Summer Reading Recommendations for Kids

Jun 13, 2018 / By Sara Loca

School is out for summer! It’s a time for more unstructured playtime and creativity. Dive headfirst into your imagination this summer with fun hands-on projects and a stack of books!

See below for Koala, Kiwi, Doodle and Tinker Crate recommendations!

KOALA CRATE (Ages 3-4)

“You Can Be” by Ashley Nguyen

In this book, kids dive deep into their imagination to explore where their lives could take them. The cute homemade backdrops and poetry encourage kids to tap into their creativity and open all the doors to their future. A word of caution, your living room could very soon be turned into a science lab after reading this book!

“Beautiful Oops” by Barney Saltzberg

Barney Saltzberg, the effervescent spirit behind Good Egg, offers a one-of-a-kind interactive book that shows young readers how every mistake is an opportunity to make something beautiful. A singular work of imagination, creativity, and paper engineering,
“Beautiful Oops!” is filled with pop-ups, lift-the-flaps, tears, holes, overlays, bends, smudges, and even an accordion “telescope”—each demonstrating the magical transformation from blunder to wonder.

“It’s a Firefly Night” by Dianne Ochiltree

They whirl around the nighttime sky. They whiz back and forth, so you only ever see them out of the corner of your eye. They are fireflies! Practice counting in this tale about catching and releasing fireflies.

“Frida” by Jonah Winter

Art history need not be a bore! Get little makers interested early with this engaging book on the imagination and life of one of the most famous painters in the world, Frida Kahlo.

“Summer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian” by Margarita Engle

Introduce your young explorer to the science of bugs! Maria Merian was a courageous botanist, zoologist and artist in the 1600s and 1700s who loved bugs! This book illustrates how Maria’s focus and patience studying bugs changed the way humans understood insects.

KIWI CRATE (Ages 5-8)

“My Name is Georgia” by Jeanette Winter

This book follows the life of artist Georgia O’Keeffe. From a farm in Wisconsin, to the ever busy streets of New York City and finally to the magical mesas of New Mexico, follow Georgia’s passion for art across the country in this biography. Learn about her initial creative sparks through her rise to fame painting colorful flowers and desolate landscapes.

“Mummy Math: An Adventure in Geometry” by Cindy Neuschwander

Matt, Bibi and dog Riley get trapped in an ancient Egyptian burial chamber. Their only hope of getting out is translating the hieroglyphics on the chamber walls. To escape they must use their understanding of cones, spheres, pyramids and more. Good thing they studied geometry in math class!

“The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with the Chimps” by Jeanette Winter

A dash of patience mixed with a whole lot of watching gives you the one, the only, Jane Goodall. Follow Jane from her early days watching the animals in London to her later years spent with her favorite beings, monkeys, in Africa. Encourage your young naturalists to get outside this summer and watch like Jane!

“Life in the Ocean” by Claire A. Nivola

Immerse yourself in the life of marine biologist Sylvia Earle with vivid illustrations and lyrical language. Follow Sylvia from the first time she fell in love with the ocean to her amazing career exploring it. A great read to encourage your kiddos to venture into the outdoors and follow their curiosity this summer.

“The Most Magnificent Thing” by Ashley Spires

A little girl and her canine assistant set out to make the most magnificent thing. But after much hard work, the end result is not what the girl had in mind. Frustrated, she quits. Her assistant suggests a long walk, and as they walk, it slowly becomes clear what the girl needs to do to succeed. A charming story that will give kids the most magnificent thing: perspective!

DOODLE CRATE (Ages 9-16+)

“In Her Hands: The Story of Sculptor Augusta Savage” by Alan Schroeder

Sculptures on display in top museums from Washington D.C. to Indianapolis, Augusta Savage is one of several talented artists who burst to fame during the Harlem Renaissance. Follow her journey from difficult beginnings to her dream of becoming an artist. Read this book and be inspired to be resilient in your love for art!

“Making An Impression” by Geninne Zlatkis

Popular illustrator and stamper Geninne Zlatkis has a passion for nature and color that distinguishes her work. These 20 beautiful projects–including cards, an embellished journal and tote, and decorative wall pieces–provide the keys to Geninne’s creative process and image-making process. In addition to technique-specific primers with step-by-step photos of the essentials, Making an Impression includes 50 motifs showcasing Geninne’s signature designs that crafters can copy and use for image transfers, stamp designs, and collages.

“Rickshaw Girls” by Mitali Perkins

Follow the story of a talented ten-year-old traditional Indian alpana artist, Naima, in her journey to help her family in a time of need. Get inspired to help others through your talents as well!

“A Child’s Introduction to Art: The World’s Greatest Paintings and Sculptures” by Heather Alexander

Explore the techniques, symbolism and artists behind some of the best recognized paintings in the world. “The Mona Lisa,” Rembrandt and Pop Art come to life in the pages of this summer read.

“Wanda Gág: The Girl Who Lived to Draw” by Deborah Kogan Ray

This is the story behind the author and illustrator of the famous children’s book “Millions of Cats,” Wanda Gág. An inspiring tale of pursuing your passion against all odds, the book follows Wanda from her peaceful childhood, to her difficult teenage years, all the way through becoming a professional artist.

TINKER CRATE (Ages 9-16+)

“The New Way Things Work” by David Macaulay

A Caldecott winner demystifies the machinery of the computer age with the help of a charming woolly mammoth in a completely updated version of an earlier work which details the latest innovations from cars and microchips to watches and lasers.

“Inventions That Could Have Changed the World … But Didn’t” by Joe Rhatigan

The fascinating stories of inventions that could have changed the world, should have made a difference, or would have astounded us all, but for one reason or another, didn’t. Some inventions were too wacky, weird, or unwieldy. Other simply didn’t work. And still others may be the next big thing . . . some day. Learn about the inventors, what they thought they would accomplish, and what–if anything–they did accomplish. Zany illustrations of the contraptions in use throughout.

“Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women” by Catherine Thimmesh

Wonderful read for all young makers highlighting the often hidden world of female inventors! Inventions covered include the fire escape, pastry fork, medical syringes, baby carrier and nonreflecting glass. We hope this book triggers you to think up your very own invention!

“Extreme Scientists: Exploring Nature’s Mysteries from Perilous Places” by Donna M. Jackson

Brave, adventurous, daring and fearless, all characteristics you need to be one of the scientists in this book. For some scientists, their day-to-day doesn’t involve sitting behind a desk or tinkering in lab. These scientists spend their days climbing into deep caves and flying into a hurricane. Learn more about these dangerous and certainly interesting types of science!

“Marie Curie” by Kathleen Krull

One book in the Giants of Science series, Krull will take you through Curie’s life and scientific achievements. You will walk away feeling inspired by Curie’s incredible discoveries in radioactivity and first Nobel Prize win for women.

Interested in receiving a book every month with your KiwiCo subscription?


We’re thrilled to offer Deluxe for our Koala, Kiwi, and Tinker lines. With Deluxe, for just an additional $9.95/month, we’ll send you a book that corresponds to the theme of your crate. Learn more here!

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