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The Lonely Toadstool: A Children’s Books About New Friends That Come as We Find Our Voice is a celebration of growth that begins with Kristin Addington Culpepper's depiction of isolation ("One toadstool stood all alone on the forest floor."). This grows to embrace the world when a lonely toadstool's cry of despair reaches a host of forest creatures that all put down their busy tasks to answer his call. Anyone who has been lonely or isolated, and any child who has felt the pain of such, will find The Lonely Toadstool a study in how to be a friend as well as how to accept and interact with others. Gorgeous illustrations by Ruthie Arthur illustrate how a myriad of fanciful creatures and forest animals embark on a search for the source of that lonely whimper, determined to help. Through the lonely toadstool's feelings and reactions, children learn the importance of expressing emotion, asking for help, setting boundaries, and being more inclusive in their friendships. They also learn how to be givers via the example of these disparate forest friends who come together to answer a call of need. The importance of this lovely message, well-paired with the equally lovely forest illustrations which represent whimsy with a colorful flair, makes The Lonely Toadstool a top pick for discriminating read-aloud parents and elementary-level libraries looking for explorations of emotions for the very young. The top-notch combination of simple subject and supportive reflections on friendships makes for a tale that all ages (including adults) can learn from. Ideally, The Lonely Toadstool will also be used in discussion groups with kids to explore themes of isolation, friendship, giving, and cooperative efforts. ​ - Midwest Book Review, D. Donovan (Senior Reviewer & Donovan's Literary Services Editor)

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"The message about getting community help is strong, and Culpepper's fantastical setting lends itself well to its exploration... The rhymes...scan suited for reading aloud. ...illustrations emphasize the fairy-tale feel... A meditation on speaking one's needs with a good message..."  - Kirkus Review

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It is normal for all of us to feel sad and lonely on occasion, but it can be more complicated for young children to deal with those feelings. The Lonely Toadstool: A Children's Book About Emotions and New Friends That Come as We Find Our Voice will show young readers how to express their emotions. Children will feel comfortable and understand that it is just as beneficial to accept help as it is to help others. This tale concerns a toadstool who, alone in the middle of the forest, thinks about his situation. He is sad because besides being alone, he feels different from others. At one point, he cried so loudly that some of the animals and creatures of the forest stopped their activities and went to help. Kristin Addington Culpepper develops a tale where children will learn to express their feelings and seek the good of others. Kristin Addington Culpepper shares a poem in story form, and reading it will be entertaining and easy for children to follow. I also liked the illustrations because the landscapes convey the emotions of The Lonely Toadstool. The environment that is described invites you to feel love for nature because even natural phenomena like rain do their part to assist. I recommend this tale because children are at a stage when they are learning to live together in a community with others, and you see that illustrated in this book. I liked the lesson about togetherness, as all the characters tried to help the toadstool. This story teaches us that we should all act to help others and it is a beautiful tale of solidarity and empathy. ​ - Readers' Favorite 5 Star Award Winner, Reviewed by Diana Lopez

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The Lonely Toadstool: A Children’s Books About New Friends That Come as We Find Our Voice is a celebration of growth that should reach a wide range of readers and read-aloud adults with an important message about community and connections that is especially important in divided, lonely times. The picture book story depicts little toadstool's cry for help, his longing for support systems, and the surprising response his effort to connect brings back to him. Replete with important messages for modern times and wrapped in gorgeous colorful illustrations by Ruthie Arthur , The Lonely Toadstool provides all ages with an essential illustration of kindness as well as the importance of expressing emotion, asking for help, setting boundaries, and being more inclusive in their friendships. - Donovan's Bookshelf

Purchase the animated, narrated version of The Lonely Toadstool in the Sunshine Shop!

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