The sun is out, the birds are singing, and it feels like spring has arrived a little early in Brookline. Temperatures are set to dip back down to wintry levels next week, however, and while we brace for winter’s final gusts, we find ourselves daydreaming of tropical vacations. Palm trees and sunny beaches aren’t on the horizon for everyone, but we can always find warmth and a little escape in the pages of a good book – especially if we remember the hot cocoa and a cozy pile of blankets. Here are some favorite titles that will transport you somewhere wonderful – though maybe not somewhere with coconuts – while you wait for summer to arrive.
Picture Books (Ages 3+)
Miss Rumphius, a classic picture book about a remarkable explorer who traveled the world to see its wonders and then brought wonder home to Maine. The soft, colorful illustrations will transport you to lands both strange and familiar.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, made famous by the animated short of the same name, is an absolute delight and required reading for anyone who thinks a library is the best place to have an adventure. The artwork is fun and whimsical, perfect for reading on a gray day when the weather is getting you down.
Middle Grade (8+)
Howl’s Moving Castle is the comfiest book in the world, which you would not expect from a middle grade fantasy novel about breaking a curse. The clever, humorous, sometimes ridiculous characters and the warm, cheerful tone bring out all that is bright and wonderful in fairy tales.
The Crystal Ribbon is a dramatic, magic-touched middle grade novel set in ancient China. The heroine must find her way home after she is separated from her family, but “home” isn’t always a simple thing, and neither is destiny. If you’re looking for adventure, start here.
Furthermore combines the whimsy and intelligence of Alice in Wonderland with the charm and humor of Roald Dahl. The two young heroes live in a world where color is magical, it rains sunlight, and adventure is always around the corner – but even their world has layers, and they only get stranger as you go.
Young Adult (13+)
The Girl From Everywhere has just arrived in paperback. Nix, the teenage daughter of a time traveler, has explored every corner of time all across the globe, but history is a delicate thing, and one mistake could put her existence in danger. If you want a great YA adventure with a little bit of swashbuckling and a lot of WOW!, try this.
City of Saints and Thieves is the YA thriller that has it all: murder, conspiracy, a dangerous city, and one girl determined to find out who really killed her mother. Set in Kenya, this amazing debut is perfect to read on a long, cold night.