School's over in my nabe and summer stretches ahead, filled with promise. Vacation, pool parties, camp, catching fireflies at night, the plans are endless. For beginning readers, though, it's important not to put reading on the back burner. Skills hard won over the school year can erode as the months go by.
Summer reading should never be a chore. Take kids to the library and let them stock up on books they enjoy. Used book stores are another place to get good deals on inexpensive paperbacks, as are yard sales that sprout as quickly as dandelions.
Here are some books for beginning readers that capture the essence of summer. Let the good times begin!
Summer Days and Nights
by Wong Herbert Yee
Henry Holt, 2012
A little girl explores summer as she catches a butterfly, goes on a picnic, and hears an owl in this quiet picture book.
by John Rocco
When the power goes off one hot summer night a family reconnects as they discover all the fun that can be had without electricity.
by Faith Ringgold
Dragonfly Books, 1996
It's 1939, long before air conditioning, and on summer nights Cassie and her family go up on the roof of their apartment building to cool off. While on the roof Cassie imagines herself flying above the city and seeing the George Washington Bridge that her father helped build. Spellbinding artwork.
Frog and Friends: The Best Summer Ever
by Eve Bunting, illustrations by Josee Masse
Sleeping Bear Press, 2012
Frog and his friends are back with a trio of stories about summer. Readers who have read all the books in Lobel's Frog and Toad series will feel right at home.
Cork and Fuzz: The Swimming Lesson
by Dori Chaconas, illustrations by Lisa Mccue
Cork, a muskrat, tries to teach Fuzz, a possum, how to swim with humorous results.
Sam and the Firefly
by P.D. Eastman
Random House, 1958
An oldie but still a goodie. Sam, a hoot owl, and Gus, a firefly, get in and out of trouble in this classic easy reader.
by Mary Hoffman, illustrations by Caroline Binch
School's out and Grace's backyard turns into a circus, an emergency room, and a rocket launch pad as Grace and her friends let their imaginations take off.
by Ann Cameron
Perfection Learning, 1987
When Julian's friend, Gloria, gets a new bike, Julian fibs rather than tell her he's afraid of bikes. That fib snowballs and his summer turns out very different than what he expected.
A Stick Is an Excellent Thing: Poems Celebrating Outdoor Play
by Marilyn Singer, illustrations by LeUyen Pham
Clarion Books, 2012
Joyful poems and stunning artwork capture kids playing outdoors in summer.
Poem Runs: Baseball Poems
by Douglas Florian
Poems featuring America's favorite sport for kids six and up.
Toasting Marshmallows: Camping Poems
by Kristine O'Connell George, illustrations by Kate Kiesler
Clarion Books, 2001
Eighteen poems about the fun of camping.