Best Children’s Books of Summer 2017

September is upon us and the children have gone back to school, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to enjoy some of the best books of the summer! Check out these great children’s books released in summer 2017. 

Children's booksGoldfish Ghost by Lemony Snicket, illus. by Lisa Brown. In a quiet bedroom bowl, Goldfish Ghost came to be—just floating belly up above the water. As much as he liked his home, he longed for friends and company to share his days with. So off Goldfish Ghost floated into town and over the ocean in search of company. There’s lots of fish in the sea, but will Goldfish Ghost find his someone special? Come float along and see.

Our tale unfolds in vivid, soft sand and pale blue sea pictures with strong lines and clear images. The words, pace and pictures produce a kind of peace or stillness in the reader. It’s a soft and quiet story with pictures to match. This is a cute, purely original story about finding someone to share your time with in this world and the next. Appropriate for children ages 3-6.

She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World by Chelsea Clinton, illus. by Alexandra Boiger. Chelsea Clinton introduces tiny feminists, mini activists and little kids who are ready to take on the world to thirteen inspirational women who never took no for an answer, and who always, inevitably and without fail, persisted. This book is for everyone who has ever wanted to speak up but has been told to be quiet, for everyone who has ever tried to reach for the stars but was told to sit down, and for everyone who has ever been made to feel unworthy, unimportant, or small.

With vivid, compelling art by Alexandra Boiger, this book shows readers that no matter what obstacles may be in their paths, they shouldn’t give up on their dreams. Persistence is power. This book features: Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Clara Lemlich, Nellie Bly, Maria Tallchief, Claudette Colvin, Ruby Bridges, Margaret Chase Smith, Sally Ride, Florence Griffith Joyner, Oprah Winfrey, Sonia Sotomayor—and one special cameo. Appropriate for children ages 4-8.

The Seashore Book by Charlotte Zolotow, illus. by Wendell Minor. How do you describe the seashore to a person has never been there? Children's booksMake it a sensory experience using descriptive language! When a young boy asks his mother what the seashore is like, she begins with the break of day and the changing colors of sky and water as the sun come up. At the beach, there are treasures for him to explore–shells, seaside creatures, a gull’s lost feather. In the afternoon, there is an airplane to run after, twirling in the sand, and the walk home. After a wonderful, busy day, it impossible to stay awake to even notice the on/off beam of the lighthouse.

Zolotow’s lyrical descriptions perfectly reflect the sights and sounds of a day at the beach, transporting mother and son so vividly that it almost feels as though they had been there. Added to this imaginary experience are Minor’s soft watercolor illustrations in a palette of blues and yellows that will leave the reader with the sensation of hot sun and sand countered with the coolness of the ocean’s water. Check out the original or the new reissued version from 2017! Appropriate for children ages 3-5.

Good Night Owl by Greg Pizzoli, illus. by author. Owl is ready for bed, but as soon as he settles in, he hears a strange noise. He’ll never get to sleep unless he can figure out what’s going on! He looks everywhere–in his cupboard, underneath the floorboards, and even in his walls. But while he’s busy tearing his house apart, he doesn’t notice one tiny, squeaky, mouse-shaped detail… Will Owl ever get a good night’s sleep?

The colorful illustrations will make you feel excited while reading this picture book. The double spread pages have four frames each of the Owl and do a great job of portraying emotions and the storyline. The text is simple and easy to read, making it a great bedtime story book for young children. Appropriate for children ages 3-5.

Children's booksSchool’s First Day of School by Adam Rex, illus. by Christian Robinson. Over the summer, a school was built. It liked the quiet summer days with just the janitor, who warned the new school that soon it would be full of children. When they arrived, there were so many of them, and they went everywhere. Some children didn’t like being at school, and one little freckled girl in particular caught the school’s attention. As the day went on, the school started to see what he was built for and the children who didn’t want to be there also started to understand why they were there too. The book takes the school building itself and gives it the angst of the first day of school. Readers will find that their fears mirror that of the school and that all they need to do is give it the first day and see how that goes. Like the school, they might just be looking forward to the second one!

The illustrations are merry and bright, adding to the calming feeling of the book and creating a look that is friendly and soothing at the same time. The children are from all different backgrounds, creating a dynamic and diverse atmosphere, and the school itself somehow exudes personality, even managing to look a bit embarrassed about the fire alarm. A marvelous book for first-day jitters, this picture book will be loved by everyone headed to their own school. Appropriate for children ages 4-8.

All reading levels provided by Amazon.

Allison Green
Boston Tutoring Services

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