Summer is in full-swing! Temperatures are rising, watermelon is in season, and people are keeping cool at the pool. Now, I am normally a “glass half-full” kind of guy, but when we were discussing putting some lists together about Summer, I decided to go in a different direction. While it is great thinking of all of the wonderful things about Summer, you can’t deny that there are downsides to the season as well. So, while lists about Summer Reading and Summer Fun are wonderful, I decided to do something a little different and highlight some of the annoyances and troubles that come with the season. You can find the entire list (and other great Staff Picks lists) here , but below are a few of my favorite selections from that list.
Leaflets Three, Let It Be: The Story of Poison Ivy
by Anita Sanchez and Robin Brickman (ill.). 9781620914458. 2015. Gr. 2-5.
If you love spending time in nature, poison ivy is something you are likely to encounter. This book is very helpful and informative in helping you learn to avoid getting a very itchy rash. The title itself is a helpful reminder; while leaves of poison ivy can and do vary, they all have the specific configuration of three leaves that the title refers to. In addition to identification, the book talks about how the plant is beneficial to other animals and definitely has its place within an ecosystem.
The Fly by Petr Horacek. 9780763674809. 2015. PS-2.
Ants usually get the nod for “critters that most ruin your picnic”, but my vote goes to the common fly. A housefly is the star of this title as we get a peek into his life. We get to see him exercising (flying circles around a light), snacking, and evading the dreaded flyswatter. The tone is informational mixed with a subtle humor, and that combination works well. Tracey recently included this title in a blog post as well, here.
Weeds Find a Way by Cindy Jenson-Elliott and Carolyn Fisher. 9781442412606. 2014. K-2.
Weeds are definitely a nuisance, especially if you are a gardener or want a nice-looking lawn. But, I have always had a certain level of admiration for them, as they are so tenacious in their ability to survive and propagate. In Weeds Find a Way, weeds are celebrated. Their wonderful adaptations are shown, including how dandelion seeds spread far and wide via wind, and burrs that are like Velcro, which allows their seeds to be carried away by animals in order to propagate. The beautiful collage illustrations and poetic text help convey the idea that perhaps if we reframe our thinking about weeds, we can find beauty in them.