Paper Gains
Ten Apples Up On Top

Ten Apples Up On Top

This is the story of an apple-balancing contest between three rollerskating friends: a lion, a tiger, and a dog. They all compete to see who can get ten apples on their head first. This is a fun rhyming and counting book, in unforgettable Dr. Seuss style: “Seven apples up on top. I am so good they will not drop.” Age 2 and up.

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Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business

Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business

This simple story of a peddler and the band of mischievous monkeys who steal his caps while he’s napping has been cracking kids up for over sixty years. The book is based on an old folk tale, and has a lyrical quality that makes it a great choice for reading out loud. Many parents fear this tale is too “old-fashioned” for their kids’ tastes, but don’t worry: this one’s destined to become a favorite.

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Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type

Farmer Brown has a problem. His cows like to type. All day long he hears click, clack, moo. Click, clack, moo. Clickety, clack, moo. But Farmer Brown soon finds himself in a predicament when his cows start typing up demands. This Caldecott Honor book’s ridiculous premise will capture young readers right off the bat, and the typewriter taps and animal noises make this a delightful read aloud.

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Officer Buckle & Gloria

Officer Buckle & Gloria

This charming book is a modern classic and Caldecott winner. The children at Napville School are always falling asleep during Officer Buckle’s safety talks, until Officer Buckle gets a buddy in the form of a police dog named Gloria. Age 4 and up.

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There’s No Such Thing as a Dragon

There’s No Such Thing as a Dragon

Billy Bixbee awakes one morning to find a dragon sitting on his bed. It’s a small dragon, about the size of a kitten. When Billy tells his mother what’s happened, she says “there’s no such thing as a dragon,” and the dragon continues to grow bigger and bigger so that someone will take notice of him. Age 4 and up.

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Deconstructing Penguins: Parents, Kids, and the Bond of Reading

Deconstructing Penguins: Parents, Kids, and the Bond of Reading

This easy and enjoyable read will equip parents to discuss kid lit with their young readers. When it comes to kids and books, the authors believe that every book is, essentially, a mystery: books are puzzles to solve, and we can learn to ask the right questions to figure them out. You’ll learn what those questions are and how to use them to talk about reading. Warning: this book will make you want to join a parent-child reading group.

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Baby Classics

Baby Classics

Bookish parents will swoon over these two baby-friendly takes on the classics. The BabyLit books are simple primers, including topics such as counting (Pride and Prejudice), colors (Alice in Wonderland), and weather (Wuthering Heights).

The Cozy Classics series (my favorite) present the classics through twelve child-friendly words and twelve needle-felted illustrations that manage--despite their brevity, and to my amazement--to capture the story in 24 pages. Four titles are already available; Jane Eyre, Oliver Twist, and Emma are set to release in time for Christmas.

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The Read-Aloud Handbook

The Read-Aloud Handbook

Don’t be fooled by the title: this book tells you not just how to read aloud to your children, but why, and why it’s important for you to be reading, too. Packed with tips, strategies, and over a hundred great titles, this is a book you’ll pull off the shelf whenever you’re in need of a pep talk or some new book suggestions.

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How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World

A young girl doesn’t have the ingredients at home to make an apple pie, so she embarks on a whirlwind tour around the world to gather her (rather common) ingredients. She gets wheat from Italy, and sugar-cane from Jamaica. A fancy French hen delivers the needed egg, the milk comes from a British cow, and the cinnamon comes all the way from Sri Lanka! Age 5 and up.

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The Day the Crayons Quit

The Day the Crayons Quit

“One day in class, Duncan went to take out his crayons and found a stack of letters with his name on them.” Duncan’s crayons write him a series of letters to plead their cases for better treatment, and the result is beautiful--and hilarious. All my kids, ages 3 to 10, love to hear this one read aloud. They die laughing at the peach crayon every time. Just read it--you’ll see what I mean.

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Let’s Make Rabbits

Let’s Make Rabbits

“Good morning,” said the scissors to the pencil. “What shall we do today?” “Let’s make rabbits,” said the pencil. And so the pencil drew a rabbit, the scissors made one out of scraps of paper, and what happens next will surprise you. This is a great book, although let’s be honest: adults will think the ending’s kind of dumb. Read it anyway.

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The Little Prince

The Little Prince

When a pilot crash-lands his plane in the Sahara, he meets a charming young prince who’s fallen to earth from his tiny home planet, Asteroid B-612. This timeless tale is whimsical and wise, with just the right amount of absurdity. The watercolor illustrations spring to life in this gorgeous pop-up edition.

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Every-Day Dress-Up

Every-Day Dress-Up

“I used to only play princess until Mommy showed me pictures and told me stories of real, great women....” Instead of the usual, this little girl dresses up as some of history’s great women: from aviator Amelia Earhart to jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald, scientist Marie Curie to Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor, there’s something--and someone--in these pages to capture every young girl’s imagination.

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The Chronicles of Narnia

The Chronicles of Narnia

In this classic series, 4 british children discover that a wardrobe in their London home opens into a magical world called Narnia, where animals talk, magic is real, and the evil White Witch duels the fierce lion Aslan. The Narnia books are loved by young and old alike. Age 7 and up. Older C. S. Lewis fans should check out his Space Trilogy, which is better suited for older teens and adults.

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The Phantom Tollbooth

The Phantom Tollbooth

I probably wasn't old enough to appreciate this instant classic when I first read it as a child, but that didn't stop me. (Thank goodness.) 10-year-old Milo comes home from school one day to find a tollbooth sitting in his bedroom. Since he doesn’t have anything better to do, he pays the toll and drives through–and embarks on a strange journey into a fanciful world where he encounters all sorts of strange characters. A satisfying and delightfully nerdy book that will engage both kids and adults, albeit on different levels.

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Holes

Holes

This is such a fun story, no matter your age. Stanley Yelnats is a boy with a history of bad luck–all brought on by his "no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather." Yelnats ends up at Camp Green Lake—a juvenile detention center, where there is no lake--and has to dig a giant hole every day in the hot sun. The boys soon discover there may be more to this hole-digging business than punishment. Age 8 and up.

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The Search for Delicious

The Search for Delicious

From the author of Tuck Everlasting. Twelve-year-old Gaylen sets off to poll the kingdom about which food should stand for “delicious” in the new dictionary, but his simple quest soon reveals civil war is brewing. This is a sweet tale of a boy, his father-figure, a mermaid, and a dictionary, full of magic and mystery. Age 8 and up.

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The Wednesday Wars

The Wednesday Wars

This wonderful work of historical fiction revolves around middle school drama, baseball, and the Vietnam War. You may enjoy sharing this one with the kid in your life (if they’re 10 or so or older). Fans of E. L. Konigsburg will love this funny and poignant book.

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The Kid from Tomkinsville

The Kid from Tomkinsville

In this classic sports story, teenager Roy Tucker is called up from his Connecticut hometown to help the Brooklyn Dodgers out of a slump. A baseball story for the ages (and thought to be an influence on Bernard Malamud’s The Natural).

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Emily of New Moon/Emily Climbs/Emily’s Quest

Emily of New Moon/Emily Climbs/Emily’s Quest

When Emily Starr’s beloved father dies, she’s sent to live with her distant relatives at New Moon, where she isn’t loved and doesn’t belong. But Emily slowly finds friends in Ilse, Teddy, and Perry, and begins to feel that maybe she can love New Moon after all. Emily of New Moon is a wonderful book for any budding writer (age 7 and up). Emily Climbs and Emily’s Quest deal with more mature themes of love and marriage (age 9 and up).

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Anne Of Green Gables Series

Anne Of Green Gables Series

Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert of Prince Edward Island, Canada decide to adopt an orphaned boy to help them on their farm. Their messenger mistakenly delivers a girl to Green Gables instead—an 11-year-old feisty redhead named Anne Shirley. The series follows Anne from her childhood at Green Gables until she is a mother herself; the later books are about her children’s adventures more than they are about Anne. Age 9 and up.

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The Ramona Collection

The Ramona Collection

Ramona Quimby is a rambunctious, imaginative girl who is constantly getting herself into trouble. (The second book of the series is--for good reason--entitled Ramona the Pest.) Ramona’s misadventures frequently embarrass her big sister Beezus and her friend Henry Huggins, but the characters remain convincing, warm, and loyal. (Ramona makes appearances in several of the Henry Huggins books. The audio recordings of these books--done by Neil Patrick Harris--are excellent. Stockard Channing does the audio for the Ramona books, and the audio versions aren’t quite as lovable.) 8 books in all. Age 6 and up.

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The Boxcar Children Series

The Boxcar Children Series

Warren was a first grade teacher who was frustrated that she couldn’t find good books for her young students that were easy enough for them to read. She began writing The Boxcar Children books to fill the gap, and countless children have fallen in love with reading because of these stories of 4 orphans who make their home in an old railway car. (Stick to the first 17, written by Warren herself. Subsequent books written by different authors will bear the words “created by Gertrude C. Warren” on the cover.) Age 5 and up.

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Betsy-Tacy

Betsy-Tacy

$6.99$1.99Audiobook: 7.49 (Whispersync)

This series follows the journey of Betsy Ray and her best friend, Tacy, from the time they are 5 years old. The first book, Betsy-Tacy, begins with the line, "It was difficult, later, to think of a time when Betsy and Tacy had not been friends." A sweet series that celebrates friendship and the wonders of childhood. 10 books in all. Age 5 and up.

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The Shoe Books

The Shoe Books

These charming books were discovered by a new generation of readers when Kathleen Kelly (played by Meg Ryan) recommended them to a Fox Books patron in Nora Ephron’s 1998 movie You’ve Got Mail: “I'd start with Ballet Shoes, it's my favorite; although Skating Shoes is completely wonderful.” There are 11 shoe books in all. Age 7 and up.

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The Little House Collection

The Little House Collection

These 9 books tell the story of Laura Ingalls’ childhood and coming of age on the American frontier. Follow the Ingalls family as they move from the Big Woods of Wisconsin to the Kansas prairie, from a creekside dugout in Minnesota to the shores of Silver Lake, South Dakota. Destined to be read over and over again. (The audio cds by Cherry Jones are completely wonderful.) Age 6 and up.

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Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Mr. Popper is a mild-mannered house painter who spends all his spare time reading about Admiral Drake and his expeditions to the Antarctic, and dreams of being an explorer himself. Mr. Popper writes the Admiral a letter and the Admiral responds by sending him a special present—a penguin! This charmingly absurd book is about having the courage to be different and the conviction to follow your dreams. Newberry Honor book.

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Misty of Chincoteague

Misty of Chincoteague

This 1947 novel is a must-read for any young horse lover. A tiny island in coastal Virginia is home to a band of beautiful wild ponies, and Paul and Maureen dream of making one of them their own. The children learn that following a dream isn’t easy, and that sometimes it’s hard to hold onto what you love. Newbery Honor Book.

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Come On, Seabiscuit

Come On, Seabiscuit

Adults may know Come On, Seabiscuit as the book Laura Hillenbrand credited with inspiring her lifelong fascination with the horse. Kids will love this exciting true story of a knobby-kneed horse, a down-on-his-luck jockey, and the unlikely path that brought them victory.

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Where the Red Fern Grows

Where the Red Fern Grows

$20.973.95 (AUDIBLE DEAL)

A story of a boy and his dogs, and about so much more: love and yearning, struggle and poverty, and hunting—which means it's necessarily about death. My fifth grade teacher made a class of thirty students cry, excepting none, when she read the final chapters aloud. Of note: Rawls spent twenty years writing this novel, then burned it out of embarrassment. Lucky for us, his wife encouraged him to write it again, and he dashed off the whole thing (sans punctuation) in three weeks. Originally published as an adult novel, it still didn't sell until teachers and students got ahold of it.

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