Posts Tagged ‘summer’
Monday, September 10th, 2012
We’ve had such a great summer with three fabulous exhibitions. We were so lucky to host original artwork from Eric Carle’s Slowly, Slowly, Slowly Said the Sloth in our West Gallery, a breath-taking collection of pieces by Ezra Jack Keats in our East Gallery and the bright cheerful work of Lucy Cousins in our Central Gallery all summer long!
As summer vacation comes to an end, we welcome a change of pace and season here at The Carle. We’re ready for changing leaves, cooler temperatures and the return of the yellow school bus. We’re lucky to be hosting Maisy artwork until November, so this week we thought a change was due to our Lucy Cousins book display. We’ve replaced our bestselling summer Maisy titles:
with a few new titles to get us in the back-to-school spirit.
Happy September everyone! What books do you like to read to get ready for fall?
Monday, August 22nd, 2011
I hope you are enjoying these late days of summer and are maybe squeezing in a last summer trip before September comes. How about a trip to the water? Here are a few picture books that feature a whole variety of boats – ferries, canoes, rowboats, tugboats and even a pirate ship! Can you name all of the books below? Put your guesses in the comments below and I’ll be back on Friday with the answers. Anchors away!
Friday, August 19th, 2011
Summer is winding down, but I’ve been fantasizing about one last vacation: an old-fashioned road trip. I’m remembering fondly those summer family trips we’d take across the country in our old Dodge van. While my sisters and I may have, at times, been too cranky or too absorbed in our book to want to get out and see another old battlefield or, okay fine, the Grand Canyon, for us kids, it still beat staying at home or going to (oh, the horror!) summer camp.
Whether or not you have plans to go on a real road trip this summer or fall, here are four great picture books about hitting the road with your family.
Pictures from Our Vacation by Lynne Rae Perkins (Greenwillow Books, 2007)
The two siblings in this book are given instant cameras and notebooks to each record their vacation. They take lot of pictures. Pictures of boring car rides, empty pools, damaged badminton rackets and lots and lots of pictures of rain. But the times they seem to be having the most fun are the times they forget to take pictures! “These don’t remind me that much of our vacation,” one of the kids says looking over the photos at the end of the trip. “It’s hard to take a picture of a story someone tells or what it feels like when you’re rolling down a hill.” Through beautiful language and watercolors that evoke the true sense of summer, Newbery-winner Lynne Rae Perkins makes you realize that the memories of those special moments of vacation (even the car trip!) are pictures you can keep in your mind.
Just Us Women by Jeannette Caines, illustrated by Pat Cummings (HarperCollins, 1982)
Aunt Martha and her niece are driving all the way to North Carolina, just the two of them. “No boys and no men, just us women.” The road trip is special time the two can spend together alone, doing whatever they want. They can stop at roadside markets and yard sales, eat at a fancy restaurant or even get out of the car to splash in the rain. They can drive down back roads, stop for pictures in front of famous statues and just take their sweet old time, without anyone else telling them what to do. This wonderful book evokes the true feeling of a road trip. The freedom to explore and cherish the time you have, away from TV and other distractions, with your family.
My Side of the Car by Kate Feiffer, illustrated by Jules Feiffer (Candlewick Press, 2011)
Sadie has been wanting to go the the zoo forever, but each time the trip somehow gets postponed. Finally, she and her dad are in the car on their way to the zoo, and NOTHING will stop them this time. But the weather seems to have other plans. “Sadie, it’s raining,” says Sadie’s father. But Sadie insists that it’s not raining. Not, at least, on her side of the car. With sweet humor, an imaginative banter ensues between Sadie and her father. Sadie comes up with elaborate reasons for why her father’s side of the car might be wet, while insisting outside her window everyone is doing sunny day things, like wearing sunglasses and eating ice cream. Inspired by true story, with great humor father-daughter team Kate and Jules Feiffer explore the power of optimism when things don’t quite go right on a road trip.
The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Stephen Gammell (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 1985)
Sometimes the best part about a road trip is the destination. In this Caldecott Honor picture book, Cynthia Rylant uses skilled prose to evoke all the senses and feelings of a big family reunion. You feel the emotions of missing home while still being excited to be on vacation. You get the feeling of closeness to have so many people in one small house, while acknowledging how strange but special it feels. “It was different, going to sleep with all that new breathing in the house.” Stephen Gammell brings great humor to the text with his illustrations, showing not a idealized family reunion, but one that feels more genuine. The car crashes into the fence and people spill food and snore, making it feel all the more real and maybe a bit more like your family. And like reading a book, the car takes you in a round trip back to the beginning. You might be sad that it’s over, but just like you can visit next summer, you can read the book again!
Happy last days of summer! For more road trip fun, check out my post last summer, Are We There Yet? ,where I recommend great books for entertaining kids on long car rides.
Friday, August 5th, 2011
Come On, Rain by Karen Hesse, illustrated by Jon J. Muth (Scholastic Press, 1999)
This is one of those books that I just love to read during the hot and muggy New England summer. There’s nothing quite like a rainstorm to cool an oppressive heat wave. It makes you want to go out in the rain in your bathing suit and dance around. With delicate image-rich prose and beautiful watercolors that seem to blur in the heat and rain, Karen Hesse and Jon Muth bring these feelings to life. You can feel the heaviness of the heat, the impatient anticipation right before it rains, and then the joyful relief as the world finally cools off.
Tess and her mother are wilting and cranky in a summer heatwave. “Up and down the block, cats pant, heat wavers off tar patches in the broiling alleyway.” Tess finally sees rain clouds rolling in on the horizon and she gets an idea that will cool herself off. She rounds up her friends, all barefoot in their bathing suits in the street, and wait. “We meet in the alleyway. All the insects have gone still. Trees sway under a swollen sky, the wind grows bold and bolder…and just like that, rain comes.” The girls play and splash joyfully together, until they are surprisingly joined by their mothers, cheering and whooping uncharacteristically in the cooling rain.Together, mothers and daughters all dance and laugh, enjoying the break of hot weather, feeling rejuvenated and happy. “I hug Mamma hard, and she hugs me back. The rain has made us new.”
The seed for Karen Hesse’s Newbery-winning novel, Out of the Dust, came from this picture book, and you can clearly see the parallels of characters in both books waiting desperately for rain. Jon J. Muth complements Hesse’s poetic prose with watercolors that fully emote. The beginning pages are drenched in yellow and orange, radiating heat, blurry with the haze of a hot summer day. Double page spreads show, first, just hands, reaching to the heavy clouds, and then bare feet in the street, as the first drops fall. As the characters dance and splash, the illustrations become even more watery, as if the reader is looking at them through a wall of rain. I especially love how the mothers and daughters are dressed in matching colors, complementing each other as they dance.
Need a break from the heat? This is just the book for you.
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At The Carle Bookshop we specialize in backlist picture books. Backlist is bookseller talk for the not-so-new picture books that you often can’t find at other bookstores. We carry the fabulous new books too (make sure to read our weekly Top of the Shelf posts for new book recommendations), but we know what makes us unique are the shelves and shelves of picture books you remember from your childhood or books you read to your own children. Each Friday, we’ll highlight one of these special older titles in case you may have missed it or forgotten about it along the way. Let’s keep the picture book alive and loved, shall we?
Friday, July 1st, 2011
I’m definitely one of the types who packs more books than days I’m going to be on vacation, regardless of whether or not it will actually be feasible to read them all. I think to myself, I never know what I’m going to be in the mood to read at any given moment and just how quickly I might get through each book. It’s better to be prepared.
Picking out those vacation reads for yourself and your kids is one of the most important steps of packing. A good book can really make or break a long car ride, boring layovers in airports, or late nights when you’re having trouble falling asleep in a strange bed. When I go on vacation now with my family, I pack books for myself AND my eight-year-old nephew because I know there’s nothing better than passing books and sharing what we loved about them. During our past vacations we’ve devoured:
The Mysterious Benedict Society series by Trenton Lee Stewart, illustrated by Carson Ellis (Little, Brown & Co), Lunch Lady and the Summer Camp Shakedown by Jarrett Krosoczka (Alfred A. Knopf) and Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking and Other Natural Disasters by Lenore Look, illustrated by LeUyen Pham (Schwartz & Wade).
Here are a few other books (both new and older titles) for the middle grade reader that also make terrific vacation reads, especially if, like us, you’re planning a trip to the ocean!
Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome (David R. Godine)
Junonia by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow Books)
The Worry Week by Anne Lindberg, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes (David R. Godine)
The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall (Alfred A. Knopf)
Two of these books were written in the last year, while two were written decades ago. What I love is that, upon reading them, it’s not terribly obvious which is which. They all have the same classic feel of vacation with your family. No cell phones. No TV. Just pure summertime adventure.
What are your favorite chapter books about summer vacation? Check back next week for recommended summer picture books!
Wednesday, June 29th, 2011
School may be out, but summer reading is IN! I have an ever-growing to-read list that I keep quite haphazardly in many different places – online, on my computer, on post-it notes, and in margins of notebooks – anywhere I can write down the title of a book that I want to remember to read. Summer is the perfect time to chip away at that list, whether it’s a day at the beach, a rainy day stuck inside, a long car trip or a late night in bed. School and library summer reading programs are a great way for kids to track what books they read and how they felt about them. I know I still feel accomplished when I am able to check something off my to-read list!
These Eric Carle Reading Records are a great place to record what books you and your children read this summer, including a spot for the title, author, and the date you finished the book. For extra incentive, these Eric Carle stickers sheets are all about $1 and are a fun reward. Of course, nothing is more rewarding than looking at a long list of finished books at the end of the summer!
Happy summer reading! Tell us, what are you and your kids reading the summer?
Monday, June 27th, 2011
It’s summertime! I’m on vacation this week (but don’t worry, I have a full week of posts scheduled) and I’m in the mood to go swimming. I think a number of picture book characters have the exact same idea. Can you name the picture book each of these summer scenes come from? Put your guesses in the comments below and I’ll be back NEXT week (after some beach time myself!) with the answers.
Thursday, June 23rd, 2011
Hooray for summer! School’s out and the weather’s nice. It’s now time for summer vacations and staycations! Whether you’re planning a trip or staying close to home, this month we’re giving away a bag of summer goodies from our bookstore that will make any day more fun!
Here’s what you get:
Entering to win is easy. Just leave a comment below letting us know your favorite summer activity. Comments close Friday, June 24th at 12 pm (EST) and one lucky winner will be randomly chosen. Good luck!
Comments now closed.
Wow! I had SO much fun reading through all your comments about how you love to spend your summer. Now I’m really in the mood for summer vacation! We randomly picked a winner for the summer fun bag. Congratulations Laura Clements! Laura wrote “I love to knit while sitting on the beach.” Happy summer all!
Thursday, June 9th, 2011
Summer might be approaching and school winding down to a close, but we’re hoping that your summer is still filled with LOTS of books and leisure reading. Around this time of year grateful parents start asking us for suggestions for end-of-the-year gifts for their children’s teachers. Here are a few of our favorite ideas:
BIG BOOKS FOR THE CLASSROOM
These oversized picture books are hard to find in stores, but seem to be on every teacher’s wishlist. While they might not make the cut in a teacher’s classroom budget (especially when most supplies are bought out of the teacher’s own pocket), they have huge impact on the students. With these big books, everyone can clearly see the pictures during story time, and the large size makes independent reading and art exploration even more fun.
You can never have enough tote bags! Great for carrying papers and materials back and forth to work, storing your lunch, using for quick trips to the store, or even for just toting around town to show off your love of children’s book character.
THANK YOU CARDS
Teachers can always use thank you cards and these Very Hungry Caterpillar ones are super cute!
Teacher/Librarian memberships to The Carle are only $35 and would give your child’s educator the chance to visit the Museum free of charge for the year, get a discount in the store, and get invitations to exclusive museum events – including our fabulous annual Educator night (plus free Membership goodies).
Want more ideas? We’ve made it easy for you. Visit our “For Educators” section of our online shop. Readers, share some of your favorite teacher gift suggestions with us in the comments.
Monday, March 28th, 2011
Spring has sprung! Little crocuses and snowdrops are already flowering here in Massachusetts, with daffodils and tulips not far behind. It makes you get excited for full spring and summer blooms, doesn’t it? So let’s celebrate our early spring flowers with some flowers from our favorite picture books. Can you name each illustrator (or book title) of each of these flowers? Put your guesses in the comments below and I’ll put the answers in the comments on Friday. Good luck and Happy Spring!