Children's Bookshelf - July 2014
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Travel to New Places with Books
by Donna Wiedenmann

Ahhh…summer — vacations, family visits, summer camp — it’s exciting, and once you get past the planning, it’s fun! Whether it’s a staycation or a trip to an exotic location, children may be reluctant to go. Little ones may fret, “I want to sleep in my own bed. Who will take care of our pets? Can we take them with us? Where will we eat?  What if I don’t like it?” Let’s put their minds at ease with some engaging vacation picture books!

Go Go America by Dan Yaccarino
Yaccarino, always original, brings us his not-so-ordinary book of state facts. It’s a wacky, family-fun vacation book!

Do you know which state’s official cookie is the chocolate chip cookie? In which state is it illegal to slurp your soup? Find out as you travel state-to-state with the Farley family during their tour across the country and discover far-out festivals, kooky contests, ludicrous laws, oddities and so much more. In the back of the book, read about the states’ capitals, birds, nicknames and other interesting facts.

When We Go Camping by Margriet Ruurs
This beautifully illustrated book captures a family’s camping memories as they find lots to do throughout the day. From chopping wood, making supper, exploring and splashing, their day is filled with activities. Evening arrives with stories around the campfire. On the pages, hidden in the shadows of the forest, are animals that children will be excited to discover. A key in the back of the book shares information about the animals. When We Go Camping is a delightful story and a perfect way to preserve summer memories all year long.

Froggy Goes to Camp by Jonathan London
Follow Froggy in his summer camp adventure! Froggy wakes up very excited to go to Camp Run-A-Muck, but his excitement fades when he arrives and realizes he doesn’t know anyone. Will he make friends and join the fun? Froggy’s busy week includes archery lessons, food fights, scary stories around the campfire, losing his trunks during swim class and overturning his kayak with the camp director in it!  Not to worry —  no matter how many times Froggy messes up, he’s always welcome at camp. Froggy will keep you laughing with all of his silly escapades.

This is a wonderful book for kids who may be worried about going to overnight camp for the first time. Children will relate to Froggy’s forgetfulness, fears and triumphs.

If You Decide to Go to the Moon by Faith McNulty
Some kids may stay home for vacation, but they can travel using their imaginations! This mock trip manual for children is a beautifully illustrated book with an unforgettable message about the moon and an important message about our earth.

If you decide to go to the moon, this informative book will help you with your trip preparations!  Did you know that you would travel 240,000 miles to get to the moon? And, if you average 3,750 mph, you would arrive in two and a half days? This is important information when making vacation plans!  How will you get there? What can you expect after you land?  And, most importantly, how will you get home?

Other fun, summer vacation books include:

  • How I Spent My Summer Vacation by Mark Teague
  • The Night Before Summer Vacation by Natasha Wing
  • Arthur's Family Vacation by Marc Brown
  • Toot & Puddle by Holly Hobbie
  • It's Vacation Time by Lerryn Korda
  • All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon
  • Madeline in London by Ludwig Bemelmans
  • All Aboard! A Traveling Alphabet by Bill Mayer
  • The Not for Parents Travel Series, including:  Not for Parents Paris, Not for Parents London and Not for Parents New York.

North Branford Library’s 2014 summer reading theme for children is Fizz, Boom, READ!  With help from the Friends of the North Branford Libraries, there are many wonderful programs for children, including the Second Annual Navels Family Concert, co-sponsored with the Totoket Historical Society. Relax on the lawn for joyful, interactive music featuring the popular local band, The Navels. Bid on raffle baskets, enjoy a hot dog supper and delight in the mesmerizing magic of Mr. Magic. Don’t miss Dragons and Dreams Science Fun with Sciencetellers, Wee Rock Toddler Time, movie matinees on the “BIG” screen and many other story and craft programs. The libraries’ collections include books, books on CD, magazines, ebooks, a large graphic novel section for grades K-8, music CDs, DVDs, a variety of museum passes and much more!

The Atwater Library is part of the North Branford Library System, which includes the Atwater Memorial Library (1720 Foxon Road) and the Edward Smith Library (3 Old Post Road).

For more information call the Atwater Library at 203-315-6020 or the Smith Library at 203-484-0469. Visit

Donna Wiedenmann is the children’s librarian at the Atwater Memorial Library.


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