Summer is the best season to run around freely in the park, swim in a pool or enjoy ice cream. But keeping your child busy, engaged and stimulated can be a challenge. Finding the right summer activity is always a tricky task, but there are always books! Looking ahead to the long days of the summer break, keep in mind reading is always a wonderful activity — for parents too. Here is a list of books that you and your child can read together.
Books for EY1
The Train is Running by Gomi Taro
As the little boy falls asleep, the toy train moves on.
Clunk, clunk, clunk, it takes a turn at the navel, and crosses the toe bridge.
Clunk, clunk, clunk, it goes into the pyjama tunnel and through the forest of hair.
Where does it go next?
Gomi Taro uses imagination, rhythmic language, and simple illustrations to create a fantastical dream. This story not only helps children to know different body parts, it is also an engaging game that children will never get bored with.
Books for EY1 and EY2
Where’s Baby? by Anne Hunter
Papa is looking for his baby. Is Baby up in the tree? Is Baby under the log? Is Baby around the corner? Where could Baby be? Baby Fox is just out of Papa Fox’s sight…but not ours!
In this hide-and-seek story, we encounter some animals to play hide-and-seek with. Repetitive language reinforces children’s learning and offers lots of opportunity for interaction.
Books for EY2
Over the Ocean by Gomi Taro
A young girl gazes out to where the water meets the sky and wonders what lies beyond the waves.
Boats filled with toys?
Skyscrapers filled with people?
Houses filled with families?
Or, maybe, over the ocean stands someone not so different from the girl herself, returning her gaze.
As you turn the pages of this book, the scenes on the other side of the ocean also change. We empathise with the little girl, feeling her excitement, fear and anticipation. It is as if we can hear the sound of waves and boats. The colourful, mysterious faraway lands slowly emerge. The sea and summer are always linked. Why don't we go to the seaside this summer and see what we can see?
Books for EY2 and EY3
Daddy’s Sandwich by Pip Jones
Daddy, would you like a sandwich, with all your favourite things...?
Join one little girl on her quest to make her father the perfect sandwich, by adding in her father’s favourite things, like stinky cheese, tomatoes without the green bits, the deckchair, her drawing, the camera and books…!? Ask your child to make a sandwich for you, what would they put in? A great story to strengthen the parent-child relationship. After the story, celebrate your relationship with a feast of all your favourite food!
Oliver and George by Peter Carnavas
It’s game time. Oliver tries desperately to get George Bear to play with him. But George is far too engrossed in his book. Oliver teases him and disturbs his reading. The bear is going to get angry and the consequence may be severe.
This interesting and unexpected story depicts a common scene in daily life. Does it reveal how you deal with your child? The story helps us understand children’s feelings better, think about the messages that their behaviours convey and understand their thoughts and requirements. It can also help children to reflect on their behaviours and respect others’ choices. Most importantly, it shows us the charm of books.
Today I Feel…: An Alphabet of Feelings by Madalena Moniz
This story follows a child through a whole range of emotions, from adored to curious to strong. Not all of the emotions are positive and not all of them are simple, but they are all honest and worthy of discussion with a young child.
Depending on the dreams we had the night before, we feel different every morning. This is how you start a ‘feeling observation’ project in the summer. Look through the book to find the right word to describe your feeling for the day, write it down in your observation diary with the same art form in the book. By the end of summer, you will have a full record of your ‘summer feelings’. It is a great way to help children understand and manage feelings and emotions while learning the alphabet and sounds.
Books for EY4
Arthur and the Golden Rope by Joe Todd-Stanton
Arthur has no strength, no special skills, just a hobby of collecting odd things like feathers that can summon and hands of time that can hold people in place. One day, as he is catching magic bugs in the forest, a giant wolf attacks young Arthur's town. The wolf puts out the huge fire used to keep the town warm and only Thor can rekindle it. Because only Arthur is unharmed, he sets out alone on the road to the Temple of the Gods. Only by seeking the help of Thor and finding the golden rope can he defeat the giant wolf and save the town!
Is there anything better than reading a mythological story on a summer night? In this Nordic myth, Arthur has a dream to take an adventure like all other children. He is courageous to take action because he has an inquisitive and adventurous heart.
The Boring Book by Shinsuke Yoshitake
”Mum, I am bored!”
Wait…what does “boring” mean? Maybe it’s boring to stay in the same place. Or maybe it’s boring when things have nothing to do with you. Maybe it’s boring when things don’t go as planned…
This humorous picture book follows the story of one particularly bored boy. As the story progresses, our protagonist discovers there's actually more to boredom than meets the eye—more questions, more theories, and heaps of humour. This smart, laugh-out-loud picture book just might change your and your child's perspectives on the state of boredom forever. Are you bored? And what can YOU do about it?
Read to Your Bunny by Rosemary Wells
Read to your bunny often, it's twenty minutes of fun.
It's twenty minutes of moonlight, and twenty minutes of sun.
Twenty old-favourite minutes, twenty minutes brand-new.
Read to your bunny often, and . . .
Your bunny will read to you.
This book is an invitation to the world of reading — a poem children will want to hear again and again. When parents read to their children every day, their children will soon be able to read to their parents. Reading together for twenty minutes a day is the most important gift you can give your child. It is a book every parent should read!
The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease
Why should we read to children? When do we read to them? What can we do to prolong children’s attention span? What books are suitable for children of different ages? What happens if they watch too much TV? How much TV time is proper for them?
If you are not sure how to help your children develop their language skills, this book will give you the answers. The author Jim Trelease is a renowned expert in reading research and promotion. He was named one of the eight people who contributed most to reading promotion by the International Reading Association. This book includes many credible cases and lists problems that children may encounter in reading and relevant solutions. It also expounds the benefits of reading, methods and cautions. Every parent should read it!
Take on some Reading challenges and fill your summer with reading fun!
Here are some suggestions:
“No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting.”
——Mary Wortley Montagu