I’ve got some great kids’ books to add to your summer stacks - two picture books (one of which has very special meaning to our family, and I'd like to share it with you), and two middle grade novels (one of which has a sequel coming soon - and a fun event attached).
Chirri and Chirra are two of my favorite storybook girls! Our family discovered this series of books last year and my daughter often asks to check them out at the library over and over. In their newest adventure, Chirri and Chirra follow a family of raccoons underground. Chirri and Chirra, Underground is just as charming as all of the other books in the series. I love that these books are translated from Japanese, and that they feature girl protagonists who love to go on adventures, plus, the illustrations are magically whimsical.
I discovered this book a while ago, but it now has a very special significance to our family. A Crow of His Own is about a rooster named Clyde who is new to Sunrise Farm. The previous rooster, Larry, was quite a showman and Clyde has big shoes to fill each morning as he announces the sunrise. He makes all sorts of plans for big, dramatic performances, and none of them go quite to plan. Eventually, a kindly goose suggests that he should just be himself. It’s funny and clever, and we love Clyde the rooster so much that we decided to name our baby son after him. I’m excited to share this one with all of you and hope that you love Clyde and his farmyard pals as much as we do.
Jem is a gem. Sorry, I had to. It really is, though. This is stellar historical fiction for kids by a talented local author. Very local - she lives on the East Hill! This is the first book in a trilogy. The story opens in the English countryside in the eighteenth century. After a mining disaster that takes the life of her father, Jenna, her mother, and little brother must leave their home and move to London, where they live above an apothecary. After some magical twists and turns, Jenna finds herself dressing as a boy and calling herself Jem so that she can apprentice with a local doctor who has taken her under his wing. The historical details are fascinating, and point to impressive research. I was left wanting more - so I’m glad there are two more books! If your kids like history, or if you’d like to get them excited about history, this is the series for you.
This was the first pick for our Family Book Club and it was fantastic. Aven Green is eleven years old. She has just moved to Arizona where she lives in a theme park with her mom and dad. She was born without arms. Aven is hilarious, so she often tells silly stories about all of the various ways that she could have lost her arms - alligator attack, unfortunate trapeze accident, and many more. Aven clearly works hard to project confidence, but she also struggles to fit in. At her new school, for example, she is reluctant to eat lunch in front of the other kids because she eats with her feet, and she is afraid that she’ll attract attention to herself. I’m so glad that we chose Dusti Bowling’s book to be our first Family Book Club Pick. I think it provides parents with a fantastic resource to talk to their kids about friendship, acceptance, and confidence.
We’ll be skyping with Dusti Bowling on August 12 at 6:30pm at the Visit Eau Claire Experience Center (128 Graham Avanue, Suite 151 in the Pablo Center)! Dusti has written a sequel to Insignificant Events called Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus, available September 17. If you’d like to pre-order the sequel, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like to purchase both Insignificant Events and Momentous Events, you’ll receive 15% off your order. Stop into the shop, or use code CACTUS at checkout.