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Social Skills Resources for Children

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Featured Books in this Category / Main Booklist

Featured Books 

And to Think That We Thought That We’d Never Be Friends.  Mary Ann Hoberman, $10.50 (ages 4- 7)

In rhyming verse that’s a deliberate homage to Dr. Seuss, poet and picture book author Mary Ann Hoberman takes on quarreling and its consequences, and shows how turning fighters into friends leads to greater peace. It all starts with a fighting brother and sister, who make up with the help of another sibling. When the family begins fighting with their noisy neighbors, it’s music that brings them together. Soon the whole town is marching in a parade, and eventually the parade swells to include the whole country, and even the animals. By the end of this optimistic picture book, the whole world is united in friendship.


Are You Quite Polite? Silly Dilly Manners Songs. Alan Katz and David Catrow. $22.99 (ages 4- 7)

Songwriter and comedy writer extraordinaire Alan Katz has done it again! Turning his attention to the subject of good and bad manners, he has created a hilarious new guide to manners that kids will love to follow — laughing all the way! With brilliantly funny pictures by illustrator and cartoonist David Catrow, this new collection promises hours of well-mannered silly dillyness for kids everywhere!


Blossom Plays Possum (Because She's Shy). Birdy Jones, illustrated by Janet McDonnell, $21.54 (ages 4-8)

Blossom wants to speak up in class, and she wants to spend time with friends at lunch and at recess. But whenever she tries, she freezes up and plays possum instead! Can Blossom get past her shyness and have fun?

Includes a Note to Parents and Other Caregivers by Julia Martin Burch, PhD, with more information on the cognitive-behavioral strategies Blossom uses to cope with shyness and ways to encourage your own shy child.


Boss No More. Estelle Meens, $14.50 (ages 4-8)

What happens when one kid thinks they can always choose the game played on the playground? Or who gets to play, and who doesn't? Do you know a friend who is bossy? Are you?

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Chicken, Pig, Cow's First Fight. Ruth Ohi, $6.95 (ages 4-6)

Chicken, Pig and Cow were best friends. They had never had a fight. Then one day Pig is in a bad mood and the best of friends have a big, bad fight. Can everyone still be friends?


Cliques Just Don’t Make Cents. Julia Cook, Illustrated by Anita Dufalla, $14.95 (ages 10-13)

Cliques Just Don’t Make Cents is a book that helps kids understand the emotional toll that cliques can have on those who are excluded from popular social groups. It also teaches them how to build better relationships. The book includes tips for parents, teachers and counselors on how to help young people who often feel excluded by others.


Feeling Shy. Kay Barnham, illustrated by Mike Gordon, $18.99 (ages 5-9)

Lily is good at noticing when others are feeling shy and helping them overcome their shyness. Lily helps a new student break out of her shell, urges a friend to join in at a party, and coaxes her sister to socialize when her sister’s feeling bashful. Then Lily goes to a new club by herself, and it’s her turn to feel timid. Can she follow her own example and move past her shy feelings?


Feelings FLASHCARDS. Todd Parr, $21.99 (ages 3-7)

A great way for kids to share — and learn about — all kinds of emotions.

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Fox and Squirrel Make a Friend. Ruth Ohi, $14.99

Fox and Squirrel are the best of friends. But when Yellow Bird comes along, he and Squirrel frolic high up in the treetops where Fox can't reach. Fox feels like Squirrel doesn't need him anymore. Can Squirrel help Fox see that there's room in their friendship for another?

Ruth Ohi delivers another irresistible story about the adventures of two lovable friends, told through the same spare text and expressive watercolour illustrations as Fox and Squirrel. The simple text and joyful art together deliver a heart warming tale with a subtle but profound message about the strengths of friendship, loyalty, and acceptance.


Friends Always. Tanja Wenisch, $14.50 (ages 4-8)

A look at the ups and downs of childhood friendships.


Friends: Making Them and Keeping Them. Patty Kelley Criswell, $12.99 (ages 8 to 12)

Here’s all you need to know about making friends and making friendships last. The book includes tips and quizzes, plus true friendship stories.

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Friendshape: an Uplifting Celebration of Friendship. Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, $20.99

Friends shape who we are. They make us laugh. They fill us with fun. They stand by us during life's up and downs. And even when we disagree with our friends, if they're tried-and-true, they don't stay bent out of shape for long. That's the beauty of a good buddy. This joyous book rejoices in the simple beauties of friendship, and reminds readers of all ages that it's good to have a group of pals.


Friendship is Like a Seesaw. Shona Innes & Írisz Agócs, $12.50 (ages 4–7) 

Endearing illustrations and gentle text explore friends at their best — sharing, laughing, and playing together — as well as friends who sometimes say hurtful things, leave others out, or get a bit bossy. The authors go on to discuss what we can do to rebalance and fix our friendships, like talking about our feelings, looking at our own friendship skills, or taking a break.


The Giggly Guide to How to Behave. Philippe Jalbert, $19.95 (ages 4-6)

Mind your manners! There's more to good manners than just saying "please" and "thank you"! With 44 simple rules on how to behave, and how not to behave, this giggly guidebook shows you exactly what it means to have good manners, and what happens when you don't follow the rules of good behavior.

Kids and their parents will giggle their way through this clever and colorful guide on polite behavior, and are sure to want the companion book on how to behave at school, too!

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The Girl Who Collected Her Own Echo. Juliette Ttofa, illustrated by Julia Gallego, $20.90

The Girl who Collected Her Own Echo is a therapeutic story about finding friendship. In the story, a little girl lives by herself and loves to sing. One day whilst she is singing in a mysterious cave, she thinks that her echo must be the sound of other children singing, but she is too shy to approach them. When she meets a boy who loved hearing her sing but was too shy to approach her, she realises that they were both lonely and they can sing together as friends.


Growing Friendships: a Kids' Guide to Making and Keeping Friends. Eileen Kennedy-Moore & Chritine McLaughlin, $19.99

Friendship is complicated for kids. Almost every child struggles socially at some time, in some way. Having an argument with a friend, getting teased, or even trying to find a buddy in a new classroom... although these are typical problems, they can be very painful. And friendships are never about just one thing.

With research-based practical solutions and plenty of true-to-life examples — presented in more than 200 lighthearted cartoons — Growing Friendships is a toolkit for both girls and boys as they make sense of the social order around them. Children everywhere want to fit in with a group, resist peer pressure, and be good sports — but even the most socially adept children struggle at times. But after reading this highly illustrated guide on their own or with a caring adult, kids everywhere will be well equipped to face any friendship challenges that come their way.


Icebreakers In a Jar®. Free Spirit Publishing, $14.99 (ages 8-12)

101 cards, each with three engaging questions, help kids break the ice in new situations and develop social skills as they learn more about their peers. Perfect for use in classrooms, advisory groups, after-school programs, teams, and youth groups.

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The Invisible Boy. Trudy Ludwig, illustrated by Patrice Barton, $18.99

Meet Brian, the invisible boy. Nobody ever seems to notice him or think to include him in their group, game, or birthday party... until, that is, a new kid comes to class. When Justin, the new boy, arrives, Brian is the first to make him feel welcome. And when Brian and Justin team up to work on a class project together, Brian finds a way to shine.

This gentle story shows how small acts of kindness can help children feel included and allow them to flourish. Any parent, teacher, or counselor looking for material that sensitively addresses the needs of quieter children will find The Invisible Boy a valuable and important resource. 


Join In and Play. Cheri Meiners, $17.99 (ages 2-6)

It's fun to make friends and play with others, but it's not always easy to do. You have to make an effort, and you have to know the rules — like ask before joining in, take turns, play fair, and be a good sport. This book teaches the basics of cooperation, getting along, making friends, and being a friend.

Includes ideas for games adults can use with kids to reinforce the skills being taught.


Martha Mouse Plush Toy. $19.95

Martha the confident, imaginative, one-of-a-kind mouse is now available as a huggable, lovable plush toy!

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Martha the (confident) Mouse. Written & illustrated by Karen Lang, $12.95

Martha, a shy and timid mouse, lives alone in a tree fort, high above a cottage. She dreams about the mice that live in the cottage, and the friendships she might enjoy... if only she could figure out a way to manage her worries... and feel confident about making new friends.

This charming story tackles shyness, teaching children concrete strategies to manage it. Martha’s simple idea is a straightforward and visual strategy, allowing her to manage her feelings of shyness and worry with confidence. It is also about having the courage to take a chance in a situation that may seem completely overwhelming, and the belief that one can find ways to manage and conquer one’s fears and trepidations.

Martha the (imaginative) Mouse. Written & illustrated by Karen Lang, $12.95

Martha, the sometimes shy and timid mouse, is back! This time she learns how to use her imagination and role play to develop a more confident and comfortable sense of self.

Martha the (one-of-a-kind) Mouse. Karen Lang, $12.95

Martha — a very imaginative mouse — discovers what makes her uniquely Martha!

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My Manners Matter: a First Look at Being Polite. Pat Thomas, $9.50 (ages 3-5)

This delightful picture book helps young children understand that good manners are a simple way of showing kindness and respect to others.


Our Friendship Rules. Peggy Moss & Dee Dee Tardif, Illustrated by Alissa Imre Geis, $10.95 (ages 6-11)

It's pretty easy to join the cool crowd. All you have to do is ditch your best friend first...


Say Goodbye to Being Shy: a Workbook to Help Kids Overcome Their Shyness. Richard Brozovich & Linda Chase, $23.95

Say Goodbye to Being Shy is a book for children who struggle with extreme to occasional shyness. Shyness is a barrier to social and academic development which can prevent children from reaching their greatest potential. Say Goodbye to Being Shy offers focused activities with clearly stated purposes designed to move children from feelings of shyness to developing competence and skill.


Sign Up Here: a Story about Friendship. Kathryn Cole, illustrated by Qin Leng, $15.95 (ages 5-8)

It seems like every kid in Dee-Dee’s class has joined a club but her. It’s not that she doesn’t want to join a club, it’s that no one will let her! Because of her disability, she doesn’t walk fast enough for the walking club and the Strong-Arm Wrestling Club became the All-Boys Strong-Arm Wrestling Club when she beat Joseph easy-peasy in a match. Dee-Dee knows that friends shouldn’t leave you out and that she is a very good friend. So she and her teacher come up with a plan to show what good friends are and how they should treat each other.

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Sometimes I Don’t Like to Talk (But Sometimes I Can’t Keep Quiet). Jessica Lamb-Shapiro, $26.95 (ages 4-7)

Early intervention for extreme shyness is the key to helping children reach the social and emotional milestones that shape their sense of self-worth.  Sometimes I Don’t Like to Talk tells the story of Emmy and her how she learns to face her fears, one step at a time.


The Survival Guide for Making and Being Friends. James Crist, $19.99 (ages 8-13)

Whether kids find socializing as natural as smiling or as hard as learning a foreign language, this book can help them improve their social skills so they can better enjoy the benefits of friendship. Practical advice covers everything from breaking the ice to developing friendships to overcoming problems. True-to-life vignettes, “what would you do?” scenarios, voluminous examples, quizzes to test learning, “Try This” assignments for practicing techniques, and advice from real kids make this an accessible life-skills handbook.


Tessie Tames Her Tongue. Melissa Martin, illustrated by Charles Lehmanrdon, $21.99 (ages 5-9)

Tessie is bright and eager to share all the stories about her life. She talks to her parents, her little brother, the bus driver, her teacher, and her classmates. But when she gets chatty, she’s loud ... and talks with her mouth full of food... and doesn’t give anyone else a chance to say what’s on their minds. After her little brother complains and her classmates ignore her, Tessie knows it’s time to tame her talkative tongue. With help from her school counselor, Tessie learns to talk less and listen more.


Too Close, Too Far, Just Right: a Game about Personal Space. Sandra Singer, $50.95 (ages 5-12)

Many kids, especially those with ADHD, autism, or Asperger’s, are unaware of the socially accepted physical boundaries that most of us take for granted. This game helps them learn what’s “too close,” “too far,” or “just right” in various social situations. Children take turns performing social scenarios described on Role Play Cards, and then the group decides whether their proximity to each other is appropriate for the particular situation. Players learn that standing too close or too far away can make people feel uncomfortable or confused in certain circumstances. Focused and fun, this game is a gentle way to help kids grasp the idea of personal space and thereby improve their relationships. For 4 to 8 players or teams, with a teacher or therapist.

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Toodles and Teeny: a Story about Friendship. Jill Neimark & Marcella Bakur Weiner, $10.95 (ages 4-8)

When Toodles makes a new friend — a BEST friend — her other friends feel left out. What can Toodles do to make sure all her friends are happy?


Two of a Kind. Jacqui Robbins & Matt Phelan, $23.99 (ages 4-7)

The ins and outs of being in and out. This is a sweet story about the ‘in-crowd’, the outcasts and what it means to be a true friend.


Up and Down. Oliver Jeffers, $9.99 (ages 4-8)

Up and Down is an endearing story of what it means to stick by your friends.

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We're All Friends Here. Nancy Wilcox Richards & Tom Goldsmith, $7.99

Arthur is messy and noisy. Sonny is careful and quiet. Can two boys who are so different ever be friends?


What Should I Do Now? A Game That Teaches Social Decision Making. Lawrence Shapiro, $34.50 (ages 8-18)

This game is designed to help children and youth understand the different reactions we can have in a variety of situations, and how our responses affect not just us, but those around us.


What to Do When It’s Not Fair: a Kid’s Guide to Handling Envy and Jealousy. Jacqueline Toner & Claire Freeland, $22.50 (ages 6-12)

Have you ever noticed how pirates use a spyglass to focus in on other ships or land in the distance? While they focus in on small things in the distance, they miss seeing other things around them. Sometimes they miss having fun. Sometimes they miss the beautiful treasure they already have!

Just like a pirate using a spyglass, kids may focus in on one thing that they want, and not notice all the good things they already have. WHAT TO DO WHEN IT'S NOT FAIR guides children and their parents through the difficult emotions of envy and jealousy using strategies and techniques based on cognitive–behavioral principles. This interactive self-help book is the complete resource for educating, motivating, and empowering children to cope with envy — so they can sail the high seas with pleasure!

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What to Do When You Feel Too Shy: a Kid's Guide to Overcoming Social Anxiety. Jacqueline Toner & Claire Freeland, $22.50 (ages 6-12)

Circus clowns perform tricks and make us laugh. They wear bright colors, big shoes, and all kinds of wigs and colorful hats. Have you noticed that they seem to like people looking at them and laughing at them?

Lots of kids feel shy when they feel that other people notice them. But some kids get super uncomfortable being in the spotlight. Does this sound like you? If you feel too shy or nervous too often, or if you miss out on cool activities and fun because you worry about what other people might think about you, this book is for you!

What to Do When You Feel Too Shy guides children and their parents through the emotions underlying social anxiety using strategies and techniques based on cognitive-behavioral principles. This interactive self-help book is the complete resource for educating, motivating, and empowering children to overcome social anxiety — so they can join in the circus of fun and friends!


Willow's Smile. Lana Button, illustrated by Tania Howells, $18.95

“Sometimes Willow smiled without even trying. But sometimes when she wished she could and knew she should, her smile slipped straight off her face.” So when her teacher tells the class that Picture Day is coming, shy Willow starts to worry. What if she isn't able to smile for the camera? How can she have her picture taken without smiling? But then on Picture Day, Willow gets the opportunity to watch the other children being photographed. She sees that all of her friends' expressions are unique, and perfect in their own way. And by the time it's her turn, she's realized that she doesn't need to worry about smiling for her picture. She just needs to be herself.

In this sweet picture book, author Lana Button has created a relatable and reassuring story that offers children a terrific model for how to deal with a difficult experience in a socially and emotionally competent way.


Willow’s Whispers. Lana Button, illustrated by Tania Howells, $8.95 (ages 4-7)

When Willow speaks, her words slip out as soft and shy as a secret. At school, her barely audible whisper causes her no end of troubles. But Willow is as resourceful as she is quiet, and she fashions a magic microphone from items she finds in the recycling bin. But Willow’s clever invention is only a temporary solution. How will this quiet little girl make herself heard?

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Without You. Geneviève Côté, $16.95 (ages 3-8)

After a falling out, two friends explore all the things they can do without each other … and discover that life is much sweeter when it’s shared with a friend.


Yak and Dove. Kyo Maclear, Illustrated by Esme Shapiro, $22.99

Friends Yak and Dove are complete opposites. Yak is large and Dove is small. Yak has fur and Dove has feathers. Yak is polite. Dove is ill-mannered. Yak likes quiet. Dove likes noise. One day as Yak and Dove list their differences they come to the conclusion that maybe they aren’t meant to be friends. In the hope of finding a new best friend, Yak holds auditions. But when a small feathered contestant sings Yak’s favorite song, the two begin to think that maybe they are alike after all.

Yak and Dove whimsically captures the highs and lows of friendship through the three interconnected tales of two very different friends.


Yes I CanKid Talk. Gary Yorke, $24.95 (ages 6 to adult, 2-6 players)

Yes I Can — Kid Talk is a fun way to have a conversation and build social skills. It is suitable for families, classrooms, counselors, and therapists.


The You & Me Workbook: a Book That Teaches Social Skills and Social Awareness. Lisa Schab, $43.95 (ages 5-9)

Using simple activities, puzzles and games this workbook is designed to help children learn and practice the basic social skills needed to develop and maintain healthy relationships.

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Complete Booklist

Social Skills Resources for Kids

And to Think That We Thought That We’d Never Be Friends.  Mary Ann Hoberman, $10.50 (ages 4- 7)

Are You Quite Polite? Silly Dilly Manners Songs by Alan Katz and David Catrow. $22.99 (ages 4- 7)

Blossom Plays Possum (Because She's Shy). Birdy Jones, illustrated by Janet McDonnell, $21.54 (ages 4-8)

Boss No More. Estelle Meens, $14.50 (ages 4-8)

Chicken, Pig, Cow's First Fight. Ruth Ohi, $6.95 (ages 4- 6)

Cliques Just Don’t Make Cents. Julia Cook, Illustrated by Anita Dufalla, $14.95 (ages 10-13)

Feeling Shy. Kay Barnham, illustrated by Mike Gordon, $18.99 (ages 5-9)

Feelings FLASHCARDS. Todd Parr, $21.99 (ages 3-7)

Fox and Squirrel Make a Friend. Ruth Ohi, $14.99

Franklin Is Bossy. Paulette Bourgeois & Brenda Clark, $6.95 (ages 3-7)

Friends Always. Tanja Wenisch, $14.50 (ages 4-8)

Friends: Making Them and Keeping Them. Patty Kelley Criswell, $12.99 (ages 8-12)

Friendshape: an Uplifting Celebration of Friendship. Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, $20.99

Friendship is Like a Seesaw. Shona Innes & Írisz Agócs, $12.50 (ages 4–7) 

The Giggly Guide to How to Behave. Philippe Jalbert, $19.95 (ages 4-6)

The Girl Who Collected Her Own Echo. Juliette Ttofa, illustrated by Julia Gallego, $20.90

Growing Friendships: a Kids' Guide to Making and Keeping Friends. Eileen Kennedy-Moore & Chritine McLaughlin, $19.99

Hands Are Not For Hitting. Martine Agassi, $17.95 (PS- Gr.1); board book for toddlers $11.95 (ages 2-4)

I Want to Play. Elizabeth Crary, $11.95 (ages 2-6)

Icebreakers In a Jar®. Free Spirit Publishing, $14.99 (ages 8-12)

The Invisible Boy. Trudy Ludwig, illustrated by Patrice Barton, $18.99

Join In and Play. Cheri Meiners, $17.99 (ages 2-6)

Making Friends. Fred Rogers, $8.50 (ages 3-5)

Martha Mouse Plush Toy. $19.95

Martha the (confident) Mouse. Written & illustrated by Karen Lang, $12.95 (ages 3-7)

Martha the (imaginative) Mouse. Written & illustrated by Karen Lang, $12.95 (ages 3-7)

Martha the (one-of-a-kind) Mouse. Karen Lang, $12.95

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My Manners Matter: a First Look at Being Polite. Pat Thomas, $9.50 (ages 3-5)

Name Calling. Itah Sadu & Rasheeda Haneef, $10.95 (ages 6-11)

Our Friendship Rules. Peggy Moss & Dee Dee Tardif, Illustrated by Alissa Imre Geis, $10.95 (ages 6-11)

Say Goodbye to Being Shy: a Workbook to Help Kids Overcome Their Shyness. Richard Brozovich & Linda Chase, $23.95 (ages 6-12)

Share and Take Turns: Making Positive Choices. Cheri Meiners, $17.99 (ages 4-7)

Sign Up Here: a Story about Friendship. Kathryn Cole, illustrated by Qin Leng, $15.95 (ages 5-8)

Sometimes I Don’t Like to Talk (But Sometimes I Can’t Keep Quiet). Jessica Lamb-Shapiro, $26.95 (ages 4-7)

Sorry! Trudy Ludwig, illustrated by Maurie Manning, $17.99 (ages 5-9)

Speak Up and Get Along! Scott Cooper, $18.99 (ages 5-9)

The Survival Guide for Making and Being Friends. James Crist, $19.99 (ages 8-13)

Teeth Are Not For Biting. Elizabeth Verdick, $11.95 (ages 2-4)

Tessie Tames Her Tongue. Melissa Martin, illustrated by Charles Lehmanrdon, $21.99 (ages 5-9)

Too Close, Too Far, Just Right: a Game about Personal Space. Sandra Singer, $50.95 (ages 5-12)

Toodles and Teeny: a Story about Friendship. Jill Neimark & Marcella Bakur Weiner, $10.95 (ages 4-8)

Two of a Kind. Jacqui Robbins & Matt Phelan, $23.99 (ages 4-7)

Understand and Care: Empathy and Relationships. Cheri Meiners, $15.95 (ages 4-7)

Up and Down. Oliver Jeffers, $9.99 (ages 4-8)

We Can Get Along: a Child’s Book of Choices. Lauren Murphy Payne, $14.95 (ages 4-9)

We're All Friends Here. Nancy Wilcox Richards & Tom Goldsmith, $7.99

What Should I Do Now? A Game That Teaches Social Decision Making. Lawrence Shapiro, $34.50 (ages 8-18)

What to Do When It’s Not Fair: a Kid’s Guide to Handling Envy and Jealousy. Jacqueline Toner & Claire Freeland, $22.50 (ages 6-12)

What to Do When You Feel Too Shy: a Kid's Guide to Overcoming Social Anxiety. Jacqueline Toner & Claire Freeland, $22.50 (ages 6-12)

Willow's Smile. Lana Button, illustrated by Tania Howells, $18.95

Willow’s Whispers. Lana Button, illustrated by Tania Howells, $8.95 (ages 4-7)

Without You. Geneviève Côté, $16.95 (ages 3-8)

Words Are Not for Hurting. Elizabeth Verdick, $17.95 (ages 4-7); boardbook $10.75

Yak and Dove. Kyo Maclear, Illustrated by Esme Shapiro, $22.99

Yes I Can — Kid Talk. Gary Yorke, $24.95 (ages 6 to adult, 2-6 players)

The You & Me Workbook: a Book That Teaches Social Skills and Social Awareness. Lisa Schab, $43.95 (ages 5-9)

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