It was 88 degrees today according to my car thermometer and it is only the beginning of May. The grass, wild flowers and neighborhood children are all growing like crazy. And to call my students squirmy would be an understatement. All signs point to a long, hot summer and I couldn’t be happier. Summer is reading time for me. Be it at the local pool or a distant beach, books are always a big part of summer. The following books promise to entertain and delight wherever you happen to be summering.
For the youngest readers:
The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli. Finally an answer to the question of almost every child on the planet has asked at least one time or another. “If you swallow a seed, will a plant grown in your stomach?” The story follows the trials and tribulations of a crocodile who accidentally swallows a watermelon seed. The poor animal is convinced that a huge plant will grow in its stomach until a lucky belch ejects the seed in question. Readers will love the expressive illustrations and simple text that makes this book a great read for even the youngest of readers
Nugget and Fang, Friends Forever–Or Snack Time? by Tammi Sauer and Michael Slack. Nugget the Minnow and Fang the Shark are best friends until Nugget learns at fish school that sharks eat minnows. What follows is a hilarious attempt by Fang the Shark to convince his friend that all the minnow propaganda doesn’t apply to him. This is a great book to share with kids to open a discussion about individual differences.
The Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen Schwartz and Dan Santat, and Little Red Hot by Eric A. Kimmel and Laura Huliska-Beith.These two new versions of The Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood will have readers cheering. In The Three Ninja Pigs, three pigs must prepare to battle the Big Bad Wolf but only one pig has the patience to complete her training. In Little Red Hot, Little Red Riding Hood is transformed into a hot sauce swilling cowgirl that saves her grandmother from the Big Bad Wolf and a nasty head cold through her spicy cooking. A great activity to combat summer brain drain is to compare and contrast the newer versions with the traditional ones.
From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess by Meg Cabot. Younger readers will rejoice to find a Princess Diaries story especially for them. A horrible day of a thoroughly average 12 year old Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison transforms into the stuff of fairy tales when Olivia discovers that she is part of the royal family of Genovia. Adorable black and white illustrations by the author make this Meg Cabot romp especially accessible to a younger audience than the usual Princess Diaries storylines.
What are you excited to read during the sunny days ahead? Feel free to drop me a line or tweet at me your suggestions!
For the past twenty years Melissa Buron has worked as a librarian and teacher for young people in Africa, Europe and the United States. In addition, she is an author, blogger and journalist. You can find her at here, or on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter (@melissaburon). Contact her with your favorite mystery/adventure books or just to say “hi!”