Book Corner: Seven books to kick off summer reading fun

Summer Reading, opens a new window has launched, and Central Rappahannock Regional Library’s (CRRL) Good Reads book lists are a great way to keep your children and teens reading all summer long. 

Besides simply being fun, Summer Reading helps children avoid “summer slide,” the loss of learning that can happen when children are not experiencing educational and enriching activities during the months away from school. The library’s Summer Reading program ( encourages children and teens to read by offering incentives, fun classes and events, and endless reading suggestions.

CRRL’s Good Reads lists are created by CRRL librarians and contain titles handpicked to be engaging for each grade level, kindergarten through 12th grade. A variety of titles on each list means there are plenty of books to choose from, making it easier to find just the right one. Find Good Reads lists for each grade level at, opens a new window

The Good Reads lists for kindergarten, first, and second grades have everything from picture books to beginning readers and early chapter books, which children in this age range can use to practice their independent reading skills.

The Duck Never Blinks, opens a new window, by Alex Latimer, is an interactive book, asking the reader to help with tasks as the book progresses. The reader is asked to monitor the duck in the book, watching to see if various tricks make the duck blink. This book is funny and a great way for an adult to share a book (and laughs) with a child.

Frog Can Hop, opens a new window, written by Laura Gehl and illustrated by Fred Blunt, is a beginning reader designed to help children learn to read independently by keeping the number of words per page low, using words repeatedly, and using words from the same word family throughout, making it easier to decode the text. Frog Can Hop also utilizes humor to keep young readers engaged by wondering what the silly friends in this story will do next.

How Dinosaurs Went Extinct, opens a new window, written by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Jennifer Harney, takes a humorous approach to talking about human safety, hypothesizing that the death of the dinosaurs was caused by things such as running with scissors, swimming after eating, and tipping backwards in a desk chair. The text helpfully includes pronunciation for all the dinosaur names.

I Am Curious!, opens a new window written by Kelly Greenwalt and illustrated by Amariah Rauscher, follows inquisitive Princess Truly as she does some of her favorite activities, both real and imagined. The size and shape of this beginning reader helps emerging readers feel like big kids.

I Live in A Tree Trunk, opens a new window, written by Meg Fleming and illustrated by Brandon James Scott, introduces some interesting vocabulary as various animals say where they live, such as a reef or a bramble. The fun part is when very different animals find out that they live in the same type of place, such as a burrow or a nest.

A Llama Is Not an Alpaca, opens a new window, written by Karen Jameson and illustrated by Lorna Scobie, uses a question-and-answer format to simply and clearly teach the reader how to tell the difference between commonly mixed-up animals such as rabbits and hares, moths and butterflies, and toads and frogs. 

Noodle Conquers Comfy Mountain, opens a new window, written by Jonathan Graziano and illustrated by Dan Tavis, is a funny and sweet story about Noodle the pug looking for a comfy place to lie down. When he does find the perfect spot, he finds his legs are a bit too short, so his next challenge is getting the attention of his human to lift him up to the top of Comfy Mountain.

Darcie Caswell is the Youth Services Coordinator at CRRL. This column originally appeared in The Free Lance-Star newspaper.