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Armchair Adventures for a Summer Afternoon

There are lots of things to explore, wonder about, and discover on a hot summer afternoon, all from the comfort of your coolest reading nook. Visit an alien landscape, meet a T-rex named Rufus, or count how many different kinds of fruits and vegetables you can find. You can become an armchair adventurer or ninja with a pirate pig or a bunny, even meet a poet named Caleb. These and more wait between the pages of books!

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

Edible Numbers

By: Jennifer Vogel Bass
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Crisp color photographs of fruits and vegetables are presented. One of each is presented on the left of the double page spreads, while variations of the fruit or veggie (e.g., there are 12 different citrus fruits) are introduced on the opposing page. There is potential to introduce new edibles — perhaps at your local farmer's market — while counting and playing with numbers.

Good Night, Firefly

By: Gabriel Alborozo
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Nina is afraid of the dark, doubly so when her nightlight goes out. But the light of fireflies brightens her solitary play until she releases the firefly back into the evening. Dark-hued illustrations use fine line, white space, and touches of red to enhance the drama of a very satisfying bedtime book.

Hypnotize a Tiger: Poems About Just About Everything

By: Calef Brown
Genre: Poetry
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Silly verse about a range of topics is broadly categorized (e.g., "The Critterverse", "My Peeps", etc.), generally organizing the varied nonsense verse. Line illustrations add to the overall silliness, which culminate in an interview (of sorts) with the poet/artist. For example, when asked to describe himself, the poet calls himself: "A misfit sophisticate/I can't get the gist of it…" who has a "…fondness/for words like ironical."

Leaflets Three, Let It Be!

By: Anita Sanchez
Illustrated by: Robin Brickman
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

As it changes its appearance throughout the seasons, this plant also provides food for different birds and animals. But many people see poison ivy as a nuisance only for the itchy, sometimes dangerous reaction to it when they come in close contact with it. This attractive and informative introduction to poison ivy is handsomely illustrated with a brief but engaging text.

Ninja Bunny

By: Jennifer Olson
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

The small bunny has 10 rules about being the best ninja there is. That is until he comes across a large bear that makes him appreciate the most important rule of all: all ninjas need friends! The ninja bunny and his buddies all look alike with the exception of the ninja's outfit, adding to the humor conveyed in the illustrations and understated text.

Raising Rufus

By: David Fulk
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

No one is more surprised than 11-year old Martin when the Tyrannosaurus Rex hatches from what Martin thought was a fossilized egg. Feeding the growing dino and keeping him hidden becomes a major challenge. How Martin saves Rufus from a life in the circus with the help of an astute science teacher and his best friend, Audrey, make for a fast-paced, often humorous, and very satisfying adventure. For a gentler dino-come-alive novel, try Oliver Butterworth's Enormous Egg.

Shadow of the Shark

By: Mary Pope Osborne
Illustrated by: Sal Murdocca
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

In this Magic Tree House story, Jack and Annie's vacation in the glorious waters off Mexico's Yucatan peninsula doesn't turn out quite like they expect. An encounter with sharks and with a Mayan girl plus a bit of magic create another satisfying, fantastical adventure in the series. A companion book, Sharks and other Predators helps readers separate fact from fiction.

The Land of Lines

By: Victor Hussenot
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Children come together to explore unknown territory depicted in delicate, highly detailed line illustrations that flow from page to page. Sharp angles in limited colors are used to focus the eye and require close examination to tell the story that is likely to change with each reader.

The Pirate Pig

By: Cornelia Funke
Illustrated by: Oliver Latsch
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Stout Sam and his deckhand Pip live comfortably on their island enjoying whatever the sea washes to their shore. When they find a pig in a barrel on the beach, they name her Julie. Sam and Pip soon discover she has a special talent learned from pirates who want their treasure-locating pig back. This madcap adventure punctuated by full-color illustration is sure to make young readers laugh out loud.

Where's the Pair? A Spotting Book

By: Britta Teckentrup
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

A rhyming description of a host of animals combines with crisp, colorful, and detailed illustrations encouraging readers to find matching pairs. Careful examination is needed to discern the differences in identically shaped but uniquely colored critters in this attractive game book.

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