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Summer Reading

Summer is starting for kids all across America.  Many of my mom friends have started asking about books and reading skills.  I’ve been lucky to be a reader and to be the parent of a reader.  I can’t say that I’ve magically have the touch when it comes to getting your children to read but my work in our rural library has helped me come up with plenty of strategies.

I did write this post on books for boys back in March for those who want to go back and look at my list of books there.

One fun thing we have done is read books and then watch the movies.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve seen the movie before or not.  However, sometimes reading the book makes you love the movie more and other times, you just find you absolutely hate it.  Either way, reading with your child or reading the book at the same time or just after, allows for you to have better conversations with your child.  That is the one thing I can’t stress enough – getting your child to talk about what they are reading does so much good for them.  It allows them to connect with you in a different way.  It helps them process what they have read and it strengthens their love of reading.

I have a shortish list today of picture books that have been turned into movies.  I tried to stick with “blockbuster” type movies instead of obscure movies.  I will say that every Disney cartoon movie has a picture book (or several) that will be easy to find from your library.  That’s an easy way to cheat but the stories will be more based on the movie than on the original stories.

In no particular order, here are some picture books to get you started:

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (it’s not a great movie but your kids might like it)
Shrek by William Steig (a good lesson on how Hollywood completely changes a story – seek out the original not one based on the movie)
The Lorax by Dr Seuss
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr Seuss
Horton Hears a Who by Dr Seuss
Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss
Daisy-Head Mayzie by Dr Seuss
Eloise by Kay Thompson
A Day with Wilbur Robinson by William Joyce (movie is Meet the Robinsons)
Curious George by HA Rey
Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell
Babar the Elephant by Jean de Brunhoff
The Ant Bully by John Nickle
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Lead (this is an old book and an old Disney cartoon but there’s a “famous” ice cream place here in Pullman called Ferdinand’s that all the kids know this story.  It’s a classic and one worth seeking out.)

Hope that gets you started for this summer.  I’ll have more reading lists.  The plan is 3-4 more on books that became movies and then go on from there.  Not sure where I’ll go but I’ll figure it out.  Reading is one of those things that is just so near to my heart that I’m not sure I could ever run out of topics.

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