Summer Recommendations for the Emerging Reader

by Dianne White on June 15, 2012

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Summer days are upon us – the very best of times to slow down, stretch out, and take in the wonder of a good book.

Younger readers, and those readying to start their first year of kindergarten in the fall will look forward to PICTURE MY DAY created by Séverine Cordier and Cynthia Lacroix (Owlkids 2011). The book begins as a sort of scrapbook/portfolio of a day. The sun rises, it’s getting light. Children and animals awaken.

Much more than a dictionary, PICTURE MY DAY’s brightly colored illustrations invite readers to take in the small moments at home and away. Moments such as enjoying grandma’s jam, playing dress-up, and going to the beach. It’s a beautifully made book. The type that young ones will return to over and over again.

ANIMALS…and THEIR FAMILIES by Barbara Nascimbeni, another lovely offering from Owlkids (2011), would make a delightful companion book to PICTURE MY DAY. Illustrations introduce readers to nearly three dozen animals – land, sea, and tree-dwellers – whose homes cross continents and habitats. Text labels and small bits of information about each animal encourage beginning writers to create their own stories, fiction or nonfiction, about the animals introduced across the pages.  Some children will even be inspired to try their hand at drawing some of these creatures. Could there be a more wonderful way to spend a few afternoon hours on a summer day?

Emerging readers are full of questions and HOW? by Catherine Ripley, illustrated by Scot Ritchie (Owlkids 2012) has the answers! This book, a follow-up to WHY?, provides easy-to-understand answers to nearly 100 questions posed by kids. Questions like “Why do I hear the sea in a shell?” and “Why is the ocean salty?” And my favorite ? “Does reading make me smarter?” Find the answers to these questions and many more.

Most importantly, don’t forget to take advantage of longer summer days and visit your local library or bookstore. Let your children browse the aisles, sit down with a good book, and spend a part of each week exploring all the riches to be found in the pages of a well-chosen book.

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