Home > Uncategorized > 2013 Kindergarten to Grade 2 Summer Reading List

2013 Kindergarten to Grade 2 Summer Reading List

This list was compiled by Linda Williams for the Connecticut State Department of Education. Some of the titles selected are loosely connected to Connecticut’s statewide summer reading theme, UNDERGROUND or are written or illustrated by Connecticut residents. Many listed titles have been selected as exemplary books by at least one of the following: American Library Association (ALA) the International Reading Association (IRA), the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), the National Science Teachers Assocation (NSTA) or the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY). (Download a .pdf of the list). These titles were selected as books that could be read by children going in grades K-2. Lexile measures are noted where known. According to the Lexile Framework for Reading, Lexile measures from 0-300 = Grade 1 and from 140-500 = Grade 2 reading levels.


Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin
A young worm discovers, day by day, that there are some very good and some not so good things about being a worm in this great big world. Lexile: 360

Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! by Candace Fleming
After planting the garden he has dreamed of for years, Mr. McGreely tries to find a way to keep some persistent bunnies from eating all his vegetables. Lexile: 560

Oh, No! by Candace Fleming
A series of animals falls into a deep hole, only to be saved at last by a very large rescuer.

Underground by Denise Fleming
Pulp paintings and rhyming text spotlight the underground world of burrowing, tunneling, and digging animals. Includes “Creature Indentification” page. Lexile: BR

Yucky Worms by Vivian French
While helping Grandma in the garden, a child learns about the important role of the earthworm in helping plants grow. Lexile: 620

Spike, the Mixed-Up Monster by Susan Hood
While Spike, a tiny axolotl salamander, practices being the monster he believes he is, other animals call him cute and funny but when a gila monster arrives and the other creatures hide, Spike shows his true nature.
Cooperative Children’s Book Center Best of 2012, Connecticut Author

Rocks in His Head by Carol Otis Hurst
A young man has a lifelong love of rock collecting that eventually leads him to work at a science museum. Lexile: 440

Water Hole Waiting by Jane Kurtz
A thirsty monkey waits as the larger animals drink from the water hole on the African savanna. Lexile: 280

I’m Dirty! by Kate McMullan
A busy backhoe loader describes all the items it hauls off a lot and all the fun it has getting dirty while doing so.

Goldie and the Three Hares by Margie Palatini
When Goldilocks, running from the three bears, falls down a rabbit hole and hurts her foot, a family of hares tries to help but she proves to be a very loud, demanding, and tenacious guest. Lexile: 610

Mud by Mary Lyn Ray
As winter melts into spring, the frozen earth turns into magnificent mud. Lexile: 320

Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds
The carrots that grow in Crackenhopper Field are the fattest and crispiest around and Jasper Rabbit cannot resist pulling some to eat each time he passes by, until he begins hearing and seeing creepy carrots wherever he goes.

Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? by Brianna Caplan Sayres
Illustrations and rhyming text reveal what trucks, tractors, and construction vehicles do to get ready for bed after a hard day’s work.

Grandpa Green by Lane Smith
A child explores the ordinary life of his extraordinary great-grandfather, as expressed in his topiary garden. Lexile: 360

The Great Fuzz Frenzy by Janet Stevens
When a tennis ball lands in a prairie dog town, the residents find that their newfound frenzy for fuzz creates a fiasco. Lexile: 420

Demolition by Sally Sutton
This picture book follows the demolition of a building as well as the construction of something entirely different in its place.

Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson
On a cold winter night many animals gather to party in the cave of a sleeping bear, who then awakes and protests that he has missed the food and the fun.


The Digging-est Dog by Al Perkins
Scorned by his new dog friends because he never learned to dig, Sam suddenly discovers his inherent dog talent and turns the countryside into a series of ruts and holes. Lexile: 340

Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion
When a white dog with black spots runs away from home, he gets so dirty his family doesn’t recognize him as a black dog with white spots. Lexile: 370


Stinky by Eleanor Davis
Stinky, a monster who lives in a swamp, gets upset when a boy named Nick starts hanging around his swamp, and so he tries to scare Nick away. Lexile: 170


Clay Boy by Mirra Ginsburg
Wanting a son, an old man and woman make a clay boy who comes to life and begins eating everything in sight until he meets a clever goat. Lexile: 320

Tops & Bottoms by Janet Stevens
Hare turns his bad luck around by striking a clever deal with the rich and lazy bear down the road. Lexile: 580


Underground by Shane Evans
A family silently crawls along the ground. They run barefoot through unlit woods, sleep beneath bushes, take shelter in a kind stranger’s home. Where are they heading? They are heading for Freedom by way of the Underground Railroad.

Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner
During a cross country ski trip through the winter woods, adventurers can discover all sorts of animals living under the snow. Lexile: 700

Seed, Soil, Sun: Earth’s Recipe for Food by Cris Peterson
Follows a corn plant from tiny seed to giant plant in an explanation of how air and water combine with seed, soil, and sun to grow food. Lexile: 1050

Subway Ride by Heather Lynn Miller, illustrated by Sue Rama
Follows five children as they ride subways in ten cities throughout the world.
Connecticut Illustrator

Seeds by Ken Robbins
From flowers to fruits, everything begins with a tiny seed. Young readers will learn how seeds grow, and how they vary in shape, size, and dispersal patterns. From cherry pits to exploding pods, to sticktight seeds that cling to your shoes, acclaimed photographer and author Ken Robbins illuminates how wondrous nature springs up throughout the year before our very eyes.

Construction Zone by Cheryl Hudson Willis
Simple text and colorful photographs describe the excitement of a busy construction site. Lexile: 790


Barnum Brown: Dinosaur Hunter by David Sheldon
The story of a young boy who wanted to grow up a dinosaur hunter and how he built an amazing dinosaur collection for the American Museum of Natural History. Lexile: 1060

Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai by Claire A. Nivola
Tells the remarkable story of one woman’s effort to change the fate of her land by teaching many to care for it. An author’s note provides further information about Wangari Maathai and the Green Belt Movement.

Some Books by Connecticut Authors & Illustrators


Easy as Pie by Cari Best (Weston)
Jacob watches his favorite television show, “Baking with Chef Monty,” and bakes a beautiful peach pie, which he gives to his parents for their anniversary.

Too Busy Marco by Roz Chast (Ridgefield)
Marco the bird does not want to take the time to prepare for bedtime because there are so many more important things for him to do.

The Obstinate Pen by Frank W. Dormer (Branford)
Uncle Flood is very pleased with his new pen until he tries to write with it and finds that it writes only what it wants to for him, and the series of people who try it after him, until finally his nephew Horace tries something new.

Ready for Pumpkins by Kate Duke (New Haven)
A classroom guinea pig learns about gardening by growing his own pumpkin.

Cows to the Rescue by John Himmelman (Killingworth)
After helping the Greenstalk family get to the county fair, the cows busy themselves finding solutions to many other problems that arise during the day. Lexile: 510

Shaggy Dogs, Waggy Dogs by Patricia Hubbell (Easton)
Although dogs enjoy riding in trucks and romping in parks, their favorite activity is loving you.

Pinkalicious by Victoria Kann
A little girl who is obsessed with the color pink eats so many pink cupcakes that she herself turns pink.

Miranda’s Beach Day by Holly Keller (New Haven)
Miranda and Mama spend a fun day at the beach building castles and catching sand crabs, and Miranda learns that just like the sand and the sea, she and her mother will always be together.

Blue Chicken by Deborah Freedman (Hamden)
An enterprising chicken attempts to help an artist paint the barnyard and accidentally turns the whole picture blue. Lexile: 270

The Tooth Mouse by Susan Hood (Southport)
Introduces readers to the Tooth Mouse, France’s version of the tooth fairy, and to Sophie, a sweet young mouse who must prove she is brave, honest, and wise enough to take over this important job. Lexile: 530

Think Cool Thoughts by Elizabeth Perry, illustrated by Linda Bronson (East Haddam)
On the hottest night of the hottest part of a very hot summer, Angel, her aunt, and mother drag their mattress to the rooftop to sleep and hope for cooler weather.

Abe Lincoln’s Dream by Lane Smith (Washington Depot)
When a schoolgirl gets separated from her tour of the White House and finds herself in the Lincoln bedroom, she also discovers the ghost of the great man himself.

When No One is Watching by Eileen Spinelli, illustrated by David Johnson (Windham)
When alone, a young girl enjoys dancing, singing, growling, and cheering but when anyone other than her best friend is watching, she is quiet and shy.

Rocks! Rocks! Rocks! by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace (Branford)
Buddy likes looking at and collecting rocks. Mama suggests they visit the local nature center. They hike the Blue Diamond Trail to five rock stops. They meet Roxie, a Rock Ridge Ranger. Buddy learns lots about bedrock, erosion, and how rocks are formed. He finds out many surprising things about rocks.


The Forget-Me-Nots: Poems to Learn by Heart selected by Mary Ann Hoberman (Greenwich)
A collection of more than 120 poems for children to learn, including selections from classic and contemporary poets, with tips and tricks from former Children’s Poet Laureate Mary Ann Hoberman on memorization and recitation.


Just Being Audrey by Margaret Cardillo, illustrated by Julia Denos (Cheshire)
Short biography of actress Audrey Hepburn. Lexile: 740

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