The lazy days of summer are a great time to read a book about summer adventures.
“Mosquitos are Ruining My Summer!” Alan Katz, Illustrated by David Catrow, Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2011, ages 6 and up.
The details of summer camp, mosquitoes, bunkbeads, care packages, are described through humorous poetry set to familiar song tunes. Song paradies, such as “Whose Idea Was This Dumb Hike?” (set to “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star) and “At the Campfire” (set to “Rock-a-Bye Baby”) will guarantee giggles. The author and illustrator team of Katz and Catrow add this book to their collection of hilarious poetry books including “Take Me Out of the Bathtub” and “Smelly Locker”. Their funny poems set to tunes linger in the minds of readers long after the book cover is closed.
“Nerd Camp” by Elissa Brent Weissman, Antheneum, 2011, 261 pages, ages 8-12.
During his first day of Summer Center for Gifted Enrichment, or sleepaway camp, Gabe asks himself the question, “Am I a nerd who only has nerdy adventures?” Gabe had never thought of himself as a nerd, that is, until he met his soon-to-be stepbrother, Zach. When Gabe considers the activities at camp, poetry writing class, logical reasoning, and homework, through Zach’s super-cool eyes, he begins to wonder about his own geekiness. Camp and new friends provide an opportunity for Gabe to discover the type of person he really wants to be.
“Seaglass Summer” by Anjali Banerjee, Wendy Lamb Books, 2010, 163 pages, ages 8-12.
Poppy Ray’s dream is to be a veterinarian. When her parents return to India over the summer to visit family, Poppy is sent to stay with Uncle Sanjay, a veterinarian for a small island community of the coast of Washington. Early in her adventure, Poppy’s hopes are dashed after her new veterinarian kit is mostly ruined and she discovers that caring for animals also means cleaning up after animals. Over time, Poppy comes to learn of the joys and hard work involved in being a veterinarian. The author, an animal lover herself, wrote her first story about an abandoned puppy at the age of seven.
“William’s Midsummer Dreams” by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, Atheneum, 2011, 209 pages, ages 8-12.
William heads off to summer drama camp to audition for a part in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. William’s energy, acting talent and acrobats land him the part, but he is not prepared for a drama camp rival or an adoring admirer. Problems from William’s past also follow him to camp, adding more than one type of drama to this story. The author is a three-time Newbery Honor winner for the books “The Egypt Game”, “Headless Cupid”, and “The Witches of Worm”.
A good book, a glass of lemonade, and the cool shade of a tree are three of the best ingredients for a great summer of reading.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Dobler