In which Annie (high school teacher, mother of two young girls and a younger boy) and her aunt Deborah (children's bookseller, mother of two young women in their 20s) discuss children's books and come up with annotated lists.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Summer approaches!

Dear Annie,

Thank you to Denise for her lovely list of summer books.   Now that she's started, I don't want to stop.  I'll add a few to the list.

Belly Button Book
is a cheerful Sandra Boynton board book for little ones, explaining why hippos go to the beach:

Where Tons of Hippos Stand Around
In Bathing Suits Too Little
Because They Hope You Will Admire
The Button On Their Middle

How Will We Get to the Beach?
by Brigitte Luciani tells the story of Roxanne who has a baby, a ball, a book, an umbrella and a turtle, all of which she wants to take to the beach.  She goes through a series of conveyances -- a bus, a bicycle, a skateboard, a kayak, and a hot-air balloon -- each of which can't fit one thing, and so is rejected.  The reader has to figure out which thing doesn't fit each time.  Eventually a solution appears and all is well.  It's quite delightful, and full of I-spy and counting elements.

And the wonderful Shirley Hughes, about whom we've written more than once, does a lovely series of summer stories in 
The Big Alfie Out of Doors Storybook

It has four stories about being in the outdoors: playing in the back yard, camping out near the house (with a local farm pig wanting to join in), trying to get a lost sheep home, and the best of the bunch: a beach story called "Bonting."

Alfie creates a pet rock from a stone he finds.  His mother gamely makes Bonting a wardrobe, including a bathing suit.  So when the family goes to the beach, Bonting comes along.  The day at the beach is lovingly described, and when it's time to go home, Bonting is nowhere to be found.  All ends happily.  Parents: read at your own risk: just a couple of weeks ago, a customer told me about her own child's Bonting, whose clothing was a challenge to create.  It brought back memories of splicing together fashion for my own children's rocks.

We avoided taking them to the beach, though.



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