By Mélina Mangal, author of Jayden’s Impossible Garden
Summer is coming, and with it, more unscheduled time for reading and exploring new activities. For some kids, trying new things is exciting, and they enjoy immersing themselves in a new experience. Others might feel more hesitant. Reading about new adventures and other kids’ experiences might open the door to a more successful first attempt. And there are many adventures that can only be reached through the pages of a book!
These books about nature, adventure, and imagination are perfect for young readers wanting to try something new.
All You Can Imagine, written and illustrated by Bernardo Marçolla
The world around you is easy to access when you use your imagination!
Bee Love (Can Be Hard), written by Alan Page and Kamie Page, and illustrated by David Geister
This sweet story of intergenerational relationships and overcoming fears highlights the important role of bees in our lives.
Fatima’s Great Outdoors, by Ambreen Tariq, and illustrated by Stevie Lewis
It will be Fatima’s first camping trip, and she has many adventures ahead of her!
Get Outdoors: A Mindfulness Guide to Noticing Nature, written by Paul Christelis, and illustrated by Elisa Paganelli
An easy-to-access guide for young readers to help them enjoy nature, intentionally.
Hiking Day, written by Anne Rockwell, and illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell
It’s the first hike up in the mountains for one young girl and her family. Readers delight with her as she encounters so many new sights.
I Want to Win! A book About Being a Good Sport, written by Sue Graves, and illustrated by Emanuela Carletti and Desideria Guicciardini
Bella always wants to win and struggles with new activities, as well as her emotions, in this approachable story.
Jayden’s Impossible Garden, written by Mélina Mangal, and illustrated by Ken Daley
Jayden wants his mother to see the beauty of nature in the city. When he joins forces with an elderly neighbor, who knows what will happen?
Ollie Outside, written by Michael Oberschneider, and illustrated by Guy Wolek
In this perfect-for-summer read, Ollie shows his family how to have fun outside, away from screens.
The Sandcastle That Lola Built, written by Megan Maynor, and illustrated by Kate Berube
In this retelling of The House That Jack Built, a young girl builds a sandcastle with found objects and friends in a tale of cooperation.
Where’s Rodney, written by Carmen Bogan, and illustrated by Floyd Cooper
When Rodney finally gets to go to a real park, he is transformed. Join Rodney on his journey in this beautiful book illustrated by the late Floyd Cooper.
Working at the intersection of nature, literature, and culture, Mélina Mangal’s writing highlights young people whose voices are rarely heard and the people and places that inspire them to explore their world. She is the author of short stories and biographies for young people, including The Vast Wonder of the World: Biologist Ernest Everett Just, winner of the Carter G. Woodson Book Award and named an NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People. Mélina also works as a school library teacher in Minnesota and enjoys spending time outdoors with her family, whether it’s in her backyard or hiking in the woods.
Mélina is the author of Jayden’s Impossible Garden.
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