Summer brings visions of blue skies, green fields, turquoise waters, and carefree days. Summer days are perfect for sharing poems that will bring the beauty of nature and animals home to us. These three picture books filled with poetry do just that.
With “Spark,” Sarah Beth Durst proves that you don’t have to be loud or pushy to make a difference. In this middle grade fantasy, Mina learns that with the support and love of friends and her storm beast, she can change big things.
The month of May is good for flowers and green growing things, but it’s also got some wonderful picture books just released in time for spring. And after a long day filled with sunshine, or even a long day filled with rain, nothing gets a kid ready for bed better than a wonderful picture book. Here are a few fabulous suggestions: some will make your child laugh and giggle, others will lead to fabulous discussions. Enjoy.
“Perfect Imperfection: Dog portraits of resilience and love” by Alex Cearns is a book about dogs who are missing something — an eye or a leg. Some have had rough beginnings, but make no mistake, these dogs are all beautiful.
Wonderful children’s author David Lubar has two new collections of short stories, “Teeny Weenies: The Intergalactic Petting Zoo” and “Teeny Weenies: Freestyle Frenzy.” Kids love the original Weenie series like “Strikeout of the Bleacher Weenies,” which are perfect for older middle grade readers. In this new “Teeny Weenie” series, the stories are great for younger kids in first grade and higher. The stories are a bit shorter and simpler to follow, yet still filled with Lubar’s clever wit and bizarre imagination.
“Swimming for Sunlight” by Allie Larkin has it all — but mostly it has a main character who has experienced it all, and in her case that’s not a good thing. Katie has experienced much loss. Her father died when she was young. Even worse was how it happened; he died when he was swimming with her to the dock by their lake home, and Katie tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate him. After her father was gone, her mother relinquished all motherly duties to Katie’s grandmother and eventually just left. Katie was raised by her grandmother, Nan, in Florida.
“The Strangers: Greystone Secrets” is the first book in this new series by bestselling children’s author Margaret Peterson Haddix. Haddix is no stranger to writing children’s series that are thrilling and that kids love to read including “The Missing” and “Shadow Children.” This series promises to be just as exciting and addicting as those.
With “High Five,” Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri have created a picture book that enchants and excites kids of all ages. I know, because in my own experience, this colorful and action-filled book has been a hit with kids from three years old through 5th grade.
What happens when a shelter allows a dog to suffer in agony for days before the staff veterinarian bothers to check on the dog, then finding that his intestines had perforated, and he had to be euthanized? What happens when after surgery, another dog is allowed to bleed to death, found two days later dead in her kennel? If the shelter is in Tampa, Florida, namely the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center (PRC), and the director is Scott Trebatoski, nothing happens. And according to the latest Target 8 report by Steve Andrews, “Shelter woes blamed on county commissioners’ refusal to listen,” the county board doesn’t care, either.
How better to get ready for Easter than by reading these three picture books about Easter? Each is special and will be loved for different reasons; each is worth reading with children before and after Easter.
Many Americans love their dogs and cats, but almost three million companion animals are killed in shelters every year. If more people adopted cats and dogs, that number would be smaller, just as it would if more people spayed and neutered their dogs and cats. Perhaps if people knew the benefits they would get by saving the life of a shelter animal, more would do so.
“Unleashing Your Dog: A Field Guide to Giving Your Canine Companion the Best Life Possible” by Marc Bekoff and Jessica Pierce is a primer for dog owners who love their dogs but aren’t sure that their dogs are living the best life possible. Why should people care about their dogs having the best life possible? Those of us who have dogs and love them as parts of our family know the answer: By making our dogs as happy as possible, we in turn will be as happy as we can possibly be with them.