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School’s out for the summer. But that doesn’t mean Captain Smartypants can’t hit the books. Between trips to the playground and ice cream shop, ramp up imaginations with quality story time. Get started with these 10 new picture books that are worth cracking open on even the sunniest of days.

I Am Not a Copycat

A hippo and bird are besties in Ann Bonwill's story of friendship. When the little winged guy mimics everything his bigger buddy does, he learns it's more fun to be original than to copy. Simon Rickerty's illustrations are cheeky-cool. Available at amazon.com, $10.50.