Books make great companions on a trip to the oceanside


Editor's Note: Jerdine Nolen discusses summer reading suggestions. Her column appears bi-weekly.

It's summer! Time to load up the car and head for the beach. Be sure to bring along an ample supply of good books for the ride. Here are some suggestions:

Caldecott and Honor Books -- 2000

"Joseph Had A Little Overcoat" by Simms Taback

"A Child's Calendar" by John Updike

"Sector 7" by David Wiesner

"When Sophie Gets Angry -- Really, Really Angry" by Molly Garrett Bang

"The Ugly Duckling" illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

Under 5

"Animal Noises: A Pull-Tab Book" by Dawn Apperley

"Arf! Beg! Catch!: Dogs from A to Z" by Henry Horenstein

"Bark George" by Jules Feiffer

"Celeste: A Day in the Park" by Martin Matje

"First Steps" by Lee Wardlaw

"Five Trucks" by Brian Floca

"Buzz" by Janet S. Wong

"Frozen Noses" by Jan Carr

"123 Pop!" by Rachel Isadora

"Emily's First 100 Days of School" by Rosemary Wells

For 5- and 6-Year-Olds

"Trouble With Trolls" by Jan Brett

"One Hot Summer Day" by Nina Crews

"The Quilt" by Ann Jonas

"Clean Your Room, Harvey Moon" by Pat Cummings

"Yoko" by Rosemary Wells

"The Iron Giant" by Ted Hughes

Alphabet Books

"A Is for Salad" by Mike Lester

"Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" by John Archambault

"Alligators All Around: An Alphabet" by Maurice Sendak

"CDB!" by William Steig

A resident of Ellicott City, Jerdine Nolen is the award-winning children's author of "Harvey Potter's Balloon" and "Raising Dragons." Her most recent book is "Big Jabe." She is a former teacher and administrator in elementary education.

Holiday brings history to life

Make this Fourth of July memorable when you and your kids bring history to life. The Declaration of Independence stands together with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as priceless reminders of our country's best intentions -- as well as powerful examples of how much influence the written word exerts toward the building of a nation. Read examples of what life might've been like for a colonist through the "Dear America" or "My Name is America" series of historical fiction. Rediscover the words and music of our national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner," conceived by Francis Scott Key right here in Baltimore at Fort McHenry as it was being bombarded by the British during the War of 1812 (read more about this landmark at htm). The battered remains of the flag flown at that battle are under-going a meticulous restoration at the Smithsonian. Find out more about it at news/features/starspangle/ starspangle.html. Soon the fireworks will be going on inside your children's' heads as well as in the skies above!

-- Athima Chansanchai

Summer Reading Activities

Many families begin their day with a cup of joe reading the paper. A newspaper fulfills so many roles: information disseminator, entertainer, debate provocateur ... And it is a vital way to reinforce the importance of reading in our everyday lives. Passing this tradition onto the next generation can be easy if you make it the centerpiece of a project the whole family can get involved with: a family-based publication. You'll need: strong paper, felt pens, glue, photographs and a pen.

Check out your local paper (the one right in front of you would be a solid choice) to get an idea on how to lay it out. You can start with just a front page and move onto one-page sections such as special events, sports, home and family. Tailor sections to match your family: holidays, work, school, pets. Write or type stories into columns and use photos and drawings. Do interviews with family members, friends and neighbors.

This and other great activities can be found in "365 Afterschool Activities" by Sheila Ellison and Judith Gray. Flip through it, and you will see that you can do these projects whenever your family has some free time!

-- Athima Chansanchai

On Wednesdays: The Just for Kids section with read-aloud story, puzzles and poster

The Sun invites readers to send in tips about encouraging children to read. We will print them on this page or on, our place on the Internet. Please include your name, town and daytime phone number. Send suggestions by fax to 410-783-2519; by e-mail to sun.features@baltsun. com; or by mail to Reading by 9 Parent Tips, The Sun, Features Department, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278.

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