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For Early Childhood Education

Hot Summer Reading List for Kids

Summer is in full swing and there’s no better time to sit back, relax and read with your little one.

Rebecca Krause, Director of Youth & Young Adult Services at Phoenixville Public Library; Photo credit:

To get the scoop on hot summer reading picks for young children, we recently connected with our friend – and a regular visitor at The Malvern School of Oaks – Rebecca Krause, Director of Youth & Young Adult Services at Phoenixville Public Library.

Check out Rebecca’s insight and recommendations for kids of various ages below:












The best books for babies are very basic stories with few words and simple illustrations as well as board books with thick pages that don’t tear when little ones handle them.

Tana Hoban’s Black on White and White on Black books 

The high-contrast images do a great job of grabbing the attention of infants.

Toes, Ears, & Nose! by Marion Dane Bauer or Belly Button Book by Sandra Boynton
At this age, babies love learning about their bodies.

But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton
You can’t beat this fun, silly rhyming book!


Older Infants/Toddlers

As infants get older and become toddlers, it’s appropriate to introduce stories with more words and large, colorful illustrations.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
This is a must-read classic – and, it helps teach the days of the week.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr.
Little ones enjoy this book’s rhyming and repetition to explore various animals.

Chicka, Chicka, Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr.
In this story, the letters of the alphabet have an adventure, helping children as they learn the alphabet.


Preschoolers typically enjoy longer stories with a more specific theme as well as books that help them learn about things they experience in real life. 

Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberly
How do you handle a monster? Make it go away step by-step.

Cars and Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry
Kids love exploring this book’s detailed illustrations of all kinds of vehicles.

The Snowy Day by Jack Ezra Keats
Who doesn’t love a snow day, even in the summer when we wish it was cold?


Pre-K & Kindergarteners
These stories have increasing details about relationships and children’s exploration of the world around them.

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Kids enjoy going along on this adventure, and parents love the realization that home is a great place to be.

Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes
Many young children can relate in some way to Wemberly, who worries about everything, including going to school. This book provides reassurance and Wemberly realizes that school is too much fun to waste time worrying!

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson 

The power and excitement of imagination are at play in this book as Harold uses a purple crayon to draw a fantastic adventure. 


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