Fun in the Summer Sun

I just noticed this article from the North Bay Nugget, North Bay, Ontario, Canada and thought I'd share it with you.

"Hooray! Summer is finally here! This week's Getting the Word Out features books about the joys of sunny days, warm weather, and outdoor fun, all of which can be found in the Children's Department of North Bay Public Library.

Summer Beat by Betsy Franco(Margaret K. McElderry Books, ages three to six) is a bouncing, swinging tribute to the best sounds of every child's favourite season.

Clackity-clack, clackity-clack. A skateboard flies over sidewalk squares." So begins a catalog of summer activities and their sounds, as shared by happy children. A girl and a boy enjoy playing with the sprinkler, blowing bubbles and sitting in a hammock before having a cookout, compete with three-legged race, balloon toss, and sparkler. After watching Fourth of July fireworks, the children sleep in a tree house. The artwork combines fine crayon-textured line work with digitally produced patterns. Each page resonates with sound words and rhymes in this symphony of summertime.

Loudmouth George Earns His Allowance by Nancy Carlson(Carolrhoda Books, ages four to eight) is a tale of shirking chores on summer vacation. A mother rabbit gives each of her five sons a daily chore. Young readers will understand when George decides to swim, watch television and build a fort instead. Now the house is a mess and his mom won't let him go to the movies. So George comes up with a brilliant plan. He promises to bring his brothers to the movies too--if they do his tasks for him. Surely they will be too tired to go after all that work, won't they? But somehow, George's no-fail plan backfires, and one begins to wonder just who will have the last laugh. Colourful, busy scenes show all the action and underscore the clean up your act" message.

Toy Boat by Randall de Seve(Philomel Books, ages three to seven) is a glowing picture book parable of a first solo venture into the big wide world. A young boy has made a toy boat from a can, a cork, a yellow pencil and some white cloth. The boy loves the boat and takes it everywhere, keeping it close on a string near open water. But one day he drops the string and the toy ventures far out on the lake. The boat had often wondered what it would feel like to sail free but now, far from home, it faces the perils of high waves, stormy skies and large, mean-spirited sailing vessels. Finally a humble little fishing boat takes pity on the toy and guides it to shore, where it is reunited with the boy. The story ends with the boy occasionally letting the string go when they are at the lake since the toy boat now knows to come back home again. Radiant acrylic artwork shows the homely toy and its young owner, resplendent against the sunlit lake.

Ella Sets Sail by Carmela and Steven D'Amico(Arthur A. Levine, ages four to eight) follows everyone's favourite little elephant as she discovers the real meaning of luck. Ella loves the annual Elephant Island Carnival for its rides, its cotton candy and the fun she has with her friends. As always she wears the lucky red hat her grandmother gave her. But this year things aren't going well for her at the fair. Belinda is being a pest, Ella's allowance is all gone, and one of her friends loses the hat just when Ella needs it most. And when Ella chases it out to sea--braving a fierce storm and an unfamiliar island--she wonders if her luck has finally run out. As in previous Ella books, the charm comes from both the spunky heroine and the glorious illustrations with a Mediterranean background that is her playground.

We Love the Seashore by Kate Tym (QEB Publishing, ages three to eight) introduces young children to a popular summer holiday destination. Busy watercolours images capture the joy and chaos of a seaside outing with four children. We wake up in the morning / and it's a sunny day. / Mommy grabs the cooler, / and we know just what she'll say: / 'Get your things together kids, / swimsuits, towels, and inflatable rings; / buckets, shovels, and sunhats, / all your seashore things.' The bouncing rhyming text takes readers along on a family's excursion, through getting ready to go, squabbling with siblings on the car ride, exploring the beach, making sand-castles, visiting the amusement park and a quiet ride home with sleeping children. A concluding page suggests activities on a seaside theme for parents and children to try together.

Sizzle! A Book About Heat Waves by Rick Thomas(Picture Window Books, ages four to eight) gives a first look at a summer weather phenomenon. Bright computer-generated images and a brief text introduce young readers to the topics of water shortages, city and country heat, fire hazards, drought and how to survive in a heat wave. Complete with a glossary, index, and some suggested titles for learning more, this book is part of the Amazing Science series.

S is For S'mores by Helen Foster James (Sleeping Bear Press, ages four to nine) is a camping alphabet book. Next to picnics and fireworks, nothing else says summertime fun as mush as the family camping trip. Tackling such topics as unique camping environments, equipment necessities, famous conservationists and national parks, this abecedarium explores this popular outdoor pastime. With the alphabet as a backdrop, beginning readers can enjoy the simple rhymes that accompany each watercolour painting of common camping scenes. Older children can discover facts about each letter topic in the accompanying sidebar expository. Informative and fun, this is a perfect book for parents to share with their children, whether they are backyard tenters or experienced campers.

Welcome to summer!"