Sendak on "Margaret Wise Brown: Awakened by the Moon"
Thursday Afternoon Coffee Break, 8.28.08

End-of-Summer Reading List at Our House

In the last several weeks we've been canoeing, kayaking, swimming, watching cartoons, and reading books. Here are a few titles that our 4th grader liked. (4th grade, as of today! I can't believe it.)

Katie Loves the Kittens, a picture book by John Himmelman. Katie the dog is over-enthused about her family's new arrivals. She keeps scaring them when she doesn't mean to. We could relate to her funny struggles with self-control.

Sisters of Scituate Light, by Stephen Krensky, with illustrations by Stacey Schuett. One of Junior's favorite books of the summer, this nonfiction picture book (for kids six and older) tells how two Massachusetts girls saved their town from a British raid during the War of 1812.

Discovering SuperCroc, by Pamela Rushby.  Fossils/paleontology/"giant beasts," in National Geographic's Science Chapters series.

Pirates! Raiders of the High Seas,
a DK Reader by Christopher Maynard. Easily read in one sitting.

Turtle Summer: A Journal for My Daughter, by Mary Alice Monroe, with photographs by Barbara J. Bergwerf. Winner of the ASPCA's Henry Bergh Children's Book Award, this nonfiction picture book about loggerhead sea turtle conservation is a must for beach lovers. The close mother-daughter relationship depicted in the book is heartwarming.

The Scrambled States of America Talent Show. A nutty followup to the nutty Scrambled States of America, Laurie Keller's picture book for children seven and older shows a raucous geography pageant.

About Habitats: Wetlands, a short nonfiction picture book by Cathryn P. Sill, with watercolor paintings by John Sill. A simple introduction to the concept of wetlands, with a sentence or two per spread. In small type at the bottom of the page are things to look for in the full-page watercolor illustrations. The Sills have a whole "About" series on various animals, too.


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I'd LOVE to have a 4th grader with a summer reading list like that in MY classroom!

Mary Lee, yesterday Jr.'s new teacher started "The City of Ember" as a read-aloud. I thought that was awesome!

I've been interested in how the Sill About Habitats series was going to work out. I love her animal books (About Insects, About Mammals, etc.), so I was hopeful.

My godson starts fourth grade next week. It makes him seem so OLD to me, in part, I think, because I myself remember fourth grade with a lot more clarity than the years that preceded it. I also don't like thinking of him going into those years where all that superficial middle-school-type stuff starts to matter more and more, but this is where it starts. Yikes.

Hey, Adrienne. Thank goodness for the library. I was in a Borders today, and the nonfiction selection was so bad.

After reading the Wetlands book, I'll look for the Sills' animal titles to take along to share with the first-graders. I was impressed with the clarity of the theme and the lovely watercolors in Wetlands.

Those books look wonderful. I think I'll try Turtle Summer for E. We have loggerheads nesting on the beach at my parent's beach house.

My daughter and I enjoyed Turtle Summer a great deal.

KateinNJ, don't you think Wisteria and her daughter will enjoy "Turtle Summer"? I would love to see those turtles nesting. How neat.

(Wisteria, I hope the beach house and your folks are okay.)

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