New at the library

Dig into Reading, the 2013 summer reading program theme of many area libraries, supports a wide range of interests. We invite you to visit your library and dig into these new books for children.

A book as playful and creative as its subject matter, Paul Klee for Children by Silke Vry encapsulates the spirit of the German painter and abstract art. Vry’s book offers vignettes of Klee’s life, beliefs, struggles, and refreshing techniques including his use of lines, color, rubbish, sand and even chocolate pudding! Vry incorporates numerous reproductions of Klee’s work and invites readers to dig into drawing using artistic techniques inspired by Klee’s imaginative work.

Bill Traylor stores memories deep inside himself for 85 years. One summer day in 1939, he sits on a wooden crate in downtown Montgomery and starts drawing. Traylor draws from his memories: animals and farmers from his early life in the fields, images from slavery and the Civil War, and the people he see everyday on the Montgomery streets. Decades later, Traylor has become one of our most important self-taught American folk artists. Dig into Don Tate’s tribute to Traylor, It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie.

Authors Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm dig into research for their book, Ocean Sunlight: How Tiny Plants Feed the Seas. Chisholm, a Marquette native and winner of a National Medal of Science awarded by President Obama on February 1, teaches at MIT and has researched prochlorococcus, the smallest phytoplankton for 25 years. This luminous picture book explains how tiny plants called phytoplankton play an essential part of the ocean’s food chain by absorbing sunlight and getting gobbled up by bigger and bigger creatures, from zooplankton to whales, in addition to supplying half the earth’s oxygen.

Have you ever sat in a barley field at dusk and felt the world turning? Digging back to her youthful experience, zoologist Nicola Davies introduces young people to the natural world by describing four seasons of sights and sounds found in places as diverse as countryside and seashore, city and forest. Davies includes recipes for compost, berry crumble and bird cakes in her collection of poetry and information, Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature, illustrated by Mark Hearld.

“Sally go round the moon, Sally go round the stars, Sally go round the chimney pots, with an Oosha Mary Ann.” Enjoy familiar and not-so-familiar nursery rhymes, poems and children’s songs in Sally Go Round the Stars: Favorite Rhymes from an Irish Childhood collected by Sarah Webb and Claire Ranson, and illustrated by Steve McCarthy. The authors dig deep onto old Irish songbooks, traditional nursery rhyme collections and their childhood memories to select entries for this lively resource.

Do you like community picnics? Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic written by Ginnie Lo and illustrated by Beth Lo tells the story of their Auntie Yang who bravely leaves China in 1945 to attend a university in the United States. The war in China prevents her return so her family and her sister’s family settle outside Chicago. They miss China, their family back home and Chinese food, especially soybeans. On a thrilling Sunday drive, the two families discover a field of soybeans growing among the corn fields. The friendly farmer allows them to pick soybeans which they take home, turn into favorite stir-fried dishes and have a picnic. For 40 years Auntie Yang holds an annual soybean picnic which becomes an important gathering for immigrant Chinese families in the Chicago area.

Travel around the world in 1768 with 11-year-old Nicholas. The young sailor accompanies Captain James Cook on a three-year voyage aboard the sailing ship HMS Endeavour. In Nick’s historical journal, we read entries noting their “discovery” of Australia, exotic creatures and endless scientific specimens. The men open new worlds for colonists while encountering insects, starvation, storms, spear throwing native peoples, and the death of a third of their crew. Dig into adventure by reading Sailing the Unknown by Michael J. Rosen with detailed illustrations by Maria Cristina Pritelli, a contemporary self-taught Italian artist.

You might not dig into reading until you’ve experienced books and a loving adult or caretaker reading to you. In Anna McQuinn’s Lola Loves Stories we meet a sweet little girl who loves nothing more than listening to her daddy read a new library book every night. In turn, Lola follows her daddy’s example in Lola Reads to Leo. Baby brother Leo cries a lot when he’s hungry or tired or needs a diaper change. Big sister Lola comes to the rescue with her best books.

Dig into Reading begins June 10. Visit us to find these books and many others that may inspire you to dig into a great many experiences this summer.