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Independence Cake: A Revolutionary Confection Inspired by Amelia Simmons, Whose True History Is Unfortunately Unknown

Deborah Hopkinson, illus. by Giselle Potter (Random House/Schwartz & Wade)

Hopkinson serves up a historical picture book inspired by Amelia Simmons, author of the first American cookbook. This 18th-century tale follows orphan Simmons from her stint as a housemaid to the baking of her confectionary tribute for President Washington.

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The Three Billy Goats Gruff

Jerry Pinkney (Little, Brown)

The Caldecott Medalist puts his spin on another classic folktale: the story of three scrawny goats who outsmart one voracious troll. In Pinkney’s retelling, featuring a dramatic gatefold for the final showdown, the bully gets his comeuppance and a measure of redemption.

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Dragons Love Tacos 2: The Sequel

Adam Rubin, illus. by Daniel Salmieri (Dial)

Rubin and Salmieri return with a sequel to their picture book comedy, Dragons Love Tacos. When the world runs out of tacos, a band of hungry dragons dreams up a solution—one that calls for a dash of time travel, but absolutely no spicy salsa.

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Goldfish Ghost

Lemony Snicket, illus. by Lisa Brown (Roaring Brook/Porter)

Snicket turns the childhood pet story belly up in this poignant look at the afterlife of a goldfish, while Brown’s muted watercolor-and-ink art reflects the somber tone.

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She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World

Chelsea Clinton, illus. by Alexandra Boiger (Philomel)

Activist and humanitarian Chelsea Clinton presents 13 trailblazing women throughout American history—from Harriet Tubman to Sonia Sotomayor—who defied gender barriers and changed society for the better.

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Blue Sky White Stars

Sarvinder Naberhaus, illus. by Kadir Nelson (Dial)

Just in time for Independence Day, Naberhaus and Nelson craft a patriotic picture book celebrating America’s rich and diverse iconography, with the flag as their launching point.

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The Seashore Book

Charlotte Zolotow, illus. by Wendell Minor (Charlesbridge)

Zolotow’s second-person narration invites readers to join a mother and son—who has never experienced the ocean—in their daydream of an afternoon at the beach. The classic picture book, illustrated with Minor’s crisp gouaches and watercolor, finds a new generation of readers in this 25th anniversary edition.

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