The Coolest Reading List for One Hot Summer

Ages 4-8

These wonderful books for ages 4 to 8 will inspire your child's imagination and leave them asking for more.

The Indian in the Cupboard, by Lynne Reid Banks (Doubleday, 1981). With one turn of the key Omri's toys are brought to life. He quickly learns that taking care of another person is no easy task.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, by Judi Barrett (Aladdin Library, 1982). Meatballs aren't the only things that fall from the clouds in this all too delicious story. Children see what would happen if rain were replaced with pancakes and other surprising foods.

The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams Bianco (Doubleday, 1958). He's no wooden boy, but this stuffed Rabbit yearns for the love of a child that he hopes will one day make him real.

Elizabeti's Doll, by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen (Lee & Low, 1998). Longing to care for a baby like her mother, Elizabeti has no doll, but instead finds a suitable rock. But when Elizabeti loses her new doll, Eva, she does all she can to find it.

Giggle, Giggle, Quack, by Doreen Cronin (Simon & Schuster, 2002). When Farmer Brown goes on vacation, Duck is up to his usual antics. Changing the note from Farmer Brown so the animals get pizza on Tuesday is just the beginning.

I'm Gonna Like Me: Letting Off a Little Self-Esteem, by Jamie Lee Curtis (Joanna Cotler, 2002). When two children can verbally say why they like themselves it's a great thing. From getting a bad gift to being wrong in class these children remain positive.

Olivia, by Ian Falconer (Atheneum, 2000). Olivia may be a pig, but she certainly doesn't sit in mud all day. This active little lady is always on the go and promises non-stop fun in this beautifully illustrated book.

If You Take a Mouse to School, by Laura Numeroff (Laura Geringer, 2002). Another in the mouse series, but this time he's not after your cookies. However, when you get to school make sure your lunchbox is hidden.

Tikki Tikki Tembo, by Arlene Mosel (Henry Holt & Company, 1988). When Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo falls into a well, his younger brother, Chang, tries to get help but is always out of breath after trying to say his brother's name.

Thank You, Amelia Bedelia, by Peggy Parish (HarperTrophy, 1993). She's everyone's favorite maid. Taking literal meaning from everything she is told causes Amelia Bedelia to string the beans and more mix-ups.

Tea with Milk, by Allen Say (Houghton Mifflin, 1999). After moving to Japan from the United States, Masako struggles to learn the culture of another country.

Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak (Harpercollins, 2003). Sent to bed without dinner? No problem, watch as Max's room transforms into a jungle full of some of the wildest creatures ever illustrated.

The Giving Tree, by Shell Silverstein (Harpercollins, 1964). It's better to give than to receive. And this story of a selfless tree that gives to everyone not just the boy.

Nate the Great, by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat (Young Yearling, 1977). Nate is back and on the case of missing cat. With the help of his dog Sludge, the two are able to crack the case and find the missing feline.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, by Judith Voirst (Aladdin Library, 1987). When your day can't get any worse, think of Alexander. Waking with gum in his hair and tripping on his skateboard are just the beginning.

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