Reading has the ability to transport us from our current reality to a world of fantasy, different locations and adventures that allow us to truly experience stories and the messaging behind the author’s story. Children’s books are not just about the characters and the story but the messaging embedded within many books is also very important to teach children different lessons.
The summer time is the perfect time to introduce literacy to young children by exposing them to new books. It is super important for students to continue to practice reading in the summer to help build their reading skills and avoid the “Summer Slide” known as a decrease in skills. As a teacher it becomes very clear in September who has continued to read regularly over the summer.
Reading is a great summer activity as kids can read in the car on a road trip, at bedtime, under a tree at a campsite and virtually anywhere can become a cozy spot to curl up and read a good book. It is really important in the summer to allow students to guide their choices in terms of book selection as this will help them get excited about new stories by allowing them to explore different authors and genres. Reading is also a great family activity that you can do with your kids as kids are influenced by what we as adults do so by showing our passion for literacy kids are greatly encouraged to read themselves. Check out my full list of Tips to Make Reading Easy and Fun This Summer.
Check out some of my Recommendations for Great Reads this Summer for students in Kindergarten to Grade 2. The following list focuses on great Canadian Storytellers and how their literature will shape our children’s love of reading and understanding of the world around them.
Malaika’s Surprise by Nadia L Hohn: This story focuses on the theme of change as Malaika prepares to be a big sister. Malaika learns the true meaning of family and that even though her family is changing it just means there is more love to go around. She becomes excited once her new baby brother arrives and she realizes all the great things she can teach him.
My review: I enjoyed the inclusion of introductory french into the story as it exposes young children to simple words such as “un petit baby” which means little baby. The story also introduces Caribbean patois and Arabic. This story acts as a conversation starter to talk about changes in family dynamics, and to discuss our emotions and why we feel a certain way.
The Rock from the Sky by Jon Klassen: This story is about finding the perfect spot and how certain places can make you feel there is something off but you can’t determine the exact reason but realize that any spot is better with a friend. The turtle, armadillo, and snake ponder life and what is “out there” in their search for the perfect spot.
My Review: The artwork emphasizes space and minimalism not to distract from the storyline. The book uses simple repetitive text structures making it an easy read for young readers.
Gurple and Preen by Linda Sue Park, Illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi: The crayons are on a mission to repair the ship but it seems impossible with broken crayons. The story focuses on how the crayons must collaborate and work together to complete their mission. The book is a creation showing the creativity behind broken crayon art.
My Review: This book was my favourite out of three as I found it the most colorful and entertaining storyline that is sure to capture the attention of young readers. I liked how the illustrator uses a combination of drawings and clip art in the book to draw in the reader to pay closer attention. The story teaches collaboration, creativity, and preservation of objects by reusing them for something new – all important lessons for the future.
About the Author:
Erin Robinson is a mom of two young children ages 3 and newborn and a primary school teacher. Erin is also a writer for The Exploring Family. The Exploring Family is a trusted resource to Greater Toronto Area Families for information on everything from fun summer camps, to where to get the best ice cream.