Celebrate Summer Reading – Our Staff Share Their Picks
We asked ELD staff, including Early Learning System Director Miriam Calderon, to offer some of their favorite summer books for early learners. Research has long supported the benefits of reading aloud to young children, encouraging language development and the relationship between parent and child. Consider some of these titles for your summer road trip or bedtime ritual.
Miriam Calderon, Early Learning System Director
Perritos (Doggies) by Sandra Boynton and Buenos Noches Luna (Good Night Moon) by Margaret Wise Brown
My children were raised bilingual, so I looked for popular board books in Spanish. Perritos and Buenas Noches Luna were two of their favorites – they had a fun time finding the ratoncitos (mice) on each page and making the different barking sounds in Perritos. Our family dog, Chico even joined in.
La Luz de Lucia by Margarita del Mazo
This is a newer original Spanish book, written and illustrated by native Spanish speakers. Lucia is the smallest member in a family of fireflies. Her story shows the importance of each one of us shining as brightly as we can.
Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne
When my children were beginning to read chapter books, they enjoyed the non-fiction research books that are part of the Magic Tree House series. These are fact-based books made accessible for young children. They cover a range of topics such as rain forests, space, dinosaurs and sharks.
Cassandra Ferder, Parent Engagement Coordinator
Everything is Mama by Jimmy Fallon.
This newer title is colorful, short and sweet. It’s great for young children and the repetitive nature of the story is also great for emerging readers.
Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match by Monica Brown
My daughter learns Spanish at school and this bilingual book has been a great resource for her to see English and Spanish text side by side. The colorful pictures and heartwarming story make this book a must. It received the 2012 Pura Belpre Honor award and is a story about celebrating who you are and not letting others change you.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
My daughter loved hearing this book and even more so when she started reading it herself. The flow of the words kept her engaged and she enjoyed reading the book aloud whenever possible. The story of the lower case alphabet letters all trying to get to the top always prompted lots of conversation.
Dana Bleakney-Huebsch, Infant and Toddler Program Specialist
999 Tadpoles by Ken Kimura and Yasunari Murakami
My children and I picked up this book during a recent library run and it was an instant hit. This delightful story about a family of frogs looking for a bigger pond is sure to entertain your little ones and you too!
Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day
This book, and the others in the Carl series, are mostly wordless books with sweet illustrations that depict the adventures of Carl and Madeleine. This series is perfect because it is approachable to readers regardless of age, reading level, or language abilities.
The Pigeon Needs a Bath! by Mo Willems
In my opinion, anything by Mo Willems is fantastic and if you don’t know who Piggie and Gerald are, I insist you visit your local library. If you ever struggle to get your little Pigeons into the bathtub a quick retelling of The Pigeon Needs a Bath along with a few giggles always does the trick.
Lillian M. Green, Equity Director
Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee & Tonya Lewis Lee
In my household, when you are reading this book, you MUST have the proper animated voice when reading, “Please, baby, please” or my nieces and nephews will request a new reader. This is such a fun and playful book. No one will be disappointed. I guarantee that you will be laughing aloud by the end.
They She He Me Free to Be! By Maya & Matthew Gonzalez
Learning and respecting everyone’s gender pronouns is a starting point for kids and adults to expand ideas about gender and celebrate personal expression. This book is a new addition to my home library, and I learn something new every time I have an opportunity to read this book aloud.
Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn & Rosalind Beardshaw
My two youngest nieces love this book so much. As Lola is exploring her local library, my nieces talk about the fun that they have at their local library and all the new books that they would like to check out at their next visit.