Brianna’s Books: June Favorites 2024

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It’s summer (almost)! If you’re wanting to stay inside and read lots of books to avoid the heat and cicadas, I’ve got you covered. I’d rather be covered in piles of books to be read than covered in cicadas.

Picture Books

Not-a-Box City coverNot-a-Box City” by Antoinette Portis

This is a sequel of sorts to Portis’ “Not a Box,” but you can absolutely read this one first. The protagonist bunny is excited to build a city out of a plethora of cardboard boxes. When other animals offer to help, the bunny reluctantly agrees while emphasizing, “But this is my city.” When some helpers don’t consult the bunny first, it leads to hurt feelings that are soon repaired. Bunny even learns to appreciate sharing their joint creation. Though it’s not explicitly stated, this would be an excellent book to start conversations with big siblings who are learning how to let others be involved. The simple illustrations and text are charming, and could easily inspire more cardboard box play!

Brandon and the Baby coverBrandon and the Baby” by Brian Pinkney

Continuing with the sibling theme, this book is about how Brandon adjusts to having a new baby brother in the house. Brandon usually loves all the big boy things he can do, like sitting in a big chair at the table, and sleeping in a big boy bed. Until the baby gets to do things that seem a lot more fun, like eating in a special little chair, and sleeping in a cozy little crib, and getting more attention from Mommy and Daddy. Every time Brandon is about to get upset, however, his special plaid blanket transforms into an exciting animal that distracts and comforts him. Soon, Brandon and blankie are even willing and able to distract and comfort the new baby. This is a sweet and beautifully illustrated story that will help siblings as they’re going through big life transitions.

Chapter Books

They Call Me No Sam! coverThey Call Me No Sam!” written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Mike Lowery

I really enjoy pugs, and this book is no exception. Sam is a well-intentioned and overconfident pug, who relates to the reader how he heroically defends his new scientist family from evil. The funny thing is, Sam actually does save the day, even though his perceptions of threats are more than a little bit off. The “deadly assassination robot” (the vacuum) and “brain-melting heat cannon” (a hair-dryer) are top priority threats…while the mysterious people in an unmarked van that’s parked across the street are definitely friends! This book combines humor and heart, with delightfully over the top situations balanced by Sam’s love for his new family. There are cartoon illustrations throughout, in the vein of all the popular diary books, which makes this a natural choice for both dog lovers and Wimpy Kid fans.

Roswell Johnson Saves the World coverRoswell Johnson Saves the World” by Chris Colfer 

This author is well-known for his “Land of Stories” books, and now he’s heading to outer space! Roswell Johnson is obsessed with UFOs, which is fitting since his late father named him after the UFO crash in Roswell. He’s looking for his grandparents’ missing chicken one day, when he (and the chicken) are accidentally abducted by aliens. Roswell is thrilled, until he and the friendly aliens are captured by other aliens who have much more nefarious plans. Soon Roswell is working with a ragtag crew of aliens to seek help from the Galactic Alliance before Earth is destroyed — but the threat to Earth may originate much closer to home. This book will satisfy kids looking for an adventure as well as astronomy enthusiasts, as the author throws in plenty of factual information about space.