Saturday, August 17, 2013

Summer Reading

This summer we participated in the summer reading program and went to the library once a week.  I have read lots and lots of children's books throughout my 5 years teaching, not to mention my student teaching, reading practicum, children's literature class, and my childhood.  I have favorite books and favorite authors I tend to go back to time and time again.

Every time we go to the library I check out 7-10 books and I would be happy as a clam to check out 10 books by Mo Willems or 10 books by Kevin Henkes.  So my challenge for this summer was to stick with mostly books I had never read.  Some were authors I knew, but one of their books I hadn't read.  I wanted to find new favorites with Carter and possibly even great books for my classroom.

When I found a book I really liked, I wrote it down to keep track of for later.  I decided it would be a good idea to make a list of our favorite summer reading choices.  So with summer winding down and school starting up on Monday, I'd like to share our list, which is in no particular order.

Our Top Summer Reading Choices
  • All Kinds of Kisses by Nancy Tafuri, I love Nancy Tafuri.  She has great books for beginning readers.  Each page has an animal sound on it and Carter LOVED it when I would make the animal sounds and I LOVED it when I got to give him lots of kisses because, of course, every time it said kisses I gave him some.  I also noticed the bird is on every page which was cool and would be lots of fun for a toddler to search for!  This was by far our favorite book we read.
  • Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld, I always love books with the message that no matter your size you can make an impact and this one is adorable!
  • A Sweet Smell of Roses by Angela Johnson, I use her books as mentor texts for Writer's Workshop all the time, she's amazing!  I had never read this one before and it's probably my favorite book of hers.  Her writing is so poetic and beautiful and usually has a powerful message.
  • A Penguin Story by Antoinette Portis, I love her book Not a Box.  You must read it if you haven't!  It's also a good book for a beginning reader with repetition and great picture clues.
  • City Colors by Zoran Milich, Kids love books with photographs and this would be a fun book to read again as Carter learns his colors.
  • Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt, This book is the first in her series.  My students love these books and I'd never read them.  Watt has a great sense of humor that appeals to children as well as adults.  Ty also like this one.
  • Welcome, Little Baby by Aliki, Reading this one with Carter made me feel all warm and fuzzy.  It is very sweet and I'm keeping track of it as a great baby shower/new baby present.
  • Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox, I had a blast with this one.  Every time it said a baby had ten little fingers I'd stop and say, "Let's check, does Carter?" and I'd count his fingers.  I'd do the same thing when we got to toes.  This is a perfect book for babies and toddlers!
  • Hands Can by Cheryl Hudson, This book has photographs of children which kids tend to love.  It is so cute with lots of rhyming, repetition, and bold words.  It is also a good book for a beginning reader with lots of great picture clues for words, but there are some tricky sight words the reader would need to know.
  • Babies Can't Eat Kimchee by Nancy Patz, I want to remember this book to read to Carter when we are expecting a brother or sister.  It is so cute how the older sibling looks forward to teaching her little sister.  I also like the idea of using it in my classroom to draw out questions about other cultures.  It would be a great spring board for research.
    • Hopper and Wilson by Maria van Lieshout, The characters are so adorable and reminded me of Mo Willem's Elephant and Piggie, so of course I loved them.  There were some great picture clues for making predictions.  The ending was precious.  I hope there are more Hopper and Wilson books, they need a series!
    • I Am Small by Emma Dodd, The repetition is great for young children to chime in and "help" read parts of the page.  The ending is so sweet and touching.  This is definitely a book I will read to Carter when he's older and can understand it.  The size of the book is also small which is nice.  Carter was able to grasp and hold the book on his own.  That's so important for young children to hold or help hold the book and/or turn the pages so they feel like they're part of the reading experience. 
    • Traces by Paula Fox, I imagine reading this book with Carter when he's older and then taking a walk or a hike and searching for animal tracks or other traces of animals.  This would also be a good book to use in my classroom to spark a lesson on adjectives, she uses so many great describing words! 
    • There's Going to Be A Baby by John Burningham, This will be a good book to read with Carter when he's about to be a big brother.  I think it's so important for him to understand it's okay to sometimes wish there wasn't going to be another baby.  This book would be a great way to start that conversation and then have other 1st borns tell Carter what they love about being a big sibling.
    • Jump! by Scott M. Fischer, Carter thought this book was hilarious.  Each time it said jump, I would bounce him and he would laugh.  This would be a great book with a toddler.  They could predict what would happen next the first read-through and then "help" you read the repetitive pages the next time.
    • Bark, George by Jules Feiffer, This was another book Carter thought was hilarious.  He LOVES books with animal noises.  He laughs so hard every time I make an animal noise.  It would also be a fun one to read with a toddler.  They could make predictions and make the animal noises along with you.
    We will continue going to the library once a week throughout the school year.  Next up will be our fall reading list.  Carter's favorite books from home are still the touch and feel books.  He is adorable when he read them!


    1. He looks cute reading the books. It looks like he likes his new book. I thought I saw him using his tongue like Ty while working on a book.

      1. Yes, he was! It was a lot of work to sit up and wave the book around. He LOVES his new book. His favorite page is the horse because he loves rubbing the mane!

    2. So fun! We love Bark, George! But we've never read any of the other books you listed, so now I'm super anxious to get to the library to check them out! We're HUGE Karma Wilson fans and we like Debra Fraiser, too.

      1. Karma Wilson is great! I've only read a couple Debra Fraiser books, I'll have to check her out.