The countdown to summer is on! These books capture the sun, the fun and the spirit of adventure (including spooky spirits and air battles) of these warm weather months. Check into your library’s summer reading program and pack a book in your bag, wherever you go this season.
‘Sea’ illustrated by Allison Black
Bright artwork and endearing characters encourage interaction and play with lots to see and enjoy. Lift the flap and touch a variety of textures. Little ones can feel the soft fur of a seal and a whale’s shiny skin in this multisensory exploration under the sea.
‘Summer Babies’ by Kathryn Galbraith
An adorable cast of diverse babies swing, side step, romp and run. Rhyming text and colorful art depict these energetic babies having fun at the park. This is an upbeat early concept book that highlights shapes and encourages play.
‘Crab Cake: Turning the Tide Together’ by Andrea Tsurumi
Everything living in the ocean plays their part: Scallop swims, Pufferfish puffs, Seahorse hides and Snapper eats. Crab is an exception, he bakes cakes. His friends find this odd. When a boat dumps garbage into the ocean, Crab continues to bake, bringing everyone together to clean up the mess.
‘Ojiichan’s Gift’ by Chieri Uegaki
Mayumi’s Ojiichan (grandfather) created a garden for her when she was born. Instead of having flowers or vegetables, this was a traditional Japanese rock garden. Every summer, Mayumi travels to Japan to visit Ojiichan, where he teaches her how to tend the garden. As Ojiichan gets older and is no longer able to tend the big garden, Mayumi finds a touching solution.
‘Super Summer ‘by Bruce Goldstone
The theme of this final seasonal offering from Bruce Goldstone is that summer is a season of plenty. Sun, fun and vacation from school are essential ingredients to the best (for most kids) of all seasons! Pages focus on the heat, including protection from the sun and how to keep cool, summer flowers and insects and, of course, vacation destinations of all kinds. Bright colors and detailed photographs will keep young readers engaged.
‘Bummer in the Summer’ by Dan Gutman
“A Christmas Carol” meets “My Weird School” in another hysterical entry in this popular early chapter series. A.J. is super excited that school’s out, but when three familiar spirits appear to show him summers past, present and yet to come, his anticipation is quickly dampened. As the spirits shed light on his past bad behavior, will A.J. change his ways, or will the summer end up being a total bummer?
‘Max & the Midknights’ by Lincoln Peirce
From the creator of Big Nate, this book is a superb hybrid of chapter book and graphic novel that’s packed with nonstop adventure, dragons, wizards, zombies and flying rats. Max is Uncle Budrick’s troubadour apprentice, but Max actually wants to be a knight. Fans of “Big Nate” and the “Wimpy Kid” series will find much to like in this mischievous medieval tale.
‘Dragon Pearl’ by Yoon Ha Lee
Thirteen-year-old Min doesn’t believe that her brother has deserted from the Space Force as has been accused. She runs away to find her brother and prove his innocence in this adrenaline-filled space opera.
‘We Rule the Night’ by Claire Eliza Bartlett
Adventure abounds in this dystopian debut, loosely inspired by the “Night Witches.” Female bomber pilots Revna and Linné are instant frenemies brought together in an all-female squadron to fight for their country against a bitter enemy. Unique magical elements are interwoven in this novel that examines issues of sexism, loyalty and disability, all among harrowing aviation scenes.
‘How (Not) to Ask a Boy to Prom’ by S.J. Goslee
Nolan, a gay high school junior, is content to work at a plant nursery while hoping to get into his dream college. Daphne, his older sister, has other plans for her sibling and sets a hilarious chain of events in motion resulting in this page-turner of a novel. Never falling into satire, the book covers some usual tropes of misunderstandings and intercepted notes, while tackling deeper questions of what makes a family and how to discern pretend feelings from real ones.
*Compiled by the Baltimore County Public Library’s Collection Development Staff*