Summer is here, and Summer Reading is underway at Central Rappahannock Regional Library (CRRL). Over the summer it is critical that children read regularly to avoid “summer slide,” a decline in reading levels and other academic skills that can happen when children are out of school for several months.
To help keep children and teens motivated to read, CRRL offers incentives, prize drawings, and end-of-summer raffles for participating in this year’s Summer Reading program, “Reading Colors Your World.” Children, teens, and adults can sign up online (librarypoint.org/summer) or in any branch. A fun way to kick off a super summer of reading is with some books that focus on the Summer Reading theme—thinking about color in the world around us.
Edible Colors by Jennifer Vogel Bass
The variety of colors in nature is astounding. There are orange carrots, but also purple carrots. Purple plums, but also red plums. Red tomatoes, but also green tomatoes. A two-page display of what can be red features strawberries and cherries but also Ruby Queen corn and Red Dacca bananas. Edible Colors will surely inspire conversations about fruits, vegetables, and colors and may inspire young readers to seek out some new and interesting snacks.
Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns by Hena Khan, illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini
A young girl describes the colors of meaningful objects in her life: the red of her father’s prayer rug, the blue of her mother’s hijab, the white of her grandfather’s kufi, the brown of the dates she enjoys eating during Ramadan, the yellow of the box for gifts of zakat.
Green on Green by Dianne White, illustrated by Felicita Sala
The colors of nature change gradually but dramatically as a young boy plays, works, and explores the outdoors during every season. Summer is full of yellow: flowers, bees, and lemonade. Autumn brings brown: squirrels, mice, and leaves on the trees. Winter brings white: snow, his breath in the cold air, and the crisp winter sky. Spring brings new shoots of green.
Mis colores, mi mundo by Maya Christina Gonzalez
In the desert, everything looks brown—the color of the sand that is everywhere and covers everything. A little girl sets out to find color in her world and is delighted by what she finds: the pink desert sunset, orange marigolds in the garden, a green cactus, and the red swing in her yard.
P. Zonka Lays An Egg by Julie Paschkis
Zonka is not like any of the other chickens on the farm. All the other chickens lay eggs regularly, but P. Zonka has never laid an egg. The other chickens make fun of P. Zonka because she is a “dreamer.” She loves looking at the shiny green grass, the deep blue sky, and the big red tulips. When P. Zonka finally does lay an egg, it is unlike any other. It is covered in the vibrant colors all around her.
Press Here by Hervé Tullet
Interactive books are a delight to children, and Press Here is one of the best. Press a yellow dot, turn the page, and there are two yellow dots! Tap the red dot, turn the page, and there is a whole row of red dots! Shake the book, turn the page—now the yellow, blue, and red dots are all mixed up. No matter how many times this book is read, it is a delight.
What Color Is Night? by Grant Snider
Night is not only black and white. It is the midnight blue of the night sky and the yellow of the newly rising moon. It is the red neon of city signs and the glowing green eyes of nocturnal animals. There are many colors to be found at night if we look carefully.
Darcie Caswell is the Youth Services Coordinator at CRRL. This column originally appeared in The Free Lance-Star newspaper.