Sunday, August 1, 2021
Aug. 1, 2021

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Check It Out: Picture books speak volumes


With summer on its way, I start thinking about sitting on my patio with a cool drink and a good book. If fall and winter have the market on cozy reading habits — a fire in the fireplace, warm blankets, hot tea — summer reading demands sun, the smell of freshly mown grass and refreshing treats. My To-Be-Read pile is mighty tall, so I plan on taking advantage of summer’s invitation to take my To-Be-Read books outside.

It might be a challenge to pull your little ones away from other outdoor activities in order to read a book, but I recommend giving it a try. It might be easier to introduce outside reading time to a reluctant-to-sit youngster if the book is short, so that’s why picture books might be the perfect solution. They don’t take very long to read, and they’re full of illustrations. But there are a couple of other reasons to read picture books. They may be short, but they have the ability to speak volumes; that’s a powerful thing, and it isn’t easy to do. But here is what I appreciate the most about the wonderful world of picture books: there is no age limit to their enjoyment.

Be sure to check out the large selection of picture books available at the library. Here is a sample of newly published titles just waiting to be read by youngsters and the young at heart, inside or outside as you please.

  • “Chicken Talk Around the World” written by Carole Lexa Schaefer, illustrated by Pierr Morgan.

A chicken on a farm in Walla Walla says “Buk-buk,” while a chicken on a farm in Mexico City, Mexico, says “Co-co-ro-co.” Learn how to speak hen and rooster all over the world in this fowl-happy book.

  • “Close Your Eyes: A Book of Sleepiness” written by Lori Haskins Houran, illustrated by Sydney Hanson.

Sleepy baby animals do their adorable best to entice not-so-sleepy little humans to close their eyes and say good night.

  • “Itty-Bitty Kitty-Corn” written by Shannon Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham.

Can a cat be a unicorn? An itty-bitty, pink kitty thinks so, and that’s that. Or is it? A real unicorn just might change a kitty’s mind in this charming, “be yourself” story.

  • “Orange is an Apricot, Green is a Tree Frog: Explore the Natural World Through Color” written and illustrated by Pascale Estellon.

Summer is a perfect time to read this beautifully illustrated tribute to color. Turn each page and revel in orange, green, red, yellow — the entire rainbow — then take a look around your yard and see how many colors you can find.

  • “Treemendous: Diary of a Not Yet Mighty Oak” written by Bridget Heos, illustrated by Mike Ciccotello.

I love acorns. It’s a nut wearing a hat, so what’s not to love? Find out how these little, hatted nuts grow into mighty oak trees in this delightful picture book.

  • “Yes & No” written and illustrated by Elisha Cooper.

Can a puppy who says “yes” to everything, and a cat who says “no” to everything, be friends? No “maybe” about it: they can. It just takes a bit of time to learn how much fun they can have together.