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Ruby's Tools for Making Friends

Illustrated by Apryl Stott

About The Book

A little fox uses tools to overcome anxiety and make friends at her new school in this heartfelt picture book from the creator of the New York Times bestseller Share Some Kindness, Bring Some Light!

It’s Ruby the fox’s first day at a new school. She’s a little nervous, but luckily, she has her tools to help: a tape measure to count her breaths if she feels overwhelmed, pliers to remind her to be flexible, and safety goggles to see things in a new way.

When Ruby finds out her class is having an egg drop competition, she wants to share her ideas, but she feels shy surrounded by all her talkative classmates. Can she use her tools to find the confidence to speak up, and maybe even make some new friends?

About The Author

Photo courtesy of the author

Apryl Stott loves telling stories, reading, and drawing. She always has paper, a pencil, and a sharpie in her bag for drawing emergencies. Her debut picture book, Share Some Kindness, Bring Some Light, was a New York Times bestseller. Apryl also wrote and illustrated Almost Always Best, Best Friends; Find Your Brave: A Coco and Bear Story; and Ruby’s Tools for Making Friends. Learn more at AprylStottDesign.com.

About The Illustrator

Photo courtesy of the author

Apryl Stott loves telling stories, reading, and drawing. She always has paper, a pencil, and a sharpie in her bag for drawing emergencies. Her debut picture book, Share Some Kindness, Bring Some Light, was a New York Times bestseller. Apryl also wrote and illustrated Almost Always Best, Best Friends; Find Your Brave: A Coco and Bear Story; and Ruby’s Tools for Making Friends. Learn more at AprylStottDesign.com.

Why We Love It

“Ruby’s story is both relatable and empowering—all kids and adults will feel seen and loved when they read Apryl Stott’s latest offering.”

—Catherine L., Editor, on Ruby’s Tools for Making Friends

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (June 4, 2024)
  • Length: 40 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781665921657
  • Ages: 4 - 8

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Raves and Reviews

"A sweet tale that will equip youngsters with the tools they need to try new things."

– Kirkus Reviews, 5/1/24

"There’s a slew of kids’ books out there helping youngsters deal with big feelings, but this one feels particularly fresh. This might make a more modern The Kissing Hand for kids nervous about their first day at school."

– The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"A heartening picture book for "new kids" seeking friends at school."

– Booklist

"A trio of tools help a young fox handle social anxiety in this picture book focused on emotional regulation."

– Publishers Weekly

Ruby the fox is nervous about her first day at a new school, but she knows she can rely on her handy tools to get through any rough spots: her tape measure helps her count her breaths, her pliers remind her to be flexible, and her safety glasses allow her to see situations in different ways. Her tools do indeed help her stay calm, but they don’t do much in the way of making friends. So, when the teacher announces their first project will be an egg drop, Ruby’s certain if she can build the best egg holder, everyone will want to be her pal. Unfortunately, she finds it hard to tell her ideas to her peers, and her solo attempt is just a mess. Some advice from her mom gets Ruby thinking, and she’s able to speak up the next day and work with her classmates to complete a shared project. There’s a slew of kids’ books out there helping youngsters deal with big feelings, but this one feels particularly fresh in that Ruby already knows calming techniques and uses them quite well, but sometimes things still feel bad—you can’t always breathe your way into a better situation, and some coping skills have to be learned on the fly. Similarly, Ruby and her group work hard to build their egg holder, but it stills fails the drop, reminding readers that doing all the work well doesn’t ensure success, but there’s still something valuable in the building and competing. Both humans and a variety of animals populate Stott’s Richard Scarry-like world, and full, expansive spreads bring readers right into Ruby’s busy classroom. The watercolor and ink illustrations are beautifully detailed, with visual easter eggs throughout giving insight to Ruby’s new experiences as well as developing a few side characters’ stories. This might make a more modern The Kissing Hand for kids nervous about their first day at school. KQG

– BCCB, 5/1/24

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More books from this author: Apryl Stott