Summer is coming and kids will hopefully be spending lots of time outdoors playing. Yet there will be rainy days and time spent in the car driving somewhere far away. Kids need to be entertained.

Author Helen Piercy and Candlewick Press bring us a “box” book, “Animation Studio.” This kit is fascinating.

As we all know, animation is much more than the old-fashioned cartoons. Computers have made a whole new science of putting still pictures in motion. This kit has a handbook that explains what animation is and continues with the early history. It then guides you through the steps to create your own animated work.

The box unfolds to create a stage set, and a pack of 5-by-8 cards provides other kinds of animation to try. There are scenery props and character stickers and speech bubbles and more, along with fold-out scenery background.

This is a great introduction to animation, as well as staging and writing.

Joe Rhatigan brings us “The Rainy Day Activity Book.” The cover states that “All you need is a pencil,” which makes this even better, as you don’t need to have a lot of other craft items to worry about. I would suggest colored pencils just to make it more interesting.

The books starts with a two-page autobiography. You must fill in all kinds of information about yourself. It asks questions about what your scariest dream has been, as well as the best dream you’ve ever had. Then a “What would ... ” section begins. For example, “What would a rooster look like if it were a robot?”

Then there are Silly Sentences, mini crosswords, Morse code, a prompt to answer questions like an advice columnist, and filling in fortune cookies and quizzes. I could go on and on, but space does not allow.

Most activities are for one person, but there are some that call for two.

If there are two kids, though, I recommend two copies. I would not want to share this book.

Rhatigan brings a companion volume with “The Stuck In A Car, Plane, or Train Activity Book.” This too, is, subtitled “All You Need Is A Pencil.”

This is, as far as I can tell, completely different than the “Rainy Day” version. It does seem to have more geography-based activities and some automobile-based ones.

The old license plate game and road-trip bingo are present. Identifying different kinds of cars, and road signs to design, also are activities here.

Again, I could go on and on but will let you explore these for yourself.

What great “end of school” presents these would be for kids.

Don’t forget a lot of pencils. Maybe a sharpener would be a good idea, too.

Luci Hand is a retired school principal who lives in Porter County. She can be emailed at ljbhand@comcast.net.