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Bookshop Staff's Favorite Kids & YA Books

Give the gift of reading with our delightful collection of kids' books! From board books for babies to chapter books for older kids, Bookshop Santa Cruz's selection has something for every age group! Star your child on a lifelong journey of learning and exploration with our captivating children's books.

Skunk & Badger by Amy Timberlake, Illustrated by Jon Klassen

Badger’s Important Rock Work must take a backseat when Skunk knocks on the door of his brownstone. Yet Skunk is much more than an unwelcome distraction, and by morning has served up the first of many antidotes to Badger’s solitary grumpiness. Odd-couple stories! It’s so easy to identify with the traits of one while yearning to be more like the other. Klassen’s earthy illustrations supply the details in this frolicking tale to read aloud or together, with more adventures to come. -Michelle

 

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Skunk and Badger (Skunk and Badger 1) By Amy Timberlake, Jon Klassen (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Amy Timberlake, Jon Klassen (Illustrator)
$18.95
ISBN: 9781643750057
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Young Readers - September 15th, 2020

If You Want to See a Whale by Julie Fogliano, Illustrated by Erin Stead

Just like many things that are really worthwhile, seeing a whale takes an ocean view, lots of patience, and “a not-too-comfy chair… because sleeping eyes can’t watch for whales and whales won’t wait for watching.” In a world full of distractions, these pages lay out a few simple rules for staying focused on the important things. Erin Stead’s intricate pencil and color drawings are cozy and detailed all the way through, but the finale is really something.

 

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If You Want to See a Whale By Julie Fogliano, Erin E. Stead (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Julie Fogliano, Erin E. Stead (Illustrator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9781596437319
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Roaring Brook Press - May 7th, 2013

Sam & Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett, Illustrated by Jon Klassen

Are we there yet? Is this as good as it gets? How long should we keep looking? To explore these age-old questions, Sam and Dave (along with their surprisingly insightful dog) resolve to keep digging until they find “something spectacular.” Join them in this hilarious cross-sectional view as they tunnel through the earth. You’ll never guess what happens!-Michelle

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Sam and Dave Dig a Hole By Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780763662295
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick - October 14th, 2014

Goodnight Veggies (BOARD) by Diana Murray, Illustrated by Zachariah Ohora

The colors in this book just knock my socks off! Every page exudes such joy, from the smiling veggies to the wonderfully wacky wordplay. What a sweet way to wind down with a little one at the end of the day, “for nothing’s more exhausting than growing day and night.” -Michelle

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Goodnight, Veggies Board Book By Diana Murray, Zachariah OHora (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Diana Murray, Zachariah OHora (Illustrator)
$9.99
ISBN: 9780358452119
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Clarion Books - April 13th, 2021

White Bird by R.J. Palacio

Kindness and courage. In this compelling sequel to the book Wonder, eleven-year-old Julien listens to his grandmother Sara’s story of surviving the Holocaust. Sara tells Julien how she contributed to the bullying of a boy in school, and how this boy ended up saving her from the Nazis during the French occupation. A moving introduction to the Holocaust for grades 5-8. The movie version comes out this year starring Helen Mirren as Grandmére! -Noreen

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White Bird: A Wonder Story (A Graphic Novel) By R. J. Palacio Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780593487785
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - March 1st, 2022

The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Pearsall

Here’s a book for readers who like historical fiction and encountering characters their age who make mistakes and learn from them. 13-year-old Arthur feels angry and expresses his rage by throwing a brick and injuring a “Junk Man”. Sentenced to work for the man he injured, Arthur wonders why he’s gathering light bulbs, aluminum, glass bottles, wood, mirrors and cardboard. Then he discovers the truth about friendship, humility and the transformative power of art. - Noreen

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The Seventh Most Important Thing By Shelley Pearsall Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780553497311
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Yearling - October 4th, 2016

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez

As the daughter of Mexican immigrants, Julia finds it difficult to create her own dreams while meeting her parents’ expectations. What does it mean to navigate two cultures? In a world where girls of color continue to be underestimated, this coming-of-age story is one that any Mexican-American girl could relate to. I love the authenticity in this story. -Noreen

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I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter By Erika L. Sánchez Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781524700515
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ember - March 5th, 2019

Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo, Illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline

Edward Tulane is a self-centered china rabbit who becomes lost from the little girl who loves him. He unexpectedly journeys from situation to situation getting to know himself and people who teach him how to love. An old doll says, “If you have no intention of loving or being loved then the whole journey is pointless.” His transformation into a rabbit that appreciates love, loss and what’s important in life is a classic read-aloud. -Noreen

 

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The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane By Kate DiCamillo, Bagram Ibatoulline (Illustrator) Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780763680909
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick - December 8th, 2015

Golden Rule by Ilene Cooper, Illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The Golden Rule is found in all cultures and all religions. A boy asks his grandfather, “What does it mean? And why is it golden?” I love this book because it’s one of the most important lessons we can teach our children and one another as we choose love and understanding over greed and war.-Noreen

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The Golden Rule: Deluxe Edition By Ilene Cooper, Gabi Swiatkowska (Illustrator), John Green (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Ilene Cooper, Gabi Swiatkowska (Illustrator), John Green (Foreword by)
$19.99
ISBN: 9781419740695
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harry N. Abrams - October 1st, 2019

Moses by Carole Boston Weatherford, Illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Moses is the name Harriet Tubman was known for by leading her people to freedom. Kadir Nelson’s illustrations help us appreciate Harriet’s escape, her dramatic move through the dark woods with her “passengers,” and her constant dialogue with God. It’s God’s voice that supports her spiritual journey and the nineteen journeys that followed. Harriet Tubman is one of my favorite heroines, and this book is a visual and poetic testimony to her strength and courage. -Noreen

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Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom (Caldecott Honor Book) By Carole Boston Weatherford, Kadir Nelson (Illustrator) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780786851751
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - September 1st, 2006

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