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2017 Summer Reading List GRADES K-2

View all Recommendations by Age > Recommendations for Age 4-8 book lists; This list was last updated on 6/8/2017
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Reading can be one of the many fun activities children choose to fill their summer time. Research has shown it is also much more! Children who participate in public library summer reading programs make achievement leaps during the summer and score higher on fall reading achievement tests. The books on this list come highly recommended by kid readers from all over the country and may also be available in ebook, audio book, braille, and large print formats. This summer, take your child to participate in the summer programs happening at your library.

For more book recommendations, please check out New York Times® Best Sellers, Children's Book Recommendations or the complete list of Featured Book Lists and Award Winners

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Where Are You Going, Baby Lincoln?: Tales from Deckawoo Drive, Volume Three
What if timid Baby Lincoln broke free of her bossy sister and set off on an unexpected journey? Kate DiCamillo presents a touching new adventure set in Mercy Watson's world.

Baby Lincoln's older sister, Eugenia, is very fond of telling Baby what to do, and Baby usually responds by saying "Yes, Sister." But one day Baby has had enough. She decides to depart on a Necessary Journey, even though she has never gone anywhere without Eugenia telling her what to take and where to go. And in fact Baby doesn't knowwhere she is headed — only that she was entirely happy in the previous night's dream, sitting aboard a train with a view of shooting stars. Who might Baby meet as she strikes out on her own, and what could she discover about herself? Will her impulsive adventure take her away from Eugenia for good?
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What Do You Do With a Problem?
From the same author and illustrator as our #1 nationally best-selling What Do You Do With an Idea? comes a new book to encourage you to look closely at problems and discover the possibilities they can hold.

What do you do with a problem? Especially one that follows you around and doesn't seem to be going away? Do you worry about it? Ignore it? Do you run and hide from it?

This is the story of a persistent problem and the child who isn't so sure what to make of it. The longer the problem is avoided, the bigger it seems to get. But when the child finally musters up the courage to face it, the problem turns out to be something quite different than it appeared.

This is a story for anyone, at any age, who has ever had a problem that they wished would go away. It's a story to inspire you to look closely at that problem and to find out why it's here. Because you might discover something amazing about your problem… and yourself.

What are problems for? They challenge us, shape us, push us, and help us to discover just how strong and brave and capable we really are. Even though we don't always want them, problems have a way of bringing unexpected gifts.

So, what will you do with your problem? Now that's up to you.
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We Found a Hat
Hold on to your hats for the conclusion of the celebrated hat trilogy by Caldecott Medalist Jon Klassen, who gives his deadpan finale a surprising new twist.

Two turtles have found a hat. The hat looks good on both of them. But there are two turtles. And there is only one hat. . . . Evoking hilarity and sympathy, the shifting eyes tell the tale in this brilliantly paced story in three parts, highlighting Jon Klassen's visual comedy and deceptive simplicity. The delicious buildup takes an unexpected turn that is sure to please loyal fans and newcomers alike.
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Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! We Are Growing!
Walt and his friends are growing up fast! Everyone is the something-est. But . . . what about Walt? He is not the tallest, or the curliest, or the silliest. He is not the anything-est! As a BIG surprise inches closer, Walt discovers something special of his own!
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Waiting for High Tide
Waiting for High Tide has earned two STARRED reviews from Publisher's Weekly and Kirkus! 

For one young boy, it's a perfect summer day to spend at the beach with his family. He scours the high tide line for treasures, listens to the swizzling sound of barnacles, and practices walking the plank. But mostly he waits for high tide. Then he'll be able to swim and dive off the log raft his family is building. While he waits, sea birds and other creatures mirror the family's behaviors: building and hunting, wading and eating. At long last the tide arrives, and human and animal alike savor the water.

Another beautiful ode to life lived in harmony with nature, and by the labor of one's own hands, from an artist of great warmth and clarity.

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Itsy Bitsy Spider (Urgency Emergency!)
Miss Muffet finds an injured spider beneath a waterspout and brings her to City Hospital. This wacky hospital adventure based on the classic Itsy Bitsy Spider and Little Miss Muffet nursery rhymes will have young readers laughing till they fall off their tuffets!
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They All Saw a Cat
The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws . . .

In this glorious celebration of observation, curiosity, and imagination, Brendan Wenzel shows us the many lives of one cat, and how perspective shapes what we see. When you see a cat, what do you see?
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Surf's Up
Surf's up! Not yet, Dude! Books are boring! Not this one! Bro and Dude have very different ideas about how to spend the day at the beach. But as Bro continues to gasp and cheer as he reads his book (Moby Dick), Dude can't help but get curious. Before you can shout 'Surf's up!' both frogs are sharing the same adventure, that is, until they get to the beach. Newbery Award Medal Winner, Kwame Alexander, and Daniel Miyares have joined forces to give little listeners a wild ride.
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Strictly No Elephants
“A sunny, smart, tongue-in-cheek tale.” —The New York Times Book Review

Huffington Post Honor Book for Best in Kindness
Bank Street Best Book of 2015
NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) Charlotte Huck Honor Book
CCBC (Cooperative Children's Book Center) Choice Book

When the local Pet Club won't admit a boy's tiny pet elephant, he finds a solution—one that involves all kinds of unusual animals in this sweet and adorable picture book.

Today is Pet Club day. There will be cats and dogs and fish, but strictly no elephants are allowed. The Pet Club doesn't understand that pets come in all shapes and sizes, just like friends. Now it is time for a boy and his tiny pet elephant to show them what it means to be a true friend.

Imaginative and lyrical, this sweet story captures the magic of friendship and the joy of having a pet.
The Quickest Kid in Clarksville
It's the day before the big parade. Alta can only think about one thing: Wilma Rudolph, three-time Olympic gold medalist. She'll be riding on a float tomorrow. See, Alta is the quickest kid in Clarksville, Tennessee, just like Wilma once was. It doesn't matter that Alta's shoes have holes because Wilma came from hard times, too. But what happens when a new girl with shiny new shoes comes along and challenges Alta to a race? Will she still be the quickest kid? The Quickest Kid in Clarksville is a timeless story of dreams, determination, and the power of friendship.
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The Night Gardener
In the spirit of Goodnight Moon and The Curious Garden comes a stunning debut picture book filled with whimsy and creativity from brothers Terry and Eric Fan.

One day, William discovers that the tree outside his window has been sculpted into a wise owl. In the following days, more topiaries appear, and each one is more beautiful than the last. Soon, William's gray little town is full of color and life. And though the mysterious night gardener disappears as suddenly as he appeared, William—and his town—are changed forever.

With breathtaking illustrations and spare, sweet text, this masterpiece about enjoying the beauty of nature is sure to become an instant classic.
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Little Elliot, Big Fun

In this third story of Little Elliot and Mouse, the friends head off in search of adventure . . . and lots of fun!

Little Elliot, the polka-dotted elephant, and his friend Mouse go to the amusement park to see the sights and ride the rides―water chutes, roller coasters, carousels, and more. But Elliot isn't having much fun―the rides are too wet, too fast, too dizzy, and just plain too scary―until Mouse figures out a way to help him overcome his fears. Together, Mouse and Little Elliot can do anything!

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Ice Cream Summer
*"Sís delivers an encomium to summer, to the power of learning, and to that beloved, creamy-cold treat." --Kirkus, starred review

Savor summer anytime with this breezy, sweet and irresistible picture book from Hans Christian Anderson Award winner and three-time Caldecott Honoree Peter Sís!


Dear Grandpa,
Summer is going well. I am very busy. But don't worry, I am not forgetting about school! I read every day. I practice my math facts. And I am even studying world history!


Peter Sís's delicious tongue-in-cheek vision of summer dishes up the whole scoop on everyone's favorite frozen treat, and proves that ice cream is every bit as enriching for the mind as it is for the taste buds. Readers everywhere will be begging for seconds and thirds!
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Hank's Big Day: The Story of a Bug
Perfect for reading aloud, this spare, charming picture book about a day in the life of a pill bug in suburbia is also about an unusual friendship.

Hank is a pill bug with a busy life—for a pill bug, that is. His daily routine involves nibbling a dead leaf, climbing up a long stick, avoiding a skateboarder, and playing pretend with his best friend, a human girl named Amelia, in her backyard. And when day is done, Hank likes nothing better than returning home to his cozy rock.
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Get a Hit, Mo! (Mo Jackson)
A companion to the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award-winning Don't Throw It to Mo!

Mo Jackson is a small boy with a big passion for sports. He may not be the biggest, the fastest, or the strongest kid on the team, but he won't let that stop him from playing!

Baseball season has arrived and Mo is all set to play with his team, the Lions. But Mo always bats last, and he always plays right field—and no balls ever come to right field. Will Mo ever get his chance to help the Lions win?


From the Hardcover edition.
Freedom in Congo Square
Chosen as a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2016, this poetic, nonfiction story about a little-known piece of African American history captures a human's capacity to find hope and joy in difficult circumstances and demonstrates how New Orleans' Congo Square was truly freedom's heart.

Mondays, there were hogs to slop,

mules to train, and logs to chop.

Slavery was no ways fair.

Six more days to Congo Square.


As slaves relentlessly toiled in an unjust system in 19th century Louisiana, they all counted down the days until Sunday, when at least for half a day they were briefly able to congregate in Congo Square in New Orleans. Here they were free to set up an open market, sing, dance, and play music. They were free to forget their cares, their struggles, and their oppression. This story chronicles slaves' duties each day, from chopping logs on Mondays to baking bread on Wednesdays to plucking hens on Saturday, and builds to the freedom of Sundays and the special experience of an afternoon spent in Congo Square. This book will have a forward from Freddi Williams Evans (freddievans.com), a historian and Congo Square expert, as well as a glossary of terms with pronunciations and definitions.

AWARDS:

A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2016

A School Library Journal Best Book of 2016: Nonfiction

Starred reviews from School Library Journal, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, and The Horn Book Magazine
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Fly Guy Presents: Castles (Scholastic Reader, Level 2)
Children across the nation voted for the topic of this Fly Guy Presents book, and the winning topic was... CASTLES! On their latest field trip, Fly Guy and Buzz learn all about castles: from drawbridges and dungeons to kings, queens, and knights! Award-winning author/illustrator Tedd Arnold brings nonfiction to life for beginning readers. There are humorous illustrations and engaging photographs throughout. The front cover features eye-catching holographic foil!
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Flowers Are Calling

Flowers are calling to all the animals of the forest, "Drink me!"—but it's the pollinators who feast on their nectar. In rhyming poetic form and with luminous artwork, this book shows us the marvel of natural cooperation between plants, animals, and insects as they each play their part in the forest's cycle of life.

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Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music
Girls cannot be drummers. Long ago on an island filled with music, no one questioned that rule—until the drum dream girl. In her city of drumbeats, she dreamed of pounding tall congas and tapping small bongós. She had to keep quiet. She had to practice in secret. But when at last her dream-bright music was heard, everyone sang and danced and decided that both girls and boys should be free to drum and dream.
        Inspired by the childhood of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba's traditional taboo against female drummers, Drum Dream Girl tells an inspiring true story for dreamers everywhere.
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Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! The Cookie Fiasco
Four friends. Three cookies. One problem.

Hippo, Croc, and the Squirrels are determined to have equal cookies for all! But how? There are only three cookies . . . and four of them! They need to act fast before nervous Hippo breaks all the cookies into crumbs!

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Beastly Verse

Selected for the New York Public Library's List of 100 Best Books for Reading & Sharing
A Booklist Editor's Choice for 2015
A Book Links magazine choice for the top classroom picks for 2015


"[...] A fierce and fresh bestiary." -- STARRED REVIEW, Publishers Weekly

"The main attraction, of course, is Yoon's stunning, exuberant artwork, and poetry classes would be well served by this superior piece of bookmaking." –– STARRED REVIEW, Booklist

"...this gorgeous compendium is so stimulating that it's probably best read in the bright light of day." -- Meghan Cox Gurdon, The Wall Street Journal

"In Beastly Verse (public library), her spectacular picture-book debut...illustrator and printmaker JooHee Yoon brings to vibrant life sixteen beloved poems about nonhuman creatures, real and imagined — masterworks as varied in sentiment and sensibility as Lewis Carroll's playful “The Crocodile,” D.H. Lawrence's revolutionarily evolutionary homage to the hummingbird, Christina Rossetti's celebration of butterfly metamorphosis, and William Blake's bright-burning ode to the tiger." -- Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

“JooHee Yoon's “Beastly Verse” is very much about its pictures. Three-color illustrations of critters fill up page after intense page, cheerily aggressive, goofy, beastly-friendly. Yoon's poem selection is economical, intelligent, even hip.”
-- DAISY FRIED, The New York Times

Poetry and children belong together, and for a long time, the music and playfulness of verse wove itself through children's days and lives. Beastly Verse aims to help return the wonder of poetry to children's lives through sixteen exquisitely illustrated poems, four of which have the surprise and pleasure of being foldouts. Consisting of playful as well as powerfully memorable poems, Beastly Verse transports the reader into a richly worded world of tigers, hummingbirds, owls, elephants, pelicans, yaks, snails, and even telephones! A playful romp through verse, rhyme, and gorgeous images, this book carries children into the poetic realm in a way that is not only fun and inviting, but inspiring as well! Representing poems from Anonymous, as well as some lesser well-known poets, this volume also includes poems from Lewis Carroll, William Blake, Robert Desnos, Hilaire Belloc, William Cowper, Christina Rossetti, and D.H. Lawrence. Both short and long, these poems can be read and reread, committed to memory and enjoyed all life long.

JooHee Yoon is an illustrator and printmaker committed to the art of bookmaking. Her art work has appeared in the New York Times, New Yorker Magazine, Le Monde, and many other international publications. She also exhibits her original drawings and prints in gallery shows around the world and was the recipient of the

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Ballet Cat Dance! Dance! Underpants!
Ballet Cat is getting her friend Butter Bear ready for her big ballet debut. "Leap, Butter Bear, leap!" Ballet Cat prompts. But Butter Bear would prefer to just point her toe. When Ballet Cat keeps pushing, Butter Bear gets hungry, then thirsty, then sleepy . . . The bottom line is that Butter Bear would rather do almost anything to avoid making a big leap. Why? Because her bottom is covered in silly underpants! This second entry in the Ballet Cat series will have beginning readers rolling on the floor with laughter.
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