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Beach Reads


For the August issue, Kids VT asked local librarians to recommend "beach reads" for kids — fun, breezy books perfect for whiling away the last days of summer.


Rattletrap Car by Phyllis Root, Ages 3-7

On a blazing hot day, Junie, Jakie, Poppa and the baby want to cool off in the lake. But can they make the trip in their old jalopy? Each time the car breaks down, a family member improvises a solution with items such as a beach ball, surfboard and snacks.

This "silly, fun summertime book" is "full of surprises and creative fixes," says Melissa Strayton, youth services librarian at Norman Williams Library in Woodstock. The rhythmic repetition, onomatopoeia and nonsense words are sure to delight young listeners, she adds.


Pictures From Our Vacation, by Lynne Rae Perkins, Ages 4-8

Before departing on a family cross-country road trip, Mom gives her kids cameras and notebooks to document their travels. But the young narrator quickly realizes that a camera can't capture the daydreams that occupy a backseat traveler's mind.

"In an age where parents are trying to leave their devices at home, this story is a good reminder that our memories and experiences are always beyond the reach of documentation," says Katie Bosley, children's librarian at Pierson Library in Shelburne. The illustrated tale "so perfectly captures the small, yet universal, moments of traveling that it serves as an instant portal back to our own childhoods" she adds.


Rooftoppers, by Katherine Rundell, Ages 8-12

Charles, a gangly young scholar, finds Sophie when she is 1 year old, floating on a cello case after a shipwreck. Twelve years later, when the National Childcare Agency decides that Charles is an unfit guardian, the pair flees to Paris, where Sophie searches for her mother and meets an extraordinary new friend named Matteo.

"From the moment I opened this book I was pulled into life with Sophie and Charles," says Beth Reynolds, children's librarian at Norwich Public Library. "When they head to Paris to try and find the answer to a mystery, I tagged along. When Sophie meets Matteo and discovers the rooftops of the city, I felt myself almost touch the sky. I want to give this book to everyone I know so they can have their own Parisian getaway and jot down some of Charles' charming words of wisdom."

This article was originally published in Seven Days' monthly parenting magazine, Kids VT.