Thursday, July 28, 2016

Plenty of Summer Remaining

As I make plans for the upcoming long weekend (Civic Day in the province of Ontario), I am trying to avoid the thought that this pretty much marks the halfway point of summer. However, plenty of summer remains. And with it - plenty of summer reading!

I am currently dwelling deep in the Texas heat of the summer of 1962, thanks to Stephen King's 11/22/63, but every once in awhile I will surface to eat, sleep, socialize, and read some kidlit.

A couple new titles by familiar authors turned up this week. Both are perfect summer reads for the younger set.
Are We There Yet? by Dan Santat. Little, Brown and Company, 2016.
"Are we there yet?" What road-tripper has not heard, or uttered these words? With a little imagination, the boy in Dan Santat's latest masterpiece turns a boring drive to Grandma's house into the voyage of a lifetime.

Much like Herve Tullet's Press Here, this is an interactive book. Not only is the reader turning and flipping the book in order to follow the text, but if you have a handy QR Reader you can access supplementary dialogue which greatly adds to the humour.

This is one fun read! But it needs to be read over and over again. I think I discovered something new with each visit. Fans of Beekle should watch for his cameo appearance. And make sure to remove the jacket and have a look at that cover - a reminder that "there's no greater gift than the present".

I'd read this one before a big trip, but it would also keep independent readers busy in the backseat during a long drive. And that is a good thing, right?

The Truth About My Unbelievable Summer... by Davide Cali. Illustrated by Benjamin Chaud. Chronicle books, 2016.
Hands up if you've ever been asked what you did on your summer vacation? Of course, you have. And in another month students all over will be preparing to answer that annual writing prompt.

The summer adventure that this boy embarks on in this circular story is just a little too much to be believable. Or is it? Independent readers will appreciate the big-kid construction of the book - it doesn't look like a picture book at all. All readers will love the twist at the end and will be excited to reread for clues to what really happened. The creative illustrations lead to so many possible discussion topics, and add tremendously to the telling of the story.

This is another fun and imaginative summer read in the excuse format. Make sure to check out the companion pieces by this author/illustrator team: A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to School..., and I didn't Do My Homework Because ...

In the spirit of imagination, I'll be returning to 1962 now.

Big thanks to Raincoast Books for supplying me with copies of these titles. 
I always pay it forward, and these titles will be added to my school library.

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I would love to hear your story!