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Kindergarten Summer Reading List

Required Reading

Reynolds, Peter        The Dot

With a simple, witty story and free-spirited illustrations, Peter H. Reynolds entices even the stubbornly uncreative among us to make a mark - and follow where it takes us.

Art class is over, but Vashti is sitting glued to her chair in front of a blank piece of paper. The words of her teacher are a gentle invitation to express herself. But Vashti can’t draw - she’s no artist. To prove her point, Vashti jabs at a blank sheet of paper to make an unremarkable and angry mark. "There!" she says.

Her teacher smiled. "Just make a mark and see where it takes you."

That one little dot marks the beginning of Vashti’s journey of surprise and self-discovery. That special moment is the core of Peter H. Reynolds’s delicate fable about the creative spirit in all of us.

We recommend the following books.

Picture Books

Atinuke         Anna Hibiscus’ Song

Anna Hibiscus is so filled with happiness that she feels like she might float away. And the more she talks to her mother and father and grandfather and grandmother and aunties and cousins about it, the more her happiness grows! There's only one thing to do...Sing!

Bania, Michael          Kumak's Fish

What could Kumak possibly have on the end of his fishing line in this Inupiat version of "The Great Big Enormous Turnip."

Barnett, Mac Extra Yarn

This looks like an ordinary box full of ordinary yarn.

But it turns out it isn't.

Barnett, Mac Sam and Dave Dig a Hole

Sam and Dave are on a mission. A mission to find something spectacular. So they dig a hole. And they keep digging. And they find . . . nothing. Yet the day turns out to be pretty spectacular after all. Attentive readers will be rewarded with a rare treasure in this witty story of looking for the extraordinary — and finding it in a manner you’d never expect.

Beeler, Sally  Throw Your Tooth on the Roof 

The tooth fairy herself couldn't have done a better job of describing what happens to baby teeth around the world. 

Black, Michael Ian   I’m Bored

There is NOTHING boring about being a kid, but one little girl is going to have to prove it in this anything-but-boring picture book from comedian Michael Ian Black. Just when a little girl thinks she couldn’t possibly be more bored, she stumbles upon a potato who turns the tables on her by declaring that children are boring. But this girl isn’t going to let a vegetable tell her what’s what, so she sets out to show the unimpressed potato all the amazing things kids can do. Too bad the potato is anything but interested….

Brown, Peter Children Make Terrible Pets

A friendly bear takes home a stray boy but finds out that children really do make terrible pets.  

Brown, Peter The Curious Garden

This gentle fable explores what happens when a city lets nature have its way.

Brown, Peter Mr. Tiger Goes Wild

Are you bored with being so proper?
Do you want to have more fun?
Mr Tiger knows exactly how you feel. So he decides to go wild.
But does he go too far?
There is a time and place for everything...even going wild.

Brown, Peter My Teacher is a Monster! (No, I am Not)

A young boy named Bobby has the worst teacher. She's loud, she yells, and if you throw paper airplanes, she won't allow you to enjoy recess. She is a monster! Luckily, Bobby can go to his favorite spot in the park on weekends to play. Until one day... he finds his teacher there! Over the course of one day, Bobby learns that monsters are not always what they seem. Each page is filled with "monstrous" details that will have kids reading the story again and again. Peter Brown takes a universal and timeless theme, and adds his own humorous spin to create another winner of a picture book.

Canon, Janell            Stellaluna 

A wise little bat tries her best to fit in after landing in a bird's nest. 

Castella, Krystina and Brian Boyl Discovering Nature's Alphabet

Endlessly intriguing, the crisp photographs in this book show that a keen eye can find every letter of the alphabet hiding in the shapes of plants surrounding us.

Chamberlin, Mary & Rich   Mama Panya's Pancakes

Adika and his mother are off to the market to buy all the fixings for their dinner. Along the way, Adika surprises his mother by inviting all their friends in for some of his mother's spicy pancakes. Mama Panya worries that they will not have enough to go around, but Adika knows something special about sharing.

Child, Lauren            But Excuse Me That Is My Book

Life can be disappointing if there is one and only one book in the library that just has to be there for you to take out again, and again, and again.

Cowell, Cressida       That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown 

What would you do if the queen wanted your favorite stuffed animal? If you are anything like Emily Brown you will value the friendship of a devoted companion above all else. 

Davies, Nicola           Ice Bear: In the Steps of the Polar Bear

An Inuit storyteller eloquently describes how polar bears are made to thrive in the cold and how his people have learned to survive in a frozen world by watching them.

de la Pena, Matt                   Love

A heartfelt celebration of love by the Newbery Medal-winning author of Last Stop of Market Street and the best-selling illustrator of Of Thee I Sing depicts how people from all walks of life share a universal bond that supports and connects us in the face of fear and hardship.

DePaola, Tomie         The Art Lesson

Tomie DePaola went to elementary school convinced that he would be an artist when he grew up. Armed with his box of sixty-four Crayola crayons, he couldn't wait for art class to begin.

Daywalt, Drew          The Day the Crayons Quit

When Duncan arrives at school one morning, he finds a stack of letters, one from each of his crayons, complaining about how he uses them.

Dyckman, Amy         Boy + Bot

One day, a boy and a robot meet in the woods. They play. They have fun.

But when Bot gets switched off, Boy thinks he's sick. The usual remedies—applesauce, reading a story—don't help, so Boy tucks the sick Bot in, then falls asleep.

Bot is worried when he powers on and finds his friend powered off. He takes Boy home with him and tries all his remedies: oil, reading an instruction manual. Nothing revives the malfunctioning Boy! Can the Inventor help fix him?

Using the perfect blend of sweetness and humor, this story of an adorable duo will win the hearts of the very youngest readers.

Feiffer, Kate  My Side of the Car

Wishful thinking and a wonderful daughter-and-dad rapport drive this charming collaboration between Kate Feiffer and her father, Jules Feiffer.

Sadie has wanted to go the zoo forever, but something always gets in the way. Not today! Today they are finally on their way, and nothing can stop them - not a broken arm or a lost dog or a surprise visit. Not even her dad’s observation: "Sadie, it’s raining." Because when Sadie looks out her window, not only is it not raining on her side of the car, the sun is shining and people are watering their lawns and wearing sunglasses. Even when the road on Dad’s side starts looking more like a river, Sadie can barely see a raindrop fall on her side of the car. This warmhearted tale of a child’s optimism and a father’s loving patience is guaranteed to tickle the funny bone, no matter the weather.

Fleming, Candace    Clever Jack Takes the Cake

Take a bite out of this deliciously funny original fairy tale by a bestselling picture-book duo!

What would you do if you were invited to the princess’s tenth birthday party but didn’t have money for a gift? Well, clever Jack decides to bake the princess a cake.

Now he just has to get it to the castle in one piece. What could possibly go wrong?

Candace Fleming and G. Brian Karas, creators of the bestselling picture book Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!, have teamed up again to bring us a modern fairy tale starring a determined boy and a story-loving princess with a good sense of humor. While girls will fall for a story featuring a princess’s birthday party, Jack’s adventures with trolls, bears, and gypsies make this the perfect read for young boys as well—and ideal for storytime.

Fleming, Candace    Munch! Muncha! Muncha!

Remember Peter Rabbit? Multiply Peter Rabbit times three. Substitute Mr. McGreely for Mr. MacGregor and watch the fun now that the odds are three to one.

Gag, Wanda   Millions of Cats

Cats here, cats there, cats and kittens everywhere, until there was only one poor little kitty left.

Gibb, Sarah               Rapunzel: Based on the Original Story by the Brothers Grimm

The classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale about a girl locked who lets down her long hair to let a prince visit her in the tower where she's locked away is depicted in amazingly beautiful silhouette artwork.

Golson, Terry           Tillie Lays an Egg

Tillie is a stubborn old bird whose independent spirit upsets barnyard protocol.

Graham, Bob            How to Heal a Broken Wing 

The bird lying on the sidewalk injured itself by flying into the window of a skyscraper. No one seems to notice except one small boy coming up out of the subway. 

Hall, Kirsten The Jacket

The Jacket is a book that needs to be a book. It's a book that pays tribute, in word and form, to all that a book is and can be. Once upon a time there was a girl who had a dog named Egg Cream. This girl loved her dog, but she also loved her special book. And Book loved her. But how about Book and Egg Cream? Could they coexist as the girl's two favorite things in the whole wide world?

Heide, Florence Parry         Princess Hyacinth

Princess Hyacinth has an unusual problem. Despite her parents best efforts to protect their daughter, their worst fears are realized when the princess's curiosity overcomes her better judgment.

Henkes, Kevin          Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse

Ah yes, a purple, plastic, musical purse, an irresistible toy, and so hard not to touch once it is brought to school.

Huget, Jennifer LaRue       Thanks a LOT, Emily Post!

Dreading the day that their mother came upon Emily Post's Etiquette, four not so angelic children hatch a plot to rid the house of this unwanted book.

Hutchins, Hazel       A Second is a Hiccup: A Child's Book of Time

How long is a second, a minute, an hour, a week? Understanding time is a snap when catchy, rhyming text plants the right image in your mind.

Ichikawa, Satomi     My Father's Shop

Given a rug from his father's shop, a boy draws the attention of all in the marketplace with his infectious imaginative play.

Jenkins, Emily         Toys Meet Snow

Lumphy, StingRay, and Plastic--the toys from the beloved chapter books "Toys Go Out, " "Toy Dance Party, " and" Toys Come Home"--are back in a glorious full-color picture book, perfect for gift-giving this holiday season. Acclaimed author Emily Jenkins and Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator Paul Zelinsky have created a book destined to become a classic. Children who have loved listening to the Toys trilogy, as well as those meeting the toys for the very first time, will be thrilled to see Lumphy, StingRay, and Plastic venture outdoors to play in the snow. Together the toys build a snowman, make snow angels, and, when day is done, head back inside their cozy house and wait for the return of the Little Girl.

Keller, Laurie           Potato Pants

A potato and his eggplant nemesis struggle to find the perfect pants in this hilarious, heartwarming tale of forgiveness by bestselling Geisel-Award winning creator Laurie Keller.

Potato is excited because today—for one day only— Lance Vance’s Fancy Pants Store is selling . . .POTATO PANTS!

Potato rushes over early, but just as he’s about to walk in, something makes him stop. What could it be? Find out in this one-of-a-kind story about misunderstandings and forgiveness, and—of course—Potato Pants!

Keller, Laurie           We Are Growing

Walt and his friends are growing up! Everyone is the something-est. But . . . what about Walt? He is not the tallest, or the curliest, or the silliest. He is not the anything-est! As a BIG surprise inches closer, Walt discovers something special of his own!

Kellogg, Steven         The Mysterious Tadpole

Louie's uncle in Scotland sends him some pretty unusual birthday presents, but the tadpole he receives has them all beat.

Klassen, Jon  I Want My Hat Back

The bear’s hat is gone, and he wants it back. Patiently and politely, he asks the animals he comes across, one by one, whether they have seen it. Each animal says no, some more elaborately than others. But just as the bear begins to despond, a deer comes by and asks a simple question that sparks the bear’s memory and renews his search with a vengeance. Told completely in dialogue, this delicious take on the classic repetitive tale plays out in sly illustrations laced with visual humor— and winks at the reader with a wry irreverence that will have kids of all ages thrilled to be in on the joke.

Klassen, Jon  We Found a Hat

Two turtles have found a hat. The hat looks good on both of them. But there are two turtles. And there is only one hat. . . . Evoking hilarity and sympathy, the shifting eyes tell the tale in this brilliantly paced story in three parts, highlighting Jon Klassen’s visual comedy and deceptive simplicity. The delicious buildup takes an unexpected turn that is sure to please loyal fans and newcomers alike.

Kleven, Elisa The Paper Princess

All the paper cut-out princess needs is some hair, but before the child who made her can finish this last detail, the wind blows the paper princess away to a series of adventures.

LaRochelle, David    The Best Pet of All

A little boy takes home a dragon but finds out that dragons are not very good pets.

Le, Minh        Drawn Together

When a young boy visits his grandfather, their lack of a common language leads to confusion, frustration, and silence. But as they sit down to draw together, something magical happens-with a shared love of art and storytelling, the two form a bond that goes beyond words.

Light, Kelly   Louise Loves Art

Meet Louise! Louise loves art more than anything. It's her imagination on the outside. She is determined to create a masterpiece--her pièce de résistance! Louise also loves Art, her little brother. This is their story. Louise Loves Art is a celebration of the brilliant artist who resides in all of us.

Lionni, Leo    Alexander and the Wind-up Mouse

Once the magic purple pebble is in his hands, suddenly Alexander changes his wish.

Lionni, Leo   Swimmy

Deep in the sea there lives a happy school of little fish. Their watery world is full of wonders, but there is also danger, and the little fish are afraid to come out of hiding . . . until Swimmy comes along. Swimmy shows his friends how—with ingenuity and team work—they can overcome any danger. With its graceful text and stunning artwork, this Caldecott Honor Book deserves a place on every child’s shelf.

Litchfield, Dave        The Bear and the Piano

One day, a young bear stumbles upon something he has never seen before in the forest. As time passes, he teaches himself how to play the strange instrument, and eventually the beautiful sounds are heard by a father and son who are picnicking in the woods. The bear goes with them on an incredible journey to New York, where his piano playing makes him a huge star. He has fame, fortune and all the music in the world, but he misses the friends and family he has left behind.

Litwin, Eric   Pete the Cat books

Follow the adventures of Pete the Cat in these funny, enjoyable stories.

McClintock, Barbara           Adele and Simon

Much to his sister Adele's frustration, Simon manages to lose many of his things on the way home from school. Can you discover where they have been lost? A map of Paris and a short tutorial on the very real street scenes shown in the illustrations add to the charm and interest of this title.

McDermott, Gerald Jabuti

The King of Heaven himself intervenes when vulture tries to give Jabuti, the trickster, his comeuppance. Vivid color pencil and ink drawings illustrate this pourquoi tale from the Amazon rainforest.

McDonnell, Patrick             Me … Jane

In his characteristic heartwarming style, Patrick McDonnell tells the story of the young Jane Goodall and her special childhood toy chimpanzee named Jubilee. As the young Jane observes the natural world around her with wonder, she dreams of "a life living with and helping all animals," until one day she finds that her dream has come true.

One of the world's most inspiring women, Dr. Jane Goodall is a renowned humanitarian, conservationist, animal activist, environmentalist, and United Nations Messenger of Peace. In 1977 she founded the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), a global nonprofit organization that empowers people to make a difference for all living things.

With anecdotes taken directly from Jane Goodall's autobiography, McDonnell makes this very true story accessible for the very young--and young at heart.

Minarik, Else            Little Bear

This is the first of five readers, illustrated by Maurice Sendak, and filled with thumbnail sketches of a little bear and his loving family.

Park, Linda Sue        Xander’s Panda Party

The zoo’s paucity of pandas doesn’t impede Xander’s party planning for long. He decides to invite all the bears. But Koala protests. She’s not a bear—she's a marsupial! Does that mean she can’t come? Xander rethinks his decision to invite only bears, and “Calling all bears” evolves into “Calling all creatures.”

Paterson, Katherine            Brother Sun, Sister Moon

In Brother Sun, Sister Moon, award-winning author Katherine Paterson reimagines a hymn of praise originally written by Saint Francis of Assisi in 1224. Illuminated with the exquisite illustrations of cut-paper artist Pamela Dalton, this picture book offers a stunningly beautiful tribute to nature.

Pinkney, Jerry          The Tortoise and the Hare

This companion to the Caldecott Medal-winning The Lion & the Mouse is Jerry Pinkney's most stunning masterpiece yet. Even the slowest tortoise can defeat the quickest hare, and even the proudest hare can learn a timeless lesson from the most humble tortoise: Slow and steady wins the race! Here is a superbly rendered journey from starting line to finish that embodies the bravery, perseverance, and humility we can all find inside ourselves.

Polacco, Patricia       Thunder Cake

Grandma's recipe for thundercake has all the ingredients necessary to stir up a little bravery in a timid child.

Rattigan, Jama Kim             Truman's Aunt Farm

Truman knew that "presents from Aunt Fran had to be handled carefully." She sends him an ant farm, he thinks. Imagine his surprise when his present turns out to be an aunt farm instead.

Rinck, Maranke        I Feel a Foot

Awakened by night noises, a turtle, bat, octopus, bird, and goat go exploring and come up with entirely different ideas about who the noisemaker might be. Sound familiar?

Rocco, John  Blizzard

After a massive blizzard, a boy becomes a hero when he manages to walk to the local store and bring supplies back to his neighborhood which has been snowed in for days. Based on the author's childhood experience.

Sayre, April Pulley   One is a Snail Ten is a Crab

If four is a dog and eight is a spider, and twelve is a dog and a spider, what is two dogs and three spiders?

Seeger, Laura Vacaro           Walter Was Worried

In an unusual twist, this alphabet book uses letters to create the humorous facial expressions of children who are reacting to changes in the weather.

Sierra, Judy   Wild About Books

Who knew what a little Seuss would do when librarian Molly McGrew took a wrong turn in her bookmobile and ended up in the zoo.

Slate, Joseph             Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten    

Take a peek at how a busy teacher and her new students get ready for the first day of school.

Stein, David Ezra      Interrupting Chicken

In this Caldecott Honor book little red chicken keeps interrupting his Papa’s stories. Mixing classic fairy tales with laugh out loud humor is a winning combination.

Thomas, Jan My Toothbrush is Missing

Dog's toothbrush is missing. Has anybody seen it? Maybe . . . But what does a toothbrush look like? Donkey wonders. Featuring Jan Thomas’s wonderfully wacky humor, rowdy repetitions, and hilarious characters, this book is sure to have young readers laughing out loud!

Voake, Steve Insect Detective

This engaging primer on the unusual behaviors of six legged critters is just the thing to make your backyard into a place of wonder just waiting to be explored.

Waber, Bernard        The House on East 88th Street

When the Primms moved into their new house, they were shocked to discover a crocodile living in their bathtub. Further adventures include Lyle, Lyle Crocodile and Lovable Lyle. 

Willems, Mo             Hooray for Amanda and her Alligator

6½ stories about 2 surprising friends.

Having a stuffed alligator for a best friend can be surprising.

Sometimes Amanda surprises her alligator with books. Sometimes Alligator surprises Amanda by eating them.

But what happens when Amanda brings home a special—and not entirely welcome—surprise? The result might be unexpected indeed.

Beloved author-illustrator Mo Willems has created a funny and tender portrait of friendship that readers of any age will love.

Willems, Mo             Sam: The Most Scaredy-Cat Kid in the Whole World

One day Sam, the most scaredy-cat kid in the whole world, makes a terrifying discovery. It's not Frankenthaler the monster. It's her friend-Kerry!

Kerry, the second most scaredy-cat kid in the whole world, also makes a terrifying discovery. It's not Leonardo the monster. It's his friend-Sam!

"AAAAH!" yells Sam.

"EEEEK!" yells Kerry.

Something has to be done. Something BIG. But what?

Willems, Mo That is Not a Good Idea

Inspired by the evil villains and innocent damsels of silent movies, Willems tells the tale of a hungry fox who invites a plump goose to dinner. As with the beloved Pigeon books, kids will be calling out the signature refrain and begging for repeated readings. The funny details in the full-color illustrations by three-time Caldecott Honoree Mo Willems will bring nonstop laughter to story time.

Yaccorino, Dan         Doug Unplugged

Doug is a robot. His parents want him to be smart, so each morning they plug him in and start the information download. After a morning spent learning facts about the city, Doug suspects he could learn even more about the city by going outside and exploring it. And so Doug . . . unplugs. What follows is an exciting day of adventure and discovery. Doug learns amazing things by doing and seeing and touching and listening—and above all, by interacting with a new friend.


Yolen, Jane, ed.        Switching on the Moon: A Very First Book of Bedtime Poems

This beautifully illustrated book brings together in one book sixty poems written to usher in a night of sweet dreams.                             

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.

Mo Willems

Dr. Seuss

Leo Lionni

Kevin Henkes

Emily Gravett

H.R. Rey

Ezra Jack Keats

Rosemary Wells

Pat Hutchins

P.D. Eastman

Jack Prelutsky

Donald Crews


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