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Childrens Book Reviews

Summertime Books to Travel with and Enjoy

Summer is a wonderful time of year for kids to enjoy the pleasures of reading.  There are books to learn from, to instill creativity, or those to just enjoy without the pressures of deadlines or homework.  Here are some perfect books for kids to help pass their lazy days in the sun or while traveling.  There’s one book specifically geared for ages seven to ten.  The rest of the books are perfect for ages eight through fourteen.  The first five books feature books published by Klutz.  The wonderful thing about these books is that they are packaged with kits that include the necessary materials needed to build the items featured on the cover, along with easy-to-follow instructions.  The rest of the books provide excellent reads perfect for those long hot summer days.

Harry Potter Paper Flyers: Build & Fly ll Creatures & Characters includes eleven colorful flyers ready to be constructed and with easy step-by-step instructions. This kit showcases Harry Potter, Hedwig, the snowy owl, several dragons and more. Once these are made, they all will fly and produce more fun than imaginable.
Sew Mini Animals (More than 12 Animal Plushes to Stitch & Stuff) is a kit made of an assortment of materials that kids will be proud to make and show off.  The kits include embroidery needles, felt, stuffing, patterns and more.  The animals that can be made include an owl, hedgehog, fox and panda.  There are extra accessories included such as hats, bows and glasses to make your animal according to your desires.

 

The Klutz Book of Knots is an all-inclusive kit that teaches how to tie the most renowned rope hitches, ties, wraps and knots.  Two nylon cords, which are each colored to match the illustrations, are both tied through each page.  These pages are sturdy board pages and make access to learning easier as the reader can practice on each page.  This book kit would be perfect for Cub or Boy Scouts.  The book comes with 4 feet of nylon cord and 8 die cut practice pages.

 

My Super Sweet Scented Sketchbook is a perfect kit that will travel in car, boat or plane.  The sketchbook is filled with kid-friendly drawings that kids will be enticed to complete.  Each double-page spread has a theme that is incomplete, waiting for the reader to complete it.  These pages include creating unique sundaes, animals and people.  The kit includes four scented markers, 62 pages that include 25 activity pages and a black mini marker.

 

Watercolor Crush is the perfect segue for young artists to move beyond coloring.  This kit includes seven paints in a palate of rainbow colors, a paintbrush and a mixing tray. But most impressive are the tips and tricks of how to use watercolor effectively.  The pictures to paint are wondrous!  They practically beg a young, or old, artist to paint each of the eighteen pages!

Star Wars Galactic Maps (An Illustrated Atlas of the Star Wars Universe), by Emil Fortune, and breathtakingly illustrated with tremendous detail by Tim McDonagh, is an over-sized book that will encourage one to take hours pouring over the open page spreads.  This Graf Archive is extensive and opens a universe of imagination as you learn the multiple layers of stars and their inhabitants throughout every sector of this galaxy.  This is the type of book that will draw in readers and non-readers alike and fill them with creative ecstasy.

 

Which is Worse: Creative Questions to Ask Your Friends, is the perfect book to take on a car trip with your family.  The questions asked are simple and always present two situations for all to ponder and then decide.  Some questions are crazy, others are thoughtful and all demand an answer.  What makes this such a fun family book is that there will be more questions asked by family members as well as much discussion as to why one would be worse than another.

The Borrowers (A Complete Set Compilation), by Mary Norton, contains all five of these classics in one large book.  These stories were first written many years ago and have recently been reissued.  The stories all circle around the miniature Clock family that live underneath the floor of a regular family.

 

Hogwarts Library, by J. K. Rowling, is a set of three books detailing life in this magical wizard school.  These brilliantly written books are “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”, “Quidditch Through the Ages,” and “The Tales of Beetle the Bard”.  The illustrations are wonderful and are drawn by the author.

 

Fantastic: A LEGO Adventure in the Real World, by Penelope Arron, is packed with interesting facts that kids and families will thoroughly enjoy!  The book is divided into four main sections: History, Heroes and Villains, Earth and Life on Earth. In the history section, there are chapters that include Ancient Egypt, The Vikings, Aztecs and Incas.  The geography in the earth section includes: Volcanoes,  Earthquakes and Extreme Weather.  The entire book is packaged with pictures, graphs, comic-like strips all with LEGO characters making it very kid-friendly and inviting.  The cover is clever with die-cut windows of what to find inside the book. What a terrific book to take on a trip and learn throughout a long drive or flight.

 

Magic Tree House Incredible Fact Book: Our Favorite Facts about Animals, Nature, History and more Cool Stuff, by Mary Pope Osborne, Natalie Pope Boyce and wonderfully illustrated by Sal Murdocca, is another kid-friendly book with just enough interesting information on each page – but not too much – so it keeps youngsters engaged.  Each page is backed by a different bright color and the layout is full of pictures, illustrations and facts.  This book is geared for ages seven to ten.

The last group of books includes three excellent coloring books to help keep a young artist engaged during long trips.  Adventures in the Garden, by Patricia Zapata, is full of blooming flowers showcasing a young girl living among dandelions and mushrooms.  Art of Coloring has two new books: Disney Animals and Disney Villains.  The last book is 100 Images to Inspire. All you need are crayons, colored pencils or marker.

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