On the Move
Updated: Jan 28
With summer in full swing, kids will be “On the Move,” heading off for camp or vacation fun with family and friends. To commemorate this exciting time, Clover thought it flitting to suggest reads that can take you places.
As you get ready to fly the skies, hit the road or chug the tracks, why not pack a book or two? That way you won’t stymie all you’ve learned during the school year, plus you’ll have stories to entertain in quiet times when you’re taking a break from sun, surf or mountain-top cool. Page On—no matter where you land.
The Community Literacy Foundation, in partnership with Neighborhood Reads and with support from its sponsors, provides these books to 40 school and public libraries in Washington, Union, Pacific, St. Clair and surrounding communities. Learn more at CommunityLiteracyFoundation.org.
Miles, an aged but clever canine, is the high-flying star of “Air Miles,” a lovely story that will resonate with readers of all ages. This sweet tale is based on the real-life story of a Jack Russell owned by John Burningham. Both the dog and Burningham passed away before the book was finished, but their friend Bill Salaman used what Burningham told him about the story to bring it to fruition.
We meet Miles when he’s achy with years, his bones tired, his spark tarnished. Miles needs an emotional boost. In a previous book, Miles had loved driving a car, so when his owners Norman Trudge and his mom Alice Trudge find out their neighbor Mr. Huddy is building a small plane, they jump at the chance to see if Miles can pilot the one-seater in hopes of cheering him up.
Miles takes to the plane like a duck to water, his flights growing longer and higher—his expertise on display in gorgeous, inspiring illustrations by masterful artist Helen Oxenbury, wife of the late John Burningham. This poignant treasure celebrates a talented man who wrote more than 30 pictures books and illustrated others by various authors. It’s quite a tribute.
Kids come up with a crafty solution to a conundrum that arises when a gargantuan tractor trailer, with a “load, extra large,” fails to make a switchback on a twisty road on a small island. “Big Truck Little Island,” written and illustrated by Chris Van Dusen, is based on the true story of a truck that really did block a road on Vinalhaven, an island off the coast of Maine.
The story begins with the vehicle’s voyage to the island, it’s cargo under wraps as a tugboat pulls it to shore. A colorful map of the island details the truck’s route, a narrow road that seems impossibly tricky for the driver to maneuver. Sure enough, he doesn’t. The tractor trailer can’t make a turn, goes off the road and becomes mired in squishy mud, stuck as stuck can be.
About then, two cars arrive from the north—the kids inside in a hurry to get to where they’re going—from the south two more cars are waylaid, their young occupants also in a rush. The solution the kids come up with is totally ingenious, their idea saving the day.
Big, colorful illustrations pop in this tale told in jaunty, artful rhyme. An extra surprise is revealed at the end—the truck’s cargo “wheely” fun.
Add another magical train to author Lev Grossman’s railyard. The author captivates with “The Golden Swift” the second book in a series that introduced readers to “The Silver Arrow,” a train that talks and is commandeered by conductors Kate, age 11, and her brother Tom, age 9. The Silver Arrow was given to Kate as a gift on her 11th birthday by her Uncle Herbert, an eccentric billionaire wizard. Since the gift was bestowed, Kate and Tom have made it their mission to save endangered, or displaced, animals from around the world, transferring them in the train.
There’s trouble as the new book opens. Uncle Herbert has disappeared and it’s his job to detail the timetables for The Silver Arrow. Additionally, Kate is having trouble juggling a “double life” — her school responsibilities and her desire to be a hero and save every animal she possibly can, “… it was never, never enough.”
In an effort to locate Uncle Herbert, Kate and Tom take off, putting The Silver Arrow in danger because they’re operating without a timetable. This almost causes them to crash headlong into The Golden Swift, a sleek, attractive steam train barreling down the tracks. They avoid a collision and set off in pursuit, eventually discovering that The Golden Swift is being conducted by Jag, a boy from Kate’s school who’s on a like mission. Eventually Jag and Kate join forces but not before the girl puts up a fuss, believing she’s more on track than Jag ever will be.
There are adventures aplenty and lots animal facts that young readers will find fascinating in this quick read.
Written by Chris Stuckenschneider. Copyright 2022, Community Literacy Foundation. Reprinted with permission.