Whether you’re packing for vacation or assembling a beach bag to take the pool/lake/park, here’s a few fun summer reads for parents and minis alike. (And they’re all by local authors!)

The book: Hungry Monkey – A Food-loving Father’s Quest to Raise an Adventurous Eater
Author’s claim to fame: Matthew Amster-Burton is a former newspaper food critic whose work appears in Gourmet.com, Culinate.com and Seattle magazine.
Fun factor: While he gives loads of recipes and ideas for how to get your kid to eat good food, Amster-Burton’s book is not a make-you-feel-guilty-for-not-buying-organic-carrots advice book. It’s full of hilarious anecdotes of how he gets his daughter Iris to try things like Brussels sprouts and spicy enchiladas. The stories will inspire you to stop making separate meals for the littles and find ways to incorporate their eating habits with yours.
Find it: mockingbirdbooksgl.com
Bonus: You can see Amster-Burton at an event at the Palace Kitchen on July 22: hungrymonkeybook.com

The book: Tickle Monster
Author’s claim to fame: Josie Bissett is an actress best known for her role as Jane Manicini on Melrose Place (which is coming back as a series this fall!) and is a Medina mom of two kids.
Fun factor: Bissett has written two other parenting books, but this one’s for the kids. It’s about a monster with big puffy mitts who tickles anyone who comes across his path. Needless to say, your mini monster will giggle the whole way through the story.
Find it: $17, tottini, tottini.com
Bonus: Plush blue Tickle Monster mitts ($14.95) make reading the book all the more fun.

The book: Seattle ABC
Author’s claim to fame: John Skewes (who is also the illustrator) is one of the creators of the ultra-famous Larry Gets Lost series.
Fun factor: This gorgeous picture book takes the loveable pooch Larry and his owner Pete through 26 alphabets and 26 great Seattle landmarks (from the Seattle Aquarium to Lake Union to Woodland Park Zoo.)
Find it: $16.95, sasquatchbooks.com
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