Summer reads for kids big and small


Summer is upon us. Whether you have a pre-reader just discovering a love of books or an older child looking to keep busy while school is out, here are some fun treasures from Downtown Bookworks:

My Favorite ShoesMy Favorite Shoes (ages 0-4, $12.99)

I’ve had a number of parents ask me, “Did your child go through a shoe phase?” Among the many objects kids enjoy exploring, shoes are definitely an early favorite. Celebrating this childhood curiosity, My Favorite Shoes is a delightful touch-and-feel board book that showcases a different pair of shoes on every page, from sparkly dance shoes to warm and fuzzy winter boots. With a fresh rhyme for each shoe, colorful illustrations and a variety of tactile surfaces, this book rewards curiosity and engages your little one’s many senses.


PBS Kids Look and Learn Birds (ages 4+, $19.99)

This and the next recommendation are part of a series of activity kits offered by Downtown Bookworks and inspired by the educational content on PBS Kids. PBS Kids Look and Learn Birds includes a child-sized pair of binoculars along with a photo-filled book that is packed with tips for spotting and identifying birds. Kids learn the different parts of the bird and to look closely for colors, patterns, shapes and behaviors that provide clues as to how the birds walk, eat and live. Once the books brought them quickly up to speed, my kids loved being the experts and sharing their newfound knowledge. It’s intriguing for both kids and adults, and you’ll both find yourselves searching the sky for more feathered friends. The kit comes with a handy take-along bird identification card as well as a bird poster for your budding ornithologist. For those with an interest in bugs, check out PBS Kids Look and Learn Insects.

PBS Kids Super Simple Crafts: Sticks & Stones (ages 4+, $19.99)

Downtown Books provides another great reason to get outside with this awesome craft kit that includes an instruction book filled with over 50 projects that range from decorating your own pet rocks to building homes for fairies, frogs and more. Each activity is written to get your little artist inspired and includes lessons in observation, counting, spelling and creativity. The book also includes instructions for creating your own tic-tac-toe games, a great way to encourage cooperative play. The crafts are designed for those as young as 4 to take part, though I’d be prepared to jump in with a parental assist, if needed. Instructions are easy to follow, and the photos help you understand what you’re aiming to achieve. Of course, no need to follow every instruction to the tee – it’s always fun to build off of the ideas and take them in new directions. PBS Kids Super Simple Crafts: Sticks & Stones comes with enough felt, glue, googly eyes and paint to get you started. Just head into nature to add flowers, rocks, sticks and other assorted treasures to make these crafts come to life. A great reason to go exploring!


The Official DC Super Hero Joke Book (ages 8+, $12.99)

I have yet to meet a kid who doesn’t love a goofy joke. Pair the jokes with superheroes, and you really can’t go wrong. The Official DC Super Hero Joke Book immediately caught both my preschooler’s and my kindergartener’s attention the second they saw the cover. Both fans of donning capes and flying around the house, they were soon chuckling as my older daughter read one joke after another to her younger brother. My daughter was so motivated to learn the new jokes that any challenging new words did little to daunt her. The jokes are tame enough for the preschool set, though some of the humor was above their heads. Still, that didn’t stop them from laughing and enjoying the opportunity to stump mom and dad, making it a fun read for the entire family.


As the weather heats up and the rain subsides, these great reads and activities from Downtown Bookworks will help keep the summer fun and exciting, with plenty of reasons to laugh, explore and get outside. Check out these and other fantastic books on the Downtown Bookworks website. Enjoy!

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