Children's Bookshelf - July 2017
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Camp Out With a Good Book
by Jo-Ann C. LoRusso

Summer time is in full swing at public libraries across America. Studies show that children who read during the summer break, build confidence in reading, resulting in academic success. A recent study, according to the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies presentation, suggests reading to children as early as infancy increases literacy skills when they attend elementary school. Public libraries understand the importance of introducing books to children early in life. Not only does their vocabulary increase, but their enjoyment for books also increases, making them lifelong readers and library users.

The Middlebury Public Library’s annual summer reading initiative is a favorite time of year for our residents. We align our services and programs to theme-based literature. This year’s theme, Camp Read S’more 2017, is filled with wonderful books based on fun, camping and outdoor experiences for families. Yes, s’mores will be included in our programs!

Our goal is to encourage our community to read together and participate in engaging programs. The Middlebury Public Library’s summer reading program is filled with educational and enlightening opportunities for all ages throughout the summer months. Please visit our website and summer events calendar for details. And, check out some of these fun camping books this summer.

Gone Camping by Tamera Will Wissinger, award-winning author of Gone Fishing, offers a humorous story based on a family camping trip. If you ever camped, or thought of camping with young children, this is a delightful read about camping overnight. It is filled with poetic forms as well as animated illustrations. Turn your family room into a camp site with sheet tents, flashlights and s’mores.

Please Please the Bees by Gerald Kelley is a wonderful story about how to be a good beekeeper. As we all know, bears love their honey. Lessons will be learned during this beautifully illustrated picture book for young listeners. Benedict has a pretty sweet life for a bear. Every morning the bees leave a jar of honey on his doorstep, and every day he has honey for breakfast and honey in his tea. It’s an important part of his day. Visit a local bee keeper and enjoy tasting local honey. 

Away by Emil Sher is sure to touch the heart. This is a story about keeping in touch while heading off to camp. Lives are busy, so a mom and her daughter write notes on sticky pads to stay connected. The watercolor illustrations are as sweet as the words that are written. Leave sticky notes for your children to find in unexpected places. Have a family pet send a postcard from their summer adventure.

Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick is an award-winning real-life story based on the remarkable Christopher Robinson and his adventures with his favorite bear, Winnie the Pooh. Hold an outdoor movie featuring Winnie the Pooh and serve popcorn. Guests are encouraged to bring their own blanket to sit on.

Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping by Melanie Watt is a hilarious story that would add to this summer’s camping theme, especially if you never camped out before. Scaredy Squirrel must learn how to adjust from the luxuries of the indoor life to the great outdoors. Yes, NO TV! OH NO!!! Serve marshmallows on a stick and sing camp fire songs such as “Yankee Doodle, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and “If You’re Happy and You Know It” around a campfire setting.

Toasting Marshmallows: Camping Poems by Kristine O’Connell George is a terrific introduction to poems for young readers. It captures the camping experience, leaving wonderful memories if you ever went camping, and sparking your interest if you have not. Act out the poem of your choice by breaking into small groups. One person reads the poem and the other family members interpret it through movement and dance.

Stella and Roy Go Camping by Ashley Wolff is an educational and entertaining read. Two siblings discover animal tracks while camping outdoors. Learn the difference between the variety of animals that leave tracks outdoors. Go on a nature walk to see what tracks you can identify during the day.

I hope you get the chance to camp this summer with your family. Happy Trails!

The Middlebury Public Library is located at 30 Crest Road. For more information, call 203-758-2634 or visit

Jo-Ann C. LoRusso, MLS, is the Director of the Middlebury Public Library. She strives to provide the community with literature that ties in with creative programming, especially for young readers, and services that meet the community’s informational and educational needs.





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