You might have noticed the lengthening days and warmer weather of late, a sure sign that summer is almost upon us. Where as an adult might opt for a summer read to pass their time at the pool, this is the perfect opportunity to introduce a children’s book into the mix and use it as a plan of action for the long summer days ahead.
We all know how unpredictable our weather can be, hail one minute, glorious sunshine the next so my first recommended read is for our youngest readers and is the adorable The Windy Way Home where our dynamic duo struggle against an unrelenting wind and find that in the end, teamwork is what’s required in order to triumph. Viewers already familiar with the RTÉjr series Nelly and Nora, will delight at reading this comical tale whilst parents will sympathise and reminisce about Irish family holidays of old. It brings back memories of sand-filled sandwiches and rainy day ice-creams of an Irish summer holiday.
Fresh cut grass, blossoming flowers, the twittering of birds and the buzzing of bees are synonymous with summer and all feature prominantly in my next choice, Bee (Nature’s Tiny Miracle) by Britta Teckentrup. An ode to the humble yet formidable Bee, this peek-through picture book magically brings the story of a bee to life through a rhyming lyrical text and will engage readers young and old.
I enjoy using the rarity of a sunny day to get out and about with my nieces to enjoy all that our little island has to offer. This might be a trip to Dublin Zoo, a visit to the Botanic Gardens or a staycation in the country. And what better way to make the most of the sights than to use a book as our guide. Irelandopedia by father and daughter duo, John and Fatti Burke, recent winner of two CBI Awards has become my go to for these occassions – we simply select a county and let the pages tell us where we are going and what we are off to see. It is a wonderful title for all the family to enjoy and with the release of the new Irelandopedia Activity book, the fun does not stop when the sun goes down. With lots of pages to colour, things to spot and dots to join, this activity book is perfect for keeping little hands entertained on long journeys, be it plane, train or automobile.
And finally for our older readers, this month I have chosen the Usborne Outdoor Book, a beautifully illustrated adventure book full of inspiring ideas for discovering and exploring the great outdoors. From setting up a base camp and building a shelter to catching crabs and stargazing, this compendium of wildlife skills ticks all the boxes and is a novel way of getting children to connect with the great outdoors.
Whether it be an activity book, picture book or non-fiction book, there are lots of ways to keep little readers entertained over the coming months.
Written by Ciara Houlihan, Editor Inis Magazine.
For more reviews check out Inis magazine which is published by Children’s Books Ireland the national children’s books organisation whose vision is an Ireland in which books are central to every child’s life.