five for a blast of summer

cherry lemonade

Take some summer heat.
Add cold cherry lemonade and a stack of picture books.
Mix with children worn out from a day of swimming.
Makes one heap of bliss!

food truck fest cover image

Food Truck Fest!, written by Alexandra Penfold, illustrated by Mike Dutton
published in 2018 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Food trucks are big here in Minneapolis. This book celebrates these hip, scrumptious restaurants-on-wheels as they convene for a food truck festival.

food truck fest interior by Penfold and Dutton

Peek inside the trucks as their owners fire up grills and stir up icing. Traipse along with one family as they scoot onto the ferry that’ll take them across the water to the festival.

food truck fest interior2 by Penfold and Dutton

Bright, happy, and delicious fare for ages 2 and up. Be prepared for an attack of the munchies after you’ve read this book!

Pignic cover image

Pignic, written and illustrated by Matt Phelan
published in 2018 by Greenwillow Books, HarperCollins

One perky family of plump, pink piggies is off for a pignic!

pignic illustration by Matt Phelan

There are ups and downs, highs and lows, in such rapid succession here! Will the pignic be a success? Or will it get rained out? And just what is it, anyway, that makes for a most excellent pignic?

Pignic interior by Matt Phelan

Exuberant, playful, funny — this one’ll make you all smile. Ages 2 and up.

we are brothers cover image

We are Brothers, written by Yves Nadon, illustrated by Jean Claverie
published in 2018 by Creative Editions

This unique, brotherly story stole my heart from first glimpse.

For one thing, I love seeing children of color in wilderness, outdoorsy settings rather than only in urban stories. These brothers are fully at home in the gorgeous, rocky shoreline by their family’s lake house.

we are brothers interior by Nadon and Claverie

A cliff-like rock soars above the cool waters of the lake. One brother happily jumps from it, plunging deep into the water. The little brother has never been quite brave enough to try this. Can he summon up his courage to join in this year?

we are brothers interior2 by Nadon and Claverie

Elegant illustration work marks these pages with beauty and peace as we listen in to little brother’s internal struggle and witness the warmth of brotherly love. Ages 3 and up.

every color soup cover image

Every Color Soup, written and illustrated by Jorey Hurley
published in 2018, a Paula Wiseman Book, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Hurley’s trademark bold graphic art brings punch to every page of this lovely book.

every color soup interior by Jorey Hurley

Grab a pot and some every-color-of-the-rainbow vegetables. Can you name them? What is this bulbous purple fellow? What yellow vegetable is long with a myriad nubbly kernels? And how about these tricky white shapes? What might they be, to cut up and stir into the pot?

every color soup interior2 by Jorey Hurley

Soooo clever, with a recipe for every color soup included. A brilliant book for the very young, ages 18 months and up, and a great accompaniment for a trip to the farmer’s market.


Goldfish on Vacation, written by Sally Lloyd-Jones, illustrated by Leo Espinosa
published in 2018 by Schwartz & Wade

It’s summer in the city and time for vacation…

…for some goldfish! The abandoned fountain outside three kids’ apartment building is being scrubbed, filled with water, and planted with lily pads, all in preparation for the big day when throngs of children will parade in with their goldfish and set their charges free for a summer of fun in the fountain!

goldfish on vacation interior by Lloyd-Jones and Espinosa

The frolicking fish entice their human “parents” to cool off in the fountain as well, and before you know it a summer consigned to the city becomes quite a happy affair.

goldfish on vacation interior2 by Lloyd-Jones and Espinosa

Based on true events in New York City, this energetic, sunny read will entertain kids ages 3 and up!

There are lots more summery stories in the archives. Find them here with links to all my reviews.
More summer stories will be popping up in the next months including some great beach reads so stay tuned!