Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fun in the Clubhouse - great picture books that celebrate kids' imaginations

The weather has turned lovely and my children are back in their clubhouse, inventing games and painting signs. I love the way they let their imaginations take over as they enter the world of their games. A great series of picture books by Daniel San Souci celebrates kids' imaginations and shares some very funny stories of the author's childhood. They're definitely worth seeking out.
The Dangerous Snake and Reptile Club
by Daniel San Souci
CA: Tricycle Press, 2004.
full preview available on Google Books
ages 4 - 8
One summer, Danny and his family went up to Lake County for a vacation. He found a live King snake, and his brothers found tadpoles and a "real" dinosaur bone. When they get home, their friends are thrilled with the treasures they brought! The boys started a new club, The Dangerous Snake and Reptile Club, painted huge signs for the clubhouse, and the fun really began. Soon they started inviting neighborhood kids in to see their treasures - of course, charging a small entrance fee! Hilarity ensues as the snake escapes one day. Kids will really enjoy this funny story.

Space Station Mars
by Daniel San Souci
CA: Tricycle Press, c2005.
ages 4 - 8
Another very funny book in this series, Space Station Mars, tells about the time when Danny and his friends are sure that aliens from outer space have come to Earth. One night when they're sleeping in the clubhouse, the boys are convinced that they've seen a flying saucer. The next day, they investigate a meteor that's fallen in a neighbor's garden - but they have to make protective gear (out of cardboard boxes) in case it might be radioactive! Neil brings over his crystal radio, and listens to the odd crackling. It has to be a message from Mars that they are about to land! The next evening, when Dad tells the family that he's seen an odd domed-shaped thing near the park, the boys race to call an emergency meeting at the Space Station Mars clubhouse.

If your kids have fun with these books, check out the Clubhouse website: You'll find information on all the books, plus fun things like how to draw the characters.

The Clubhouse Books are available at the Oakland Public Library and the Berkeley Public Library. They're also available from independent bookstores near you at IndieBound, and at Amazon.

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