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Beach Baby

Written by Amy Pixton Illustrated by Kate Merritt Workman Publishing, 2016, $5.95

“Beach Baby” is perfect for your baby's trip to the beach. The book combines colorful and distinctive illustrations with a baby's trip to the shore. Whether it is naming objects in the beach bag, pointing out sandcastles and pretty seashells, or deciding what to eat and drink, your little one will love going to the beach! Not only is the book a great beach read for your baby – it's indestructible. Printed on a unique, nontoxic paperlike material that holds up to endless gumming, chewing, bending, pulling and drooling, this book is built for the way babies read – with their hands and mouths.

Amazing Water

“Amazing Water” is a storybook and music CD that introduces children to classical music. Oceans, rivers and lakes have inspired composers throughout history, and this collection explores the flowing realm of “amazing water” as expressed by composers from the 17th century to the present day. Author and music educator, Ana Gerhard introduces children (and grown-ups) to the works of Handel, Bach, Schubert, Vivaldi, Beethoven and others, along with three centuries of music history and colorful, evocative illustrations.

— Jenny L. Heinbaugh

Book Reviews

By Mary Quattlebaum

babies / tots

Calling All Cars

Does your summer hold a road trip close to home or far away? If so, pack this lively travel companion for your tot. Sue Fliess’s rhyming text pairs beautifully with Sarah Beise’s whimsical illustrations. Whether "fast cars, slow cars" or "way-down-low cars," there’s a vehicle for every occasion and sensibility. Race cars, vans and convertibles head for the beach or zip around the track. The drivers ratchet up the humor, since they are all cheery critters, including a large rabbit family with a suitcase-laden automobile. This book should get excellent mileage with the little ones.

ages 3 – 6

Wolf Camp

Day and sleep-away camps are now such an important part of the summer experience that youngsters will relate to Homer’s desire for wilderness adventures. Homer is a big-eyed, big-nosed pooch who yearns to go to Wolf Camp. Andrea Zuill’s illustrations often play off her straightforward text, enhancing the book’s laugh-out-loud funniness. Homer and his fellow dog campers learn to howl and hunt with increasing skill, but Homer also writes home complaining about the "yucky" food and begging for his favorite bacon-flavored snacks. Like many kids, Homer returns happy to be home but changed and emboldened by his exposure to the worldbeyond the family. This delightful read-aloud is sure to generate discussion and guffaws before and after a summer sojourn.

ages 7 – 11

Diana’s White House Garden

Before the Obamas created a vegetable garden at the White House, young Diana Hopkins and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt planted one in 1943. Elisa Carbone tells the fascinating true tale of a 10 year old who lived in the White House with herfather, who was President Roosevelt’s chief advisor. All across the United States, people were planting Victory Gardens in back yards, city parks and vacant lots so they could free up resources for the troops overseas. Diana planted beans, carrots and tomatoes that helped to feed the residents of the White House. With her pranks and devotion to the President’s dog, Fala, Diana emerges as a believable, high-spirited kid. Jen Hill’s charming illustrations, with their gentle colors, capture the look and feel of a bygone era.