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If You Want to See a Whale

Julie Fogliano, illus. by Erin E. Stead (Roaring Brook/Porter)

When better than summer to go whale-watching? Writing with faux gravity, Fogliano cautions readers hoping to spot a whale to avoid such distractions as too-comfy chairs, pirates in the harbor, and lovely wild roses. Stead’s delicate and imaginative portraits of these and other scenarios underscore the story’s light sense of irony.

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Yes, Let’s

Galen Goodwin Longstreth, Maris Wicks (Tanglewood)

These two first-time picture-book creators have put together a story that all but embodies the pleasures of a summer day, following a large, close-knit family as it packs up the station wagon and heads out into the woods. For families hoping to spend less time in front of screens and more time in the great outdoors this summer, this is the book to get everyone in the mood.

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Odd Duck

Cecil Castellucci, illus. by Sara Varon (First Second)

This humorous comic book–style chapter book follows the burgeoning friendship between two not-so-similar ducks: the rather prim Theodora and her free-spirited, iconoclastic new neighbor, Chad. Equal parts silly and emotionally astute, the story shows a keen eye for the inherent ups and downs in finding common ground with someone from the other side of the pond.

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