Ah, summer is almost here. Children are smiling a little more, parents are bracing themselves for the annual ritual of summer vacations and YS librarians are gearing up for the “season” of reading programs. There is something magical about this time of year. The longer days provide plenty of time to enjoy the outdoors, hang out with friends and escape to special places that make summer months memorable. Along with programming, children's librarians busy themselves with compiling Reader’s Advisory handouts for eager summer readers. Bookworms wishing to escape to somewhere special know it is as easy as opening a book. However, even they need a little help with the decision on what books to read. This year’s SRP theme is perfect for guiding readers of all ages wishing to escape to a locale.
There are many books about traveling that invite the readers along for the “ride”. Whether it is by train, cars or planes the stories are colorful, creative and captivating. A few favorites mentioned here are perfect for story time or one on one reading. They are also good for discussion starters that prompt the question such as who has been on a plane? or When traveling, do you prefer to go by land, sea or air? The first title that invites the reader along for the “ride” is Karma Wilson’s Dinos on the Go! In this short tale, dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes are traveling by train, boat, or cars to get to a dino reunion. The fun rhymes make it an enjoyable journey for young readers. Dave Horowitz’s tale of Duck Duck Moose is about an unlikely trio, Moose, Duck and Other Duck going south for the winter. Moose is not really excited about the trip since he loves the North but figures since his friend Bear is hibernating he might as well go along for the ride. All ends well, when Moose is dazzled by the warmth and charm of Florida. For a true original tale that is based on an actual event, reader’s can not go wrong with Eric Carle’s 10 Little Rubber Ducks. The adventure for 10 bright yellow rubber ducks begins when they were loaded onto a freighter destined for faraway countries. Unfortunately, a storm hits and the 10 rubber ducks fall into the sea. Each duck floats in a different direction and each meet different animals along their way. The 10th one meets a mother duck with her offspring and bobs along with them to their nest. They many not have gone to their original destination but the reader is left with the impression that it was one swell trip for each of the rubber nautical travelers. Dinosaurs once roamed the earth but Deb Lund convinces young readers that they also used ships. In her rhyming tale Dinosailors, the dinosaurs are awfully excited about sea life when they first embark on their journey. However after a rough time at sea, some seasick dinosaurs decide that land is really where they were meant to be and perhaps trains would be a better form of transportion. This sets up the next book All Aboard the Dinotrain! Travel diaries are wonderful ways in which to share details about a trip. There is one book that comes to mind that teaches the concept of a travel journal to young children. In Jan Ormerod’s .Miss Mouse Takes Off a rag doll, Miss Mouse, gives a simple, yet engaging account of her trip by plane with her best friend.
Every picture book title mentioned describes a worthwhile journey and different ways in which to reach the final destination or in some cases an accidental destination. There are wonderful titles for juvenile and young adults that pick up on the theme of modes of transportation. Those titles are save for another time. in the meantime, enjoy the five favorites here. Remember, there may be one world, but the many stories will take readers to extraordinary places!