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Transition Summer Reading List 

Required Reading

Martin, Jr., Bill      Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

The 26 characters in this rhythmic, rhyming baby book are a lowercase alphabet with attitude. "A told b, and b told c, 'I'll meet you at the top of the coconut tree'"--which probably seemed like a good idea until the other 23 members of the gang decided to follow suit. The palm tree standing straight and tall on the first page begins to groan and bend under its alphabetical burden. First the coconuts fall off, then ("Chicka chicka... BOOM! BOOM!") all the letters also end up in a big heap underneath.

We recommend the following books.

Picture Books

Agee, Jon      My Rhinoceros

Watch Jon Agee win over a new flock of fans--the toddler set. If you should ever get a rhinoceros for a pet, you're in for a surprise. It won't chase a ball. Or a stick. Or a Frisbee. In fact, according to the experts, a rhinoceros does only two things: pop balloons and poke holes in kites.But don't be discouraged. As you'll discover in Jon Agee's hilarious picture book, rhinoceroses can do more--so much more--than that!

Alexie, Sherman      Thunder Boy Jr.

Thunder Boy Jr. is named after his dad, but he wants a name that's all his own. Just because people call his dad Big Thunder doesn't mean he wants to be Little Thunder. He wants a name that celebrates something cool he's done, like Touch the Clouds, Not Afraid of Ten Thousand Teeth, or Full of Wonder.

But just when Thunder Boy Jr. thinks all hope is lost, he and his dad pick the perfect name...a name that is sure to light up the sky.

National Book Award-winner Sherman Alexie's lyrical text and Caldecott Honor-winner Yuyi Morales's striking and beautiful illustrations celebrate the special relationship between father and son.

Baker, Keith      LMNO peas

Join the industrious green peas as they play and work with the letters of the alphabet.

Busch, Miriam      Lion, Lion

A little boy is looking for Lion. Lion is looking for lunch. And so our story begins. But look closely . . . in this tale, nothing is quite as it seems! Children will delight in this classic picture book with a mischievous twist.

Cordell, Matthew      hello! hello!

Outside the world is bright and colorful, but Lydia's family is too busy with their gadgets to notice. She says Hello to everyone. Hello? Hello! Her father says hello while texting, her mother says hello while working on her laptop and her brother doesn't say hello at all. The T.V shouts Hello! But she doesn't want to watch any shows. Lydia, now restless, ventures outside. There are so many things to say hello to! Hello rocks! Hello leaves! Hello flowers! When Lydia comes back home she decides to show her family what she has found, and it's hello world and goodbye gadgets!

Davis, Jerry      Little Chicken’s Big Day

I hear you cluckin’, Big Chicken!

Little Chicken repeats this simple refrain to his mama throughout a typical day. But Little Chicken is sometimes distracted...and when he wanders off and gets lost, the day becomes anything but typical. From husband and wife team Katie and Jerry Davis, this is a little book with a huge heart. The perfectly minimal illustrations and spare text encompass a wide range of emotions and belie the enormous message at its core: With family, help is always just a cluck away.

dePaola, Tomie      Mother Goose

Enjoy these classic Mother Goose rhymes in Tomie dePaola’s beautifully illustrated book.

Dillon, Leo and Diane Dillon      Mother Goose; Numbers on the Loose 

This inventively illustrated selection of twenty-four nursery rhymes, all of them about numbers, is perfect for the budding mathematician or connoisseur of off-beat delights.

Dunklee, Annika      My Name is Elizabeth

Meet Elizabeth. She's got an excellent pet duck, a loving granddad and a first name that's just awesome. After all, she's got a queen named after her so she's really not amused when people insist on using nicknames like "Lizzy" and "Beth." She bears her frustration in silence until an otherwise ordinary autumn day, when she discovers her power to change things once and for all. In the process, Elizabeth learns about communication and respect -- and their roles in building better relationships with family and friends. The two-toned illustrations reflect the story's energy and sass, and the comic-book-like format makes it easy to follow. The cheeky, retro drawings also keep it real -- depicting the sometimes-feisty Elizabeth as a resolutely normal kid -- whether she's flossing her teeth or feeding her pet duck.

Elliott, David      In the Sea

The briny deep is home to an enormous variety of fascinating creatures, from the dainty sea horse to the fearsome shark, from the spiny sea urchin to the majestic blue whale. In striking woodcut illustrations, diverse creatures glide through blue and green waters, while succinct, witty poetry examines their behavior and interactions. In this companion volume to On the Farm and In the Wild, David Elliott and Holly Meade explore the depths of the ocean in a collection of poems sure to thrill budding oceanographers and landlubbers alike.

Flemng, Denise      underGROUND

Discover the down and dirty secrets of underground creatures in this vibrant picture book from a Caldecott Honor medalist. What young child doesn’t love playing in the dirt? And who hasn’t wondered what goes on in the lives of all the creatures who live underground?

Forward, Toby      What Did You Do Today?

It is the first day of school and a small student is center stage, but can you guess who is mentally waiting in the wings? This is a lovely new look at an age old subject.

Gaiman, Neil      Chu’s Day

Chu is a little panda with a big sneeze.

When Chu sneezes, bad things happen.

Will Chu sneeze today?

Gaiman, Neil Chu’s First Day of School

On the first day of school, a young panda learns about the special things his animal classmates can do.

Gay, Marie-Louise      Stella Star of the Sea

Accuracy rarely interferes with Stella's efforts to answer her little brother Sam's many questions about the sea as he summons courage to take the plunge. 

Gravett, Emily      Monkey and Me

A young girl and her stuffed monkey visit the zoo and delight in imitating the animals that they see.

Hamilton, Kersten      Red Truck

Red truck saves the day when the school bus gets stuck in the mud.

Henkes, Kevin      Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemums grow in gardens and one little mouse never gives this fact a second thought until she starts school.

Henkes, Kevin      Waiting

What are you waiting for? An owl, a puppy, a bear, a rabbit, and a pig—all toys arranged on a child’s windowsill—wait for marvelous things to happen in this irresistible picture book by the New York Times–bestselling and Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes.

Higgins, Ryan T.      Mother Bruce

Bruce is a grumpy bear who likes no one and nothing but cooked eggs, but when some eggs he was planning to boil hatch and the goslings believe he is their mother, he must try to make the best of the situation.

Hoberman, Mary Ann       Seven Silly Eaters 

Warm not hot, poached not fried, homemade not canned, squishy not firm...what's the mother of a household filled with picky eaters to do? 

Jarrett, Clare  Arabella Miller's      Tiny Caterpillar 

When little Arabella Miller finds a caterpillar climbing up her arm, she adopts it and finds she has a ring-side seat for one of nature's little wonders. 

Johnson, Crockett      Harold and the Purple Crayon

"One night, after thinking it over for some time, Harold decided to go for a walk in the moonlight." So begins this gentle story that shows just how far your imagination can take you. Armed only with an oversized purple crayon, young Harold draws himself a landscape full of beauty and excitement. But this is no hare-brained, impulsive flight of fantasy. Cherubic, round-headed Harold conducts his adventure with the utmost prudence, letting his imagination run free, but keeping his wits about him all the while. He takes the necessary purple-crayon precautions: drawing landmarks to ensure he won't get lost; sketching a boat when he finds himself in deep water; and creating a purple pie picnic when he feels the first pangs of hunger.

Juster , Norton      The Hello, Goodbye Window

A little girl believes the kitchen window in her grandparent's house is very special, maybe even magical.

Keats, Ezra Jack      Regards to the Man in the Moon

Susie alone among Louie's friends believes that he will soon be blasting off into outer space.

Langstaff, John       Over in the Meadow 

This classic version of a favorite nursery song introduces the animals that live in a meadow and doubles as a counting book. 

Lionni, Leo      Frederick

When winter seems most bleak to the mice living in the old stone wall, Frederick finally contributes his supplies.

Litwin, Eric      Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses

Pete the Cat wakes up feeling grumpy—nothing seems to be going his way. But with the help of some magic sunglasses, Pete learns that a good mood has been inside him all along. Readers will love watching Pete take his positive outlook and transform a grumpy day into an awesome day!

MacDonald, Suse      Shape by Shape

How many different kinds of cleverly layered shapes does it take to make a big green prehistoric beast?

Martin, Bill      Chicka Chicka 1,2,3

In  Chicka Chicka 1,2,3 join 1-100 as they climb to the top of an apple tree.

McDonnell, Patrick      The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away: And Learned His ABC’s (the Hard Way)

In this nearly wordless alphabet book, a little red cat runs away and gets caught up in a wild chase that goes everywhere from A to Z and back home again.

McMullan, Kate & Jim      I’m Brave

He's a big red engine with a siren, a horn, a tank full of water, and a whole lotta hose! He's a good-lookin' fire truck, and he's brave, too. When the alarm sounds eeeeeeeoooooooooo he's gotta drive through smoke and heat straight to a blazing fire! Honk! Honk!

Monari, Manuela      Zero Kisses for Me

Always getting kissed can get old for little kids but you never outgrow goodnight kisses.

Moon, Nicola      Something Special

When Charlie's mother is too busy with his new baby sister to help him find something special to bring in for show and tell, Charlie finally discovers the special something he needs has been right there all the time.

Mora, Oge      Thank You, Omu!

When the aroma of Omu's homemade stew fills the air, her neighbors arrive, one by one, for a taste until all is gone except for her generous spirit.

Nakagawa, Chihiro       Who Made this Cake?

A boy imagines that his birthday cake is made by the toys he most likes to play with.

Nelson, Kadir      Baby Bear

Baby Bear is lost and trying to find his way home. As he walks through the forest, he meets other animals who offer wise advice. Trust yourself. Listen to your heart. Keep walking and you will find your way home. As each encounter moves Baby Bear farther along on his journey, he gains courage and the comforting feeling that he is loved and never alone. With poetic text and stunning illustrations, Baby Bear is a powerful addition to the canon of timeless picture-book classics.

O’Hora, Zachariah      No Fits, Nilson

Nilson and Amelia do everything together. But if one little thing goes wrong, Nilson throws the biggest, most house shaking-est fit ever! Amelia helps Nilson control his gorilla-sized temper by promising him banana ice cream and letting him play with her froggy coin purse. But, sometimes, Amelia needs to be calmed down, too.

Park, Linda Sue       Bee-Bim Bop! 


Mama's little sous chef will have your mouth watering for some bee-bim bop by the time you reach the recipe at the end of this rhyming tale. 

Pham, LeUyen      The Itchy Book

Triceratops has an itch. . . so does Pterodactyl. . . and Brontosaurus. . . and T-Rex! But Dino-Mo reminds them all of the BIG rule: Dinosaurs do not scratch! What's an itchy dinosaur to do?

Rash, Andy      Unstinky

Bud is a happy stinkbug, except when it comes to stinking contests.

He always seems to lose to champions like P. U. Bottoms, Lord Stinkington, and The Fumigator.

Every time they make smells like OUTHOUSE, GYM SOCK, and ARMPIT, poor Bud ends up smelling like FLOWERS, or FRESH-BAKED BREAD, or CANDY CANE.

Stinking just isn't Bud's THING. But what IS his thing?

With an ending as fresh as a daisy, and funnier than any funny smell, Andy Rash puts a hilarious spin on a tale of following your nose to happiness

Rosenthal, Amy Krouse      Duck! Rabbit!

Is it a duck? Is it a rabbit? You decide in this delightful little book.

Ruzzier, Sergio This is Not a Picture Book

In this quirky yet sweet picture book about the joy and power of reading, Duck learns that even books without pictures can be fun. While he and his friend Bug may struggle at first to decipher their book, they stick with it, and before long they discover that not only can they read it, but it deserves a place on the shelf with all their favorite picture books. Author-artist Sergio Ruzzier has created a fanciful tribute to books of all kinds. It includes both words AND pictures.

Savage, Stephen      Where’s Walrus

A happy-go-lucky Walrus escapes the zoo in search of adventure in this wordless instant classic. Bored with life at the zoo, an adventurous walrus escapes to the outside world. With the zookeeper in hot pursuit, Walrus cleverly tries on all sorts of hats to disguise himself. Will a yellow hardhat point to a new life as a construction worker? Or will a red swimming cap reveal his true talents? Follow the happy-go-lucky runaway as he hides amongst firefighters, businessmen, and even high-stepping dancers in this delightful wordless picture book.

Schertle, Alice      Little Blue Truck

Little Blue Truck teaches Dump, a very self-important truck, the value of making friends

Shulevitz, Uri      Dusk

One December afternoon, boy with dog and grandfather with beard take a walk to watch the sun begin to set over the river. When the sun drops low in the sky, they start home. Buildings grow dimmer. People are rushing. As nature's lights go out, one by one, city's lights turn on, revealing brilliant Hanukkah, Kwanza, and Christmas displays in streets, homes, and stores. 

Smith, Alex T.      Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion

In this version of Little Red Riding Hood, set on the African plains, Little Red realizes what the Very Hungry Lion is up to, and teaches him a lesson before generously sharing her donuts with him.     

Soman, David      Ladybug Girl

Lulu dresses up as a ladybug and makes her own fun right in her own backyard.

Tullet, Hervé      Press Here

Each page of this surprising book instructs the reader to press the dots, shake the pages, tilt the book, and who knows what will happen next! Children and adults alike will giggle with delight as the dots multiply, change direction, and grow in size, in this unique picture book about the power of imagination and interactivity will provide read-aloud fun for all ages.

Wells, Rosemary      Max's ABC

Max's ants, having escaped from their ant farm, take a merry romp through the alphabet.

Wenzel, Brendan      They All Saw a Cat

The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws . . .In this celebration of observation, curiosity, and imagination, Brendan Wenzel shows us the many views of one cat, and how perspective shapes what we see. When you see a cat, what do you see?

Recommended Authors

We have listed below several authors who we recommend. Please visit your local library and choose any of the books by the authors listed below. Feel free to talk to Mr. Pané or your local librarian about any of these books or authors.

Dr. Seuss

Kevin Henkes

Jan Brett

Bill Martin, Jr.

Eric Carle

Judith Viorst

Mo Willems

Rosemary Wells

Tomie dePaola

Leo Lionni

Any of the Madeline books

Toot & Puddle books

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