When you hear about a Neil Gaiman book for kids, you might assume it will be¬†along the lines of Coraline or at least his Hansel & Gretel book,¬†but nope. Gaiman is prolific (if you weren’t yet aware of that) and this time¬†he’s pairing with illustrator Adam Rex again for the¬†third in the series of¬†Chu’s Day books,¬†sweetly titled Chu’s Day at the Beach. There¬†isn’t a hint of darkness in it at all. Just a magical reality set in motion by the Panda known for his gigantic sneeze, taking a seemingly¬†ordinary trip to the beach.

Related: Neil Gaiman’s Children’s Book: The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish

Before they even read a word, kids¬†will love Rex’s¬†bright, full-color illustrations of a beach filled with suntanning white foxes, ice cream eating lizards, surfing gophers, and if you look closely on one page, I think that’s the Loch Ness Monster back there¬†there. But it’s the story they will really adore, especially if they know the character and the¬†itchy nose that always gets him into trouble.

Let’s just say this time his sneezes¬†causes the¬†sea to¬†“break,” setting all sorts of craziness in motion.

Chu's Day at the Beach: Neil Gaiman's new children's book

Chu's Day at the Beach: Great summer reading for kids from Neil Gaiman and Adam Rex

It’s a great book to read along with your kids, asking them questions along the way: Do you think he will sneeze? What will happen next? How will things get back to normal again? Can you spot the gopher with the surfboard? Who’s wearing a red baseball cap?¬†It’s¬†my favorite kind of book for¬†young readers because there’s just so much going on, really giving¬†parents the chance to engage instead of just rattling off¬†a litany¬†of words like so many bedtime stories.

Besides, there’s a panda¬†on a beach! A panda! You think your kids won’t be looking for him all summer long?

Find¬†Chu’s Day at the Beach¬†by Neil Gaiman and Adam Rex at our affiliate Amazon or a local indie bookseller near you.¬†