First Grade Summer Reading List

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based on 29 ratings
May 16, 2011
Updated on Mar 31, 2014

Even though your child is beginning to read on her own, sitting down together with a book is still an important part of her development as a reader, and it's a perfect summer activity! "Even if your child can read, we would encourage you to share the summer reading experience,” says Helen Huber, a veteran librarian and elementary school teacher, and a literary adviser for GiftLit, an online retailer of hand-selected books. “Your modeling of fluency and your oral expression enhances their experience of the story and their reading skills."

Many kids entering first grade are still taking baby steps with reading. Others want to read simple books on their own. If you're feeling flustered trying to find books that both you and your child can enjoy, we've got you covered. We've cracked open hundreds of new titles to bring you this list of fail-safe first grade favorites for summer.


2012 Summer Reading Book Picks

Water Sings Blue, by Kate Coombs, illustrated by Meilo So. Despite gorgeous watercolors and elegant rhymes, this pretty book of kids poetry doesn’t take itself too seriously. For parents who’d love to try a collection of poems but want it served up with some wit and humor, we’d recommend this gem of hermit crab realtors and seas turtles who don’t stop for directions. (Chronicle, $13.06)

How Many Jelly Beans, by Andrea Menotti, illustrated by Yancey Labat. It’s one thing to count to 100, or 1,000. It’s another thing to have a clear sense of what those numbers actually mean. This delicious concoction gives kids a visual picture of what really big numbers look like, by presenting them in a format kids can understand... jelly beans! Bright illustrations and a sassy text add up to serious fun, with the final foldout a 1 million jelly bean extravaganza. (Chronicle Books, $15.31)

Everything Butt Art at the Zoo, by Brian Snyder & Alexis Moniello. Who doesn’t love butts?! Kids and adults alike will have a blast flexing their drawing muscles with this hilarious art activity book where every drawing starts with a butt. More than your average drawing book, this book features step-by-step instructions for drawing 15 of your favorite zoo animals, along with fascinating fun facts about each of the animals, and activities like word searches and mazes. This playful book is the perfect way to keep your kids’ minds active over the summer while encouraging creativity and giving them some always-welcome giggle time.(Mad Brook Publishing, $9.95)

Tyrannosaurus Dad, by Liz Rosenberg, Illustrator Matthews Myers. From Tobias' vantage point, his father is larger-than-life and less than perfect. He's big and gruff and busy all the time. Tobias wonders if his dad will even notice or care when the day of the big game arrives. Rest assured, dad shows up in full effect. Turns out there's a loyal, loving, and fiercely protective guy underneath that crusty exterior. This book, a celebration of fathers, has age-appropriate elements of action, danger, and humor that will keep kids intrigued, as well as vibrant illustrations that extend the story. You'll want to share this quirky and endearing book with your own dinosaur dad. (Roaring Brook Press, $13.70)

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