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It’s a good thing we don’t all like precisely the same things. Our differences make our world more colorful and exciting. The same can be said of our preferences for what we like to read, and that goes for young and old alike.

The vast number of books available for children runs a gamut deep and wide. The books suggested today are but a fractional example of the treasure chest of available books found at your public library and favorite bookstore. Let kids experience them all to find what appeals to them. Get reading.

Books to borrow

The following book is available at many public libraries.

“The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline, Candlewick, 2006, 198 pages, $18.99 hardcover

Read aloud: age 7 and older.

Read yourself: age 8 and older.

Edward Tulane was an extraordinary toy rabbit who was loved by a little girl. She fussed over him so much that Edward began to think of himself almost as highly as the girl did. But when Edward was lost at the bottom of the ocean, he felt his first true emotion — fear.

Caught in a net by an old fisherman, Edward was presented to the fisherman’s wife, and she was delighted beyond measure. Edward grew very fond of the old couple and was happy with them for a very long time until their cruel daughter came for a visit, stole Edward and tossed him the trash dump. And so, Edward’s story continued, of being loved and then lost, then found again by someone new and loved once more.

By the time Edward found himself in a doll shop, he had loved many times, but he had lost all of those people and his heart had hardened. A wise old doll sat on the shelf next to Edward, and he confided in her that he was done with loving; it was too painful.

The old doll admonished him.

“If you have no intention of loving or being loved, then the whole journey is pointless,” she said.

Then she gently told Edward something that gave him hope: “Someone will come for you. But first you must open your heart.”

Profound on many levels and superbly written and illustrated, this choice is extraordinary in every way.

Librarian’s choice

Library: Schuylkill Valley Community Library, 1310 Washington Road, Bern Township

Library director: Christie Himmelreich

Youth librarian: Kelly Jacoby

Choices this week: “If the Wind Changes” by Steve Smallman; “What Elephant?” by Genevieve Cote; “Into the Wild” by Doreen Cronin

Books to buy

The following books are available at favorite bookstores.

“The Museum of Odd Body Leftovers: A Tour of Your Useless Parts, Flaws, and Other Weird Bits” by Rachel Poliquin, illustrated by Clayton Hanmer, Greystone Kids, 2022, 80 pages, $18.95 hardcover

Read aloud: age 7 – 11.

Read yourself: age 8 – 11.

If you think you’re familiar with museums, this one is far from what you’ve ever experienced. That’s because this is “The Museum of Odd Body Leftovers,” dedicated to exploring all the weird parts humans are still carrying around inside their bodies since before our ancestors were human and that have, through evolution, become mostly useless.

Tour guides Wisdom Tooth and Disappearing Kidney take readers through the multiple rooms of the museum where you will learn about things such as how human feet evolved and why, what the ancient and present-day scoop is about goosebumps, the remnants we still have at the end of our backbone that was once a full-blown tail, the deal with wrinkly fingers, and so much more.

The style of writing these bizarre facts is hilarious and are visually presented with equally funny illustrations. Prepare to be entertained, amazed, and intrigued by “The Museum of Odd Body Leftovers,” truly one-of-a-kind in the very best of ways.

“Billy & Rose: Forever Friends” by Amy Hest, illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton, is perfect for beginning readers. (Courtesy of Candlewick)

“Billy & Rose: Forever Friends” by Amy Hest, illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton, Candlewick, 2022, 42 pages, $16.99 hardcover

Read aloud: age 4 – 8.

Read yourself: age 5 – 8.

Billy and Rose live next door to each other, are best friends and enjoy doing all sorts of things together. Unfortunately, they sometimes disagree on certain things, such as which chores are more difficult, how to play catch properly, the best way to sell ice cream in the snow and where the best place for a sleepover should be.

Despite their little squabbles, in each instance Billy and Rose put their differences aside and arrive at solutions that please them both. That’s because they are best friends and know that being together is far more fun than being apart.

On sale Tuesday, “Billy & Rose: Forever Friends” is a fun story consisting of four short chapters with delightful illustrations. Perfect for beginning readers, this tale makes clear that friendship and conflict resolution isn’t as hard as one might think.

Nationally syndicated, Kendal Rautzhan writes and lectures on children’s literature. She can be reached at kendal.rautzhan27@gmail.com.

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