Maybe it's because I was born smack-dab in the middle of summer... or maybe it's because I'm about to have a summer baby of my own... or maybe (just maybe) it's just that summer is so elusive here in the Pacific Northwest, that even though I never considered myself a summer person before living here, I've finally learned to love these lazy days of July and August. Bikes, sunshine, trips to Sauvie Island and the sound of fresh berries hitting the bottom of a tin pail: "kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk!"
No matter how busy I get (and it doesn't get much busier than preparing for a new baby!), Summer is about burying my nose in a book--picking up new titles and revisiting old favorites.
One of my newest traditions (inspired a young customer!) has been to kick off the past few summers with a re-read of The Penderwicks
series by Jeanne Birdsall. As breezy and carefree as any day in July, the hilarious Penderwick girls always leave me longing for more adventures. And if the Penderwicks are a lighthearted day at the beach, then my new favorite summer middle-reader, Summer of the Gypsy Moths
, by Sara Pennypacker, is a hot dark night full of gorgeous fireflies. Packing a wallop of intrigue, mystery and heart, Gypsy Moths
is the perfect book for late-night reading by flashlight.
It's nearly impossible to pick a favorite summer picture book from the crop of new releases in the store. A sleuth of gorgeous titles like Holly Hobbie's Gem
, Beach Feet
, by Konagaya Kiyomi, and Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat
, by Caldecott Award-Winner Philip Stead, all arrived in just the past few weeks. Our summery store display keeps on growing, and includes favorites from years past, like Mama Is It Summer Yet?
by Nikki McClure, A Beach Tail
by Karen Lynn Williams, and Suzy Lee's, Wave
It's also been especially wonderful searching for summery board books for this baby-on-the-way. Look Look Outside!
, the fourth book in the Look Look!
series by Peter Linenthal is just as incredible as the others, and will be the perfect compliment to a summer stroll through our neighborhood. Customer favorites like Summer
, by Gerda Muller and What Do You See?
, by Martine Perrin, have also found their way onto my shelves at home. (I have no willpower when it comes to books.)
Clearly, I spend an awful lot of time thinking about what makes a great summer read. (I even wrote a piece on some favorite Young Adult summer books a few years back, over here
.) If there's one thing they all seem to have in common, it's the overarching theme of limitless possibility. Kids know what adults so easily forget--that summer is a time when anything can happen. Adventure is always around the corner if only we are open to it. And as we move into these last days of high summer, I hope you find plenty of adventure and fun, both in your books and your days. (I know I will.)All love,*Andrea