Feed Me Books Friday: So Long Summer

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Good to the Last Salty Drop

Last week I shared my pick for a Labor Day book to share with your sprout, if you’re inclined to share the explanation behind the long weekend. Labor Day weekend is marked by pool-side cook-outs, warm nights around a campfire, and trips to the shore to enjoy one last day of barefoot. Unfortunately, these activities are often book-ended by snarls of traffic on the highway, so my family typically spends Labor Day at home having a casual barbeque with local friends and family. We made our escape to the seashore last week to soak in the summer sun, breathe in the salty air, and wiggle our toes in the sand. B is starting to grasp the concept of seasons, and he wished the beach a forlorn goodbye when we packed up our things, evidently aware that it would be a while before we return.

Keep a Little Summer on the Shelf

Just like we enjoy reading our souvenir books to remind us of vacations past, who doesn’t enjoy an out of season book now and then to conjure up fond memories? Grandma found it pretty funny when B picked a Santa book from her shelf to read before his nap at her house last month, but the novelty was fun – Christmas in July! My recommendation for you this week will bring that grit between your toes sensation right back to life even in the chills of December. Honestly, whether or not you go with my pick, try mixing it up with an out-of-season story now and then. A little cognitive dissonance is good for us all, and it’s a great way to talk about seasons and the passage of time with your child as you recall memories and anticipate coming excitement.

A Fleet of Feet
Beach Feet
Lynn Reiser’s Beach Feet is my end-of-summer pick for several reasons. I love the focus on the experience of feet at the beach, I love the whimsical illustrations that invite poring over, I love the combination of simple text with more detailed and complex “footnotes,” and I love Reiser’s back-flap statement that “on beach days I exist in my feet.” The main text of the book is a long string of descriptive foot phrases such as, “claw feet, paw feet, flat feet, fin feet…” that can also read as a free verse poem (printed on a single page at the end). Most pages include several “footnotes” which explain either the descriptors used or the animals in the illustration in a sentence or two. So you not only get a fun beach frolic of a read, but some cognitive development with language and vocabulary. Regular beach visitors could almost use this as a amateur field guide to shore creatures. We prefer to enjoy the rhythm of the main text and the adventures of the feet in the pictures, pausing to peruse a footnote when B requests extra information. The final line of the book is “Good-bye, feet,” which I found especially poignant after our beach visit punctuated by B’s good-bye.

Appropriate for toddlers, preschoolers, primary grades.

What are you doing to enjoy the end of the season? What are you looking forward to in the coming one? Please share in the comments and link up a book pick if you have one!


Janna September 2, 2010 at 11:33 PM  

Such happy family memories! We will take a short trip to see a few family members.

I love the idea of souvenir books!

I'm so glad to be able to participate this week!

Raising a Happy Child September 3, 2010 at 10:32 AM  

Great memories. We plan to do something fun this weekend too, but the season change is not as pronounced here - we are still hoping for a warm September. I will link up tomorrow.

jeannine: waddlee-ah-chaa September 7, 2010 at 9:31 AM  

It's nice homeschooling. We never actually say goodbye to summer. We just add a little more reading, writing and math back into our lives. We're kicking the year off with journal writing and reading books "All About Me" and our special memories.

Ginny Marie September 7, 2010 at 4:21 PM  

The beach where we spend time is on fresh water...at Lake Michigan! Unfortunately, we were unable to go this year, but we have been enjoying the book "Ladybug Girl at the Beach." My girls love it!

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