The Best Summer Reads for Kids (Entry Level to First Chapter)

by Kaitlin Street on June 3, 2018 in Lifestyle, What I'm Reading,
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Beginning to read is such an exciting time for kids!

Entry Level Readers

As we head into the long summer days, Ken Dunn, CEO and Founder of, picks page-turners that the kids (and you!) will love.  Through reading, young children and parents can spend time together while kids sound out new words and expand their vocabularies. Books in this age range focus on basic language, short sentences, simple concepts and often whimsical and fun illustrations.

What Do You Do With an Idea? by Kobi Yamada

“What Do you Do With an Idea” is an inspirational and beautifully illustrated story about a boy with an idea who learns to nurture it and value it’s uniqueness, despite the roadblocks in his way.


Ish by Peter H. Reynolds

“Ish” is a wonderful lesson for children as they follow Ramon, a young artist, who learns that creating things in his style of “ish” is far better than others’ ideas of perfect.


Flashlight by Lizi Boyd

Flashlight is a wordless masterpiece that excites the imagination of children using powerful illustrations. The book tells the journey of a young boy traveling through a dark forest at night and the various creatures of the night that he encounters. I recommend encouraging your child to narrate the story in their own words as they follow along with the pictures. Read this one at bedtime with a real flashlight!


Click, Clack, Moo Cows that Type by Doreen Cronin

“Click, Clack, Moo Cows that Type” is a hilarious tale of cows who find a typewriter. Have you ever wondered what cows would ask for if they could type a letter to the farmer? Crack open this book and your kids will be laughing all day long!


First Chapter Books

Reading independently is very empowering. Kids at this level can understand tone and expression, use context clues to identify unfamiliar words and write paragraphs. They are able to self-correct when a pronunciation mistake is made and can organize details into a logical pattern.


Angry Octopus by Lori Lite

“Angry Octopus” is a great teaching tool for children to learn how to effectively manage their anger by using a compelling story to introduce progressive muscle relaxation and breathing techniques. It’s never too early to give kids tools to communicate their feelings and respond to stress.


Nick and Tesla’s Robot Army Rampage by Bob Pflugfelder

“Nick and Tesla’s Robot Army Rampage” is a funny and smart mystery novel about a brother and sister duo who build robots using everyday things from around their house. If your kids love science and eccentric characters they will love following along on Nick and Tesla’s adventures with their wacky uncle Newt.


Julius Zebra: Rumble With the Romans by Gary Northfield

“Julius Zebra: Rumble With the Romans” is the first book in a series about a zebra named Julius. This series really transcends ages with many grownups falling in love with the stories too. Equal parts excitement and comedy, these books will give you a chuckle from beginning to end with the wacky cast of unlikely heroes battling in a gladiator tournament.


Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

“The Invention of Hugo Cabret” wraps you up in the world of Hugo, a twelve year old orphan who is a secretive clock-keeper and thief living in Paris in the 1930s. Intertwined with historical events, incredible illustrations and a clever story, this is one book that is practically impossible to put down.

Ken Dunn is an international speaker, author and sales trainer, as well as CEO and Founder of, a social media community for readers and author support platform.