Itsy Mitsy Runs Away, by Elanna Allen, is a cute and funny story about how little Mitsy plans to run away to a place where she’ll never have to go to bed! But dad is one smart dad and tells her that she’ll need to pack her favorite stuffed dinosaur, and food, and on and on. The cartoon-like drawings and clever text makes for an enjoyable read. This is a nice celebration of our clever dads!
My Father Knows the Names of Things, by Jane Yolen, and illustrated by Stephane Jorisch, is a tribute to the author’s late husband. While a youngster is on some fun adventures with her dad, he makes these experiences learning adventures by pointing out many points of interest, noticing habitats and the astrological parts of the sky. The freely drawn illustrations with pen and watercolor are a perfect fit.
Hush Little Beach Comber, by Dianne Moritz, and illustrated by Holly McGee, is a delightful take on the children’s rhyming song titled “Hush Little Baby, Don’t Say a Word.” This little tyke is going to the beach where the sandcastles, waves, picnics and much more are waiting. So what are you waiting for? The wonderful blended chalk and paint seem to ebb and flow with the surrounding water. This book captures all that waits at the beach!
If you’re feeling hot and muggy, here’s a book to put the chill back in your day: Zoomer’s Summer Snowstorm, by Ned Young. Zoomer is a cute and inventive little spotted puppy who asks his mom if he can make a snow cone in the kitchen on this hot summer day. She tells him that he can as long as he cleans up after. As he proceeds to make the snow cone, the machine goes out of control so he decides to open the window. It continues spraying snow all over his yard where he decides to make snow sculptures. The color contrasts of the bluish white snow and the blooming flowers and cobalt sky creates a vivid scene. If only this were true, we could all cool off in this unique way!
A favorite author and illustrator, Alan Katz and David Catrow, respectively, have recently published another book in their series of fun and funny singing, rhyming books. Mosquitoes are Ruining my Summer!, follows the similar format of using familiar songs with themed situations, in this case – summer camp. There is “Trying Out for the Camp Show” to the tune of “Take me Out to the Ballgame” and “Mosquitoes are Ruining my Summer” to the tune of “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean.” Catrow uses his trademark illustrations with humor as the kid’s experiences jump off the pages in hues of pastels.
Seashore: Flip the Flaps, by Hannah Wilson, is a non-fiction book that’s full of information about the beach and all that inhabit it. It covers many different kinds of shorelines which include salty shores, snowy seashores, rocky islands and salty swamps. The flaps make the facts fun and interesting for young children and the pictures are actual photographs.
I Love Vacations, by Anna Walker, is a simple account of a trip to the beach and why we love it there. The young zebra, Ollie, heads to the beach with Fred, his friend. The day at the beach and all that they do there would be a great way to relive your trip to the beach again and again. The simple ink and watercolor illustrations have white surrounding each page helping create a simple story. Also, the text is short making this a quick, yet relaxing read. The author has several other books in this series that begin with “I Love” as well.
Jam & Honey, by Melita Morales, and illustrated by Laura J. Bryant, is a sweet story from two points of view – a little girl gathering berries to make jam and a bee on its way to gather nectar to make honey for her honeycomb. The combined activities help shed light on the importance of nature. The soft hues of watercolor and pencil make for a sugary garden gathering.
And summer isn’t official without the county fairs. Hurry Down to Derry Fair, by Dori Chaconas, and illustrated by Gillian Tyler, is the perfect celebration of all that goes into the preparation of exhibiting and competing at the fair. Mama has made some yummy lemon pies and Lucy is about to show her animals. Be sure to check out the full page fold-out that shows many facets of the goings on at a fair. The colors of pastels and green grass everywhere surely shows summer at its best.
Around the World on Eighty Legs, by Amy Gibson, and illustrated by Daniel Salmieri, is an informative book about a huge variety of animals told in poetic form. The Hyena will have you “smirk as we lurk in the grass by the stream but we’re not the bad fellows that some make it seem.” And the Kangaroo questions “Why hug the ground, when you can bound?” The illustrations of each animal imparts the poem to perfection.
La Rue Across America: Postcards from the Vacation, by Mark Teague, will take you from Bubbletub, Ohio to Mount LuLu, Colorado as Ike LaRue writes to his neighbor while she’s in the hospital and informs her about her cats that have accompanied him and his owner on a trip across the country. This hilarious story is a continuation of a successful series. Be sure to check out the front and back endpapers that show the route across the states. Teague uses bright colors throughout that fill each page.
And if you haven’t discovered this series of entertaining books for travel, you’re missing out. I Spy Spectacular: A book of Picture Riddles, photographed by Walter Wick, with riddles by Jean Marzollo, has great fun on every page as you search for the answer to the riddles posed.
And lastly, here’s a way to let your loved ones in on your trips: Where’s Waldo: The Phenomenal Postcard Book, by Martin Handford. This collection of pull-out postcards features the famous Waldo on every postcard and what better way to inform others of your travels?