For some students, the academic school year may be over. For some parents, it can be a battle between summer camp and outdoor sports. But if parents provide interesting materials to read during the summer break, children are more likely to engage in learning. In fact, reading during the summer improves the material learned, prepares children for the upcoming school year, and improves their language skills.
To motivate children to read during the summer, ten books are reviewed according to age group, reading level and moral value. Starting at 2 years of age, children can begin to develop literacy skills to recognize vowels and identify letters. The reading level of all these books is level 1 or easy reading level. The moral message that children learn from stories is also considered in each review. Many of these books are also available in French and Spanish.
1. “Hello Night” by Amy Costales and Mercedes McDonald
Readers learn about a mother and child who cross the night to be greeted by the moon in different settings. From seeing the moon on a lake to meeting the moon through the woods, she and this mom find plenty of adventures before bed. This picture book is for ages 2 and up. ISBN: 978-0873589277
2. “Pockets moving” by Pat Mora and Maribel Suarez
When Danny’s pet frogs are accidentally released into the house, there are some unexpected surprises. Little frogs jump out of Danny’s pockets, under the bed, onto his sister’s lap, and much more shenanigans. This picture book is for ages 3 and up. ISBN: 978-0060850470
3. “Skippyjon Jones in the Kennel” by Judy Schachner
What do Siamese cats like to daydream about? Well, for Skippyjon Jones, he prefers to be a chihuahua dog, especially when disciplined by his mother. But that doesn’t stop the great Skippito from his adventures with the Chimichangos. Illustrated book recommended for ages 4 and up. ISBN: 978-1606864197
4. “My colors, my world” by Maya Christina González
The Mojave Desert can be filled with more than just a beige color of powdery sand. Little Maya finds beautiful colors in this incredible habitat where the air is dry and the heat is intense. This picture book is for ages 4 and up. ISBN: 978-0892392216.
5. “Dear Cousin: A Letter to My Cousin” by Duncan Tonatiuh
Writing letters was never easy for this boy from Mexico. But the task was made a little easier when he had to communicate by mail with his cousin in the United States. They learn about each other’s culture and language in each letter. Illustrated book recommended for ages 4 and up. ISBN: 978-0810938724
6. “Moon String” by Lois Ehlert and Amy Prince
Cooperation was never the best skill in Fox and Mole. Everyone wants to get to the moon in different ways. Will a rope of woven grass be the common piece of these friends? This folk tale is recommended for ages 4 and up. ISBN: 978-0152017026
7. “Margarita and Margaret” by Lynn Reiser
How can two girls, Margarita, who speaks Spanish, and Margaret, who speaks English, play together despite the language barrier? By sharing their culture and language, these two girls find a lasting friendship. This picture book is for ages 3 and up. ISBN: 978-0688122393
8. “The Pot the Maid Stirred” by Samantha R. Vamos and Rafael Lopez
Cooking rice pudding has never been more appetizing when the whole farm helps the maiden get all the ingredients. From the goat to the cow, they all collaborate in harmony to find the necessary elements to make the rice pudding. This award-winning picture book is for ages 3 and up. ISBN: 978-1580892421
9. “Dogs! Dogs!” by Ginger Foglesong Guy and Sharon Glick
Readers can learn about opposites in this story about dogs of different shapes and sizes. These dogs have the adventure of a lifetime when they visit the playground, library, school, and other exciting places around town. This storybook is recommended for ages 2 and up. ISBN: 978-0060835743
10. “Mouse Painting” by Ellen Stoll Walsh
What do the colors red, blue, yellow, and three white mice have in common? Mice like to mix and discover how primary colors can give secondary colors. This colorful storybook is recommended for ages 2 and up. ISBN: 978-0547333328
Summer reading for kids can actually be filled with lots of great books. These storybooks and picture books can prompt those young brain cells to imagine and keep learning, even during the summer. In fact, summer reading is an activity that children of all ages can enjoy with their parents.