It’s Labor Day weekend! We get an extra day to rest, relax and enjoy the tail end of summer. If you’re looking for inspiration, here are five books to give you some ideas…
1. GO TO THE POOL
In Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall, a little boy avoids, agonizes over and eventually accomplishes a jump off the high diving board. It features an encouraging dad, a city pool and a vulnerable yet victorious African-American boy as its likable protagonist. Take this book with you on a visit to Barretto Point Park’s floating barge pool in Hunts Point!
2. GO ON A NATURE WALK
In Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak, a young girl takes a walk in the woods (rocking some pretty sweet Converse sneakers, BTW) to say farewell to summer. The beautiful illustrations will help you get excited to let go of summer’s sunny rays and embrace the changing colors of fall. This book would go great with a visit to Van Cortlandt Park. Join for some free community row-boating and then take a short hike among the trees and urban wildlife.
3. ENJOY A FROZEN TREAT
In What Can You Do with a Paleta?/¿Qué puedes hacer con una paleta? by Carmen Tafola, the children come running when the paleta wagon rolls up. This book will have you craving a sweet, drippy, juicy, frozen dessert of your own. Whatever your style–paleta or piragua, Mamita or Mister Softee–be sure to cool off with a tasty treat this weekend. If you’re curious to see the source of one of the Bronx’s most iconic frozen treats, swing by St. Ann’s Ave and 161st to sneak a peek at the distribution center for Delicioso Coco Helado.
4. START A WATER FIGHT
Did you ever think about who invented the super-soaker? Well, I hadn’t–until I came across this book, that is. Learn about it in Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton. Then, put the fun facts down, gather some friends, go to the dollar store for the necessary supplies and release the universal war cry…”WATER FIGHT!!!” Or, if you’re more of a pacifist but still in the mood to get sprayed, visit People’s Park in Mott Haven and enjoy the giant flower fountain (which has been particularly strong this year!).
5. TWO WORDS: BLOCK PARTY
Whether planned or impromptu, there’s nothing like a block party. The little protagonist of I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison knows this. While on a walk with her mom, she dances to the beat of her neighborhood, and draws the whole block in to join her. Whatever block of the Bronx you’re on this Labor Day weekend, turn on some speakers, fire up the grill and you’re sure to get a similar response.