Make a splash and read

May 21, 2010|By DONNA BORGARDT / Special to The Herald-Mail

In just over a week, the 2010 Summer Reading Club (SRC) will begin. This year the library invites young readers to "Make a Splash - Read!" at your local branch with water-themed events and crafts. Sign-up begins June 1 at every Washington County Free Library branch.

Upon signing up, each participant (ages 5 to 10) will receive a reading log, a temporary tattoo, a coupon for a Chik-fil-A ice cream cone, a challenge to read at least 10 books this summer and an invitation to join in the free and fun programming offered at your local library.

Start by coming to the kick-off party from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 19 at the Valley Mall and discover pirates, crafts and who knows, maybe even some buried treasure.

Pre-readers are invited to sign up for the birth-to-five SRC. Sign up, receive a baby game board and get ready to read aloud with your baby or toddler. This is a great way to encourage a life-long love of reading and spend quality time together. Each pre-reader who finishes the club will receive a brand new board book selected by Miss Abigail of the central library.


Teens and adults, we also have Summer Reading Clubs designed especially for you. Stop by your local branch to sign up. To complete the club, you can read, write book reviews and attend free programming at the library. Teens who finish the club will have the chance to win a Flip Ultra digital video camera.

With so many great books involving water out there, you might not know where to begin your summer reading adventure. Here are a few suggestions to start you on your way toward making a splash this summer.

Picture books

"Otters Under Water" by Jim Arnosky (Ages 3 to 7)

Author and Illustrator Jim Arnosky gives readers a close look at world of otters. In this book, watch two baby otters through the eyes of their mother as they swim, dive and bask in the sun.

"A Gift From Under the Sea" by Kate Banks, illustrated by Georg Hallensleben (Ages 3 to 7)

Contemplate the passage of time with this beautifully illustrated story of a boy, a rock and the ocean.

"A Mama for Owen" by Marion Dane Bauer (Ages 3 to 7)

When the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami separates a young African hippopotamus from his mother, he finds a new snuggle partner in Mzee the giant tortoise. Based on a true story. (Also in Spanish)

"Move Over, Rover!" by Karen Beaumont, illustrated by Jane Dyer (Ages 3 to 7)

Find out what happens to a lonely dog when a thunder storm brings more visitors than his dog house can hold.

"Wave" by Suzy Lee (Ages 3 and older)

Can you read pictures? In this book, artist Suzy Lee uses wonderful pictures (no words) to tell the story of a girl and an ocean wave. "Read" this with your favorite story teller and make guesses about what the main character is thinking.

Chapter books

"Some Frog!" by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Scott Medlock. (Ages 6 to 9)

Billy needs two things: to catch a great jumping frog at Miller's Pond, and for his dad to cheer him on at the frog-jumping competition. Read about Billy's adventure at the pond in this realistic and heartfelt story of a boy.

"Summerhouse Time" by Eileen Spinelli (Ages 8 to 12)

Read about Sophie's annual August trip to her family's summer house. She looks forward to the trip every year and even though this trip is not as idyllic as usual, it is very entertaining. This is a great book to read on the back porch or at the beach. Its creative format (free-verse poetry) and concise language make it a great pick for readers who are just getting comfortable with chapter books.

"Babymouse Beach Babe" by Jennifer Holm and Matt Holm (Ages 8 to 12)

Jump into Babymouse's imagination. Daydream through her last science class of the year, watch her clean out her horrendously messy locker and follow her on a fabulous beach vacation full of sun, surf and mermaids. Fans of Babymouse will love this fun, beachy adventure.

"Flush" by Carl Hiaasen (Ages 10 to 14)

Another award-winning eco-adventure by the author of "Hoot," this time about young people catching the manager of a floating casino who is dumping waste into Florida's coastal waters.


"A Drop of Water" by Gordon Morrison (Ages 5 to 9)

Follow the journey a drop of water takes from clouds, to streams, to bogs, to a little boy's finger. This beautifully illustrated book introduces the complexity of the water cycle in very practical and realistic terms. When you check this book out, don't forget to look at the illustrated glossary in the back.

"The Man Who Named the Clouds" by Julie Hannah and Joan Holub (Ages 6 to 9)

Learn about Luke Howard's life in the 1700s and how he gave names to the different clouds he observed. This well-researched biography combines history and science.

"One Well: The Story of Water on Earth" by Rochelle Strauss, illustrated by Rosemary Woods (Ages 8 to 12)

This book tells the story of Earth's water, encouraging readers to think of the planet's water supply as the contents of one common well. Strauss discusses the importance of water to the survival of plants, animals and people, touching on recycling, access to water, pollution and conservation. Peppered with interesting and relevant facts (about 1,375 gallons of water is used to make one fast food lunch, while flushing the toilet uses 3.5 gallons) this book is sure to engage readers of all ages.

Dawn Borgardt is children's librarian at Washington County Free Library.

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