Summer Read-to-Learn

All summer I’ll be sharing books for kids of all ages on topics that will interest them or offer them a new interest to learn about. Most of the time these will be nonfiction books, but sometimes we can learn how to be better people or learn empathy from fictional stories too.

So, I hope you will stay tuned to these posts. They will always have Summer Read-to-Learn in the title and in the tags. There will be books from some of my favorite publishers like National Geographic, plus, some from independent publishers.


25 Simple Stories and Activities for Beginner Readers

By: Laurin Brainard

Illustrated by: Lizzy Doyle

Published: May 26, 2020

Publisher: Rockridge Press

Non-Fiction/Activity Book

If you are wanting your child to start reading, the best way to start is with phonics. Taking parts of common words and introducing them to the sounds that they make is a great way to develop those early reading skills.

Each story in the book has a word family like “ig” and then builds activities to reinforce the sounds those letters make. First, there will be a story, then a page for tracing the letters, and then an activity using those letters. Each story will get progressively harder throughout the book.

With 25 stories and letter combinations, this is a great introduction for beginning readers to prepare them for similar activities in preschool or kindergarten. This book is an excellent resource for your home and an activity perfect for rainy days or quiet time.

Laurin Brainard, M.ED., is the founder of Through her blog, Laurin shares preschool ideas, fun activities, crafts, and elementary teaching tips. Laurin is a first=grade teacher, mom to two preschoolers, and the curriculum designer for The Primary Brain.


For Kids 3-5

By: Krissy Bonning-Gould

Illustrated by: Robin Boyer

Published: May 19, 2020

Publisher: Rockridge Press

Non-Fiction/Activity Book

For the younger kids who aren’t ready to start reading, but maybe want to work alongside their older siblings who have their own workbooks, this one gives them the opportunity. From coloring pages, dot-to-dots, mazes, and spot-the-difference activities, kids will also learn all about animals including farm, forest, and jungle animals.

Kids can work on counting with dot-to-dots and then practice their letters by tracing the animal name when they are done. Then, the page is ready for coloring. In fact, every activity in the book offers the chance for the child to color the pages. So, if you have a child that likes to color and do activities, this is an all in one activity book for them.

Spot-the-differences are fun activities that I remember as a child from getting the Highlights magazine in the mail. There is an answer key in the back in case you absolutely can’t find the last difference.

My favorite pages are the habitat homes where you match up the animal with their habitat…a penguin to a block of ice, a shark to an ocean. I also like the activities that match up the mother animal to her baby and the animal to its tail.

This is an excellent first activity book for your child to prepare them for spending time working on activities, holding pencils and crayons, and counting and recognizing letters.

Krissy Bonning-Gould is a former art teacher with a master’s degree in K-12 Art Education turned full-time blogging mama. Upon becoming a mom, Krissy founded B-Inspired Mama simply as a creative outlet; however, it ignited a passion within her for blogging and helping fellow moms. Check out her website for all kinds of printables and other fun activities.


25 Simple Stories & Activities for Beginner Readers

By: Kimberly Ann Keidrowski

Illustrated by: Claire Keay

Published: May 26, 2020

Publisher: Rockridge Press

Non-Fiction/Activity Book

Once your child finishes this workbook, they will have learned 50 sight words, which is a huge step towards learning how to read sentences and paragraphs. This activity book encourages parent-involvement by first reading the story aloud to your child and pointing out the sight words. Then your child can complete the sight word activities after the story.

Sight words are usually words that can’t be sounded out. So, starting this workbook after a phonics workbook would be a great builder to your child’s reading and writing comprehension.

The activities after the stories include tracing the letters and writing the words and then usually a type of activity that helps the child find the word on the page.

This activity book is a great building tool for your child’s word vocabulary. Knowing these 50 sight words will go a long way towards preparing your child for kindergarten.

Kimberly Ann Kiedrowski is a former kindergarten teacher of almost ten years. She currently stays home with her son and twin daughters. She also creates resources for teachers to use in their classrooms.


A Coloring and Activity Book for Kids

By: Courtney Carbone

Illustrated by: Jake McDonald

Published: May 19, 2020

Publisher: Rockridge Press

Non-Fiction/Activity Book

Once your child has surpassed the sight words and basic phonics, they are ready for a bit more of a challenge. This book includes fun activities, especially if your child is a fan of mermaids.

Word-searches, dot-to-dots up to 30, mazes, spot-the-difference, and fun coloring pages all with a mermaid theme will keep your older preschooler/kindergartner busy.

There is an answer key if your child (or you) get stumped trying to find a word or a difference. Your child will find this activity book to be so fun, they won’t really notice they are still learning and using skills while filling it out. Plus your child can learn all the secrets in a mermaid’s life.

Courtney Carbone studied English and Creative Writing in the US and Australia before becoming a children’s book writer and editor in New York City. Her favorite things include Brit Lit, trivia nights, board games, stand-up comedy, improv, bookstores, libraries, brick-oven pizza, salted-caramel macarons, theme parties, sharks, puns, portmanteaus, and ’90s pop culture. Find out more on her website, HERE.

To purchase a copy of any of the above books, click the photo below:

Other books you might like:

Thanks to the publisher for sending these books for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. If you choose to make a purchase through the above links, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase.
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