Summer Reading for Kids

By Vicki Ingham

Three local author-illustrator teams have produced new books for children:

  • Linda Mason Hunter has written 13 books on ecology, architecture and design, but “Three Green Rats: An Eco Tale” is her first children’s book. Illustrated and co-authored by Suzanne Summersgill, the 112-page chapter book directs its message about living sustainably to readers ages 7 to 11, who, as Hunter says, “haven’t developed bad habits yet, and they grow up fast—in 10 to 15 years, they become opinion shapers and cultural leaders.” The book is a Foreword Reviews Book of the Year finalist and won a second-place Moonbeam Children’s Book Award. For more information, visit
  • “Boxes for Billy,” written by Billy Dohrmann and illustrated by Bryan Dixon, celebrates creativity and the gift of an unfettered imagination. Aimed at kids ages 4 to 8 (and their parents), the hardcover book tells the story of how a boy turns moving boxes into exciting new worlds. Interesting fact: Dorhmann financed the book through a Kickstarter campaign, raising $10,743 (exceeding his goal of $10,000) from 161 backers. You can buy the book here.
  • Dr. Stephanie Cox, a third-generation family physician practicing in Greater Des Moines composed 26 rhyming couplets for “My Doctor and Me ABC.”Paired with cheerful illustrations by Emily Burger, the rhymes introduce 2- to 5-year-old children to healthy habits and give them an idea of what to expect at the doctor’s office. It’s available at The Learning Post in Urbandale, Iowa Methodist Medical Center gift shops and online at

threeratsboxesforbilly mydocandme


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