On Gull Beach by Jane Yolen
In this third book of the On Bird Hill and Beyond series, a boy walks along the beautiful shoreline in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. When he notices a starfish marooned on the beach, he goes to retrieve it; but “as I bent down by wave and spray, / A gull flew down, snatched star away.”
The boy determinedly runs along the beach as the gull soars above him. Suddenly, the starfish – “a falling star” – drops from the gull’s beak. Another gull swoops down and seizes it out of the air. And, so it goes. The boy keeps giving chase till “The star came shooting down to me. / I reached up for it tenderly.” When the boy returns the starfish to the water, he feels a sense of victory and joy.
Jane Yolen’s spirited rhyming verse and Bob Marstall’s energetic illustrations capture the ordinary drama of a boy on a beach returning a vulnerable creature to its habitat.
We Are Brothers by Yves Nadon
One summer, a young boy swims in a lake by his family’s cottage and faces a rock: “Gray. Immense. Solid. A wall!” The rock looks larger than he remembers it from previous summers. For several years, the boy’s older brother had jumped from the rock into the lake.
Now, the older brother tells the boy that it’s time for him to take the leap. The boy isn’t convinced. Fear gnaws at his stomach. As he watches his brother leap fearlessly from the rock into the lake, he envies his grace and ability that makes the jump look so easy. In his imagination, he pictures his brother as a wildcat, a bird, and a fish.
With growing courage, the young boy climbs to the top of the rock as he imagines that he is a wildcat. Then picturing himself as a bird, he flings himself off of the rock and sinks into the lake’s cold, black water. He imagines then that he is a fish. He swims up, up, up until he breaks through the water’s surface with a roar of elation.
Yves Nadon’s poetic prose portrays a universal theme: with the power of imagination and the encouragement of others, a child overcomes his fears, leaps into the unknown, and gains life experience, maturity, and joy. Jean Claverie’s muted, earthy illustrations highlight the beauty of a summer landscape.
What’s Your Favorite Bug? by Eric Carle and Friends
In this diverse collection of artistic renderings, renowned author and illustrator Eric Carle (The Very Hungry Caterpillar) and fourteen other children’s book artists each draw their favourite insect and briefly explain the reason for their choice. Vivid illustrations, each spanning two pages, exhibit the illustrators’ curiosity and delight in the insects they have chosen.
All royalties from this exquisite, educational book will be donated to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Mass. The museum was founded by Eric and Barbara Carle “to inspire a love of art and reading through picture books.”
Parents who share this fascinating book with their children can point them to our awesome Creator God who made all things for his glory.
Surfer Dog by Eric Walters
In a tropical community near an ocean, a boy and a dog befriend each other, but it’s obvious that “the boy didn’t own the dog, and the dog didn’t own the boy.” When the boy goes surfing, he takes the dog along. They enjoy a fun-filled day riding the waves together. When the dog and the boy return to his home at suppertime, the boy’s mother insists that the dog stay for the meal because they are friends. As the boy and dog eat (from separate dishes), the boy names the dog Surfer Dog and tells the dog his name: Sammy.
Eugenie Fernandes’ buoyant illustrations complement author Eric Walters’ lighthearted narrative which presents an unusual friendship and the privilege of bestowing a name.
Possum and the Summer Storm by Anne Hunter
When driving rain and fierce winds fling Possum’s brush pile home into the surging river, he gathers his young and they struggle in the water. They survive the onslaught and arrive safely on shore. But the young possums are worried: where will they live now?
When the other creatures hear about Possum’s calamity, they each offer their advice on the kind of home Possum should build. Chipmunk offers to dig a new home; Muskrat proposes a lodge; a wasp recommends a comb of chewed wood and saliva; and an oriole suggests that a nest is best.
The creatures combine their designs and efforts to construct a new home for the possums. When inclement weather returns, Possum invites all the animals to come inside and seek shelter
Harmony, friendship and problem-solving are celebrated in this simple summer story which young children are sure to enjoy.
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