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July's Triple-Dip Picks

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

July holds a bevy of bee-lights that make the good ol’ summertime memorable—set the scorching sizzles aside with cannonballs into a pool, lick rainbow sprinkles off a cherry-topped sundae and frolic in a park where all things lush and green regenerate wilted spirits.


Clover’s summer-themed books, awesome “Triple-Dip-Picks,” can be checked out at your local library, another terrific place to while away a triple-digit day.


Stay cool—Page On!


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.


Youngest Read


Debut author Jack Wong makes a splash with “When You Can Swim,” the story of children who learn to brave the water, and in doing so reap countless rewards, within and without.


As a boy, Wong was afraid of swimming outdoors—the bottomless deep was fearful, the unknown scary. Though indoor pools were small and more manageable, they brought on concerns too. Wong’s skin was a different color than many of the other swimmers. How would he avoid standing out in a crowd?


Using boys and girls of various ages, Wong channels his childhood worry into a gorgeous new book about the wonder of water, the glory of swimming outdoors surrounded by nature and stroking away indoors too.

“When you can swim, first I’ll take you to the ocean, past the sandpipers tracing the shape of a wave on the shore past the edge of wet splashing your ankles to receive the water’s welcome.”


Who could pass up the delight of a beach experience as tempting as this?


“When you can swim … I’ll lift my head to make sure the shore hasn’t wandered too far just remember to wriggle your toes now and then.”


With reassurances offered, fear is felt but worked through, as children try out the water getting braver with each page turn and glorying in the beauty of a watery world they couldn’t have imagined if they hadn’t gotten their tootsies wet.



Check it out from the library

Middle Read


“Ice Cream Man: How Augustus Jackson Made a Sweet Treat Better,” is sure to have kids’ taste-buds screaming for ice cream. The history of our nation’s most popular dessert comes to vivid life in gloriously bright, appetizing illustrations by Keith Mallett and rewarding text by Glenda Armand and Kim Freeman.


Jackson was born in 1808, when most Blacks were enslaved. Fortunately, his birthplace was Philadelphia, Pa., where slavery was against the law; this made his desire to work at the White House more of a possibility.


At 17, Jackson got a job in the great house’s kitchen where he became an expert “… at making a cold, sweet pudding …” “… in a wooden bucket with a metal cannister.” Jackson loved making ice cream for special parties, but he wanted the treat to be available to others, not just to “… fancy-dressed people.”


Jackson’s new dream was born. At age 22, he returned to Philadelphia and opened an ice cream parlor. In the ensuing years, he perfected making ice cream in a cannister, surrounding the container with rock salt, which made the mixture freeze and stay frozen for delivery to other places. With his contribution to ice cream, “Augustus Jackson made people smile.”


Check it out from the library


Oldest Read


Told from a dog’s point of view, “The Eyes and the Impossible” delights with the tale of Johannes, a courageous four-legged wonder that runs faster than a comet, and spouts eloquent phrases with the panache of a college professor.


Author Dave Eggers scores with a creative story set in a huge ocean-side park on an island. Many animals call the park home—squirrels, raccoons, bison, ducks and a sea gull that’s Johannes’ best friend. All have distinct personalities, their voices at times funny, especially the ducks, a breed of waterfowl that gets on Johannes’ last nerve. The animals charm and humor in this page-turner, embellished with actual paintings from master artists.


The three bison live in a fenced enclosure of the park, a fact that begins to ruffle Johannes’ fur. Why can’t they run free, the loyal canine wonders. Johannes is all about being free, wants nothing to do with being collared and taken for walks instead of having the run of the park where he was born.


Johannes has duties given to him by Freya, the bison. He’s tasked with dashing about the park to check on things, reporting back to the bison three because the big “mounds on hooves” are the park’s ruling faction. When Johannes notices changes taking place, new buildings being built and new staff, he’s alarmed.


His discoveries set off a plan masterminded by Johannes, a dogged animal determined to be a hero and offer the bison the freedom they deserve. As his plan unfurls, Johannes uncovers shocking information he isn’t prepared for.


“The Eyes and the Impossible” is impossible not to love, with a fast-paced plot, an ingenious, original main character and a cast of adorable characters certain to capture hearts.


Check it out from the library


Written by Chris Stuckenschneider. Copyright 2023, Community Literacy Foundation.



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