Welcome to summer! Sunny days are here, and we’re all looking forward to the end of the school year and the start of some well-deserved downtime. For us that mean more time to spend together as a family, but also more time to just not “do” anything. We love to start our summer off with a few new books for reading together as well as a couple of books that the kids can stay up late reading on those long summer nights.
Our friends at Raincoast Books sent us some new summer reads that might pique your interest! Read what we thought and scroll down to the end of this post to win your choice of any of these books.
Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug by Jay Fleck
Tiny T. Rex has a HUGE problem. His friend Pointy the stegosaurus is sad. Tiny knows that a hug will cheer him up, but how can he hug with his tiny arms? Tiny asks his family for help, and upon his siblings’ advice, he decides to practice, practice, practice. An 80s style training montage follows, along with a hard lesson that a cactus is not ideal for hugging practice.
When Tiny mistakes a pterodactyl leg for a tree, he’s taken for a ride he didn’t expect. Fortunately he lands safely on his best friend (avoiding the pointy plates on his back) and gives him the best hug he can, bringing a smile to Pointy’s face.
“My arms are still tiny and my hugs are still tiny, but I will do my very best because you are my very best friend.”
“Thank you Tiny. That was the biggest hug ever.”
My girls have fallen in love with Tiny and this cute story of love and persistence and friendship. (3-7 years.)
Polly Diamond and the Super Stunning Spectacular School Fair by Alice Kuipers and Diana Toledano
Whatever Polly writes in her magic notebook, Spell, comes true. In this second Polly Diamond book, word-lover and aspiring author Polly decides to turn her school’s book-themed fair into a super stunning and spectacular extravaganza. But when the results are not what she expected, Polly discovers that what she means and what she writes might not be the same thing.
Filled with references to favourite childhood books like Bridge to Terabithia, Winnie the Witch, The Borrowers, and Ivy + Bean, this chapter book is perfect for imaginative young readers like my 6-year-old. Clever wordplay, plenty of black and white illustrations, and Polly’s charming handwritten lists will keep readers interested until the last page. (5-8 years.)
Peter & Ernesto: A Tale of Two Sloths by Graham Annable
In this beginner’s graphic novel, Peter and Ernesto are sloths who happen to be best friends. Peter is a homebody who never wants to leave their tree, and Ernesto is an adventurer pining to see the sky from every corner of the world. One day, Ernesto leaves their tree to explore the world, undeterred by Peter’s warnings of lions, wolves…even BEARS out there! Despite those fears, it isn’t long before Peter anxiously decides to follow after Ernesto to make sure he’s okay.
The easy-to-follow story panels alternate between Ernesto gleefully embracing new experiences and nervous Peter following his trail. The difference between the two friends is marked in how they deal with the same challenges, but at the end of the book when the two friends are reunited, Peter has learned that he’s braver than he thought, and Ernesto has learned there really is no place like home.
The muted colours and soft illustrations will appeal to young readers, and the handwritten speech bubbles are easy for beginning readers to decipher. (5-8 years.)
I Have an Idea! by Herve Tullet
Hervé Tullet is back with another picture book in his signature primary-coloured graphic style. Aimed at an older audience than his previous interactive books, I Have an Idea! attempts to capture the messy and non-linear process of discovering and developing an idea.
The book opens with the moment of discovery – “OH! I have an idea!” and a smiling face – then jumps back to describe the creative process leading up to the epiphany. 11 pages of rows and rows of monotonous, black lines embody the laborious and often boring process of looking and waiting for an idea. When one finally does stumble onto an idea (a burst of colour), sometimes it grows like a seed. Sometimes ideas must be organized and distilled down into one good idea. Inspiration comes from being curious, open, and paying attention to the world around us.
Red, blue, and yellow lines and squiggles symbolize ideas and inspiration. They’re full of movement, seeming to move, jump, and leap off the page, but unlike Tullet’s previous books like Press Here and Mix It Up!, I Have an Idea! doesn’t ask readers to interact by touching, tapping, or shaking the book. Less fun and more abstract, my children didn’t find this book as engaging as Tullet’s past work. (8 and up.)
Spring Into Summer Book Giveaway
Let’s do a giveaway! The winner can bring home any one of the books we reviewed in this post. Enter in the giveaway widget below. This giveaway is open to residents of Canada, 18+. All the winner’s entries will be verified.
Click here to check out my other open giveaways and be sure to follow me on Facebook!
Disclosure: I received sample items to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are completely honest and my own, based on my personal experience. Your experience may differ. This post contains affiliate links. This West Coast Mommy is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.