Summer reading is a rite of passage for all ages. There is something so special about swinging in the hammock or lounging by the pool, getting lost in a good book. As we make plans for summer and have summer reading lists of our own, I thought it would be fun to highlight some books for your kids, too. I believe that one of the very best things we can do for our children is to instill a love of reading. As a little girl, one of my fondest memories is climbing up the branches of our backyard treehouse on a hot summer day and reading the stories of a red-headed orphan named Anne and Laura on the prairie.
It can be hard to carve out time for books in our busy summer schedules, but try to find time once a day to spend some time reading. It gives your kids a break and a chance to relax and stretch their minds, hopefully curbing the phenomenon known as “summer brain drain.” Whether they are cuddled in your lap or are big kids who have requirements for how much they need to read for school, here are some excellent books for each age group. C.S. Lewis famously said, “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest,” so with that in mind, I hope you can enjoy these books just as much as your kiddos. Happy reading!
- Alphablock (by Christopher Franceschelli)- Alphablock is the coolest Alphabet book out there right now. I love how all the letters are cut out onto the page, making it a tactile way for your toddler to learn his or her abc’s.
- BabyLit Series– These books are as much for parents as they are for tots. Taking the main themes and characters from classic literature (think: Pride and Prejudice and Moby Dick), these clever board books focus on numbers, opposites, etc. Nothing like getting them started on the classics early!
Preschool-Early Elementary School Books
- Tap the Magic Tree (by Christine Matheson)- This interactive book is the perfect way for your preschooler to learn about seasons. Following a tree through winter, spring, summer, and fall, this book encourages kids to tap the tree to make the seasons change.
- Dragons Love Tacos (by Adam Rubin)- A favorite with my 3 year-old right now, Dragons Love Tacos is just plain fun. Did you know that dragons love tacos, but not spicy tacos? Find out what happens during a dragon taco party gone awry.
- The Day the Crayons Quit (by Drew Daywalt)- The crayons have had enough! Duncan goes to color, but finds that each and every crayon has quit–and they all have complaints on how (or how often) they are used.
- The I Survived series (by Lauren Tarshis)- Help your child learn more about history in an engaging way with these survival books. Each follows an event in history (such as The Sinking of the Titanic, The Battle of Gettysburg) from the perspective of a young boy.
- Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library (by Chris Grabenstein)- Like Willy Wonka, but with a library instead of a candy factory. In the words of my neighbor, Courtney, this was a book that she “didn’t want to end” when she read it with her kids.
- Anne of Green Gables (by L.M. Montgomery)- this was the book that made me a reader, so I have a soft spot for it. Follow an orphan named Anne who ends up being adopted by an elderly brother and sister duo looking for household help on Prince Edward Island, Canada. They’ll laugh, they’ll cry, and you’ll swoon over this new cover by Rifle Paper Co. to add your collection.
- Wonder (by R.J. Palachio)- See what happens when August (who has a facial deformity) begins at a new school. This book deals with so many important topics about being kind and standing up for others.
- Eleanor & Park (by Rainbow Rowell)- a sweet story about first loves, you will love this one just as much as your teenager (and it’ll bring you back to your awkward high school days).
- The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry (Gabrielle Zevin)- Though technically her first novel for adults, teens will still love this easy yet wonderful read by young adult author Gabrielle Zevin. Bookstore owner A.J. Fikry adopts a young girl left in his store. The charming characters and setting make for a perfect summer read.
What would you add to this list?
P.S. Here is the information for Denver Public Library’s Summer Reading Program. If you are not in the Denver Public Library system, check your local library for their summer reading programs. Lots of them have really cool incentives for kids of all ages (even babies!).