Recently, I shared some favorite books with a customer who wanted a Summer Reading List for a five-year-old. Now that school has let out, I’m sharing these treasured titles with all of you since I get so many requests for ideas. Reading every evening as part of the bedtime routine makes for such wonderful interactions. The books listed here are enjoyable for adults as well as children, and provide rich artwork to nourish the soul. Click the headings or photos to learn more!
Beautifully illustrated, engaging adaptations of Laura Engalls Wilder’s tales for young children, this series is a great segue from board books to short stories with beautiful pictures. They have been a staple in our reading library and even now, my seven-year-old son still loves them. I think we’re probably close to passing them on, but I began reading these to my son when he was 4 years old. (4+)
A newer work by Gerda Muller. Her wordless board books are a staple for toddlers (Summer, Spring, Autumn and Winter), but this is a nice large book with about 10 lines of text on each page. Not only is the story sweet — Sophie lives in the city, but discovers much about how things grow when she visits her grandparents in the country) — but Muller also provides lots of great facts to get children interested in gardening. (5+)
Both of these are illustrated with lovely summer scenes, and are great beginning books with only 2-5 lines per scene. The Tomtes are special beings who know how to take care of the farm and stream. (The third book, The Tomtes of Hilltop Wood, is great for autumn.) (4+)
Another gardening book that has around 5 lines per scene. It focuses on the busy work of a garden with beautiful illustrations. (5+)
For me, the Elsa Beskow books are a classic. They are bound beautifully I have met several families that consider them keepsakes to be handed down through the generations. Her spring/summer themed stories include: Pelle’s New Suit (4+), Emily and Daisy (5+), The Sun Egg (5+), and The Flower Festival (6+).
Big Mama sends Flossie Finley on an errand with a warning. Beware – there’s a sly, egg-poaching fox on the loose! This is a cute southern folktale peppered with saucy humor and southern slang. (4+)
Another great book written/illustrated by Gerda Muller. In the spring, Benjamin, Anna and their cousin Robin go searching for the animals that live in the forest: snuffling badgers, gentle deer and shy rabbits. This sweet story covers all of the seasons, so it works great anytime! (4+)
Click the title to view another adorable Gerda Muller tale. The twins love splashing around in the rain, but where do the animals go? Sure to be a family favorite. (5+)
Click the title for a must-see version of this classic tale featuring beautiful artwork. (5+)
I love these because there are 20 stories in each book. Click above to check out the Japanese artwork. Each book features memorable stories and characters such as singing turtles, flying farmers, a dragon that weeps, fairy cranes, and more!
This is an enchanting rendition. Click above to see the timeless classic tale beautifully illustrated by Maja Dusikova. (5+)
What creatures see colors that humans can’t? What insect hides in a nest of bubbles? What plant is poisonous to all nibblers but one? All is revealed in Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow, an intriguing introduction to nature’s wonderful mysteries. Click the title to see illustrations. (6+)
This Silbylee von Olfers tale invites readers to experience the metamorphosis of ushering in spring. The children can’t wait to finally get their wings. But first, they must learn about the many brightly-colored flowers in the kingdom!
Roxaboxen appeared to be nothing but sand and rocks, some old wooden boxes, cactus and greasewood, but it was really a sparkling world of jeweled homes, streets edged with the whitest stones, and two ice cream shops. All children need to go to Roxaboxen is a long stick and a soaring imagination.This story is illustrated by Barbara Cooney (familiar to lovers of Miss Rumphius).
Daniela Drescher has written/illustrated many books. Most of them feature darkly rich colors, but this one adds brightness for summer. Click the title and feed your imagination… Faith the fairy needs a dress for Queen Wren’s meadow party, and the moon helps her out!
We have so many favorites, the list could go on and on! What books does your five-year-old love hearing again and again? Please share in the comments here and on our Facebook page!