Toddler Reading List – Summer

Every Friday morning I read stories and sing songs to toddlers at Cover to Cover book store in San Francisco. This week the theme is Summer and here’s what we’ll be reading:

How I Spent My Summer Vacation by Mark Teague. Most of us may manage to go away for a while, but there’s not many people who can claim to have become a revered and heroic cowboy. But that’s what happened to Wallace Bleff and he relates his story to the class (and to us) in cheeky rhymes.

One Hot Summer Day by Nina Crews. A really simple book, illustrated with photo collage, it tells the story of one very hot day in the city when it’s too hot to play outside until the rain comes. Lots of adults think this book is very strange, but it appeals to children because it tells the story of something real using real pictures of a real little girl.

Old Bear by Kevin Henkes. Although technically bears sleep through the winter and wake up in the Spring, this old bear does dream about all the seasons including the summer. The illustrations are extremely beautiful and the dream sequence is a real treat for the imagination, especially the blueberry rain.

When the Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant. “It was in the summer of the year when the relatives came…” so begins this charming tale of an extended family visit. There’s a lot to see in the illustrations, including  the damage wrought by the relative’s car. But the real story here is the love between these people, all hugging, laughing and breathing together.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carl. I seem to have been reading this one a lot recently, this may have something to do with the amazing pop-up version that cover to cover have in stock at the moment. It’s a great edition and the kids are fascinated by it.

We’ll be singing “Mr Sun”, “This Train is Going to Grandmas” and “Jenny Jenkins” (we’ll get the colours from the butterfly’s wings).


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