It’s summer time which means our days are full of playing outside, swimming, and lazy afternoons playing puzzles and reading books. Reading with children not only helps with letter and word recognition, but ignites imagination, provides conversation starters and inspires a lifelong love of reading. Here are ten fantastic books that are sure to entertain you and your kiddos all summer long.
1. I Broke My Trunk! (An Elephant and Piggie Book) by Mo Williams. This funny story will get your kids giggling in no time with its slapstick style “short story long” plot. The two characters, Elephant and Piggie, are sweet and endearing and you will soon want to read all of the books in this series.
2. My Friends by Taro Gomi. The simple story and gorgeous illustrations of this short book make for great conversations with your little one beyond the pages. The rhythm of the book is easy for children to say along with you as you read, and if you need some wiggles out, have your children act out the movements along with the story.
3. Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel. Frog and Toad are best friends, but also have very different personalities. It’s interesting to see how they support each other through situations even with opposite view points. Like Elephant and Piggie books, the entire series is worth reading.
4. Higher! Higher! by Leslie Patricelli. The only words in this book are Higher! Higher!, the sweet calls from a young child as she is being pushed on a swing. The pictures take your child for the real journey. Fantastic book for toddlers, and you’ll notice the connection the next time you are at the park when your child beckons, “Higher! Higher!”
5. Feathers for Lunch by Lois Ehlert. Gorgeously illustrated, this book provides fun for children of many ages. As you read the story of the cat desperately trying to catch a bird, your kids can chime along with the ‘Jingle Jingle’ of the cat’s bell and learn about plants and bird species and bird calls. The back pages act as an index for the birds. Cool fact: all the birds are depicted in real-life size, so you can get a feel for the difference between a hummingbird and a Mourning Dove.
6. A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea, Barefoot Books Adapted by Jessica Law. This story includes a CD with the song version of the book, so you can read the book, listen to the song, or do a combination of both. The story builds as you go and kids love trying to keep up with all the animals and plants in the hole in the bottom of the sea. This is a great book for getting the wiggles and giggles out on a long afternoon!
7. Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons. Speaking of catchy tunes, Pete the Cat stories come with free song downloads from the publisher’s website. Everyone is bound to have fun reading this colorful and silly book.
8. Oh, What a Busy Day! by Gyo Fujikawa. Originally published in 1976, this book is sure to be a treasured favorite on your child’s bookshelf. The books pages are broken out into poem-like vignettes, and the illustrations provide a platform for your kids to make up their own story. This book will make a wonderful adventure out of any summer afternoon.
9. Fill a Bucket by Carol McCloud. This book, described as a Guide for Daily Happiness, is geared to teach young children the importance of kindness in everyday interactions. Young children respond to the colorful book and clear examples of how behavior towards friends, family members, and pets affects everyone. This book makes a wonderful gift for new or expecting parents as its never too early to share the importance of kindness.
10. First Human Body Encyclopedia, DK Publishing. This encyclopedia has pictures and illustrations geared towards kids. The amount of information is just right – enough to provide a substantial answer, but not too much so it’s over their little heads. The book is comprehensive and full of content, so the curiosity can last through the summer.