Travel Buddies for Family Reading


This post is part of the PTA Family Reading Challenge Blog Party Challenge series. View the full post on “The Busy Librarian”.

It’s summer break and the Winner family is gearing up for vacation and we’re bringing along some of our best pals to make sure our bedtimes away from home are as home-like as possible.

Booklight? Check.

Pengiun stuffed animal friend? At the ready.

Book pals? Sounding off!9781442435827

Warning: Do Not Open This Book! by Adam Lehrhaupt and Matthew Forsythe
This book is the an exceptional read aloud, especially for bedtime. Monkeys are set loose in the book and, just as things are getting way out of hand, a plan is hatched. The energy and anticipation of what will come next is enough to wear any young one out, and the satisfying ending eases you into a place of restfulness. This one will probably be read every single night. And throughout the day.9780763675189

The World of Mamoko in the Time of Dragons by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski
This wordless story has more characters and interwoven plot lines than Game of Thrones, and that’s a very good thing when it comes to bedtime favorites. Choose a character and tell his or her story aloud as you follow the character through the day and throughout the day’s adventures. My son never seems to pick the same character to start out, but always ends up switching over to his favorites by the end. I’m talking about you, kind witch looking for those strange mushrooms!


George by Alex Gino
My wife and I are both reading this book, but we’re reading it separately. It started out that way because I couldn’t wait another moment to start reading this story of a boy who identifies as a girl and wants nothing more in the world than to be cast in the lead role of Charlotte in her’s school’s production of Charlotte’s Web. Read this story of a transgender youth feels immediately like you’re sharing in something very special. Something that not everyone will understand or agree with or find the same value there in, but one that’s important because of the way it challenges us to think about others through the lens of diversity. The subject matter is actually very personal to me and it’s one that I hope finds a home with just the right readers, both young and old, as I think it’s a very important story to tell. My wife and I read this book almost as a book club with one another, discussing the story daily throughout different points of our day when George was on our minds. I’ve found myself reading excerpts aloud to friends and I’m hoping to do the same over vacation with some of our extended family members.


Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate
Now here’s a book we’ve actually been saving just so that we could read it aloud together. My wife and I read aloud The One and Only Ivan, Katherine’s Newbery-winning story of a gorilla who lived out most of his life in a shopping mall, and the moment the advanced copy arrived on our doorstep we knew it would be something worth setting time aside to enjoy aloud as a family. There’s an imaginary cat. There’s a family on the verge of losing everything. And there’s a boy in need of a friend. I think we’ll be quick to fall in love with this one.

No matter what books you invite along on your travel plans this summer, I hope you’ll consider sharing them with all of us.


  1. Love the book Mamoko. Genius. Let’s make all the Where’s Waldo and I Spy books into board books. This has STURDY STURDY pages and you can make up a story from what you see or just find the characters.

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