Staff Picks: Lana and Andie

If you don’t know where to start when it comes to the wide world of children’s literature, we’ve got your back! Reading staff picks is a great way to find a variety of books curated by devoted bookworms. This week, celebration facilitator Lana and bookseller Andie share some of their favorites!

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Lana's Favorites

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Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World

I absolutely LOVE this book! The illustrations are adorable, and it is a great read about so many impactful, strong, and brilliant women throughout history. From scientists and inventors to artists and writers, there are so many incredible women featured in this book. If you are looking for an inspirational read for the little dreamer in your life, this one is perfect!

 
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Turning Pages

This kid-friendly autobiography by Sonia Sotomayor is one of my all-time favorite children’s books. Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina U.S. Supreme Court Justice, tells her life story, and the courage, perseverance, and tenacity it took for her to achieve her success. It is also a great introduction for little readers to learn about the Supreme Court and what the Justices do.


 
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Andie's favorites

Fly by Night

Inspired by 18th-century England, Fly by Night is a thought-provoking and courageous fantasy-mystery. You’ll fall in love with protagonist Mosca and her (homicidal) pet goose Saracen as they discover conspiracies, colorful characters, secret schools, and floating coffeehouses. Soon, Mosca becomes a very important agent in the town of Mandelion’s impending revolution.

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May Bird Book 1: The Ever After

This has been one of my favorite books for over a decade. I just love the world Anderson has created, and the characters are lovable and so unique. 10-year old May discovers a portal to the world of the dead in her small West Virginia town, and when she falls through, she finds herself (along with her hairless cat, Somber Kitty) entangled in a struggle so much bigger than she herself has ever been.

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Harbor Me

Jacqueline Woodson has written what is sure to become an American classic. 6 kids from a variety of backgrounds record their unsupervised conversations with each other about their lives and their thoughts, big and small. The strongest thing about this book is Woodson’s decision to let the kids lead it - through their words, we get crucial insights about life in present-day America.

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If You Liked: Lola Dutch

If you loved Lola Dutch and are looking for your next read, look no further! If you’re unique, imaginative, and a little bit much, you’ll love these books. (Hover over the pictures for descriptions!)

If You Liked

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Try These Titles:

Princesses Wear Pants  follows the unflappable Princess Penelope Pineapple, who knows how to get the job done while staying true to herself. Princess Penelope lives in a beautiful palace with a closet full of beautiful dresses. But being a princess is much, much more than beauty. In fact, every morning Princess Penelope runs right past her frilly dresses to choose from her beloved collection of pants!  What she wears each day depends on which job she has to do. Will she command the royal air force sporting her sequined flight suit? Will she find her zen in her yoga pants and favorite tee? Or, will she work in the kingdom’s vegetable garden with pocketed overalls for all of her tools?  Unfortunately for Princess Penelope, not everyone in the Pineapple Kingdom thinks pants are always appropriate princess attire. When the grand Lady Busyboots demands that Princess Penelope must wear a gown to the annual Pineapple Ball, the young royal finds a clever way to express herself. Penelope’s courage (and style choices) result in her saving the day!

Princesses Wear Pants follows the unflappable Princess Penelope Pineapple, who knows how to get the job done while staying true to herself. Princess Penelope lives in a beautiful palace with a closet full of beautiful dresses. But being a princess is much, much more than beauty. In fact, every morning Princess Penelope runs right past her frilly dresses to choose from her beloved collection of pants!

What she wears each day depends on which job she has to do. Will she command the royal air force sporting her sequined flight suit? Will she find her zen in her yoga pants and favorite tee? Or, will she work in the kingdom’s vegetable garden with pocketed overalls for all of her tools?

Unfortunately for Princess Penelope, not everyone in the Pineapple Kingdom thinks pants are always appropriate princess attire. When the grand Lady Busyboots demands that Princess Penelope must wear a gown to the annual Pineapple Ball, the young royal finds a clever way to express herself. Penelope’s courage (and style choices) result in her saving the day!

 
When Princess Penelope Pineapple receives an SOS from Princess Sabrina Strawberry, Princess Penny learns that the Strawberry Kingdom’s bees have disappeared. Without bees, how will they enjoy their most precious fruit?  Penny knows the power of teamwork, so she calls a meeting of the Fruit Nations! And princesses from around the land—from Princess Beatrice Blueberry to Princess Kira Kiwi—answer the call to help a friend in need. With a little creative thinking and a whole lot of girl power, the princesses work together for  bee -utiful results.  TODAY ’s beloved coanchor Savannah Guthrie and educator Allison Oppenheim have crafted another irresistible tale that celebrates how nothing is sweeter than friendship.

When Princess Penelope Pineapple receives an SOS from Princess Sabrina Strawberry, Princess Penny learns that the Strawberry Kingdom’s bees have disappeared. Without bees, how will they enjoy their most precious fruit?

Penny knows the power of teamwork, so she calls a meeting of the Fruit Nations! And princesses from around the land—from Princess Beatrice Blueberry to Princess Kira Kiwi—answer the call to help a friend in need. With a little creative thinking and a whole lot of girl power, the princesses work together for bee-utiful results. TODAY’s beloved coanchor Savannah Guthrie and educator Allison Oppenheim have crafted another irresistible tale that celebrates how nothing is sweeter than friendship.

 
Meet Nancy, who believes that more is ALWAYS better when it comes to being fancy. From the top of her tiara down to her sparkly studded shoes, Nancy is determined to teach her family a thing or two about being fancy and using fancy words.  How Nancy transforms her parents and little sister for one enchanted evening makes for a story that is funny and warm—with or without the frills.

Meet Nancy, who believes that more is ALWAYS better when it comes to being fancy. From the top of her tiara down to her sparkly studded shoes, Nancy is determined to teach her family a thing or two about being fancy and using fancy words.

How Nancy transforms her parents and little sister for one enchanted evening makes for a story that is funny and warm—with or without the frills.

 
Following the death of her mother, Coco spent her early life in an orphanage, where she was taught how to use a needle and thread. From there, she became a cabaret singer, seamstress, hat maker, and, eventually, the world's most famous fashion designer. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the designer's life.  Little People, BIG DREAMS is a best-selling series of books and educational games   that   explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream.

Following the death of her mother, Coco spent her early life in an orphanage, where she was taught how to use a needle and thread. From there, she became a cabaret singer, seamstress, hat maker, and, eventually, the world's most famous fashion designer. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the designer's life.

Little People, BIG DREAMS is a best-selling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream.

 
When Lucy spots a string, she can't help but give it a yank, and before she knows it, she meets Hank! But this bear isn't quite sure what to make of Lucy, especially because the string is attached to his pants, and they're unraveling fast!   Now Lucy must dream up the perfect solution to Hank's missing pants, and hopefully win this dubious bear's heart along the way.

When Lucy spots a string, she can't help but give it a yank, and before she knows it, she meets Hank! But this bear isn't quite sure what to make of Lucy, especially because the string is attached to his pants, and they're unraveling fast!

Now Lucy must dream up the perfect solution to Hank's missing pants, and hopefully win this dubious bear's heart along the way.

 
When Natsumi's family practices for their town's Japanese arts festival, Natsumi tries everything. But her stirring is way too vigorous for the tea ceremony, her dancing is just too imaginative, and flower arranging doesn't go any better. Can she find just the right way to put her exuberance to good use?  This heartwarming tale about being true to yourself is perfect for readers who march to their own beat.

When Natsumi's family practices for their town's Japanese arts festival, Natsumi tries everything. But her stirring is way too vigorous for the tea ceremony, her dancing is just too imaginative, and flower arranging doesn't go any better. Can she find just the right way to put her exuberance to good use?

This heartwarming tale about being true to yourself is perfect for readers who march to their own beat.

 

As always, happy reading!

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Staff Picks: Olivia and Rachel

If you don’t know where to start when it comes to the wide world of children’s literature, we’ve got your back! Reading staff picks is a great way to find a variety of books curated by devoted bookworms. This week, assistant bookseller Olivia and celebration facilitator Rachel share some of their favorites!

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Olivia's Favorites

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The Count of Monte Cristo

Revenge is a dish best served cold. The story of Edmond Dantė’s journey of revenge is certainly not one to miss! Love, justice, isolation, mercy, vengeance, forgiveness betrayal and so much more is packed into this classic read. Willingness to forgive, and the true meaning of revenge carry the reader along a roller-coaster of emotions to reach the final thought of: "all human wisdom is contained in these two words, 'Wait and Hope.’”

 
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Ocean Meets Sky

It’s a good day for sailing.

Finn lives by the sea and the sea lives by him. Every time he looks out his window it’s a constant reminder of the stories his grandfather told him about the place where the ocean meets the sky. Where whales and jellyfish soar and birds and castles float. He’ll build his own ship and sail out to find this magical place himself!

 
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Rachel's favorites

Rapunzel by Rachel Isadora

This book is such a great view on a well loved fairytale! The illustrations are beautiful.

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Hidden Figures (the picture book!)

This was such a great read because of the history some of us never learned about. This true story encourages so many young girls (and guys) to literally shoot for the stars! Girl power!

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Beautiful Books for Mom's Fall Shelf

If you stare lovingly at your bookshelves as often as I do, why not make them beautiful? Check out these stunning editions of our favorite classics that look like fall!

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This beautiful copy of The Iliad from Penguin’s Clothbound Classics series captures the fiery intensity of seasonal change. The reds and oranges mimic autumn colors, while capturing the heat of Georgia Octobers.

 

Another from the Penguin Clothbound series (there will be several on here - they’re just so cozy!), this copy of Hound of the Baskervilles makes me feel like I’m wrapped in a sweater drinking hot tea. Plus, mysteries are always a great match for that thrilling and mysterious fall feeling.

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This is the last one, I promise! I love the idea of a deep blue for fall - there is something about the cool, calm thoughtfulness of the season that this edition of Great Expectations (also from the Penguin Clothbound series) captures. Fall is for long conversations, and who better to have a long conversation with than Dickens?

 

I wish I could show every page of this beautiful edition of Song of Myself. Each page is full of stunning illustrations and words that swirl like leaves in the wind.

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If you love the outdoors in autumn, these editions of the Little House on the Prairie series are for you. The covers feature designs etched into the wood of trees regional to predominant settings in each novel.

 

This is another hit from Penguin - this time, the Puffin in Bloom series with Rifle Paper Co. I love this edition because it conveys the hues of fall and all its somber notes without subduing the whimsy and excitement of the season.

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If these books tickle your fall fancy, I have good news!

They’re all waiting for you in our online store. Find it here:

As always, happy reading!

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Staff Picks: Lauren and Andie

If you don’t know where to start when it comes to the wide world of children’s literature, we’ve got your back! Reading staff picks a great way to find a variety of books curated by devoted bookworms. This week, manager Lauren and bookseller Andie share some of their favorites!

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Lauren's Favorites

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Little Leaders: Bold women in black history

I love how this book showcases important people we probably didn't learn about in history class (at least we didn't in mine). And those illustrations! Such a delightful little book. I can't wait for the others in this series to be released (coming in October).

 
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The Serpent's secret

Typical teenager who wants to fit in trope meets snot covered demon. What's a girl to do to get her parent's back from an inter-dimensional prison? Kick some monster butt! 

 
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The jackaby series: the dire king (#4)

This series is fun right from the get-go and ends with one of the best books ever. Seriously, if I could only read one book for the rest of my life it would be The Dire King. It has everything you could ever want in a book. 

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Andie's favorites

Moby-dick: a babylit storybook

Moby-Dick is one of my all-time favorites, and now little ones can embark on the adventure, too! With fun and beautiful illustrations, this book is begging to be taken off the shelf for story time - or to be put back up for display.

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The digger and the flower

This story's tenderness is perfect for a book aimed at boys. It teaches kids to notice beauty and cultivate love, and to let their vulnerabilities show, even if it might feel silly sometimes.

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goldeline

This book has so much of what I love: fierce girls, magic, and a Southern Gothic feel. It's a story about commitment to what is true. (If the word "Hawthornian" doesn't scare you off, it has notes of The Scarlet Letter. If it does scare you, then this is nothing like Hawthorne, and you should definitely read it.)

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Picture Books That Belong Together

Even books need a best friend! Whether you’re shopping for a pair or just have a kid with specific taste, we’ve got you covered. Here are some picture books that were meant to be together.

 
Uni the unicorn is told there’s no such thing as little girls! But no matter what the grown-up unicorns say, Uni believes that little girls are REAL. Somewhere there must be a smart, strong, wonderful, magical little girl waiting to be best friends. In fact, far away (but not too far away), a real little girl believes there is a unicorn waiting for her, too. This magical story of friendship reminds believers and nonbelievers alike that sometimes wishes really can come true.

Uni the unicorn is told there’s no such thing as little girls! But no matter what the grown-up unicorns say, Uni believes that little girls are REAL. Somewhere there must be a smart, strong, wonderful, magical little girl waiting to be best friends. In fact, far away (but not too far away), a real little girl believes there is a unicorn waiting for her, too. This magical story of friendship reminds believers and nonbelievers alike that sometimes wishes really can come true.

Growing up in the ocean, Kelp has always assumed that he was a narwhal like the rest of his family. Sure, he’s always been a little bit different—his tusk isn’t as long, he’s not as good of a swimmer, and he really doesn’t enjoy the cuisine. Then one night, an extra strong current sweeps Kelp to the surface, where he spots a mysterious creature that looks just like him! Kelp discovers that he and the creature are actually unicorns. The revelation leaves him torn: is he a land narwhal or a sea unicorn? But perhaps, if Kelp is clever, he may find a way to have the best of both worlds.

Growing up in the ocean, Kelp has always assumed that he was a narwhal like the rest of his family. Sure, he’s always been a little bit different—his tusk isn’t as long, he’s not as good of a swimmer, and he really doesn’t enjoy the cuisine. Then one night, an extra strong current sweeps Kelp to the surface, where he spots a mysterious creature that looks just like him! Kelp discovers that he and the creature are actually unicorns. The revelation leaves him torn: is he a land narwhal or a sea unicorn? But perhaps, if Kelp is clever, he may find a way to have the best of both worlds.

Uni the Unicorn & Not Quite Narwhal

These two make legendary companions, and not just for obvious reasons. Both books share themes of yearning to belong and believing in yourself. The colorful, sleek illustrations do perfect justice to the magic within the pages. Also: unicorns. Duh!

 
A little girl dreams of having her very own pet. But what kind of animal would make the best companion? A mouse is too small, a cat is too ordinary, and a fish is too . . . wet! As she plays with her toy dinosaur, inspiration strikes. What about a real, live dinosaur? She could ride it to school. It would need lots of food to eat, a swimming pool to drink from, and a dino flap so it could come and go!

A little girl dreams of having her very own pet. But what kind of animal would make the best companion? A mouse is too small, a cat is too ordinary, and a fish is too . . . wet! As she plays with her toy dinosaur, inspiration strikes. What about a real, live dinosaur? She could ride it to school. It would need lots of food to eat, a swimming pool to drink from, and a dino flap so it could come and go!

Today is Pet Club day. There will be cats and dogs and fish, but  strictly no elephants  are allowed. The Pet Club doesn’t understand that pets come in all shapes and sizes, just like friends. Now it is time for a boy and his tiny pet elephant to show them what it means to be a true friend.

Today is Pet Club day. There will be cats and dogs and fish, but strictly no elephants are allowed. The Pet Club doesn’t understand that pets come in all shapes and sizes, just like friends. Now it is time for a boy and his tiny pet elephant to show them what it means to be a true friend.

If I Had a Dinosaur & Strictly No Elephants

These two titles are perfect for kids who love outlandish pets. The stories show the roles that imagination and empathy play in bonding with those different from you, and the adorable illustrations celebrate uniqueness.

 
A young astronaut is absolutely sure there is life to be found on Mars. He sets off on a solitary mission, determined to prove the naysayers wrong. But when he arrives, equipped with a package of cupcakes as a gift, he sees nothing but a nearly barren planet. Finally, he spies a single flower and packs it away to take back to Earth as proof that there is indeed life on Mars. But as he settles in for the journey home, he cracks open his cupcakes—only to discover that  someone  has eaten them all!

A young astronaut is absolutely sure there is life to be found on Mars. He sets off on a solitary mission, determined to prove the naysayers wrong. But when he arrives, equipped with a package of cupcakes as a gift, he sees nothing but a nearly barren planet. Finally, he spies a single flower and packs it away to take back to Earth as proof that there is indeed life on Mars. But as he settles in for the journey home, he cracks open his cupcakes—only to discover that someone has eaten them all!

On August 6, 2012, the rover  Curiosity  touched down on the rocky surface of Mars — and now she’s ready to guide you through her journey firsthand. From idea to creation and beyond, this fact-filled, stylish book introduces readers to  Curiosity  and her mission: to discover more about the red planet and search for evidence of life. How did  Curiosity  get her name? What tools does she use to carry out her tasks? In her own voice, the popular NASA rover tells how and why she traveled more than 350,000,000 miles to explore a planet no human has ever visited . . . and what she’s been doing there.

On August 6, 2012, the rover Curiosity touched down on the rocky surface of Mars — and now she’s ready to guide you through her journey firsthand. From idea to creation and beyond, this fact-filled, stylish book introduces readers to Curiosity and her mission: to discover more about the red planet and search for evidence of life. How did Curiosity get her name? What tools does she use to carry out her tasks? In her own voice, the popular NASA rover tells how and why she traveled more than 350,000,000 miles to explore a planet no human has ever visited . . . and what she’s been doing there.

Life On Mars & Curiosity: The Story of a Mars Rover

For little space adventurers, these two books are the perfect pair. Together they provide both a mythical and scientific look at the Red Planet. Plus, whimsical depictions of both Martians and robots?! Count me in!

 
A girl searches for fairies in her backyard and the woods beyond, following little clues and traces of magic. Fairies and other magical creatures can be found on every page, hidden among the flowers, trees and pebbles. But although readers can see them, the girl keeps searching, just one step behind... In the end, it is clear (both to the girl and readers) that there is magic all around, even when it's hidden in plain sight.

A girl searches for fairies in her backyard and the woods beyond, following little clues and traces of magic. Fairies and other magical creatures can be found on every page, hidden among the flowers, trees and pebbles. But although readers can see them, the girl keeps searching, just one step behind... In the end, it is clear (both to the girl and readers) that there is magic all around, even when it's hidden in plain sight.

When Mae’s family moves to a new home, she wishes she could bring her garden with her. She’ll miss the apple trees, the daffodils, and chasing butterflies in the wavy grass. But there’s no room for a garden in the city. Or is there?  Mae’s story, gorgeously illustrated in watercolor, is a celebration of friendship, resilience in the face of change, and the magic of the natural world.

When Mae’s family moves to a new home, she wishes she could bring her garden with her. She’ll miss the apple trees, the daffodils, and chasing butterflies in the wavy grass. But there’s no room for a garden in the city. Or is there?

Mae’s story, gorgeously illustrated in watercolor, is a celebration of friendship, resilience in the face of change, and the magic of the natural world.

Backyard Fairies & Florette

Okay, so these two are a bit different. Backyard Fairies is about a lush backyard, while Florette is about the search for a garden. But aside from their visual elements, like their colorful paintings of the thriving world, these stories are similar in important ways. Both books teach the significance of finding wonder where you live, and both are about appreciating the magic in the easily-overlooked parts of life.

 
Insightfully sweet, with a gentle humor and poignancy, here is Oliver Jeffers' user's guide to life on Earth. He created it specially for his son, yet with a universality that embraces all children and their parents. Be it a complex view of our planet's terrain (bumpy, sharp, wet), a deep look at our place in space (it’s big), or a guide to all of humanity (don’t be fooled, we are all people), Oliver's signature wit and humor combine with a value system of kindness and tolerance to create a must-have book for parents.

Insightfully sweet, with a gentle humor and poignancy, here is Oliver Jeffers' user's guide to life on Earth. He created it specially for his son, yet with a universality that embraces all children and their parents. Be it a complex view of our planet's terrain (bumpy, sharp, wet), a deep look at our place in space (it’s big), or a guide to all of humanity (don’t be fooled, we are all people), Oliver's signature wit and humor combine with a value system of kindness and tolerance to create a must-have book for parents.

Chris loves rockets and planets and pretending he's a brave astronaut, exploring the universe. Only one problem--at night, Chris doesn't feel so brave. He's afraid of the dark.  But when he watches the groundbreaking moon landing on TV, he realizes that space is the darkest dark there is--and the dark is beautiful and exciting, especially when you have big dreams to keep you company.

Chris loves rockets and planets and pretending he's a brave astronaut, exploring the universe. Only one problem--at night, Chris doesn't feel so brave. He's afraid of the dark.

But when he watches the groundbreaking moon landing on TV, he realizes that space is the darkest dark there is--and the dark is beautiful and exciting, especially when you have big dreams to keep you company.

Here We Are & The Darkest Dark

These two are the perfect team for your little ones who are full of big wonder. Both books help to calm the very human fear of the unknown, and instead celebrate mystery and curiosity - on Earth and beyond. And kids will want to jump inside the beautiful, cosmic illustrations.

 
From the best ways to serve breakfast  -- an elegant feast! --  to the ideal sleeping spot --  a majestic blanket fort, of course!  -- Lola is inspired all day long.  Her dear companion Bear sometimes says she is just  too much , but Lola is rich with imagination and originality, which even Bear will agree is AMAZING.The unstoppable Lola Dutch is about to show you how to make every day grand and full of fun. You'll love her  so   much ! 

From the best ways to serve breakfast -- an elegant feast! -- to the ideal sleeping spot -- a majestic blanket fort, of course! -- Lola is inspired all day long.

Her dear companion Bear sometimes says she is just too much, but Lola is rich with imagination and originality, which even Bear will agree is AMAZING.The unstoppable Lola Dutch is about to show you how to make every day grand and full of fun. You'll love her so much

Princesses Wear Pants  follows the unflappable Princess Penelope Pineapple, who knows how to get the job done while staying true to herself. Princess Penelope lives in a beautiful palace with a closet full of beautiful dresses. But being a princess is much, much more than beauty. In fact, every morning Princess Penelope runs right past her frilly dresses to choose from her beloved collection of pants!   What she wears each day depends on which job she has to do. Will she command the royal air force sporting her sequined flight suit? Will she find her zen in her yoga pants and favorite tee? Or, will she work in the kingdom’s vegetable garden with pocketed overalls for all of her tools?

Princesses Wear Pants follows the unflappable Princess Penelope Pineapple, who knows how to get the job done while staying true to herself. Princess Penelope lives in a beautiful palace with a closet full of beautiful dresses. But being a princess is much, much more than beauty. In fact, every morning Princess Penelope runs right past her frilly dresses to choose from her beloved collection of pants!
 
What she wears each day depends on which job she has to do. Will she command the royal air force sporting her sequined flight suit? Will she find her zen in her yoga pants and favorite tee? Or, will she work in the kingdom’s vegetable garden with pocketed overalls for all of her tools?

Lola Dutch & Princesses Wear Pants

These two books go together like pink and sequins! They are full of heart and imagination, and the sweet stories celebrate the parts of girlhood that often garner eye rolls. Know a pink-lover with lots of personality? This pair is the perfect mix for them.

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