Rare is the story that’s able to nimbly explain how children process difficult feelings. But Doerrfield sticks the landing. After a toy brick-stacking tragedy strikes Taylor, the young child is approached by a variety of animals each of whom has intentions to help. However, all they do is talk at Taylor. The bear yells and tells Taylor to yell. The snake hisses and tells Taylor to hiss. They all have good intentions but it’s not what Taylor requires. What Taylor really needs, however, is someone who will listen, which is exactly what the rabbit provides. This is a wonderful story on its own, and one that becomes all the more powerful when young children are confronted with and need to work through tragedy.


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From picture books to graphic novels, fantasy to family fun, these must-read books have the power to hook both boys and girls. Some are cultural touchstones that belong in every kid's library. Others open kids' minds to cultures beyond their own. And some are modern releases that have the timeless quality of classics -- the kinds that get handed down to siblings and passed around classrooms. Whether you have a reluctant reader or budding bookworm, check out these surefire, kid-tested titles. (We've included a few rated best for 12 and up for the precocious readers out there!)
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The history of the world was built upon the backs of explorers — those who give in to their every curiosity to make the world a bigger place for us all. The Long Island captures the explorer in all of us with a spare, haunting book that shows the wakening of a monstrous curiosity in a group of people who simply want to see what’s on the other side of the island. Reminiscent of Where the Wild Things Are in its spare prose and powerful imagery, it’s a book that takes your breath away — before leading to deep discussions about the tantalizing unknowns in our world.
The history of the world was built upon the backs of explorers — those who give in to their every curiosity to make the world a bigger place for us all. The Long Island captures the explorer in all of us with a spare, haunting book that shows the wakening of a monstrous curiosity in a group of people who simply want to see what’s on the other side of the island. Reminiscent of Where the Wild Things Are in its spare prose and powerful imagery, it’s a book that takes your breath away — before leading to deep discussions about the tantalizing unknowns in our world.
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The best children’s books not only help young readers understand themselves and the world better, but make them giggle, think, worry, consider, and engage all their other feelings, too. These books also tug adult readers back towards childhood, reminding us of our youth and bigger things beyond our own lives. This is no easy trick, but it feels natural when a great book pulls it off with grace. And so far, there have been dozens of releases this year that do just that.

“Sleep Like a Tiger by Mary Logue. The art is gorgeous and it tells the story of a little girl going to bed so gently. In response to her assertion that she isn’t tired, her parents just say, ’We understand. Please brush your teeth. You can stay up as late as you like.′ It’s just lovely and presents an example of engaging with your child that isn’t adversarial. I think it’s a nice model and so pretty.” ― Allison Sook
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