The Coolest Reading List for One Hot Summer

It's summer again, and there's no better time for your child to settle down with a good book. The books below will foster reading skills and provide hours of storytelling fun and wonder for you and your kids. So head to the library or bookstore, grab some lemonade and let the reading begin!

Toddler / Preschool

Here are some terrific books for toddlers and preschoolers, who are at a stage when a love for reading is easily encouraged.

Hug, by Jez Alborough (Candlewick, 2002). A baby chimpanzee is in search of a hug from his mommy. While he tries to find her he sees other animal families snuggling together.

Sheep in a Jeep, by Margot Apple (Houghton Mifflin, 1988). Five sheep in jeep, what could be better? Watch as the sheep drive through the mud, go over a hill and more fun and exciting mishaps.

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, by Virginia Lee Burton (Houghton Mifflin, 1978). When Mike Mulligan and his trusty steam shovel Mary Anne promise to dig the cellar for the new town hall in just one day the entire town comes out to watch.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle (Philomel, 1994). He was born to eat and eat and eat. Watch this very hungry caterpillar turn into a beautiful butterfly.

Jamberry, by Bruce Degen (HarperTrophy, 2001). It's a rhyming adventure through Berryland. A boy and bear tell silly rhymes about blueberry, canoeberry and more.

A Pocket for Corduroy, by Don Freeman (Viking, 1980). Lisa is warned by her mother to take everything out of her pockets before washing them. Corduroy, her teddy bear, hears this and after realizing he has no pockets, he searches to no end to find one.

Is Your Mama a Llama, by Deborah Guarino (Scholastic, 1991). Children have fun as they follow a Llama on the search for its mama. Colorful pictures and fun animals make this a must have.

Harold and the Purple Crayon, by Crockett Johnson (Harpercollins, 1981). Armed with only his imagination and a purple crayon, Harold takes us to a picnic, underwater and more.

The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats (Viking Press, 1981). What happens when a boy sees snow for the first time? A fun filled day of making snow angels and snowballs that's what.

Peek-a-Who, by Nina Laden (Chronicle, 2000). Peek-a-boo has its merit, but this book brings the game to a new level. With a peek-a-moo cow and peek-a-boo ghost children will love guessing what comes next.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, by Bill Martin (Holt Rinehart and Winston, 1993). Blue horses, brown bears and yellow ducks oh my! Beautifully illustrated and simply told, this book is a must have for children who loves animals.

Make Way for Ducklings, by Robert McCloskey (Scott Foresman, 1976). Two duck parents decide to raise their ducklings in a park away from foxes and turtles, plus the people throw them peanuts.

The Little Engine that Could, by Watty Piper (Grosset & Dunlap, 1978). This classic inspirational story is all about personal triumph. The little engine overcomes a mountain and is able to deliver the toys to the children.

Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr. Seuss (Random House, 1960). Do you like green eggs and ham? After reading this book, you'll love them and all the fun characters like Sam I am.

The Napping House, by Audrey Wood (Red Wagon, 2000). In a house full of sleepy people and animals it's hard to imagine much going on. But when they all make their way to Granny's bed and the wakeful flee joins the bunch, it's not such a sleepy time.

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