Beat the Summer Heat with a Cool Book
Need a break from the blazing summer heat? Collect your kids and a tall glass of lemonade and find a shady spot to share a book. One selection below also offers easy craft projects for you and your young children to enjoy this summer.
In Fun on the Beach (Barron's, $5.95), Lola and Binky spend at day at the seashore. The four chunky touch-and-feel press-out pieces give toddlers a chance to feel the coarse sand and the shape of a starfish in this fun book by Lara Jones. Ages infant to preschool.
The two characters in Dot and Dash Meet Their Friends (Scholastic, $8.99) and Dot and Dash Go to Bed (Scholastic, $4.99) have the typical childhood experiences of playing with friends and getting ready for bed. Meet Dot and Dash's friends, Big and Small, in the hardcover, lift-the-flap book. In the softcover book, Dash doesn't want to take a bath, and Dot doesn't want to turn out the light, but with a little teamwork, they manage to get ready for bed. Written and illustrated by Emma Dodd. Ages infant to preschool.
Om Baby, Child of the Universe (Om Baby World, $16.95) is a hardcover book that emphasizes the importance of family, friends and community through bright illustrations and simple verse. Schamet Horsfield's first book reminds both children and adults of their responsibility to the Earth and each other. The book is printed on recycled paper and the author is partnering with Ecos Libris, a company that works with publishers to plant a tree for each copy sold. Ages infant to preschool.
Jamie Lee Curtis's Books to Grow by Treasury (Harper Collins, $24.99) contains four best-selling picture books — When I Was Little, Is There Really a Human Race?, Where Do Balloons Go? and I'm Gonna Like Me. Each book explores an issue like self-esteem, imagination and identity, but is full of fun activities such as games and sing-along songs on a CD. Written by Jamie Lee Curtis and illustrated by Laura Cornell. Ages 3-8.
With a good dose of humor, Hope Vestergaard presents a "bathroom basics" guide for preschoolers in Potty Animals (Sterling, $14.95). Do you know a kid who doesn't knock on the bathroom door before barging in? Or maybe one who never flushes? You'll find all kinds in this rhyming verse that offers kids and parents helpful hints on potty etiquette. Illustrated by Valerie Petrone. Ages 4 and up.
My Dad's Toolbox (Barron's, $16.99) is a pop-up book in an educational series that contains an actual toolbox complete with cardboard tools. Help Dad fix the fence or the leaky pipe. Pullout pieces add to the fun and the sense of accomplishment in finishing much-needed household repairs. Ages 4 and up. (Small parts are a choking hazard for younger children.)
Crafty Kids: Fun Projects for You and Your Toddler by Rosie Hankin (Barron's, $8.99) shows how to make a rainbow fish with colorful tissue paper or an airplane out of paper-towel tubes. This book has 28 fun projects in three categories: farm animals; sea creatures; and trucks, trains and planes. For adults and toddlers.