School’s nearly out! This is the last flyer of the year, so if you want to stock up for summer reading, it’s a good opportunity. My suggestions? Here we go… 

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Elf
Best of Elf Pack – I’m not always a fan of these larger packs, as the contents are often pretty mixed and uneven, but there is very good stuff here, and it’s definitely worthwhile, even if the Curious George titles are the newer ones, not the classics, which are better.
Folk and Fairy Tales PackI’m a big fan of fairy tales for kids. and this collection has some versions that are pretty straight up fare, and a few that are great fun, like the James Marshall titles. It’s always good to have a version or two of the classics on your bookshelves!
The Cat in the Hat Value Pack – I really like these Cat in the hat science books, which manage to open
up topics and teach a few good solid facts in a really fresh and
engaging way.
Favourite Stories on DVD Library – I don’t often recommend DVDs, but these are seriously great picture
books brought to life in animation that is faithful to the original text
and images. They are originally from Weston Woods, who wins awards for
their work all the time, and come with great pedigree. Really great
stuff, but it is worth keeping in mind that the full set with something
like 30 DVDs will likely show up over the year at some point, so if you
really want to invest in these, it’s worth thinking about whether this
set is the one you want.
Franklin Classics Library - these stories are the original Franklin books, from Paulette Bourgeois,
rather than the later TV spinoffs. They are better written, the
illustrations are the real Franklin, the way we got to know him. A good
pick for growing up with.
***The Very Hungry Caterpillar – a straight-up classic, with very good reason. If you haven’t got this one, you should make this you ropportunity to add it to your collection.
***Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? – Another familiar classic, and a nice pattern book for early readers, too, this is another very solid pick.
My Little Stella Library – I love, love, love Stella and her little brother Sam, by Canadian treasure Marie-Louise Gay. The pair explore the sea, snow,
forest, and sky,  weaving imagination and adventure together with a dash
of wonder. This little library packs all four Stella books into one
little case, great for travel or for keeping this bundle of goodies all
in one place.
Make It! – We love books of craft ideas in my house, and this one has a handful of
fun recycled-material crafts. Inspiring the crafty and the
not-so-creative alike, books like this also help reinforce the skill of
following directions and reading for those details. Being DK, it will
also feature nice bright illustrations for kids to peruse for
inspiration.
Funny Family Pack – Phoebe Gilman is a great Canadian treasure, and this book is a really fun one about escaping from pirates, while Frieda Wishinsky’s Oonga Boonga is a cute one about new siblings and the importance of big brothers/sisters. I quite like both of these.

SeeSaw
One Love - I’ve reviewed this one and found it a cute, happy take on community
and loving those around you, adapted from Bob Marley’s song of the same
title.
Usborne 50 Things to Draw & Paint – I like these little Usborne books of art ideas. The pictures and
instructions are nice and clear, so kids can do much of this on their
own by this age, and my own little grade 2 loves looking through them
for ideas. These are also on frequent offer, so if this one isn’t what
you’re looking for, check back next month.
Magic Tree House Collection – I say it every month – this is one of the few series in this grade range
that I really like. It’s consistent, which young readers like, but it’s
also interesting, and a nice little introduction to different times and
places in history. It’s also a good bridge from non-fiction to fiction,
for kids who prefer some fact in their reading material. This set is massive, being the first 42 books (!!!), but this series is a monthly offer in various
different packs, so if this isn’t the set for you, you can always wait
for a different one.
The Magic School Bus Briefcase – I love the Magic School Bus books, and so do kids. They teach in a fun
story format, have lots of little extra bits to discover, and have lots
of goofy jokes that are pitched perfectly for kids. These picture book format stories are the originals, and nicely pitched for kinders to about grade 2.
Chester – Chester is a cheeky, obnoxious cat who won’t let his author get on with
her work and keeps inserting himself in the book, with ridiculous
results. Melanie Watt is a funny lady, and a major hit with kids, making
this a good pick.
The Cat in the Hat: Spring Into Summer…: – I really like these Cat in the hat science books, which manage to open
up topics and teach a few good solid facts in a really fresh and
engaging way.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars Summer Value Pack- The massive DK compendiums are gorgeous visual feasts, and perfect for
browsing. The big fans love them for their level of detail and the
thorough coverage of every aspect and character, while the reluctant and
less-than-strong readers love them for their chunking of text and
information. A great pick for a fan, and a good gift, too. The readers, meanwhile, are a pretty big hit for the younger fan. Together, this should keep your kid busy for a while!
The Farm Team – Linda Bailey and Bill Slavin are the phenomenal team behind the
Stanley series, and they are a dream team for truly funny books. In this
case, the book centres around a hockey game – a grudge match between
the Farm team and the Bush league. Of course, there’s mayhem, and plenty
of laughs.
***Classic Read-Alouds Mega Pack – This pack is a great collection, with all three of E.B. White’s, two of the Fudge books, and another unisex Judy Blume favourite. It’s all great stuff for reading with your kiddos, and all work for boy and girls alike. I would highly recommend this one for some summer reading!
***Summer Reading Library Grade 1 Pack – another pack with nice solid titles, well-picked for readers who are ready for a harder early chapter/higher beginner level. These are all the kind of thing you’d call favourites, and again, these will work for girls or boys alike. Good picks!
The Cat in the Hat: There’s No Place Like Space – I really like these Cat in the hat science books, which manage to open
up topics and teach a few good solid facts in a really fresh and
engaging way.

Lucky
Usborne 1000 Science Experiments – I am a big fan of science for kids. Not only do they learn about the world around them, but reading instructions and following them is a specific and very useful literacy skill. Win-win!
Fudge-a-mania – This good old Judy Blume chestnut has acquired classic status, and is
still much-requested by kids in grades 2-4. A good book for boys and
girls alike, kids very much relate to Fudge, it seems!
Chester’s Back! – as above: Chester is a cheeky, obnoxious cat who won’t let his author get on with
her work and keeps inserting himself in the book, with ridiculous
results. Melanie Watt is a funny lady, and a major hit with kids, making
this a good pick. This is the follow-up, and still good for some fun.
Magic Tree House #9-16 Pack – see above in SeeSaw for my thoughts on this series.
The Usborne Cook Book for Boys – I’ve
said it before – I am better off just kept out of the kitchen. But kids?
Kids should totally be in the kitchen learning to follow instructions
and measure things out, and this book has some good recipes you can make
together as well, and I love that having a book targeted for boys might help it get past any potential for the idea that cooking is a girly activity. Smart! 
Usborne 100 Paper Planes to Fly – This is a fun summer activity book, and ripe for experimenting with how small differences affect your results. It’s a fun gift, and hours of fun.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid - This blockbuster hit need no introduction for many of you, and this
month, Lucky is offering both #4 on its own, and a pack with the
whole series. Kids are eating these up, and the half-text, half-graphic
thing combined with serious funny is working really well for reluctant
readers.
The Essential Calvin & Hobbes – these are funny – you might remember them from a good 20-25 years ago?
They still appeal. I know a friend’s kid who is a major fan, in fact.
Readers and reluctant readers alike enjoy cartoons, so if your kid won’t
gravitate to a full-on novel just yet, these might grab his/her
attention in the meantime, not to mention that you can share some good
belly laughs reading them together!
National Geographic Kids Human Footprint – a great look at our effects on the earth for middle grade kids for those who really want to bring the eco into their life and raise their kids to respect the earth.
Ralph S Mouse Trio – Ralph Mouse and his motorcycle are a great hit with readers of early chapters. A classic trilogy by the author of the Ramona Quimby books, these are stories of friendship and small-scale adventure that are also wonderful for reading aloud.
Guinness World Records 2012 – These books have been
favourites for browsing for decades, and appeal to nearly every kid out
there. There is a new one every year, though you don’t need to replace
them annually, really. They are also offered fairly often, as they truly
are popular. They also make for great gift material!

Arrow
The Fire Ascending – the newest in this series of weighty tomes often enjoyed by readers of the Eragon series as well.
Amulet Boxed set (#1-3) – I’ve read the first 3, and can’t wait to get my paws on book 4. These are beautiful and full of adventure and fantasy. I reviewed them not long ago here, if you’d like more detail on them.
The 39 Clues boxed set – This series is written by some of the top names in adventurous kidslit,
and keep kids guessing and following along. If you get started with
these, be prepared to have an obsessed kid, but these are another
often-featured set, so you can always put this on the back burner and
know you can order later, too.
Hatchet – a Newbery Honor book by the excellent,
multi-award-winning Gary Paulsen. It is a story of survival and
redemption, and a good choice any child who enjoys the wilderness.
Everest Trilogy –
Percy Jackson & The Olympians – These. Are. Awesome. Kids have loved them, they read like you’re
watching it happen, and they may just spark an interest in Greek
mythology. I highly recommend these if your kid hasn’t read them yet.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Pack – This blockbuster hit need no introduction for many of you, and this
month, Lucky is offering both #4 on its own, and a pack with the
whole series. Kids are eating these up, and the half-text, half-graphic
thing combined with serious funny is working really well for reluctant
readers.
Klutz Friendship Bracelets & Klutz Yo-Yo Book- These are great craft kits, and come
with everything you need, as well as really clear instructions. Kids find it way harder to be bored in summer with some projects to take on, and they
make great gifts, too, so I like buying them here for a little less.
The Authoritative Calvin & Hobbes – these are funny – you might remember them from a good 20-25 years ago?
They still appeal. I know a friend’s kid who is a major fan, in fact.
Readers and reluctant readers alike enjoy cartoons, so if your kid won’t
gravitate to a full-on novel just yet, these might grab his/her
attention in the meantime, not to mention that you can share some good
belly laughs reading them together!
The Usborne Art Treasury – A book of introduction to art, looking at styles and media, rather than a how-to book, this is a wonderful start on art appreciation for the kid who is leaning toward the artsy.
The Penderwicks – this is a great read-aloud about a family and a friend and their adventures together. I don’t know any lovers of classics who haven’t enjoyed this one, which gives you an idea of the sort of reading it is.
Double Fudge – This good old Judy Blume chestnut has acquired classic status, and is
still much-requested by kids in grades 2-4. It may be a little on the younger end for this flyer, but still a good pick for kids who are not up to the denser stuff in this range.
War Horse – this Michael Morpugo is in the news a lot this past year, as the play was in
Toronto, and the movie came out. A story of a boy and a horse in
times of war, it’s not light reading either, but again, possesses the
magic of friendship and heroism.
Dear Canada War Diaries Collection – these diary-format books highlight major events in Canadian history from
the perspective of someone involved or affected, bringing history to
life. The
quality of these books in
generally quite high, and they are written by some top-drawer authors. 
Chronicles of Narnia Boxed Set – Another series that needs no introduction, because not only is it a
serious classic, but the movies have been coming out over the last few
years, bringing it a whole new audience. It’s seven books strong, a
perfect introduction to fantasy, and should be read by or to everyone.This could keep a kid busy for the whole summer… 
Get Outside – Like any parent, I’m all for kids getting outside, and with the help of some good ideas, it can be so much fun that it outweighs the bugbites and sunburn, if you play your cards right! This should help those of you who, like me, are not inspired to create organized fun by temperament and need a little nudge.
The Guinness Book of World Records 2012 – These books have been
favourites for browsing for decades, and appeal to nearly every kid out
there. There is a new one every year, though you don’t need to replace
them annually, really. They are also offered fairly often, as they truly
are popular. They also make for great gift material!
The Kane Chronicles: The Serpent’s Shadow – Rick Riordan’s other new series, with a fresh set of characters and a
focus on Egyptian mythology, rather than Greek. Riordan is a fantastic
writer, so these are every inch a hit with kids, just like his Percy
Jackson series.
DK Star Wars Character Encyclopedia – The massive DK compendiums are gorgeous visual feasts, and perfect for
browsing. The big fans love them for their level of detail and the
thorough coverage of every aspect and character, while the reluctant and
less-than-strong readers love them for their chunking of text and
information. A great pick for a fan, and a good gift, too.

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