Children’s Book News: June 2021

The coming of June brings on our library’s Summer Reading Program.  Though it will come to you virtually, it will involve frequent live interactions with children and performers.  I have highlighted the June programs with a book representing each.  For further book suggestions, check out the book lists at the end of the reviews.  And don’t forget the June craft bags available for each child at the library beginning June 1 until we run out.  To all a wish for a happy summer filled with good times and, of course, good books!

On June 12 we will travel to Australia, learning about their culture and animals, in the program, Tails and Tales from Didgeridoo Down Under.

Audrey of the Outback, by Christine Harris

Suggested ages: 6-9 years

Audrey, a spunky, inquisitive girl of the 1930’s Australian outback, will appeal to fans of the beloved Ramona Quimby.  Audrey is filled with wonder about the fascinating world she lives in. Her questions are endless: “Does the sky touch the ground?”  “Why do trees grow up and not sideways?” Audrey’s older brother, Pride, can’t be bothered with her pestering and little Dougie lives in his own make-believe world. This leaves Audrey, a free-spirited young girl, to find her own way in making sense of her world and her place in it.  As a result, she becomes immersed in some rollicking adventures examining such questions as: What would it be like to live the life of a “swagman” (a bush traveler who earns money from odd jobs)? How much more fun would she have if she were a teacher rather than just a student?  Sprinkled throughout the book are numerous Australian words and terms which are helpfully explained in an “Interesting Words” appendix.  Reading Audrey of the Outback is a delightful journey down under with an irrepressible pal!

On June 19 you are all invited to The Tricky Dog Show with Rick Martin. You can enjoy a “tricky dogs” performance and get hints on how to train your own pet.    

The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate

Suggested ages: 8-11 years

Bob is a tiny mutt with a charming swagger one can’t resist.  He is of independent mind, sharing his frank outlook on others, as well as life, in his narration of this sequel to The One and Only Ivan.  Bob, rather than his best pal, Ivan, the gorilla, or Ruby, his baby elephant friend, is the star of this adventure.  Without a doubt, Bob knows all the tricks when it comes to manipulating humans, declaring himself to be self-reliant when making his way thru each day.  However, regardless of his self-confident nature, Bob has always felt a part of him was missing forever due to his precarious beginnings in life.  Would that emptiness ever be filled?  He is put to the test when a hurricane makes landfall, with devastating winds and rain striking the zoo, while he is visiting Ivan and Ruby on one of his walks with Julia, his young “owner” – a word that Bob completely dismisses.  With bravery and determination, Bob discovers the importance of truth and forgiveness in his search for the missing piece in his life. In the end, he gains a renewed sense of family and friendship.  I loved Bob’s droll assessment of humans and animals alike, as I found myself pulling for him all the way!

June 26 is the date for The Magic Evan Show.  Be entertained by a magic show and learn how to do your own magic tricks!

Abracadabra! Fun Magic Tricks for Kids, by Kristen Kelly and Ken Kelly

Suggested ages: 7 years and up

This is the perfect book for children who have always wanted to amaze their friends and family with astonishing magic tricks.  It contains 30 Tricks to make and perform.   The explanation for each trick includes the following sections: effect (what the audience sees), list of required materials, how to make the trick, if necessary, and how the trick is performed, step by step. Supportive photos and tips are found throughout.  An extra bonus are video links for each trick.  With such a detailed magic handbook, children will find that, with practice, they can perform “magic” and thus, as the authors write in their introduction, give the gift of magic to others.

Listed below are other books which support the Placitas Library Summer Reading Program and can be found at our library.

June 12/ Tails and Tales from Didgeridoo Down Under – Australia

            Audrey of the Outback, by Christine Harris

            Ready to Dream, by Donna Jo Napoli and Elena Furrow

            Australia, by Sean McCollum

            Kangaroos and the Outback/ Travel in Australia by Gilbert Morris

            Why Koala Has a Stumpy Tail, by Martha Hamilton

            Thea Stilton and the Mountain of Fire, by Geronimo Stilton

            Expedition Down Under, by Rebecca Carmi

            Possum Magic, by Mem Fox

June 19/ The Tricky Dog Show

There are lots and lots of books which “star” dogs.  Here are a few of the more outstanding ones.


           The Stray Dog, by Marc Simont

            No Dogs Allowed, by Sonia Manzano

            The Trouble with Dogs,” said Dad, by Bob Graham

            Gaston, by Kelly DiPucchio

            Cleo and the Coyote, by Elizabeth Levy

            Time for Bed, Fred, by Yasmeen Ismail

Juvenile Fiction:

            The One and Only Bob, by Katherine Applegate

            Everything for a Dog, by Ann M. Martin

            Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls

            Ribsy, by Beverly Cleary

            Adventures at Hound Hotel, Fearless Freddie, by Shelley Swanson Sateren

            Call of the Wild, by Jack London

June 26 / The Magic Evan Show

            Abracadabra! Fun Magic Tricks for Kids, by Kristen and Ken Kelly

            Big Magic for Little Hands, by Joshua Jay

            The Maker Magician’s Handbook, by Mario Marchese

            Magical Science: Magic Tricks for Young Scientists, by Eric Ladizinsky