Paper Gains
The Hundred Dresses

The Hundred Dresses

$5.99$1.99Audiobook: 2.99 (Whispersync)

Wanda Petronski is a Polish girl in a Connecticut school whose classmates make fun of her for wearing the same old dress every day. Wanda defends herself by saying she has a hundred dresses at home, but nobody believes her. When Wanda moves away, her classmates feel terrible--but it’s too late to make things right, even though they now know the truth behind Wanda’s claim. A poignant, beautiful book. Age 6 and up.

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American Girl historical series

American Girl historical series

I have mixed feelings about these books, but there’s no denying they’re a hit with grade schoolers: my own daughter learned to read independently because she desperately wanted to finish the Felicity series on her own. We’ve banned the American Girl Today series at my house, but have burned through the six-book series for more than a dozen spunky historical characters, each set in a different time and place.

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Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Alexander goes to sleep with gum in his mouth and wakes up with gum in his hair and when he gets out of bed he trips on his skateboard and it just gets worse from there. This so-bad- it’s-good description of Alexander’s horrible day helps kids understand that everybody has bad days...even in Australia. Age 4 and up.

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Mike Mulligan and More

Mike Mulligan and More

This volume collects the favorites Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, The Little House, Katy and the Big Snow, and Maybelle the Cable Car. Burton’s stories are thoughtfully told, appealing to all ages, and beautifully illustrated. Age 4 and up

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Frog and Toad Are Friends

Frog and Toad Are Friends

The 4 Frog and Toad books provide charming tales of friendship--with a hefty dose of “silly” mixed in. The journey begins with Frog and Toad Are Friends, which includes the stories “Spring,” “The Story,” “A Lost Button,” “The Letter,” and my personal favorite, “A Swim.” Wise enough for an adult to appreciate; simple enough for a child. Age 3 and up.

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Where the Wild Things Are

Where the Wild Things Are

In this classic story, Max dons his wolf suit to make mischief--and ends up being sent to bed without supper. While stuck in his room, he sets out on an imaginative journey to the land of the Wild Things, where they make him King. He rules over the Wild Rumpus, but then returns home to his very own room, where his dinner is waiting for him--and it’s still warm. Age 4 and up.

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Goodnight Moon

Goodnight Moon

This classic bedtime story walks the reader through a young child’s bedtime ritual, as he says good night to everything around: “Goodnight room. Goodnight moon. Goodnight cow jumping over the moon. Goodnight light, and the red balloon...” Parents everywhere have this story memorized, for good reason. For the youngest child.

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My Father’s Dragon

My Father’s Dragon

In this charming book, Elmer Elevator runs away with an alley cat to Wild Island to rescue a baby dragon, which he’s able to do with the help of a pink lollipop, a hairbow, and chewing gum. This is the first book in a trilogy; the whole set is collected in Three Tales of My Father’s Dragon. Plenty of action, but nothing scary--perfect for young readers (as young as 4 or 5).

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

This whimsical story begins, “One Sunday morning the warm sun came up and--pop!--out of the egg came a tiny and very hungry caterpillar.” This charming book is full of the repetitions kids love--and Carle’s iconic collage illustrations of the hungry caterpillar and the beautiful butterfly be becomes. For the youngest child.

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The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree

A touching story of a young boy and his favorite tree. Over the years, the tree gives the boy what he wants--and as the boy gets older, he wants more and more from the tree, until the tree has nothing left to give. Well, almost nothing. Age 3 and up.

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The Wind in the Willows

The Wind in the Willows

$8.99$3.42Audiobook: 7.49 (Audible)

A. A. Milne said that while the merits of most books are debatable, "one does not argue about The Wind in the Willows." This is the story of four stubbornly loyal friends: river-loving Mole and Ratty, infuriating (but lovable) Toad, and wise Badger. A tale of friendship, loyalty and mapcap adventures. Exuberant, joyful, and full of fresh air.

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A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time

L’Engle begins her groundbreaking science fiction/fantasy work with the famous opening line “It was a dark and stormy night,” and plunges you headlong into the world of the Murray family, who must travel through time to save the universe. I wanted to be Meg, of course. Wrinkle is the first—and most famous—of the Time Quintet, but I read them all, again and again.

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Amazing Places

Amazing Places

Chapters in this beautiful volume include Fantastic Features (the Matterhorn, the Dead Sea, the Grand Canyon), Exciting Events (twenty-four hour daylight, rivers of ice, hot geysers), Ancient Wonders (Stonehenge, the Colosseum, the Pyramids at Giza), and Spectacular Cities (Venice, Jerusalem, Sydney). The book also covers the various habitat of the world, people and places, astonishing structures, incredible technology. An eye-catching and awe-inspiring introduction for children. Age 6 and up.

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Five Children and It

Five Children and It

“It” is a Psammead--a sand fairy (and a cranky and irritable one at that) that must grant one wish a day to the children who found her. They soon learn to be careful what they wish for. J.K. Rowling has called E. Nesbit her favorite author and inspiration, and young Harry Potter fans may be interested in reading Nesbit for themselves. Age 9 and up.

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The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

These stories of epic quest and good vs. evil are part myth, part fairy tale. These books are wonderful, touching, and timeless. In the words of C.S. Lewis: “Here are beauties which pierce like swords or burn like cold iron. Here is a book that will break your heart.” Age 7 and up (The Hobbit). Age 10 and up (LOTR).

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The Ultimate Lego Book

The Ultimate Lego Book

Young (and old) Lego lovers will spend hours and hours pouring over this book dedicated to all things Lego: their history, how they’re made, the master builders, the LegoLand parks, and of course, the limitless building possibilities of Lego bricks. The city scenes--of Washington DC, San Francisco, New York City, and New Orleans at Mardi Gras--are favorites. Out of print, but easy to find used copies. Age 5 and up.

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The Double-Daring Book for Girls

The Double-Daring Book for Girls

This follow-up to The Daring Book for Girls is better than the first installment. Of course notable women are covered, but the book shines for its unique and varied “how to” sections: like how to run away and join the circus, conduct a Japanese tea ceremony, or start a mother-daughter book club. Instructions for more prosaic activities like playing the harmonica, tossing horseshoes, and stargazing are also included. Age 8 and up.

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The Dangerous Book for Boys

The Dangerous Book for Boys

This book begins, “In this age of video games and cell phones, there must be a place for knots, tree houses, and stories of incredible courage.” And here it is: this book covers famous battles and the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World; stories of the Wright Brothers and Robert the Bruce; how to wrap a package in brown paper and string, identify common trees, and discern the U.S. Naval flag codes. A great addition to every boy’s bookshelf (though there’s little in here that won’t interest girls as well). Age 6 and up.

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A Child’s Garden of Verses

A Child’s Garden of Verses

It’s hard to believe this collection was first printed in 1885. This collection includes classics such as “My Shadow” and “The Swing,” and is complete with Tasha Tudor’s wonderful illustrations. Age 4 and up.

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Brick City

Brick City

This new release includes instructions for the basics of LEGO architecture, plus detailed instructions for building landmarks such as the Roman Colosseum, the Arc de Triomphe, and Buckingham Palace. Young LEGO addicts will keep coming back to this wonderful introduction to architecture. (8-18)

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D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths

D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths

The best book of Greek mythology, hands down. This oversized book is an excellent introduction for anyone new to the Greek myths, regardless of age. All the essential stories are here, such as Gaea and the Titans, Apollo and Artemis, Sisyphus and Heracles. The storytelling is first rate (and some details have been tamed for the younger set), and the detailed, vivid illustrations--beginning with the family tree on page 1--are the perfect accompaniment. (8-18; 10-18)

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Where’s Waldo?

Where’s Waldo?

Waldo and his iconic red-and-white stripes make their debut in this seek-and-find book. Find Waldo on every page, as well as a whole slew of crazy items on the checklists for each page found at the end of the book. The oversized pictures are rich in detail and humor--and might be just a little bit addictive. Age 5 and up.

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A Child’s Book of Poems

A Child’s Book of Poems

This wonderful hardcover contains classics from William Blake, Robert Browning, Samuel Coleridge Taylor, Kate Greenaway, William Wordsworth, Emily Dickinson, and more. This beautifully illustrated book makes poetry accessible and fun for young people--and their parents. Age 3 and up.

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Ramona the Pest

Ramona the Pest

The prolific Cleary wrote simple (and funny) stories that kids love to read. Her characters ring true because Cleary based them on her real-life friends and actual neighbors on Klickitat Street in Portland, a street just a few blocks away from her childhood home. Ramona is her best-loved character: I read every book about her, many times. Ramona the Pest is a wonderful place to start: 5-year-old Ramona heads off to kindergarten, where she learns that kindergarten—and life—are full of misunderstandings.

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Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte’s Web

$17.103.95 (AUDIBLE ONLY)

A magical story of a young girl named Fern, her runt pig Wilbur, and Charlotte, the spider who saves his life. The prose is beautiful: White didn’t co-write The Elements of Style for nothing. The book’s farm setting will appeal to many kids, but it’s about so much more than that: love and loss, treachery and bravery, the seasons of life and the passing of time--and one of the best books on friendship ever written.

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Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins

When the East Wind blows Mary Poppins to 17 Cherry Tree Lane to care for the Banks children, nothing will ever be the same. You may be surprised at how little the original resembles the Disney version. This Mary Poppins is acid-tongued, uncompromising, and vain--but Jane and Michael Banks (and their younger siblings who didn’t appear in the movie) adore her. Each chapter brings a new adventure for the magical nanny and her young charges: tea parties on the ceiling, Christmas shopping with stars, dancing cows and talking birds.

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Peter Pan

Peter Pan

“All children, except one, grow up,” begins this classic--and that one is Peter Pan. Adults who only know the Disney version will be surprised at what they find here, this version is both more charming and darker than Disney’s. A really excellent book on the sentence level. Appeals to the adventurous: pirates and mermaids, fairies and wild boys.

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The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden

A spoiled, loveless orphan and a coddled, cantankerous invalid bring a forgotten garden—and each other—to life again in this childhood classic. The themes of rebirth and renewal—and the literal spring that blooms before their eyes in their secret garden—make spring the perfect time to revisit this book, or read it for the first time, as I just did.

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Mrs Piggle-Wiggle books

Mrs Piggle-Wiggle books

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle lives in an upside-down house and smells like cookies. She has the longest hair you’ve ever seen and was once married to a pirate. Children love her because she understands them. Their parents love her because she knows how to cure any childhood ailment, and they flock to her for solutions like the Answer-Backer Cure, the Won’t Pick Up Toys Cure, and the Never-Want-To-Go-To- Bedders Cure. (There are 5 Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books.) Age 7 and up

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You Can’t Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum

You Can’t Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum

A young girl and her grandmother go to visit the Met, but balloons aren’t allowed inside. The girl’s yellow balloon is tied to the railing outside, but it comes loose--and a hilarious adventure ensues. The outrageous story is told entirely in pictures done by Robin Glasser, who illustrates the Fancy Nancy books. Age 5 and up.

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