewis
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

When Tuesday McGillycuddy and her beloved dog, Baxterr, discover that Tuesday’s mother—the famous author Serendipity Smith—has gone missing, they set out on a magical adventure. In their quest to find Serendipity, they discover the mysterious and unpredictable place that stories come from. Here, Tuesday befriends the fearless Vivienne Small, learns to sail an enchanted boat, tangles with an evil pirate, and discovers the truth about her remarkable dog. Along the way, she learns what it means to be a writer and how difficult it can sometimes be to get all the way to The End.

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Inkheart
Written by Cornelia Funke
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Cornelia Funke, the enormously talented author of the international best-seller THE THIEF LORD, brings readers another spellbinding tale of adventure and magic. Meggie lives a quiet life alone with her father, a book-binder. But her father has a deep secret– he posseses an extraordinary magical power. One day a mysterious stranger arrives who seems linked to her father’s past. Who is this sinister character and what does he want? Suddenly Meggie is involved in a breathless game of escape and intrigue as her father’s life is put in danger. Will she be able to save him in time?

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The 52-Story Treehouse
Written by Andy Griffiths & illustrated by Terry Denton
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Andy and Terry try to solve the mystery of: What happened to Mr. Big Nose? After all, it’s hard to turn in your next book when your publisher has vanished.

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  1. The 13-Story Treehouse - Andy and Terry live in a treehouse. But it’s not just any old treehouse, it’s the most amazing treehouse in the world! This treehouse has thirteen stories, a bowling alley, a see-through swimming pool, a secret underground laboratory, and a marshmallow machine that follows you around and automatically shoots marshmallows into your mouth whenever you are hungry. Life would be perfect for Andy and Terry if it wasn’t for the fact that they have to write their next book, which is almost impossible because there are just so many distractions, including thirteen flying cats, giant bananas, mermaids, a sea monsters pretending to be mermaids, enormous gorillas, and dangerous burp gas-bubblegum bubbles! Join the fun with The 13-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton. This title has Common Core connections.

  2. Handbook for Dragon Slayers - Like Gail Carson Levine's books, Merrie Haskell's middle grade fantasy adventure Handbook for Dragon Slayers mixes magic, mythical creatures, thrilling action, and a wonderful cast of characters.

Books About Writing and Friendship

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

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

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

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

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

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Fern and Otto: A Story about Two Best Friends
Written by Stephanie Graegin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Perfect for fans of Erin Stead and Emily Winfield Martin, here is a charming picture book about two friends who enter a fairytale world hoping to find an exciting story to tell.
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Isaiah Dunn Is My Hero
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-10
A coming-of-age tale about a boy who discovers a love of poetry after finding his late father's journal. Adapted from a story that first appeared in
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  1. Skylark and Wallcreeper - While helping her granny Collette evacuate to a makeshift shelter in Brooklyn during Superstorm Sandy, Lily uncovers secrets of her grandmother’s past as a member of the French Resistance during WWII. Queens, 2012. Hurricane Sandy is flooding New York City, and Lily is at a nursing home with her grandmother, Collette. Lily visits Collette often, as she is beginning to lose her memories. When the National Guard shows up to evacuate the building and take them to safety at the Park Slope armory in Brooklyn, Lily’s granny suddenly produces a red box she’s hidden in a closet for years. Once they get to safety, Lily opens the box, where she finds an old, beautiful Montblanc pen. Granny tells Lily that the pen is very important and that she has to take care of it, as well as some letters written in French. But Lily loses the pen in the course of helping other nursing home residents, and as she searches the city trying to find it, she learns more about her grandmother’s past in France and begins to uncover the significance of the pen with the help of her best friend, a quirky pen expert, and a larger-than-life, off-Broadway understudy. Told in alternating sections (2012 and 1944), this engaging book explores a deep friendship during difficult times and the importance of family.

  2. Twist - A group of gifted kids must band together to save their town and a fantasy world from horror-story monsters come to life in this imaginative middle-grade novel. Eli has a dream. He’s going to be the next Stephen King, and he’s just created his best monster yet! Neha has a secret. Her notebook is filled with drawings of a fantasy world called Forest Creeks, and it’s become inhabited by wonderful imaginary creatures. But her new friends are in danger . . . Court has a gift, both for finding trouble and for stopping it. And when she accidentally ends up with one of Neha’s drawings, she quickly realizes that the monsters raiding Forest Creeks are coming from Eli’s stories. When these three creative kids come together, they accidentally create a doorway from Forest Creeks into the real world, and now every monster that Eli ever imagined has been unleashed upon their town!

Books About Writing and 20th Century

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The Story Seeker
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Viviani Fedeler, proud resident of the New York Public Library, has set her sights on becoming a star reporter. She’s thrilled when Miss Hutch announces a story contest where the winner gets their essay printed in The New York Times!

But when it’s time to write, Viviani is out of stories. As she struggles to find inspiration, the library is struck with a string of mysterious disappearances. Rare medical texts keep vanishing off the shelves, nowhere to be found! Will Viviani be able to return the books to their rightful shelves and find the perfect story to impress the Times?

The Story Seeker delivers an unforgettable mystery adventure set in the iconic New York Public Library during the Roaring Twenties.

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Ode to an Onion
Written by Alexandria Giardino & illustrated by Felicita Sala
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Sad about the subject of a poem he is writing, Pablo Neruda visits his friend Matilde who shows him, through a simple onion, that happiness can be found even through tears. Includes facts about Pablo and Matilde, and Neruda’s Ode to the Onion in Spanish and English.

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Wonderful, Wicked, and Whizzpopping
Written by Roald Dahl
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

An interactive introduction and fresh new look at Roald Dahl’s world and characters!

A brilliant extension to Dahl’s wonderful stories, this book gives fascinating insights into the characters and events from Roald Dahl’s writing in a humorous, exciting and downright gloriumptious way. For the very first time, the stories behind the stories–like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, Matilda, and more–are brought to life in this brand new title. Inside, Quentin Blake’s iconic illustrations are combined with imagined letters, artifacts and news clippings, and editing notes from Dahl himself, to bring all of Roald Dahl’s characters alive. Whether you have read all of Roald Dahl’s stories, or are just beginning to enjoy them, this is a great companion book that will help you delve even deeper into Roald Dahl’s worlds!

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  1. Big Machines: The Story of Virginia Lee Burton - In this loving tribute to Virginia Lee Burton, the <i>New York Times </i>best-selling creators Sherri Duskey Rinker and John Rocco pay homage to the storied life of one of the most beloved creators in children’s literature. Everyone in Folly Cove knows Virginia Lee as “Jinnee.” With her magical wands she can draw whatever she imagines, but for her sons Aris and Michael, she draws the most wonderful characters of all: BIG MACHINES with friendly names like Mary Anne, Maybelle, and Katy. Her marvelous magical wands can make anything move–even a cheerful Little House. <br>

  2. Dear Hank Williams - It’s 1948 in Rippling Creek, Louisiana, and Tate P. Ellerbee’s new teacher has just given her class an assignment—learning the art of letter-writing. Luckily, Tate has the perfect pen pal in mind: Hank Williams, a country music singer whose star has just begun to rise. Tate and her great-aunt and -uncle listen to him on the radio every Saturday night, and Tate just knows that she and Hank are kindred spirits. Told entirely through Tate’s hopeful letters, this beautifully drawn novel from National Book Award–winning author Kimberly Willis Holt gradually unfolds a story of family love, overcoming tragedy, and an insightful girl learning to find her voice.

Books About Writing and Art

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Seeing Orange
Written by Sara Cassidy & illustrated by Amy Meissner
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Seven-year-old Leland has trouble writing, but he loves drawing. He so dislikes his teacher that he conjures up Delilah, an imaginary seeing-eye dog to help him into class each day. When a neighborhood painter recognizes Leland’s gifts as an artist, Leland grows more confident about the world as he uniquely sees it. And when his family’s cat goes missing, it is Leland’s keen observation skills that lead to finding him. Leland’s newfound confidence helps him both confront and sympathize with his teacher, who only wishes Leland could be a bit more focused.

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Mightier Than the Sword
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Wildly funny and inventive, this interactive book pulls you, the reader, into the action. Yes, YOU! You wake up in the fictional land of Astorya, where stories from our world come to life. You’re a real human being (we assume), and in this fictional world, that makes you a superhero. Armed with your trusty pencil you have the power to create: what you write, draw, or scribble in the book becomes part of the story! Only you can rescue Prince S. from the evil Queen Rulette. Aided by the Couriers–a French stoat with dangerous dance moves, a giant dung beetle, a fire ninja, a Pegasus-centaur-cowgirl and a super-intelligent femalien chameleon–you must write, draw, and puzzle your way through a hilarious adventure that is unique to every reader! And most importantly, you must prove that the pencil is mightier than the sword.

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Flights of Fancy
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In a beautiful anthology, ten children’s book greats share stories, poems, pictures, tips, and prompts meant to inspire young readers to create works of their own. Have you ever sparked the start of a story by playing a game of What if? Is there any value to all that doodling you do? What does being “a sponge” have to do with facing down a blank page? Did you know that pictures can sometimes inspire stories, rather than the other way around? From Quentin Blake’s drawings of fantastical vehicles to Michael Rosen’s inside look at his poetry, from Anthony Browne’s shape game (no need to be an artist to play) to Lauren Child’s look at her creative process, this anthology – whose contributors were all British Children’s Laureates – aims to encourage budding writers and artists to let their imaginations soar. The final spread is a collection of prompts from all the contributors, passing the creative torch to the next generation. With contributions by: Malorie Blackman Quentin Blake Anthony Browne Lauren Child Julia Donaldson Anne Fine Michael Morpurgo Chris Riddell Michael Rosen Jacqueline Wilson

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  1. The Case of the Missing Chalk Drawings - The chalks are drawing flowers on the chalkboard, but someone keeps stealing their artwork! Who could the thief be? Fortunately, Sergeant Blue is on the case and determined to solve the crime. It’s a fun and funny read-aloud mystery with a colorful cast of characters, from This book just ate my dog! author-illustrator Richard Byrne. Godwin Books

  2. Little Leonardo's Fascinating World of the Arts - “Little Leonardo’s Fascinating World of the Arts is a great way to encourage kids’ interests in all manner of artistic pursuits that they might aspire to. This volume introduces children to the many different types of creative fields in the arts including drawing and painting, music and dance, writing, design, architecture, and photography.”–Publisher’s description.

Want to see books about art?

Books About Writing and Social Themes

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An A from Miss Keller
Written & illustrated by Patricia Polacco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

How <i>did </i>Patricia Polacco become a writer? <p/>A perfect companion to the classic <i>Thank You, Mr. Falker</i>, <i>The Art of Miss Chew</i>, and <i>Mr. Wayne’s Masterpiece</i>, this book celebrates a teacher who inspired a young Patricia Polacco to become the writer and storyteller she is today. <p/>Trisha is nervous about being chosen for Miss Keller’s writing class. “Killer Keller” demands that her students dazzle her with their writing, and rumor has it that she has never given an A. The rumors turn out to be all too true–there’s just no pleasing Miss Keller. Then an unexpected loss leaves Trisha heartbroken. Thoughts of teachers and grades forgotten, she pours out her soul in a personal narrative. And when Miss Keller reads it, she tells Trisha, “You’ve given your words wings.”

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I Can Write the World
Written by Joshunda Sanders & illustrated by Charly Palmer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

“Lovely and timely. So glad Joshunda is telling our stories.” - Jacqueline Woodson

Eight-year-old Ava Murray wants to know why there’s a difference between the warm, friendly Bronx neighborhood filled with music and art in which she lives and the Bronx she sees in news stories on TV and on the Internet. When her mother explains that the power of stories lies in the hands of those who write them, Ava decides to become a journalist.

I Can Write the World follows Ava as she explores her vibrant South Bronx neighborhood - buildings whose walls boast gorgeous murals of historical figures as well as intricate, colorful street art, the dozens of different languages and dialects coming from the mouths of passersby, the many types of music coming out of neighbors’ windows and passing cars. In reporting how the music and art and culture of her neighborhood reflect the diversity of the people of New York City, Ava shows the world as she sees it, revealing to children the power of their own voice.

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Poetree
Written by Shauna Lavoy Reynolds & illustrated by Shahrzad Maydani
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A girl writes a poem to a tree, but then is surprised when the tree writes back in this wondrous and warm picture book about friendship, nature, and the power of poetry. The snow has melted, the buttercups are blooming, and Sylvia celebrates winter’s end by writing a poem. She ties her poem to a birch tree, hoping that it doesn’t count as littering if it makes the world more beautiful. But when she returns, a new poem is waiting for her. Could the tree really be writing back? Sylvia decides to test her theory, and so begins a heartwarming poetic correspondence…as well as an unexpected new friendship. Lyrical and sweetly satisfying, Poetree is about finding beauty in the world around you, and new friends in unlikely places.

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  1. A Blind Guide to Stinkville - Before Stinkville, Alice didn’t think albinism—or the blindness that goes with it—was a big deal. Sure, she uses a magnifier to read books. And a cane keeps her from bruising her hips on tables. Putting on sunscreen and always wearing a hat are just part of life. But life has always been like this for Alice. Until Stinkville. For the first time in her life, Alice feels different—like she’s at a disadvantage. Back in her old neighborhood in Seattle, everyone knew Alice, and Alice knew her way around. In Stinkville, Alice finds herself floundering—she can’t even get to the library on her own. But when her parents start looking into schools for the blind, Alice takes a stand. She’s going to show them—and herself—that blindness is just a part of who she is, not all that she can be. To prove it, Alice enters the Stinkville Success Stories essay contest. No one, not even her new friend Kerica, believes she can scout out her new town’s stories and write the essay by herself. The funny thing is, as Alice confronts her own blindness, everyone else seems to see her for the first time. This is a stirring small-town story that explores many different issues—albinism, blindness, depression, dyslexia, growing old, and more—with a light touch and lots of heart. Beth Vrabel’s characters are complicated and messy, but they come together in a story about the strength of community and friendship. Sky Pony Press, with our Good Books, Racehorse and Arcade imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of books for young readers—picture books for small children, chapter books, books for middle grade readers, and novels for young adults. Our list includes bestsellers for children who love to play Minecraft; stories told with LEGO bricks; books that teach lessons about tolerance, patience, and the environment, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

  2. Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson's Journal - An instant #1 USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and New York Times bestseller!

  3. 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.

Books About Writing and Culture

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The Night Diary
Written by Veera Hiranandani
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Shy twelve-year-old Nisha, forced to flee her home with her Hindu family during the 1947 partition of India, tries to find her voice and make sense of the world falling apart around her by writing to her deceased Muslim mother in the pages of her diary.

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Brave Jane Austen
Written by Lisa Pliscou & illustrated by Jen Corace
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

This picture book biography of the groundbreaking female novelist Jane Austen, recognized as one of the most important and influential writers of all time, is ideal for Women’s History Month. Full color.

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Emily of New Moon
Written by L.M. Montgomery
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-13
From the author of Anne of Green Gables, the first book of the beloved Emily trilogy--recently seen on Netflix's hit show Russian Doll!

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  1. Fly on the Wall - In Fly on the Wall, a moving and hilarious diary-style illustrated novel from the award-winning author of Pie in the Sky, a twelve-year-old boy goes on a (forbidden) solo adventure halfway around the world to prove his independence to his overprotective family.

    A Best Book of the Year for Kirkus, Booklist, Chicago Public Library, and School Library Journal! Henry Khoo's family treats him like a baby. He's not allowed to go anywhere without his sister/chaperone/bodyguard. And he definitely CAN'T take a journey halfway around the world all by himself! But that's exactly his plan. After his family's annual trip to visit his father in Singapore is cancelled, Henry decides he doesn't want to be cooped up at home with his overprotective family and BFF turned NRFF (Not Really Friend Forever). Plus, he's hiding a your-life-is-over-if-you're-caught secret: he's the creator of an anonymous gossip cartoon, and he's on the verge of getting caught. Determined to prove his independence and avoid punishment for his crimes, Henry embarks on the greatest adventure everrr. . . hoping it won't turn into the greatest disaster ever. Remy Lai takes readers on an adventure filled with humor, heart, and hijinks that's a sure bet for fans of Jerry Craft, Terri Libenson, and Shannon Hale! "Funny, enthralling, and a great reminder that being a little odd isn't a bad thing." --Kayla Miller, author of Click and Camp * Near-misses and laugh-out-loud moments abound, which will endear it to readers who like 'Big Nate' and 'Wimpy Kid.' --School Library Journal, starred review

  2. Ayobami and the Names of the Animals - Winner at The 2018 New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children’s Books Ayobami is an African girl who dreams of going to school. After war comes to an end, she can finally return to the schoolhouse. But in order to do so, she has to take a dangerous path through the jungle. Armed only with a piece of paper and a worn-out pencil, she embarks on a hazardous journey to fulfil her unweaving desire to learn and write. This is a tale about the importance of education, the difficulties that many children have to overcome to go to school, and the perseverance and enthusiasm of those who want to learn.

  3. Project Mulberry - Julia Song and her friend Patrick would love to win a blue ribbon, maybe even two, at the state fair. They’ve always done projects together, and they work well as a team. This time, though, they’re having trouble coming up with just the right project. Then Julia’s mother offers a suggestion: They can raise silkworms, as she did when she was a girl in Korea. <p/> Patrick thinks it’s a great idea. Of course there are obstacles–for example, where will they get mulberry leaves, the only thing silkworms eat?–but nothing they can’t handle. <p/> Julia isn’t so sure. The club where kids do their projects is all about traditional American stuff, and raising silkworms just doesn’t fit in. Moreover, the author, Ms. Park, seems determined to make Julia’s life as complicated as possible, no matter how hard Julia tries to talk her out of it. <p/> In this contemporary novel, Linda Sue Park delivers a funny, lively story that illuminates both the process of writing a novel and the meaning of growing up American.

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Books About Writing and School

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Stella Endicott and the Anything-Is-Possible Poem
Written by Kate DiCamillo & illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9
Metaphor alert! An ode to a certain pig kicks off one wild school day in Kate DiCamillo's latest stop on Deckawoo Drive.
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The Disastrous Magical Wishes of Classroom 13
Written by Honest Lee and Matthew J Gilbert & illustrated by Joelle Dreidemy
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

When unlucky teacher Ms. Linda LaCrosse finds a magic lamp, she releases a genie–um, I mean, a Djinn–who agrees to grant each of her students ONE WISH! You might think this was fantastic, but it was not. It was a frightful idea! With magic wishes come hungry dinosaurs, stinky pizza, photographing paparazzi, and other huge mistakes. As the students of Classroom 13 are about to learn, you should be careful what you wish for. What would YOU do with one magic wish? The final chapter of each book encourages young readers to write their OWN chapter and send it in to the author, Honest Lee! The Dangerous Djinn Wishes of Classroom 13 is the second title in a new chapter book series of hilarious stories about a very unlucky classroom. Each story is full of humor, action, and fun that will prompt hours of conversation among friends, families, and classrooms. © 2017 by Hachette Book Group, Inc.

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Sahara Special
Written by Esmé Raji Codell
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Sahara Jones is going into fifth grade-again. Although she won’t be “Sahara Special” anymore (special needs, that is), she doesn’t expect this year to be any better than last year. Fifth grade is going to be different, though, because Sahara’s class is getting a new teacher: Miss Pointy. From her eggplant-colored lipstick to the strange subjects she teaches, like “Puzzling” and “Time Travel,” she is like no other teacher Sahara has ever known. With Miss Pointy’s help, Sahara just might find a way to redefine special for herself.<br>The latest chapter in her book unfolds when her mother insists that she be taken out of special Ed. So Sahara is facing fifth grade in the regular classroom, again. But why even try to do the work, Sahara wonders, if everything just winds up in the counselor’s file?<br>Enter Miss Pointy, the new fifth-grade teacher. With her eggplant-colored lipstick, and strange subjects such as “Puzzling” and “Time Travel,” she’s like no other teacher Sahara has ever known. Through Miss Pointy’s unusual teaching, storytelling, and quiet support, Sahara finds the courage to overcome her fears and prove which file shows her true self.

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  1. A Poem in Your Pocket - Usher in National Poetry Month with Mr. Tiffin and his students, stars of the hugely popular <i>How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?</i> and <i>The Apple Orchard Riddle</i>. <p/>Once again, Margaret McNamara sets her playful, child-friendly story in the classroom, and this time, poetry–from metaphors to acrostics to haiku–is the name of the game. The focus here is on Elinor, whose confidence falters as she tries to write something perfect for Poem in Your Pocket Day and impress a visiting poet. G. Brian Karas’s accessible, adorable illustrations add to the fun. <p/>Includes a list of Mr. Tiffin’s tips for celebrating Poem in Your Pocket Day. <p/>A nimble introduction to poetry as well as a sensitive look at the perils of perfectionism. –<i>The New York Times</i> <p/>Pair this book with the works of Shel Silverstein, Paul B. Janeczko, Jack Prelutsky, Douglas Florian, or Robert Louis Stevenson. –<i>School Library Journal</i>, Starred

  2. Yoko Writes Her Name - Yoko is so excited for the first day of school. She’s just learned to write her name. But when Mrs. Jenkins asks Yoko to show everyone, Olive and Sylvia make fun of her Japanese writing. “Yoko can’t write. She’s only scribbling!” The teasing continues as Yoko shares her favorite book at show and tell, and reads it back to front. That evening, Yoko declares that she can’t go back to school. “How can I when my reading and writing are a failure?” she asks. Luckily a little wisdom from her Mama, a little cooperation from Mrs. Jenkins, and a lot of enthusiasm from her classmates teach Yoko the most important lesson of the year: that friendship can bridge cultural differences. Not only does Yoko learn to read and write in English and graduate Kindergarten with her classmates, but everyone’s name appears in two languages on their diploma—even Olive’s and Sylvia’s!

  3. Top Secret Author Visit - Excited by the idea that authors actually get paid real money for writing books, Molly Mac is determined to get the author visiting her class to reveal the secret to his success, even going so far as to build a special mind-controlling hat to steal the secret if necessary–but she is discouraged by what he tells the class.

  4. Muggie Maggie - In this humorous and relatable novel from Newbery Medal-winning author Beverly Cleary, a girl must overcome her rebellious attitude toward learning cursive. At first, Maggie is just feeling plain stubborn when she declares she won’t learn cursive. What’s wrong with print, anyway? And she can easily type on a computer, so why would she need to know how to read those squiggly lines? But soon all her classmates are buzzing about Maggie’s refusal to learn, especially after her teacher, Mrs. Leeper, says Maggie’s cursive is so sloppy that her name looks like “Muggie.” With “Muggie Maggie” ringing in her ears, Maggie absolutely, positively won’t back down…until she’s appointed class mail messenger. All the letters that Mrs. Leeper sends to the office are in cursive, and Maggie thinks they are written about her. But there’s only way to know for sure…so what’s Maggie going to do? For generations, Beverly Cleary has captivated readers of all ages with beloved characters such as Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, Ribsy, and Ralph S. Mouse. Muggie Maggie follows suit with what School Library Journal calls “a likable, funny heroine whom readers will want to know.”

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Books About Writing and Animals

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Rocket Writes a Story
Written & illustrated by Tad Hills
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
The #1 New York Times Bestseller
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See You in the Cosmos
Written by Jack Cheng
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

11-year-old Alex Petroski loves space and rockets, his mom, his brother, and his dog Carl Sagan—named for his hero, the real-life astronomer. All he wants is to launch his golden iPod into space the way Carl Sagan (the man, not the dog) launched his Golden Record on the Voyager spacecraft in 1977. From Colorado to New Mexico, Las Vegas to L.A., Alex records a journey on his iPod to show other lifeforms what life on earth, his earth, is like. But his destination keeps changing. And the funny, lost, remarkable people he meets along the way can only partially prepare him for the secrets he’ll uncover—from the truth about his long-dead dad to the fact that, for a kid with a troubled mom and a mostly not-around brother, he has way more family than he ever knew.

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Do Not Open this Book!
Written by Michaela Muntean & illustrated by Pascal Lemaitre
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

As Pig tries to write a book, he chastises the reader who keeps interrupting him by turning the pages.

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  1. Lost for Words - Tapir wants to express himself, but he can’t find the words! Tapir and his friends all have nice new notebooks, just waiting to be filled. Giraffe decides to write a poem, Hippo writes a story, and Flamingo composes a beautiful song. But poor Tapir can’t think of anything to write ―and the harder he tries the more upset he becomes! But everything starts to change when Tapir stops trying to write and begins to draw. This gentle story from author and illustrator Natalie Russell will inspire even the littlest artists to find their creative spark.

  2. Beginning, a Muddle, and an End: The Right Way to Write Writing - Avon the snail and Edward the ant are back for another funny–and philosophical–adventure. This time, Avon has decided he wants to be a writer, only to discover that writing is way more difficult than he ever imagined. He finally gets the word <i>Something</i> written down, but there’s a problem: What to write next? Luckily, his friend Edward is there to advise.</p> </p>Brimming with wit, wisdom, and humor, this warm and winning tale of two friends on a quest will be enjoyed by readers (and writers) of all ages. </p>

  3. No Boring Stories! - A group of misfits takes a stand against sweet, cuddly, boring stories in this picture book by the critically acclaimed author of the Snappsy the Alligator series, Julie Falatko. The unpopular animals have had enough. They want to be in a picture book! Stories about mommy-loving kitties and cuddly bunnies at bedtime are boring. Wouldn’t you rather hear about yeti crabs in robo suits and fierce babirusa princesses who fight giant grape monsters?! This group of misfits has a unique story to tell, but they’ll never finish writing it if their over-eager bunny neighbor won’t GO AWAY! Julie Falatko, critically acclaimed author of the Snappsy the Alligator books, brings her signature humor to this stand-alone picture book about finding your tribe and writing the stories you want to see, no matter how weird or wild they are!

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Epilogue

12 books that are just too good to leave off of our writing list.
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  1. The Night Before Christmas - In her fresh imagining of Clement C. Moore’s timeless classic, acclaimed watercolorist Holly Hobbie introduces an entirely new character to capture the magic and heighten the wonder of this exciting, mysterious time. Her inimitable illustrations glow with warmth and feeling and will transport you to a place where anything can happen.

  2. The Night Before Christmas - The original tale of The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore is now accompanied by enchanting illustrations from Antonio Caparo in this festive holiday picture book. ’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse… Since it was first published nearly 200 years ago “The Night Before Christmas” has enchanted readers young and old with the story of St. Nicholas landing on a snowy roof, climbing down the chimney, and filling all the stockings with gifts before riding off in his sleigh, wishing “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!” This classic poem is now accompanied by stunning, richly detailed illustrations from Antonio Caparo, illustrator of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Rudolph Shines Again. This beautiful picture book is the perfect Christmas gift.

  3. Chicken Lily - Chicken Lily may be a lot of things—a careful colorer, a patient puzzler, and a quiet hide-and-seeker (she never made a peep!)—but brave has never been one of them. That’s why, when a school-wide poetry jam is announced in class, Lily is terrified. Will she sound like a bird brain? Although Lily’s friends Baabette and Pigsley try to encourage her, Lily feels like a rotten egg. Finally, Lily realizes that she must put her best claw forward and prove that even chickens aren’t chicken all the time.

  4. Hurry Up!: A Book About Slowing Down - A busy boy and his dog learn to slow down and enjoy life together in this lyrical, rhyming picture book perfect for hurried families everywhere. For one busy boy, life is all hurry up, hurry down, hurry round and round and round! That is until he takes a big breath…and a big break…and slows down to see all the wonderful things in the world around him. From celebrated picture book creators Kate Dopirak and Christopher Silas Neal, this playful yet powerful picture book reminds us to be present, to be mindful, and to appreciate each moment.

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  1. Brown Girl Dreaming - In vivid poems that reflect the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, an award-winning author shares what it was like to grow up in the 1960s and 1970s in both the North and the South.

  2. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood - For the first time ever, 75 beloved songs from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and The Children’s Corner are collected in this charmingly illustrated treasury, sure to be cherished by generations of children as well as the millions of adults who grew up with Mister Rogers. It’s you I like. It’s not the things you wear, It’s not the way you do your hair– But it’s you I like. From funny to sweet, silly to sincere, the lyrics of Mister Rogers explore such universal topics as feelings, new siblings, everyday life, imagination, and more. Through these songs–as well as endearing puppets and honest conversations–Mister Rogers instilled in his young viewers the values of kindness, self-awareness, and self-esteem. But most of all, he taught children that they are loved, just as they are. Perfect for bedtime, sing-along, or quiet time alone, this beautiful book of meaningful poetry is for every child–including the child inside of every one of us.

  3. We're Going on a Bear Hunt - Now the very youngest readers can join in the fun with this Classic Board Book™ edition of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. Full of delightful comedy and high drama, this tale of a brave family’s joyous romp through sweeping landscapes is sure to win new fans.

  4. The Undefeated - The Newbery Award-winning author of THE CROSSOVER pens an ode to black American triumph and tribulation, with art from a two-time Caldecott Honoree. Originally performed for ESPN’s The Undefeated, this poem is a love letter to black life in the United States. It highlights the unspeakable trauma of slavery, the faith and fire of the civil rights movement, and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world’s greatest heroes. The text is also peppered with references to the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and others, offering deeper insights into the accomplishments of the past, while bringing stark attention to the endurance and spirit of those surviving and thriving in the present. Robust back matter at the end provides valuable historical context and additional detail for those wishing to learn more.

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  1. 16 Words: William Carlos Williams and "The Red Wheelbarrow" - This simple nonfiction picture book about the beloved American poet William Carlos Williams is also about how being mindful can result in the creation of a great poem like “The Red Wheelbarrow”–which is only sixteen words long. “Look out the window. What do you see? If you are Dr. William Carlos Williams, you see a wheelbarrow. A drizzle of rain. Chickens scratching in the damp earth.” The wheelbarrow belongs to Thaddeus Marshall, a street vendor, who every day goes to work selling vegetables on the streets of Rutherford, New Jersey. That simple action inspires poet and doctor Williams to pick up some of his own tools–a pen and paper–and write his most famous poem. In this lovely picture book, young listeners will see how paying attention to the simplest everyday things can inspire the greatest art, as they learn about a great American poet.

  2. The Proper Way to Meet a Hedgehog and Other How-To Poems - Be they practical (how to mix a pancake or how to bird-watch) or fanciful (how to scare monsters or how to be a snowflake), the poems in this book boast a flair and joy that you won’t find in any instruction manual. Poets from Kwame Alexander to Pat Mora to Allan Wolf share the way to play hard, to love nature, and to be grateful. Soft, evocative illustrations will encourage readers to look at the world with an eye to its countless possibilities.

  3. Follow Follow - Once upon a time, Mirror Mirror, a brilliant book of fairy tale themed reversos–a poetic form in which the poem is presented forward and then backward–became a smashing success. Now a second book is here with more witty double takes on well-loved fairy tales such as Thumbelina and The Little Mermaid. Read these clever poems from top to bottom and they mean one thing. Then reverse the lines and read from bottom to top and they mean something else–it is almost like magic! A celebration of sight, sound, and story, this book is a marvel to read again and again.

  4. Tomie's Little Mother Goose - This board book of classic nursery rhymes introduces children to the magic of Mother Goose! Heartwarming illustrations and over 24 traditional rhymes and verses – taken from the classic versions – will delight babies, toddlers, and parents alike. This charming board book lovingly brings to life Little Miss Muffett, Humpty Dumpty, Mary, Mary Quite Contrary, and Little Boy Blue, as well as a host of other favorites for children to laugh with and treasure. This Mother Goose collection is the perfect addition to any family’s library.

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