Calvin and the Sugar Apples

Calvin and the Sugar Apples
Co-Authors / Illustrators
  • Vanessa Balleza
Publisher Name
The Collective Book Studio
Age Range
Release Date
August 29, 2023
A relatable early reader that taps into important life lessons about friendship, grief, and talking through feelings.

"Debut author Oliveira’s lush prose brings the Portugal setting to life and portrays Amelia’s grief with realism. Her struggle to manage her emotions, as well as the deeper understanding she reaches of herself and the people around her, is endearing and rewarding. Balezza’s b&w pencil illustrations appear throughout, adding nuance to Amelia’s heightened feelings." —Publishers Weekly

Ten-year-old Amelia has always had Calvin, her chinchilla friend, to talk to about her problems. But Calvin is no longer in his cage, and her parents just say he’s in a “better place.” When Amelia and her best friend, Camila, have an argument, and Amelia later misses the school talent show, she doesn’t know what to do. Without Calvin, who does she talk to about her disappointments at school? And who does she talk to about missing Calvin?

Just when Amelia thinks she’s completely alone, a new student arrives, and they begin to sort things out together. Amelia learns that it’s always possible to make new friends, that expressing yourself can happen in different ways, and that it all starts with talking it out.

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