Summer Reading

The year our daughter turned six, she celebrated the first day of summer with our neighbor.  It was a hot day, so they set the sprinkler in the sun, found last-year’s bathing suits, and ran the afternoon away; back and forth through the cold water, laughing.  When they finally stopped for popsicles, they decided they needed a break from old wet swimming suits.  They changed into the dry clothes little girls consider fashionable:  spandex shorts, t-shirts (tucked in), sunglasses and flipflops.  They forgot to brush their hair.

The girls covered their lawn chairs with beach towels and moved to the shade of the magnolia tree.  They had filled two canvas tote bags with their favorite paperbacks, the stories of Frances the badger, Arthur the chipmunk, Elephant and Piggie, Benny and Penny, Peter Rabbit, Curious George and Charlotte the Spider. Summer reading began that year in the backyard, in the shade of an old tree.

The following is a list includes the books kids and teachers consider fun.  Teachers call these books their favorites because they contain the enchanted, magical places that exist only in good stories, and because their students read them without protest.  Kids pick many of the same titles because reading these books makes them laugh, or helps them understand, or makes them feel like they’ve made a new friend.


  • Clare Beaton
  • Margret Wise Brown
  • Ruth Brown
  • Thorton Burgess
  • Virginia Lee Burton
  • Eric Carle
  • Tomi DePaola
  • Kevin Henkes
  • Mary Anne Hoberman
  • Ezra Jack Keats
  • Lois Lenski
  • John Lithgow
  • Arnold Lobel
  • Robert McCloskey
  • Patricia Polacco
  • Cynthia Rylant
  • Maurice Sendak
  • Shel Silverstein
  • Simms Taback
  • Mo Willems
  • Vera Williams
  • Audrey Wood
  • Douglas Wood
  • The Old Woman Who Named Things, Katherine Brown
  • Snowy Day, Ezra Jack Keats
  • We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Michael Rosen
  • Snow, Uri Shulevitz
  • Winter’s Gift, Jane Monroe Donavan
  • Seven Silly Eaters, Mary Anne Hoberman
  • Stone Soup
  • I Wish I Were a Butterfly, James Howe
  • Rattlebone Rock, Silvia Andrews
  • The Quiltmaker’s Gift, Jeff Brumbeau
  • Spring Thaw, Steven Schnur
  • Round Robin, Jack Kent
  • Old Mother West Wind, Thornton Burgess
  • The Bravest Knight, Mercer Mayer
  • The Big Snow, Berta and Elmer Hader
  • The Dot, Peter Reynolds


  • C. W. Anderson
  • Andrew Clements
  • Roald Dahl
  • Franklin W. Dixon
  • Ruth Chew
  • Matt Christopher
  • Beverly Cleary
  • Roald Dahl
  • Julie Andrews Edwards
  • Carolyn Keane
  • Charles Kingsley
  • Lois Lenski
  • Mary Pope Osborne
  • Gary Paulson
  • Lincoln Peirce
  • Dave Pilkey
  • J. K. Rowling
  • Cynthia Rylant
  • Noel Streatfield
  • E.B. White
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • My Side of the Mountain, Jean Craighead George
  • The Chalk Box Kid, Clyde Robert Bulla
  • One Day in the Prairie, Jean Craighead George
  • Sarah Plain and Tall, Patricia MacLachlan
  • Ella Enchanted, Gail Carson Levine
  • When Jesse Came Across the Sea, Amy Hest
  • The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • The Doll’s House, Rumer Godden
  • Maple Moon, Connie Brummel Crook and Scott Cameron
  • Kate Shelley and the Midnight Express, Margaret K. Wetterer
  • The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles, Julie Andrews Edwards
  • Frindle, Andrew Clements
  • Shiloh, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor and Barry Moser
  • The Lemonade War, Jacqueline Davies

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