9 Amazing Summer Reading Story Books for Young Readers + Giveaway

Looking for amazing summer reading story books for young readers that will engage their minds and encourage their imagination? We’ve partnered with Dover Books to bring you nine spectacular selections that your kids won’t be able to put down! Check them out, then learn how you can save 25% off Dover Books!



It’s so important for kids to read during the summer to help avoid the dreaded summer slide. Each year our children are sent home with a list of suggested books to read during break. Unfortunately, they’ve usually already read them a dozen times during the school year. My six-year-old has this habit where he memorizes books and can recite them back to you word for word. He no longer reads the book, he just recites it based on memory. That doesn’t exactly help him improve his reading skills, now does it! Memory skills, sure, but reading? Not so much. Because of this I was so excited to check out four different Dover Publications books for young readers.

Dover Books Review: Why they’re so perfect for young readers

When our Dover package first arrived, I was excited about new books. As we read them, both my son and I fell in love with them. The stories that Dover publishes are creative, classic, and beautifully illustrated. I’ll get more into the illustrations later. What I loved most about Dover books is that my son can’t memorize them after 2-3 reads.


All of the books were age-appropriate and filled with words he knows how to read along with more that he is still learning. There were many opportunities for him to practice his sight words and use phonics.  Each book is over 30 pages long and has a decent amount of words on the page. They were stories with a plot, climax, and adequate character development. I’m sure if my son really put his mind to it he could memorize some of the books, like The Girl in the White Hat or Wedding Procession of the Rag Doll and the Broom Handle and Who was in it. However, it would take him about 20 reads due to the volume of words in each story which would help him improve his reading skills. I definitely love the challenge of reading these classic books, and the story that is interesting to both the parent and child. Let’s check out the books we read!


9- Perfect Story Books for Young Readers

Heads up: you’ll find all of these books and more on Dover’s Summer Reading page!

1- The Girl in the White Hat


The Girl in the White Hat is all about using your imagination to go on wonderful adventures. The story encourages independent play and uses its illustrations to bring the wonderment alive. The illustrations jump between full-color pictures and black and white pictures with pops of color. Not only are the illustrations vibrant, so are the words. The story is filled with descriptive words that will make the reader’s imagination run wild.


2- The Wedding Procession of the Rag Doll and the Broom Handle and Who Was in It


This story is a whimsical read. It is easier than The Girl in the White Hat, and it is full of silliness and funny antics. My son’s favorite characters are the Musical Soup Eaters.  He giggles the whole time. The illustrations are very detailed and might seem a bit odd at first, but as you read the story they add to the humor of the story.


3- Too Many Mittens

This story has more narrative than the other books with bright watercolor illustration. This book was my favorite. Too Many Mittens is a great story that showcases community. It was fun to see all the many places the mittens would appear and how they were returned. I also loved the two bonus stories that comes with the book.

4- It’s Like This, Cat


This book is definitely for older kids closer to 10 years old. My 6 year old wasn’t able to read it, but he enjoyed me reading it to him a chapter at a time during bed. The story is adventurous and focuses on how one person’s life can impact another. It’s about finding good in people and showing support during tough times.

A lot of the book went over my son’s head, but it is one we will hang on to have him read again by himself when he gets a little older. There are a lot of great morals to be learned from the story that you don’t see in modern literature. I wish my son was a little older so that we can discuss it, because I know he would take a lot from how character’s life impacts the other.

Looking for more fantastic early reader books from Dover? Check out a few more on our to-read list!

5- The Wish-Tree by John Ciardi:

Illustrated by the same artist who did the Pippi Longstocking books, The Wish-Tree follows the dreamy adventure of a young boy who falls asleep at the base of a huge tree and dreams that it has the power to grant wishes.

6- Sam & Emma by Donald Nelson:

Sam & Emma tells the tale of  a kind hound and a critical cat as they venture beyond their own yard and discover the world outside their garden gate. Storywraps calls it the “perfect conversation starter regarding manners, etiquette, kindness, and tolerance.”

7- The Mother Goose Picture Book:

I remember reading Mother Goose as a child myself. Now, our kids can revisit the same rhymes that inspired generations of playground games. Mother Goose is the perfect introduction to poetry to young readers.

8- My Father’s Dragon by  Ruth Stiles Gannett:

Elmer Elevator wants one thing in life: to be able to fly. When a stray cat tells him about a captive dragon forced to shuttle jungle creatures across the river, he sets out on a mission to rescue the dragon. See, stories say that he’ll give a free ride to anyone who can rescue him!

9- Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings by Edward McLachlan:

If the gorgeous chalk illustrations don’t draw your kids in, the fact that these stories inspired a TV series by the same name will! Dover’s exclusive collection contains all four of McLachlan’s Chalk stories!

Dover has a vast selection of charming story books for young readers across just about every genre. With a solid mix of new stories and classic tales, you’ll find the perfect books to hook your kids in and encourage them to read all summer long!

COUPON ALERT: Save 25% at Dover!



Save 25% on your favorite Dover Books when you use coupon code WJAJ by 8/31/17. Think ahead and grab a few books for the holidays while you’re shopping for summer reading stories! Don’t forget to follow Dover on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with news!

Dover Books Giveaway

Want to expand your child’s library with a few of these classics? Enter below for your chance to win a $51 value prize pack that includes:

  • Wedding Procession of the Rag Doll and the Broom Handle and Who Was in it
  • The Girl in the White Hat
  • Too Many Mittens
  • It’s Like This Cat

Giveaway is open to US residents age 18+ and ends on August 2nd. Good luck!

GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED: Congrats to Christina A!

What are your favorite story books for early readers? Share below!



61 thoughts on “9 Amazing Summer Reading Story Books for Young Readers + Giveaway”

  1. Nicole Lancaster

    My favorite classic books to read to my children are The Velveteen Rabbit and Where The Wild Things Are.

  2. We have these Disney books we read that are new stories of old Disney classic characters! They are interesting for her and us as well!

  3. What a great round up of books! I am not entering as I do not have any littles in my life, good luck to everyone! :-)

    Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly

  4. My kids love to read! These books look amazing. This is a great giveaway too. I am going to have to check out some of these books for my daughter. I think she would be a huge fan of My Father’s Dragon!

  5. My niece is so into reading and those books would be perfect for her. I have no doubt she’s going to love those books.

  6. Christy Garrett

    I have been trying to get my kids to read this summer. He has read a few things but he rather watch tv or go do something fun.

  7. All of these look like great stories. I love to read and so do my girls. It’s great to have kids that enjoy to read. I’ll have to check these books out for them.

  8. Cherri Littleton Megasko

    The Wish Tree sounds great for my oldest grandson. Plus – I just loved Pippi Longstocking books AND their illustrations when I was a kid.

  9. My grandson is the perfect age for any of these! He reads all of the time and I’ll definitely be adding a few to my Amazon cart. I’d especially love to check out The Girl in the White Hat and also Too Many Mittens. Thanks for your great recommendations. x

  10. Early reading is key to success later in life. I can not remember how many YEARS I spent reading to or with my kids when they were young. They were avid readers and still are. I feel that being early readers helped their greats a lot! All of these books sound wonderful.

  11. I am always on hunt for good books! My niece loves it when someone reads for her, in a few months she will learn how to read and I need to get those books soon :)

  12. Everyone in our house does a summer reading program. The kids know that we take the time to read just like they are expected to. These look like some great books to check out and read.

  13. Those all sound like great children’s books. There are a few here that I would love to get for my little guy.

  14. Jhentea Guzman

    My kids are all grown ups, but i have a niece and nephew who love to read. As young as 3 years old they started their love for reading. unlike other kids their age they collect books rather than toys. I’ll asl their parents to sign them up for Dover Books Giveaway! Thank you for sharing this.

  15. Oh, I loved those Dover books back in the day. I think my little sister will adore these. She’s learning how to read and would love the bright illustrations.

  16. alissa4illustration

    We read a lot of the David Shannon books back in the day. Most recently I read “Wonder” and “Auggie and Me” to my then 8 year old. That got him into reading bigger books. I like that they are making “Wonder” into a full length movie soon.

  17. My daughter would enjoy these very much. Thankfully she has a love for reading as I do. We have been going over Pete the cat books lately

  18. We’re always on the lookout for good books to read during the summer. I remember signing up for the book reading programs when I was a kid. It was a great way to spend the summer.

  19. Shannon Graham

    I don’t have any kids. However, I have a niece who is obsessed with books. I need to get her some of these.

  20. Kelly Hutchinson

    What a great list of books for the younger kiddos. I know my kids love to read and we are always looking for new books to add to our collection.

  21. Travel Blogger

    Nice list! I am always looking for new books for my son. Reading is so important, and I think reading a variety of books really encourages them to think and grow mentally.

  22. I havne’t heard of any of these books but I do love kids reading!! I will have to check out some of these for my nieces and nephews!!

  23. Eloise Maoudj Riley

    there’s nothing better than sitting down all comfy with a good book to read! I’ll have to look into a few I haven’t read yet with my kiddos! thanks!

  24. These sound like great stories. Some of them may have been difficult for your son but that just means he can read them next year….or the year after!

  25. These sound like wonderful stories and I’m glad the picture book illustrations were so nice. I’m glad there are some more advanced books the kids can work towards too.

  26. Whether its summer or not, my kids have to read at least a 1/2 hour everyday, even with homework during the school year. I also make them read outloud, so they can practice their fluency. Some of these books look great for my 7 year old daughter.

  27. HOW do I not know of these already? So awesome. I have one avid reader heading into 3rd grade, and one heading into kindergarten. He is ready for some awesome books.

  28. Mary Fitzgerald Edwards

    It’s great to keep the kids reading through the summer. Start at a very young age so they aren’t in for a shock when there is REQUIRED SUMMER READING in middle/high school and college!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *