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
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.