What has your family been reading this summer? Every summer since my kids started school I challenge them with set reading goals to complete before the head back to school. They love the challenge (Can I actually get through this 400+ page book in a week?) and the frequent trips to Barnes & Noble or the library! I love seeing them discover new authors, books series, and characters. It’s been especially rewarding to watch their reading ability and interest increase as they grow! Macmillan Children’s Publishing has so many new and favorite books for kiddos of all ages and reading levels to escape into this summer! Here are a few that are worth checking out:
Wet by Cory Sookocheff
It’s summertime and there are a million reasons and ways to get WET! This is a fun read with the kids, imagining all the different “hows” of getting wet. We love this book and it’s sweet and simple tale that invites us to continue to observe the world around us.
Cat Nap by Tom Yuly
A board book filled with opposites to help little ones learn simple concepts through bold art and charming language.
Escargot by Dashka Slater and illustrated by Sydney Hanson
This book is quite fun in a number of ways. First, the simple interjection of French words throughout the story. And imagining the little french snail’s accent is quite fun if you read this aloud to your children! Second, if you have a picky eater, this book is for you!
What Are You Waiting For? by Scott Menchin and illustrated by Matt Phelan
It’s a questions we’ve all asked or been asked, and the title of this sweetly illustrated picture book is really what it’s all about! “Join a badger and a rabbit in this simple tale about the wonder of anticipation that follows the two friends in search of a surprise. What they find might just surprise you, too.”
Mimi and Bear Make a Friend by Janee Trasler
“Mimi is used to being the best mountain climber, the best treasure hunter, and the best trapeze artist in the park—that is, until a new kid turns up. What’s worse is that he is better than her at all of these things. But when a need for a friend arises, Mimi learns that she is a really good one. Mimi and Bear Make a Friend brings a sweet, charming story to little ones learning what it means to be a friend.”
Blue Ethel written and illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt
Ethel is my spirit animal! I love her and this funny little story about a big, lazy cat who accidentally turns blue and her life will never be the same again. A must read with your kids this summer!
Noisy Night by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Brian Briggs
This has been one our favorite “going to bed” books this summer. One of the hardest things about going to sleep is when you get too focused on the noises “out there.” Can you guess what the people that live above you are doing? Dancing? Playing music? Cheerleading? This picture book has a very fun way to read through and follow the noise up through an apartment building in the city. Highly recommended!
Truckeroo School by David Kirk
“Meet the little monsters of Truckeroo! The kids all have trucks that suit their personalities—big trucks, small trucks, loud trucks, quiet trucks. Families help them build and care for their trucks. And they get to bring them to school!”
If you’ve had a dog or cat that is truly part of your family, your children will love this sweet story of a girl and her aging dog! Eli the dog has been with Astrid since she was born. The story follows their bucket list adventures of things they want to do together before Eli is too old and tired to do them.
Don’t Blink! by Tom Booth
We love this book! It’s literally a staring contest with the reader that grows in participant throughout the story. The illustrations are fun and familiar in this uniquely interactive picture book.
The Jelly Bean Tree by Toni Yuly
The illustrations in this book are amazing – fabric and tissue paper! For my little 8 year-old artist this was especially fun to read through and see how art can come from anything!
One Proud Penny by Randy Siegel and Serge
Have you ever thought about all the places one little penny has been? This fun book is a great way to learn everything you never knew about our one-cent piece. My girls are big into American history right now (thank you Hamilton!) and this has become an essential book in our family library.
The Giant of Jum by Elli Woollard and illustrated by Benji Davies
Turning the tale and characters of Jack and the Beanstalk on their heads, we find out what if the Giant and kids learned to get along and play together? Such a funny read and the illustrations are so bright and colorful and compliment the text beautifully.
Green Green: A Community Gardening Story by Marie Lamba and Baldev Lamba and illustrated by Sonia Sanchez
“Green grass is wide and fresh and clean for a family to play in, and brown dirt is perfect for digging a garden. But when gray buildings start to rise up and a whole city builds, can there be any room for green space? The neighborhood children think so, and they inspire the community to join together and build a garden for everyone to share in the middle of the city.”
Calpurnia Tate Girl Vet: Counting Sheep by Jacqueline Kelly and illustrated by Jennifer L. Meyer
“In this second book in the Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet series, Callie takes a hands-on approach to animal doctoring. When Callie and Granddaddy go exploring by the river, Callie discovers a leaf covered with spots. Those spots, it turns out, are eggs, and those eggs become butterflies. One of her newly hatched butterflies has a problem, though—its wing is broken. Can Callie find a way to help this butterfly fly?”
I Love You, Michael Collins by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Though I haven’t yet read this book, I am so intrigued by the idea behind the story and I’m looking forward to getting a chance very soon. “It’s 1969 and the country is gearing up for what looks to be the most exciting moment in U.S. history: men landing on the moon. Ten-year-old Mamie’s class is given an assignment to write letters to the astronauts. All the girls write to Neil Armstrong (“So cute!”) and all the boys write to Buzz Aldrin (“So cool!”). Only Mamie writes to Michael Collins, the astronaut who will come so close but never achieve everyone else’s dream of walking on the moon, because he is the one who must stay with the ship. After school ends, Mamie keeps writing to Michael Collins, taking comfort in telling someone about what’s going on with her family as, one by one, they leave the house thinking that someone else is taking care of her—until she is all alone except for her cat and her best friend, Buster. And as the date of the launch nears, Mamie can’t help but wonder: Does no one stay with the ship anymore? … [It’s] a heartwarming story about family and being true to yourself.”
The Emperor’s Ostrich by Julie Berry
“Young dairymaid Begonia has lost her cow Alfalfa. So she has set off on a search across the countryside even though she has nothing but a magical map to guide her. Along the way she meets a mother and baby, a woodcutter, a very dirty young man, and an eight-foot ostrich. Meanwhile, the emperor has gone missing from the royal palace in a most mysterious manner. Was it murder? Was it magic? It will take all of Begonia’s wits to save the empire and get Alfalfa home safely.”
The Journey to Dragon Island: The Accidental Pirates #2 by Claire Fayers
“Reaching the edge of the world can’t stop the crew of the Onion! It’s westward ho in search of dragons, no matter the obstacles. And there are obstacles. Flesh-eating vines, violent locals, and mischievous magi—not to mention Marfak West’s ghost—meet the pirates when they land on the Western Island, where a volcano threatens to end them all. Together, Brine and Peter might just be able to save the crew, the island, and themselves. Or they might all go up in flames. It really could go either way.”
Battlesong: The Icebreaker Trilogy #3 by Lian Tanner
“The thrilling conclusion to the Icebreaker trilogy, an acclaimed middle-grade fantasy-adventure from Lian Tanner. Gwin is a Fetcher. With her papa and twin brother, Nat, she travels West Norn, bringing joy to its downtrodden people through song and story. But ever since Mama died, it’s been hard to keep the joy alive. Proud and defiant, Fetchers have always been hunted by the Devouts for preserving the old ways. So when devious Brother Poosk captures Papa, Gwin must rescue him—whatever the cost. Meanwhile, the Oyster’s crew and the Sunkers lay siege to the Citadel. But without their Sleeping Captain, can they ever win against the ruthless Devouts? Can Petrel, Fin, Sharkey, and Rain ever bring light back to such a dark world?”
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