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Book Picks: Hooray for Summer!

Guest Post from Diane Etherington of The Children’s Hour:

Hooray for summer! It’s the perfect time to spend more time than ever reading with or to your children, fostering in them a great love of stories and words. I think the benefits of reading aloud to children from the time they are infants are incredibly far-reaching and if we really thought about it, we would be sure a day didn’t go by without a reading session with our kids.

One of my favorite books for young children is Bye-Bye Binky by Brigitte Weninger and illustrated by Yusuke Yonezu. Binkys are fabulous tools for infant happiness and sanity for sleep-deprived mothers, however, there comes a day when that toddler really needs to give up that binky! In this charming story, Nori loses his binky. It falls out of his pocket and is found by Ella Elephant who thinks it would make a great ring for her long nose! When she leaves is on the side of the pond, Lotti Lamb spies it and decides it would be the perfect hair clip for her long bangs. After being put to several great uses by several animals, the binky finally makes its way back to Nori, who discovers that he really doesn’t need it anymore and sends it off, up into the air tied to a red balloon!

Continuing along with our “lost” theme, Where’s My Hug? is a darling book for pre-schoolers about Jake, who refuses a hug from his mom when she drops him off from school. He doesn’t want the other kids to think he’s a baby. Later in the day when Jake decides maybe he could use that hug, he finds that his mom gave it away to his dad. When Jake goes to his dad to get his hug, he’s surprised to find that his dad gave that hug to the cat. Yikes! When Jakes asks the cat for the hug, the cat admits she gave it to the witch because the witch gave her a tasty fish. Well, you get the idea! Jakes finally chases down his hug and after he asks politely, a nice dragon gives it back to him! The fun of this book is in the journey!

Library-lovers will love The Boy Who Was Raised By Librarians by Carla Morris and illustrated by Brad Sneed. This is a fabulous story about a boy who loves to learn. “He wanted to know a lot about everything.” Lucky for him he frequents a wonderful library, staffed by extremely helpful librarians who love to learn almost as much as Melvin does. From kindergarten to high school graduation, those librarians help Melvin find all the information he needs and foster a great love of books and learning! I love this book! It is such a great way to introduce the delights of library use to young children and, of course, makes a great gift for your favorite librarian!

Older children have so much reading to do during the school year, it’s nice to have a few months of free time to read some not-assigned books just for fun. Blue Balliett is one of my favorite authors for the 8-12 year old set. Her books center around a threesome of bright kinds who are interested in art and seem to find themselves in art-related mysteries where they save great pieces of art from crafty evil-doers. In The Wright 3, Petra, Calder and Tommy become involved in a campaign to save an historic Frank Loyd Wright house from the wrecking ball. This doesn’t seem like a scary proposition, but, they find themselves in spooky circumstances as they “pursue justice and escape with their lives!” Kids who like architecture will eat this up and kids who like mysteries will be very satisfied with this great read!

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