Dog-Eared Dog-Days: Librarian Approved Kid-Lit Summer Reading Recs!

Even though Mother Nature seems to have forgotten that summer is right around the corner (what’s with the cool temps, girl?), the lazy, hazy days will soon be upon us! Warm weather. Sandy shores. Tasty treats. What could be better?!

For me, summertime has always been a time to relax, recharge and (most importantly) read! My schedule slows down and I am finally able to spend my time blissfully devoted to the books I’ve been meaning to read all year long. Whether at the beach, near the pool or in a quiet, shady spot, you will find me with a book (or two or three) tucked under my arm. After all, what better accessory for the dog-days than something dog-eared?

Being a Kid-Lit author, I love reading new children’s titles and am always looking for recommendations. Thankfully, I work at a school with an awesome librarian (seriously, she’s so cool) who just happens to love the genre as much as I do. Allow me to introduce my second guest author, librarian-rock-star Marian McLeod, whose list of summer Kid-Lit reading recs will have you headed for the bookstore before you can say, “double scoop of mint chip, please!”


Marian McLeod, Librarian Rock Star!

Happy summer!  Is there anything better than reading outside on a gorgeous, sunny summer day? Maybe I’m a bit biased, being a librarian and all, but I don’t think life gets any better than that! Whether you’re looking for picture books, early readers, or graphic novels, read on for fun, librarian-approved summer titles!

We Are Growing!

We Are Growing! By Laurie Keller   Beginning Readers

Now that the Elephant & Piggie series is complete, what are we supposed to read?!  Luckily, Mo Willems is on it, and has started a series of early reader books endorsed by Piggie and Gerald themselves (Elephant and Piggie Like Reading)!  One of the first books is the colorful and silly story of blades of grass.  Walt and his friends are all growing and each of them is special in some way: tallest, curliest, pointiest….except for Walt.  As Walt figures out why he’s unique, readers will learn about superlatives, in the funniest book ever written about grass.


Triangle by Mac Barnett    Ages 3-6

Triangle (a walking triangle with eyes) decides to play a trick on his friend, Square, in this simple, funny picture book. Young readers get a brief introduction to shapes and sizes, and the humor is right at their level–Square’s reaction to Triangle hissing like a snake outside of his house always gets a laugh.  Jon Klassen’s illustrations are minimalist, but so charming–I mean, he can make a triangle and a square look cute!

Du Iz Tak

Du Iz Tak? By Carson Ellis    Ages 5-8

This beautifully illustrated picture book is not in English… or any other language you’d recognize, which is the whole fun of reading it!  Various bugs watch with growing excitement as a plant begins to grow, exclaiming to each other as the mysterious sprout gets taller and taller.  While reading the sort-of gibberish of bug language, kids can try to work out what they’re saying, it is possible!  There are also interesting happenings going on in the illustrations, as bugs appear and disappear.  A cool story for older kids.


Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere by Elise Gravel   Grades 3+

In this hilarious chapter book filled with cartoon-style drawings (for fans of the Dork Diaries and the Popularity Papers), Olga is an animal lover and future scientist who comes across an unidentifiable creature in a garbage can.  Of course, she has to take the smelly thing home to learn all about it, like why does its burp sound like it’s saying “rubber”?  A wacky, fun, light book that would make a great beach read!

Girl Moon

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill   Grades 4+

The Newbery Award winner this year is a twist on the usual fairy tale story.  Every year, the Protectorate leaves a baby as a sacrifice to the evil witch who lives in the woods…which has to be rescued by that same witch.  Xan carries the babies to surrounding villages to be adopted, feeding them starlight along the way.  When she accidentally feeds one of the babies moonlight, filling her with magic, Xan names her Luna and decides to raise her.  The powerful little girl grows up alongside a swamp monster and a tiny dragon, while back at the Protectorate, the real evil still lingers.  There is so much going on in this story, in a wonderful, complex web of connections, and the ending is incredibly satisfying.

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