Our local library has great summer reading programs. It starts at age 3, kids can sign up to read books. For every 2 hours they read they can go back to the library for cool prizes. The moment my son signed up he was given a goodie bag of fun things, including a free Sea Dogs baseball game ticket! They gave us a little book to track our reading, you color in a caterpillar for every 20 minutes you read. We called it our Book Club. He loved it!
Each week we go to story hour, and grab some new books to take home. Here are a few good ones we've found this summer.
Penguin and Pinecone a friendship story by Salina Yoon
This is a must! I'm definitely buying this for my son. He loves penguins and we live in Maine with tons of pinecones, definitely need it. They become friends in the book. Long after penguin takes pinecone back to the forest, he gives him a scarf to keep him warm out there. Years later he goes and finds the pinecone turned into a huge tree, with the scarf still on. It's very sweet.
If All the Animals Came Inside by Eric Pinder
Such a fun book! Lots and lots of rhyming, great pictures, and fun words. My son loved talking about the animals coming into the house and what they might do if they lived here. Very cute story. Good birthday gift idea.
Our personal favorite at story hour is "the shaky egg chicken" song. They hand out plastic Easter eggs filled with rice or something that makes them make noise when you shake. The kids go nuts, they love it!
Reading is so important. We have books everywhere in our house - downstairs at crawling kid level, upstairs on a bookshelf, upstairs in a basket for the baby to reach, next to my son's bed so when he wakes too early he can read, and of course in the car.
I commute 30 minutes to work, so to keep the kids busy they usually read to each other in the backseat, it's cute!
We visited my dad on an island in northern Maine and found these two awesome books.
Sally Goes to the Beach by Stephen Hunee
This is about some dogs who head to the beach. The graphics are just as cool as the one you see here on the cover. You barely see the people in the book, seeing a hand on a steering wheel in the car on one page, but never their faces. It's all about the dogs. I definitely want to buy this one, too.
Lighthouse Lullaby by Kelly Paul Briggs
We have this one at home already, but it was fun reading it on an island anyway. Great pictures. Good story about living in a lighthouse.
Construction Kitties by Judy Sue Goodwin Sturges
My son loves anything work-related, so we had to grab this one at the library. Very cute story about cats who go to work at a construction site. I'd definitely get this for a little girl's birthday gift especially because most girls love cats and this one has some girl construction workers in it. Love that!
Raising some readers!
Drive and Job Nathan Clement
These two have awesome graphics, very new-age type pictures. You feel like you're in the trucks when you read them. Very cool. Drive is about a tractor trailer truck driver out on the road, coming home to his kids.
The Recess Queen by Alexis O'Neill
Loved this one! It's about a bully on the playground. All the kids are afraid to play with her. Then a new girl comes in, confident and sure of herself. She asks the bully to play with her, which nobody has ever done before. They find out the bully isn't so bad, and she changes her ways to be nice to everyone so they all play together. The counselor in me loved this one! Definitely good for school-age children.
We Belong Together - A book about adoptions and families by Todd Parr
LOVE Todd Parr books! He's always the one I search for at book sales (and never find! people must keep his books!). His graphics are kid-friendly, bright and simple, but his messages are big and wonderful and moral and all things kind and inclusive. This book is about all the various types of families - two moms, two dads, single mom, single dad, mom and dad, grandparents, etc. It's my favorite of his books. Great conversation starters his books offer.
Phoebe and Digger by Tricia Springstubb
This was a cool book. It's about a girl whose mom has a new baby around. She's jealous and wants to just play with her new digger toy she was given. They go to the park - all the while you see mom struggling to get out the door and there with two kids, it's fun to see as an adult! - and a bully is there. Phoebe plays and talks to her and gets away with her digger. Love this because it's several themes in one - girls playing with trucks (LOVE that!), a darker skinned girl (always nice to have some culture instead of just all the books about white children), and being a new sibling to a baby. Great gift idea for a new big sister.
Hope you enjoy some good summer reading with your kids.
I know life gets busy in the summer, but make sure you put in some reading time together. It's so important. Libraries are such great resources - free books to borrow and see which ones you may want to get for your bookshelf later on. Most libraries even make it easy for you - you don't have to search shelves, they typically have books out on top of shelves on display to catch your eye or even in a case where you can get the newest books. Have fun!