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I'm a divorced mom of 3 gluten-free daughters, devoted to finding time to read.

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Bentos for A Gaggle of Girls
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Two Heartwarming Picture Books

The books that leave you feeling cheery and uplifted are fewer and farther between than you would think. We happened across two in one night that we want to keep, rather than returning to the library. That was a special night.

I have a soft spot in my heart for puns, and this book had me giggling. Porcupining: A Prickly Love Story, by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by Janie Bynam. This is the story of a porcupine who is lonely in the petting zoo, as he isn’t allowed to be petted. Cushion goes out in search of a wife, and approaches different creatures, singing “I’ve been so lonesome all my life … I’m porcupining for a wife …”, and eventually finds a perfect match. This is a good book to read alongside a deeper or scarier book, as it is purely sweet and punny. A very gentle book, but not so gentle that it is insipid – it is engaging and fun while being gentle.

Our library is participating in a Community Read focusing on books from Haiti. They chose a book for adults, a book for young adults, and several books for kids. We read Circles Of Hope, by Karen Lynn Williams, illustrated by Linda Saport. This book about replanting trees in Haiti is heartwarming, sweet, and wonderful. The story is about a little boy who has the only mango tree on the mountain. He has a new baby sister, but she becomes sick and the parents and sister need to leave the mountain to go to a doctor. While his parents are gone, the little boy wants to grow a mango tree as a present for his sister. He tries various ways suggested by others to protect the tree, without success. Then he figures out the best way, and has a beautiful tree waiting for his sister. The author says this is based on the tree replanting going on throughout Haiti.

Both of these books entertained all 3 of the Gaggle of Girls, ages 3, 6, and 8. We highly recommend them! We’ve also read other books by aren Lynn Williams, and suggest you check those out, too.

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