Blog Archives

Guest Post: Fun Summer Reads for Kids

This guest post is by Theresa at Our Life in Words. Stop by her great blog today!

Long hot summer days are a great time for lazing away with a good book.

Even if your children want to be active during the day, why not cuddle together at night with a good book?

When my girls were little, I looked forward to reading to them in bed at night. Now that they are 9 and 11, one of our favorite things to do is pop a big bowl of popcorn and snuggle together in my Queen size bed, each reading our own books. Sometimes we read really funny or good parts aloud to each other. I believe that if children associate reading with a quiet, cuddly, snuggly, comfortable family time where they feel loved, they will be much more inclined to grow up to enjoy reading.

As a children’s librarian, one of my favorite things is helping children to find books that will inspire a lifelong love of reading. These may be different books for every child. Honestly, many of the books that were said to be “wonderful” when we were kids will no longer inspire a love of reading in children.

Here is a list of New books that may, hopefully inspire a love of reading in your child. Please ask your local librarian for more help and if you still need recommendations, please email me at my blog and give me an idea of what your child likes and how old they are and I will be happy to try to point you in the right direction!

Toddler – PreK

Elephant & Piggie series by Mo Willems
Knuffle Bunny series by Mo Willems
Mo Willems is a New York Times best selling author of children’s books and a three time Caldecott winner. He has changed the face of children’s literature.

McDuff series by Rosemary Wells
Children delight in this series about a West Highland terrier. Beautiful, retro illustrations make it pleasurable for parents as well.

Olivia by Ian Falconer
Who can resist Olivia? The funny, formidable little pig will delight your children and the illustrations are sure to keep parents enjoying these books as well.

Biscuit series by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
This adorable pup can grow with your child. There are board books, story books and then easy leveled reading books for when they start to read on their own.

Grades K -2

Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish
Parents will remember this amusing literal minded housekeeper from when they were learning to read. These books provide delightful lessons into the true meaning of what we say and keep children laughing.

The Grandmas Books by Emily Arnold McCully
These books are very funny and perfect for emerging readers.

Fly Guy series by Tedd Arnold
A boy meets a fly that can say the child’s name and together they set off on a series of adventures that will keep emerging readers entertained.

Berenstain Bears by Stan and Jan Berenstain
Parents may remember this family of tree house dwelling bears from their own childhood. This vast series covers all kind of life lessons and social issues from chores to going to the dentist to sibling rivalry.

Grades 2-4

Baby Mouse series by Jennifer & Matthew Holm
Reluctant readers and even children who love to read delight in this comical graphic novel series about a mouse and her adventures.

Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osbourne
Mystery, exploration and adventure abound in this series that covers historical and scientific events. This series is often recognized for teaching children to predict, infer and visualize- all key skills in building strong readers.

Ramona & Beezus series, Ralph S. Mouse series, Henry & Ribsy series – Beverly Cleary
Parents may remember these series from their childhood and indeed they are still popular with kids. Children can relate easily to these characters and the pace of the novel is just right for the reader who is ready to read chapter books independently.

Weird School Daze series by Dan Gutman
Boys love this off the wall series of impossible scenarios. Reluctant readers will have no trouble being entertained and children who love to read will delight in this fun series.

Grades 3-5

Allie Finkle by Meg Cabot
Moms may be familiar with Meg Cabot and now she has branched out into children’s novels. My daughters love this series about a quirky character who encourages individuality.

Mother-Daughter Book Club series by Heather Vogel Frederick
This series is really more for the 3-5 grader. In each book, the author introduces a work of classic literature and makes it more digestible for today’s young audience by having a fictional book club of girls from all different walks of life and their mothers read and discuss the books as part of their book club. Girls will relate to the modern day character’s lives and emotions while reading the book.

Baseball Card Adventures (Babe and Me) by Dan Gutman
Boys are able to time travel back in time to experience that greats of baseball at their finest, to meet them and get to know them. A fantasy for any young boy who loves baseball!

There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom, Wayside School series, Holes – Louis Sachar
Louis Sachar writes books that kids want to read. Kids find his characters likable and enjoy the crazy situations he puts them in.

Theresa gave up the glamour of being a kindergarten teacher to stay home with her kids for nine years. She now works part-time as the Assistant Children’s Librarian at her local public library.

Read Across America with Dr. Seuss! 2011

March 02 is Dr. Seuss’s birthday and NEA’s Read Across America Day! You should be able to find some (free) Seuss and reading events going on near you.

Click on photo to enlarge

On Saturday February 26, 2011 (9a-11a) bring the kids to your local Target store to enjoy giveaways, coupons and hear Dr. Seuss favorites. Read Across America: Download the free printable of a Cat in the Hat hat to color and wear and a Lorax puppet. Many more non-Seuss printables can be found under the Start Reading and Activity Center tabs.

Read Across America: Learn more about Read Across America and find some great links.

Seussville: Seussville has a page dedicated to Read Across America that includes many free Dr. Seuss printables.

Check your local library!

Celebrate Dr Seuss’ Birthday: Stories – Activities – Treats
at libraries in the Beaver County, PA area.

*Carnegie Free Library Beaver Falls, PA:
Monday February 28, 2011 at 5:30pm.
*Rochester Public Library:
Monday February 28, 2011 at 6pm.
*Baden Memorial Library:
Tuesday March 1, 2011 at 1pm.
*BF Jones Memorial Library Aliquippa, PA:
Wednesday March 2, 2011 at 6pm.
*Monaca Public Library:
Wednesday March 2, 2011 at 6pm.
*Beaver Area Memorial Library:
Wednesday March 2, 2011 at 6:30pm.
*New Brighton Public Library:
Thursday March 3, 2011 11am.
*Chippewa Branch Library Beaver Falls, PA:
Saturday March 5, 2011 at 12:30pm.
*Laughlin Memorial Library Ambridge, PA:
Saturday March 5, 2011 at 1pm.
*Carnegie Library Midland, PA:
Saturday March 12, 2011 at 1pm.

*FREE Dr. Seuss Fonts (Links)

*10 Easy Dr. Seuss Snacks

*A Splendiferous Dr. Seuss Breakfast

*Celebrating Seuss 2011

*Seuss Fails 2011
*Dr. Seuss Celebration at the Library 2011
*Dr. Seuss Storytime at Target 2011
*Read Across America with Dr. Seuss 2011

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!

Storytime Traditions: Pajama Time! By Sandra Boynton

I started reading to Adaline while she was still in the womb.  Now she’s beginning to get more interested in books.  Her favorites are usually interactive such as Lift-the-Flap or Touch-and-Feel books, and she really likes looking at the pictures.  Most of the time I can’t read a page fast enough before she turns it…but she’ll outgrow that soon enough.

For her first birthday my aunt and uncle got Adaline a book that I’m particularly excited about.  It’s called “Pajama Time!” by Sandra Boynton.

Hey! Wake Up! and Pajama Time! by Sandra Boynton


(Totally unrelated fun fact: The books are lying on my bathrobe.  I received it as a birthday present when I turned 21 and I’m still using.  Yay, me!  Now back to our regularly scheduled program…)

First off, I LOVE this book.  But also, my daughter likes it too and I guess that’s important 😉  The book has a great rhythm to it.  I read it like a rap (because I’m cool like that).  I can’t wait until she’s old enough for us to really dance around and get into it.  We keep this book on a stool right next to the glider in her room.  Just now before her nap she had me read it to her four times.  It’s a little strange that right now our tradition for “Pajama Time!” seems to be reading it in the morning.  This is especially strange considering that Boynton also has a book called “Hey! Wake Up!” that Adaline also received as a present.  I think that right now “Pajama Time!” is maybe just a little too exciting right before bed.  I’d really like to get into the habit of reading her “Hey! Wake Up!” every morning.  I’m going to put it on the stool next to “Pajama Time!” tonight and see how it goes.  Maybe we’ll start reading “Hey! Wake Up!” before bed.  We’re just weird enough to do something like that!

These books are my first exposure to Boynton, and I have to say, I think I’m hooked!  It’s all I can do to hold myself back from buying all of the other Boynton books that I see others recommending online.

Altogether now: “Pajammy to the left, Pajammy to the right…”  LOVE. IT.

Your turn.  What books do you read to your kids before bed?  Do you read a special book, or sing a song when they wake up in the morning?  Do you have any favorite Sandra Boynton books?

%d bloggers like this: