Pool Party! / Ready-to-Read Level 2 by author Doreen Cronin and illustrator Betsy Lewin

Reading Age: 5 -7 years

Grade Level: Kindergarten – 2

Publisher: Simon Spotlight

Publication Date: May 5, 2020

Farmer Brown has a pond but no pool. His brother Bob has the opposite. Farmer Brown and his farm animals join Bob in his pool. All animals jump in except the cows who are picky about noise and crowds. Everyone leaves the pool and give the cows a chance to enjoy the pool. Now things that annoyed the cows no longer do and everyone jumps into the pool! Some counting is included. Repetitive words help those learning to read. Illustrations are in Ms. Lewin’s style which makes this early reader enjoyable.

Together We Ride by author Valerie Bolling and illustrator Kaylani Juanita

Reading Age: 3 – 5 years

Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten:

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Publication Date: April 26, 2022

A mother and baby watch from the window as dad and daughter go outside. Dad teaches her to ride a bike. She learns to try again when she falls. Dad is very supportive. Many verbs in this children’s rhyming picture book will expand vocabularies. The story ends on a sweet note with the family enjoying a bike ride together. Illustrations show the struggles and triumphs of this momentous occasion in a child’s life.

The Dressing-Up Dad by author Maudie Smith and illustrator Paul Howard

Publisher: Oxford Children’s Books

Publication Date: May 4, 2017

In this picture book, a son named Danny relishes dressing up in costumes with his dad. The father-son pair go many places in their community as rockets, sea creatures, wizards, superheroes to name a few. Danny notices that other dads do not dress-up. He wants his dad to be like them. Danny’s dad does not wear a costume at Danny’s birthday party. The children enjoy the party but want to be chased around by the man who wears the costumes. Danny realizes that he likes his dad in costume and the party fun begins! Illustrations are adorable and capture the close relationship between the two. Diverse characters are shown. A book about a father, a son and fun that can be read anytime of the year.

Juneteenth: Our Day of Freedom (Step into Reading) by author Sharon Dennis Wyeth and illustrator Kim Holt

Reading Age: 5 – 8

Grade Level: Preschool – 3

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: May 10, 2022

Abraham Lincoln presented the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 freeing slaves in southern confederate states. Many slaves did not realize they were free. People living in rural or isolated areas had difficulty receiving news. Unlike today, communications in the 1800s travelled slowly. Sometimes slave owners intentionally kept the news from slaves so slaves continued to provide free labor. It wasn’t until June 19, 1865 when Major General Gordon Granger presented General Order No.3 in Galveston, Texas that slaves were notified of their freedom. This early reader discusses the history of Juneteenth for children learning to read. Illustrations are filled with emotion and events pre and post Juneteenth’s beginning.

The Bench by author Meghan The Duchess of Sussex and illustrator Christian Robinson

Grade Level: Preschool – 2

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: June 8, 2021

A mother looks out her window and views a dad and young son near a bench in the yard. She tells her story in rhyme about experiences both males will share over time. The illustrator creates diverse dyads of fathers and sons throughout the book with a variety of benches to fit the scenes. Stability, comfort, rest, joy, victory and many other of life’s variations are shared in this beautifully written and illustrated picture book.