Summer reads

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent
Creak! Said the Bed

By Phyllis Root

This story begins on a rainy night when Momma and Poppa are sound asleep and snoring. The door squeaks open, young Evie appears, and the bed creaks as she jumps in. Evie is followed by Ivy and Mo while the door squeaks and the bed creaks. The children arrange themselves over and around their parents and everyone sleeps. Thunder booms and Fred the dog enters with toenails clicking and clacking. The illustration of the crowded bed is enhanced by the sounds of a looming disaster, including a "creaking" bed, a "squeaking" door and a "cracking" floor. Ages 4-7.


By Richard Torrey

Jack is a typical preschooler: full of questions. Why does all the good-for-you food taste terrible? Why can't I have a tail? Why doesn't hair hurt when you cut it? From morning to night, Jack has a question for everything. Why? Why? Why? The endless questions irritate his older brother and exhaust his parents.

A funny look at a child's daily experiences withthe world. Ages 3-6.

Hattie the Bad

By Jane Devlin

Hattie is very naughty. Her bad behavior includes putting frogs in the refrigerator, tagging her brother in a yard sale and tying her father's car keys to a helium balloon. At first, her unruly actions win applause from friends until their parents ban them from playing with her. Then, Hattie decides to be very good. She wins a television competition to be "the best behaved child ever." But a perfect Hattie is not so fun either (no one wants to play with her). During the televised award, Hattie has a surprise in store that proves no one can be perfect all the time. Ages 4-7.

Red Pyramid

By Rick Riordan

This is the first book of the Egyptian mythology-based Kane Chronicles. Carter and Sadie Kane were raised separately after the sudden and tragic death of their mother. Carter has spent the last six years traveling the world with his father, an Egyptian anthropologist. Sadie on the other hand was raised in London by her grandparents. Carter and Sadie barely know each other since they meet only twice a year. A trip to the British Museum with their father leads them on a crazy adventure with only a cat named Muffin to help them out. The chaos god, Set, is after them and an ancient group of wizards are tailing them around the world. Carter and Sadie are set on course to rescue their father and save the world from evil forces. Ages 10-14.

The Quiet Book

By Deborah Underwood

This picture book shares the different meanings behind the word "quiet." Animals such as bears, rabbits, porcupines and mice are shown in situations that illustrate the different kinds of quiet throughout the daily life of a young child. For example, the "pretending you're invisible quiet" shows a mouse getting a shot at a doctor's office. In "right before you yell 'SURPRISE!' quiet," three animal friends crouch behind a couch. "What flashlight quiet" presents two friends reading in the dark after bedtime. The Quiet Book encourages understanding the various emotions behind the word "quiet" -- whether it is nervousness, excitement or sneakiness. Ages 2-5.


By Carrie Jones

Zara, Nick and their friends trapped evil pixies in Need (2008). Zara knew they hadn't solved the pixie problem for good. The king's needs grow every day that he's stuck in captivity, while his control over his people gets weaker. It's made him vulnerable and more of the wicked creatures are showing up in the quiet Maine town. A new pixie king, Astley, is convinced that Zara is his queen -- something hard to deny since her skin turns blue every ti me he appears. Zara is convinced Astley is a good guy, but her boyfriend Nick isn't buying it. There is a lot more than her relationship with Nick at stake -- it's her life -- and his. Teen.

Zimmertwins is an easy-to-use site for introducing elementary school students to making simple animated films. Kids can create their own stories or complete one of the "cliff hanger" story starters. Drawing skills are not necessary to create a story; students select character movement, emotion, special effects and text styles, and then drag those elements into the storyboard. Kids can arrange the visual elements and type words into speech bubbles. The editing software is very user-friendly. When a movie is ready, just save it (if you've registered on the site) and share the web address with your friends. Ages 7-10.