10 Books to Beat the Summer Slide

by Rocco Staino

The summer is officially here! Now is the time to share a few summer themed books with your favorite young reader. Reading throughout the summer helps children retain what they’ve learned in school and boosts their ability to succeed in the next grade. Here is a list of children’s books that will help kids beat the summer slide. You may know some of these titles and others may be new to you.

Summer Slide - Blackout
Written and illustrated by John Rocco
Published by Disney-Hyperion
This 2012 Caldecott Honor book tells the story of how a blackout on a hot summer night brings a family together.

Duck & Goose Go to the Beach
Summer Slide - Duck and Goose Go to the Beach
Written and illustrated by Tad Hills
Published by Random House
Share this day at the beach from the series of the two poultry friends, one timid and the other adventurous.

Summer Slide - Flotsam
Written and illustrated by David Weisner
Published by Clarion
This wordless book tells the story of a beachcomber boy who finds a camera that holds wonderful surprises.

Mermaids on Parade
Summer Slide - Mermaids on Parade
Written and illustrated by Melanie Hope Greenberg
Published by Putnam, 2008
The Mermaid Parade has been a summer tradition in New York’s Coney Island since 1983. Here is a story about the excitement of the first time being a mermaid in the parade.

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole
Summer Slide - Sam and Dave Dig a Hole
Written by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen
Published by Candlewick, 2014
Many a boy with a shovel on a summer day have decide to dig a hole.

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole - Official Book Trailer

Surf’s UpSummer Slide - Surf's Up
Written by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Daniel Miyares
Published by NorthSouth, 2016
A day at the beach features two frogs, Bro and Dude, with different ideas of what to do.

Tar BeachSummer Slide - Tar Beach
Written by Faith Ringgold
Published by Crown, 1991
This Caldecott Honor book is set on a Harlem roof during the summer of 1939.



Three Days on a River in a Red CanoeSummer Slide - Three Days On A River In A Red Canoe
Written by Vera B. Williams
Published by Greenwillow, 1984
Parents may remember this Reading Rainbow book that follows a family on a canoe trip.Summer Slide - The Watermelon Seed

The Watermelon Seed
Written by Greg Pizzoli
Published by Disney Hyperion, 2013
A humorous story about a crocodile who worries after he swallows a watermelon seed.


What If?Summer Slide - What If?
Written and illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Published by Roaring Brook, 2010
Explore three different stories about the same beach ball.


10 Books to Beat the Summer Slide



Rocco is the charismatic host of StoryMakers, our interview show.  A captivating and important figure in the book community, he is a prominent librarian, a contributing editor at School Library Journal, a contributing writer at The Huffington Post, and the Director of the Empire State Center for the Book, which administers the New York State Writers Hall of Fame. Rocco has interviewed such luminaries as Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, and Jean Craighead George.

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Kid Lit TV Commenter Jane

We are embarking on an adventure of learning something new everyday and documenting it all the while being tourists in our own city, the big apple. Reading on the train helps the time pass very quickly!

Kid Lit TV Commenter Kassia Graham

Hey there, Jane! KidLit TV is based in NYC. I love seeing kids read on the train; they’re going on a mini adventure in real life and through their books! What attractions and sights are you and your children taking in?


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