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Summer is nearly over, but you still have time to cram in some great beach reads.
A few weeks ago, Jenna Bush Hager and other TODAY anchors shared their favorite summer reads. And today, Jenna is got them to reveal their favorite children’s books. She was also able to sit down with author Emma Straub, who recently opened the Brooklyn-based independent bookstore Books Are Magic.
"We're willing to be whimsical, we're willing to be a little bit goofy and to wear our hearts on our sleeves," said Straub, explaining the store's name. "It's something that I think is true, and that I'm willing to shout from the rooftops or from the wall, you know? Books are magic."
We couldn't agree more. And that's why Straub shared her top summer book picks.
1. "Goodbye, Vitamin" by Rachel Khong, $11, Amazon
Rachel Khong's debut novel, "Goodbye, Vitamin" tells the story of newly-single Ruth and her relationship with her eccentric parents.
"Summer is a time of romance," said Straub. "And my favorite romantic book of recent memory: 'When Katie Met Cassidy.' It's a love story in Manhattan between two women, one of whom knows exactly what she's all about and the other one has no idea and is figuring herself out."
"Give Me Your Hand" is a young adult suspense novel about two high school best friends, Kit and Diane, who share a secret that changes everything between them.
4. "Hello Lighthouse" by Sophie Blackall, $16, Amazon
"Sophie Blackall I think is just... she's one of the most gifted illustrators that we have on the planet," said Straub. "And she happens to work in this neighborhood, so we get her in here a lot. But just look at that. Can you imagine living in that lighthouse?"
5. "The Pisces" by Melissa Broder, $16, Amazon
Straub compares Melissa Broder's debut novel "The Pisces" to Guillermo del Toro's film "The Shape of Water." And we can see why.
Lucy, a longtime dissertation writer, is unlucky in love until she finds herself eerily attracted to a night-swimmer she sees around Venice Beach. But everything changes when his true identity makes her rethink what she thought she knew about love.
6. "Miss Rumphius" by Barbara Cooney, $7, Amazon
'Miss Rumphius' tells the story of Miss Alice Rumphius, a free spirit who wanted to make the world more beautiful by planting lupine seeds along the Maine coast.
7. "Emergency Contact" by Mary H.K. Choi, $10, Amazon
Mary H.K. Choi's debut "Emergency Contact" is a YA romance about two college kids who grow inseparable over text and eventually begin to shape each other in ways they never expected.
"For your teenage readers and readers who remember their own teenage years, this is the book to read," said Straub. "It's about how young people communicate nowadays, and miscommunicate. And really this is a great book for anyone from 13 to 30."
8. "Niblet & Ralph" by Zachariah OHora, $18, Amazon
"Niblet & Ralph" is a children's book about an adorable case of mistaken identity. Two cats accidentally switch places and attempt to get home through a series of adventures, depicted by beloved illustrator Zachariah OHora.
"'Harriet Gets Carried Away' is this really wonderful new book about a girl named Harriet who is getting ready for her birthday party with her two dads," says Straub. "She is at the grocery store getting supplies, and she's wearing a penguin costume."
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