Summer is still officially a few days away, but a recent day or two or warm weather here has me thinking about summer story times. I’m stretching, I know: June where I live is wet and wild and not necessarily all that summery. However, it’s time to think about great books to read on vacation with your preschooler. How about those long, long rides on boats and trains and planes? Yes, I thought that you might be looking for a few ideas.
We enjoy beach-themed books. For the younger preschooler, I recommend books like Down By the Bay, a bookish variation on the song. You can make up more variations to sing in the car, of course. Is This a House for Hermit Crab (Megan McDonald) is a great book to bring to the beach, and Tell Me a Season (Mary McKenna Siddals)is a simple exploration of seasonal colors and activities.
Four-year-olds are ready for longer books. We enjoy The Curious Garden by Peter Brown, a story about a garden that grows to cover a city. We also like Home by Jeannie Baker, an inspiring story without words in which a city becomes rapidly greener. A Seed is Sleepy is another excellent garden-oriented book for summer, and with its intricate illustrations and detailed discussions of the biology of seeds, it really is a good book to share one-on-one.
Older preschoolers may be interested in chapter books. When my daughter turned four, we started reading a few of the simpler chapter books with short chapters. The ideal is a chapter in a sitting, or more, or else the plot simply gets lost. The Little House on the Prairie Series is great for this, with short chapters that are almost a story in themselves. We also enjoy some of Roald Dahl’s tamer imaginings, although if you haven’t read Dahl before I would recommend pre-reading them. His books are quite wacky, which is why small children often love them.
(Image thanks to porah at stock exchange)