12 Kids’ Books to Add Some Sizzle to Summer Learning

Learning is usually far from the minds of children on Summer vacation, but it pays to continue their studies so they don’t lose what they’ve already learned. Whether they’re absorbing information about history, biology, science or tech, a unique angle and fun approach can make them eager to learn more.

What makes a book best for learning?

  • Interest in the subject matter.
  • Inspires the imagination.
  • Has real-world applications to bring lessons to life.
  • Unique approach to the subject matter.
  • Multiple methods of engagement
  • Infused with fun!

Books to Keep Kids Happily Learning All Summer Long

DK Canada has provided some exceptional examples of books that have all of that in spades. Below you’ll find our top picks to keep your kids happily learning all Summer long. Just click on the title to pick up a copy.

Nature

Animal Atlas

The Animal Atlas: A Pictorial Guide to the World’s Wildlife

If you’re looking for a special book that will become a treasured keepsake, the 2020 edition of The Animal Atlas is sure to please. The life-like animals leap off the page and bring fun facts with them for kids ages 9 – 12. Where do they live? What is their habitat like? What do they eat? Why are they endangered? The learning naturally extends to even more discoveries, as the book paints a vivid picture of world habitats, geography, climate and plants.

It Can't Be True: Animals

It Can’t Be True! Animals! Unbelievable Facts About Amazing Animals

The weird and wonderful world of animals is revealed in this fun book of amazing animal facts. Kids are instantly drawn into this page-turner as they learn one astonishing fact after another, covering skills, senses, strength, speed, homes and growth. Who wouldn’t be fascinated by exploding ants, walking fish, supersized tongues, animals that use natural antifreeze, hideaways, or the smallest dog in the world? The illustrations are exciting, informative and designed to maximize young attention spans.

Physical Activity

Very Important Sports

My Encyclopedia of Very Important Sports: For little athletes and fans who want to know everything

If this doesn’t motivate kids to be more active and reach for the stars, I don’t know what will! Featuring virtually every kind of sport, children learn about team & individual sports, Winter sports, water sports, sporting events, games, and the amazing athletes that play them. The stunning imagery on glossy pages in this big, beautiful book illustrates the many facts, figures and true stories that will inspire them to be winners.

Goal! Soccer

Goal!: Soccer Like You’ve Never Seen It Before

Soccer doesn’t get the attention that it should here in Canada, but it’s the world’s most popular game and those who love it, love it a lot. This book shares facts and figures that tell the true story of the game. History, rules of play, equipment, tournaments and clubs are presented with vivid illustrations that will make anyone want to get out there and play the game.

History

LEGO Epic History

LEGO® Epic History: With Four Exclusive LEGO Mini Models by Rona Skene

Imaginative play is one of the most effective types of learning. Kids will soak up info about the ancient world, middle ages, the age of discovery, the industry age, and today’s world, as they build and reenact it all. This entertaining book takes kids on an epic trip through history, from early humans to modern cities. LEGO bricks and instructions for building each of four mini models (Greek temple, rocket launch pad, woolly mammoth and pagoda) are included.

Did You Know Dinosaur

Smithsonian Did You Know? Dinosaur by Nicholas St. Fleur

Does it seem like your child has a million questions about dinosaurs? This dino encyclopedia will answer 200 of them! The prehistoric world of dinosaurs will open up with a roar as kids learn the latest facts and discoveries. Children ages 6 – 9 will answer burning questions about the types of dinosaurs, what they looked like, how they acted, where they lived, how it all ended, and the fossils they left behind.

Science

The DNA Book

The DNA Book by Professor Alison Woollard and Dr. Sophie Gilbert

The DNA Book takes Children ages 7 – 9+ on a tour of the cellular world of DNA and genetics, to find out what they’re really made of. It’s easy to be enthralled by the way DNA plays a role in all living things, as the book explains with fascinating examples like eye colour and mutations in pets. It takes a surprisingly deep dive into everything from forensics to bringing back extinct species.

Baby Robot Explains Rocket Science

Baby Robot Explains… Rocket Science: Big ideas for little learners

Introduce rocket science in a way that captivates even the youngest child! As soon as kids are able to identify the stars, they want to get a closer look. Baby Robot has many questions about going to space, which his friend, Rose-bot, answers with simple facts and attention-grabbing pictures. This sturdy board book expands your child’s science vocabulary and develops problem solving skills.

Academics

How to Be a Math Wizard

How to be a Math Wizard by Dr. Anne-Marie Imafidon

The title sets the tone for this book, bringing visions of magical math abilities. The contents don’t disappoint! 30 crafts and other activities nurture mathematical expertise through play. Kids bring all core curriculum math topics into the real world in a hands-on way. They’ll use things from around the house to bring math to life, from an edible abacus to making building blocks to build their own city. The stories of math magicians like Gladys West, Joan Clarke, Benjamin Banneker, Zaha Hadid, and Tomohiro Nishikado bring a touch of inspiration to round out this engaging book.

100 First Things to Know

100 First Things to Know

This big board book would make a great primer for preschool, providing a solid base of knowledge to build upon when they go to school. It’s designed to increase knowledge and expand the vocabulary by directly linking words to memorable images. Before you know it, your toddler will recognize colors, shapes, and patterns, count to 10, learn about nature, and name seasons. Their vocabulary will grow to include words from the worlds of art, music, math and science.

Inspiration

Great Leaders Kids

When I Grow Up : Great Leaders

Empower children from an early age, with these eight inspirational stories of how ordinary kids became extraordinary adults. When I Grow Up: Great Leaders tells the stories of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Nelson Mandela, Emmeline Pankhurst, Mahatma Gandhi, Rosemarie Kuptana, Martin Luther King, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It engages kids ages 2 – 5 with pictures of these amazing people as children, instantly instilling the belief that they can accomplish great things themselves.

How to Make a Better World Book

How to Make a Better World by Keilly Swift

If you want to improve the world, you have to start by practicing empathy, kindness and being a good citizen. From there, you can work your way up to activism, making your voice heard as you tackle social and environmental injustice. How to Make a Better World paints a realistic picture of responsible activism, while also introducing youth to public speaking and politics.

More amazing books to give learning some Summer sizzle:

Top Books to Inspire Today’s Kids to Save Tomorrow’s Earth
8 Fun, New Kids’ Books That Inspire Health and Happiness
Beautiful Books for Each Kind of Kid… Even Gross Ones

These books will be interesting to most children, but in some they’ll spark an even greater interest in the topic. Head to the library to feed your little learning monster all Summer long!

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