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Books for Young Friends

Hannah's Favorite Seasonal Children's Books

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Whether you have children or are looking to nurture your own inner child, picture books are an exceptionally evocative way to get into the spirit. Here are some of my favorites, in mostly chronological order! Check them out at your local library or go to Hannah's affiliate page on Bookshop.org for easy purchasing!
BONUS: You'll also find a list of books for older friends!
Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Bookshop.org and I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase

December

The Yule Tomte and the Little Rabbits by Ulf Stark and Eva Eriksson

Dusk by Uri Shulevitz

All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky

The Latke Who Could Not Stop Screaming by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Lisa Brown

The Story of Hanukkah by David Adler, illustrated by Jill Weber

Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama by Selina Alko

Festive Flamingo: Meditations for Children (Calm, Create, Meditate.) by Shaula Maitland, illustrated by Kat Stock

How the Stars Fell Into the Sky: A Navajo Legend by Jerrie Oughton, illustrated by Lisa Desimini

The Night of Great Joy by Mary Engelbreit

Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline

The Return of Light by Dia Calhoun, illustrated by Lisa Falkenstern

The Wild Girl by Chris Wormell

Little Tree by E.E. Cummings and Chris Raschka

Red and Lulu by Matt Tavares

The Carpenter's Gift: A Christmas Tale about the Rockefeller Center Tree by David Rubel,

illustrated by Jim LaMarche

The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola

Olive, the Other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh, illustrated by J.otto Seibold

The Little Reindeer by Nicola Killen

The Mitten Tree by Candace Christiansen, illustrated by Elaine Greenstein

Lucia and the Light by Phyllis Root, illustrated by Mary GrandPre

The Shortest Day by Wendy Pfeffer, illustrated by Jesse Reisch

Sun Bread by Elisa Kleven

Brother Sun Sister Moon by Katherine Paterson, illustrated by Pamela Dalton

The Christmas Visitors by Karel Hayes

Nine Days to Christmas: A Story of Mexico by Marie Hall Ets and Aurora Labastida

Circle of Wonder: A Native American Christmas Story by N. Scott Momaday

What's Cooking, Jamela? by Niki Daly

The Spider's Gift: A Ukrainian Christmas Story by Eric A. Kimmel, illustrated by Katya Krenina

The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story by Gloria Houston, illustrated by Barbara Cooney

Tree of Cranes by Allen Say

What the Little Fir Tree Wore to the Christmas Party by Satomi Ichikawa

The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold by Maureen Fergus, illustrated by Cale Atkinson

I Got the Christmas Spirit by Connie Schofield-Morrison, illustrated by Frank Morrison

When Christmas Feels Like Home by Gretchen Griffith, illustrated by Carolina Farias

A World of Cookies for Santa: Follow Santa's Tasty Trip Around the World by M.E. Furman, illustrated by Susan Gal

Native American Night Before Christmas by Gary Robinson, illustrated by Jesse T. Hummingbird 

Louisa May Alcott's Christmas Treasury by Louisa May Alcott, edited by Stephen W. Hines, illustrated by C. Michael Dudash

The Star Child by Bernadette Watts

The Lump of Coal by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Brett Helquist

Santa Rex by Molly Idle

A Piñata in a Pine Tree: A Latino Twelve Days of Christmas by Pat Mora, illustrated by Magaly Morales 

There Was No Snow on Christmas Eve by Pamela Munoz Ryan, illustrated by Dennis Nolan

My First Kwanzaa Book by Deborah M Newton Chocolate, illustrated by Cal Massey

The Nativity illustrated by Julie Vivas

Humphrey’s First Christmas by Carol Heyer

Christmas in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown

 

January

The Night Before New Year's by Natasha Wing, illustrated by Amy Wummer

The Stars Will Still Shine by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke

Shante Keyes and the New Year's Peas by Gail Piernas-Davenport, illustrated by Marion Eldridge

Every Month Is a New Year: Celebrations Around the World by Marilyn Singer, illustrated by Susan L. Roth 

The Storyteller's Candle / La Velita De Los Cuentos by Lucia Gonzalez, illustrated by Lulu Delacre

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston

Weatherford, illustrated by Ekua Holmes

The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles, illustrated by George Ford

What’s The Big Deal About First Ladies by Ruby Shamir, illustrated by Matt Faulkner

Sadie’s Snowy Tu B’Shevat by Jamie Korngold, illustrated by Julie Fortenberry

February

Will Spring be Early? By Crockett Johnson

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison

Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman, illustrated by Caroline Binch

Claudette Colvin: Twice Towards Justice by Phillip Hoose

Harlem's Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills by Renee Watson, illustrated by Christian Robinson

The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read by Rita Lorraine Hubbard, illustrated by Oge Mora

Sewing Stories: Harriet Powers' Journey from Slave to Artist by Barbara Herkert, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

The 1619 Project: Born on the Water by Nikole Hannah-Jones and Renée Watson, illustrated by Nikkolas Smith 

A Dance Like Starlight: One Ballerina's Dream by Kristy Dempsey, illustrated by Floyd Cooper 

Leontyne Price: Voice of a Century by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Raul Colón

Ron's Big Mission by Rose Blue and Corinne Naden, illustrated by Don Tate

Art from Her Heart: Folk Artist Clementine Hunter by Kathy Whitehead, illustrated by Shane W. Evans 

Sonny's Bridge: Jazz Legend Sonny Rollins Finds His Groove by Barry Wittenstein, illustrated by Keith Mallett 

Born to Swing: Lil Hardin Armstrong's Life in Jazz by Mara Rockliff, illustrated by Michele Wood

Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Eric Velasquez 

Buzzing with Questions: The Inquisitive Mind of Charles Henry Turner by Janice N. Harrington, illustrated by Theodore Taylor 

A Strong Right Arm: The Story of Mamie "Peanut" Johnson by Michelle Y. Green, illustrated by Kadir Nelson 

Lunar New Year by Hannah Eliot, illustrated by Alina Chau

Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats: A Treasury of Chinese Holiday Tales, Activities & Recipes by Nina Simonds and Leslie Swartz, illustrated by Meilo So

A New Year's Reunion: A Chinese Story by Yu Li-Qiong, illustrated by Zhu Cheng-Liang

This is NOT a Valentine by Carter Higgins, illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins

Love by Matt de la Pena, illustrated by Loren Long

Love Makes a Family by Sophie Beer

Love You, Hug You, Read to You! by Tish Rabe, illustrated by Frank Endersby 

A Valentine for Uni the Unicorn by Amy Krouse Rosenthal 

Otter and Odder: A Love Story by James Howe, illustrated by Chris Raschka

In a Jar by Deborah Marcero 

Love Is My Favorite Thing by Emma Chichester Clark 

A Book of Love by Emma Randall 

A Hat for Mrs. Goldman: A Story about Knitting and Love by Michelle Edwards, illustrated by G. Brian Karas 

Make Magic! Do Good! by Dallas Clayton 

Mimi's First Mardi Gras by Alice Couvillon and Elizabeth Moore, illustrated by Marilyn Rougelot

Cakes and Miracles: A Purim Tale by Barbara Goldin

The Story of Esther: A Purim Tale by Eric Kimmel, illustrated by Jill Weber

On Purim by Cathy Goldberg Fishman

March

Rejected Princesses: Tales of History's Boldest Heroines, Hellions, and Heretics by Jason Porath 

Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas by Jim Ottaviani, illustrated by Maris Wicks

The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer by Sydney Padua

The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin by Julia Finley Mosca, illustrated by Daniel Rieley

The Kite Princess by Juliet Clare Bell, illustrated by Laura-Kate Chapman

Loujain Dreams of Sunflowers by Lina Alhathloul & Uma Mishra-Newbery, illustrated by Rebecca Green

The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian's Art Changed Science by Joyce Sidman

Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova by Laurel Snyder, illustrated by Julie Morstad

A is for Awesome!: 23 Iconic Women Who Changed the World by Eva Chen, illustrated by Derek Desierto 

All the Way to the Top: How One Girl's Fight for Americans with Disabilities Changed Everything by Annette Bay Pimentel, illustrated by Nabi Ali, foreward by Jennifer Keelan-Chaffins

Molly, by Golly!: The Legend of Molly Williams, America's First Female Firefighter by Dianne Ochiltree, illustrated by Kathleen Kemly

Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13 by Helaine Becker, illustrated by Dow Phumiruk 

Hedy Lamarr's Double Life, Volume 4: Hollywood Legend and Brilliant Inventor by Laurie Wallmark, illustrated by Katy Wu

The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq by Jeanette Winter 

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy, illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley 

Malala: Activist for Girls' Education by Raphaële Frier, illustrated by Aurélia Fronty 

Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines by Jeanne Walker Harvey, illustrated by Dow Phumiruk

Red Bird Sings: The Story of Zitkala-Sa, Native American Author, Musician, and Activist by Gina Capaldi, illustrated by Q. L. Pearce 

Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World by Susan Hood, illustrated by Lisa Brown, et al.

Yayoi Kusama: From Here to Infinity! by Sarah Suzuki, illustrated by Ellen Weinstein and Yayoi Kusama 

And Then It's Spring by Julie Fogliono, illustrated by Erin E. Stead

Birdsong by Julie Flett

The Spring Visitors by Karel Hayes

Like A Windy Day by Frank Asch

Dear Bunny by  Katie Cotton, illustrated by Blanca Gomez

The Spring Equinox by Ellen Jackson, illustrated by Jan Davey Ellis

A New Beginning: Celebrating the Spring Equinox by Wendy Pfeffer, Linda Bleck

If you Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson

Little Frog and the Spring Pollywogs by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Ellen Shi

The Story of Passover by David Adler, illustrated by Jill Weber

Hooray! It's Passover! by Leslie Kimmelman, illustrated by John Himmelman

Amma Tell Me About Holi! by Bhakti Mathur 

 

April

Worm Weather by Jean Taft, illustrated by Matt Hunt

Flowers Are Calling by Rita Gray, illustrated by Kenard Pak

Bats at the Ballgame by Brian Lies

Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats: A Treasury of Chinese Holiday Tales, Activities & Recipes by Nina Simonds  and Leslie Swartz, illustrated by Meilo So

The Story of Easter by Jean Miller, illustrated by Jerry Smath

The Water Princess by Susan Verde and Georgie Badiel, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

Ramadan Moon by Na'ima B. Robert, illustrated by Shirin Adl

The Ugly Vegetables by Grace Lin 

The Honeybee by Kristen Hall, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault

Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert

The Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever by H. Joseph Hopkins, illustrated by Jill McElmurry

Love the Earth by Julian Lennon, illustrated by Smiljana Coh

The One-Stop Story Shop by Tracey Corderoy, illustrated by Tony Neal

 

May

On the Morn of Mayfest by Erica Silverman, illustrated by Marla Frazee

That's Me Loving You by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

To the Moon and Back for You by Emilia Bechrakis Serhant, illustrated by Eg Keller 

You Belong Here by M.H. Clark, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault 

Marco's Cinco de Mayo by Lisa Bullard, illustrated by Holli Conger

The Best Eid Ever by Asma Mobin-Uddin, illustrated by Laura Jacobsen 

The Whole Wide World and Me by Toni Yuly

Anywhere Farm by Phyllis Root , illustrated by G. Brian Karas

Look Up!: Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard by Annette LeBlanc Cate

The Poppy Lady: Moina Belle Michael and Her Tribute to Veterans by Barbara E. Walsh, illustrated by Layne Johnson 

The Wall (Reading Rainbow Books) by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Ronald Himler

A Day for Rememberin': The First Memorial Day by Leah Henderson, illustrated by Floyd Cooper

June

And Then Comes Summer by Tom Brenner, illustrated by Jaime Kim 

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders, illustrated by Steven Salerno

Florette by Anna Walker

Mommy, Mama, and Me by Leslea Newman, illustrated by Carol Thompson

I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas

When You Look Out The Window: How Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin Built a Community by Gayle E. Pitman PhD, illustrated by Christopher Lyles

Princess Princess Ever After by Katie O'Neill

Summertime in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder, illustrated by Renee Graef

Pearl by Molly Idle

Bats at the Beach by Brian Lies

The Summer Visitors by Karel Hayes

Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats: A Treasury of Chinese Holiday Tales, Activities & Recipes by Nina Simonds  and Leslie Swartz, illustrated by Meilo So

Juneteenth by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and Drew Nelson, illustrated by Mark Schroder

My Daddy Rules the World: Poems about Dads by Hope Anita Smith

Dad and the Dinosaur by Gennifer Choldenko, illustrated by Dan Santat

My Dad Thinks He's Funny by Katrina Germein, illustrated by Tom Jellett

The Longest Day: Celebrating the Summer Solstice by Wendy Pfeffer, illustrated by Linda Bleck

The Little Gardener by Emily Hughes

National Parks of the USA by Kate Siber, illustrated by Chris Turnham 

My Awesome Summer by P. Mantis (A Nature Diary) by Paul Meisel 

 

July

My Grown-Ups by Kate Costigan, illustrated by Sarah Turner

Sybil Ludington’s Midnight Ride by Marsha Amstel, illustrated by Ellen Beier

This Land is Your Land by Woodie Guthrie and Kathy Jakobsen

Founding Mothers: Remembering the Ladies by Cokie Roberts, illustrated by Diane Goode

Anna Strong: A Spy During the American Revolution by Sarah Glenn Marsh, illustrated by Sarah Green

A Kite for Moon by Jane Yolen and Heidi E.Y. Stemple,  illustrated by Matt Phelan

Mouse's First Summer by Lauren Thompson, illustrated by Buket Erdogan

Ice Cream Summer by Peter Sis 

Over and Under the Pond by Kate Messner, illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal

And Shira Imagined by Giora Carmi 

Nature's Day: Discover the World of Wonder on Your Doorstep by Kay Maguire, illustrated by Danielle Kroll

Splash, Anna Hibiscus! by Atinuke, illustrated by Lauren Tobia

Blackout  by John Rocco

Summer Days and Nights by Wong Herbert Yee 

Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan

Finding Wild by Megan Wagner Lloyd, illustrated by Abigail Halpin

Hike by Pete Oswald

The Night Walk by Marie Dorleans

 

August

Wild Symphony by Dan Brown, illustrated by Susan Batori

One Hot Summer Day by Nina Crews 

Where Wonder Grows by Xelena Gonzalez, illustrated by Adriana M. Garcia

Tiny T Rex and the Impossible Hug by Jonathan Stutzman, illustrated by Jay Fleck

My Voice is a Trumpet by Jimmie Allen, illustrated by Cathy Ann Johnson

Petra by Marianna Coppo

Niko Draws a Feeling by Bob Raczka, illustrated by Simone Shin

It's a Firefly Night by Dianne Ochiltree, illustrated by Betsy Snyder

Mermaid School by Joanne Stewart Wetzel, illustrated by Julianna Swaney

How To by Julie Morstad

Lawn to Lawn by Dan Yaccarino

Tomorrow I'll Be Kind by Jessica Hische

Whale in a Fishbowl by Troy Howell, illustrated by Richard Jones

Seeds and Trees: A children's book about the power of words by Brandon Walden, illustrated by Kristen and Kevin Howdeshell

The King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton 

The Truth About My Unbelievable School by Davide Cali, illustrated by Benjamin Chaud

September

Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak

When Autumn Falls by Kelly Nidey, illustrated by Susan Swan 

Flower Fairies of the Autumn by Cicely Mary Barker

Fall Mixed Up by Robert Raczka, illustrated by Chad Cameron

Fancy Party Gowns: The Story of Fashion Designer Ann Cole Lowe by Deborah Blumenthal

I Had a Favorite Dress by Boni Ashburn

The Arabic Quilt: An Immigrant Story by Aya Khalil

Stitchin' and Pullin' by Patricia McKissack

Sewing Stories: Harriet Powers' Journey from Slave to Artist by Barbara Herkert

¡Si, Se Puede! / Yes, We Can!: Janitor Strike in L.A. by Diana Cohn, illustrated by Francisco Delgado

Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909 by Michelle Markel, illustrated by Melissa Sweet

New Year at the Pier: A Rosh Hashanah Story by April Halprin Wayland

On Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur by Cathy Goldberg Fishman, illustrated by Melanie W. Hall

Sound the Shofar!: A Story for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur by Leslie Kimmelman, illustrated by John Himmelman

The Night Box by Louise Greig, illustrated by Ashling Lindsay 

The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family by Ibtihaj Muhammad, illustrated by S. K. Ali  Hatem Aly

The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger

A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon 

Apples by Jacqueline Farmer, illustrated by Phyllis Limbacher Tildes

Johnny Appleseed: The Legend and the Truth by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Jim Burke

The Apple Pie That Papa Baked by Lauren Thompson, illustrated by Jonathan Bean 

The Mysterious Guests: A Sukkot Story by Eric A. Kimmel, illustrated by Katya Krenina

Night Lights: A Sukkot Story by Barbara Diamond Goldin, illustrated by Laura Elizabeth Sucher

Ella's Night Lights by Lucy Fleming

Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats: A Treasury of Chinese Holiday Tales, Activities & Recipes by Nina Simonds  and Leslie Swartz, illustrated by Meilo So

By the Light of the Harvest Moon by Harriet Ziefert

October

I Know It's Autumn by Eileen Spinelli, illustrated by Nancy Hayashi

The Autumn Visitors by Karel Hayes

Bats at the Library by Brian Lies

Little Frog and the Scary Autumn Thing by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Ellen Shi

Fancy Nancy's Fabulous Fall Storybook Collection by Jane O'Connor, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser

When We Were Alone by David A. Robertson, illustrated by Julie Flett

Sweetest Kulu by Celina Kalluk, illustrated by Alexandria Neonakis

Gaawin Gindaaswin Ndaawsii / I Am Not a Number (English and Ojibwa Edition) by Dr. Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kacer, illustrated by Gillian Newland, translated by Muriel Sawyer and Geraldine McLeod

When I Was Eight by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard

The People Shall Continue by Simon J Ortiz, illustrated by Sharol Graves 

Scarecrow by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Lauren Stringer

Creepy Pair of Underwear! by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Peter Brown 

Maurice the Unbeastly by Amy Dixon, illustrated by Karl James Mountford

Stumpkin by Lucy Ruth Cummins

I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll, illustrated by Howard McWilliam

Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Peter Brown

Ghosts in the House! by Kazuno Kohara

The Scariest Book Ever by Bob Shea

By the Light of the Halloween Moon by Caroline Stutson, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes

Vampirina Ballerina by Anne Marie Pace, illustrated by LeUyen Pham 

The Super Tiny Ghost by Marilee Joy Mayfield, illustrated by Catty Flores 

Poesy the Monster Slayer by Cory Doctorow, illustrated by Matt Rockefeller 

The Teeny Tiny Ghost by Kay Winters, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger

Gustavo, the Shy Ghost by Flavia Z. Drago

 

November

Equality's Call: The Story of Voting Rights in America by Deborah Diesen, illustrated by Magdalena Mora

Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by LeUyen Pham

What Does It Mean to Be American? by Rana DiOrio and Elad Yoran, illustrated by Nina Mata 

Skyward: The Story of Female Pilots in WWII by Sally Deng 

Amma, Tell Me About Diwali! by Bhakti Mathur 

It's Diwali! by Richard Sebra

Ask Me by Bernard Waber, illustrated by Suzy Lee

Awesome Autumn by Bruce Goldstone

Owl Sees Owl by Laura Godwin and Rob Dunlavey

Magic Ramen: The Story of Momofuku Ando by Andrea Wang, illustrated by Kana Urbanowicz

Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao by Kat Zhang, illustrated by Charlene Chua

Tea Cakes for Tosh by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by E. B. Lewis 

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal

A Moon of My Own by Jennifer Rustgi, illustrated by Ashley White

In the Leaves by Huy Voun Lee

First Peoples series (Cheyenne, Shawnee, Inuit, Comanche, Seminole, Hopi, Nez Perce, Apache, Sioux, Navajo, Iroquois, Cherokee) by Valerie Bodden

Bowwow Powwow by Brenda J. Child, translated by Gordon Jourdain, illustrated by Jonathan Thunder  

Josie Dances by Denise Lajimodiere, illustrated by Angela Erdrich

The Twelve Days of Christmas in Florida by Frank Remkiewicz

History Smashers: The Mayflower by Kate Messner, illustrated by Dylan Meconis 

Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev, illustrated by Taeeun Yoo 

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell, illustrated by Frane Lessac

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman

Strega Nona's Harvest by Tomie dePaola

Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade by Melissa Sweet

Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message by Chief Jake Swamp, illustrated by Erwin Printup, Jr.

Thankful by Eileen Spinelli, illustrated by Archie Preston

Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende Devlin and Harry Devlin

We Gather Together: Celebrating the Harvest Season by Wendy Pfeffer, illustrated by Linda Bleck

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