For some students, the academic school year may be over. For some parents, it can represent a battle between summer camp and outdoor sports. But if parents provide interesting materials to read over summer vacation, children are more likely to participate in the learning. In fact, reading over 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. As early as 2 years of age, children can begin to develop literacy skills to recognize vowels and identify letters. The reading level for all of these books is level 1 or the easy-to-read level. The moral message that children learn from the stories is also considered in each review. Many of these books are also available in English and Spanish.
1. “Hello Night” by Amy Costales and Mercedes McDonald
Readers learn about a mother and her child crossing the night to be greeted by the moon in different settings. From seeing the moon in a lake to meeting the moon through the woods, this mom and son have many adventures before bed. This picture book is for ages 2 and up. ISBN: 978-0873589277
2. “Wiggling Pockets” by Pat Mora and Maribel Suarez
When Danny’s pet frogs are accidentally released into the house, there were unexpected surprises. Frogs jump from Danny’s pockets, under the bed, onto his sister’s lap and many more mischief. This picture book is for ages 3 and up. ISBN: 978-0060850470
3. “Skippyjon Jones in the Dog House” by Judy Schachner
What do Siamese cats like to daydream about? Well, for Skippyjon Jones, he prefers to be a Chihuahua, especially when disciplined by his mother. But that doesn’t stop the great Skippito from his adventures with the chimichangos. A picture book is recommended for ages 4 and up. ISBN: 978-1606864197
4. “My colors, my world” by Maya Christina Gonzalez
The Mojave Desert can be filled with more than just a dusty sand beige. Little Maya finds beautiful colors in this incredible habitat where the air is dry and the heat is intense. This picture book is for children 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 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. A picture book is recommended for ages 4 and up. ISBN: 978-0810938724
6. “Moon Rope” by Lois Ehlert and Amy Prince
Cooperation was never the best skill at Fox and Mole. Everyone wants to get to the moon in different ways. Could a rope made of woven grass be the common piece for these friends? This folk tale is recommended for ages 4 and up. ISBN: 978-0152017026
7. “Margarita and Margaret” by Lynn Reiser
How can 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 Casserole that Stirred the Maiden” by Samantha R. Vamos and Rafael López
Cooking rice pudding has never been more appetizing when the whole farm helps the maid get all the ingredients. From the goat to the cow, everyone works harmoniously to find the necessary elements to make rice pudding. This award-winning picture book is for ages 3+. ISBN: 978-1580892421
9. “Dogs! Dogs!” by Ginger Foglesong Guy and Sharon Glick
Readers can learn about the 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 interesting places in town. This storybook is recommended for ages 2 and up. ISBN: 978-0060835743
10. “Mouse Paint” 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 children can be full of good 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.