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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Summertime, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 21 of 21
1. Beach Fun! Beach theme picture books and printables

Beach Fun! Beach theme picture books and printables | Storytime Standouts

Beach Picture Book Fun from StorytimeStandouts.com

Whether planning a day at the beach or just back from some fun in the sun, these beach-theme picture books will be a wonderful addition to your summertime fun. Suitable for toddlers, preschool age children, kindergarten and older, these stories address important themes like fear of the water and getting outside one’s comfort zone. Whenever possible, it is very valuable to have children read books that match their experiences. These stories are perfect for introducing new concepts and extending learning. Have fun!

All You Need for a Beach written by Alice Shertle and illustrated by Barbara LavalleeAll You Need for a Beach written by Alice Shertle and illustrated by Barbara Lavallee
Picture book about a day at the beach published by Harcourt, Inc.

A companion book to All You Need for a Snowman, this is an exuberant celebration of a group of children, playing together in sand and water. Bright, cheerful colours and a happy theme of exploration and cooperation highlight this picture book for toddlers and preschool-age children. Illustrations depict a racially diverse group of children.

All You Need for a Beach at Amazon.com

All You Need for a Beach at Amazon.ca

At the Beach by Anne and Harlow RockwellAt the Beach by Anne and Harlow Rockwell
Toddler book about a day at the beach published by Aladdin

Best suited to very young children, At the Beach is a lovely introduction to the joys of spending a day picnicking, playing in the sand, looking for treasures and swimming. Simple, clear text matches the colorful illustrations and creates an opportunity for learning new vocabulary.

The main characters are a Caucasian girl and her mother however the illustrations depict diverse skin tones among those playing at the shoreline.

At the Beach at Amazon.com

At the Beach at Amazon.ca

Curious George Goes to the BeachCurious George Goes to the Beach based on the original character created by Margaret and H.A. Rey, illustrated in the style of H.A. Rey by Vipah Interactive
Picture book about a day at the beach published by HMH Books for Young Readers

Fans of Curious George will not be disappointed with this fun story about a day at the beach. George and his friend Betsy enjoy playing at the sandy beach, making friends and feeding the sea gulls. Betsy’s reluctance to go into the water could be an opportunity to talk about fear of new experiences.

Betsy, her grandmother and the man with the yellow hat Caucasian however the illustrations depict diverse skin tones among those at the beach.

Curious George Goes to the Beach at Amazon.com

Curious George Goes to the Beach at Amazon.ca

Duck and Goose Go to the Beach written and illustrated by Tad HillsDuck and Goose Go to the Beach written and illustrated by Tad Hills
Picture book about friends who visit the beach published by Schwartz & Wade Books

Duck is keen for adventure while Goose would much rather stay in familiar surroundings so it is only not surprising that Goose is not keen to go for a hike. The two friends leave their familiar meadow and eventually arrive at the beach. It is loud and wet and very, very sandy. Vibrant illustrations are a highlight of this engaging story about two friends leaving their comfort zone, enjoying a day out together and then returning to the comfort of home. Duck and Goose Go to the Beach is highly recommended for preschool- age children.

Duck & Goose Go to the Beach at Amazon.com

Duck & Goose Go to the Beach at Amazon.ca

Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach by Melanie WattScaredy Squirrel at the Beach written and illustrated by Melanie Watt
Beach theme picture book published by Kids Can Press

Scaredy Orville Squirrel whose initials are S.O.S. is an immensely popular character in an equally popular series of picture books.

In Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach Scaredy the worrywart is very careful to avoid any sort of real or imagined danger. Rather than encounter pirates, jellyfish, seagulls and sea monsters, he decides to create his very own private backyard beach paradise. After carefully constructing his safe haven, Scaredy realizes that, although his beach “look” is great – his backyard just doesn’t sound like the real thing. The only solution is “Operation Seashell” – a carefully planned and executed mission in search of a seashell that will provide crystal clear ocean sound. Featuring detailed descriptions of Scaredy’s beachware and plans for his mission, Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach will be enjoyed best independently or in a small group or one-on-one read-aloud setting. Best-suited to children five and up.

Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach at Amazon.com

Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach at Amazon.ca

Stella Star of the Sea written and illustrated by Marie-Louise GayStella Star of the Sea written and illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay
Picture book about a summer day at the seashore published by Groundwood Books

In this endearing series of picture books, we meet confident and worldly Stella and her much less self-assured younger brother Sam. When the two children visit the seaside on a shimmery summer day, Sam is filled with questions that suggest not only curiosity but also a bit of fear,

Do you think there are sharks in the sea?” asked Sam.
“Have you ever seen one?”
“Just a little one,” said Stella, “with an eyepatch.
Are you coming, Sam?”
“Not just this minute,” said Sam.

Gorgeous illustrations together with text that beautifully depicts the two siblings will have young children longing to visit the seashore and discover all the wonders of a leisurely summer day filled with digging in the sand, fishing, beach combing and, eventually, a swim.

Winner of the 2000 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award

Stella, Star of the Sea at Amazon.com

Stella, Star of the Sea at Amazon.ca

Tip Tap Went the Crab written and illustrated by Tim HopgoodTip Tap Went the Crab written and illustrated by Tim Hopgood
Counting book about sea creatures

Tip Tap Went the Crab features bright and colorful illustrations along with repetitious text that includes alliteration and onomatopoeia. When a crab decides to leave her small rock pool to explore the ocean she encounters one seagull, two sea lions and three starfish.

A great choice for toddlers and preschoolers, Tip Tap Went the Crab provides a great reminder that books for this age group can (and should) include rich language and fun, detailed and appealing illustrations. It is well-suited for a classroom or library read-aloud session.

Nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal 2010

Tip Tap Went the Crab at Amazon.com

Tip Tap Went The Crab at Amazon.ca

Beach Theme Picture Dictionary and Sight Words

Free Beach Theme Printables for Preschool and Kindergarten

Note: There is a file embedded within this post, please visit this post to download the file.

Storytime Standouts - Raising Children Who Love to Read

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2. Do you read more in winter or in summer?

Winter is a popular time for book lovers, the season where many of us enjoy staying in, rugging up and delving into a good book. But do we read more in the winter months or in summer? Summer brings to mind images of sunny days, cool drinks and reading a book on the deck or under the […]

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3. Sweet Summer Fun Series

I’ve been busy working on my digital shop over at Etsy lately. It’s so addicting coming up with new items, themes and sets..who knew I’d have such a fun time making these little ditties! Check them out at the new digital download store on Etsy!



sweet_summer_harvestget them now at:
Etsy    or     TpT

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4. Summer Name Generator

Question marks

It’s sweet, sweet summertime! What is your summer name?

You know me. I’ll take any excuse to create a name generator. (Maybe I’ve read too many Captain Underpants books!) So I’ve put together a SUMMER NAME GENERATOR!

Find the first letter of your first name in the left column below, and the word next to it is your new summer first name. Find the first letter of your last name in the right column below, and the word next to it is your new summer last name. So if your regular name was, say, Francine Pascal, your new summer name is Pineapple Bucket.

Generate your own summer name, names for your friends, names for your parents and pets . . . Anyone can have a silly summertime name. Here we go!

First letter of your first nameFirst letter of your last name ASUNNYTULIPABGRASSYCRUISERBC

What’s your summertime

name? Share it in the Comments below! (And don’t forget to get your official silly Captain Underpants name, too!)

See ya soon,

image from kids.scholastic.com — En-Szu, STACKS Staffer

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5. A 2014 summer songs playlist

Compiled by Taylor Coe

Now that summer is finally here – dog-eared paperbacks and sunglasses dusted off and put to good use – it’s also time to figure out what we should be listening to as we loll about in the sun. While the media seem more concerned with which current pop hit will become the unofficial “Song of the Summer” (Pharrell’s “Happy”? Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy”?), here at OUP, we have instead zeroed in on songs from summers past. Ranging all the way back to 1957 (for Ella and Louis’s take on Gershwin’s classic “Summertime”) and all the way over to Germany (for Dutch television host Rudi Carrell’s fanciful ode to sommer on the North Sea), we have pulled together a diverse and inspired set of tunes to take along to the beach, or the Pizza Hut, or the New York City streets, or wherever you should find yourself this summer!

“Summertime” – Kenny Chesney
I’ve been to his amazing concerts at MetLife Stadium for the past three years and this song has been my anthem ever since. “And it’s two bare feet on the dashboard / Young love and an old Ford / Cheap shades and a tattoo / And a Yoo-Hoo bottle on the floorboard.”
— Leslie Schaffer, Special Accounts Sales Rep

The Lovin' Spoonful, best known for their 1966summer smash "Summer in the City," make two appearances on our Summer Songs playlist. Public doman, via Wikimedia

The Lovin’ Spoonful, best known for their 1966 summer smash “Summer in the City,” make two appearances on our Summer Songs playlist. Public domain, via Wikimedia

“Summer in the City” – The Lovin’ Spoonful
Now that I live and work in New York City this song speaks to me. While the summer days are brutal and exhausting, the nights are wonderful. During the day we are tortured by sweltering sidewalks, oven-like subway stations, and loud construction noises, but at night the city cools off and comes alive again. There’s nothing I love more than drinks on a rooftop in the summer. In fact, I think that’s what I’ll do tonight.
— Christie Loew, Assistant Manager Accounts and Merchandising

“Summer of Panic” – Hanoi Janes
“Summer Bonfire” – Great Lakes Myth Society
“Summer Wine” – Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood
“Vacation” – the Go-Gos
The song that’s been my summer anthem since it came out in 2010 is Hanoi Janes’s “Summer of Panic.” The song’s frenetic pace, distorted and muted vocals, and a mix of old school chords with what Pitchfork reviewer Jayson Greene called “swarms of wiggling B-movie lasers” make for a psychotic surf music vibe that can’t be beat. It perfectly captures my love-hate relationship with summer, where I feel such pressure to have fun while it lasts, that it becomes panic-inducing. Its companion piece, Great Lakes Myth Society’s “Summer Bonfire,” might sound less fraught with anxiety, but only because some of the verses trail off, leaving you to supply the missing rhyme that, for instance, turns “electric” into “electric chair.” But for those times when I am able to relax, Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood’s “Summer Wine” is a must listen. Hazlewood plays the role of a cowboy whom Sinatra seduces, drugs, and eventually robs. Nevertheless, the languid tempo, their sultry vocal blend and the brass chorus somehow makes this odd song sound like a hot summer night. I am now considering that as my three favorite summer songs involve nervous breakdowns, capital punishment, and committing felonies, I might need a long summer vacation. There’s always the Go-Gos.
— Anna-Lise Santella, Editor, Grove Music/Oxford Music Online and Music Reference

“Jalapeno Lena” – Rockin’ Sidney
The Summer of ’88 was the first year I didn’t return home from college but stayed in Plattsburgh to live and work the summer away at two part-time jobs. In the morning I prepped at Pizza Hut, “makin’ it great.” That summer must have been around the time Dirty Dancing came out because the jukebox played “Time of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes ad nauseum. To break up the nauseum, my fellow prepper, Snooze Warner, and I would play any random, little-known songs we could find in that jukebox. Then one day we stumbled upon “Jalapeno Lena” by Rockin’ Sidney and we thought it was brilliant. Whenever someone played “Time of My Life,” we ran out and played “Jalapeno Lena.” It has a killer zydeco beat that helped us beat the heat of the summer of ’88, a hot summer in Plattsburgh, NY only made hotter by “Jalapeno Lena” and the ovens of Pizza Hut.
— Purdy, Director of Publicity

“See No Evil” – Television
Summer vacations back from college were all about driving up and down the coast of Maine in my dad’s old beat-up convertible, blasting Marquee Moon and Fun House and Unknown Pleasures and Blank Generation on burned CDs. The disc cartridge was in the trunk, so if you wanted to put in something different, you had to pull over and get out. Whenever I hear those records, that’s where I go.
— Owen Keiter, Associate Publicist

“Everybody Loves the Sunshine” – Roy Ayers
“I Get Lifted” – George McCrae
Breezy and light, “Everybody Loves the Sunshine” gets to the core of a lazy day in the sweltering sun. As for “I Get Lifted,” if I had a drop top in the city, this is what I would blast driving in July.
— Stuart Roberts, Editorial Assistant

“Feel Good Inc.” – Gorillaz
One of the hit singles from the cartoon band Gorillaz, this was song of the summer in 2005! According to Wikipedia it is the only song by any one of Damon Albarn’s several bands (including Blur and The Good, the Bad, and the Queen) to hit the Billboard Top 40.
— Jeremy Wang-Iverson, Publicity Manager

Click here to view the embedded video.

“Wann wird’s mal wieder richtig Sommer” – Rudi Carrell
This German Schlager favorite is sung to the tune of “City of New Orleans” and became summer song of the year in 1975. And this video version from Carrell’s TV show isn’t to missed. The lyrics describe a singer nostalgic for heat waves that he used to experience on the North Sea. (!)
— Norm Hirschy, Editor, Music Books

“Coconut Grove” – The Lovin’ Spoonful
“Summertime” – Jason Rebello
“Long Long Summer” – Dizzy Gillespie
There are a few Lovin’ Spoonful songs I could have chosen – “Summer in the City” being an obvious one – but it is “Coconut Grove” that reminds me most of sitting on a beach at sunset. As for George Gershwin’s “Summertime”, there are so many versions that many of them are classics themselves. But when I first heard Jason Rebello’s arrangement from his 1994 album Make it Real, it felt so new and exciting. And then Dizzy Gillespie’s sound is sunshine itself! I could have picked any number of his songs for this playlist, but this is the track that I play when the sun comes out.
— Miriam Higgins, Music Hire Librarian

“Sweet Amarillo” – Old Crow Medicine Show
Not to say that I’m at all over the rollicking Dylan-Old Crow collaboration that is “Wagon Wheel,” this next 40-years-in-the-making tune is equally excellent. According to OCMS frontman Ketch Secor, Dylan’s management company sent the band a cassette with the song fragment along with a set of instructions for how Dylan wanted the song to be completed, and – voilà! – Ketch and company make Americana magic once again!
— Taylor Coe, Marketing Associate, Academic/Trade Books

“Here’s to the Night” – Eve 6
When I was in high school, I spent every summer up in the Santa Cruz Mountains, working at a small summer camp called Forest Footsteps. That camp will always hold a special place in my heart and to this day, I still consider my fellow staff members and the campers as my extended family. On the last night of each week, we had a camp-wide “Boogie” with all the kids where we danced to an assortment of classic oldies and fun summer tunes. The final song was always “Here’s to the Night” by Eve 6 and as soon as the first few notes played, everyone would circle up in the middle of the dance floor and put their arms around one another, singing and swaying together as a group. Even the most introverted kids would find their way into the circle, embraced by their cabin mates. It was a really beautiful way to wrap up the week and that song still brings a tear to my eye, in the best possible way.
— Carrie Napolitano, Marketing Assistant, Academic/Trade Books

“Steal My Sunshine” – Len
Nothing says driving around town with the top down like this song.
— Sarah Hansen, Publicity Assistant

“Sunny AfternoonThe Kinks
“Lazing on a sunny afternoon . . .” Need I say more?
— Louise Bowler, Senior Marketing Executive, Journals

“Postcards from Italy” – Beirut
My favorite summer song is “Postcards from Italy” by Beirut. It has such a romantic, old-timey feel to it. Even its title oozes summer – when I hear “postcards” and “Italy” I think of sunshine, the Mediterranean sea, and, of course, gelato! It also helps that the opening bars are played on a ukulele – the quintessential summer instrument! Bellisima.
— Mary Teresa Madders, Marketing Assistant, Journals

“Endless Summer” – The Jezabels
“Miami” – Will Smith
“April Come She Will” – Simon and Garfunkel
The summer-ness of The Jezabels’ “Endless Summer” comes down to this: You’re sixteen and the summer holidays are never going to end. You can practically feel the sweat run down your back as you laze on the beach with your holiday romance. And of course there’s “Miami,” the quintessential summer tune by the great Will Smith. Bringing rap to the masses, this accessible classic will have even your nan nodding her head. Or maybe she would prefer the short but sweet Simon and Garfunkel tune “April Come She Will,” which, with a hint of that classic Watership Down soundtrack, offers a bittersweet metaphor of birth, life, and death. Perfect for a pensive summer afternoon.
— Simon Turley, Marketing Assistant, Journals

“Summertime” – Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong
This song lulls like a summer afternoon, rocking on the back porch watching the day go slowly, gently by.
— Anna Hernandez-French, Assistant Editor, Journals

Taylor Coe is a Marketing Associate at Oxford University Press.

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The post A 2014 summer songs playlist appeared first on OUPblog.

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6. Does anyone actually read on the beach?

With summer well on the way in Australia, I’ve noticed our thoughts have begun to shift away from snuggling down or curling up with a good book and a glass of wine. Instead we start talking and thinking about lying on the grass with our favourite book, reclining in the sunshine and enjoying a good ‘beach read’. […]

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7. One Crazy Summer, by Rita Williams-Garcia

Last time I had a book in hand on the train to ALA, it was Grace Lin's Where The Mountain Meets the Moon.  This time I took along One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia, and was pleased as punch when I closed the book upon arriving at Union Station.

Delphine is trying to keep her younger sisters Vonetta and Fern calm as they jet through turbulence on the way to go meet their mother Cecile in California.  Delphine has an inkling of the turbulence she and her sisters may be in for once they get to Oakland.  She has vague memories of being with Cecile in their kitchen in Brooklyn while she wrote on the walls and muttered to herself.  She also knows that Cecile left soon after Fern was born.  After that, Big Ma moved from down South to Brooklyn and took up right where their mom left off.

Now the girls are about to spend their summer with Cecile, just because Daddy says it's time.  Cecile didn't send for them, or ask about them, but they are coming anyway.  When they finally land, the stewardess hands them off to Cecile -- a strange woman in a pair of man's pants, gigantic sunglasses and a scarf.  Not one for affection, she tells them to follow her and strides off.  After a commute that involves a particular taxi and a bus ride, the girls enter into Cecile's house.  It's more than the girls thought it would be based on all of the talking that Big Ma had been doing.

But it's not quite homey.  The girls are banished from the kitchen, and are told to head to the back bedroom that they would all be sharing.  There's no food in the house, no television, and it becomes obvious quite quickly, that the girls won't be depending on Cecile for any entertainment this summer!

The morning after they arrive, Cecile directs Delphine and her sisters to the People's Center to get some breakfast.  She tells them that it will be easy to find.  After all it's "black folks in black clothes rapping revolution and a line of hungry black kids." (p. 57)

This sets the stage for the slow reveal.  The story is one of family, of politics, of race and friendship.  Williams-Garcia has seemingly effortlessly woven in the feel of the time period (1968), and allowed a window into Oakland and the reality of the Black Panther movement; whether it be senseless arrests or educating children.  There are enough jumping off points to bring on a study of the time period, but the story never veers into message territory.  Delphine is the epitome of the 11 year old.  She's a responsible first born who is trying to figure her mother out, while finding her own self at the same time.

I was amazed upon finding the reality of Cecile's existence.  All of the characters in this book are multifaceted, and remind the reader to look a little deeper.

A must read.

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8. The Boys' Second Annual Backpacking Trip

This summer (which is insanely almost over!!!), the boys (excluding Y) went on their yearly backpacking/fishing trip. It looks like a lot of fun, doesn't it? On the way home, Robby called, and when I asked how it went, he said, "Ohhhh. It couldn't have been a more perfect trip."

I'm glad they had such a fun bonding experience.

Next up, I get to bond with Robby. He's planning to take me on a backpacking/fishing trip sometime soon. I'm excited (and a little nervous....) He says I have to leave my books at home because we are going to be doing some serious fly fishing.

I'm pretty sure I'll be able to sneak one in, though.

I'll let you know how it goes.

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9. Bubbles!!!

What kid doesn't love bubbles on a warm, spring day? Try using some different solutions and unusual bubble wands. We made bubbles out of water, liquid dish soap, and karo syrup.

Try not to be irritated when the bubbles are overturned. It's inevitable, isn't it?

After bubble-making, cool off with a cup of cold chocolate milk...Bubble-blowing permitted. Chocolate mustaches encouraged.

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10. When Memorial Day Becomes Rememberance Day


On Friday, May 25, 1984,  in a small town of 1200 people, in a small grocery store on the highway not too far from cornfields, at the golden age of 14, I became a comic book collector.

What set me on this path that has led me  >choke<  27 years later to be a comics missionary, spreading the four-color gospel far and wide?  Well, I blame Morgan Freeman and Jim Shooter.

SSS4 When Memorial Day Becomes Rememberance DayAs a child of the Seventies, I would watch Sesame Street, and immediately after that, The Electric Company.  During the 1974-75 season, TEC started showing episodes of “Spidey Super Stories”.  These were comicbook/live action hybrids, mixing live action with drawn panels.  Spidey usually had to thwart some crazy villain, and never spoke, except in silent word balloons which had to be read by the viewer.  (My favorite villain: The Can Crusher, who, while visiting a tomato canning factory as a child, loses his pet frog in a kettle.  Thus he spends his adult life crushing open tomato cans in supermarkets, searching in vain for his beloved croaker.  *sniff*  Such pathos.)

I was just learning to read, as well as going through the “superhero phase” most young boys experience.  So I got hooked on Spider-Man, and my mom actually bought me the first comic book I ever read!  (Thanks, Ma!)  As you can see on the cover, the Easy Reader (Morgan Freeman) gives his seal of approval, stating “This comic book is easy to read!”  (The Comics Code approved it as well, but they’re as square as their seal.)

I would continue to enjoy Spider-Man throughout my childhood, taking my Spider-Man vitamins every day, and reading the daily comic strip whenever I had access to the Des Moines Register during my summers.  (Their comics were much better than those in the Omaha World-Herald.  The Register ran Star Trek, Asterix (!), Bloom County… and on Sundays we’d get the smaller market Sioux City Journal with the comics never seen in bookstores (Eek and Meek, Born Loser, Berry’s World).)  But I never really bought comics as a kid.  From 1979 until 1982, I was a fan of Mad Magazine, buying back issues and passionately learning all I could, pre-Internet, about The Usual Gang of Idiots.  From 1982 until 1984, my passion was video games.  While my family owned nothing more advanced than an old Coleco Telstar 6040 playing variations of Pong, that didn’t keep me from haunting arcades, searching for the new and unusual, and buying almost every videogame magazine I could find.

Of course, like most kids across the country, I read comic strips, bought the occasional strip collection, watched the CBS specials, and looked at any comic or cartoon (including the ones in my older brothers’ National Lampoons).  I even glommed onto an old graphic novel from the 1950s… the first Pogo reprint from Simon and Schuster.  When I was sick, I would read Richie Rich comics (the superhero covers at the pharmacy just made me sicker).  But it was just part of the multimedia background collage of my life, with older interests constantly being covered by newer distractions.

So, given all this, what caused me to become a comics fan?  What brought comics into the foreground, eclipsing my other interests?  Junior High and Mattel toys.

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11. A landlocked trip to the seaside

What with the turning of the calendar to July and the activity books I’ve been researching, Summer is definitely in the air. And nothing sings summertime more than a trip to the seaside!

Today’s books is perfect for anyone, adult or child, dreaming of a day on the beach. Traction Man and the Beach Odyssey, the latest book (published today!) from Mini Grey, follows the adventures of superhero Traction Man and his fearless, loyal sidekick, Scrubbing Brush.

Traction Man, the favourite toy of a young boy, is taken on holiday to the seaside where a series of perilous adventures befall him; he is swept out to sea, then washed up in a dank cave, found by another child on the beach, and nearly lost in a tremendous earthquake when the sandcastle he is inhabiting is enthusiastically attacked by a dog.

This story will thrill any child who brings their toys to life and creates adventures, journeys and real-life personas for them. Like the two earlier Traction Man stories (Traction Man is Here and Traction Man Meets Turbodog), this too is pacey, creating just the right amount of manageable anxiety that dissolves in wonderful relief with the resolution of the story. It’s packed with humour and provides parents with plenty of perfect opportunities for silly voices and even singing theme music from thrillers should they really get into the swing of it (I like to read it to my kids with a Sean Connery-esque accent!)

Image reproduced with permission. Inside spread of Traction Man and the Beach Odyssey. Click for large scale image.

Appropriately enough, some of the illustrations recall Marvel comics. They’re eyecatching and reward repeated readings for all the added details tucked away in them. If you’re looking for a superhero story that’s got all the action, excitement and adventure you could possibly want, but without any violence or malevolence, the Traction Man stories are for you. Particularly loved by the boys I’ve been reading to in the year 1 classes at M’s school, the girls too have been asking each week for another Traction Man story.

Those who already love Traction Man will not be disappointed with this new story (let’s hope there are more in the future!), whilst those who are new to the delights of this superhero and his sidekick will be able to adore this book in its own right, before (I’m confident) wanting to track down the two earlier stories.

Now, where we live is just about the furthest you can get from the seaside in

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12. Summertime! Hallelujah!

Summertime! Hallelujah! I’ve written about the summer slide–don’t get caught in that–and last year gave a list of engaging activities for students and their families, check that out here.

Don’t lose track of the summer reading requirement from Sts. Peter and Paul Salesian School.  Below are a few books in the top of the New York Times Children’s Best Sellers. SSPP Reads will be back come the Summer Solstice June 20, 2012. Happy Reading!

Children’s Picture Books

  1. Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin, Illustrated by James Dean (Harper/Harper Collins) Ages 3-7
  2. The Duckling Gets a Cookie? by Mo Willems (Hyperion/Disney) Ages 2-6
  3. Dinosaur Pet, lyrics by Marc Sedaka, Illustrated by Tim Bowers (Imagine!) Ages 4-7

Children’s Chapter Books

  1. Insurgent by Veronica Roth (Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins) Ages 14 and up
  2. Middle School: Get Me Out of Here! by James Patterson and Chris Tebbets. Illustrated by Laura Park (Little, Brown) Ages 8-12
  3. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Dutton) Ages 14 and up

Children’s Paperback Books

  1. Divergent by Veronica Roth (Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins) Ages 14 and up
  2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Knopf) Ages 14 and up
  3. The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan (Disney-Hyperion) Ages 10 and up

Children’s Series Books

  1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic) Ages 12 and up
  2. Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan (Hyperion) Ages 10 and u0p
  3. Theodore Boone by John Grisham (Dutton/Puffin) Ages 9-12

Graphic from Flickr Creative Commons License momentcaptured1

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13. Summer Solstice 2012

The longest day of the year, the first day of summer, has arrived.  Ah, sit back and relax, starting tomorrow the days begin to get shorter and school is here before we know it.  Of course, the longest day is not more than 24 hours, but it gives us in the Northern Hemisphere the sun for the longest period of time.  It appears to us Earthlings at its most northern point. At the North Pole, nearly the entire day is bathed in sunlight. Some years ago my youngest brother pitched summer baseball with the North Pole Nicks in North Pole, Alaska.  The big game was on the Summer Solstice and played at midnight without lights! You can guess what the shortest day of the year brings the folks up north–darkness.

See NASA’s Solstice Animation –what the Earth would look like on the Summer Solstice if you were standing on the Sun!

The spin axis of our planet is tilted 23.5 degrees with respect to Earth’s orbit around the Sun. The northern summer solstice is an instant in time when the north pole of the Earth points more directly toward the Sun than at any other time of the year. It marks the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere and winter in the southern hemisphere.

A few children’s titles come up with a keyword search, summer solstice,  at the San Francisco Public Library:  The Summer Solstice by Ellen Jackson, The Longest Day by Wendy Pfeffer, Mermaid Dance by Marjorie Rose Hakala, and Mermaids on Parade by Melanie Hope Greenberg.

Visit StarDate Online from the University of Texas at Austin MacDonald Observatory to get the latest Summer Solstice news for 2012. Enjoy your summer! SSPP Reads will post around the Fourth of July.

Reposted from June 2011.

Graphic from Flickr Creative Commons License by rupjones

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14. Paula's Illustration--IFK Summer '12 Postcard Promo

Summer is my favorite season, as I enjoy being outdoors as much as I can. The above is my image for our IFK summer promo postcard, which had the summer theme of "beach". I did several prior to this one, finally opting for a looser, devil-may-care style with heavier ink. And I liked the idea of a poodle in a polka-dot bikini, lying on the beach. I was also doing dogs on a beach-scene for my own summer promo, below, so these kind of went together.

Have a good rest of your summer, everybody!

2 Comments on Paula's Illustration--IFK Summer '12 Postcard Promo, last added: 9/8/2012
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15. Summertime...



Made for Sueños.

Unless, of course, you have Deadlines.

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16. Gratuitous Beach Shot

I planned to have my foot in there as a compositional element, ha! Surreal, no?

It seems quiet in blogland these days, what with vacations and shifting summer routines. I'll get back into posting more sketches and art soon. But for now, think I'll just go with the flow... Read the rest of this post

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17. Educated guess...

And you thought priests were the only ones peddling smut...
I did this for Playboy magazine a few years back. I think I did 5 pieces of art for them over a few years. I don't really do this style anymore. I thought it fit the SFG topic well.
Come to my blog to see other blasts from the past and NEW doodles.
Enjoy Summer!!!!!!!!!!!

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18. 5 O'Clock in the Morning*

Even my mother wouldn't say "Oh how nice dear" to these sketches. But 5 o'clock in the morning is the time to get down and dirty with ideas. With summer here, the kids home, and plenty of reasons to be distracted from work, quiet time is at a premium. I don't want to lose momentum.

*Note to self: Okay it is early but remember to write legibly enough so you can decipher your brilliant scribbles later.

4 Comments on 5 O'Clock in the Morning*, last added: 7/10/2009
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19. Summer Schedule

This little guy showed up on our driveway last week. He's some sort of a homing pigeon, I think, because of the tag on his right leg. He wasn't hurt, but seemed to have lost his way. He appeared a bit dazed. Eventually he fluttered off.

It looks as if my fantasies of empty summer hours will be an illusion around here-- between kids, vacation, work, and summer writing & illustrating goals. (And trying to keep up with the weeds!) So blog posts may be a bit sporadic. Hope the sun is shining wherever you are!

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20. The Small Adventures of Popeye and Elvis

Popeye is ready to spend yet another day in his regular life, with his bedroom ceiling dripping rusty water and listening to his grandmother Velma recite British royalty in order of reign to prevent herself from cracking up. It's been raining for a week, and Popeye feels like he is the one who is going to crack up!

Once the rain finally stops, Popeye takes the opportunity to get out of the house. He is walking down the road, pitching stones into the ditch when he sees it – a big motor home that is “tilted precariously to the side, one of its giant wheels sunk deep down into the gloppy red mud of the road”. (p.12)

Popeye’s summer, and his life, are about to change.

The owners of the motor home are a family with a passel of rag tag kids who quickly induct Popeye into their Spit and Swear club. The eldest, named Elvis, takes an interest in Popeye and soon the two are inseparable -- having small adventures for at least as long as the motor home is stuck in the mud. They spit and swear, discover Yoo-Hoo boats filled mysterious notes and soon Popeye has dreams of hopping on the motor-home and finding adventures that are even bigger. Each day Popeye hopes that his Uncle Dooley, who is supposed to dig the motor home out, will stay true to his nature and not get it done!

On the surface, this book penned by Barbara O'Connor seems to be simply about a summertime adventure that happens to blow into town, but dig a little deeper. Popeye, who has always listened to Velma before, tries on defiance for the first time, not just for the sake of making trouble either. In the name of adventure, he is willing to risk Velma’s wrath. After Popeye and Elvis meet Starletta (a girl who lives through the woods and down the creek) readers can feel Popeye’s inhibitions and apathy peeling away. Dreams start to seed, and readers will believe that Popeye will not end up like his Uncle Dooley…he’s made of bigger stuff.

2 Comments on The Small Adventures of Popeye and Elvis, last added: 2/20/2010
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21. Fun Summer Reads for the Family

Today, I have a post at Latter-day Homeschooling with a few reviews of beach reads, perfect for reading while sitting under a shade tree and and sipping fresh lemonade. You can see the post here.

4 Comments on Fun Summer Reads for the Family, last added: 6/5/2010
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