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Children's Literature: Late Summer Favorites

While the curtain is closing on August, September's ready to take center stage. It's a great time to make up a book basket of late summer favorites reflecting the subtle changes in the season. Any one of these themes would make fun, timely rabbit trails ...

August means BlueberriesBlueberries_for_sal

Blueberries for Sal ~ August in New England means blueberries, especially when you have family in Maine! Maine blueberries cannot be beat, especially in August! They grow wild all over New England - even on my grandparents (Boston area) back hill. August meant dixie cups of tiny wild berries, and Grandma's blueberry pie and blueberry cake. But my grandfather liked his bluberries stewed and poured over Brigham's vanilla ice cream (much as he liked strawberries in June). Peter_in_blueberry_landLove this book - it's a classic tale. I especially love the parallel theme of mothering ...

Peter in Blueberry Land ~ We actually have this book on order from Amazon because A. our library doesn't carry it and B. we are always looking to add to our Elsa Beskow collection. We love these Swedish books and after reading Meredith's recent post Blueberries ...and Books, I remembered I wanted to order this title for Crackerjack's birthday! Great minds, Meredith! ;)

August means HurricanesHurricane

Hurricane! ~ This is a wonderful book about a little girl and her family who withstand the passing of Hurricane Bob. We watch the family prepare as the winds pick up, keep busy when the lights go out, and survey the damage the next day. Hurricane Bob did truly blow through New England back in August 1991. I remember it well. At this time of year I like to talk with the boys about what hurricane season means. We chart the storms that brew in the Atlantic and discuss ways we can prepare and keep safe.

Time of Wonder ~ Another wonderful McClosky book. This one follows the summer Time_of_wonder_1season in all of its glory - including a hurricane - as it unfolds on a Maine island. The book is so lyrical and evocative - by the end you feel like you have indeed spent the summer in Maine (or wish you had). There's a reason these books win Caldecott medals ...

"We're going to have some weather. It's a comin'. She's gonna blow."

Magic School Bus Inside a Hurricane ~ A great book for the nitty-gritty elementary science of hurricanes. MSB books are always a hit in our house.

August means Fairs Corgiville_fair

Corgiville Fair ~ Another favorite author whose books we collect - sight unseen if need be - is Tasha Tudor. We've had this title for years and when the hazy days of August arrive, Crackerjack finds this book on the shelf. He looooves it and we read it every night in mid to late August. What a cute story it is, too. Great characters - corgis, boggarts, rabbits and cats - and a drama that unfolds around a September fair and an exciting goat race. I don't want to give away too much of the story; you'll have to check it out for yourself! ;)Come_to_the_fair

The Great Corgiville Kidnapping - This book has nothing to do with country fairs (at least I don't think it does) but it's a sequel to Corgiville Fair - and I had no idea it existed until just the other day. What a happy discovery! Even happier when I discovered our library system has a copy! I have it on request as I type. :) CJ will be so excited to read more about Corgiville. (Which by the way exists somewhere in Vermont - our favorite vacation location!)

Come to the Fair ~ Another book on request from the library. (How would homeschoolers cope without the library?!) Our own local fair actually takes place in early October, but this is the time of year when the anticipation builds. This book looks colorful and busy - a nice Christophers_harvest_timeslice of lively Americana.

September means Harvest

Christopher's Harvest Time ~ Another Elsa Beskow book (I tend to be very loyal to authors I like). Christopher meets the sprite of September, and, along with all the harvest fruits and flowers of late summer, enjoys the songs and frolics of the season. With September just around the corner, this is a nice warm up to fall.

Hurry, Hurry, Mary Dear ~ Again, we're getting ahead of ourselves, but this is such a Hurry_hurry_mary_dearfunny story (a poem actually) and it illustrates all the old fashioned preparations folks used to make in advance of winter (canning, pickling, chopping etc.) before the frost set in. Summer will linger for some time yet, but it's fun to look at what's waiting around the corner. Luckily we don't need to do nearly as much work as poor Mary before winter sets in! My kids laugh and laugh at this book!

Hurry, hurry, Mary dear, fall is over, winter's here! Not a moment to be lost, in a minute we get frost!

September means FootballT_is_for_touchdown

T is for Touchdown: A Football Alphabet ~ Signs of the season - turning leaves, crisp air, back to school sales and football games! We are big Patriots football fans around here! Preseason has begun which means its time to start up a new chart for wins (which will be many) and losses (hardly any I'm sure).

Tom Brady: Heart of the Huddle ~ Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is, hands-down, our favorite player! A fantastic athlete - and a nice Catholic boy, too. ;) I thought it was high time we read his biography, so into the basket this book will go (on request from the library). :)Nfl_123

Football Math: Touchdown Activities for Grades 4-8 ~ We're keeping math journals this year and I think the wins-losses chart along with some of these activities would make exciting additions to our journals!

NFL 1-2-3 ~ A little something for Earlybird! He loves DK board books ~ and this book will be a fun way for him to participate in our fall football fun! :)

September means HoneyLife_and_times_of_a_honeybee

The Life and Times of a Honeybee ~ We used to belong to a CSA and by September our fruit share included big beautiful jars of local honey. This is a fun time of year to look at bees and how they make their honey! (In fact I believe September is National Honey Month.) Our nearby farm has a hive interior on display - very interesting to watch! And with all the goldenrod and asters blooming in yards and along roadsides, the local bees are very busy, indeed! This is a wonderful book - beautiful watercolor illustrations and extremely thorough information about bees, beeswax, beekeepers and of course, honey!

Magic School Bus in a Beehive ~ We actually have both the book and video of this Msb_beehive story. It is set in September as the bees work to collect all they need before frost. True to Magic School Bus form, lots of great details - perfect for my 7yo and yet still enjoyable for my 11 yo. (The 4yo thinks it's great too!)

Winnie the Pooh and Some Bees ~ The classic, of course. Must be read aloud at afternoon tea, while eating honeycakes and hot tea with milk and honey. :)


May you enjoy a glorious and blessed late summer! Happy Reading!