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August 13, 2010

5 Best Picture Books for the Last Days of Summer

Filed under: Family Activities — Tags: , — Erin @ 6:00 am

Guest blog by Kathryn Jones

Summer is almost over, and with it, those last lazy days of book reading. I don’t know about you, but the idea of sitting in the children’s book department inside any store and reading a Mom and Son Readinggood book is almost as fantastic as going on vacation. Just today I went on a journey through the children’s section of my local bookstore.  The experience was glorious. I almost forgot I was a grown-up. The words, the colors, the rhyming text and thoughtful stories transported me to another place—where I was five again.
Allow me to share with you a few of the books I stumbled upon and fell in love with.  In the process of sharing, I hope you’ll fall in love, too, and maybe go on a mini trip of your own.  Take your little ones with you for added fun.

The first picture book, “But I wanted a Baby Brother,” is written by Kate Feiffer and Diane baby broGoode. Oliver Keaton doesn’t want a baby sister, he is a boy after all, and boys want brothers. Oliver has the support of his dog, Chaplin, who agrees that a boy brother would be best. Oliver tries and fails to convince his parents that a boy would be the better sibling. He tries and fails to find a “used” baby brother from amongst his friends to make a trade, but all the boys seem to have more problems than his sister does. Does Oliver decide to keep his sister after all? “But I Wanted a Baby Brother,” published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers is $16.00; $21.99 in Canada and is written for ages 4-8.

Book two is entitled, “Chalk” and is illustrated by Bill Thomson. The story is about 3 children who discover a bag of chalk in an inanimate dinosaur’s chalkopen jaws, decide to draw on the sidewalk with the chalk, and are enlisted on a nature adventure throughout the park. Told in pictures only, the story of “Chalk” begins on a rainy day that quickly turns sunny because of the magic of the chalk. But what happens when the dinosaur is drawn out of his frozen stupor? You won’t believe your eyes!

“Chalk” is published by Marshall Cavendish Children and is $15.99; $20.95 in Canada. Perhaps a bit too frightening for the youngest of children, older children will enjoy the suspense and happy resolution of this beautifully illustrated book.

What if you hate books and some librarian is trying to get you to love them? In this story, “Miss Brooks Loves Books,” by Barbara Bottner, the main character is determined not to love books, even if Miss Brooks keeps trying to change her mind. The problem only gets worse when the main character gets an assignment to pick out a book for school to read during Book Week. Now what will she do? (Especially since she has to wear a costume too?) What book does the girl who hates books, pick? “Miss Brooks Loves Books,” is published by Alfred A. Knopf and is $17.99; $22.99 in Canada.

roly polyRoly Poly Pangolin” by Anna Dewdney, is book four on my list. Roly Poly Pangolin is afraid of all the new adventures life brings—that is, until he meets a new friend and discovers he’s not alone. “Roly Poly Pangolin” is a simple rhyming story for ages 2 and up and is $16.99; $21.00 in Canada. The book is published by Viking. Pangolins are furry animals that live in Africa, India, China and Southeast Asia. They have no teeth and protect themselves by rolling into a ball. For more information on Pangolin’s visit the author’s website at: www.annadwedney.com .

Book five is “A Mother’s Song,” by Janet Lawler. A mother takes her daughter on a journey throughout the neighborhood. What do they see? What do they feel? What do they touch? Come and take a walk through the seasons with this delightful rhyming text. “A Mother’s Song” is $14.95; $19.50 in Canada and is published by Sterling.

Reading with your children is one of those things you can’t replace even with the most expensive trip. There is something about the cuddle time, something about reading and laughing together that transports you in only the way reading can.

Author Byline

Kathryn Jones is a freelance writer. She is currently a resident writer for Online Schools, which researches areas of higher learning, how to pick an online school, and education. In her spare time, Kathryn enjoys reading books to her four grandchildren. Learn more about Kathryn at her website: www.ariverofstones.com.

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  1. Thanks for the post. I was glad to learn about these books as I’ve only read Miss Brooks Loves Books out of the 5. The Chalk Dinosaur book looks great for my youngest!

    Comment by Pragmatic Mom — August 17, 2010 @ 2:40 pm

  2. The great thing about Chalk Dinosaur is that there is plenty of opportunity to talk about what is happening in the book with your child and figuring out your own words to the pictures. It reminds me of what happens in the book “Where the Wild Things Are.” There’s that section in the middle where Max and the monsters are swinging through trees and dancing. At least, that’s what we call it over here. When my granddaughter and I get to these pages we say, “And they danced, and they danced, and they danced.”

    Comment by Kathryn Jones — August 19, 2010 @ 8:25 am

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