Books that Beat the Summertime Blues
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June 2003 | Vol. II - No. 6

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Children's Books

Books that Beat the Summertime Blues

An afternoon spent in an air-conditioned bookstore can be an enjoyable escape when summer days turn hot and a kid's best friend is off on vacation or at camp. Children's book-sellers are there to help bewildered parents and bored kids explore the literary possibilities for making new friends, learning different languages and exploring exotic lands among the stacks of new summer books.

I'm Still Here In The Bathtub

Exploring Possibilities

Reading takes on a new dimension for baby or toddler with BABY SIGNS FOR ANIMALS and BABY SIGNS FOR BEDTIME by Linda Acredolo and Penny Gentieu (HarperCollins). Little ones will love the bouncy lyrics set to favorite old tunes in I'M STILL HERE IN THE BATHTUB: BRAND NEW SILLY DILLY SONGS BY ALAN KATZ AND DAVID CATROW (Simon & Schuster).

Around the World and Back in Time

For adventurous 4-8 year olds, nothing could be more fun than a rhythmic, rhyming tour of the globe in YAWN HEARD ROUND THE WORLD by Scott Thomas and Tatjana Mai-Wyss (Ten Speed Press). For budding history buffs there’s UNCLE ANDY'S: A FAABBULOUS VISIT WITH ANDY WARHOL! by James Warhola (Penguin Putnam); FIRST TO FLY: HOW WILBUR AND ORVILLE WRIGHT INVENTED THE AIRPLANE by Peter Busby, David Craig and Jack McMaster (Crown Books); and BEFORE I WAS YOUR MOTHER by Le Uyen Pham (Harcourt Brace & Co).

Stanley, Flat Again!

New Friends, Old Pals

As beginning chapter-book readers, kids ages 7-10 will learn a bit of Spanish while relating to the everyday struggles of Gabi, a third-grader of Puerto Rican descent, in the bilingual A CRAZY, MIXED-UP SPANGLISH DAY by Marisa Montes and Joe Cepeda (Scholastic Inc.). Fun-loving fans of the Random House Magic Tree House Series will surf right through Jack and Annie's adventures in HIGH TIDE IN HAWAII by Mary Pope Osborne and Sal Murdocca. After too many years away, Stanley Lambchop pops up once more to sail through some silly escapades in STANLEY, FLAT AGAIN! by Jeff Brown and Scott Nash (HarperCollins).

The Ultimate Wave

Outer Space and Down to Earth

When boys from 10 to Tweens put their hand-held games down, they're bound to pick up THE AMULET OF KONODOR by Adam Osterweil and Peter Thorpe (Front Street Inc.) where a fantasy card game becomes reality for the book's heroes. Science fiction turns funny in the witty WIZARD AT WORK by Vivian Vande Velde (Harcourt Brace) and in THE ULTIMATE WAVE by Terry Denton (Allen & Unwin).

Agnes Parker…Girl In Progress

Tween girls will appreciate the true tales of safari in HIPPOS IN THE NIGHT: AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL ADVENTURES IN AFRICA by Christina Allen and Rob Shepperson (HarperCollins). For readers following the exploits of adventurer Akiko, AKIKO AND THE ALPHA CENTAURI 500 by Mark Crilley (Bantam Doubleday Dell) will have them cheering for their heroine in an exciting intergalactic race. Finally, for those on the road to self-discovery, there’s Kathleen O'Dell's AGNES PARKER…GIRL IN PROGRESS (Penguin Putnam), the story of a girl who longs to be anything but ordinary.


Writer's Bio: Kris Decker endures eternal Minnesota winters by writing freelance articles, essays and features. Her two kids (a rich source of poignant, humorous, and most happily, free material) are the inspiration for much of her work focusing on the topics of kids, parenting, families, individuality and creativity.




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