There are so many summer reading lists that, lately, I’ve spent more time looking at lists than reading books! Last week, during a segment on the South Shore radio station, WATD, I listed 5 books to put in a beach (or pool or river or small stream) bag for young children. When their fingers are wrinkly from the water and it’s time to wrap up in a towel and eat a snack, any of these would be good to pull out….
Sea Rex by Molly Idle (A girl enjoys a “carefree day of fun in the sun” with her younger brother, her teddy bear and…..a T. Rex who wears a sailor’s cap!)
Ice Cream Summer by Peter Sis (Written as a letter to his grandfather, a young boy reports on his many summer activities – all of which include ice cream!)
Pool by Jihyeon Lee (In this wordless story, a boy goes to a very crowded public swimming pool where he discovers that more rewarding adventures exist underwater.)
Beach by Elisha Cooper (This book, published in 2006, remains one of my favorite summer picture books because there’s so much to look at – sandcastles and seagulls and swimmers. Cooper is known for small watercolor vignettes, and here he captures all the joy of a day at the beach – beginning with an empty stretch of sand and ending when the beachgoers pack up their picnics and towels and return home.)
Beach Feet by Kiyomi Konagaya (This is the experience of one boy’s day at the beach. Because the reader completely enters this particular child’s reality, this perspective reminds me of one of my favorite paintings at the National Gallery of Art in Washington – Baby at Play by Thomas Eakins.
Both the book and the painting show a child completely absorbed in their activities – responding to hot sand and cool water or playing with blocks. The children remain happily oblivious to being watched.)
And if you’re a “middle-aged person” reading this post, here’s a good list from the Huffington Post. One of the books on this list, The Children Act, is next on my list!