Anytime is a good time for reading, but summertime -- when days are longer and the list of places to be is shorter -- is an especially good time. Books about summer, swimming and the beach make good summer reads for younger kids, book series make good summer reads for older kids, and librarian favorites make good summer reads for moms who love to read. Here are some recommendations for summer reading lists.
Picture Books for Younger Kids
One Hot Summer Day by Nina Crews
Layered photographs and succinct words depict scorching summer heat in the city. A little girl's mother tells her to play inside, but she looks for fun outside and finds ways to cool off before rain comes and cools her and the streets and playground.
Sun Dance, Water Dance, written by Jonathan London, illustrated by Greg Couch
Soft watercolor illustrations in yellows, reds, greens and blues evoke the sensations in a lyrical poem about summer moments. Kids play in the sun, plunge into a river, skip stones, picnic under trees, watch the sunset, and fall asleep in a cabin.
Edward in Deep Water by Rosemary Wells
Not everyone is ready for the same things at the same time, and Edward isn't quite ready for a pool party. The humorous story of a shy bear will resonate with kids who still wear water wings.
Froggy Learns to Swim, written by Jonathan London, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
Froggy's parents set out for a swim in the pond on a hot day, but Froggy doesn't want to join them. He doesn't know how to swim, he says, forgetting that frogs are born in the water. Froggy's mom gives him lessons but he whines and splutters before getting the hang of it. Then, she can't get him out of the water.
Moonbathing, written by Liz Rosenberg, illustrated by Stephen Lambert
Most of us have visited the beach during the day, but what about at night? Moonbathing sends cousins on a full moon hunt for buried treasure. They spot a harbor seal before heading home to sleep.
Bats at the Beach by Brian Lies
Another beach at night book, it presents a rhyming story of the beach activities of fun-loving bats painted in witty detail on midnight blue pages.
Flotsam by David Wiesner
Pictures are worth a thousand words in the wordless book about an underwater camera that washes up on the beach. Kids and parents can imagine their own words for the imagination-stretching winner of the 2007 Caldecott Medal.
Series books for older kids
Series make good summer reading projects because when one book is done, there's another waiting to be read. These should get your older child immersed in reading.
Especially for Girls
Gilda Joyce series by Jennifer Allison
Theodosia series by R.L. LaFevers
Especially for Boys
Gregor the Overlander series by Suzanne Collins
Percy Jackson & The Olympians series by Rick Riordan
Novels for Moms Who Love to Read
Librarians know what books are hot, and they're usually avid readers themselves. These novels come highly recommended by a well-read librarian.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
He might call them fireflies. He might call them lightning bugs, though in truth he says it more like "lightin' bugs." He might have run around filling a jar with them just last evening. He might have never, ever seen a real one. But no matter, all k... read more
So, today is the first of July. (Rabbit, rabbit.) Summer may have started officially with the solstice two weekends ago, but today it seems undeniable. Not just calendar-real, but real-real. It's July. It's summer. The heat is on. And to ... read more