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June 23, 2016

Celebrate summer with a book

There are so many great activities to enjoy during the summer, it’s sometimes hard to fit them all in. One activity that is always worth making time for is getting lost in a book. Enjoy some of these summer-themed children’s books over the coming months!

Catch a wave at the beach
Wave, by Suzy Lee

If you can’t get to the beach this summer, use this book to take you there. The story of a little girl facing down the ocean is told through two-color illustrations. Don’t let the seeming simplicity of this wordless book mislead you — it’s accessible to even the youngest children and is a great opportunity to build vocabulary and storytelling skills.

Turn the outdoors into your playground
Weslandia, by Paul Fleischman

westlandiaThe boy in this book takes backyard gardening to a new level through his ingenuity and imagination as he sets out to create a new civilization. You, and the children you share this book with, will be amazed at how one plant leads to the development of a multitude of inventions. At the heart of the story is a loner with a creative mind, so it’s also a great book to share with those kids who feel like they sometimes don’t quite fit in.

Enjoy the twinkling lights of fireflies
Fireflies, by Julie Brinckloe

firefliesSadly, fireflies (or lightning bugs, depending on where you are) are not endemic across the country, so not every child experiences the magic of flying lights appearing at twilight every summer. Although you’ll have to give some background explanation to kids who don’t recognize these insects (and explain, yes, these are real!), everyone can enjoy reminiscing about or imagining catching fireflies in their own hands. You could also use this book as a jumping off point for a summer inquiry into bioluminescence!

Dance in the rain
Come On, Rain!, by Karen Hesse

rainRich vocabulary and lyrical prose unite to clearly convey the feel of waiting through a hot, humid day for the sky to break open into rain. While nearly all of us can relate to the way the characters celebrate the joy of a summer rainstorm, this book also tells a story of a neighborhood and the community that lives in it, reminding us that summer can be a time to get out into the street to meet our neighbors. Whether you live through bone dry or sticky, humid summers, you’ll find a way to connect to the story and characters.

Spend time with family
The Relatives Came, by Cynthia Rylant

relativesVisiting distant relatives, or having them come see you, isn’t always possible as often as we might like. When that happens, turn to Cynthia Rylant’s book for a joyful imagining of a family reunion that lasts all summer long. The experience of being in close quarters with loved ones, and the laughing and love that go with it, can be seen in the text as well as the Caldecott-winning illustrations. Read this when you miss your far-flung family.

If these aren’t the activities that the children you know enjoy, talk to your local librarian to get more recommendations. Or encourage your child to write their own book about summer!

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