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5 Picture Books to Inspire Summer Adventures

Sponsored by Two Lions
Lauren Kerstein | The Children’s Book Review | May 21, 2019

The lure of summer is so strong—almost like a living, breathing, palpable force. Endless days of sunshine, adventures, and courageous firsts stretch ahead of us as we inch our way to this magical time. The following books remind me of the promise that exists between the rising and setting sun, the too-hot for your feet pavement, and the cool, crisp chlorine-filled water. They also capture the joy of trying new things, being who you want to be, and the beauty in nature.

I wish you a summer filled with courageous firsts, creative endeavors, and satisfying adventures.

Jabari_Jumps_CoverJabari Jumps

Written and Illustrated by Gaia Cornwall

Jabari wants to jump off the diving board but first he needs to plan his special jump, and then he needs to stretch. When Jabari finally faces his fears, he shows us how wonderful conquering our fears can really be. This is the perfect summer reminder that trying new things can be incredibly rewarding.

Order a Copy Now: Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Candlewick | May 9, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0763678388

The Most Magnificent ThingThe Most Magnificent Thing

Written and Illustrated by Ashley Spires

I distinctly remember mixing perfume from flower petals, digging in the dirt for “dinosaur bones,” and making mud creations as a child. Ashley Spires shows us that our imagination can lead us on adventures to unexpected places. Summer is the ideal time to create something magnificent!

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Ages 3-7 | Publisher: Kids Can Press | April 1, 2014 | ISBN-13: 978-1554537044

The Curious GardenThe Curious Garden

Written and Illustrated by Peter Brown

Digging in the dirt, nurturing plants, and spending time outdoors are three of my favorite ways to spend a summer day! Peter Brown highlights the ways in which caring, sunshine, and love can literally transform the world. Summer is the perfect time to plant a seed and see what happens. You never know, your planting efforts just might brighten a whole city!

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Ages 5-6 | Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers | April 1, 2014 | ISBN-13: 978-0316015479

Surfs Up By KwameSurf’s Up

Written by Kwame Alexander

Illustrated by Daniel Miyares

Kwame Alexander and Daniel Miyares explore a story within a story on a lovely summer trip to the beach. They remind us that adventures take place in lots of forms, and that books, imagination, and summer sun are a wonderful combination. Daniel’s vivid illustrations and Kwame’s powerful text make the reader feel like they’re right there with Bro and Dude on a fantastic adventure!

Order a Copy Now: Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Ages 4-8 | Publisher: NorthSouth Books | February 1, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0735842205

The Very Lonely FireflyThe Very Lonely Firefly

Written and Illustrated by Eric Carle

This is an older book that was published in 1995, but it will always be one of my favorite summertime reads. I grew up in New Jersey where fireflies magically lit up summer nights. I will always remember muggy evenings where I watched fireflies cast their spells like magical and mysterious fairies in the darkness. I loved reading this story to my girls when they were young, even though they’d never seen a firefly in Colorado

Order a Copy Now: Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Ages 2-5 | Publisher: Philomel Books | June 1, 1995 | ISBN-13: 978-0399227745

About Lauren Kerstein

Lauren Kerstein

Lauren Kerstein

Lauren H. Kerstein is an author and psychotherapist. She is a Jersey girl at heart who, as a child, loved underwater handstands and slurping cherry Italian ice at the pool. Lauren currently lives in Colorado with her husband, Josh; their dragons…er, daughters, Sarah and Danielle; and Hudson, the dog. Learn more about the author at www.LaurenKerstein.net.

Twitter: @LaurenKerstein | Instagram: @laurenkerstein

Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Make WavesRosie the Dragon and Charlie Make Waves

Written by Lauren H. Kerstein

Illustrated by Nate Wragg

Publisher’s Synopsis: It’s summertime, and you’re invited for a rollicking day at the pool with Charlie and his pet dragon (and best friend!), Rosie. But be careful—swimming with a dragon can be, um, challenging. As Rosie and Charlie blow bubbles (don’t forget your umbrella!), practice flutter kicks (watch out for tidal waves!), and offer shoulder rides (hang on tight!), Rosie proves that dragons make the most fun pets ever. Now if only Charlie can keep Rosie’s attention focused on the rules at the pool and NOT on her gummy snacks (you know, the ones that cause stinky dragon breath!)…Grab your towels and sunscreen and join Rosie and Charlie for a fun-filled summer adventure!

Interior from ROSIE THE DRAGON AND CHARL IE MAKE WAVES_illus © 2019 Nate Wragg

Ages 3-7 | Publisher: Two Lions | January 29, 2019 |ISBN-13: 978-1542042925

Available Here: 

Praise for Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Make Waves

“The digital illustrations are bright, playful, and attractive, well suited to the story…There are some young dragon lovers and fans of mischief who will revel in this silly romp.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Kerstein’s playful story about friendship, patience, and responsibility for a pet is nicely matched by Wragg’s bold, colorful illustrations, rendered in blocky shapes and a vivid color palette. New pet owners are the natural choice for this one, but kids with younger siblings might appreciate it, too.” – Booklist

Book Giveaway

Win-a-Copy-of-Rosie-the-Dragon-and-Charlie-Make-Waves
Enter for a chance to win a copy of Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Make Waves!

Three (3) winners receive:

  • A copy of Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Make Waves

Giveaway begins May 21, 2019 at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends June 21, 2019 at 11:59 P.M. MT.

How To Enter
  • Complete the entry form below.
  • Enter once daily (optional).

Giveaway Rules
  • NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER TO WIN.
  • Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Make Waves book giveaway sponsored by Two Lions (Amazon Publishing)
  • Enter between 12:00 AM Mounatin Time on May 21, 2019 and 11:59 PM on June 21, 2019.
  • Go to https://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/weblog/2019/03/five-family-favorites-with-wendi-silvano-author-of-turkeys-eggcellent-easter.html on a computer or wireless device and complete and submit the entry form pursuant to the on-screen instructions.
  • Three (3) winners receive: A copy of Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Make Waves
  • Odds of winning will depend upon the total number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
  • Winners will be selected at random on or about June 17, 2019.
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  • Prize courtesy of Two Lions (Amazon Publishing).

Lauren Kerstein, author of Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Make Waves, selected these five family favorites. Discover more articles on The Children’s Book Review tagged with , , and .

Contributor

The Children’s Book Review, named one of the ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) Great Web Sites for Kids, is a resource devoted to children’s literacy. We publish reviews and book lists of the best books for kids of all ages. We also produce author and illustrator interviews and share literacy based articles that help parents, grandparents, teachers and librarians to grow readers. This article was written and provided by a guest author.

Comments
  • You always review and feature the best books. Thank you for the great opportunities.

    May 22, 2019
  • I like the diversity offered shown in this group of books which have colorful illustrations. They make reading fun.

    June 2, 2019
  • Congratulations to the 3 winners of the Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Make Waves giveaway! Books will be on the way to you soon. Enjoy!

    Bing Y. (CA)
    Ella M. (PA)
    Dan D. (TX)

    June 24, 2019

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