June 14


Get Outside! 10 Fresh Air Favorites! by Beth Panageotou

Summer vacation approaches! Fresh air, sunshine and time for kids to say more than once, “I’m Bored!” This is a good thing! Boredom is a good thing! Wait…what? Boredom is a good thing?? It sure is!


The I’m Bored’s lead to mud pies and chalk drawings and pretend.  They lead to nature walks and summersaults in the grass and bike rides up and down the sidewalk. The I’m Bored’s lead to glue and hopscotch and cookie baking and rock collecting. Most importantly, the I’m Bored’s lead to BOOKS!


With this is mind, I’ve collected a list of ten picture books that lead the I’m Bored’s, books in hand, outside! These books combine beautiful pictures, great text and settings that will activate imaginations and lead to many summer adventures!


Come on Rain

1. Come On, Rain! (Karen Hesse and Jon J Muth; 1999)

It’s HOT! It’s “fry an egg on the sidewalk” hot. Tessie and her friends want rain! They need it! Lyrical text and watercolor illustrations will make you feel the sun and rain with the girls and pull a ‘Gene Kelly’ the next time it showers!

Miss Rumphius

2. Miss Rumphius (Barbara Cooney; 1982)

“You must do something to make the world more beautiful.” The Lupine Lady sets out to do just that and along the way leads the most exciting of lives.  The colors and images jump off the pages in this classic book that will inspire you to join Miss Rumphius on her many adventures and create some of your own!

No Place

3. No Place Like Home (Jonathan Emmett and Vanessa Cabban; 2004)

Mole wants a new house. He knows exactly what his new house should have. Or so he thinks. He and his friends, Squirrel and Hedgehog, set off to find a change of scenery and what they find is something totally different.  This book is perfect for the end of a long day of playing!


Pig Kahuna Pirates

4. Pig Kahuna Pirates (Jennifer Sattler; 2014)

Grumpy and cranky, Dink is not feeling the beach at all. Luckily Fergus is there to save the day and create a great game along the way! The next time there’s a case of grumpiness in your house, just say Arg!

5. Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! (Candace Fleming and G. Brian Karas; 2002)

Bunnies, veggies and an angry gardener! Oh my! This fantastic read-aloud with great sound effects and comical text will have you cheering for one side or the other (or both!) as you chase the rabbits away from your vegetable patch!


Curious Garden

6. The Curious Garden (Peter Brown; 2009)

Liam is curious and caring and creates a green space you will immediately fall in love with. You will be inspired to plant and grow and share!
Red Sings

7. Red Sings from Treetops: a year in colors (Joyce Sidman and Pamela Zagarenski; 2009)

A rainbow of colors, text and mixed media illustrations make this one of my all time favorites. Joyce Sidman does an excellent job of making you feel the colors of each season. And a little poetry is always fun on a hot day!


Camp Rex

8. Camp Rex (Molly Idle; 2014)

“Searching for an outing to enjoy with your friends? Consider camping!” OK! This handbook for camping may include dinosaurs, a curious raccoon and a marshmallow or two…but don’t they all? The illustrations will have you laughing out loud as you make your own way through this outdoor adventure!


Theas Tree

9. Thea’s Tree (Alison Jackson and Janet Pedersen; 2008)

Did you ever wonder what would happen if you planted some plain old seeds? You know…old peas or beans or whatnot. Would they grow? Would they bring new vegetables? Do nothing at all? Told through a series of letters, Thea plants an old bean for a science project.  What happens next will have you wondering if you may have stumbled upon a favorite fairytale with a twist!


Duck and Goose

10. Duck and Goose Go To The Beach (Tad Hills 2014)

“I’m pretty sure I love the beach!” says Duck in my new favorite picture book. Duck and Goose and their funny adventures on their way to the beach are perfect for a day that calls for adventure. After reading this, you will want to find new ways and take new paths just as long as it leads back home!


Beth Panageotou is the co-host of the #virtualbookclub book chats on twitter (@vbcbooks), creator of the Mission Read campaign, an organic grassroots literacy campaign stressing the “need to read!” and co-founder of Page’s Corner. She is an information junkie with an obsession with seashells from the Jersey shore, secretly wishes to be JB Fletcher and loves the constant chaos of life with her two daughters. Bucket list item: to be on Sesame Street. You can find Beth on Twitter as @epan11.