· MARIO KART BUMPER BOAT
Put down the video games and head to the pool, where your kiddo can play real-life Mario with this ride-on.
Ages 3 and up, $18; Walmart
· SUNNYLIFE FLAMINGO AND WHALE FLOATS
Take the kids for the ride of their lives on these two oversize inflatables.
Ages 6 and up, $70 and $99, respectively; bedbathandbeyond.com
· HOT-DOG BATTLE
Let’s be frank: These ride-on Swimline toys will bring some laughs to your pool.
Ages 7 and up, $35; amazon.com
· INFLATABLE UNICORN
Your next pool party will be all rainbows and unicorns with this eight-foot-long magical creature.
Ages 12 and up, $99; getfloaty.com
· GIANT BEACH BALL
Go big or go home! How many times can your kids volley this colorful beach ball—which measures almost four feet in diameter—back and forth?
Ages 3 and up, $5; intexcorp.com
· GIANT ICE-POP FLOAT
Call it what you want—bomb, rocket, or firecracker pop—this six-foot-long treat from Big Mouth Inc. will definitely cool them off.
Ages 8 and up, $30; amazon.com
Written and illustrated by Frank W. Dormer
Nope, the sword is not in the stone. It’s in the oven. Why, you ask? Kids will have to follow along to the slapstick antics of two clueless knights as they try to solve the mystery. Ages 4 to 8 Atheneum, $18
· Into the Wild: Yet Another Misadventure (The Chicken Squad)
By Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Stephen Gilpin
Who you calling chicken? These fearless, feathered detectives are determined to discover what’s in the new cage in their yard. Is it holding a polar bear? A lion? A shark? Or, perhaps, is it just a new coop for them? (That couldn’t be it, could it?) Ages 7 to 10 Atheneum, $13
· Julius Zebra: Rumble With the Romans!
Written and illustrated by Gary Northfield
Ancient Rome has a new class of unlikely gladiators: a lion, a warthog, and a zebra. Julius the zany zebra becomes a fan favorite at the Colosseum, despite the fact that people keep mistaking him for a striped horse named Julia. Read to find out if he can win freedom—and a trip back to Africa—for himself and his friends. Ages 7 to 12 Candlewick Press, $16
· That Stinks! A Punny Show-and-Tell
By Alan Katz, illustrated by Stephen Gilpin
Recess is canceled due to bad weather, but that doesn’t mean the kids don’t get to play. Or, at least, play with their words during a round of show-and-tell that goes terribly (and hilariously!) wrong thanks to some very goofy misspeaking. Ages 4 to 7 Simon & Schuster, $18
· Shrunken Treasures: Literary Classics, Short, Sweet, and Silly
Written and illustrated by Scott Nash
Kiddos aren’t quite ready for The Odyssey, Jane Eyre, or Hamlet? Enter “The Versizer,” a new—and very scientific—invention that condenses those voluminous literary works into children’s verse. Genius! Far from your typical CliffsNotes, these nine kid-friendly interpretations of the classics feature fun illustrations and lots of jokes. Ages 5 to 8 Candlewick, $16
· Six Kids and a Stuffed Cat
By Gary Paulsen
Armpit sniff tests, games of truth or dare, and a stuffed cat are just a few of the ways the class clown keeps everyone laughing when a rainstorm strands six kids at school after hours. Your child will devour the book and use the script at the end of the story to act out the scenes with friends. (Also cool: All the characters’ names are gender-neutral.) Ages 8 to 12 Simon & Schuster, $17
· The Dragonsitter’s Castle
By Josh Lacey, illustrated by Garry Parsons
Eddie gets himself in a little over his head when he agrees to babysit his uncle’s two pet dragons—that is, if you think swallowed spoons, burned-down castles, and ruined New Year’s Eve parties are a problem. But everyone, even his very grumpy dad, eventually sees the humor in the havoc. Ages 7 to 9 Little, Brown, $15
Thanks to FamilyFun Magazine