Keep those learning lights on this summer by firing your kids up with cool summer reads.  Experts agree that kids of all ages need to be read to or to read by themselves and to talk about books over the summer. When you read or talk to your young child about books, not only does he develop important language skills, he builds his knowledge about how stories are constructed. This will help him become a stronger reader and writer. Summer reading for school-aged children helps to maintain reading skills, improves reading fluency, and builds new vocabulary and concepts. Most importantly, when parents and children enjoy summer reading together, children develop a love of books and reading that lasts a lifetime. 

Here are some cool summer titles to consider for your child’s summer reading list:

AGES 3-6

Nurse Clementine by Simon James (Candlewick Press, 2013), $15.99. Clementine Brown got just what she wanted for her birthday; a nurse’s uniform and a first aid kit. She couldn’t wait to get to work! First, she bandaged Mr. Brown’s foot when he stubbed his toe, telling him he’d have to keep the bandages on for a week. Then, when her mother had a headache, Clementine gave her a thorough going-over and bandaged her head, telling Mrs. Brown she’d have to keep her bandages on for a week. And, when her skills were put to a test in a real emergency, Clementine was up to the challenge. 

AGES 3-7

Hedgehog’s Magic Tricks by Ruth Paul (Candlewick Press, 2013), $12.99. A sweetly told story about a hedgehog with some pretty terrific friends. Hedgehog gathers his friends around as he proudly begins his new magic act. First, he is going to make Mouse disappear. But when he says “Abracadabra,” Mouse is still there. Next, he tries to make Rabbit appear out of nowhere by pulling him out of a hat. But it’s difficult to pull Rabbit, who is bigger than Hedgehog, out of the hat. Hedgehog is so sad that his tricks haven’t gone very well, but his friends pull together to give Hedgehog a grand surprise everyone can enjoy.

Bye-Bye Baby Brother! by Sheena Dempsey (Candlewick Press, 2013), $15.99. If you know of an older sister who’s thought about selling her baby brother in a yard sale or hiding him among the cabbages at the grocery store, this book’s for you! Ruby is so bored with her new baby brother, Oliver. She’s so tired of hearing her mom say things like, “Let me finish feeding Oliver” or “I need to change Oliver’s diaper,” she can hardly stand it! But, Ruby figures out a way to get Mom all to herself. All she needs to do is build a Magic Disappearing Space Rocket. But, the trip turns out a bit differently from the way Ruby planned.

The Deer Watch by Pat Lowery Collins (Candlewick Press, 2013), $15.99. Lovely illustrations highlight this story of nature and anticipation. A father and son are on a quest to see a deer. They got up early and climbed over dunes, through the marsh grass, on a road, and through some brush until they found the perfect spot to wait for the deer. They waited…and waited. The boy thought they should go home, but the dad wanted to stay. And, when the deer came, it was a sight the boy would hold in his memory forever.

AGES 5-8

My Dad Thinks He’s Funny by Katrina Germein (Candlewick Press, 2013), $14.99. A perfect gift for Father’s Day! Young readers who have a dad who thinks he’s funny will relate to this young man’s life with father. When people ask his dad how he’s feeling, his dad says “With my hands.” And, when his dad stands in front of the TV, and the boy says, “Dad, I can’t see,” you know what his dad says? “Well open your eyes.” His dad thinks he’s funny. A cleverly illustrated book ideal for anyone whose dad makes them laugh – or roll their eyes.


The Forgotten by David Baldacci (Grand Central Publishing, 2013), $14.99. Paradise, Florida was no utopia, as John Puller found out when he went to investigate what was behind a mysterious letter his aunt sent to his dad. And, when his aunt is found dead, he doesn’t believe it was an accident. Puller knows a thing or two about murder and crime, he’s the one the US Army relies on to investigate the toughest crimes in the US. He knows something is rotten in Denmark – he can feel it. This time it’s different though. This time it’s personal. You’ll want to keep turning those pages as a complicated conspiracy is unraveled.


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Tags: Education, Featured Story, Preschool, Toddler, Tweens & Teens

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