For some students, the academic school year may be over. For some parents, it can provide a battle between summer camp and outdoor sports. But if parents provide exciting materials to read over the summer break, children are more likely to be engaged in learning. As a matter of fact, reading over the summer improves the learned material, prepares children for the upcoming school year and enhances 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 young as 2 years of age, children can start to develop literacy skills in recognizing vowels and identifying letters. The reading level of all of these books is level 1 or 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 formats.
1. “Hello Night” by Amy Costales and Mercedes McDonald
Readers learn about a mama and her young boy that crusade the night to be greeted by the moon in different scenarios. From seeing the moon on a lake to meeting the moon through the forest, this mama and her son encounter many adventures before bedtime. 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. The little frogs hop along from Danny’s pockets, to under the bed, to his sister’s lap and so much 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 dog, especially when his mother disciplines him. But that does not stop the great Skippito from his adventures with the Chimichangos. 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 more than just a beige color of the dusty sand. Little Maya finds beautiful colors in this amazing 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 Primo: A Letter to My Cousin” by Duncan Tonatiuh
Writing letters was never easy for this little boy from Mexico. But the task was a little bit easier when he had to communicate by mail with his cousin in America. They learn about each other’s culture and language in each letter. 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 in Fox and Mole. Each wants to reach the moon in different ways. Could a rope made of woven grass be the common piece for these friends? This folklore tale is recommended for ages 4 and up. ISBN: 978-0152017026
7. “Margarita y Margaret” by Lynn Reiser
How can two girls Margarita that speaks Spanish and Margaret that speaks English play together despite of 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 Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred” by Samantha R. Vamos and Rafael Lopez
Cooking rice pudding has never been more appetizing when the whole farm helps the farm maiden get all the ingredients. From the goat to the cow, they all collaborate harmoniously to find the necessary items 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 Paint” by Ellen Stoll Walsh
What does the colors red, blue, yellow, and three white mice have in common? The 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 actually be filled with plenty of good books. These storybooks and picture books can entice those young brain cells to imagine and keep on learning, even during the summer. In fact, summer reading is an activity that children of all ages can enjoy with their parents.