RTP Portrait BooksI recently took a look at a new children’s book called Nathan Saves Summer (by Gerry Renert with illustrations by Carrie Anne Bradshaw, $16.95, Raven Tree Press, ages 4-8) written by local Pacific Palisades author Gerry Renert, co-creator of the animated preschool TV series ToddWorld. It’s not hard to recommend a story which, in addition to being ideal for summer reading, also encourages our kids to pursue their dreams. Plus, the book is supported by the USA Swimming Foundation.

Meet Nathan, an adorable hippo who yearns to become a lifeguard at the pond, a popular summer vacation spot in the wild. And while he seems ideally suited to serve as a water safety supervisor, his animal friends think otherwise, bombarding him with a bevy of excuses to hinder his pursuit. So swim season after swim season, the lifeguard job eludes the humble, helpful and hefty hippo, culminating with a rescue attempt on a tiger cub that actually empties the pond of all its water!

RTP Portrait BooksConvinced that their summer swim spot is shot, the giraffes, monkeys, zebras and all the rest of Nathan’s pals prepare to move on as Nathan decides to throw in the towel forever. However, good fortune soon finds Nathan when two penguins make a startlingly discovery helping him save the day and ultimately, the summer. In addition to the colorful tale spun by Renert, children will enjoy Bradshaw’s warm and witty watercolor illustrations.

Free activities as well as an audio sample for the author’s narration of the book are available by clicking here. This title is available in English–only or bilingual English–Spanish editions.

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