Over the summer, your child should receive a collection of four high-quality books to add to their home library. On this website, you will find several resources for each of the books. The “Activity Suggestions” is a template you can use to help guide you through reading the book together as a family. The template will provide suggestions for questions to ask your child throughout the book, fun activities to do to engage with the book, as well as other recommended titles to further your child’s interest and vocabulary about that book’s topic.
Each book also has a link to a read-aloud performed by a West Virginia educator. You can choose to play these recordings for your child so they can listen to the words as they follow along with their own book. It is important for your child to hear an adult read the text so they can hear proper pace and expression. Playing this recording is a good option for your child when they want to practice their reading fluency.
Ladybug Girl and the Rescue Dogs – By David Soman & Jacky Davis
Ladybug Girl and her friends help at a dog-adoption fair and discover that even the littlest things can make a big difference in this tenth hardcover in the New York Times bestselling Ladybug Girl series.
Lulu is excited to meet all the rescue dogs when the pet-adoption fair comes to her local farmers’ market. She wants to take all of them home–but she already has Bingo, and Mama says one dog is enough for their family. That doesn’t mean Lulu can’t help, though. It’s time for Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad–her friends Grasshopper Girl and Bumblebee Boy–to step in! The Bug Squad can do all kinds of little but important things, like brush the dogs, play with them, and bring them water and food. And then Lulu comes up with the perfect plan to help the dogs find their forever homes. Her idea is such a success that the Bug Squad knows they’ll be back again next week. Together, they can help every dog get adopted.
This beloved series is celebrated for its gentle, authentic, and imaginative exploration of kid-emotions and truths.
The Night Before First Grade – By Natasha Wing, Deborah Zemkwe
It’s the night before the Big Day—first grade. Penny is excited to start the year with her best friend right beside her in the same classroom. This humorous take on Clement C. Moore’s classic tale has a perfect twist ending that will surprise readers—as well as the “heroine” of the story—and help all about-to-be first-graders through their own back-to-school jitters.
How to Hide an Octopus and Other Sea Creatures – By Ruth Heller
Go on a fascinating nature hunt to find the camouflaged octopus, crabs, brilliantly-painted tropical fish, and other wonderful sea creatures hidden in the pages of this book.
The Loopy Coop Hens – By Janet Morgan Stoeke
Midge, Pip, and Dot are the silly hens of Loopy Coop Farm. Resting under the shade of a big apple tree, they are suddenly bombarded by falling apples–who could possibly be throwing apples at them? The three hens investigate, only to find a Midge, Pip Pip and Dot are the silly hens of Loopy Coop Farm. Resting under the shade of a big apple tree, they are suddenly bombarded by falling apples–who could possibly be throwing apples at them? The three hens investigate, only to find an unexpected explanation. With its surprise ending, short and punchy text, and Stoeke’s hilariously expressive pictures, this is a story kids will want to return to again and again.
From the author of the hit Minerva Louise series, this new rowdy reader about the Loopy Coop Farm hens is also a perfect lesson in reading.
A Pig, a Fox, and a Box – By Jonathan Fenske
Fox is sly and sneaky, but is he sneaky enough to play tricks on Pig? In this story designed to engage early readers, charming characters combine with simple text, lively illustrations, and laugh-out-loud humor to help boost kids’ confidence and create lifelong readers!
In the style of Mo Willems, Jonathan Fenske tells three humorous stories of two friends, Fox and Pig, and their shenanigans with a cardboard box. Fox tries to play games with Pig. First, Fox hides inside the box, only to be sat on and crushed by Pig. Next, he tries to trick Pig into thinking that Fox is crushed beneath a pile of stones. Pig, wanting to rescue his friend, tosses the stones over his shoulder—where they land on the box and crush his friend hiding inside.
With comic art and simple language, this title is sure to have kids rolling with laughter.
Exciting, easy-to-read books are the stepping stone a young reader needs to bridge the gap between being a beginner and being fluent.
Violet the Pilot – By Steven Breen
By the time she’s two years old, Violet Van Winkle can engineer nearly any appliance in the house. And by eight she’s building elaborate flying machines from scratch—mind-boggling contraptions such as the Tubbubbler, the Bicycopter, and the Wing-a-ma-jig. The kids at school tease her, but they have no idea what she’s capable of. Maybe she could earn their respect by winning the blue ribbon in the upcoming Air Show. Or maybe something even better will happen—something involving her best-ever invention, a Boy Scout troop in peril, and even the mayor himself!
“An engaging story of a spunky girl who follows her dreams . . . Violet is a terrific role model.”
– School Library Journal
Otis and the Kittens – By Loren Long
On the farm where Otis the tractor lives, it hasn’t rained in a long time and farmers all over the valley have grown anxious with water in such short supply. One hot afternoon, when Otis and his friends are resting beneath the shade of the apple tree, Otis spots something moving down in the valley—an orange tabby cat headed straight for the old barn. But then Otis sees something else that causes his engine to sputter…a swirl of smoke coming from the same barn. A fire!
As Otis races toward the fire with his friends in tow, he spots the tabby cat mewing in alarm. Otis rushes inside to discover the source of the cat’s worries—her little kittens are perched up on the hayloft, scared. Otis never hesitates. Yet even after he delivers a tractor full of kittens safely outside, their mama remains upset. Re-entering the burning barn, Otis discovers why: one tiny kitten, still too scared to move. With a friendly chuff, Otis coaxes her down and she scampers out the door. That’s when the floor collapses with a CRASH, trapping the tractor. Now Otis, the friend everyone can count on, must count on his friends.
Told with a sense of play and devotion, this is a heartwarming tale that reminds readers that sometimes even those who we count on to help us need a little help themselves. From the creator of Otis and the illustrator of The Little Engine That Could and Of Thee I Sing by President Barack Obama.
Loren Long wrote this story as a tribute to the firefighters who, like Otis, rescue people every day with their strength and bravery. Of course, people who aren’t first responders should never go into a burning building for any reason. Reading this story to children is a great opportunity to discuss fire safety.
How Chipmunk Got His Stripes – By Joseph Bruchac, James Bruchac, Jose Aruego & Ariane Dewey
Bear brags that he can do anything-even stop the sun from rising. Brown Squirrel doesn’t believe him, so the two wait all night to see if the sun will rise. Sure enough, the sky reddens and the sun appears. Brown Squirrel is so happy to be right that he
Bear brags that he can do anything-even stop the sun from rising. Brown Squirrel doesn’t believe him, so the two wait all night to see if the sun will rise. Sure enough, the sky reddens and the sun appears. Brown Squirrel is so happy to be right that he teases Bear. What happens when a little brown squirrel teases a big black bear? Brown Squirrel gets stripes and is called chipmunk from that day forward . . . Joseph and James Bruchac join forces to create this buoyant picture book, based on a Native American folktale.
This School Year Will Be the BEST! – By Kay Winters & Renee Andriani
On the first day of school, new classmates are asked to share what they would most like to happen in the upcoming year. Some kids’ hopes are familiar while others are off-the-wall. Whether it’s looking good on picture day or skateboarding at school, everyone’s wishes are shown in humorously exaggerated illustrations. As the first day draws to a close, there can be no doubt—this school year will definitely be the best!
The Missing Baseball – By Mike Lupica
Perfect for fans of Cam Jansen, #1 New York Times bestseller Mike Lupica begins an exciting new chapter-book series, featuring his trademark sports action and heart, and a lovable twin brother-sister duo who solve sports-related mysteries.
There’s nothing eight-year-old twins Zach and Zoe Walker love more than playing sports and solving mysteries. And when those two worlds collide . . . well, it doesn’t get any better than that. So when a baseball signed by Zach’s favorite major league player suddenly goes missing–the search is on! Luckily, amateur sleuths Zach and Zoe are on the case. Can they solve the mystery and find the ball before it’s lost for good?
In this first book of the Zach and Zoe Mysteries, bestselling author Mike Lupica begins a series for a new and younger audience, introducing readers to a sports-loving detective duo who can swing for the fences and catch the culprit in one fell swoop. With a recipe equal parts sports and mystery, the Zach and Zoe Mysteries break fresh ground for an author who has been called the greatest sportswriter for kids.