The High Street by Alice Melvin

Don’t let the title fool you. While the term ‘high street’ brings to mind the typical mainstream chains and franchises that seem to be everywhere these days, if anything, Scottish author-illustrator Alice Melvin’s The High Street is a romantic throwback to the good old days of small independent shops that are not owned by faceless corporations, but regular folks whom you can actually get to know and build a trusting relationship with.

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The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Manus Pinkwater

When a seagull randomly drops a can of bright orange paint on Mr. Plumbean’s roof, his house becomes a source of great consternation — not for him, however, but his neighbours, particularly since instead of restoring it to its original neat state, he does the exact opposite. This sparks a colourful chain reaction that changes the nondescript houses and lives of everyone on the street forever.

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The Empowerment Series by Stephen Krensky and Sara Gillingham

If you think about it, childhood is when we go through some of the steepest learning curves in life — what with learning to walk, talk, read… it’s a pretty daunting list, really. And sometimes, what everyone, much less kids, needs is a little affirmation — that pat on the back to tell them that they’re doing just fine, and a little nudge in the right direction to push them to achieve more.

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