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Drawn Together

Minh Lê, illus. by Dan Santat (Disney-Hyperion)

In this tender multigenerational story, a boy and his grandfather don’t speak the same language, but learn to communicate through their mutual love for telling visual stories through art.

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Julián Is a Mermaid

Jessica Love (Candlewick)

When a child named Julián becomes enchanted by a group of mermaids en route to the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, he fashions his own fishtail from his grandmother’s curtains and the two join the revelers. Author-illustrator Love’s debut is a joyful celebration of free expression.

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Night Out

Daniel Miyares (Random/Schwartz & Wade)

In a story reminiscent of a fairy tale, a lonely boy at a boarding school follows his escaped pet turtle—who has grown big—on a nighttime adventure. They arrive at an inviting celebration with friendly animals, music, and cake, and the boy treasures the special experience as he slips back into his school at dawn.

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Ocean Meets Sky

The Fan Brothers (Simon & Schuster)

The creators of The Night Gardener and The Antlered Ship return with another fantastical picture book outing, in which a boy takes a journey on a makeshift vessel to a fabled land of magical beings to honor the memory of his beloved grandfather.

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Square

Mac Barnett, illus. by Jon Klassen (Candlewick)

In the second volume of Barnett and Klassen’s Shape trilogy, Square spends his time pushing stone blocks onto a hill. Circle is convinced that Square is a brilliant artist and asks Square to sculpt her, but such high expectations send Square into a fit of self-doubt. Is Square an artist or is Circle mistaken? It’s up to readers to decide, in this gently philosophical story.

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We Don’t Eat Our Classmates

Ryan T. Higgins (Disney-Hyperion)

Penelope is a cute T. rex with an enormous appetite. On the first day of school, she gobbles up—then spits out—her human classmates. Being nibbled on by a goldfish provides Penelope with a whole new perspective; Higgins warmly suggests that school is an adjustment for all kids—and that a little empathy can go a long way when it comes to making friends.

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