With the hot days of summer winding down, you may be looking for an activity you can do with the kids that will keep them cool and calm for a moment. Why not try a summertime storytime?  School is back in session so, whether you choose to read at home or in class, it is good practice to acclimatize your children to small doses of reading and learning now, to make the transition to classes run smoothly.

Two recent titles at the library I have enjoyed are The Hidden Rainbow by Christine Matheson and Prairie Days by Patricia MacLachlan. Both are beautifully illustrated and feature a summer theme.

The Hidden Rainbow by Christine Matheson displays a “rainbow of flowers” in the garden following a group of bees exploring and pollinating each of the colourful flowers. This is a great read for your preschooler or kindergartener, introducing the concepts of colours and numbers in a natural setting. Following the story is a fact filled page on the importance of bees in the garden introducing some simple biology, which you can take outside to the garden to see (and count) some honeybees.

Prairie Days by Patricia MacLachlan depicts the feeling of endless summer days on a rural landscape featuring the multilayered acrylic, ink and collage artwork of Micha Archer. Within the story you can feel, taste and smell summertime through her vivid details of bluegrass and flowers, hear the grouse rustling in the grass and the neighing of horses, dip your toe in the pond, and end your day under the light of a summer moon. A gentle summer read for the end of day, when you want to entice someone into a bedtime routine.

Whether you choose a summer themed read or any of our delightful picture books, spending some tranquil time sitting together to read a story will help nurture reading comprehension, and promotes bonding between parent and child. And you may find you enjoy the story as much as they do!