A Day at the Beach

Whether or not you take the kids to the beach, it is fun to start thinking about it and reading about it. Here are four picture books from the silly to the serious about the beach and the wonderful things to find and do there.

The Seashore Book written by Charlotte Zolotow and illustrated by Wendall Minor, a picture book for ages 4-8

A gorgeously illustrated story about the sensory experience of a day at the beach, from hunting shells to watching waves. In this classic favorite, a mother describes what it would be like to spend a day at the shore to her son who has yet to see it.

Bats at the Beach, written and illustrated by Brian Lies, a picture book for ages 4-8

Instead of fun in the sun, what if bats went to the beach? Would it be fun in the gloom? In this book, the answer is yes! The bats in this goofy picture book do all the favorite family beach activities during the night hours. Lots of silly details in the illustrations make this a fun choice for kids to compare what they do with the imaginary bat families.

Summer at the Seashore by Sue Tarsky and Claire London, from the Taking a Walk series, a picture book for ages 2-6

Walk along the shore and what do you see? A fun counting book for colors, shapes, and numbers. Each page names the different items to search for and count, whether umbrellas or dogs.

Water Sings Blue: Water Poems written by Kate Coombs and illustrated by Meilo So, a poetry picture book for ages 5-9 

This book features soft watercolor illustrations and short poems about all kinds of wonders to be discovered in the ocean and on the beach. Suitable for reading and discussing aloud.

Music, Museums, and More!

If the coronavirus has cancelled that dream concert you’ve been waiting FOREVER to get tickets to, then it’s time to start that family band and get the show on the road (or at least your living room). Check out these great resources to get inspired and groovy at home with music!

Boston Children’s Museum Drum Circle

Make glass xylophones to learn about sound and vibrations, make a guitar using your body and string, or participate in a virtual drum circle with the Boston Children’s Museum.

Listen to professional musicians play from the Museum of Fine Arts’ collection of over 1,300 instruments, including a harpsichord from 1736, a 19th century fiddle from China, and a slide trumpet from 1835.

Learn from the masters with the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Home School, which includes instrument demonstrations, Youth Concert lesson plans for mini Mozarts and tiny Tchaikovskys, virtual lessons with BSO members, and episodes from WBUR’s Circle Round podcast in partnership with the BSO as part of their Concerts for Very Young People series.

And speaking of Circle Round, check out this excellent, award-winning podcast created for children ages 4 to 10. Each episode adapts a folktale from around the world and turns it into a sound- and music-rich radio play. Listen to Episode 21, ‘What Am I Hearing?’ with composer Eric Shimelonis as he goes through all of the instruments he uses to create music for the podcast.

For further exploration into music and the people that create it, take a look at these great titles for children, available through Libby and hoopla:

On hoopla

Bats in the Band by Brian Lies
Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin by Lloyd Moss (audiobook)

Plus check out the hundreds of albums, from Raffi to Disney, available on hoopla Kids

On Libby:

Pete the Cat’s World Tour by James Dean
Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln by Margarita Engle
Who Was: Popular Musicians by Various (audiobook)
When the Beat was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop by Laban Carrick Hill

On hoopla & Libby:

Trombone Shorty by Troy ‘Trombone Shorty’ Andrews 
Check out the ebook or audiobook on Overdrive/Libby and the ebook, movie, or Read Along on hoopla. 

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle
Check out the ebook on Overdrive/Libby or the audiobook, movie, or Read Along on hoopla.