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The Summer Reading A-List

50 Must-Read Picture Books for Summer Break
on May 30, 2013

This summer, our must-read list of picture books is a mix of old and new: a handful of classic picture books that many of us parents read as children, mixed with brand-new titles to discover for the first time. There are 50 titles on this list. Some will provoke hysterical laughter, while others will provoke some serious thinking. I challenge you to read as many of them as possible with your children this summer.

Picture books aren't just for early readers. They are for all ages, and being read to and reading aloud to others only strengthens literacy skills. Explore them with your older children -- have them read to younger siblings or re-read old favorites with fresh eyes. These books offer readers of all levels a chance to hone their skills, especially comprehension and expressive language.

Here is our list of 50 must-read books, sorted by author to make it easy for you to print out and take to the library so you can spend your time reading instead of tracking the books down.  How many of these titles will you be reading this summer?

Parts by Tedd Arnold

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett

Animalia by Graeme Base

Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

Calvin Can't Fly by Jennifer Berne

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Hubert Horatio by Lauren Child

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney

Nighttime Ninja by Barbara DaCosta

Corduroy by Don Freeman

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein

Something From Nothing by Phoebe Gillman

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

Barry the Fish With Fingers by Sue Hendra

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester

Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes by Tim Litwin

Sleep Like a Tiger by Mary Logue

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell

George and Martha by James Marshall

Elmer by David McKee

No Bears by Meg McKinlay

Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel

Zoom by Robert Munsch

11 Experiments That Failed by Jenny Offill

Yo! Yes? by Chris Raschka

Let Them Play by Margot Theis Raven

Ish by Petter H. Reynolds

The Great Escape From City Zoo by Tohby Riddle

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

Cowboy Camp
by Tammi Sauer

The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka

Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

Oh, the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss

A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Grandpa Green by Lane Smith

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig

Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein

The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone

Press Here by Herve Tullet

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach by Melanie Watt

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems

What's on your must-read list of children's books this summer? Join the conversation on our Scholastic Parents Facebook page.


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In the Raise a Reader blog, get advice, tips, and resources from our expert contributors on helping your child read at every age and stage. Each week, find book recommendations, literacy activities, and more to spark your reader's interests.

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