Books by Theme
There is a lot to do in late summer. There are parks and museums to visit, pools to swim in, oceans to explore, backyard adventures, and even insects to observe. But even if you never leave your own neighborhood, you can explore these and more when you look through the pages of books.
1, 2, 3, Jump!
The narrator assures and informs the unnamed child depicted that once she dons her swimsuit, the swimming lesson will be fine. Humorous illustrations express the concern and joy of the first splash into the pool with an adult swimmer and other children all around. Children may see themselves or perhaps feel that they know things that the book’s character doesn’t.
America’s National Parks
National Parks span the United States from Maine to California. Take a glimpse at 60 of them through a brief introduction, tidbits of information about size and special things to see, photographs and playful cartoons. A map of the U.S. begins the journey to the parks and corresponds to the numbers given to the parks on the map. An index concludes a short but engaging look at some of America’s parks.
On the way to the natural history museum, a boy and his family buy a flying toy from a street vendor under a sign that says “magic”. The boy flies his toy throughout the museum. When another child picks it up, the toy’s owner treats him rudely. But it is this child who comes to the boy’s aid when he is separated from his family. Few words are needed as the story unfolds in expressive line and wash, cartoon-like illustrations.
Flora’s Tree House
Flora draws imaginative adventures in her tree house; her older brother Will acts them out. When Will sees Flora’s depictions of his quests they find shared play is even more fun. Childlike illustrations complement and extend the siblings outdoor and highly inventive undertakings, bringing the tree house and imagination to life.
Hum and Swish
As Jamie builds on the beach she hums; the ocean swishes. Passersby ask her various questions, which she only vaguely answers. Another artist, a painter, sets up nearby but asks no questions. In companionable silence they continue until they show each other and readers their creations. Brief, poetic text combines with lush, evocative paintings that celebrate a beautiful summer day and the creative process.
Lottie and Walter
Lottie won’t join the other swimmers in her class. She knows that there’s a shark there to eat only her; that is, until a large, gentle walrus named Walter appears. With Walter’s help, Lottie overcomes her fear and joins her mom and brother for the Saturday pool party. Soft watercolors illustrate Lottie and her imaginary friend, allowing her to overcome her fear of water.
Moth: An Evolution Story
The story of one Lepidoptera as it evolved in England is a story of “change and adaptation, of survival and hope…[that] starts with a little moth.” Lyrical narration is accompanied by stunning but simple illustration in dark, dramatic hues and bold forms that chronicle the evolution of the Peppered Moth. A brief afterward discusses basic ideas of natural selection.
My Little Pond
Who lives in a pond? There are fish and fowl, insects and plants. Some live in the water, others near it. Straightforward questions are asked and answered as each is identified. Simple illustrations on sturdy, non-glossy pages made from recycled material are used in this and in the author/illustrator’s My Little Ocean to provide a quick way to introduce environments and words to young children.
Ocean: Secrets of the Deep
An engaging, informative introduction brings the idea of “one planet, one ocean” to light. The author then goes on to bring sea creatures and their habitats into focus. Handsome illustrations float through the pages of this fascinating if brief exploration of a little known world that surrounds lands and what can be done to improved the oceans’ health. Glossary and index are included.
Super Summer: All Kinds of Summer Facts and Fun
As he’s done with each other season (e.g., Awesome Autumn), the author introduces recognizable features of summer. Brief information is followed by activities that seem most appropriate during warmer months such as making swirly freezer pops. Crisp photographs and limited text make this a breezy summer read.
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