Summer Solstice

The month of June brings about the summer solstice. The summer solstice occurs on June 20th, 2024, and is known as the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. For this month’s S-Collection blog we are highlighting books that feature the summer solstice, nature’s rhythms, and the beauty of our earth. This collection of picture books and young adult novels feature anthologies of poems, arts, and crafts for the summer, and instructional picture books on the summer solstice. Summer is a wonderful time to read picture books on the beauty of our surroundings and these books with breathtaking illustrations will make you appreciate summer and the summer season.

Filippucci, Laura
The Universe is a Tree. 2018. Picture Book.
Trees are teachers, healers, protectors, creators. They keep secrets. They bring peace. This rich anthology of stories, proverbs, and poems about trees from around the world reveals that a tree’s roots not only go down deep into the earth, but its branches also reach up and out into the universe, connecting us all, across time and space. May we peer through the forests of our imaginations to see the beauty and experience the awe that still arches over our world.
Q. S.582.16 F478un

Cook, Fiona
The Wheel of the Year: An Illustrated Guide to Nature’s Rhythm. 2023. Young Adult.
You are magic… and so is the world around you, transforming with each new season! The Wheel of the Year is a way to learn about nature’s rhythms – for noticing and celebrating the seasons as they come and go. The spokes of the Wheel mark important turning points: the Winter and Summer Solstices, the Spring and Fall Equinoxes, and the festivals of seeding, growing, and harvesting that arrive in between. Through themed activities, crafts, and rituals, discover old and new ways of honoring the seasons – and create your own!
S. 394.26 C7717wh

Hakala, Marjorie
Mermaid Dance. 2009. Picture Book.
As the sun sets on the ocean, the sky turns pink, then purple, the spring becomes the summer, and a celebration begins. Mermaids arrive, ready to greet the new season by playing, feasting, and dancing in the high tide. Mark Jones’ pastel illustrations capture an enchanting and mysterious world sure to delight the imagination of all readers.
Q. SE. H1278m

Henkes, Kevin
Summer Song. 2020. Picture Book.
Bees buzz, birds sing, and children roll in the grass and feel the heat of the summer sun. With striking verbal imagery, repetition, and alliteration, Kevin Henkes introduces basic concepts of language and the summer season. Laura Dronzek’s glowing paintings beautifully illustrate the wonders of summer.
Q. SE. H389su

Ignotofsky, Rachel
What’s Inside a Flower?: And other Questions about Science and Nature. 2021. Picture Book.
Budding backyard scientists can start exploring their world with this stunning introduction to these flowery show-stoppers — from seeds to roots to blooms. Learning how flowers grow gives kids beautiful building blocks of science and inquiry. In the launch of a new nonfiction picture book series, Rachel Ignotofsky’s distinctive art style and engaging, informative text clearly answers any questions a child (or adult) could have about flowers.

S.582.13 lg5wh

Jackson, Ellen B
The Summer Solstice. 2001. Picture Book.
Accompanied by a summer tale designed to be read aloud, recipes, and craft activities, this beautifully illustrated picture book celebrates the universal appeal of the sun and the abundance of light and warmth it provides.
Q. S.394.263 J133s

Klepeis, Alicia
Secrets of the Forest: 15 Bedtime Stories Inspired by Nature. 2023. Picture Book.
Every forest contains a thousand secrets… In this charming anthology of stories by Alicia Klepeis, readers will be guided into forests to meet the amazing animals that live there. In one story a squirrel hunts for an elusive acorn it buried earlier in the year, while another looks at an Alaskan wood frog as it freezes itself alive to survive a harsh winter. Children will be thrilled by the tale of a reindeer that gets separated from its herd in the snowy woods of Scandinavia, and marvel at a chameleon changing color in the forests of Madagascar. Other stories feature elephants, wild cats, pangolins, badgers, foxes, monarch butterflies, otters, walking fish, a tree that can live for thousands of years, and even forest-dwelling penguins! All these creatures and their habitats are brought to life with impressive skill by illustrator Kristen Adam. Each story in Secrets of the Forest is based on the real biology and behavior of these amazing wild animals, and at the end of each tale readers will find out more about the science that inspired the story.
S.508 K678se

Pfeffer, Wendy
The Longest Day: Celebrating the Summer Solstice. 2010. Picture Book.
In this fourth and final book in a series about seasons, Wendy Pfeffer turns her attention to summer, when butterflies emerge from silky cocoons and daylight hours stretch longer and longer. With lyrical prose and vibrant illustrations, The Longest Day takes us on a journey through the history and science behind the summer solstice, with a focus on summer celebrations from various cultures around the world. Teachers and students alike will treasure the varied and accessible knowledge, and activities in the back let everyone in on the festivities.
S.394.263 P475lo

Pourquie, Bernadette and Gambini, Cecile
Strange Trees and the Stories Behind Them
. 2016. Picture Book.
Have you ever heard of the Strangler Tree? The Bubblegum Tree? The Upside-Down Tree? How about trees with horns, bottles, sausages, crowns, and ones that walk or even explode? Crazy, maybe, but true. Find out more about these, and many others, in this colorfully illustrated collection of the most bizarre—but real—trees from around the world, once again reminding us that the art of nature is far stranger than fiction. The perfect book for inquisitive naturalists with imaginations, Strange Trees also includes a map of the world showing where the trees grew.
Q. S.582.16 P866b: E

Singer, Marilyn
Footprints on the Earth: Poems about the Earth. 2002. Picture Book.
This provocative anthology of poems ranges from such lofty subjects as an astronaut’s view of Earth to the burrows of worms and little creatures within the earth, “where I try to tread softly: a quiet giant leaving only footprints on the roof.” Marilyn Singer’s lilting free verse offers visual images that give us fresh new insights and respect for the mighty power of volcanoes, fens, islands, deserts, dunes, and natural disasters. Singer’s easily accessible poems also include some of the lighter moments of childhood, such as sliding on ice and playing in mud. Meilo So’s distinctive India ink drawings on rice paper provide an especially handsome showcase for these buoyant nature poems.
S.811 Si64fo


Get Outside!

This month’s blog post is inspired by the many opportunities June provides to get outside and have some fun in the sun. Whether you are going to the beach, swimming, fishing, or camping out, try some of these fun summer-themed books!

June Events
June 4th: First public hot air balloon flight by the Montgolfier brothers in 1783
June 15th: Fly a Kite Day
June 18th: International Picnic Day
June 21st: First day of Summer
1st full week: National Fishing Week
Week beginning with the second Monday: National Little League Baseball Week

Fiction: Picture Books

Day, Alexandra.
Carl’s Summer Vacation. 2008.
Carl and Madeleine are supposed to be napping while Mom and Dad get the summer cabin ready for company but they escape from the hammock to do some exploring on the lake.
[Education S Collection SE. D33csv]

Frazee, Marla.
A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever. 2008.
Friends James and Eamon enjoy a wonderful week at the home of Eamon’s grandparents during summer vacation.
[Education S Collection SE. F869c]

Gershator, Phillis and David.
Summer is Summer. 2006.
Presents a celebration of summer from a child’s perspective.
[Education S Collection Q. SE. G323s]

Koller, Jackie French.
Peter Spit a Seed at Sue. 2008.
One hot summer day, four bored children start a watermelon seed-spitting battle that soon spreads throughout their town.
[Education S Collection SE. K833p]

Lee, Suzy.
Wave. 2008.
A wordless picture book that shows a little girl’s first experiences at the beach, as she goes from being afraid of the roaring waves to playing on the shore while gulls soar overhead.
[Education S Collection Q. SE. L5158w]

Lin, Grace.
Olivina Swims. 2007.
Olvina, a chicken in more ways than one, overcomes her fear of swimming with help from her friend Hailey, a penguin, while on vacation in Hawaii.
[Education S Collection SE. L632o]

London, Jonathan.
Froggy Goes to Camp. 2008.
Froggy goes to a sleep-away camp, where all of his fun seems to cause trouble for the camp’s director.
[Education S Collection Q. SE. L846f]

Maurer, Tracy Nelson.
A to Z of Summer. 2003.
Presents an alphabet of summer activities.
[Education Storage SE. M446asu]

Fiction: Juvenile/Young Adult Books

Adler, David.
Cam Jansen and the Summer Camp Mysteries: A Super Special. 2007.
Cam Jansen and her best friend are spending three weeks at Camp Eagle Lake, where they play sports, do crafts, and solve three mysteries.
[Education Storage S. Ad592csc]

Freidman, Laurie.
Campfire Mallory. 2008.
In this low-vocabulary, high-interest book, nine-and-a-half-year-old Mallory’s trepidation about going to sleepaway camp is multiplied when she and her best friend are assigned to different cabins, and a new “friend” seems determined to get Mallory in trouble.
[Education S Collection S. F914c]

Gifford, Peggy.
Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little. 2007.
With summer coming to an end, about-to-be-fourth-grader Moxy Maxwell does a hundred different things to avoid reading her assigned summer reading book.
[Education S Collection S. G366mo]

Gregory, Kristiana.
Bronte’s Book Club. 2008.
When twelve-year-old Bronte moves to a small California beach town, her idea to form a book club in order to make friends turns out to be a good one, after a rocky start.
[Education S Collection S. G862b]

Han, Jenny.
The Summer I Turned Pretty. 2009.
Belly spends the summer she turns sixteen at the beach just like every other summer of her life, but this time things are very different.
[Education S Collection S. H191su]

Harrison, David.
Vacation: We’re Going to the Ocean: Poems. 2009.
Nothing is more fun than loading up the car and heading off to the shore! In light verse that rings with the sounds of summer, David L. Harrison captures the excitement and joy, as well as some of the surprises, of a young boy’s beach holiday with his family.
[Education S Collection S. H2457v]

Kinney, Jeff.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days. 2009.
In the fourth book in this series middle-schooler Greg Heffley records his attempts to spend his summer vacation sensibly indoors playing video games and watching television, despite his mother’s other ideas. This series does not have to be read in order.
[Education S Collection S. K623dd]


Crowe, Ellie.
Surfer of the Century: the Life of Duke Kahanamoku. 2007.
A brief biography of Hawaiian Duke Kahanamoku, five-time Olympic swimming champion from the early 1900s who is also considered worldwide as the ‘father of modern surfing.’
[Education S Collection Q. SB. K121c]

Dixon, Norma.
Kites: Twelve Easy-to-Make High Fliers. 1996.
Provides instructions for making and flying all kinds of kites, including a serpent kite, six-sided kite, shooting star, and flexible kite.
[Education Storage S.796.158 D645K]

Kite, Patricia.
Gardening Wizardry for Kids. 1995.
Collection of more than 300 extraordinary experiments and projects with apple seeds, beans, potatoes, fruit pits, vegetables, herbs and everything that grows. Contains a bonus chapter that lists seed catalogs that kids can obtain from sources in the U.S. and Canada, mostly free.
[Education S Collection S.635.048 K649g]

Klein, Adam.
Camping. 2008.
This information book includes sections on packing smart, choosing a camp site, eating, navigation and safety, campsite creatures, sleeping comfortably, and going into the wilderness.
[Education S Collection S.796.54 K672c]

Priceman, Marjorie.
Hot Air: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Hot-Air Balloon Ride. 2005.
The story of the historic first hot-air balloon flight in 1783, told from the point of view of the duck, sheep, and rooster who were the first passengers.
[Education S Collection Q. S.629.133 P931h]

Ross, Kathy.
Step-by-Step Crafts for Summer. 2007.
Craft-making projects to enhance summer activities.
[Education S Collection Q. S.745.5 R733st]

Williamson, Susan.
Summer Fun: 60 Activities for a Kid-Perfect Summer. 1999.
Suggests a variety of activities for summertime, including nature study, cooking, crafts, games, creative activities, and more.
[Education Storage Q. S.790.1922 W676s]