Settle into summer with these children's books

The Beaufort County Public Library System is gearing up for its annual Summer Reading Program for all ages. Here are some great books to share with your children to help them "dig into reading" this summer:
Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
Double-paged illustrations featuring bright colors show a garden's progression from a handful of bulbs and seeds to a beautiful display of blooms in every color of the rainbow. The illustrations show an above-ground and underground view of the growth, while introducing new to preschooler vocabulary, such as "sow" and "seedlings." Each flower is labeled providing another learning opportunity, and young readers will enjoy finding the same flowers outside.
The Great Fuzz Frenzy by Janet Stevens
Endpapers show a large dog in dirt holding a tennis ball in his mouth, providing a clue to the book's plot. As the ball drops into a hole we see underground tunnels, worms and a group of surprised prairie dogs. Although stunned at first, the group soon begins to pull pieces of the ball's fuzz, dressing themselves in fuzzy slippers, sunglasses, earmuffs and tutus. Young children will enjoy the funny images of dressed-up prairie dogs and giggle at the final illustration of a dog with a new ball to begin the adventure again.
Mole's Hill by Lois Ehlert
A retelling of a Native American story, "Mole's Hill" features an industrious mole and her attempts to save her hill. As other burrowing animals try to force her to move, clever Mole keeps digging to add more dirt to her hill until it becomes a beautiful garden for all to enjoy. Illustrations in bold colors reflect the Woodland art forms of ribbon applique and sewn beadwork.
Digger Man by Andrea Zimmerman
A young boy with a fascination for construction equipment reveals his plan to buy a huge "digger." Young children who share the interest in big machines and dirt will love the illustrations of Digger Man scooping rocks, moving dirt and planting trees. Viewers will enjoy the result of the digger's work: a child-made playground featuring toy construction vehicles next to the real equipment.
Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion
Although it was published in 1956, the story of Harry remains a favorite among generations of dirt-attracting children who protest getting a bath. Children love seeing Harry burying the scrub brush in an attempt to avoid being bathed, and his adventures around town that cause him to become even dirtier until his family doesn't even recognize him. As with most classic tales, a problem is solved with a satisfying conclusion as Harry digs up the scrub brush, leads the way to the tub, and falls asleep clean and happy with a scrub brush he has under his pillow.
The library has a variety of special performances and activities for children this summer to help keep them encouraged to dig into reading all summer long, but remember, the Summer Reading Program isn't just for kids.
Why should they have all the fun?
Adults can participate by registering online, completing fun activities and, of course, reading. Our libraries have several events for all ages, so we hope to see you and your family at the library this summer.
For more information about the library's summer activities or recommendations of more great books, please call or visit your local library. You can also check our Facebook pages or our website for the latest Summer Reading news.
Melinda Vest is Children's Manager of the Bluffton Branch Library.
Original Island Packet story