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Summer is for Reading…


Are you ready for summer?  My kids are out of school at the end of next week.  Yikes!  There goes my “free” time.

With finances tight… we aren’t going on any big vacations and expensive summer day camps are out.  So, I guess it’s up to me to keep the kiddies busy and happy.  I have been working on creating new job charts, doing a little summer school at home, and of course a list of fun projects and activities.

I’m also thinking about how to keep my kids reading everyday this summer.  Getting them excited about reading starts with having great books.  I asked my kids to each choose one of their favorite books for me to share.  Since I know we are all looking for great books to read, I would love to hear about your favorite books both for the kids and for me!


1. The Pumpkin Runner by Marsha Diane Arnold  -This is one of Ben’s favorite books.  Ben loves the clever story and the wonderful illustrations.  I love it because it’s about a real “Make it Do” kind of guy.  Joshua Summerhays is an old rancher in Australia.  He loves to eat pumpkins and he loves to run with his dog named Yellow Dog.  Instead of using a jeep, he runs around his ranch to take care of his sheep.  One day he decides to enter a 900 kilometer race from Melbourne to Sydney.  Joshua shows up for the race dressed in overalls and gum boots.  The other runners, all decked out it fancy running clothes, look down their noses at Joshua and Yellow Dog.  They don’t care one bit what other people think of them… they just run for the love of running.  In the end Joshua wins the race, shaving a full two days of the record.  He splits his $10,000 prize money with all the other runners.  Ben thinks it’s cool that this book is inspired by a real story.


2.  Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Illustrated by the wonderful Jane Dyer – Lily loves Cookies, probably because she loves to eat cookies and she want to be a “cooker girl” when she grows up.  I love Cookies because it is a great why to teach valuable and hard to explain concepts to kids.  For example, “Cooperate means, How about you add the chips while I stir?” or “Open Minded means, I’ve never seen cookies like that before, but, uh, sure, I’ll try one.” or the one I’m feeling tonight… “Regret means, I really wish I didn’t eat so many cookies.”  (Do you see that plate of Snicker Doodles I made today… well, I ate a few of those, a few too many!”)  This book isn’t just for kids.  I love this book so much, I have given it as a gift to friends with a plate homemade cookies.


3.  Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners by Laurie Keller -  Have you seen Laurie Keller’s books?  She is always extremely clever and this book is no exception.  Emma loves the wonderful and very funny illustrations.  I love the inventive twist on teaching kids the Golden Rule.  In the story, rabbit has new neighbors- the Otters.  Rabbit is nervous because he doesn’t know anything about Otters and is worried about how to get along with them.  His wise friend the owl says it’s simple, “Do unto Otters as you would have Otters do unto you.”  The book teaches all the ways we should treat our friends and neighbors… but it is so delightful the kids don’t even know it’s teaching them something important.

Well, those are a few of our favorite books…  I hope you have a chance to take a look at them and enjoy them as much as we do.  I can’t wait to see a list of new books you love…

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6 Responses to “Summer is for Reading…”

  • Thank you for those recommendations! I love to hear about books that other parents and kids enjoy. I put all of those on my daughter’s Amazon wishlist. :-) Thanks again!

  • Those books look wonderful!
    My girls and I love to read the Little HOuse on the Prairie Series. They are great for read-aloud time.
    The boys are just starting on the Left Behind for Kids Series.
    I think my favorite picture book author and illustrator has to be Jan Brett. We have a bunch of her books. They are fun to read and the pictures always have little hidden surprises to seek out.

  • If you might be looking for some ‘workbooks’ for the kids to do, I recommend “Summer Bridges”. I used these for my children and they were real good. I think they are written by someone in Utah.

  • Chelle:

    I am in love with your blog! I want you to know that all of the good ideas that you are taking the time to share are being put to good use. I just used your banana bread recipe last night AND tried the homemade hummingbird food. Thank you, and I can’t wait to see what you share with us next!

    As for good books: here are a couple off of the top of my head:

    Do Princesses wear Hiking Boots? by Carmela Lavigna Coyle
    The Toughest Cowboy (or how the west was tamed) by John Frank
    My 5th grade daughter just finished Princess Academy by Shannon Hale and loved it. She also just read Clementine and gave that two thumbs up.
    My boys are in love with the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” books which are sort of lost on me, but it gets them excited about reading, so we go with it.

    Happy reading! We are planning to do the Library Summer Reading program. Always a great way to keep on track with summer reading goals. : )

  • Can you tell I’m catching up on blogs today? ha I go fast and furious for a while and then have to take time out and then I get lost in projects and forget what else I need to do. I should have my life better organized but it is kind of like reading a book from start to finish when I open a blog and have posts to catch up on. It makes me feel like I’m following your life. You have a lovely blog Calli.

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