I know I am not alone in saying that summer is my favorite time of year. I love summer not only for the obvious reasons (warm weather, beach, hiking) but because it is Summer Reading time! Summer Reading gives us all the opportunity to encourage children and teens to read for pleasure, to prevent learning loss, and to make reading a part of their everyday lives. To inspire the love of reading, I put together a list of picture books focusing on the fun of reading. And remember, Summer Reading is for all ages! When children and teens see the adults in their lives reading, it sends them a positive message about reading and sets a great example. Everyone can sign up for Summer Reading with Central Rappahannock Regional Library at librarypoint.org/summer., opens a new window
Thesaurus Has A Secret, opens a new window by Anya Glazer
Many people know about the T. rexes, Iguanodons, and Triceratopses that roamed the Earth millions of years ago. But not too many people know about the Thesaurus. The Thesaurus ate and played and roamed just like other dinosaurs, but he had a much bigger vocabulary than all the other dinos. Why? Because Thesaurus had a secret he kept hidden from all his friends: he loved to read. When Thesaurus’ friends found out about his reading, he feared disaster had struck. But maybe his friends will surprise him.
All of the Factors of Why I Love Tractors, opens a new window by Davina Bell, illustrated by Jenny Løvlie
Frankie and his mom are both looking forward to their trip to the library, but, when Frankie chooses yet another book about tractors, his mom gets frustrated. When she asks why Frankie always chooses books about tractors, he happily launches into all the reasons tractors are superior to other motorized modes of transportation. Finally his mom gives up and lets him check out a tractor book; Frankie and his mom agree that, no matter what the book is about, liking books is what really matters.
The Lost Library, opens a new window by Jess McGeachin
Oliver is quite sad in his new house, and his one comfort is the books he was able to bring with him. When he finds a book in his new house that seems to have been left behind, he is surprised by instructions inside that say “return to The Lost Library.” Oliver doesn’t know where The Lost Library is, but his new friend Rosie suggests they ask a librarian. Instead, while waiting to talk to the librarian, Oliver returns the book to the library’s return slot, starting an adventure through a magical library.
The Detective Dog, opens a new window by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Sara Ogilvie
Detective Dog Nell uses her nose to solve crimes, like who left the sock on the couch and where her boy Peter’s ball went to. But on Mondays, she has a special job: listening to children read at her boy’s school. Nell loves hearing the children read her stories about dragons and dinosaurs, and she loves the smell of books. One Monday, though, the classroom smells all wrong, and Nell discovers the books are all gone. Detective Dog Nell immediately jumps to work tracking down the books, with the children helping her.
The Book That Did Not Want to Be Read, opens a new window by David Sundin
Good books are always engaging, but interactive picture books take that engagement to the next level. When the reader is told to do things with the book that lead to something on the next page, it makes the experience fun and funny and shows children how great books can be. When the words in the book indicate the book itself is reluctant to participate, as is the case with The Book That Did Not Want to Be Read, the reader is fully in charge of the fun.
We Are in a Book!, opens a new window by Mo Willems
A classic that shows just how much fun reading (and being in a book) can be. At first, Elephant and Piggie are shocked when they realize that someone (a reader!) is looking at them. And then they are delighted, especially when they realize that, when they put a word on a page, the reader will say that word out loud. “Banana” becomes hilarious to Elephant and Piggie--and surely to the reader as well. I love Elephant & Piggie books,, opens a new window and this one in particular never gets old.
Darcie Caswell is the Youth Services Coordinator at CRRL. This column originally appeared in The Free Lance-Star newspaper.