Posts Tagged ‘Summer Picture Books’

Wordless Picture Book The Boys by Jeff Newman

Posted on June 8th, 2012 by Carolyn Hart


Storytime Standouts looks at Jeff Newman’s wordless picture book, The Boys

Storytime Standouts looks at The Boys by Jeff Newman, a wordless picture book about social situations, baseball and joining in.The Boys created by Jeff Newman
Almost Wordless Picture Book published by Simon and Schuster

When a young lad moves houses with his family, he is anxious to find a baseball game in his new neighbourhood. He unpacks his baseball glove, bat and spikes and ventures out into the neighbourhood.

Once he arrives at the park, he hesitates, watching some children from afar. Rather than joining the kids’ game, he is dejected. He slowly approaches a park bench and sits down. Four aging men are already seated, feeding the pigeons.

The following day, the disappointed boy stores his baseball gear away and joins the men sitting on the bench. He helps to feed the pigeons.

The men take note of his appearance when he joins them on the bench a third time. He looks old – probably much older than they feel! It is time for action.

The men give up sitting on the park bench, instead playing on the playground monkey bars and the slide. They are smiling and laughing. They have been transformed. When a bike awaits the boy the following day, it is clear the men think it is time to get moving – they climb onto bikes, a scooter and a wagon, annoying the pigeons and our boy. He just wants to sit.

Little does he know, a plan is afoot. On Sunday the men will play a baseball game. They supply a batting helmet and a bat, and watch as their hesitant young friend hits one “out of the park.”

Confidence regained, the youngster approaches the boys and girls playing at the park and joins their baseball game. The cronies cheer from the stands.

There is much to love about The Boys . Boldly illustrated, the almost wordless picturebook introduces themes of social isolation, self confidence, ageism and the value of play. Readers will find it both thought-provoking and reassuring.

Suitable for children kindergarten age and older.

One of Kirkus Reviews’ 2010 Best Children’s Books

The Boys at

The Boys at

Our page about Wordless and Almost Wordless Picture Books

Summertime Means Lots of Opportunity for Kids to Read and Do

Posted on July 11th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart


cover art for The Kids Campfire Book

The lazy days of summer are perfect for reinforcing your child’s emerging reading skills. When you are out and exploring, take a child-friendly reference book with you and keep it nearby as you do some star gazing, bird watching, beach or nature walks.

When sitting around a campfire, encourage story-telling or pull out a book of spooky stories and a flashlight. Snuggling up around a fire is the perfect place to listen to spine-chilling tales.

At home, provide easy access to supplies of crayons, pencils, lined and unlined paper. Keeping a summertime scrapbook or diary will encourage your child to do some writing and/or illustrating.

cover art for The Kids Night Sky

Look for books on CD or download audio books. Long drives are so much more pleasant when everyone is listening to an engaging story. I can still remember where we were driving when we heard the amazing recording of Cressida Cowell’s hugely entertaining  How to Train Your Dragon (Heroic Misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III). The miles simply flew by as our entire family created a fabulous memory.

Finally, don’t forget the all-important trip to the library. For young children, look for a mix of rhyming books, alphabet books and other not-to-be-missed picture books. For older children why not find some books of science experiments or art projects to go along with some chapter books?

The Kids Campfire Book, Official Book of Campfire Fun at

The Kids Campfire Book, Official Book of Campfire Fun at

The Kids Book of the Night Sky at

The Kids Book of the Night Sky at



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