Kid Lit: Avoiding “Summer Slide” – Read A Book, Or How About Forty Of Them!

Ah, summertime!  It’s what my kidlets look forward to all year.  Two solid months of fun, excitement and no stress.  Days filled with playing, hanging out with friends, swimming, making crafts and eating lots of ice cream.   Hearing about my kidlet’s daily adventures makes me wish I could be a kid again – having a pretty-much carefree summer instead of going to work everyday., as many of you moms out there would agree, while I want my kidlets to enjoy their break, I don’t want them to suffer from “summer slide.”  That’s what happens when young minds sit idle for weeks at a time without any learning instruction.  To help avoid this, I enrolled both the kidlets in our local library’s summer reading program.

Each of my kidlets – my son is almost seven, my daughter is 4½ – got their own personalized reading log.  We keep the logs hung up on the bulletin board in our kitchen for easy access.

My son is in the readers program, for children who can read all on their own.  Every time he reads a book silently on his own or aloud to me, his dad, sister, sitter, friends, etc, he can list the book in his log.  After the first five books he read, he got a prize – some sort of robot arm gripper that he tormented his sister and the dog with!  At 10 books he got a certificate, another prize and was invited to the end of summer book party. Now every 5 books he reads earns him another little prize to take home – such as bubbles, book marks or little rubber balls.   Some of the books he reads are what I call “single session” read books, where he can read it all in one sitting, others are chapter books which he reads exclusively at night before bed with either me or his dad.

My daughter is in the pre-readers group, for children who can’t read independently yet.  For every book that she either listens too or reads with help from an adult (or even her brother!) she can list it in her log.  For every 10 books she hears/reads she earns a prize and at 20 books she got an invite to library party too!

I’m super proud of them both for all the reading they’ve done so far this summer.  At the halfway point, my son has logged 37 books while my daughter is nearing 30!

Here are a few of their favs this summer:

THM_SummerReading_Calvin_2Calvin, Look Out!
By Jennifer Berne, illustrated by Keith Bendis

Calvin is a bookworm birdie.  Lately though he’s been having trouble reading.  When Calvin reads the word “wagons,” he sees “dragons” instead and he’s also started tripping over the library chairs.  Turns out Calvin needs glasses.  While Calvin is proud of his new glasses, he gets mocked by his flock.  Calvin accidentally gets lost and trapped in the forest, it’s his glasses – and smarts that save the day.  After recounting his harrowing story to his fellow birds, suddenly everyone wants to have a cool pair of specs too.   It’s a good story that teaches children about differences and acceptance.


Monster Party!
By Annie Bach

Monster is excited when he gets invited to a friend’s birthday party. He picks out some fancy underwear and combs his tuft of blue fur for the occasion. At the monster bash, there’s loads of fun – there’s spinning and pinning, high-fiving and jiving and munching and crunching and buggy-food lunching. But when the party’s over and it’s time to leave, Monster cries and sighs – he doesn’t want to leave his friends – until he gets home and discovers a happy surprise.  The monsters here are cute and cuddly, not scary. The book features some fun rhyming and is aimed primarily at pre-schoolers.



I’m Not Cute!
By Jonathan Allen

With visions of himself as a “huge, scary, sleek, sharp-eyed hunting machine,” the adorable Baby Owl goes out for a walk out in the woods.  However, every animal he meets along the way in the woods thinks he’s so cute, fluffy and even huggable! Baby Owl keeps shouting “I’m not cute!” that is until his mom comes along and agrees with him, before coming up with a perfect solution to his cute problem.  It’s a story any child can relate to about their own self-image.





How to Lose a Lemur
By Frann Preston-Gannon

While walking through the park one day, a friendly lemur starts following a boy.  Before he knows it, even more lemurs are on his tail. He does everything to ditch the playful creatures from jumping on a train to flying on a hot air balloon to climbing a mountain…but nothing works.  The parade of loveable lemurs stick to side no matter what.  When the boy realizes he’s traveled too far and is lost, his new companions show his the way home.  The lemurs are  cute and this the story shows children why it’s important to give new friends a chance.


Fact or Fib?
By Kathy Furgang

A fun book that teaches children about science and the world by playing a game of “Fact” or “Fib.”  There are two books so far in this series and each book is brightly illustrated and puts kid and even adult smarts to the test.   Each “fact or fib” features three statements—but only two are true, while the third is outrageously false.  You make your choices, then turn the page to find out whether you’re right or wrong, along with more cool facts about the topic.  You’ll find out exactly how much you know about dinosaurs, animals, the planets, car, space and more.  Great book for children who like to learn and who ask lots of questions!


Now it’s your turn to share. What are your kids reading this summer?




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For Full Disclosure:  The Harried Mom was not compensated for this post, but did receive complimentary copies of the books listed above courtesy of Sterling Children’s Books.  As always though, the opinions expressed in this post and on The Harried Mom blog are all my very own and are not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing any products as your opinion may differ.


Copyright © 2014 The Harried Mom. All Rights Reserved.


  1. says

    You would be surprise of the kids these days not picking up books but playing on computers and tablets/phones and not being productive. I loved reading as a child…I still do I just wish I had more time but yes kids need to keep their brain active not just entertainment stimuli.
    Kiwi recently posted..{Movie Review} Lucy The Movie | #LucyATLMy Profile

  2. says

    We were trying to get my niece to read more as a whole and this summer she just didn’t want to. I think that even though she just turned five she saw all the bigger kids with that “summer means NO school work” attitude that the older kids in the family have and she wanted to be like them. We’re trying to get her back on track though!
    Cassie @ Southeast by Midwest recently posted..Slim Down Sundays: Cut Calories Not FlavorMy Profile

    • TheHarriedMom says

      They’re all fun books – easy reads. They also help to spur on some discussion and all the illustrations are beautiful!

  3. Brett says

    Monster Party and How to Lose a Lemur seem like really cute books! They would be perfect for the kids and I to read.

  4. says

    Caleb has always been a fan of Fact or Fib? He loves those books – they also read and practice math int he summer..the summer slide is not good!

  5. Pam says

    Lots of good reading material here for the little ones. I really enjoyed reading to them and with them when they were young and now my adult children love to read. The “I’m not Cute” book seems like it would be…well cute.

  6. says

    My son LOVES when I read books to him! He is going to be starting preschool this Fall and we are so excited! (And nervous) He loves books and I am so excited for him to get into “school mode”

  7. says

    My son will be 3 in a month and loves books. We read no fewer than 3 books each evening (and sometimes it’s closer to 10.) He loves his Dinosaurs book, and a series of Sesame Street books.
    Jaime recently posted..Friday 5 #Friday5My Profile

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