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2022 Kindergarten Summer MUST READ Book List

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Let’s INSPIRE summer reading! I spent the last month interviewing students, parents, and teachers about what books should make our Summer Must-Read Lists. One response was, “This series required some emergency trips to the library!” I hope that every child feels that excited to rush off to the library to get the next book. If you need some additional summer reading inspiration, check out our annual, 7 Tips to Encourage Reading and Avoid Summer Slide.

Each grade level has a 2022 “Must Read” list that includes 9 titles. We chose these books because they are inspiring, diverse, age-appropriate, and most importantly, adored by real kids!

The books chosen for this list are NOT decodable readers meant for a kindergarteners to read independently. These books are meant to build excitement, rich vocabulary, great conversations about plot and characters, language development, connection, and a love for reading! If you would like to find out more about why decodables are important and where to find those, click here.

Liam is a boy who is tired of being afraid when the sky roars. So, he sets off to face his fears. He’s going to find out out what’s roaring and get it to quit!

When the Sky Roars ends with all his fears reassured with a delicious twist. It even has a recipe for the delicious 4 Berry Crumble Pie at the end!

Two compliments to this story would be The Wonder Of Thunder: Lessons From A Thunderstorm and Thunder and the read-aloud, Lightning by Wendy Pfeffer

Jabari is a great jumper. But, the diving board is very tall and a little scary.

Jabari Jumps, by Gaia Cornwall, is a book about perserverance and facing fears is great for any small human with big adventures to be had. The summer setting makes it a great choice for a Must Read!

A great conversation starter to have with your kinder is, “What do you find scary? How could you face your fears just like Jabari did?”

Little Kids First Big Book of Science, is an amazing non-fiction picture book encourages children to ask questions, make predictions, observe their world, and experiment just like a real scientist!

The pictures are amazing and the book engages its readers in a new and interactive way. Your child will soon want to be heading outside to observe and explore!

Maybe your child could get his/her own scientific notebook to draw and write about the amazing world they live in.

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates. Penelope is excited, and a little nervous, for her first day of school. It doesn’t go well because… well…Penelope eats her classmates!

This hilarious story will have your kindergartener shrieking with laughter. This book will inspire many great conversations about starting school, making friends, and treating others how you’d like to be treated!

What Should Danny Do? And, the newly released, What Should Darla Do? book series teach children the power and consequences of their choices! Written in a Chose your Own Adventure style, these stories give children the chance to explore how your choices can impact your day.

Follow Danny and Darla, super heros in training, throughout their day as each different choice determines a new story line and outcome. Explore more about Danny and Darla and even buy a matching cape here.

Room for Everyone by Naaz Kahn is a funny, rhyming, beautifully-illustrated book that you are going to want to read over and over!

When you think there is no more room, you can always make room for one more! What an important message for our young children to hear.

This would be a fun story for your kindergartener to recreate with friends or stuffed animals! Then, take time to learn about the setting, the beautiful African island, Zanzibar!

This loveable book, The Backyard Bug Book for Kids, is written in two styles. Each page has a poetic, rhyming storyline, told in first person, detailing the life cycle of a caterpillar. It also has a fact bubble which details the related, real science. The incredible photography and simplistic pattern of this book is perfect for young readers.

At the end, your child will delight in the “Buggy Bonus Games and Activities.”

This (mostly) wordless picture book retells the famous Aesop fable, The Lion and the Mouse. Wordless picture books are an incredible way for non or emergent readers to build oral langaguage and comprehension. Let your child look at the pictures and create the narrative.

The illustrations won Jerry Pinkney a Caldocott for his beautiful interpretation of this classic.

Then, explore other versions of this story or other Aesop Fables!

Wordless picture books are powerful. So, we chose a second for our kinder Must Read List, Chalk by Bill Thomson

In this witty, imaginative story, whatever a group of children draw with sidewalk chalk, comes to life! The sunshine and butterflies were fun, but then someone draws a t-rex!

Your child will delight in this story. Then, head outside with sidewalk chalk and create your own version!

Download our Student Must Read Rating Sheet for FREE in our resource library. You can also find our Primary Summer Reading Challenge there too. Let’s make reading FUN!

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