Published:July 18, 2012 5:41PM
Corner: ‘Day by Day’ and other cool books kids can splash around in
Scripps Howard News Service
With sidebar: CORNERSIDE-BOOKS
Editors: ‘Madhattan Mystery’ in last item is CQ
With photo/graphic: SH12G131CORNER
Scripps Howard News Service
Here’s a roundup of some cool new books for summer reading for kids:
– with a brief but lilting text, and mixed-media illustrations that sparkle with color and life, “Day by Day” (Knopf, $16.99, ages 3-6) makes a perfect picture book to read on a summer day. Author/illustrator Susan Gal tells the story of a group of pigs who build a tight-knit community, working and playing together as “day by day, the seasons turn.” Young readers will particularly delight in two spreads showing the piggies shedding their clothes and then leaping into a muddy pond.
– Dini may be a dinosaur, but he sure acts a lot like a young human in “Dini Dinosaur” (Greenwillow/HarperCollins, $14.99, ages 3-6). Author Karen Beaumont will have young readers giggling as she shows how Dini somehow can’t figure out — or maybe doesn’t want to figure out — that he needs to take his clothes off to take a bath. Beaumont’s rhyming text works well here, as do the bright-colored digital illustrations by Daniel Roode.
– Author Margaret Read MacDonald highlights the value of a “snot-nosed boy” in “The Boy From the Dragon Palace” (Albert Whitman, $16.99, ages 4-8). Based on a Japanese folk tale, MacDonald’s story will fascinate readers as they see how the boy, a gift from the Dragon King to a poor flower-seller, conjures up marvels — such as gold and a mansion — every time he blows his nose. with all these new riches, the flower-seller becomes drunk with power; he then refuses to do the one thing he was supposed to do to keep the boy happy, and ends up a pauper again. the cheerful mixed-media illustrations by Sachiko Yoshikawa bring further humor to the tale.
– in his first book, Rocket the dog learned to read from his teacher, the little yellow bird. now the plucky black-and-white canine is ready to take the next step in “Rocket Writes a Story” (Schwartz & Wade/Random House, $17.99, ages 4-7), written and illustrated by Tad Hills. Celebrating the value of words, creativity and persistence, Hills’ leisurely story follows Rocket as he searches for inspiration for his writing. he finally finds it high up a tree, in the form of a shy owl, and ends up making not just a story, but a new friend. Like the first “Rocket” book, this new adventure features Hills’ expressive artwork, done in oil paint and colored pencil.
– If your child is obsessed by transportation books, check out “Machines go to Work in the City” (Henry Holt, $16.99, ages 3-6). Author/illustrator William Low provides a close-up look at some cool vehicles (garbage truck, vacuum truck, tower crane and more). even better, Low invites young readers to answer a key question about each vehicle and then provides the answer when they lift a vertical or horizontal flap. Low ends the story with a picture glossary of the vehicles mentioned in the book.
– Lincoln Borglum was a teenager when his father, sculptor Gutzon Borglum, began work on what would eventually become the Mount Rushmore presidential sculptures. by the time the work was finished, more than a dozen years later, Lincoln had taken over as the head of the project after his father died suddenly from complications after minor surgery. As author Tina Nichols Coury shows in “Hanging Off Jefferson’s Nose” (Dial, $16.99, ages 5-8 years), Lincoln played a pivotal role in ensuring that the iconic sculpture was finally completed. Coury’s text displays the research she has done; for example, readers learn that only three presidents were expected to be immortalized at the site until President Calvin Coolidge agreed to add Theodore Roosevelt’s image. the mixed-media illustrations by Sally Wern Comport add just the right touch of grandeur and historical perspective.
– when Barnum Brown was born on Feb. 12, 1873, his parents decided to name him after the most famous circus owner, P.T. Barnum, in hopes that the name would inspire him to do, as author Tracey Fern says, “important and unusual things.” So begins a captivating look at the man who did indeed make a lasting name for himself — he discovered the bones of the T-Rex. in “Barnum’s Bones” (FSG, $17.99, ages 5-9), Fern paints a portrait of a man who was obsessed by hunting fossils, and whose hard work eventually paid off in a big way. Boris Kulikov’s vibrant illustrations further enhance this picture-book biography.
– a beautiful new dog named Lillian moves into the neighborhood, and J.J., a retired search-and-rescue dog, is immediately suspicious. who is she? And what does she know about the possum that keeps hanging around his chicken coop? in “The Legend of Diamond Lil” (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins, $14.99, ages 7-10), author Doreen Cronin (of “Click, Clack, Moo” fame) tells a tale filled with mystery and one-liners. a sequel to Cronin’s “The Trouble with Chickens,” this book can also stand on its own. Copious illustrations by Kevin Cornell add to the fun.
– Siblings Lexi and Kevin McGill are spending the summer in new York City with their Aunt Roz, an actress, while their father honeymoons with his new wife. but they get more than they bargain for when Lexi overhears a secret plot to steal world-famous jewels. Budding investigative journalist Kim Ling Levine, who lives in Aunt Roz’s building, joins forces with Lexi and Kevin to try to figure out who stole the jewels. but it’s not an easy case, as author John Bonk shows in “Madhattan Mystery” (Walker, $16.99, ages 8-12). Bonk uses the Manhattan setting with aplomb, adding a touch of mystery and humor to create a page-turner for young sleuths.
(Karen MacPherson, the children’s/teen librarian at the Takoma Park, Md., Library, can be reached at Kam.Macpherson(at)gmail.com.)