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Prevent the Summer Slide: Read!

(page 1 of 5)

It’s natural for your kids (and you!) to want a break after school ends. To prevent summer learning loss, it’s important to make reading time part of the routine. Kids of all ages will look forward to curling up with the books on this hand-picked list from the children’s lit experts at The Horn Book.

Picture Books

The Airport Book, written and illustrated by Lisa Brown (Porter/ Roaring Brook)
A family of four heads off to the airport. Straightforward but lively main text provides basic airport information while the pictures tell a much more complex — and wildly entertaining — story, following dozens of characters who are all traveling on the same flight as the central, interracial family. 40 pages


Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle; illus. by Rafael López (Houghton) 2016 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award Winner
A young girl “on an island of music” dreams of becoming a drummer — but only boys play drums. The story is based on Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a “Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba’s traditional taboo against female drummers.” 40 pages.





Flutter & Hum / Aleteo y Zumbido: Animal Poems / Poemas de Animales by Julie Paschkis; illus. by the author (Holt)
Each of these animal poems in Spanish and English is intricately connected to its corresponding painting, with thematic words woven throughout the pictures: for example, in “Fish / El Pez,” a boy sleeps on a boat that floats above fish swimming in a sea of lulling words: linger, flow; luna, burbuja. 32 pages.



I Hear a Pickle: (and Smell, See, Touch, and Taste It, Too!), written and illustrated by Rachel Isadora (Paulsen/ Penguin)
This book about the five senses is aimed perfectly at another sense — kids’ sense of humor. Double-page spreads on each sense contain small vignettes of children exploring their world, indoors and out.



¡Olinguito, de la A a la Z! / Olinguito, from A to Z!: Descubriendo el bosque nublado / Unveiling the Cloud Forest by Lulu Delacre; illus. by the author (Children’s Book Press/Lee & Low)
Along with many other animals and plants of the Ecuadorian cloud forest, Delacre introduces the olinguito, a raccoon relative discovered in 2013. Alliteration in the parallel Spanish and English texts makes for an engaging, and occasionally tongue-twisting, read. 40 pages.




Surf’s Up by Kwame Alexander; illus. by Daniel Miyares (North-South)
“SURF’S UP, BRO!” calls a surfer-dude frog. “Not yet, Dude,” responds his bookworm buddy (also a frog). While Dude and Bro (still with nose in book) make their way to the beach, Bro reveals tantalizing Moby-Dick plot points that pique Dude’s interest. 32 pages




Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie; illus. by Yuyi Morales (Little, Brown)
“I HATE MY NAME!” complains Thunder Boy Smith Jr., a.k.a. Little Thunder: a nickname that “makes me sound like a burp or a fart.” As he considers new names, the accompanying mixed-media illustrations let us into his world and his dreams. 40 pages



Tiptoe Tapirs by Hanmin Kim; illus. by the author; trans. from the Korean by Sera Lee (Holiday)
In this South Korean pourquoi tale, all the jungle animals are noisy except Tapir and Little Tapir. One day Little Tapir, risking her own life, helps rescue a frightened leopard from a hunter by teaching him to use quiet steps. 40 pages.




Waiting by Kevin Henkes; illus. by the author (Greenwillow) 2016 Caldecott Honor Book, Geisel Honor Book
Waiting is a huge part of every child’s life, and Henkes address the topic with a light touch. Five toys wait on a windowsill. Time passes slowly through seasons; small changes in body positions and eyes convey a range of emotions. A spare text offers little surprises, while the varied page design creates momentum. 32 pages.

See page 2 for Early Readers and Primary Grades.

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