Are you looking for a list of books for your Kindergarten, 1st, or 2nd grader to read this summer (2016)? I’ve compiled a list of must-read books that your little one is sure to enjoy!
Reading can be one of the many fun activities children fill their summer time with. Children who participate in public library summer reading programs not only avoid the “summer slide” in learning but also score higher on reading achievement tests than those who do not participate.
The books on this list come highly recommended by kid readers from all over the country and may also be available in ebook, audiobook, braille, and large print formats. This summer, encourage your child to participate in the summer programs happening at your library. Affiliate links used.
SUMMER READING LIST FOR KINDERGARTEN THROUGH 2ND GRADE
Olinguito, from A to Z! Unveiling the Cloud Forest by Lulu Delacre Children’s Book Press, 2016, ISBN: 9780892393275 Explore the cloud forest of the Andes in Ecuador in this bilingual alphabetical book in verse.
Power Down, Little Robotby Anna Staniszewski Illustrated by Tim Zeltner Henry Holt, 2015, ISBN: 9781627791250 This little robot has no plans to go to bed!
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett Illustrated by Jon Klassen Candlewick Press, 2014, ISBN: 9780763662295 Sam and Dave do not find what they expect when they dig a hole, but they still end up having a pretty good day.
Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev Illustrated by Taeeun Yoo Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, 2015, ISBN: 9781481416474 Pets—and friends—come in all shapes and sizes.
Surf’s Upby Kwame Alexander Illustrated by Daniel Miyares NorthSouth Books, 2016, ISBN: 9780735842205 Frog friends Bro and Dude hilariously debate whether surfing or reading is a better way to spend a day at the beach.
Ten Rules of Being a Superhero by Deb Pilutti Henry Holt, 2014, ISBN: 9780805097597 Anyone can be a superhero as long as they follow these ten important rules!
Treat by Mary Sullivan Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016, ISBN: 9780544472709 Learn the many things this dog does in order to get a treat to eat in this light tale filled with humor.
Are We There Yet? by Dan Santat Little, Brown, 2016, ISBN: 9780316199995 On a seemingly endless car trip, hours move so slowly that a boy imagines that time is actually moving backwards, sending him into a past full of pirates, dinosaurs, and adventure.
Ballet Cat: Dance! Dance! Underpants! by Bob Shea Disney-Hyperion, 2016, ISBN: 9781484713792 Ballet Cat is simply manic for ballet and tries to get her friend Butter Bear to join in the dance.
Beastly Verse Illustrated by JooHee Yoon Enchanted Lion Books, 2015, ISBN: 9781592701667 Text and art are interwoven to bring to life sixteen animal related poems in this award winning book.
Duck, Duck, Dinosaur by Kallie George Illustrated by Oriol Vidal HarperCollins, 2016, ISBN: 9780062353085 Just when the game was getting to be fun, in came trouble—in this twist on the child’s game.
Earmuffs for Everyone! How Chester Greenwood Became Known as the Inventor of Earmuffs by Meghan McCarthy Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, 2015, ISBN: 9781481406376 Learn about the invention of earmuffs by prolific inventor and successful businessman Chester Greenwood in this humorous picture book.
8: An Animal Alphabet by Elisha Cooper Orchard Books, 2015, ISBN: 9780545470834 In this counting alphabet book, Cooper delivers a unique gamelike quality to his story as readers learn about animals—both familiar and exotic—in this alphabetically arranged book that contains eight illustrations of each animal on its pages.
Flowers Are Calling by Rita Gray Illustrated by Kenard Pak Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015, ISBN: 9780544340121 Playful rhyming text alternates with factual callouts that describe flowers and the pollination process. The watercolor illustrations are gorgeous and sure to inspire young naturalists everywhere!
Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie little bee books, 2016, ISBN: 9781499801033 Because of the unjust system of nineteenth-century Louisiana, the slaves are forced to work all week long, so they look forward to Sunday, when they can gather in New Orleans’ Congo Square to dance, sing, and enjoy an afternoon of freedom.
Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio Illustrated by Christian Robinson Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, 2014, ISBN: 9781442451025 What does it take for a bulldog to fit in with his proper poodle family? It turns out to be something simple: love.
Get a Hit, Mo! by David A. Adler Illustrated by Sam Ricks Penguin, 2016, ISBN: 9780670016327 Mo is used to striking out, but when the bases are loaded, he may just finally hit a home run.
The Grasshopper & the Ants by Jerry Pinkney Little, Brown, 2015, ISBN: 9780316400817 The third in his retellings of Aesop’s Fables, Pinkney shows the grasshopper why the ants have worked so hard, and the ants learn the value of sharing.
Hi, Koo! A Year of Seasons by Jon J. Muth Scholastic, 2014, ISBN: 9780545166683 Koo the panda is back and discovering each season through poetry.
Ice Cream Summer by Peter Sís Scholastic, 2015, ISBN: 9780545731614 Get the scoop on some fun history, math, new vocabulary, and much more in this entertaining book all about ice cream.
I Don’t Want to Be a Frog by Dev Petty Illustrated by Mike Boldt Doubleday Books, 2015, ISBN: 9780385378666 A frog imagines what it would be like to be a rabbit, a cat, and other animals in this silly story.
I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison Illustrated by Frank Morrison Bloomsbury, 2014, ISBN: 9781619631786 A neighborhood walk becomes so much more as a little girl explores the music and sound of everyday urban life.
Lenny & Lucy by Philip C. Stead Illustrated by Erin E. Stead Roaring Brook Press, 2015, ISBN: 9781596439320 Peter uses his imagination and pillows to create Lenny, the Guardian of the Bridge, and realizes that something is missing—a friend for Lenny.
My New Friend Is So Fun! by Mo Willems Disney-Hyperion, 2014, ISBN: 9781423179580 Will a new friend break apart Piggie and Gerald’s friendship?
The Night Gardener by Terry Fan and Eric Fan Simon & Schuster, 2016, ISBN: 9781481439787 William and an elderly gardener help transform their town by creating anonymous topiary artwork.
Has your child read any books on this summer reading list? Any others you would add?
Don’t miss these summer reading lists for other age groups and tips on saving money on books:
- Summer Reading List (Kindergarten – 2nd)
- How to Save Money on Reading
- Summer Reading List (6th-8th grade)
- Summer Reading List: Middle School
- Summer Reading List (3rd-5th grade)
This 2016 Summer Reading Book List was created by members of the Association for Library Service.