Warm weather brings out books full of adventure.
Gossie & Friends Say Good Night
By Olivier Dunrea
Best for: Ages 1-4
Everyone has his own way of preparing for bed. By now, your young children are probably familiar with Gossie & Friends. These simple yet expressive books explore the adventures of childhood. In Say Good Night,Ollie wanders the farmyard as his friends prepare for bed. Ollie stops to ask each one what he is doing. Each Gertie is stretching her legs before bed, and BooBoo is getting a snack. Maybe Ollie’s ritual is checking on all his friends. This touch-and-feel book is perfect for adding to your bedtime ritual with your little one. As he relaxes and wonders, he can explore the bright colors and textures of the book.
What’s good: Perfect mix of engagement and sleepy-time wonder.
What’s bad: The sticky touch-and-feel page picks up dust and dirt very easily.
The Runaway Egg
By Katy Hudson
Best for: Ages 4-7
Looking for an older-sibling-themed book? This one takes place on a farm with Little Chick in charge of watching his little brother (an egg) while Mom is out. Little Chick does not understand what all the fuss is because all the egg does is sit there. Eventually, Little Chick falls asleep. Naturally, that is when the mayhem begins. Think of this as a screwball comedy for the preschool set. While Little Chick dozes, his little brother kicks his legs through the egg and runs off. In a frenzy, Little Chick races to protect his little brother—through a muddy pig sty, past sheep shearing scissors and away from an angry bull. By the end, Little Chick might just be ready to be a big brother. Hudson’s Little Chick jumps into our hearts from the first spread. His expressiveness gives the reader a clear personality with which to relate. Children will love him.
What’s good: Fun, fast-paced mayhem will keep the attention of little readers.
What’s bad: Several variations of Runaway Egg stories on bookstore shelves.
Take the Key and Lock Her Up
By Ally Carter
Best for: Ages 12-16
Fans of the first two installments of Embassy Row novels will surely love the newest addition. However, don’t bother starting the series with this book—you will be lost. Carter does a great job of building suspense, maintaining fast-paced action and constructing characters you want know. She only asks that you suspend disbelief a little so that her characters can survive and thrive in James Bond style. Escapes, globetrotting, cash, multiple passports, conspiracies and royal intrigue are the norm in these books. The only questions are who will go the farthest to come out on top and will our heroes survive their teenage years?
What’s good: Fast-paced action and intrigue designed for teen girls.
What’s bad: Unbelievable action and intrigue—suspend disbelief for this one.