By Monae R.
Whenever I need something fun, silly, easy to read, mindless, or just cute to read or take my mind off of adulting, I go straight to the children’s department. Here are some silly summer reading favorites that are worthwhile selections at any time of year for adults and children alike.
Also an Octopus is a heartwarming reminder that the simplest things make you amazing. The story explains that every story starts with nothing and that is perfectly fine. Creativity will help you fill the nothingness. Another imagination-stimulating book is Field Trip to the Ocean Deep, which immediately gives me Magic School Bus vibes. It follows the story of a group of students who go to the deep ocean to see the creatures and surroundings, only to have one student left behind. The student makes friends and is able to show the rest of the class some very distinctive photos when he is rescued. This story is unique as it is told without any words. You must create the words and story to accompany the images.
Some stories are not so goofy, but instead focus on curiosity and learning. Seaside Stroll and What the World Could Make take an innocent view of the world. Seaside Stroll follows a girl and her mother on a walk along a snowy beach. With the story evolving with every word starting with ‘S’, even in the title, a child not only learns the sound the letter makes, but learns some strong vocabulary as well. Nouns, verbs, adjectives, and even some interjections are thrown onto every page of this book. Education and beautiful art collide in these stories. Two friends explore the world and appreciate its beauty and wonder over the seasons in What the World Could Make, a warm and filling story about hope and the gifts of the world.
Stories like those above are wonderful, but goofy and silly is not bad either. Stories like Dino-Gro and The Book of Rules can teach a lesson and still be super silly. I have used The Book of Rules in children’s classes multiple times for the genuine laughs it brings out of people, adults and children alike. The story encompasses eleven rules to follow if you don’t want to be eaten by a monster. Children can follow along with the story doing goofy tasks until they reach the last rule for a surprise. Dino-gro, about a tiny new dinosaur toy that grows in water until it no longer fits in the house, feels like it could be a short snippet from a chapter book. I would certainly read this fiction story if it existed.
These are a just few of my favorite picture books, some of which you will find on this summer’s Kindergarten through First Grade Summer Reading List.
Monae is a Children’s Instructor and Research Specialist at HCLS East Columbia Branch.