Kindergarten Summer Reading List (page 2)

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based on 7 ratings
May 16, 2011
Updated on Apr 4, 2014

Our 2010 Kindergarten Summer Reading Picks

Hot Rod Hamster by Cynthia Lord. Built for a need-for-speed, rough-and-tumble kind of kindergartener, this fast-paced car-racing tale will leave kids smiling from start to finish line. Filled with colorful illustrations and snappy writing, this junkyard Cinderella story about a hamster and his search for the perfect hot rod, will delight any Cars-obsessed, animal-loving kid. A smokin', souped-up story about burning rubber and the triumph of a little hamster underdog. (Scholastic, $11.55)

 Magnus Maximus by Kathleen T. Pelley. Magnus Maximus measures extraordinary things, from the itchiness of an itch to the number of fleas on an escaped circus lion (consequently detaining the lion and making Magnus a hero!) So intense is his focus on counting the little things that he doesn't fully experience the beautiful things that pass his way...until a new friend helps to show him how. This great lesson about taking stock of the things that really matter, is wrapped up in a beautifully-imagined story. Ink and watercolor illustrations portray Victorian England convincingly, complete with details both funny and sweet. An instant classic! (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $11.55) 

The Jungle Grapevine by Alex Beard. It's another beautiful day in the jungle, but when Bird misinterprets Turtle's comment on the way to the watering hole, and Elephant passes the information on to Snake, rumors begin spreading like wildfire! Is there really a drought and a flood? How will the animals stem the tide of misinformation? This clever and creative storybook is an engaging page-turner for young readers, with colorful illustrations that bound off the page. A fun reading safari! (Abrams, $11.53) 

 The Story Tree by Hugh Lupton. These seven tales span the globe in terms of origin, but they all have something important in common: vibrant characters and plenty of repetition. This makes them a perfect choice for kinders! The Little Red Hen, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, and several of the other stories will likely be familiar to parents, but these well-known folktales are retold for a reason—their rhythms and repetitions encourage kids to shout out the refrains, and in the process, learn how stories are structured and what makes them tick. A beautifully illustrated collection with tales from all over the world. (Barefoot Books, $15.59)

Farm by Elisha Cooper. This beautifully told and illustrated book is at once lively and peaceful, chronicaling the events and quiet moments of life on a farm with graceful language and images that soothe, but never bore. Tractors, crops, animals and farmers all play a part in this wonderful book, which captures the rhythms of rural life and gives a feel for the sights and seasons of a working farm.(Scholastic, $17.99)

Our 2009 Kindergarten Summer Reading Picks

The Travel Game by John Grandits, illustrated by R.W. Alley. Tad is not a big fan of afternoon naps. His Aunt Hattie coerces him to go to his room with a game she's created: Each afternoon they spin the globe, Tad plops his finger down with his eyes closed, and they "go" wherever they land. Using an illustrated encyclopedia for story fodder, Hattie whisks them to the boat city of Hong Kong, the wilds of the Amazon, or the streets of India-- all without leaving the comfort of their home. Written by the former art director of Cricket magazine and illustrated by the artist behind the Paddington Bear series, not only is the story a keeper, but it just may inspire kids to pick up a globe and try their own version. (Clarion, 2009, $16.00)

Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld. Take an optical illusion, add two kids who love to argue (sound familiar?), sprinkle in delightful illustrations, and layer a smart, well-written text across it all. You've got Duck! Rabbit!, a simple but surprisingly elegant picture book that kids will want to read again and again. The plot centers around a simple sketch-- is it a duck or a rabbit? Yes, on both counts, depending how you look at it. Kids will love taking sides and they might even change their minds by story's end. (Chronicle Books, 2009, $16.99)

A Book by Mordicai Gerstein. There once was a family that lived between the covers of a book. When the book was closed, it was night inside. When the book was open, it was day. One morning the girl in the book asked something that had been bothering her: if they were all characters, then what was their story? Dissatisfied with the answer, she sets out to discover whather story is about. Drawn with shadows and perspective that make the reader feel as if he's peering in on a 3-D world, this picture book moves from fairy tales to pirate tales, in search of a plot that feels right to the girl. Young readers along for the ride become characters in the book, too. A very special way to engage kids in the reading process. (Roaring Brook Press, 2009, $16.95)

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown. One day, while out exploring his drab, gray city, Liam finds an abandoned railway track with some wildflowers still clinging to life. He decides to help these plants survive, by taking on the role of gardener. Soon the curious garden begins to thrive and once it starts to spread, other city-dwellers become inspired to pitch in and help, so that over time, the once dreary city becomes a green paradise. This magical book is a celebration of nature, introducing kids to the idea of environmental stewardship and community service. A great read-aloud during the blossoming summer months when your child's curiosity about the natural world is at its peak. (Little Brown, 2009, $16.99)

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