In My Library Tote: July Children's Book Recommendations

Between my children's lit class and the kids being home all summer, we visited the library a lot in July. You just can't beat the library for free, air conditioned entertainment on a hot summer day. I found that taking even just 30 minutes out of my work-from-home day to get them out of the house for a bit paid off; they were usually more content to play on their own the rest of the day. Life saver! Thanks to the frequent visits, we read a lot in July.

{what we read in July}




{Look for Ladybug in Plant City by Katherina Manolessou} This is a search and find book all about a pet ladybug who wanders off. Daisy hires Basil, a detective, to help her find him, and they go around town looking for him. On each page the ladybug is hiding, along with a handful of other animals or objects to look for. I remember loving Where's Waldo as a child, and this is a similar idea. Jona loved this one, and even after he had already found everything, he enjoyed reading it again and showing off how quickly he could find everything. 

{Best Frints at Skrool by Antoinette Portis} In this follow up to Best Frints in the Whole Universe (a favorite at our house), Yelfred and Omek are starting school on planet Boborp. We learn that while the frints are good at sharing their yunch, they're not so good at sharing their frints. Just like the original Best Frints, Jona couldn't get enough of this one, although I thought this follow-up wasn't quite as clever. 

{Awesome Minds: The Inventors of Lego Toys by Erin Hagar} You know that Jona is obsessed with all things Lego, so a librarian found this one for us when Jona requested a "Lego book." It's a longer picture book that tells the story of the family behind Lego, and the history of their creation. I thought Jona would get a little bored with this, since it's more about the history than what you can do with Legos, but he really enjoyed it. I guess even just knowing it was about Lego was enough to keep him engrossed. 

{Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt} Scaredy Squirrel is happy and safe in his tree. He has a daily routine that does NOT involve leaving the tree, but if any danger does come along, he is prepared. However, one day he is forced to leave the safety of his tree, and possibly encounter all his worst fears: bees, poison ivy, germs, and even sharks! Jona thought this book was hilarious, and I thought it was a fitting pick for Jona. We often joke that Jona will be an actuary when he grows up, because he's always assessing the risk of everything wherever he goes. Will this be loud? Is it scary? That doesn't look safe! He has a bit of Scaredy Squirrel in him. :) 


{Stuart Little by E. B. White} Jona and I read Charlotte's Web last year, so this E. B. White classic felt like a good choice for our next read-aloud. Jona enjoyed hearing all about Stuart's brave adventures. I admit that this one wasn't a favorite for me. It felt incomplete, and more like a collection of short stories. Also, I didn't find Stuart to be nearly as endearing as Wilbur. I know it's beloved by many, and Jona enjoyed it, but for me it was just okay. 

{Hello Hello by Brendan Wenzel} Beautifully illustrated with a touch of whimsy, the animals in Hello Hello are grouped together for various reasons: colors, patterns, the sounds they make, etc. Jona enjoyed identifying and talking about the animals depicted, while Violet was also entertained by the bright, colorful pictures. Books that hold both kids' attentions are winners around here! 

{The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse by Mac Barnett} When a mouse is swallowed by a wolf, he is surprised to find that he's not alone in the wolf's belly. Duck has set up camp in there and is living in style. Mouse joins Duck and they're quite satisfied together until a hunter comes along. I appreciated the clever story, and the oddball idea of animals being swallowed yet not eaten was right up Jona's alley. 

{Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems} In Willems' humorous retelling of the classic story, the dinosaur family gets ready to go... somewhere else. They're definitely not setting up a trap for a delicious-looking little girl who may happen to pass by and wander into their house. Just like pretty much every other Mo Willems book we've brought home, this one had us laughing. 

{The Thing Lou Couldn't Do by Ashley Spires} Lou and her friends are brave adventurers. Lou boldly explores with them, until one day they become pirates and decide to make a tree their pirate ship. Not wanting to admit she's afraid to climb the tree, Lou tries to suggest other places to play. Eventually, her friends convince her to try, and every day she gets a little higher. I loved this story about bravery and facing fears, and Jona liked it as well. 

Have you read any good children's books lately? 



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