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Nursery Summer Reading List

Required reading

Walsh, Ellen Stoll      Mouse Paint

While the cat is asleep, the mice decide to dabble in primary colors.

We recommend the following books.

Picture Books

Agee, Jon The Wall in the Middle of the Book

A foolish knight is certain that his side of the wall is the safe side in this meta picture book.

There's a wall in the middle of the book, and our hero--a young knight--is sure that the wall protects his side of the book from the dangers of the other side--like an angry tiger and giant rhino, and worst of all, an ogre who would gobble him up in a second! But our knight doesn't seem to notice the crocodile and growing sea of water that are emerging on his side. When he's almost over his head and calling for help, who will come to his rescue? An individual who isn't as dangerous as the knight thought--from a side of the book that might just have some positive things to offer after all!

Asch, Frank      Happy Birthday Moon

Bear wants to give the moon a birthday present, but finding out what the moon might like isn't as easy as he thought it would be.

Baker, Keith      Little Green Peas: A Big Book of Colors

Little green peas make their way into collections of objects of many different colors, from blue boats, seas, and flags, to orange balloons, umbrellas, and fizzy drinks.

Barton, Byron      My Bus

One bus plus one bus driver plus ten bus riders and lots of bus stops equal a busy day of driving, riding, flying, and sailing for everyone, especially you!

Bell, Cece           Itty Bitty

Itty Bitty, an itty bitty dog, needs some itty bitty things for his new home.

Burningham, John  Mr. Gumpy's Outing

 Has Mr. Gumpy been a little too generous letting everyone join him for a ride in his boat?

Carle, Eric      The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse

Every child has an artist inside them, and this vibrant new picture book from beloved author Carle is sure to let it out. The artist in this book paints the world as he sees it, just like a child. Filled with some of the most magnificently colored animals of Carle's career, this tribute to the creative life celebrates the power of art.

Carle, Eric      The Mixed-Up Chameleon

Imagine the fun you could have if suddenly you discovered a way to make yourself look like any animal in the zoo or maybe a mixture of them all! Other titles by this author may be substituted.

Castillo, Lauren      Nana in the City

In this magical picture book, a young boy spends an overnight visit with his nana and is frightened to find that the city where she lives is filled with noise and crowds and scary things. But then Nana makes him a special cape to help him be brave, and soon the everyday sights, sounds, and smells of the city are not scary—but wonderful. The succinct text is paired with watercolor illustrations that capture all the vitality, energy, and beauty of the city.

Cole, Henry      Big Bug

Beginning with a bug, various objects are revealed as being big and small in comparison with other objects on a farm under the big, big sky.

Durand, Hallie      Mitchell’s License

Mitchell was four years, one month, and five days old when he got his license. He may need a little boost getting into the driver’s seat, but once he’s behind the wheel, his car sure goes fast! Left turn, right turn, slow down for speed bumps - Mitchell is a pro. And he loves the way that horn sounds! There’s just one problem: Mitchell and his car have a slight disagreement about what type of fuel should go into the tank. . . . With warmth and sly wit, Hallie Durand follows a young child obsessed with all things automobile, while Tony Fucile’s comical illustrations convey the well-tuned bond between an obliging father and a high-octane child.

Ehlert, Lois      Color Zoo 

You will go back again and again to see the differences a switch in color here and change of shape there can make. 

Falwell, Cathryn       Feast for Ten 

Using numbers from one to ten, learn how this family puts dinner on the table.

Farrell, Darren      Stop Following Me, Moon

A hungry bear’s big appetite leads to a lesson about sharing in this silly story perfect for fans of Mo Willems’ Pigeon books

Bear is hungry. So hungry that when he spies a squirrel's berry snack, he can't help taking the whole berry bush. Then, when he wanders past a busy beehive, Bear knows he's hit the jackpot. But someone is on to him—the moon! Or so Bear thinks. Before he knows it, Bear is on the run with his stolen snacks, causing a whole lot of trouble for the other animals in the forest.

With big laughs, silly surprises, and a read-aloud-ready refrain, this picture book is perfect for fans of Jon Klassen and Mo Willems.

 Foley, Greg      Thank You Bear

Bear discovers that sometimes there is little agreement on the simplest of things. 

Garton, Sam      Otter Goes to School

Otter—the irrepressible picture book character from I Am Otter, Otter in Space, and Otter Loves Halloween!, sure to be adored by fans of Llama Llama—goes to school for the first time!

In Otter Goes to School, Otter starts her own school for Teddy, Giraffe, and the rest of her friends. They have a great teacher and do lots of fun things together . . . until Teddy says he doesn’t like school anymore. Luckily, Otter Keeper comes to the rescue and teaches everyone the best lesson of all!

Gay, Marie-Louise      Good Morning Sam

It's time to wake up. Sam is convinced he can get ready all by himself, but even after a little help from his big sister, you won't believe what he forgets!

Gravett, Emily      Blue Chameleon

He can turn himself into anything and appear to fit in anywhere, but it seems that neither the swirly snail, the green grasshopper nor the stripy sock want to be friends. Will he ever find someone to talk to? Someone just like him? With a subtle and witty interplay between words and illustrations this introduction to colors and shapes (and chameleons ) is sure to delight everyone, from the youngest child upwards. Another triumph by prize-winning Emily Gravett.

Gravett, Emily      Orange Pear Apple Bear

Using just four words, the text in combination with captivating watercolor illustrations, forms an amusing game perfect for word, color, and object recognition.

Hall, Michael      Red: A Crayon’s Story

Red has a bright red label, but he is, in fact, blue. His teacher tries to help him be red (let's draw strawberries!), his mother tries to help him be red by sending him out on a playdate with a yellow classmate (go draw a nice orange!), and the scissors try to help him be red by snipping his label so that he has room to breathe. But Red is miserable. He just can't be red, no matter how hard he tries! Finally, a brand-new friend offers a brand-new perspective, and Red discovers what readers have known all along. He's blue! This funny, heartwarming, colorful picture book about finding the courage to be true to your inner self can be read on multiple levels, and it offers something for everyone!

Henkes, Kevin      Little White Rabbit

One bright spring day a little white rabbit sets out from home on an adventure. What does he find? Look! Everything is new.Anything is possible. . . .

Hest, Amy      Little Chick

Old-Auntie's comforting presence helps Little Chick through life's little adversities.

Hines, Anna Grossnickle      1, 2, Buckle My Shoe

The author, an accomplished quilter, stitches up some counting fun with fabric, rick-rack, yarn, and hundreds of buttons. 

Hutchins, Pat        Rosie's Walk

As Rosie, the chicken, sets off for a morning stroll around the barnyard, she seems blissfully unaware of the fox stealthily following behind her.

Hutchins, Pat      Titch

Being the littlest and the smallest means being the last in line for lots of things, but one day Titch finds a way to shine.

Jenkins, Emily      A Greyhound, A Groundhog

A tongue twister featuring a little round greyhound and a little round groundhog who work themselves into a frenzy as they whirl around and around one another.     

Judge, Lita      Red Sled

In this almost wordless picture book, a host of woodland creatures take a child's sled for a nighttime joy ride. Their whimsical ride is gorgeously depicted in bold watercolor, complemented by humorous expressions and pitch-perfect sound effects. With a timeless tone and classic characters, Red Sled will become a wintertime favorite.

Keats, Ezra Jack      Whistle for Willie

On one of those long hot summer days when there is not much going on, Peter finds ways to entertain himself and acquire a new skill.

Klausmeir, Jesse      Open This Little Book

What will you find when you open this little book? A fun story? Sweet characters? Enticing pictures? Yes! But much more. Open this book and you will find...another book...and another...and another. Debut author Jesse Klausmeier and master book creator Suzy Lee have combined their creative visions to craft a seemingly simple book about colors for the very youngest readers, an imaginative exploration of the art of book making for more sophisticated aficionados, and a charming story of friendship and the power of books for all.

Krauss, Ruth      The Growing Story

A summer long discussion between a little boy and his mother links seasonal change with the sometimes difficult to grasp notion of growing bigger.

Lin, Grace      A Big Mooncake for Little Star

A gorgeous picture book that tells a whimsical origin story of the phases of the moon, from award-winning, bestselling author-illustrator Grace Lin

Pat, pat, pat...

Little Star's soft feet tiptoed to the Big Mooncake.

Little Star loves the delicious Mooncake that she bakes with her mama. But she's not supposed to eat any yet! What happens when she can't resist a nibble?

In this stunning picture book that shines as bright as the stars in the sky, Newbery Honor author Grace Lin creates a heartwarming original story that explains phases of the moon.

Litwin, Eric      Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes

Pete the Cat goes walking down the street wearing his brand new white shoes. Along the way, his shoes change from white to red to blue to brown to WET as we steps in piles of strawberries, blueberries and other big messes! But no matter what color his shoes are are, Pete keeps movin' and groovin' and singing his song...because it's all good.

Martinez-Neal, Juana      Alma and How She Got Her Name

What's in a name? For one little girl, her very long name tells the vibrant story of where she came from — and who she may one day be.

If you ask her, Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela has way too many names: six! How did such a small person wind up with such a large name? Alma turns to Daddy for an answer and learns of Sofia, the grandmother who loved books and flowers; Esperanza, the great-grandmother who longed to travel; José, the grandfather who was an artist; and other namesakes, too. As she hears the story of her name, Alma starts to think it might be a perfect fit after all — and realizes that she will one day have her own story to tell. In her author-illustrator debut, Juana Martinez-Neal opens a treasure box of discovery for children who may be curious about their own origin stories or names.

McCully, Emily      School

When all the mice children head out the front door for school, one little mouse, too young for school, is left behind.

McDonnell, Patrick      Thank You and Good Night

An homage to classic bedtime stories and their creators, from a Caldecott Honor recipient and bestselling artist! Patrick McDonnell's first bedtime book captures the magic of a sleepover with friends, and reminds us to cherish life's simplest pleasures. During a fun pajama party, three animal friends dance and play, but at last everyone is getting sleepy. Is it time for bed yet? Not before taking the time to say thank you for the day, the night, and good friends.

Newbery, Linda       Posy 

The curiosity of a lively kitten named Posy fills a day with many adventures.  

Portis, Antoinette      Best Frints in the Whole Universe

Yelfred and Omek, aliens from the planet Boborp who have been best "frints" since they were "blobbies," find their bond tested by a fight that breaks out when one crashes the other's spaceship.

Portis, Antoinette      Wait

As a boy and his mother move quickly through the city, they're drawn to different things. The boy sees a dog, a butterfly, and a hungry duck while his mother rushes them toward the departing train. It's push and pull, but in the end, they both find something to stop for.

Raposo Joe      Sing

"Sing! Sing a song. Sing out loud, sing out strong."

Now, bestselling children's book illustrator Tom Lichtenheld has put a visual story to this timeless and universal song that celebrates perseverence, self-expression, and the power of music to help each of us find our voice.

Rashka, Chris      Daisy Get Lost

With the same emotional intensity that he brought to his New York Times bestselling, New York Times Best Illustrated, and Caldecott Medal-winning picture book A Ball for Daisy, Raschka has created a story that explores fear as only he can. Any child who has ever felt lost will relate to Daisy's despair upon finding herself in an unfamiliar part of the park after chasing a squirrel. In a nearly wordless picture book, Daisy encounters the unease of being lost and the joys of being found. Raschka's signature swirling, impressionistic illustrations and his affectionate story will particularly appeal to young dog lovers, teachers, parents and, of course, the legions of Daisy fans out there.

Rice, Eve       Sam Who Never Forgets

Sam, the zookeeper, feeds all the animals in the zoo everyday, but one day Elephant thinks that Sam has forgotten the very animal who always remembers. 

Rosenthal, Eileen      I Must Have Bobo

Wily and his stuffed monkey, Bobo, do everything together but Bobo keeps going missing.

Shaw, Charles      It Looked Like Spilt Milk

If you can guess the shapes in this clever book, you can probably guess the words too.

Seeger, Laura Vaccaro      Green

Die cut pages bring surprise after surprise in this magical new book from the "Queen of the concept book"—an intricate and satisfying homage to green, the color of all creation.
How many kinds of green are there? There's the lush green of a forest on a late spring day, the fresh, juicy green of a just-cut lime, the incandescent green of a firefly, and the vivid aquamarine of a tropical sea. In her newest book, Caldecott and Geisel Honor Book author Laura Vaccaro Seeger fashions an homage to a single color and, in doing so, creates a book that will delight and, quite possibly astonish you.

Shea, Bob      I’m a Shark

The creator of "Dinosaur vs. Bedtime" is back with a brand-new story. A boastful shark is not afraid of anything, which impresses his underwater friends until they ask about spiders.

Simont, Marc The Stray Dog

It was so hard to leave the playful puppy at the park, but surely he belongs to someone. Or does he?

Smith, Lane A Perfect Day

Today is a perfect day for Cat, Dog, Chickadee, and Squirrel.

Cat is lounging among the daffodils. Dog is sitting in the wading pool, deep in the cool water. Chickadee is eating fresh seed from the birdfeeder. Squirrel is munching on his very own corncob. Today is a perfect day in Bert's backyard.

Until Bear comes along, that is. Bear crushes the daffodils, drinks the pool water, and happily gobbles up the birdseed and corncob.

Today was a perfect day for Cat, Dog, Chickadee, and Squirrel. Now, it's just a perfect day for Bear.

Teague, Mark      Firehouse!

Visit the firehouse and go out on an emergency call to rescue a kitten stuck up in a tree.

Tullet, Hervé      Mix It Up

Accept Hervé Tullet's irresistible invitation to mix it up in a dazzling adventure of whimsy and wonder. Follow the artist's simple instructions, and suddenly colors appear, mix, splatter, and vanish in a world powered only by the reader's imagination. Tullet-who joins such greats as Eric Carle and Leo Lionni as a master of his craft-sets readers on an extraordinary interactive journey all within the printed page. Tullet prompts plenty of giggles in addition to a profound understanding of colors, and once again displays his unique genius and vision in a work that is a glorious and richly satisfying companion to Press Here .

Underwood, Deborah      The Quiet Book

A beautiful book that explores all the different types of quiet.

Voake, Charlotte      Tweedle Dee Dee

Charming illustrations and a catchy tune will have you humming or singing along as you read this cumulative story of a mother bird that has been taken from a traditional folk song.

Yaccarino, Dan      Every Friday

Every Friday a boy and his father have breakfast together at the corner diner. Join the boy and his father during their special time together.


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