Whether you’re in the backyard or venturing farther afield this summer, you can keep your kids safe from the sun with Play-Day Mineral Sunscreen from Los Gatos’ Noodle & Boo. This reef-friendly, PABA-free lotion contains non-nano zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, plus hydrating shea butter so it goes on easily and leaves no white residue. 4 oz. for $20. It’s part of a line of hypoallergenic natural and organic personal care and laundry products created by a Bay Area mom whose children suffered from eczema and sensitive skin. $20. noodleandboo.com.
Real-Life Sports Heroes
Missing sports? Get your fix with Dragon Dreams, the latest graphic novel from San Jose author and illustrator Gene Luen Yang. It’s the true story of a state championship run by the basketball team at Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd high school, where Yang was a teacher. It also weaves in basketball history and Yang’s own story while highlighting issues of race and equity. Recommended for teens. MacMillan, 2020. $24.99. geneyang.com.
Go on a scavenger hunt in your home or through a local neighborhood to rescue an “abandoned astronaut” or solve the case of a “pilfered painting.” San Francisco-based Adventurous mails you a kit with a map and puzzles to solve, and players use their phones to text during the hunt. Neighborhood hunts – which take place entirely outside – are available in Mountain View, Palo Alto, Burlingame and Noe Valley. The adventures, which take 1-1.5 hours, are designed for two to four people and families with kids ages 6-12. $15-20. Adventurous.co.
Bestselling Bay Area author Gennifer Choldenko – best known for her Tales of Alcatraz series – is back with a perfect summer read. Orphan Eleven is a mystery set amid a 1939 circus, following four runaway orphans, one of whom has stopped speaking. Publishers Weekly calls it an “uplifting tale of hope, survival and belonging (that) has all the ingredients to become a beloved middle grade book.” For ages 8 and up. Wendy Lamb Books/Random House, 2020. $16.99. gennifercholdenko.com.
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Summer 2020 Reading and Fun