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Take aim at the "Summer Slide" and get your students excited about reading with these titles picked specifically for kids at the kindergarten reading level.

Astronauts Are Sleeping

by Natalie Standiford, Allen Garns (illus.)
Inspired by a description of astronauts asleep aboard the space shuttle, ASTRONAUTS ARE SLEEPING is a bedtime book that is at once a reverie and a visual tour de force. A bright, eager voice describes three sleeping astronauts whizzing around the earth in a space capsule and asks the thought-provoking question, "What do the astronauts see in their dreams?" Magnificent pastels show planets that are breathtaking, astronauts who are alive, and a galaxy that is lush, deeply textured, and beautiful to look at. And happily, readers do discover what the astronauts are seeing in their dreams: They are seeing their homes on earth and memories of their happy childhoods.


Chicka Chicka ABC


by Bill Martin, John Archambault, Lois Ehlert (illus.)
"A told B, and B told C, I'll beat you to the top of the coconut tree." Rascally A entices the whole alphabet up the tree, but the tree cannot handle the weight. All the lowercase letters come crashing to the ground. Uppercase letters rush in to comfort the little ones, and all is well -- for a while -- in this irresistible, award-winning alphabet book. Ehlert's bright, graphic illustrations join the foot-tapping rhyme.


The Chicken Sisters


by Laura Joffe Numeroff, Sharleen Collicott (illus.)
When the big bad wolf moves into town, he thinks the three chicken sisters next door will be easy prey. But his tactics backfire when he comes face to face with the eccentric threesome, who knit, bake, and sing him to distraction, sending him running home to his mother.


The Leaf Men


by William Joyce
The brave good bugs march off to save the garden. First, they must fight the evil Spider Queen before summoning the Leaf Men to save the day...but what about the mystery of the Long-Lost Toy? Here is ancient elfin magic, epic adventure, and a bugle salute to the power of memory, loyalty, and love as resounding as Robin Hood's call to his Merry Men!


Market Day


by Eve Bunting, Holly Berry (illus.)
The finest lace from Donegal...sweet clover honey to melt in your mouth...a penny poke of gob stoppers from the sweetie stall...your future glimpsed in a crystal ball.... Hurry along! Thursday has arrived, and the streets of this tiny Irish village are chock-full of fun. What will you buy with your Market Day penny today?


Mouse Mess


by Linnea Asplind Riley
This giggle-inspiring story rhymes its way into the affections of all who read it. When a hungry little mouse goes in search of a snack, you should never underestimate the huge mess that follows in his wake. This delightful read-aloud with its paintbox-bright illustrations is sure to become a classic.


My Many Colored Days


by Dr. Seuss, Steve Johnson (illus.), Lou Fancher (illus.)
Accompanying a manuscript Dr. Seuss wrote in 1973 is a letter outlining his hopes of finding "a great color artist who will not be dominated by me." The late Dr. Seuss saw his original text about feelings and moods as part of the "first book ever to be based on beautiful illustrations and sensational color." The quest for an artist has finally ended -- after the manuscript languished for more than two decades -- at the paintbrushes of husband-and-wife team Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher, whose stunning, expressive paintings reveal such striking images as a bright red horse kicking its heels, a cool and quiet green fish, a sad and lonely purple dinosaur, and an angrily howling black wolf. Using a spectrum of vibrant colors and a menagerie of animals, this unique book does for the range of human moods and emotions what OH, THE PLACES YOU'LL GO! does for the human life cycle. Here is a wonderful way for parents to talk with children about their feelings. With Johnson and Fancher's atmospheric, large-scale paintings bursting off the pages, Dr. Seuss's vision is brought to life. This rare and beautiful book is bound to appeal to both the innocent young and the most sophisticated seniors.


Prairie Primer A to Z


by Caroline Stutson, Susan Condie Lamb (illus.)
Join a young boy for a year on the prairie. From A to Z, each letter brings to life elements of days gone by -- "J" for Jacks, "K" for Knickers, and "L" for Lunch pails packed for school. With a lyrical text and rich illustrations, this is a wonderful way to learn the alphabet and a heartwarming tribute to life at the start of the 20th century.


The Scrambled States of America


by Laurie Keller
At the first annual states party, Virginia and Idaho hatch a plan to swap spots so each can see another part of the country. Before the party is over, all the states decide to switch places. In the beginning, every state is happy in its new location. But soon things start to go wrong. Will the states ever unscramble and return to their proper places? This clever story -- starring all 50 states -- is chock-full of introductory facts and madcap humor. Young readers can identify their favorite states by color, size, and shape. Learning about geography has never been as easy -- or as much fun.


Sheep in a Jeep


by Nancy Shaw, Margot Apple (illus.)
With very few words (sheep, jeep, thud, mud, heap, cheap), a tableau unfolds in which five silly yet distinctive sheep futilely attempt to ride in their jeep. Amusing details -- such as the tattoos on the pigs' arms -- abound in the pictures. Apple's expressive illustrations and Shaw's minimal text make this an extremely clever read-aloud.


The Very Hungry Caterpillar


by Eric Carle
A caterpillar hatches out of his egg and is very hungry. On his first day, he eats through one piece of food; on his second, two; and so on. Little holes cut in the pages allow toddlers to wiggle their fingers through the food, just like the caterpillar. Vivid and colorful illustrations and ingenious layered pages help preschoolers learn the days of the week, how to count, and how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly.


Visiting the Art Museum


by Laurene Krasny Brown, Marc Brown (illus.)
This wonderful offering from Laurene Krasny Brown and her husband -- and kids' fave -- Marc Brown presents a highly palatable introduction to art. The fun, silly illustrations with reproductions of real works intermingled invite readers to follow a family through an art museum. On this tour they see examples of various art styles from primitive through 20th century pop art.


Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin


by Lloyd Moss, Marjorie Priceman (illus.)
In this combination counting book and spirited tribute to classical music, the clever, rhythmic verse echoes the sounds that the various instruments in the orchestra create, from the mournful trombone to the swinging trumpet to the sharp violin.



Return to Education World's K-8 Summer Reading List page.