Opinion

At the Library

Mallory's list of summer reads for kids

As the school year has come to an end for me, and my schedule now allows for more interesting reads, I’ve discovered that I still turn to the children’s books when working at the library. Perhaps this is something that has just become a part of me. I suppose I will forever have a secret love for picture books. So, here is this month’s list of new children’s books that I believe, are must reads:

1. Dad By My Side by Soosh – I really am a sucker for father/child relationships, and this book genuinely made me tear up. Told from a daughter’s perspective, this book shows just how much her father loves her. He isn’t afraid to have fun, he shows his daughter how to cook, and is there to comfort his daughter whenever she is sad. However, the father isn’t the only one lending support. Dad By My Side shows that, sometimes parents need a little cheering up too, and that when you have someone by your side, you can do anything.

2. The Nature Girls by Aki – For anyone who has kept up with my “Must Read Children’s Books” list, you know that in the last list I talked about The Weather Girls and how much I love books in rhyme with beautiful illustrations. So, you can understand my excitement when I, a lover of nature and rhymes, saw The Nature Girls on the cart, ready to be shelved for the first time. This book, in the same rhyming format as the one before it, explores the excitement of nature, and shows that nature is fun and worth exploring (especially when you talk about it in rhymes).

3. I Walk With Vanessa by Kerascoet – This book is super simple yet very powerful. It is told through pictures alone and tells the story of a young girl who goes to school but is bullied. One classmate decides to take action, to show this girl Vanessa that she is known and cared about. The two children walk to school together, and soon, the whole school is joining them. This book is truly heartwarming.

4. Because by Mo Willems – Along with being a lover of nature, I have a greater love for music. I love this book and what it teaches kids about the power of music. It shows a young girl attending a concert and then becoming inspired to compose her own music. In the end she shares her own musical composition, inspiring many others, all because someone shared music with her. This book is one of the best.

5. Madeline Finn and the Library Dog by Lisa Papp – While this book is not on the new shelf at the library, I had to include it because the story reminded me a lot of myself. Madeline Finn has trouble reading at school. When she decides to try reading to a dog at her library, reading becomes a breeze. This story resonated with me because I too struggled with reading aloud. The library in Iowa City had a similar program to the one in this story, where I got to read to a dog one Sunday every month. I believe I have a stronger love for reading because of this, and this story encourages kids to never give up, and shows them that reading aloud isn’t all that scary when you have a furry friend to listen.