Palumba offers children's books for kindergarten and beyond, including Elsa Beskow and many Waldorf book titles.

Here’s a Summer Reading List that includes our family’s favorite books for kindergarteners.  Since all children are different, your child may have a different tolerance for longer stories. Here are some gems that will delight most children who are not yet reading independently.

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!

Summertime in the Big Woods, Prairie Day, or County Fair – My First Little House Books 

Laura Engalls Wilder stories for young children, children's books at Palumba natural toys and books.

Laura Engalls Wilder’s adaptations enthrall young children with tales of summer days in the Big Woods, moving to the Kansas Prairie, and Almanzo’s prize pumpkin.

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+)

How Does My Garden Grow? 

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+)

Gardening books for children at Palumba include how-does-my-garden-grow by Gerda Muller.

Sophie lives in the city, and her vegetables come from the supermarket. Then she goes to visit her grandparents in the countryside and soon discovers how much there is to learn about how things grow! This is a wonderful book for children to learn about allotment or vegetable gardening though Sophie’s eager and questioning eyes.

The Tomtes of Hilltop Stream and The Tomtes of Hilltop Farm 

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+)

How Groundhog’s Garden Grew 

Another gardening book that has around 5 lines per scene. It focuses on the busy work of a garden with beautiful illustrations. (5+)

Elsa Beskow Books 

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+).

The Flowers Festival, Elsa Beskow children's books at Palumba Natural Toys and Home Goods.

The flowers invite Lisa to The Flower’s Festival. The Midsummer fairy drops some poppy-juice into Lisa’s eyes to make her invisible. At the top of the garden, Queen Rose sits on her throne welcoming all the guests, surrounded by her colorful court!

Flossie and the Fox 

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+)

Flossie-and-the-fox African American children's books at Palumba Natural Toys

Big Mama sends Flossie Finley on an errand with a warning. Beware – there’s a sly, egg-poaching fox on the loose! This cute Southern folktale is peppered with saucy wit and humor.

A Year Around the Great Oak 

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+)

Where Do They Go When It Rains? 

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+)

The Frog Prince Re-told by Kathy-Jo Wargin

Click the title for a must-see version of this classic tale featuring beautiful artwork. (5+)

Japanese Children’s Favorite Stories, and More Japanese Children’s Favorite Stories 

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!

The Princess and the Pea

This is an enchanting rendition.  Click above to see the timeless classic tale beautifully illustrated by Maja Dusikova. (5+)

Butterfly Eyes

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+)

The Story of the Butterfly Children

The Story of the Butterly Children, read-aloud books for kindergarten at Palumba Natural Toys and Home Goods

A unique and charming read-aloud tale with engaging illustrations that introduce children to the flowers in the butterfly kingdom.

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).

Roxaboxen, illustrated by Barbara Cooney, children's books at Palumba Natural Toys and Home Goods

Roxaboxen appeared to be nothing but sand and rocks, some old wooden boxes, cactus and greasewood and thorny ocotillo. But it was really a sparkling world of jeweled homes, streets edged with the whitest stones, and two ice cream shops. All the children needed to go to Roxaboxen was a long stick and a soaring imagination.

The Legend of the Bluebonnet

Tomie DePaola’s treasured artwork embellishes this sweet story about how an unselfish girl gives from her heart so the tribe can benefit. Native American children's books, Tomie DePaola's The Legend of the BlueBonnet, Palumba Natural Toys and Home Goods

Little Fairy’s Meadow Party

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!