• Significant Children's Books about Lying

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    The Boy Who Cried Wolf

    Teresa Mlawer, Olga Cuellar

    Paperback (Adirondack Books, Jan. 1, 2016)
    A young shepherd pretends not once, but twice that a wolf is after his flock. But he learns a hard lesson when a wolf really appears and no one heeds his cries. The Timeless Fables series is a charming introduction to the wonderful world of fables. The stories have been adapted to appeal to young children. Each story ends with a simple, clear moral that will spark conversation between parent and child, offering a great way to share story time together.
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    Sam Tells Stories

    Thierry Robberecht, Philippe Goossens

    Hardcover (Clarion Books, July 16, 2007)
    This adorable character from SAM IS NEVER SCARED is back in another story preschoolers will identify with. Sam is so eager to make friends at his new school that he tells them a story that isn’t true. After all, he makes up bedtime stories for his little brother, who thinks Sam is the best storyteller ever! But when the truth catches up with him, Sam realizes the difference between telling a story and telling a lie—and he has to face his friends and tell them the truth.
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    A Day's Work

    Eve Bunting, Ronald Himler

    Paperback (Clarion Books, April 14, 1997)
    Francisco, a young Mexican-American boy, helps his grandfather find work as a gardener, even though the old man cannot speak English and knows nothing about gardening.
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    The Honest-to-Goodness Truth

    Patricia C. McKissack, Giselle Potter

    Hardcover (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Feb. 1, 2000)
    If telling the truth is the right thing to do, why is the whole world mad at Libby?“Tell the truth and shame the devil,” Libby’s mama has told her. So whatever is Libby doing wrong? Ever since she started telling only the truth, the whole world seems to be mad at her. First it’s her best friend, Ruthie Mae, who gets upset when Libby tells all their friends that Ruthie Mae has a hole in her sock. Then Willie gives her an ugly look when she tells the teacher he hasn’t done his homework. It seems that telling the truth isn’t always so simple. Children will sympathize with Libby as she struggles to figure out that even though it’s always wrong to tell a lie, there’s a right and a wrong way to tell the truth. Giselle Potter’s naively stubborn illustrations perfectly capture this humorous and poignant story by award-winning author Patricia C. McKissack.
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    The Empty Pot

    Demi

    Paperback (Square Fish, Jan. 1, 1996)
    The Empty Pot is Demi's beloved picture book about an honest schoolboy A long time ago in China there was a boy named Ping who loved flowers. Anything he planted burst into bloom.The Emperor loved flowers too. When it was time to choose an heir, he gave a flower seed to each child in the kingdom. "Whoever can show me their best in a year's time," he proclaimed, "shall succeed me to the throne!"Ping plants his seed and tends it every day. But month after month passes, and nothing grows. When spring comes, Ping must go to the Emperor with nothing but an empty pot.Demi's exquisite art and beautifully simple text show how Ping's embarrassing failure is turned triumphant in this satisfying tale of honesty rewarded.An IRA-CBC Children's Choice.An American Bookseller "Pick of the Lists."
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    Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!

    Cohen Miriam, Ronald Himler

    Paperback (Star Bright Books, Oct. 1, 2008)
    When Alex, the new boy in first grade, tries to make others notice him with his boasts about rocket toys and ponies, his plan backfires. The first graders don’t like liars and refuse to have anything more to do with him. However, on the day of the class Christmas party, he helps Jim look for his missing Christmas decoration, and is then given a second chance. Alex realizes that it is not difficult to make friends after all! This newly-illustrated reissue of Miriam Cohen’s book deals sensitively with the challenges that children face when they begin social interaction at school. Ronald Himler’s new watercolor illustrations give the first graders distinctive personalities and provide a riveting picture of the everyday tragicomedy of a first grade classroom.
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    The Lying King

    Alex Beard

    Hardcover (Greenleaf Book Group Press, Sept. 4, 2018)
    2018 Moonbeam Children's Book Award Winner Amazon Best Seller in Children's Books > AnimalsCan warthogs fly? Do tigers eat broccoli? For answers, follow along as Warthog lies his way to the throne in this timeless, yet most timely, Tale from the Watering Hole. Will the Truth catch up with the king? Find out as Alex Beard's whimsical animals come to life to illuminate real world truths for children of all ages. With a nod to Aesop and Kipling, this funny and pointed parable has lessons for everyone, from the playground to the boardroom and beyond!
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    A Big Fat Enormous Lie

    Marjorie Weinman Sharmat, David McPhail

    Paperback (Puffin Books, July 1, 1993)
    A boy's little lie comes alive in the form of a monster who grows and grows until he finds the only way to make it go away--by telling the truth!
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    Eli's Lie-O-Meter: A Story About Telling the Truth

    Sandra Levins, Jeff Ebbeler

    Paperback (Magination Pr, April 15, 2010)
    Eli learns about the consequences of his fibs and the value of telling the truth.
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    The Bear Ate Your Sandwich

    Julia Sarcone-Roach

    Paperback (Dragonfly Books, Dec. 11, 2018)
    Bear meets sandwich, adventure ensues. . . . A sly classic-in-the-making for fans of Jon Klassen, Peter Brown, and Mo Willems. By now I think you know what happened to your sandwich. But you may not know how it happened. So let me tell you. It all started with the bear . . . So begins Julia Sarcone-Roach’s delicious tale of a bear, lost in the city, who happens upon an unattended sandwich in the park. The bear’s journey from forest to city and back home again is full of happy accidents, funny encounters, and sensory delights. The story is so engrossing, it’s not until the very end that we begin to suspect this is a TALL tale. The wonderfully told story, spectacular illustrations, and surprise ending make this Julia Sarcone-Roach’s best book to date. You’ll want to share it with your friends (and keep a close eye on your lunch).Praise for The Bear Ate Your Sandwich:***Winner of an Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor Award!***"This story is mischief-making at its finest. And just like a good sandwich, it's hard to resist." - Book Page"Charming" — The Wall Street Journal"While the bear storyline is entertaining in itself, the ending twist will equally delight kids who love to spot untruths, and a second reading for hints as to the narrator’s credibility may well be in order." — The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Starred review
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    The Pudding Problem

    Joe Berger

    Hardcover (Margaret K. McElderry Books, May 9, 2017)
    A boy must untangle the web of lies he’s created in order to prove his innocence in this humorous and cheeky illustrated middle grade novel that’s perfect for “fans of Timmy Failure and Big Nate” (Kirkus Reviews).Sam Lyttle is prone to stretching the truth. Most of his lies are harmless; tall tales and the product of an overactive imagination. So when Sam is summoned to explain a strange discovery—a ping-pong ball in a jar of peanut butter—and denies involvement, no one believes him. Then more seemingly unrelated peculiarities emerge, and Sam categorically denies any knowledge of those, too. In between these mysterious accusations, and with evidence mounting against him, Sam ruminates on the different sorts of lies he has told using examples from his past. Meanwhile, two pounds of potatoes wind up in the washing machine. Sam comes to a decision: he decides it is time to come clean about this latest tangled web. He gathers his family to hear the truth. The whole truth. Or is it? Could it be that this final “truth” is, in fact, another lie?
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    The Time Warp Wonder

    Franklin W. Dixon, Santy Gutierrez

    Paperback (Aladdin, Nov. 13, 2018)
    Detective brothers Frank and Joe work to debunk a time travel machine in the eighth book in the interactive Hardy Boys Clue Book series.Bayport Elementary is almost ready for the annual science fair—it’s all down to the final touches. Frank and Joe have collaborated on a detective helmet. It’s the perfect lie detector—just place it on a suspect’s head and the bells and whistles will tell you when they’re lying. But not everyone is as prepared for the big fair. Their good friend Phil has designed a time machine he calls the Time Warp Wonder. He just needs to figure out how it works first… Phil uses Chet’s hamster as a test subject. And the machine really does make the hamster disappear from the cafeteria! It’s just that Phil isn’t sure where the hamster went or how to get him back. Frank and Joe are not so sure the hamster went back in time. They have a feeling their Clue Book will be more help to Chet’s hamster than Phil’s calculations. But the brothers start questioning their instincts when they receive pictures of the hamster in different time periods; dressed as caveman with the dinosaurs, suited up in armor in the middle ages, in a top hat watching Abe Lincoln give a speech. Could Chet’s hamster really be traveling though time? It’s up to the Hardy Boys—and you—to find out!
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    The Rhino in Right Field

    Stacy DeKeyser

    Paperback (Margaret K. McElderry Books, May 21, 2019)
    “Laugh-out-loud fun…A winner in every way.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “Funny and good-hearted.” —Publishers Weekly A boy who loves baseball must get past his hard-working immigrant parents—and the rhino in the outfield—to become a batboy in this laugh-out-loud middle grade novel in the tradition of The Sandlot.Nick wants to change his life. For twelve years, he’s done what his hard-working, immigrant parents want him to do. Now he’s looking for his own American dream and he thinks he’s found it. The local baseball team is having a batboy contest, and Nick wants to win. But the contest is on a Saturday—the day Nick has to work in his father’s shop. There’s one other tiny—well, not so tiny—problem. A 2,000-pound rhinoceros named Tank. Nick and his friends play ball in the city zoo—and Tank lives just beyond the right field fence. Nick’s experience getting the ball out of Tank’s pen has left him frozen with fear whenever a fly ball comes his way. How’s a lousy fielder going to win the contest? Nick practices every day with his best friend, Ace, and a new girl who has an impressive throwing arm! But that’s not enough—to get to the contest, Nick has to lie to his parents and blackmail his uncle. All while dodging the school bully, who’s determined to win even by playing dirty. Nick will need to keep his eye on the ball in this fast, funny story about a game that can throw you some curveballs—just like life!
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    Fakers: An Insider's Guide to Cons, Hoaxes, and Scams

    H. P. Wood, David Clark

    Hardcover (Charlesbridge, Oct. 2, 2018)
    From the Trojan horse to fake news, scams have run rampant throughout history and across the globe. Some con artists do it for fun, others for profit. . . and every once in a while, a faker saves the world.In this era of daily online hoaxes, it's easy to be caught off-guard. Fakers arms kids with information, introducing them to the funniest, weirdest, and most influential cons and scams in human history. Profiles of con artists will get readers thinking about motivation and consequence, and practical tips will help protect them from falsehoods. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is--except in the case of this book!
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    Truth or Dare

    Barbara Dee

    Paperback (Aladdin, Sept. 19, 2017)
    A few white lies during a simple game of truth or dare spin out of control and make life very complicated for Lia in this “entertaining bibliotherapy” (Kirkus Reviews) from Barbara Dee.When Lia returns after a summer with her eccentric aunt, it feels like everything has changed within her group of five friends. Everyone just seems more…dramatic. And after playing a game of Truth or Dare, Lia discovers how those divides are growing wider, and tells a few white lies about what really happened over the summer in order to “keep up.” But is “keeping up” with her BFFs really worth it?
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    The Secret Notebook

    D.A. D'Aurelio

    Hardcover (Capstone Editions, Aug. 1, 2020)
    Riley Green is certain her lie detector pen will improve her status in a school full of kids from the most powerful families of Washington, D.C. But her plan collapses when her invention idea is stolen, her favorite teacher goes missing, and mysterious threats begin to appear around capital. Before vanishing, Riley's teacher entrusts her with her most prized possession, the lost notebook of Nikola Tesla, legendary inventor and scientist. Now Riley and her friends must protect the notebook from thieves who want to steal the details it holds about a dangerous invention. When Riley discovers another secret, she must decode a mysterious message before it's too late. Her teacher's life depends on it.
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    On the Way Home

    Jill Murphy

    Paperback (Macmillan UK, July 6, 2007)
    Claire has hurt her knee so she sets off home to tell her mom all about it. On the way she meets her friends and tells them each a different story on how she got her scrape. Was she dropped by a wolf, a slithering snake, an enormous dragon, or a hairy gorilla? Just how did that scrape happen? Playful and creative, this is a fantastic journey of the imagination that every child can relate to.
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    Hello, Goodbye, and a Very Little Lie

    Christianne C. Jones, Christine Battuz

    Library Binding (Picture Window Books, Sept. 1, 2010)
    Larry lies about everything. Find out what he does when he gets caught in one of his lies.
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    The Boy Who Cried Ninja

    Alex Latimer

    Paperback (Peachtree Publishing Company, Feb. 1, 2014)
    In this quirky twist on the fable The Boy Who Cried Wolf, a boy’s outrageous excuses turn out to have an unexpected element of truth.Tim witnesses some strange happenings around his house, but no one believes his explanations. In fact, no matter what Tim says, his parents just punish him with chores. To save himself, he hatches a clever plan to expose the truth. Will it work, or will Tim have to spend the rest of his life raking the yard?Bubbling with wit and humor from start to finish, author-illustrator Alex Latimer’s debut picture book with wacky characters like ninjas, pirates, crocodiles, and time-traveling monkeys, will have readers of all ages laughing out loud.
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    Lions & Liars

    Kate Beasley, Dan Santat

    Hardcover (Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), June 5, 2018)
    Frederick Frederickson has a food-chain theory about life. There are lions, like the school bully. Gazelles, like the bullied kids. There are meerkats, and the fleas that live on the butts of meerkats. Frederick's a flea.Fifth grade is off to a terrible start when Frederick is sent to a disciplinary camp for troublesome boys. His fellow troop mates―Nosebleed, Specs, The Professor, and little-yet-lethal Ant Bite―are terrifying. But in between trust-building exercises and midnight escape attempts, a tenuous friendship grows between them. Which is lucky, because a Category 5 hurricane is coming and everyone will have to work together―lions and fleas alike―to survive! Kate Beasley outdoes herself in this hilarious, whip-smart tale of brotherhood, survival, and what it really means to be a friend.
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    Pinocula

    Obert Skye

    Hardcover (Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), Sept. 24, 2013)
    For Rob Burnside, things are going pretty well. His friends are behaving, school isn't too bad, his family's getting along, and Janae, the girl of his dreams, occasionally notices him. Yep, life's okay―until the lying starts.Meet Pinocula, the new creature from Rob's closet. He is a liar and a jokester and is determined to drive Rob crazy. Obert Skye doesn't let his fans down in this hilarious installment in The Creature from My Closet series, which started with Wonkenstein and Potterwookiee.
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    Sam, Bangs & Moonshine

    Evaline Ness

    Paperback (Square Fish, May 15, 1971)
    Samantha (known as Sam) is a fisherman's daughter who dreams rich and lovely dreams--moonshine, her father says. But when her tall stories bring disaster to her friend Thomas and her cat Bangs, Sam learns to distinguish between moonshine and reality.Sam, Bangs & Moonshine is the winner of the 1967 Caldecott Medal.
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    The Golden Plate

    Bernadette Watts

    Hardcover (NorthSouth Books, Nov. 1, 2014)
    While Isobel is playing with her best friend’s beautiful store-bought Doll’s House, she becomes intrigued by one of her friend’s toys—a small golden plate. But when Isobel takes the golden plate home without asking for permission, she gets more than she bargained for: the plate doesn’t look right in her handmade Doll’s House, and she feels guilty for having taken her friend’s toy. Isobel’s supportive mother helps her find a solution that makes Isobel feel better. And on Isobel’s next birthday, she is rewarded for following her heart. Bernadette Watts’s colorful, delicate illustrations are filled with wonderful details in this charming and thought-provoking story about friendship, sharing, and feelings.
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    The Boy Who Cried Bigfoot!

    Scott Magoon

    Hardcover (Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, Feb. 5, 2013)
    A classic tale with a timeless message gets a hugely hilarious twist.He’s big. He’s funny. He’s not real. Or IS he? This clever twist on “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” is told from the point of view of an unexpected narrator and, through snappy text and lighthearted illustrations, demonstrates the value of telling the truth, the importance of establishing trust, and (of course!) the possibility that a beast you created to get attention can become a real-life friend.
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    Telling the Truth: A Book about Lying

    Carolyn Larsen, Tim O'Connor

    Paperback (Baker Books, Sept. 13, 2016)
    Stories to Encourage Positive Behavior in Small ChildrenThe preschool and kindergarten years are some of the most important formative years of a person's life. Habits and attitudes developed during these crucial years affect a child for the rest of his or her life. These years are also a challenging time for parents as their children test boundaries (and patience). How parents and children respond makes all the difference in the world.The Growing God's Kids series is designed to help young children understand their feelings, develop godly ways to deal with temptations, and form positive attitudes and behaviors that will serve them well in the future. In Telling the Truth, parents and children are encouraged to address lying and discover the value of telling the truth.
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    Dishonest Ninja: A Children’s Book About Lying and Telling the Truth

    Mary Nhin, Grow Grit Press, Jelena Stupar

    Paperback (Grow Grit Press LLC, Feb. 20, 2020)
    Dishonest Ninja didn’t think he was hurting anyone when he chose not to tell the truth.But what he didn’t understand was that each time he lied, he was hurting someone. Because when he told a lie, it changed HIM just a little bit each time. But he was forever changed after something happened one day at school… Find out what happens in this book about how good it feels to tell the truth. Life is hard! And it's even harder for children who are just trying to figure things out.The new children's book series, Ninja Life Hacks, was developed to help children learn valuable life skills. Fun, pint-size characters in comedic books easy enough for young readers, yet witty enough for adults.The Ninja Life Hacks book series is geared to kids 3-11. Perfect for young readers, students in primary school, and toddlers. Excellent resource for counselors, parents, and teachers alike. Collect all the Ninja Life Hacks books: marynhin.com/ninjaset.htmlFun, free printables at marynhin.com/ninja-printables.html
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    Princess K.I.M. and the Lie That Grew

    Maryann Cocca-Leffler

    Hardcover (Albert Whitman & Company, March 1, 2009)
    Kim wants the kids at her new school to like her, so she tells a teeny, tiny, bitty lie. She says her name is really “K.I.M.”―for “Katherine Isabella Marguerite”―and that she comes from a royal family! Pretty soon all the students know there is a princess in the school. Kim wears her golden tiara from dance class and a big fancy ring she won at the arcade. Her little lie grows and grows. When a classmate invites her to a birthday party, Kim says she can’t go because her grandmother is coming to visit. But she had told the kids her grandmother was a queen. Now they all want to meet the queen. Kim is in a real bind; her lie has grown too big and it’s about ready to explode!
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    The Berenstain Bears and the Truth

    Stan Berenstain, Jan Berenstain

    Paperback (Random House Books for Young Readers, Sept. 12, 1983)
    This classic Berenstain Bears story is a perfect way to teach children about the importance of honesty!Come for a visit in Bear Country with this classic First Time Book® from Stan and Jan Berenstain. When Mama goes to the market, Brother and Sister play soccer in the house . . . and end up breaking a lamp! When Mama asks them what happened, they tell her a series of whoppers that just get bigger and bigger. Will they ever tell her the truth?
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    How to Trick the Tooth Fairy

    Erin Danielle Russell, Jennifer Hansen Rolli

    Hardcover (Aladdin, May 1, 2018)
    From the coauthor of Dork Diaries comes a witty and engaging picture book about a prankster who wants to pull off the best prank of all—pranking the Tooth Fairy!Kaylee loves pulling pranks: from dropping water balloons on passers by to even tricking Santa Claus, she’s a prize-winning prankster! But is she the Princess of Pranks? No! That title is held by none other than the Tooth Fairy. But when Kaylee loses a tooth and the Tooth Fairy goes about her usual tooth-taking business, Kaylee pranks her with a fake frog. As Kaylee and the Tooth Fairy try to out-prank one another, things get way out of hand, until the two finally see eye and eye and decide to share the crown!
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    The Emperor's New Clothes

    Hans Christian Andersen, Gyeong-mi Yim

    Paperback (Big & Small, Jan. 1, 2015)
    A playfully illustrated version of the tale about misguided adults and an innocent boy who boldly tells the truth.
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    Ruthie and the Not So Teeny Tiny Lie

    Laura Rankin

    Paperback (Scholastic, Jan. 1, 2008)
    Ruthie loves little things--the smaller, the better. When she finds a teeny tiny toy on the school playground, she can hardly believe her luck. There's just one problem: it belongs to somebody else! Ruthie insists the toy is hers, but deep down, she knows better. How could one little toy turn into such a great big problem?
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    Cautionary Tales for Children

    Hilaire Belloc, Edward Gorey

    Hardcover (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Dec. 1, 2002)
    For readers of any age, a witty and strikingly irreverent collection of moral guidance Most notable among prolific English satirist Hilaire Belloc's writings are the sharp and clever admonishments he composed for children. Collected here and illustrated to wonderful haunting effect by Edward Gorey, these short, funny pieces offer moral instruction for all types of mischief makers—from a certain young Jim, "who ran away from his nurse and was eaten by a lion," to the tale of Matilda, "who told lies and was burned to death”—and add up to a delightful read for any fan of Roald Dahl or Shel Silverstein.
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    Tricky

    Kari Rust

    Hardcover (Owlkids, Oct. 15, 2017)
    The Duke and his dog, Tricky, spend their days making trouble. They cheat, steal, and play cruel-hearted pranks on their neighbors, just for fun. But one day, somebody new comes to town and gives Tricky a treat that melts his mischievous heart ― and sets him thinking about the effect his actions have on others. Inspired to change his ways, Tricky decides to set things right the only way he knows how… with tricks! Tricky’s ploy might just lead The Duke to reconsider his ways. Stylized cartoon-inspired art adds a distinctive mood and humor to this fun debut picture book about empathy, revenge, and reform.
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    Pig the Pug

    Aaron Blabey

    Hardcover (Scholastic Press, Dec. 27, 2016)
    A hilarious book about learning to share from the much loved, awarding winning author and illustrator Aaron Blabey.Pig is a greedy and selfish Pug. He has all the bouncy balls, bones, and chew toys a dog could ever want yet he refuses to share with his poor friend, Trevor. Little does he know, however, that being greedy has its consquences. Join Pig as he learns to share - the hard way!Young readers will love the irresistbly quirky and funny illustrations that are paired with a relatable lesson of learning to share with others. For dog and pet lovers everywhere.
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    Chicken Sunday

    Patricia Polacco

    Hardcover (Philomel Books, March 25, 1992)
    After being initiated into a neighbor's family by a solemn backyard ceremony, a young Russian American girl and her African American brothers' determine to buy their gramma Eula a beautiful Easter hat. But their good intentions are misunderstood, until they discover just the right way to pay for the hat that Eula's had her eye on. A loving family story woven from the author's childhood. "Polacco has outdone herself with these joyful, energetic illustrations, her vibrant colors even richer and more intense than usual, while authentic details enhance the interest. A unique piece of Americana." --Kirkus Reviews, pointer review"In this moving picture book, the hatred sometimes engendered by racial and religious differences is overpowered by the love of people who recognize their common humanity." --Booklist, starred, boxed review"The text conveys a tremendous pride of heritage as it brims with rich images from her characters' African American and Russian Jewish cultures--A tribute to the strength of all family bonds." --Publishers Weekly, starred review
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    Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons

    Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Jane Dyer

    Hardcover (HarperCollins, May 2, 2006)
    From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of I Wish You More, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, a cookie-centric guide to life.Everyone knows cookies taste good, but these cookies also have something good to say. Open this delectable book to any page and you will find out something about life. Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons is a new kind of dictionary, one that defines mysteries such as "fair" and "unfair" and what it means to "cooperate." At every turn this book is clever, honest, inspirational, and whimsical. Go ahead, take a bite!Perfect for learning concept words.
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