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Paws to Read: California Library Association's summer reading program for kids

Summer is here and with it the fun of public library summer reading programs. Throughout northern California, kids and parents can find all sorts of fun activities at their local library that will encourage reading over the summer break from school. This year the California Library Association (CLA) has chosen the theme of Paws to Read.

Books about animals for babies to teens-slide0
Paws to Read is the California Library Association's summer reading theme

From books to games to plays and more, parents and caregivers can join the summer reading program at their local public library for free. Kids keep track of the books they read, or have read to them, and move along a gameboard provided by the library. At the end of the program readers are rewarded with a party, recognition and fun prizes. Focusing on the contributions and wonders of animals in the lives of humans is central to this year's summer reading theme. Efforts have been made to encourage library goers to not only read about animals, but to get involved with a charitable animal organization in their community.

There are more books about animals than could ever be listed here, but here are some that the Children's Fiction Examiner recommends for young readers of various ages.

Infants and Toddlers

"Honk, Honk! Baa, Baa!" by Petr Horacek, published by Candlewick (2014)

"Animal Alphabet: Slide and Seek the ABCs" by Alex A. Lluch, published by WS Publishing Group, 2011

"Hello Baby: Animals" by Roger Priddy, published by Priddy Books, 2013

Ages 3-5

"If Animals Kissed Good Night" by Ann Whitford Paul and David Walker, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2014)

"Over in the Ocean: In a Coral Reef" by Marianne Berkes and Jeanette Canyon, published by Dawn Publications (2006)

"My Very First Book of Animal Homes" by Eric Carle, published by Philomel (2007)

Ages 6-8

"What If You Had Animal Hair?" by Sandra Markle and Howard McWilliam, published by Scholastic Paperbacks (2014)

"What's Your Favorite Animal?" by Eric Carle, published by Henry Holt and Co. (2014)

"If All the Animals Came Inside" by Eric Pinder and Marc Brown, published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (2012)

Ages 9-12

"The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle" by Hugh Lofting, published by Yearling (1988)

"Animal Grossology: The Science of Creatures Gross and Disgusting" by Sylvia Branzei and Jack Keely, published by Price Stern Sloan (2004)

"Faithful Elephants: A True Story of Animals, People, and War" by Yukio Tsuchiya and Ted Lewin, published by HMH Books for Young Readers (1997)


"Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" by Rudyard Kipling, published by SMK Books (2012)

"Black Beauty" by Anna Sewell, published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2014)

"The Yearling" by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, published by Scribner (2012)

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