Relax with a great book
Summer is the perfect time for pleasure reading
With the school year coming to a close, kids might be a bit tired of reading academic materials. To encourage kids to read for the pure pleasure of it, today's reviewed books are just that — books that are lots of fun and clearly demonstrate that reading for one's own enjoyment is a terrific way to relax, have some laughs and otherwise be entertained without having to work too hard.
Don't forget to visit your local public library to check out the endless volumes they have available for the child in your life. And make sure to ask your librarian to point you in the right direction for the kinds of books you are looking for. Trained professionals, local librarians have a real pulse on what kids enjoy in the book department.
Relax with the important child in your life — read together every day.
Books to Borrow
The following book is available at many public libraries.
"The Secret Knowledge of Grown-ups" revealed & illustrated by David Wisniewski, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 48 pages
Read aloud: age 7 and older
Read yourself: age 8 and older
For the first time, author/illustrator David Wisniewski has revealed what has been hidden from children for centuries. He has gone behind the scenes to uncover the real reasons grown-ups issue directives to their children, commands such as "Don't jump on your bed," "Don't play with your food" and "Don't blow bubbles in your milk."
For generations, children have been given standard answers when they ask the proverbial question, "Why?" in response to such directives. For example, when told to "Eat your vegetables," scores of youth have been misled into believing they were required to do so because vegetables are good for you.
In fact (according to Mr. Wisniewski), the real reason has nothing to do with nutrients. Our necessity for vegetable consumption was, in past history, mere survival — eat vegetables or be eaten by them.
These and seven other "truths" are revealed in this hilarious book — as comical for its illustrations as it is for the "knowledge" it conveys. Learn the truth behind Grown-up Rules — every kid has the right to know!
Library: Yuba County Library, 303 Second St., Marysville
Interim Director: Kevin Mallen
Choices this week: "Mars Needs Moms" by Berkeley Breathed; "The Lorax" by Dr. Seuss; "The Ink Drinker" by Eric Sanvoisin
Books to Buy
The following books are available at your favorite bookstores.
"Ride, Fly Guy, Ride!" written and illustrated by Tedd Arnold, Scholastic, 2012, 32 pages, $6.99 hardcover
Read aloud: age 3 and older
Read yourself: age 6 — 7
Buzz had a pet fly that he named Fly Guy. One day, Buzz's dad asked if Buzz and Fly Guy wanted to go for a ride in the car. Of course they did! Everyone buckled up, they put the windows down and hit the road. Suddenly, the wind carried Fly Guy right out the window.
Tumbling along the wind current, Fly Guy blew into a truck and right into the truck driver's mouth. The driver spit Fly Guy out, and Fly Guy landed in a passing fishing boat. Moments before Fly Guy was used as bait for the fisherman, Fly Guy jumped overboard and onto a passing circus train.
Could this get any worse? You bet! And all the while, Buzz and his dad are in hot pursuit to save Fly Guy. How far would Fly Guy and the rescue mission go? Well, you'll have to read this hilarious, easy reader to find out.
"Percy and TumTum: A Tale of Two Dogs" written and illustrated by Jen Hill, Running Press, 2012, 32 pages, $14.95 hardcover
Read aloud: age 4 and older
Read yourself: age 7 and older
When the beautiful and charming TumTum was rescued from the animal shelter and brought home, the humans were delighted by TumTum. The only family member who wasn't pleased was the family's other dog, Percy.
Percy considered himself dignified and refined and found TumTum to be a silly nuisance. But Percy's family and neighbors immediately took to TumTum, and this made Percy angry and jealous.
Deciding that TumTum's allure was his big fluffy coat of fur, Percy concocted a nasty plan in the attempt to restore his place as the No. 1 dog in the family. But sometimes things don't go according to plan, as Percy soon found out.
A funny story that cleverly addresses the important topics of jealousy, bad deeds that arise from that emotion and making amends, this choice is delightful in every way.
Kendal A. Rautzhan writes and lectures about children's literature. She can be reached at her website: greatestbooksforkids.com.