Massachusetts children’s books to read this summer

If you are wondering what to put on your bookshelf this summer, you won’t go wrong with these titles all published in the past year by the Massachusetts authors and illustrators among us!

Early Read Alouds for Day and Night

the nonsense showThe Nonsense Show by Eric Carle 

The master is back with a wonderful picture book to read aloud and laugh along with for preschoolers through early elementary grades. This is an inventive and amusing look at the unexpected and goofy things around us, encouraging readers to embrace and revel in creativity and the amazing things that can happen when imagination is your guide. (Ages 3-6)

You nest here with meYou Nest Here With Me by Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple

Giving us a new way to think about bedtime rituals, this mother-daughter collaboration from Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple, beautifully illustrated by Melissa Sweet, looks at the nesting habits of 14 birds, telling their stories in gentle rhymes that will soothe young ones at bedtime and – perhaps – start them on birdwatching during the day. (Ages 3-6)

Overcoming the Odds

new shoesNew Shoes by Susan Lynn Meyer

A piece of historical fiction, well told by Susan Lynn Meyer, and supported by illustrations from Eric Velasquez, New Shoes begins with the fact of segregation during the Jim Crow era of the 1950s and demonstrates the irrepressible optimism and resilience of two young girls, Ella Mae and her cousin Charlotte, who start a “new” used shoe store in their backyard so that “anyone who walks in the door can try on all the shoes they want.” (Ages 6 to 9)


growing up pedroGrowing Up Pedro by Matt Tavares

Matt Tavares gives us a lively and well-told biography of one of baseball’s greatest pitchers, Pedro Martinez, beginning in the Dominican Republic where Pedro comes of age admiring and hoping to emulate his brother Ramon, and following Pedro to the United States and on to his stellar career in major league baseball. This is a terrific introduction to the career of a remarkable player, rounded out by the inclusion of Pedro’s statistics at the end of the book, so well-presented that you may find readers looking at box scores this baseball season. (Ages 7 to 10)

Reading Independently

Ling & TingLing & Ting Together in all Weather by Grace Lin

In her latest installment in the adventures of twins Ling and Ting, Grace Lin presents an engaging early reader about the various seasons and what two curious and fun-loving girls can do to have fun year round. Once your young reader masters this book, look for previous titles in the series. (Ages 6-9)


Sharon Shaloo is a 2016 Mass Literacy Champion and Executive Director of Massachusetts Center for the Book