Summer’s heating up and it’s time for strategizing. Here are suggestions for every age and a book, or books to go with them!
Choosing books that invite young children to participate insure the “read it again” all parents seek.
Without flaps, or fussing, Herve Tullet creates such a book in Press Here (Chronicle, ages 3-5). “Ready?” directs the first page as a yellow dot beams from its center “Press here,” commands the second page. And as if by magic, page turns reveal that there are now two dots. The entire book urges actions that bring results…and some giggles besides.
Humor is the highlight of middle grade readers who will find plenty in Nick Bruel’s Bad Kitty Meets the Baby (Roaring Brook, ages 6-9). Part graphic novel, all laughs, the ever entertaining Kitty in her third, most challenging adventure as she faces the threat of a new baby.
Find a family read-aloud to relax into connection after long summer days. Diane Stanley’s The Silver Bowl (Harper, ages 9 and up) is a perfect way to escape into fantasy. The heroine, Molly, is a feisty underdog whose father considers her worthless in her overlarge family. But Molly has inherited her mother’s magical gifts for foretelling the future and she alone may hold the key to free the royal family from a terrible curse. Stanley effectively creates intriguing plot, non-stop action, premise, character and setting sure to captivate.
Young adults can count on Sarah Dessen for fast-paced beach reading. Her latest, What Happened to Goodbye (Viking, ages 12 and up) is another page-turner. Her heroine is Maclean Elizabeth Sweet, or Eliza, or Lizbet, or Beth, or Liz, her name changes depending on where she’s living and what identity she chooses to assume. Her divorced parents have moved on, but Maclean is caught between worlds. What does it mean that when her father’s moved her to a new town she uses her real name? Dessen’s passions for basketball and beach mix with well with her usual features of girl searching for love and self in this lighter read.
And don’t forget activity books. Here’s a short list to provide long hours of fun.
Victoria Kann’s Pinkadoodles (Harper, ages 4-6). Favorite character, Pinkalicious, provides sketches (pink of course) to inspire design and drawing.
Eva Steele-Saccio’s The Marvelous Book of Magical Horses (Klutz, ages 6-9) transforms a classic paper doll scenario into opportunities to create fantastical steeds.
Jane Bull’s Make It! (DK, ages 7-10) offers photographs and directions for twenty projects that turn paper, plastic, metal and fabric trash into treasures.
Traveling mercy comes in audios—a few of my favorites?
Karen Sue Ehrhardt’s This Jazz Man (Live Oak Media, 1CD, 25 Minutes) James Williams performs, entertains and educates highlighting ten styles of jazz and musicians, too.
Mo Willems, Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity, read by the author and his daughter (Weston Woods)
The author and his daughter expand pictures and text into a delightful listening experience when Trixie heads off to school.
Sara Pennypacker, Clementine: Friend of the Week (Recorded Books, unabridged, 2CDs, 2 hours) Almasy’s youthful, energetic, emotional voice portrays the quirky 3rd character in her quest for popularity and finding her lost kitten.
Adam Rex’s The True Meaning of Smekday (Listening Library, unabridged, 9 CDs,) Eleven-year-old Gratuity Tucci and the rebel alien J.Lo, rescue the earth from space invaders. Gratuity’s narrative is spiced with sassy attitude and smart moxie, but the show-stealer is J.Lo with his squeaky, stilted-syntaxes, alien-odd word confusions, silly mispronunciations, trills, and clicks all of these come alive because of Bahni Turpin amazing performance.
This was a Guest Post written by Susie Wilde. Susie is a Carolina writer who reviews for the News and Observer and Charlotte Observer.