Home > Summer Reading Lists > 2014 Kindergarten to Grade 2 Summer Reading List

2014 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, SCIENCE 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.


Slow Down for Manatees by Jim Arnosky
Injured by a passing motorboat, a pregnant manatee is rescued and taken to an aquarium to recover and have her baby in a safe environment. Lexile: 860

I Took a Walk by Henry Cole
A visit to woods, pasture, and pond brings encounters with various birds, insects, and other creatures of nature. Flaps fold out to reveal the animals on each two-page spread. Lexile: 190

The Voyage of Turtle Rex by Kurt Cyrus
Follows the life of a giant prehistoric sea turtle. Lexile: 580

Just Ducks! by Nicola Davies
On her way to school, a young girl spots mallard ducks in the river and enthusiastically describes their appearance, habits, and behavior. Interspersed throughout the pages are facts about ducks. Lexile: 940

Papa’s Mechanical Fish by Candace Fleming
In the summer of 1851, with encouragement and ideas provided by his family, an inventor builds a working submarine and takes his family for a ride. Includes notes about Lodner Phillips, the real inventor on whom the story is based.Lexile: 480

In the Small, Small Pond by Denise Fleming
Illustrations and rhyming text describe the activities of animals living in and near a small pond as spring progresses to autumn. Lexile: NP

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

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

Mousetronaut Goes to Mars by Mark Kelly
A small but plucky mouse named Mike is sure that he can help the Space Shuttle astronauts, and ends up saving the whole mission. Includes facts about NASA and space travel. Lexile:

Pluto Visits Earth! by Steve Metzger
Angry at being downgraded to a dwarf planet by Earth scientists, Pluto travels through the solar system, asking other planets along the way for support, in hopes of regaining his planetary status. Lexile: 380

11 Experiments That Failed by Jenny Offil
A young child tries a series of wacky experiments, such as seeing if a piece of bologna will fly like a frisbee and determining whether seedlings will grow if watered with expensive perfume, and then must suffer the consequences of experiments gone awry. Lexile:

A Leaf Can Be… by Laura Purdie Salas
In rhyming text and illustrations, explores some of the many things a leaf can be, from tree topper to rain stopper. Includes facts about leaves and a glossary. Lexile: 170

Eat Like a Bear by April Pulley Sayre
Follows a bear from the time she emerges from her den in April after four months without food, through months of eating fish, ants, and huckleberries, to midwinter when the arrival of two cubs interrupts her long winter’s rest. Includes facts about brown (grizzly) bears of the Yellowstone National Park/Glacier National Park region. Lexile:

Robot Zot! by Jon Scieszka
On a mission to conquer planet Earth, tiny but fearless Robot Zot and his mechanical sidekick leave a path of destruction as they battle kitchen appliances. Lexile: 390

June 29, 1999 by David Wiesner
While her third-grade classmates are sprouting seeds in paper cups, Becky has a more ambitious, innovative science project in mind. Lexile: 750


Pearl and Wagner: Two Good Friends by Kate McMullan
Pearl and Wagner, a rabbit and a mouse, work together to build a robot for their science project. Lexile: 340

Robot, Go Bot!: A Comic Reader by Dana Meachen Rau
A young girl makes so many demands on the robot she has constructed that he runs away.


Oh No!, or How My Science Project Destroyed the World by Mac Barnett
After winning the science fair with the giant robot she has built, a little girl realizes that there is a major problem. Lexile:


In the Sea by David Elliott
A collection of poems for children featuring woodcut illustrations and rhyming text from David Elliot on the characteristics and behaviors of sea horses, sharks, urchins, whales, and other sea creatures. Lexile: NP

Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature by Joyce Sidman
Celebrates the shape of a spiral in nature, from rushing rivers to flower buds and even the shape of an ear. Lexile: 330


Things That Float and Things That Don’t by David A. Adler
An apple floats in a tub of water, but a ball of aluminum foil sinks to the bottom. But wait. If that same ball of foil is flattened out and shaped into a boat, it floats! How can that be? David A. Adler’s clear, concise text and Anna Raff’s delightful illustrations explain the basic principles of flotation and density in a way that will really sink in. Lexile: 600

I Face the Wind by Vicki Cobb
Introduces the characteristics and actions of the wind through simple hands-on activities. Lexile: 540

Energy Island: How One Community Harnessed the Wind and Changed Their World by Allan Drummond
It’s windy on the Danish island of Samsø. Meet the environmentally friendly folks who, in a few short years, worked together for energy independence, and who now proudly call their home Energy Island. Lexile: 920

Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert
Simple text and bright pictures show how butterflies use flowers and identify several types of butterflies. Lexile: 160

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

Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives by Lola M. Schaefer
An evocative counting primer combines contrasting illustrations with engaging animal facts that invite young children to count a woodpecker’s 30 roosting holes, a giraffe’s 200 spots and 1,000 baby seahorses. Lexile: 860


Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
A biography of a self-taught scientist who photographed thousands of individual snowflakes in order to study their unique formations. Lexile: 830

Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors?: The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell by Tanya Lee Stone
An introduction to the life and achievements of the first American female doctor describes the limited career prospects available to women in the early nineteenth-century, the opposition Blackwell faced while pursuing a medical education, and her pioneering medical career that opened doors for future generations of women. Lexile:

Favorites & Classics


Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang
Numbers from ten to one are part of this lullaby which observes the room of a little girl going to bed.

The Mitten by Jan Brett
One by one, animals in a snowy forest crawl into Nicki’s lost white mitten to get warm until the bear sneezes, sending the animals flying up and out of the mitten. On each turn of the page, signature borders inspired by Ukrainian folk art hint at what animal is coming next. Lexile: 800

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Goodnight to each of the objects in the great green room: goodnight chairs, goodnight comb, goodnight air. Lexile: 360

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
Harold goes for an adventurous walk in the moonlight with his purple crayon. Lexile: 490

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
The adventures of a little boy in the city on a very snowy day. Lexile: 500

The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss
Despite everyone’s dire predictions, a little boy has faith in the carrot seed he plants. Lexile: 230

The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowrey
One night a puppy, who is always late coming home, finds there is no dessert for him. Lexile: 640

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin
An alphabet rhyme/chant that relates what happens when the whole alphabet tries to climb a coconut tree. Lexile: 530

Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
Mr. and Mrs. Mallard proudly return to their home in the Boston Public Garden with their eight offspring. Lexile: 630

The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
Although she is not very big, the Little Blue Engine agrees to try to pull a stranded train full of toys over the mountain. Lexile: 680

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
Adventurous Peter Rabbit disobeys his mother and wanders into Mr. McGregor’s garden. Lexile: 660

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
A naughty little boy, sent to bed without his supper, sails to the land of the wild things where he becomes their king. Lexile: 740

Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
A band of mischievous monkeys steals every one of a peddler’s caps while he takes a nap under a tree. Lexile: 480

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
On a day when everything goes wrong for him, Alexander is consoled by the thought that other people have bad days too. Lexile: 970

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. Lexile: 280


Byron Barton
Margaret Wise Brown
Anthony Browne
Eric Carle
Donald Crews
Tomie de Paola
P. D. Eastman
Ed Emberley
Mem Fox
Ezra Jack Keats
Jon Klassen
James Marshall
Robert McCloskey
Jon Muth
Jerry Pinkney
Peggy Rathmann
Dr. Seuss
Maurice Sendak
David Shannon
Williams Steig
David Wiesner
Mo Willems
Karma Wilson
Jacqueline Woodson

Categories: Summer Reading Lists
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