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August Book List

Photo by Glean and Co. Photography
          Let's face it, searching for books can be hard! The library is a fun place to go, and ideally a great family outing. But what if you went to the library in search of books on a specific topic or theme for an upcoming month and now the kiddos are just not having it. Your trip to the library is rapidly dissolving into tears, requests for snacks, and chasing a baby around in circles... Well, I like to always have some books on hold that I know I'm excited to read, so even if all of that happens (and more!) I know we are walking out with at least one good book.

So, here's my attempt to help you all (and me!) focus our library trips and at the same time, make sure we never miss out on a topic or holiday coming up.

Photo by Glean and Co. Photography
Each month here on the blog you will get access to a list of books you may want to read that month. The list will include books about the seasons, themes for that time of year such as starting school, holidays as well as the fun "holidays" (think: national hug a friend day) and of course I will work towards being inclusive and diverse in all aspects of the books represented.

So, let's begin!

For the month of August our themes include:
  • Summer coming to a Close
  • Gearing up for School (which will also be highlighted in September)
  • National and International "Holidays"

Summer coming to a close:

Sun by Sam Usher. You many just want to check out all four of Sam Usher's seasonal/weather books at once. These are fun books about a child experiencing the different seasons with their granddad. We love the full page illustrations and you will love reading about all their adventures.

Camp Tiger by Susan Choi is quite the extraordinary story! You may find yourself like us, fixating on whether or not there actually was a tiger at the campsite. But either way, this book is perfect for the end of summer when you have a kid who may be a little anxious about starting the next grade.

A Lullaby of Summer Things by Natalie Ziarnik is one of my end of summer absolute favorites! A little girl reminsces about all of her favorite things from a day at the beach, sun, sand, and smiles with her family. With the rhyming text this book is sure to bring a smile to your face and help the little fall fast asleep as they dream about summer.

Fort Building Time by Megan Wagner Lloyd is a book for really any time of the year, in fact it emphasizes that ANY time is a good time, for fort building. It is a wonderful rhyming picture book all fort lovers are sure to enjoy.

Gearing up for School 

(same topic will also be in the September book list)

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson. This book helps with kids who may be scared about not fitting in. It's hard to feel like you may be cast aside because you don't look like everyone else, or your parents pack "different" food, or you don't have big summer stories to share. This book speaks to all kids and I really hope all students have this book read to them at the beginning of the year!

Lena's Shoes are Nervous by Keith Calabrese. I just LOVE this book's twist on those first day of school jitters. In this book, Lena's shoes are the ones that are scared and she has to help them get up the courage to brave that first day of school.

All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold.
If I had a magic want that allowed me to put one book in every classroom around the world, it would be this book. It's right there in the title, a message that needs to be spread and especially in a classroom space it's an important reminder to always welcome others. Come as you are. You, as you, are welcome.

The Good Egg by Jory John. This book can really be read any time of year (as can any book!) but I think starting off the year with a book about an egg who tries and worries just a little too much about being "good" would help our own little perfectionists branch out. 

The Bad Seed by Jory John. Same goes for this one, I think it's important for all kids to know that just because a kid gets in "trouble" or acts a certain way sometimes, doesn't mean they should be labeled "bad." Kids are kids, they make mistakes, as we all do, and attaching such a label on them perpetuates this stigma in their own head and in the minds of others.

Tomorrow I'll Be Brave by Jessica Hische. I had to throw this one in! It's not a story, it's really more of a collection of beautiful art with corresponding inspirational messages, but who doesn't need a little inspiration to be creative and brave at the beginning of the year?!

The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld. Please, just read this all year with your kids, your students, all the people in your life. I love this book so much and I purchased it immediately after my first time reading it. About a child (pronoun undisclosed in the book) who is feeling frustrated and while everyone tries to help in some way, what they really need is just for someone to listen. A great reminder for kids that it's ok to just sit quietly if you are frustrated, or sit quietly next to a friend who is having a tough time. Sometimes all we need is someone willing to listen.
Brave by Stacy McAnulty. We love all three of these books by Stacy Mcanulty (Beautiful, Brave, and Love) It takes a lot of courage and bravery to start a new year with new friends and teacher, so it's always good to remind our little ones that bravery lies within them.

My Name is Yoon by Helen Recorvits. This one may be especially good for a kid who is attempting to learn English or another language that their class speaks. In this story, Yoon doesn't want to go to school in America where everyone writes her name differently, but in time she learns to accept and love this new life and her opportunity to speak more than one language.

School's First Day of School by Adam Rex.  
Such a fun spin similar to Lena's Shoes are Nervous. I love books that give kids the chance to think outside themselves and their own feelings, even if that means thinking about how a school building or a pair of shoes may be feeling on this exciting first day of school.

National and International "Holidays"

August 2nd - National Coloring Book Day. Coloring Without Borders. At you can purchase a coloring book where ALL of the proceeds go to Families Belong Together. Also, the illustrations in the book are done by over 80 professional artists! Why not put your money towards a good cause and find a fun way to celebrate this day at the same time? My girls will be have a little present awaiting them when they wake on the morning of August 2nd!

August 5th- National Underwear Day. The Underwear Book by Todd Parr. 
Need I say more? If you haven't read any of Todd Parr's books before, just know that kids LOVE the bright and colorful illustrations and the simplicity of the text allows for these books to be read to kiddos of all ages. We are big fans!

August 7th- National Lighthouse Day. Hello, Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall. This was the Caldecott Medal Winner last year! The illustrations are absolutely stunning and it is a beautiful story about a light house attendant and his family's experiences (including having a raising a baby!) in the light house.
August 10th-National S'mores Day. Most Marshmallows by Rowboat Watkins. Such a fun book that will entertain even the youngest of readers. I love how it sends the message to kids that they can, and should dream big and use their imagination to the fullest. Also you should definitely use up some stale marshmallows after reading this and color little faces on them!

August 22nd- International Tooth Fairy Day. How to Trick a Tooth Fairy by Erin Danielle Russell. Ohhh if you have a kid in the "tooth losing" phase this book is sure to excite and entertain them. They may also end up setting up some tricks the next time the tooth fairy visits though, so consider yourself warned!

August 23rd- Ride Like the Wind Day. A Bike Like Sergio's by Maribeth Boelts and Joseph's Big Ride by Terry Farish.

Had to use this day as an opportunity to share two absolutely beautiful books that send very powerful and valuable messages. A Bike Like Sergio's is about a kid who really wants to ride a bike and when he happens upon some money, that is not his, he is faced with a tough decision. Joseph's Big Ride is about a boy who grew up in a refugee camp and what he wanted more than anything was to ride a bike. Both of these books are exceptional and I'm excited for you to read them!


August 24th- Pluto Demoted Day. The Girl Who Named Pluto by Alice B. McGinty. Sorry Pluto! But even though you've been demoted, we will celebrate you! Did you know a little girl came up with the name for Pluto!?


August 26th. Women's Equality Day. Malala's Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai is a wonderful book to start that conversation with kids about women's equality, and also standing up for what is right. She wrote this book so beautifully and in a way that is accessible as well as inspirational to kids of all ages.

August 30th. National Frankenstein Day. She Made a Monster: How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein by Lynn Fulton. I think I may personally be saving this one for Halloween this year, as I was late to the game to read it in October last year. BUT, if you are in the mood to talk Frankenstein, August 30th is your day!

Now, for those of you scrolling through just trying to find an easy list you can print off to take to the library without having to read through everything I wrote (yes, I see you over there!) You're in luck! Here it is, but if you need explanations and a little more info about each book be sure to scroll back on up. Don't forget to come back each month to print off the next month's recommendations!

August Book List: Grab and Go!
  • Sun by Sam Usher
  • Camp Tiger by Susan Choi
  • A Lullaby of Summer Things by Natalie Ziarnik
  • Fort Building Time by Megan Wagner Lloyd
  • The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
  • Lena's Shoes are Nervous by Keith Calabrese
  • All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold
  • The Good Egg by Jory John
  • The Bad Seed by Jory John
  • Tomorrow I'll Be Brave by Jessica Hische
  • The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld 
  • Brave by Stacy Mcanulty
  • My Name is Yoon by Helen Recorvits
  • School's First Day of School by Adam Rex
  • Coloring Without Borders (A coloring book- for purchase only- see
  • The Underwear Book by Todd Parr
  • Hello, Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall
  • Most Marshmallows by Rowboat Watkins
  • How to Trick a Toothfairy by Erin Danielle Russell
  • A Bike Like Sergios by Maribeth Boelts
  • Joseph's Big Ride by Terry Farish
  • The Girl Who Named Pluto by Alice B. McGinty
  • Malala's Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai
  • She Made a Monster by Lynn Fulton
Thanks and Happy Reading!


Don't forget to follow me in Instagram @whatsakidtoread for daily book recommendations


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