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2007 Summer reading guide

Summer's nearly here, bringing the hope of more leisure time to dive into stories that inspire and delight. We asked Lori Mitchell of Island Books on Mercer Island for her top picks for summer reading; her list includes some classics -- and some wonderful new favorites -- to read aloud or alone.

AGES 0-2

Mr. Gumpy's Outing by John Burningham. A boat ride on the river with Mr. Gumpy, and everyone wants to come along! There's an underlying theme of unconditional acceptance. A good choice for parents itching to add a few"moo's" and"baa's" to the telling.

This Little Piggy and Other Rhymes by Jane Yolen (includes accompanying CD). An anthology of lap songs, clapping games and action rhymes. Warmly illustrated by Will Hillenbrand.

AGES 3-5

Earth Mother by Ellen Jackson. "All of creation, in its own way, is perfect." Illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon.

I Love Tools by Philemon Sturges. Follow the making of a birdhouse on a summer day in this rhyming paean to tools. With illustrations by Shari Halpern.

AGES 6-10

Wildfire by Taylor Morrison. The people, the tools and the techniques of subduing blazing wildfires.

BFG by Roald Dahl. The "Big Friendly Giant" has kidnapped Sophie! Great to read aloud or alone.

AGES 11-14

Gemini Summer by Iain Lawrence. The winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award. Danny is convinced that a bedraggled stray dog is his brother come back to life.

The 131/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers. A whimsical and intelligent adventure narrated by the unique voice of Captain Bluebear and set in the imaginative land of Zamonia. Perfect for any age.

AGES 15-18

The World According to Dog: Poems and Teen Voices by Joyce Sidman. An homage to canines in a handsome photo-illustrated edition.

Across the Nightingale Floor: Tales of the Otori, Book 1 by Lian Hearn. Set in feudal pseudo-Japan, this compelling fantasy features mystical powers, martial arts, heroes and romance.


Chew on This: Everything You Don't Want to Know About Fast Food by Eric Schlosser and Charles Wilson (ages 11-16). Fast Food Nation for the younger generation.

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