A PLACE FOR PLUTO by Stef Wade, illustrated by Melanie Demmer

Pluto got the shock of his life when he was kicked out of the famous nine. His planet status was stripped away, leaving him lost and confused. He doesn’t fit in anywhere! But when Pluto is about to give up, he runs into a dwarf planet and finally finds his place in the solar system.

Stef Wade’s debut picture book combines a popular science topic with character education themes of self-discovery, acceptance, and friendship.


Council for Wisconsin Writers

Tofte/Wright Literacy Award – Honorable Mention

The Reading Agency

Summer Reading Challenge 2019 – UK

Texas Library Association

2019 2×2 Reading List


2019 Golden Duck Notable Picture Book


“Demmer gives all the heavenly bodies big eyes (some, including the feminine Saturn, with long lashes) and, on occasion, short arms along with distinctive identifying colors or markings. . . .Make space for this clever blend of science and self-realization.” – Kirkus Reviews

“A charming story about finding your place in the world (or the solar system). When Pluto loses his planet status, he feels sad and adrift. As he searches for a new identity, he makes new friends and learns valuable lessons (and fascinating facts!) in a journey that is part science, part self-discovery.” – Barnes & Noble Kids blog.

“Poor Pluto. Disheartened that after decades together he can no longer call himself a planet along with Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and the others, he sets off with four moon companions and a wee suitcase, his expressive eyes wide open. Join him on his quest to find a place to belong while learning what makes planets, comets, asteroids, and meteoroids unique in a delightful and accessible take on the redesignation of the Kuiper Belt’s most controversial orbiter.” – Foreword Reviews

THE VERY LAST LEAF cover image

THE VERY LAST LEAF by Stef Wade, illustrated by Jennifer Davison

Lance Cottonwood is the best and brightest of the leaves, but even the top students on the tree have worries. Can Lance conquer his fear of falling and just let go when the time comes for his final exam, or will he let his worries take over? In this funny and encouraging picture book, best-selling author Stef Wade (A Place for Pluto) tells an engaging story and deftly addresses social and emotional struggles many kids encounter each day…feeling anxious, wanting to be perfect, facing fears, etc. These themes combined with illustrator Jennifer Davison’s delightful characters and rich autumnal colors make The Very Last Leaf a perfect book for the start of a new school year, the arrival of autumn, or any period of transition in life.



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Q & U CALL IT QUITS by Stef Wade, illustrated by Jorge Martin

Q AND U CALL IT QUITS is a story of two good friends, Q&U. When U gets sick of Q being needy, she sets off for some alone time. When the other letter blends catch wind of the split, they begin to drift apart, creating chaos and confusion. How can the words be spelled without the letter blends?

Starred review from School Library Journal: “An entertaining recommendation for preschool and early elementary school teachers on a quest for alphabet-themed picture books about letter blending.”

2022-2023 Charter Oak Children’s Award Nominee

Published by Quill Tree/HarperCollins



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MOVING TO MARS illustrated by Erin Taylor
Published by Capstone

Mars likes peace and quiet and is not happy when unexpected visitors start showing up. But when they leave, Mars realizes being alone isn’t all that great. Mars reaches out to his space friends for comfort and help. Maybe Mars is a people planet after all! Author Stef Wade (A Place for Pluto) interweaves friendship and humor throughout the space story and seamlessly connects nonfiction information to the narrative in the back matter. The vibrant illustrations by Erin Taylor will keep everyone engaged during storytime!



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EVERY DAY’S A HOLIDAY illustrated by Husna Aghniya
Published by Running Press

A whimsical picture book about a young girl counting down to her birthday while learning about all the other wonderful celebrations to be had throughout the year.

All kids ask a lot of questions, but Winnie is stuck on one in particular: “Is it my birthday yet?” To show her the excitement in other days, Winnie’s mom introduces her to holidays from all around the world. They celebrate everything from National Popcorn Day to Lost Sock Memorial Day! This adorable book is equal parts fun and informative, for fans of National Regular Ordinary Day by Lisa Katzenberger.


“A family makes the most of every day of the year through big and small celebrations. The ambitious project is lovingly designed to stretch from Winnie’s fifth to sixth birthdays…The busy art, in a warm, bright color scheme, is effective, with a blend of vignettes and full-page images… (Winnie’s) community is a diverse one.”—Kirkus Reviews
“A great read-aloud picture book for opening discussions of traditional holidays, more recently created ones, and ideas for new ones.”—Booklist