Reading is a big part of our summer schedule. In fact it’s how we are starting our daily adventure. Each morning, we gather in the Adventure room (that’s the new name for our ‘bonus’ room). My son grabs his beach towel and puts it right by the beach or ocean and we start reading .
What better way to display our progress than by making our favorite titles into a slithery sea snake!
Since my preschooler can’t actually read yet, this offers an instant visual reminder of his reading accomplishment. After each new book is read (and thoroughly examined for the letter of the week) C proudly attaches another segment to our reading snake!
Want to do this for your kids? Simply head to the computer. All you have to do is open a Word document. Locate the book on the Internet. Drag the cover art over to your Word document, resize it and print! I cut the snakes head out of green construction paper. C. helped me place the forked tongue!
Another way to make this project special is to get your family involved. I created a reading wish list on Amazon. Prices for our books range from $3 to $20. My goal was not to solicit presents, but participation in our special ocean project. This is a great way to connect people who are far away. And my son is enjoying a unique feeling of family being close and involved even though they all live far away.
Check out the list below and please let me know if you have a favorite we need to check out!
Our Ocean Reading List:
The Magic School Bus on The Ocean Floor by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen
My take: I love this book. It has a lot going on. I stick to the main story for C at his age, but older children will love the whimsical way the author and illustrator pack the pages with factoids about the sea!
Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle
My Take: This is a great story about the sea and all the different ways sea creatures carry their precious eggs.
Pig Kahuna by Jennifer Sattler
My Take: Good fun! Beautifully illustrated, this brings home the fun of collecting treasure at the water’s edge.
One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss
My Take: It’s a classic. Classic. But very looooooooooooooong. Sadly C’s attention span couldn’t hang on. Might be better as a bed time story read in parts over several nights.
Freckles and The Great Beach Rescue by Ellen Bryant Lloyd and Carol Schwartz
My Take: This is one of our favorites. This is a great story about friendship, bravery and being nice to others. The personification (wow that was the biggest word I’ve used all day…maybe all week) of the sea creatures offers an additional bonus of educating your little one as they read a sweet story. I also love the collaboration between author and illustrator in making many of the words a part of the illustration. That touch is fun to look at and great when teaching the munchkins how to read.
The Coral Reef Tunnel Book by Joan Summers
My Take: This book actually creates a photographic tunnel for you to look through to give you the sense you are looking into the depths of a coral reef. But the best part is the brochure like guide found in the back. Using that guide, we went on a visual treasure hunt to match the images in the guide with the images in the tunnel reef. I am surprised by how much of that information C. actually retained!
Discovery KIDS Incredible Sharks
My Take: comes with 3-D glasses which my 3-year-old doesn’t quite yet get. But he will later on. Great for an older adventurer.
Over in the Ocean: On a Coral Reef by Marianne Berkes, Jeanette Canyon
Very cool book that uses photographs of clay models of sea creatures. Very well done and captured Crowley’s imagination and attention.
Stella Star of the Sea by Marie-Louise Gay
My Take – This is a sweet tale of overcoming your fear of the water by learning about all of the amazing things in the ocean (you know, until you watch JAWS)
Night of the MoonJellies by Mark Shasha
My Take: A fantastic glimpse into what makes summer in New England so very special. A favorite!
Commotion in The Ocean by Giles Andreae, David Wojtowycz
My Take: Fun rhymes and a great overview of the amazing animals living in the ocean.
How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long and David Shannon
Very cute story. Crowley loves this one.
Shiver Me Letters by June Sobel and Henry Cole
Cleverly written and a great opportunity to talk more about each letter.
The Pirate Cruncher by Jonny Duddle
The illustrations are so masterful and intense in this story. We really enjoyed it!
The Little Island by Margaret Wise and Leonard Weisgard
My Take: This is so different than Children’s books offered today. Gave us a fresh look at the Ocean through the words of a classic. Love it.
The Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen and Dan Hanna
My Take: LOVE this book! This is about spreading your “Dreary-Rearies” all over the place. I great book for all toddlers learning how to be in this world. The fun rhyming is just a blast and makes such a good point while having fun doing so!
Clam-I-Am! All about the Beach (From PBS series “The Cat in the Hat Knows a lot about That!) by Tish Rabe
My Take: Based a beloved character, the pages are teeming with tons of facts about Ocean life, teaching both of us some new things about the sea.
Curious George Goes to the Beach Houghton Mifflin Company
My Take: Simple fun! We love Curious George
The Snail and The Whale by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
My Take: This is an imaginative tail of adventure with a tiny creature and the largest there is! I will never look at another snail trail the same again.
Ocean and Sea (A Scholastic discover more book) by Steve Parker
My Take: We’ve used this as our “text book” offering educational support to our reading. Great photography and interesting tidbits.