Adventure Begins at the Library this Summer

by Cassie Wefald

Adventure Begins at the Library this Summer

By Jennifer Bergen, Program and Children’s Services Manager

Set Sail for Pancakes!

“Reading is a passport to countless adventures,” writes Mary Pope Osborne, author of the popular Magic Tree House series. “You can travel anywhere in the world, to any time and any place – and still be home in time for dinner!”

This summer, we celebrate reading with our summer reading theme, “Adventure Begins at Your Library!” We will be highlighting books about camping, hiking, traveling and exploring new things, as well as providing storytimes and events for kids, teens and adults. There’s even a “Magic Tree House” themed party, and one for “Choose Your Own Adventure” readers. The online reading challenge will provide incentives for all ages to enjoy fun leisure reading by earning small prizes, coupons and free books along the way.

Start your adventuring today by reading aloud to a young person in your life. Here are some new titles from our children’s collection to set the stage.

Set Sail for Pancakes” by Tim Kleyn is our choice for the StoryWalk© Downtown this summer. Start at the library on Poyntz and take a walk while you look for book pages in the windows of downtown businesses to read the story from beginning to end. You’ll meet Margot and Grandpa as they gather pancake ingredients from Chicken Island, Cow Island, and more. Their silly sailing adventure includes weathering out a storm together before they can get everything they need. You’ll definitely be wanting pancakes, too, by the end.

Carry on the sailing theme with the imaginative picture book, “Ahoy!” by Sophie Blackall. A child and grown-up get busy building ships from wooden chairs topped with sticks, flags, and held together by toilet paper. The typical adult keeps trying to get away to do the vacuuming but can’t resist the pull of the sea or the clutches of the giant squid! Blackall’s story reminds us to make time to play.

If you’re planning to go camping with kids this summer, “Gather Round” by David Covell is a beautiful book to share with the very young. With simple language and warm illustrations, we watch a small family and their new friends gather what they need to build a fire, make a stew, roast marshmallows, sing around the fire and look at the stars.

This is Not My Lunch Box” by Jennifer Dupuis, illustrated by Carol Schwartz, does an excellent job helping kids learn what wild critters eat. Each page features a lunch box filled with different food, from wiggly bugs to fruit and nuts to fresh fish and mice! Readers learn who would like that lunch when they turn the next page.

The library has some good camping activity books for kids, including “The Family Guide to Outdoor Adventures” by Creek Stewart with 30 projects to try in the wild or in your own backyard. Learn how to make a crown of wildflowers, cook breakfast in a paper bag, or build a structure with bricks made of mud and straw. You can’t go wrong spending time outdoors.

Sometimes adventures take place in the magical nighttime hours, as in “A Happy Place” by Britta Teckentrup. A child is visited by a star in her bedroom window, and together they go on a journey in nature to see what the animals are doing at night. In Kelly Zhang’s “Take Me to Laolao,” it is the moon that whispers to the child to come along on a journey to meet the Dragon King. Zhang’s story portrays Chinese mythology and lore with dreamy illustrations by Evie Zhu. The child, Lili, is reunited with her deceased grandmother, Laolao, in her dream, where they share some much needed together time.

In “Mabel and the Mountain” by Kim Hillyard, a very small fly has big ideas. She wants to climb a mountain, host a dinner party, and make friends with a shark! When other flies tell her she cannot do it, Mabel knows it’s more important to keep trying, and her persistence inspires others to have their own adventures, too.

Whether you’re traveling or staying in town this summer, you can go on as many adventures as you desire in the pages of a book.

Manhattan Public Library is a cornerstone of free and equal access to a world of ideas and information for the Manhattan, Kansas, community. Learn more at