Recommended by Liz at West Kendall Regional Library
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Hats Off for the Fourth of July!
By Harriet Ziefert
Everyone gathers for the start of the Fourth of July parade in Chatham, Massachusetts. As locals and tourists line the streets, the parade begins with baton twirlers followed by cowboys on horseback, floats and marching bands. By the end of the show, the spectators join in and look to the skies for an Independence Day treat.
Illustrations by local Chatham artist Gustaf Miller perfectly capture the charm of a small‑town parade, and the deep colors in his paintings portray the hot and still weather of July. Fun details in his illustrations include hungry seagulls diving for popcorn, a dog catching a twirler’s baton and pet rabbits enjoying the action.Check Availability
By Liam Francis Walsh
A boy and his dog take a boat out to go fishing in this debut children’s picture book by New Yorker cartoonist Liam Francis Walsh. They are fishing for an unusual catch: bright red letters from the depths of the sea. Both the boy and his dog find the letters F, I and S, but the last letter proves elusive, pulling the boy out of his boat. Like any good fisherman, he won’t let his catch get away, and the H draws him into a wild school of letters until the dog saves the day. A final surprise at the end comes when the boy and his dog use the letters F‑I‑S‑H for an unexpected purpose.
Walsh’s limited use of colors—just red, black, white and aquamarine—boosts the impact of the wild letters and heightens the excitement of the fishing trip. The cartoonish renderings of the main characters are charming, as are the antics of the boy’s faithful dog. Fish is a wonderful book to introduce children to letters and how they form different words.Check Availability
History of Fun Stuff: The Scoop on Ice Cream!
By Bonnie Williams
This fun, fact‑filled history of a favorite summertime treat is the perfect book to read on National Ice Cream Day, held on the third Sunday in July. Frozen treats have existed for over two thousand years, but were expensive and time consuming to make. All that changed when Nancy Johnson patented the first ice cream maker, a machine so well made you can still buy makers based on her design. In 1851, Jacob Fussell, known today as the father of the ice cream industry, opened the first ice cream factory, which led to the invention of ice cream sundaes, cones and Eskimo Pies.
Included at the book's end is a list of the ice cream flavors loved worldwide, including squid ink ice cream from Japan, as well as an explanation of the science of making ice cream and an ice cream quiz.Check Availability
Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping
By Mélanie Watt
Scaredy Squirrel is the world’s most neurotic squirrel and the star of a popular series of books about his reluctant adventures. In this entry, Scaredy Squirrel wants to go camping, but being outdoors means he may run into skunks, quicksand, mosquitoes, the Three Bears and, worst of all, penguins and zippers. He decides instead to do virtual camping, by watching “The Joy of Camping” on television; if only he had an electrical outlet to plug it in! After pages of hilariously inept planning, taking into account possible volcanoes, and packing survival equipment such as pliers to escape from the campsite’s “zillion zippers” and popsicles to toss to distract the penguins, Scaredy Squirrel is ready to go find a plug. All goes to plan until he runs into a giant penguin, which is actually a part of a mini putt golf course. On his retreat through the campground, Scaredy Squirrel realizes that camping, though a little scary, is great fun, and that the wilderness is “meant to be enjoyed up close!” The cartoonish illustrations are appealing, and the humor just right for young children.Check Availability
The Whale in My Swimming Pool
By Joyce Wan
A little boy is excited to swim in his wading pool, but when he arrives at his backyard pool, an enormous whale is sitting inside. The boy tries everything to convince the whale to move. He closes his eyes and counts to 10, but the whale is still there. A gentle push, a game of fetch, an offer of his allowance and even a crane do not budge the whale, who continues to sit in the pool smiling happily and blowing water out of his blowhole. A smart compromise makes both the boy and the whale happy, but come naptime the boy discovers another animal problem: a bear asleep and snoring in his bed.
Quirky and humorous illustrations heighten the appeal of this picture book, and the boy’s dilemma of such a gigantic whale in his pool keeps the reader in suspense. The fun surprise at the end is delightful, and children can count pictures of the whale and the bear on the book’s endpapers.Check Availability