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The Year of Billy Miller, by Kevin Henkes
      
Award-winning, nationally bestselling author Kevin Henkes introduces second-grader Billy Miller in this fast-paced and funny story about friendship, sibling rivalry, and elementary school. The Year of Billy Miller includes black-and-white art by Kevin Henkes and is perfect for fans of the Ramona books, Frindle, by Andrew Clements, and the Clementine series.

When Billy Miller has a mishap at the statue of the Jolly Green Giant at the end of summer vacation, he ends up with a big lump on his head. What a way to start second grade, with a lump on your head! As the year goes by, though, Billy figures out how to navigate elementary school, how to appreciate his little sister, and how to be a more grown up and responsible member of the family and a help to his busy working mom and stay-at-home dad. Newbery Honor author and Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes delivers a short, satisfying, laugh-out-loud-funny school and family story that features a diorama homework assignment, a school poetry slam, cancelled sleepovers, and epic sibling temper tantrums. Illustrated throughout with black-and-white art by the author, this is a perfect short novel for the early elementary grades.




Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, by Sherri Duskey Rinker
         
As the sun sets behind the big construction site, all the hardworking trucks get ready to say goodnight. One by one, Crane Truck, Cement Mixer, Dump Truck, Bulldozer, and Excavator finish their work and lie down to rest—so they'll be ready for another day of rough and tough construction play! With irresistible artwork by best-selling illustrator Tom Lichtenheld and sweet, rhyming text, this book will have truck lovers of all ages begging for more.



The Animals' Ark, by Marianne Dubuc
         
In this delightful picture book, award-winning author and illustrator Marianne Dubuc retells the biblical story of the ark voyage from the animals' perspective. It begins with a light rain in the animal kingdom that turns heavier and steadier until all the land is flooded. The animals are huddled together atop a hill, the only dry spot left, when they spy a boat coming toward them. Rescue! The smiling captain, Mr. Noah, invites them to board, two by two. At first, the animals enjoy settling in and finding ways to amuse themselves --- the sheep play leapfrog, the ladybugs play dominoes, a chameleon plays hide-and-seek. But as it continues to rain, and rain, and rain, things grow testy below deck. The animals are getting on one another's nerves. And all of them are wondering, will the rain ever stop? 

With sweet, warm illustrations, this is a creative and child-friendly version of the well-known journey story. The playful animal drawings are filled with details and sly jokes, making them great fun for children to spend time with. This book makes a wonderful read-aloud, either for its connection to the biblical tale or merely as a lighthearted animal story. With the focus on how the different species fare individually and together, it would also work as an exploration of animals and their unique behaviors. It could easily spark discussions about how children might use cooperation, respect and kindness in trying circumstances as well.




Muddle & Mo, by Nikki Slade Robinson
         
Muddle (a duck) and Mo (a goat) are best friends, but Muddle is a bit confused about what type of animals they both are. Fortunately, during the course of their walk together, long-suffering Mo helps Muddle get his duck identity sorted out in this warm and funny tale of friendship, differences, and acceptance.  



Property of the Rebel Librarian , by Allison Varnes
         
Celebrate the freedom to read with this timely, empowering middle-grade debut in the spirit of The View from Saturdayor Frindle.

When twelve-year-old June Harper's parents discover what they deem an inappropriate library book, they take strict parenting to a whole new level. And everything June loves about Dogwood Middle School unravels: librarian Ms. Bradshaw is suspended, an author appearance is canceled, the library is gutted, and all books on the premises must have administrative approval. 

But June can't give up books . . . and she realizes she doesn't have to when she spies a Little Free Library on her walk to school. As the rules become stricter at school and at home, June keeps turning the pages of the banned books that continue to appear in the little library. It's a delicious secret . . . and one she can't keep to herself. June starts a banned book library of her own in an abandoned locker at school. The risks grow alongside her library's popularity, and a movement begins at Dogwood Middle--a movement that, if exposed, could destroy her. But if it's powerful enough, maybe it can save Ms. Bradshaw and all that she represents: the freedom to read.

Equal parts fun and empowering, this novel explores censorship, freedom of speech, and activism. For any kid who doesn't believe one person can effect change...and for all the kids who already know they can!




Teach Your Giraffe to Ski , by Viviane Elbee
         
Your giraffe wants to learn how to ski—but but not on the bunny hill. She wants to go down the big scary slope! Enjoy this riotous journey as the narrator tries to reign their giraffe in—and learns something about courage along the way.



There Are No Bears in This Bakery , by Julia Sarcone-Roach
         
The creator of the New York Times bestselling The Bear Ate Your Sandwich brings us another sly story of a hungry bear and a smooth-talking narrator.

A tough gumshoe of a cat--the name's Muffin--protects his territory: The Little Bear Bakery. But there are no bears here. Not on Muffin's watch.

One night, Muffin hears a suspicious noise. Mouse? Raccoon? Bat? Nope, not the usual suspects. But Muffin hears . . . growling. Could it be? Yup. A bear. Just a cub. Whose stomach is definitely growling. Muffin's got this case solved--clearly this bear needs some donuts.

In this wonderfully noir-tinged tale, Julia Sarcone-Roach gives us another funny story of a hungry bear in the wrong place at the right time. This tale is sly and sweet, with sprinkles on top.




The Unteachables , by Gordon Korman
         

A hilarious new middle grade novel from beloved and bestselling author Gordon Korman about what happens when the worst class of kids in school is paired with the worst teacher—perfect for fans of Ms. Bixby’s Last Day.

The Unteachables are a notorious class of misfits, delinquents, and academic train wrecks. Like Aldo, with anger management issues; Parker, who can’t read; Kiana, who doesn’t even belong in the class—or any class; and Elaine (rhymes with pain). The Unteachables have been removed from the student body and isolated in room 117.

Their teacher is Mr. Zachary Kermit, the most burned-out teacher in all of Greenwich. He was once a rising star, but his career was shattered by a cheating scandal that still haunts him. After years of phoning it in, he is finally one year away from early retirement. But the superintendent has his own plans to torpedo that idea—and it involves assigning Mr. Kermit to the Unteachables.

The Unteachables never thought they’d find a teacher who had a worse attitude than they did. And Mr. Kermit never thought he would actually care about teaching again. Over the course of a school year, though, room 117 will experience mayhem, destruction—and maybe even a shot at redemption.





I Just Like You , by Suzanne Bloom
      
From the author-illustrator of the award-winning Goose and Bear series comes an endearing picture book about friendship and tolerance for children ages 3-7. A sweet group of young animals shows readers that even though others might look, talk, or walk differently, we can like each other just as we are.

With a subtle message of tolerance and acceptance, this irresistibly sweet book features animal friends who like each other despite--and because of--their differences. An elephant and a cat might look different from each other, a lemur and a stork might enjoy different activities, and a lion and a mouse might have different hairstyles, but all the animals value and appreciate one another, as shown by exuberant scenes of playing together. The short, simple text will hold the attention of young children and the artwork includes clever and funny details for them to look for as they listen. I Just Like You also models the ways young children make friends, with simple conversation starters of sharing opinions and trading compliments.



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What's Your Favorite Animal?, by Eric Carle
         
Everybody has a favorite animal. Some like little white dogs or big black cats or hoppy brown bunnies best. Others prefer squishy snails or tall giraffes or sleek black panthers. With beautiful illustrations and charming personal stories, 14 children's book artists share their favorite animals and why they love them.



Awesome LEGO Creations with Bricks You Already Have: 50 New Robots, Dragons, Race Cars, Planes, Wild Animals and Other Exciting Projects to Build Imaginative Worlds, by Sarah Dees
         

Have a Blast Building New LEGO Toys, Animals, Scenes and Working Contraptions

Turn your pile of LEGO bricks into a day of fun! This unique activity book has step-by-step instructions and tons of photos to teach you how to build all-new and totally awesome robots and a robot lab, race cars to race your friends and jet planes to zoom across the room at lightning speed or fit in your pocket for on-the-go play. You can build wild animals then take your minifigures on a safari to see a lion, tiger, monkey and more! Build your own LEGO town with a playground, skate park and go-cart entertainment arena. Your knight minifigures will have a real adventure when they encounter a green fire-breathing dragon! Help the knights win the battle by building a catapult and a crossbow that really work.

Think you’re a LEGO pro? Then try the no-instruction projects, where you can put your creativity and LEGO building skills to the test by building something using just a photo as a guide. No matter how you use it, this book will help you and your family or friends have a crazy amount of fun building new toys and scenes with your LEGO bricks!





STEAM Play and Learn , by Ana Dziengel
      
Preschoolers will love tackling these 20 fun, easy-to-follow step-by-step projects as they learn about STEAM topics (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math). Topics include symmetry and how light bounces to create reflections with mirror mandalas, diffusion and capillary action with tie dye towels, structural framing and bracing with marshmallow structures, and electrical currents with salty circuits. This cross-subject approach to learning will prepare young children for the subjects they will soon learn in elementary school and beyond. Each project features simple instructions and large, full-color photos, to make each one enjoyable and fun for both kids and parents.