Top 3 Titles To Round Out Your Summer Reading

The older I get, the more I notice August to be one of those months that can mean something different to each of us, depending on where our story takes place and the chapter we are currently living through.

As a summer-lover to the core, I’m still clinging to what is quickly becoming the memory of a season almost gone, whereas you might already be thick in the throes of back-to-school, or navigating school with your little(s) for the very first time. You could even be smack dab in the middle of Winter — Hiya, Friends in the Southern Hemisphere!

It’s the multifaceted nature of this month that inspired me to finally sit down and share my top three picture books of 2020 with you. Because the warmth of summer is fleeting, the back-to-school struggle is real, and some of you are smack dab in the middle of this:

bitmoji tanya bundled up for winter

Which means this this month calls for the best of the best. So here are three titles I feel are well worth your time this month, no matter what the pages of your story might hold.

A quick note about my reviewing style:

Since professionals have already gone to the trouble of writing synopses to tell you what these books are about, I’ve decided to focus on detailing the specific early literacy elements that inform why I would recommend a given title.

That way if your little one needs support developing a particular skill, or if they have a particular interest, you’ll know which books will offer the most bang for your time, energy, and possibly, your buck.

Now let’s get to those books, shall we?

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut

written by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James

Synopsis available here.

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut book cover

Recommended if you’re looking for:

  • unique, vibrant vocabulary that pops off the page, introducing your little one(s) to words like ???,
  • lush, gallery-level illustrations that offer a variety of unique ???,
  • a celebration of African American barber-shop culture that gives young Black boys a window into an experience they may have to look forward to, or a mirror for an experience they may already enjoy, or,
  • a title that expands your kiddos’ background knowledge of unfamiliar territory, as this one did for me, offering them a window into a cultural experience that differs from their own.

Additional Buzz

I loved this book so much that I sent it to my best friend for his birthday, and he pointed out it could also be a great book to prepare Bitty Bees for their very first haircut, which can be an intimidating experience no matter the venue.

The Old Truck

written and illustrated by Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey

Synopsis available here.

The Old Truck book cover

Recommended if you’re looking for:

  • a spacious read with thoughtfully chosen text that allows the illustrations to be as much a part of the story as the words are

Additional Buzz


written by Mo Willems and illustrated by Amber Ren

Synopsis available here.

Because book cover

Recommended if you’re looking for:

  • a book that beautifully illustrates the concept of cause and effect — showing your little one(s) how a single action can become the first domino in a line that leads to a place they might never expect

Additional Buzz

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