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Things to Do When There's Nothing to Do

What to do on a summer day when there's no school, nothing on TV, no friends around, and it's too hot to play outside? Slow down, cool off, and chill out with a good book! Go on an armchair adventure, bring the outdoors in, create in the kitchen, explore some science that isn't usually found in school, tickle your funny bone with a bit of a math problem, and more.

Quotable Quotes: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss

1 2 3: I Can Make Prints!

By: Irene Luxbacher
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Clearly organized instructions provide not only the know-how but ideas on how to make prints from easily found materials. As children craft their own artwork, they may just want to reread other books which use comparable techniques (such as Eric Carle). Also in the 1 2 3 series are the equally doable I Can Sculpt! and I Can Paint!

Arithme-Tickle: An Even Number of Odd Riddle-Rhymes

By: J. Patrick Lewis
Illustrated by: Frank Remkiewicz
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Each lively rhyme or riddle about everyday things actually asks a math question; some easy, some more difficult, all playfully involving addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Humorous spins on recognizable situations are enhanced by comical illustrations.

Danny's Drawing Book

By: Sue Heap
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Join Danny and his friend, Ettie, as they visit the zoo on a snowy afternoon — and then on a trip to a sunny place in Africa with the elephants and aardvarks…all with the help of Danny's yellow drawing book, of course! This imaginative, playful jaunt may inspire other armchair adventures.

Easy-to-Make Pop-Ups

By: Joan Irvine
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Make a special card or gift that really stands out — or pops up, literally! Easy to follow instructions and ideas are generously illustrated to allow even the neophyte to make eye-catching pop-ups with easily found materials.

Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook: Recipes Inspired by Dr. Seuss

By: Georgeanne Brennan
Illustrated by: Frankie Frankeny
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Eat chocolate rocks? Or sizzling hot pebbles? Real — and edible — recipes inspired by green eggs and ham and other zany Seuss characters are presented in an easy-to-follow, clearly organized (from breakfast to dinner) cookbook illustrated with Seuss' own illustrations as well as an occasional food photo. This is an ideal book for young cooks and the adults in their lives — all while sharing or even creating their own Seussian recipes!

How to Be the Best at Everything: The Boys' Book

By: Dominique Enright, Guy MacDonald
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

This book opens with a disclaimer and reminds readers to use common sense at all times — especially as boys consider doing things like skateboard "ollies," fighting off a crocodile, or escaping quicksand. The book is fun and full of suggestions for real and absolutely outrageously undoable activities. Not just for boys!

How to Be the Best at Everything: The Girls' Book

By: Juliana Foster
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Dozens of how-to topics can be found in this browsable "instruction manual." Easy-to-follow directions and helpful illustrations show you how to do things as varied as make your own lip gloss, eat with chop sticks, and juggle one-handed. The book opens with a disclaimer and reminds readers to use common sense at all times!

Maisy's Nature Walk: A Maisy First Science Book

By: Lucy Cousins
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Take a walk outdoors with the popular mouse, Maisy. Help Maisy find a duckling, a bee inside a flower, and more as young hands pull sturdy tabs to reveal the hidden treasure, guided by short text which also encourages children to look for additional related things on each double-page spread.

Rainstorm

By: Barbara Lehman
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Become the storyteller when examining the inventive illustrations that start with a boy who looks out the window on a rainy day. He finds a mysterious key, which leads to an imaginative adventure with other children on a sunny beach. Could it be real? Readers add the story that accompanies this lively book without words.

The Jumbo Book of Outdoor Art

By: Irene Luxbacher
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Full-color illustrations combine with clear instructions organized into four sections drawn from nature to present possible activities with generally easy-to-locate materials. Some activities are sophisticated, but children (with an adult) will find something to create in the great outdoors.

The Stunning Science of Everything: Science with the Squishy Bits Left In

By: Nick Arnold, Tony De Saulles
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Sophisticated young scientists will enjoy dipping in and out of this funny but edifying compendium of science. Topics range from paleontology to astronomy with lots of ways to get involved (some requiring adult help). The comic format and brief information are appealing and sure to amaze and engage.

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