Theme Thursday: School’s Out- and Summer’s here!

We’re nearing the end of the first week of the holidays and we’re dreaming of the ways we’d fill our long break (if we weren’t in office keeping busy!). Enthused by a new KS2 novel by Julia Green: The Wilderness War, which is a lovely story with a strong environmental theme set over a school summer holiday, Harriet, one of our SLS Librarians, has produced a mini booklist of titles with a sultry summery feel…

Summer Books


  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

It all begins on a summer afternoon, when it’s too hot outside to do anything but sit with your big sister, who is reading a very dull looking book…

  • Summer Evening by Walter De la Mare, illustrated by Carolina Rabei

Another seasonal poem by de la Mare that Rabei has selected to illustrate as a picture book, with a suitably warm glowing palette.

  • Days Like This by Simon James

More poems for the very youngest children; simple and carefree verses matched by his free style illustrations

  • Lob by Linda Newbery

A gentle story of family loss and the healing qualities of nature, with a touch of the supernatural – is Lob real or the legendary Green Man?

  • A Summery Saturday Morning by Margaret Mahy

A rollicking, bouncy rhyme in Mahy’s inimitable style, brightly illustrated by Selina Young

And ending with one of my own favourites from childhood:

  • The Children Who Lived in a Barn by Eleanor Graham

This was so memorable for me because the story of a whole family of siblings, seemingly abandoned by their parents and having to find ways to survive on their own felt wonderfully free and exciting. Ever since I’ve always wanted to try cooking in a hay box, but never have – maybe the reality wouldn’t be so interesting?

PLUS, some non-fiction…

  • Nature Adventures by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom

This and other nature books by this wonderful pair of writers just beg to be taken outside. Get your binoculars, put on your boots and out you go!

  • Usborne Spotter’s Guides

Children like to count things off, and I remember loving schemes like the I-Spy books which encouraged young enthusiasts to spot different items and win rewards. These little books also let users tick each flower, bird etc found, then score according to rarity!

  • British Mammals by Victoria Munson

A little Wayland series which also includes British Birds with simple entries and clear photographs.

Our other Theme Thursday lists can be found here.


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