Unlikely companions

In a time of isolation and mandatory distancing, it’s important to remember and celebrate all kinds of relationships. These stories illustrate the surprising bonds that can emerge when you bring a child-like open-mindedness to friendship!

Set at a seaside bed-and-breakfast called the Mermaid Hotel, this whimsical book celebrates the friendship of two sassy heroines — one young, one old. Written by Sophie Dahl, grand- daughter of Roald Dahl, it treats young readers with the same reverence and wit as her grandfather did.

Ages 5-8 • $18.99

Local artist Kayla Harren imagined “unexpected animal combinations” in this new board book about God’s never-ending love. The result is a world of dappled sunlight where kids encounter pals at every turn — on a sailboat, at the beach, in a hot-air balloon. (Bonus: You can sing along to this book with Ellie Holcomb on YouTube!)

Ages 2-6 • $12.99

This large hardcover gives off a book-report vibe, but in the most breezy, bite-sized way. Thoroughly researched and brightly illustrated, it tells the true story of 50 animals who forged surprising human bonds, defied the odds and aided in groundbreaking discoveries.

Ages 6 and up • $21.99

Rendered in color pencil and watercolor, this is the sweet story of how a furry, unwanted creature can rearrange your home — and your heart.

Ages 4-8 • $17.95

Georgie is afraid of the knight; the dragon is afraid of the knight. Together, these improbable friends conquer their fears.

Ages 3-7 • $16.99