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Photos and text by Gabrielle.

Today, I have four excellent books to tell you about. One is a Caldecott winner, another is a Caldecott Honor book, another is an older reprint from Italy, and another was published just this month — and is one of the prettiest books I’ve seen in ages.

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Let’s start with Swan, by Laurel Snyder, with illustrations by Julie Morstad. If you’ve got a young dancer in the house, this book is a must have. It’s the life story of Anna Pavlova, legendary prima ballerina, and her most famous role.

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The words feel like a poem, and the artwork is outstanding. It is a seriously beautiful book, and I keep finding myself studying the illustrations.

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Up next is Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett, with illustrations by Jon Klassen. This book won a read-aloud award, and it’s well-deserved. I have no doubt this is a much requested bedtime story at houses everywhere. It’s very funny, and very fun to look at.

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Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen are the same team that created Extra Yarn, which was my first introduction to both talents. And ever since I’ve been a big fan — they both keep knocking it out of the ballpark with their books.

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Speaking of which, Jon Klassen’s This is Not My Hat won the 2013 Caldecott! It’s a follow up to I Want My Hat Back.

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This is Not My Hat features a little fish with an little blue hat (that happens to fit him perfectly, but does not belong to him), and a little adventure. It will make you laugh!

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And one more book today, The Apple and the Butterfly by Iela and Enzo Mari. This was originally published in 1969 in Italy, with the title, The Apple and the Moth.

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It’s a wordless book, and it tells the story of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, and how it’s life is intimately connected to an apple tree. It’s beautiful and it’s educational. A classic for every library.

Your turn! What books are your kids requesting these days? Anything new-to-you that you’ve wanted to share?

P.S. — Here are Six Great Books about School, just in time for back-to-school season.