Media Reviews: Books for Kids

Karen Oldham

Saffron Ice Cream by Rashin Kheiriyeh

Young Iranian Rashin is taking her first trip to Coney Island. As they travel, Rashin recalls swimming in the Caspian Sea with her best friend and enjoying saffron-flavored ice cream. What will this new beach be like? Will the rules be the same? Rashin compares the sights, sounds and flavors of these two cultures. This vibrant, colorful book is the perfect treat for a summer afternoon. FOR AGES 4-8

Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets by Kwame Alexander, Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth; illustrated by Ekua Holmes

Newbery Medal winner Kwame Alexander and his collaborators present a tribute to poets and poetry that is a must for summer reading. Ekua Holmes' colorful, mixed-media artwork enhances the rich imagery. This is a great way for families to explore poetry together. FOR AGES 8-14

The Last Last-Day-of-Summer by Lamar Giles, illustrated by Dapo Adeola

Legendary sleuths Otto and Sheed Alston are looking for one last adventure before summer vacation ends. But they get more than they bargained for when a strange man and his camera freeze everything (including other humans) in time and space. The cousins' Virginia town suddenly becomes the meeting place for beings from other dimensions, including Time Suck monsters, the vain Golden Hours and Father Time himself. Otto and Sheed must unstick time and get everything back to normal ASAP, or the last day of summer will last forever! FOR AGES 10-12

All Summer Long by Hope Larson

Bina thinks her summer vacation is ruined when her friend Austin leaves for summer camp. What will she do all summer, and who will she do it with? Without Austin there to plan their activities, Bina must find new friends, explore her own passions and discover who she really is. This coming-of-age graphic novel is brought to life by Larson's emotive illustrations. FOR AGES 10-14

A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti

Nine months ago, Annabelle's world was shattered by an act of violence, and she still feels guilty, ashamed and heartbroken. When a boy harasses her at a restaurant, she runs away in a panic. She finally stops 11 miles later and realizes that she has to keep running—to heal her heart and to make sure that no one is hurt like this again. Her friends and family create a massive online support system to help Annabelle reach her goal: Washington, D.C., 2,700 miles away. Annabelle emerges as an activist and role model—and a voice for those who can no longer speak. FOR TEENS


Leela Kids

If you need an alternative to “Are we there yet?” Leela Kids is a new, free, all-ages app that curates and organizes podcasts. The kid-friendly, searchable interface makes it easy for children to find age-appropriate content on a variety of topics: stories, the sciences, music, language and more. Some of the most popular selections include Wow in the World, Circle Round, But Why, Ear Snacks and Saturday Morning Theatre. With approximately 5,000 episodes, Leela Kids is an essential part of any road trip.


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