With temperatures soaring to the triple digits, July and August are the perfect times to find a cool spot and settle down with a good book. The following collection shares some of my summer time favorites.

“La Luna” by Enrico Casarosa, Disney Press, 2012, Ages 4-7.

A young boy joins his papa and grandpa in their boat for a night of work. Little does he know, their work entails climbing to the moon and sweeping up the fallen stars. This timeless fable combines charming illustrations and a simple story sline to explain the moon and stars and would be an enchanting backdrop to a summer evening of star gazing.

“When You Are Camping” by Anne Lee, Kane Miller, 2012, Ages 4-8.

Beautiful watercolor and ink illustrations depict Hazel and Tilly’s camping activities, which include taking a bath with fish, floating on a tube in the river, and seeing a million fireflies. Readers who love the outdoors will appreciate the simple pleasures enjoyed by these young girls as they experience nature. The author’s rosy camping descriptions do not include the summer heat or pesky bugs, both a part of any Kansas summer camping trip.

“The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester” by Barbara O’Connor, Square Fish, 2010, 168 pages.

Owen Jester is a curious boy looking for an adventure, while avoiding Viola, the pesky neighbor girl. First his search takes him to the pond, where he manages to catch the elusive frog with the heart-shaped red spot between his eyes. After hearing a curious noise then the train passes, Owen and his friends stumble upon a mysterious object which has fallen from the train. Only with Viola’s help can the boys discover the fun and suspense a great secret can create.

“Drizzle” by Kathleen Van Cleve. Dial Books, 2010, 358 pages.

Giant chocolate rhubarb, talking spiders, and raining diamonds are all a part of the magically fantastic life at Rupert’s World-Famous Rhubarb Farm. Polly has grown up on the farm with her family, but bad things are starting to happen, and no one seems to know how to stop them. The rhubarb is dying. Her brother Freddie is sick. And the rain storm, which occurred every Monday at one o’clock, has dried up. Polly sets out to solve the mystery and discovers her own inner strength and special talents. Drizzle tells a story of whimsical magic, suspense, betrayal, friendship, and family – all the elements to keep a reader nestled in a hammock on a cool summer evening.

Reviewed and photo by Elizabeth Dobler

 

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