Sunday, July 27, 2014


It's Summertime!
Plum Island ~ Massachusetts

What Emmy loves about SUMMER...lazy days, flip flops, 
chocolate ice cream, juicy watermelon, swimming pools, walks in the woods, bike riding, 
the ocean:  the smell of the warm sea breezes, the sound of the crashing waves, 
the warm sand between her toes and so much more.  SUMMER!  

With more time spent outdoors during the summer, we find ourselves working to create moments in the day for reading and creating indoors (quite different from wintertime when we work on creating moments to be outdoors).

When we first wake up and right before bed seem to be the best times for reading and creating in our household. I recently restocked Emmy's paint supplies and set up her art table with an "invitation to paint." When she woke up the next morning and saw her table, she was so surprised and very motivated to get back to painting.
Emmy's art table and her painting of a sailboat at sunset 
inspired by the view outside of our living room window.  

We've also been motivated to keep reading thanks to our local bookstore and library.  Both have fun summer reading programs going on right now.  At The Book Rack, children are given a passport to Find Waldo in Newburyport.  Local businesses have a small cutout of Waldo hidden somewhere in their store and it's up to the child to find him. Emmy is much better at this seek and find game than I am. She gets so excited when she can ask the shopkeeper to sign her passport.  We have two more Waldos to find and then we can enter our name into the grand prize drawing (a set of Where's Waldo books).
The library's Fizz, Boom, Read program has Emmy reading books for prizes like a coupon to her favorite frozen yogurt shop - Orange Leaf, a free book (she choose Gingerbread Friends by one of her favorite authors Jan Brett) and a free Topsfield Fair ticket!  Emmy fractured her wrist six weeks ago so I've been helping her to fill in her reading log with the titles of the books.
Here are a few books that we've been reading to celebrate the season of SUMMER! (books are listed from a more difficult reading/listening level to an easier one)

Time of Wonder, written and illustrated by Robert McCloskey, won the Caldecott Medal in 1958 for the gorgeous illustrations which depict the Maine landscape in summer.  This is McCloskey's second Caldecott award the first being for Make Way For Ducklings. Time of Wonder revolves around two sisters who spend the summer with their family at the seashore.

When the Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant illustrations by Steven Gammel  You can just feel the family love as soon as you open this book about distant relatives coming to stay for the summer. Many people will relate to the connection one has with relatives that you only see once or twice a year ~ you make the visit worthwhile filling each other up to last until the next gathering.
Summersaults and A Summer Day by Douglas Florian...the first is a collection of poems that shares the joys of summer and the not so joyful things - annoying flies! The second is the story of a family that leaves the sweltering heat of a summer day in the city to spend time exploring in the country.  Emmy and I love it when a book shows a family that lives in an apartment since that is home to us.
Summer Days and Nights by Wong Herbert Yee  I love the nostalgic feel of this sweet story. Emmy loves that the main character is the same little girl from one of our favorite winter books Tracks in the Snow (check out our post here).  Yee creates a summer day that is full of wonder and magic from sun up to sun down.  

I See Summer by Charles Gigna, better known as Father Goose, thrills us with his lyrical rhymes. This book is one of four in a series of books about the seasons. Emmy's favorite part is when the children are chasing fireflies in the dark. Such fascinating little creatures.

Summer by Gerda Muller - This book is one of four in a series of wordless picture books about the seasons.  We have enjoyed this set of books since Emmy was a baby first talking about what we saw as we slowly turned the pages to telling a different story each time we opened the book using the beautiful detailed pictures.  Now we use the books to inspire creative writing about the seasons.  Here's an example of a recent poem inspired by the book...
by Emmy
hot and sweaty, sunny and rainy, 
biking and swimming, chilly and juicy
splashing and diving

We wish everyone a summer full of fun adventures and relaxing days!


  1. You didn't mention that Emmy's very favorite summer activity is running into friends at the beach! I wish you all a wonderful rest of the summer with many reading adventures. I wonder what Emmy's mama is reading.

    1. Hi Kyle ~ What a wonderful memory of Emmy pulling her beach chair over to be right next to you! Sadly, this mama hasn't been reading much of anything except the current issue of Oprah Magazine. What are you reading?