ten for soaking up every last day of summer

I know, I know. School days approach.

But while summer lasts, lets soak up some more hammock-in-the-shade reading, blanket-on-the-lawn reading, campfire-under-the-stars reading about…

…what’s wondrous at nighttime

sun and moon cover image

Sun and Moon, written and illustrated by Lindsey Yankey
published in 2015 by Simply Read Books

Lindsey Yankey is a dream of an illustrator (check out her website here) and her recent work in Sun and Moon will enchant you!

sun and moon interior lindsey yankey

When Moon tires of his “lifetime in darkness” and wishes to swap places with Sun, Sun wisely challenges him to take one, last, close look at all things night-ish before making such an irrevocable step. Turns out, nighttime is pretty darn cool. It’s a gorgeous book to share with ages 2 and up.

…weirdly wonderful ocean dwellers

the most amazing creature in the sea cover image

The Most Amazing Creature in the Sea, by Brenda Z. Guiberson, illustrated by Gennady Spirin
published in 2015 by Henry Holt and Company

Just who is the most amazing creature in the sea? That’s for you to judge after being introduced to this fascinating set of contestants.

the most amazing creature in the sea guiberson and spirin

From the Box Jellyfish — a brainless creature with 24 eyes and millions of highly toxic stingers — to the Ocean Sunfish — a fish as heavy as a rhinoceros! Plus creatures with names like Wolffish and Vampire Squid! Every one of these fellows offers plenty of reasons to recommend itself for your vote. Brief, vivid descriptions combined with Spirin’s amazing artwork tantalize readers age 4 or 5 and up.

…an unfortunate incident between Beatrix Potter and a guinea pig

beatrix potter and the unfortunate tale of a borrowed guinea pig cover image

Beatrix Potter & the Unfortunate Tale of a Borrowed Guinea Pig, by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Charlotte Voake
Available Feb. 2016 from Schwartz & Wade Books

This one’s not available yet, but put it on your Valentine’s wish lists.

It seems that while young Beatrix loved animals, and loved to paint animals, she did not necessarily have a green thumb when it came to caring for them. When she borrows a neighbor’s guinea pig, disaster strikes.

beatrix potter and the unfortunate tale of a borrowed guinea pig interior hopkinson and voake

Read this charming tale, based on a true incident, and you will learn something new about Miss Potter and get some golden advice to boot. A lovely, informative Author’s Note is included, and the illustrations are by Charlotte Voake. Enough said. A gem for Potter-lovers, ages 4 and up.

…Jane Addams’ compassionate work

the house that jane built cover image

The House that Jane Built: A Story about Jane Addams, by Tanya Lee Stone, illustrated by Kathryn Brown
published in 2015 by Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt and Company

I have been missing a good children’s bio of Jane Addams, and here comes this gem.

the house that jane built interior stone and brown

From childhood, Addams was determined to live “right in the midst of horrid little houses” in order to better care for those in need. In 1889, her dream began in earnest when she purchased Hull House in Chicago. This beautifully-written introduction to a woman of compassion begs to be shared with kids ages 5 and up. Friendly, warm illustrations embrace us on every page. Highly recommended.

…about magic words

please mr. panda cover image

Please, Mr. Panda, written and illustrated by Steve Antony
originally published in the UK in 2014; first American edition published in 2015 by Scholastic Press

Panda has a trayful of scrumptious, tantalizing doughnuts. He’s offering them to folks he meets, one after another.

please mr. panda interior steve antony

But when they respond with, “Give me the pink one!” or “I want them all!” Panda changes his mind. What’s the magic word Panda is looking for? I bet you can guess. A simple, bright, and funny politeness exercise for ages 2 and up.

…about the happiness of sharing

bernice gets carried away cover image

Bernice Gets Carried Away, written and illustrated by Hannah E. Harrison
published in 2015 by Dial Books for Young Readers

Bernice is having a miserable day. She’s at a festive party, but everything’s going wrong. She’s the only one with no frosting rose on her piece of cake. The only one to get prune-grapefruit soda rather than strawberry-melon.

bernice gets carried away interior hannah e harrison

When Bernice decides to grab some happiness for herself, she gets way more than she bargained for! Her clever and kind solution wins the day for all her friends, as well as herself. Delightful story, with Hannah Harrison’s trademark darling animals and brrring!-bright colors.

…about a hermit of a bear and his pesky neighbors

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Those Pesky Rabbits, written and illustrated by Ciara Flood
published in 2015 by little bee books

Bear is quite happy living a quiet life on his own.

those pesky rabbits interior ciara flood

When a perky family of rabbits moves in next door, though, his serenity is over! Will Bear be able to resist the intrusions of his sociable neighbors? Or will they win his heart? It’s a similar flavor to the Bear and Mouse stories from Bonny Becker  — charming, funny, and heartwarming. Just right for ages 2 and up.

…about  a poet named e.e. cummings

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Enormous Smallness: A Story of E.E. Cummings, by Matthew Burgess, illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo
published in 2015 by Enchanted Lion Book

So…do you know what the e.e. stands for?!

Or when and how he got his start in poetry?

Did you know young Cummings had a snug treehouse or that he started his freshman year at Harvard before he turned 17?!

enormous smallness interior burgess and kris di giacomo

Check out this snappy, vivid, brief biography leading us from Cummings’ rich childhood, through his experiences during World War I, his connections with the avant-garde, and the groundbreaking experimentation he brought to poetry. Strikingly illustrated by the talented Kris DiGiacomo, this one’s for ages 7 or 8 and up. I hope it garners some awards.

…about animals and counting and the number 8

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8, An Animal Alphabet, written and illustrated by Elisha Cooper
published in 2015 by Orchard Books

I love Elisha Cooper’s watercolor work.

Here he turns his talents to an alphabet-counting mashup. Each letter gets a pageful of animals, and on every page, one of those animal appears eight times.

8 an animal alphabet interior elisha cooper

Why 8? Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out! Lots of fun plus gobs of new animals to meet and interesting facts about them in the back pages. Ages 2 and up.

…about a search for the right underwear

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Polar Bear’s Underwear, by Tupera Tupera
originally published in Japan in 2012; first American edition in 2015 by Chronicle Books

Oh dear! Polar Bear can’t find his underwear! Never fear, Mouse will help him.

Is it this snazzy, stripey pair?

polar bear's underwear interior by tupera

Nope. Those belong to zebra.

polar bear's underwear interior1 tupera

Cheerful, die-cut pages reveal quite a zingy batch of undies as this duo search for the missing pair. Where will it be?! Would you like to wear a pair of jolly undies, too?! Which are your favorite?

It’s quite the summer for underwear books, I guess. If you have small fry in the Graduating From Diapers stage, perhaps this funny, sunny Japanese import will suit you to a tee!