July Kid Picks 2018

The Secrets of Ninja School by Deb Pilutti, 2018

(Ages 4 – 8)

My kids love anything that has to do with ninjas, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this fabulous new story.

On top of a steep, craggy hill sits Master Willow and his school for ninjas. Children attend to learn the ways of the ninja and discover their own secret skill. Even though Ruby works hard, she can’t seem to master the skills of invisibility, bravery, or patience. One night, however, when all the children exhibit homesickness, Ruby rises to the challenge and puts her training to the test to discover she is a talented storyteller and good friend.

With an engaging storyline and amusing pictures, this is a fantastic read aloud for all children, but it will be particularly reassuring to children who may take longer to find success at school than their classmates. I specifically love the message that with hard work and practice everyone’s strengths will eventually be revealed.


A Dog Named Doug by Karma Wilson ; illustrated by Matt Myers, 2018

(Ages 3 – 8)

“Once there was a dog named Doug. Doug liked to dig, but when Doug dug…oh boy, did Doug dig!” Filled with engaging illustrations and amusing, alliterative, rhyming text my children loved observing this fluffy brown dog dig his way around the world. The instances where the illustrations are combined with the text are particularly captivating. This delightful picture book is definitely a new bedtime favorite!


The Sandcastle That Lola Built by Megan Maynor ; illustrated by Kate Berube, 2018

(Ages 3 – 8)

With an adorable cumulative storyline loosely based off the classic, “The House That Jack Built” combined with underlying messages of inclusion and team work, The Sandcastle That Lola Built  has become a quick favorite in our house.

The story focuses on a little girl who spends a beautiful day at the beach building a sandcastle. When a boy steps on her creation by accident, Lola does not erupt in anger, but instead invites the boy to build with her. She encounters several other mishaps with children, but each time she politely addresses them and encourages the children to join her making new friends in the process.

I love how Lola asserts herself, but in a very nice way and is welcoming to all. Her new friends range in color and age. Lola includes everyone she meets, and with this group effort, the children create a truly spectacular sandcastle.

This book is delightful, charming, and perfect for summer!


Day at the Beach by Tom Booth , 2018.
(Ages 4 – 8)

Our family is loving this sweet and breezy beach read. Day at the Beach by Tom Booth stars Gideon, a boy who loves to build sandcastles with his little sister, Audrey. This summer, however, he is determined to build the most perfect sandcastle ever created. This means working ALONE.

My almost six-year-old son really related to Gideon, maybe because he has a little sister of his own and while he loves playing with her, he also really likes to create by himself. We all enjoyed watching as Gideon realizes that fame and glory isn’t always what it is cracked up to be and sometimes spending time with loved ones can lead to the most fun.


Rapunzel by Bethan Woollvin, 2017

(Ages 4 – 8)

In this playful twist on a classic fairy tale, Rapunzel is no ordinary girl locked in a tower. She is clever, brave, resourceful, and a real go-getter. She does not play the victim for long and in a satisfying conclusion, the witches are the ones who need to be frightened. My children cheered after reading this book for the first time and then begged for repeated readings.

Pops of yellow set against hues of black, white, and grey bring even more charm to this entertaining fractured fairy tale. And how awesome is this cover? The shifty eyes perfectly capture the essence of this empowering story.

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