There’s nothing more relaxing than stepping back into the cool a/c to read a magical summer book after spending the day outside, enjoying the nice weather. This month we’ve got sloth sleepovers, whimsical whales, mighty manatees and more.
Oceans of Love By Janet Lawler Illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown Target, 2022, $14.49
For summer beach fun, be sure to pack the swimsuits, sand shovel and this delightful rhyming tale of marine creatures and their little ones. Barnacles, sharks, clams and whales swim with, feed and soothe their young in a colorful, whimsical undersea world.
ages 3 – 7
Ten Blocks to the Big Wok By Ying-Hwa Hu Barnes & Noble, 2022, $19.95
Mia and Uncle Eddie are off for dim sum in this bilingual English/Mandarin counting book. Their walk through a vibrant Chinatown has Mia greeting two stone lions, doing tai chi chuan with five neighbors in the park and passing by 10 red lanterns at the door of the Big Wok restaurant. Inside, a surprise awaits: 10 different dishes, including nine fried wontons, three spring rolls and two egg tarts. An author’s note includes fascinating details about the various elements of Chinese culture that Mia experiences along the way.
Sloth Sleeps Over By Blythe Russo Penguin Random House, 2022, $17.99
Summer might hold a sleepover or two, and this playful tale can help prepare your child for a night at the home of another, be that grandparent or friend. Sloth is thrilled to be invited to a sleepover at her friend’s house – until this avid snoozer learns that playing games, eating pizza and NOT sleeping are the plans for the evening. Sloth can barely keep her peepers open, till she discovers that she and her friend both share a love (and need) for zzz’s.
Shelby & Watts: Tide Pool Troubles By Ashlyn Anstee Penguin Random House, 2022, $7.99
A fox and a badger team up to solve a mystery at the beach in this fast-paced early reader that engagingly weaves facts about shells, hermit crabs and the shore ecosystem into the story. Beginning readers will build literacy skills while enjoying the sleuthing adventures of these two best friends.
ages 8 – 12
Revolutionary Prudence Wright By Beth Anderson Illustrated by Susan Reagan Penguin Random House, 2022, $18.99
Perfect for a Fourth of July celebration or a unit on the Revolutionary War, this lively, informative picture book shares the little-known tale of Prudence Wright and the band of women who, under her leadership, captured a British spy. This carefully researched work of nonfiction – with enlightening back matter – spotlights the important contributions of women to the struggle for American independence, contributions little explored in most histories of this country.
Haven: A Small Cat’s Big Adventure By Megan Wagner Lloyd Barnes & Noble, 2022, $17.99
Haven loves her cozy life with the elderly Ma Millie, but when her favorite human sickens, the little cat ventures outdoors for help. As she journeys, timid Haven battles self-doubt and danger – and finds support in places and from wild friends she never imagined. Kids enamored of animal characters will take this slim, high-stakes book to their hearts.
Manatee Summer By Evan Griffith HarperCollins, 2022, $13.59
In this beautifully written, compelling novel, Peter is dealing with a summer of tremendous change in his Florida neighborhood: his best friend Tommy is moving far away, an adult bully threatens his mom’s livelihood and his beloved grandfather is descending into dementia. When he and Tommy find a manatee that has been injured by a motorboat, Peter becomes involved with an organization dedicated to the safety of manatees. During a fierce hurricane, though, Peter makes a terrible mistake and questions the worth of any of his actions. A powerful tale of friendship and young activism.