Now that summer is here, and you and your children have a little more time to relax together, what better way than with a good book! From magical new tales to timeless classics adored by generations, there is an abundance of great literature for you to share with your child, and inspire a lifelong love of reading.
For ages 3 to 5
One of our favorite series for little ones ages 3 to 5 years old is by New York Times best-selling author and illustrator Mo Willems. His latest book, “The Pigeon Needs a Bath!” will delight your preschooler, and you as well, as Pigeon insists he doesn’t need a bath and poses the question, “When was the last time YOU had a bath?” to your youngster. Pigeon is visibly stinky but continues to complain—the bath is too hot; too cold; has too many toys—and on and on. Will Pigeon ever make it to the bathtub? Caldecott Award winner Willems has conceived a simple, funny and oh-so-relatable tale that will have both parents and kids giggling at pigeon’s silly antics.
For ages 6 to 8
One of our all-time favorites for kids 6 to 8 is “Make Way for Ducklings” by Robert McCloskey. Set in historic Boston, this book has been enchanting audiences since 1941 and was awarded the Caldecott Medal that year. The humorous picture book hasn’t lost its charm, as it captures the simple beauty of one special duckling family. Searching for a place to lay her eggs, Mrs. Mallard takes your child on a tour of popular Boston sights, including Beacon Hill, the State House, Louisburg Square and the Charles River. She teaches her brood to swim, dive, and walk in a neat line, and is befriended by a police officer when crossing a busy Boston street gets a bit dicey. Good lessons all around!
For emergent readers in this age group, we love the George and Martha early reader series, written and illustrated by James Marshall. Hippos George and Martha are best friends that have disagreements kids can relate to but who always seem to find a happy solution. First published more than 40 years ago, with just about as many titles. these simple tales teach important lessons about friendship and life.
For ages 8 to 12
Kids a little bit older are going to love “A Snicker of Magic,” Natalie Lloyd’s debut novel for kids ages 8 to 12. Childhood is all about believing in what is possible, and this book is storytelling at its finest. The premise is that Midnight Gulch used to be a magical place, “a town where people could sing up thunderstorms and dance up sunflowers,” but a curse drove the magic away. Twelve-year-old Felicity knows all about things like that—her nomadic mother is cursed with a wandering heart. As a “word collector,” Felicity sees words everywhere—shining above strangers, tucked into church eves, and tangled up in her dog’s floppy ears—but Midnight Gulch is the first place she’s ever seen the word “home.” There is so much depth to this book, we think it will touch you and your child on many levels. With so many wonderful and engaging storybooks at your fingertips, it’s easy to inspire a lifelong love of literature in your little one. Visit your local library or research the latest titles online—and, whether with your little guy snuggled into your lap or your tween curled up just a few feet away, summer is a great time to share the love. Happy reading!