Gearing Up for Summer Reading: What the Kids are Reading

summer reading (kids)Tracking what we read and making a plan for finding more books are both well and good, but what really counts in summer reading is the books themselves. Now that June is nearly upon us, I’m finally ready to talk specifics. This summer, I’m starting June with a list of books to read and a reading goal for each member of the family. I imagined it would all be in one giant list, but I had more to say than I anticipated (what with loving everything about books and reading and all). As such, my summer reading goal and book list will be on their own later this week or next. For today, here are my summer reading goals and book lists for each of the three children:

The toddler doesn’t get as much one-on-one time with Mom and Dad as either of her older siblings. I don’t want to admit how often I find myself specifically selecting the shortest and most straightforward books at bedtime. This summer, I’m hoping to remedy that.  At two years old (as of next week), she is the perfect age for books that elicit participation from the reader, and I’d like to slow down and spend the time reading them with her. We have a few on the shelf already, but after eight years of parenthood, this Mama needs something new to read. Here is where I plan to start:

Where’s Walrus? by Stephen Savage (and/or the sequel, Where’s Walrus and Penguin?)
The Monster at the End of this Book
by Jon Stone and Michael Smollin
Truck by Donald Crews
Let’s Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy by Jan Thomas
Let’s Count Goats! by Mem Fox and Jan Thomas
More Bears! by Kenn Nesbitt and Troy Cummings

The preschooler will undoubtedly enjoy all of the books on her sister’s reading list, but I have another goal in mind for her. This is the summer I plan to introduce her to chapter books. Up until now, she has been less-than interested in listening to anything longer than a few minutes. I’m hoping that by finding the right books, I can show her what it is that I love so much. With daylight stretching well past her bedtime all summer long (Daylight Savings Time, I will never understand you.), there will be plenty of time to read just one more chapter while she falls asleep. Her list may need to change as we figure out what she likes, but here are the books I’m planning to introduce first:

Toys Go Out by Emily Jenkins and Paul Belinsky
The BFG and/or Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald
Comet in Moominland by Tove Jansson
The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne

The eight-year-old is reading through a book every day to two right now. I have no doubt that he will read plenty of books this summer, so my goal this summer is to introduce him to some classics that will broaden his scope. In addition to his beloved mystery series and Star Wars graphic novels, I plan to fill his bookcase with these:

Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank Gilbreth
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (this illustrated version looks stunning)
The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleishman
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming
Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman*

*Ok, not a classic. But I love Neil Gaiman so I say it makes the list anyway.

If we don’t finish any of these books before fall, I’ll just roll them over into school reading. The more likely scenario is that we breeze through our lists by the end of the month; that’s where the first part of this series comes in. What about you and yours? What are you reading this summer?

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