5 Summer Reading Picks

If you’re looking for some books to read this summer, these 5 Summer Reading Picks are a great start.

Each book was picked by a mermaid-loving four year old!

With school out, it’s important to keep kids reading and learning. Switching up books and ‘shelfies’ can help keep them interested and excited to read!

Mila has accumulated a TON of books in her four years. She has a few favorite picks — but it can get redundant reading them 1000 times. To help keep things fresh, I love to show her themed books and have her pick out her top picks.

I laid out ‘summer’ books that included zoos, weather, and other ocean animals. Of course, she was instantly drawn to the mermaid ones!

Here’s all of Mila’s picks:

The Little Mermaid

This was my book when I was a kid, but Mila is in love with it!

It’s the classic tale with beautiful images. Since Mila knows the story, she likes to pretend to ‘read’ to me. I love seeing what letters and words she is beginning to recognize too. If your kiddo loves “The Littler Mermaid” the movie, you’ll love the book too.

You can find the original book or the the Little Golden Book one.

How to Catch a Mermaid

This is one of Mila’s favorite series! She loves the story and trying to figure out how the characters are going to catch the mermaid next. I love the rhyming and how it gets her brain thinking. Mila always finds new things in the pictures too. The last time she read it, she pointed out a big fish I had never saw!

This series has how to catch a unicorn, leprechaun, and the Easter Bunny too! It’s a series I’ll always recommend for any occasion you need.

If you’re interested in this book or series, check them out!

That’s Not My Mermaid

The “That’s Not My” series has been a staple in our home since Mila was a baby. They let kids feel different textures and understand what the words mean. Plus, there’s a hiding mouse that kids love to seek too.

Mila absolutely loves the mermaid one in the series. It’s one she has by her bed all summer long. She loves reading this one to me and showing me she remembers all the words.

Get “That’s Not My Mermaid” here.

The Rainbow Fish

Last year, “The Rainbow Fish” was Mill’s favorite summer book. It’s a great story about sharing and being mindful of others. We made the cutest paper craft (pictured above) and Mila recognizes thee cover image any where she sees it.

The bright colors are so perfect and I love this classic tale. This will be one boo I always have on hand.

You can purchase “The Rainbow Fish” through this link.

Stuck in the Middle of Knowhere

Mila got this book earlier this year when Our Generation Dolls gifted us a few dolls and accessories. She saw the book and we’ve been reading it in chunks since! It’s a fun story of Coral and her passion for surfing.

The doll that came with this book is adorable too. Mila is constantly playing with her and her friends. I’d totally recommend them to anyone looking for a good doll!


Reading is such an important way to learn and imagine. It makes me so proud Mila can pick out her favorites and enjoy our time reading together. We’ll never get this time back, so we’re making every second count!

We can’t wait to show you more summer activities and fun that we’ll be having this year! Stay tuned.


What are some summer inspired books you’d recommend? We’d love to read them.

Toddler Activity: The Rainbow Fish Paper Craft

The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister is a classic story about sharing. Since preschool is quickly approaching, I thought this story and lesson would be great for Mila to read and remember.

Sharing can be a tricky thing to learn, so a book with beautiful illustrations is a great place to start.

One of my favorite parts about this activity is you can make it however you want!

Every fish will as individual as your child.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Before the activity, I prepped the basics of Mila’s fish.

Instead of a paper plate, I just used left over scrapbook paper to make the fish’s body, fins, and eyes. Then I cute out aluminum paper and taped it on the fins. I tried to mimic the book, but I think it turned out just fine!

At this time, I also premade the foil scales too!

To start out this activity, we first read The Rainbow Fish. While reading, I asked Mila a few different situational questions like…

Would you share your scales?

Do you think you have to share to have friends?

Would you be sad if someone didn’t share with you?

Do you know you’re just as beautiful inside as your are out?

Plus a few extra ones that I can’t think of at the moment. Yet, they all touched on these topics.

Another BIG thing we talked about with this book is consent. Mila stated she wouldn’t want to give away her scales or parts of her. When she said this, I thought… duh mom?!

We talked about how it’s okay not to share all of yourself or things with others. But it is nice to take turns with toys and listening ears.

Who knew she’d get so deep so fast.

Then, I had her use her watercolors to paint her own scales. She made me a beautiful pictures first.

After she was finished painting, we let the paint dry. It only took a little bit and you could speed it up with a hair dryer. Then make more paper scales.

To assemble rainbow fish, I taped the back of the scales and we talked about sharing and consenting again.

While she taped on her painted scales, I would ask her about positive ways she could share in preschool. Every time she thought of one, she could add a shiny scale to her rainbow fish.

I think she did excellent and was so proud of her fish after it was done!

When I reflect back on this book and activity, I’m really shocked with the questions she had. It also made me smile knowing she’ll be good to go with sharing and being a friend in preschool.

Let me know in the comments if you love The Rainbow Fish or what other books about sharing you’d recommend.

Then, if you love pairing books and activities, check out some of these ideas…

Toddler Activity: Mermaid Swim Party

With summer heat waves, it can be hard to stay cool when you’re outside. Our favorite way is to add water play to our routine. This week started off with a Mermaid Swim Party.

Every day, I like to do a hands on activity with Mila. In the summer, that usually happens first thing in the morning. It’s a great way to set the mood and guarantees extra learning for the day!

A win-win right?

Since Mila loved the beach sensory play activity earlier this month, I thought I’d bring those themes back.

The best part, we used actual water this time!

A mermaid swim party wouldn’t be complete without these:

This activity was pretty simple to set up. The hardest part was getting the sprinkler in the hose.

All I did was setup the sprinkler (which wasn’t that hard at all), grab the items for the sensory bin, place them in, and fill up the bin with water. That’s all!

Before I let her play with the bin, we read a book. I believe reading books everyday is so crucial for a child’s development. They’re able to expand their vocabulary with every new word they here and start becoming familiar with sight words.

For this activity, we read That’s Not My Mermaid from the Usborne series.

It was a fun stepping stone to get her describing the differences of our mermaids during the activity. Plus, Usborne books are so educational. We love this series and find different ways to learn from it each time.

I would recommend the That’s Not My series to anyone!

After we read the book, I showed Mila her sensory bin and let her do whatever she wanted with it.

She went wild!

Between the water, the mermaids, and the sprinkler, she thought it was the best activity. I loved the way she reacted to it all. It’s always so much fun to see her growth through play.

I’d love to say I watched her the entire time, but she played with this activity for two hours. Yes. You read that right THREE HOURS.

For some reason, she really just thought this was a blast. We did different educational activities like talking about the resin letters and talking about the differences in the mermaids. She also loved pretending and making up stories about them.

At one point, Mila even got into the sensory tray to try to play with them more.

Eventually, after three hours, Mila was finally done with this activity and playing with the the hose. I was amazed that she was so engaged. It allowed me to wash the dishes, change the laundry, and tidy up. Of course, I kept checking on her, but it was hot!

Honestly, it makes me so happy to see how much she loves to play, use her imagination, and be outside. If creating simple activities helps, I’ll keep doing just that.

What are some of your favorite ways to beat the heat waves? Do you stay inside or like to play with or in water too?

Make sure to check out these other water inspired play ideas too!

Pinky Got Out! Children’s Book Review

Happy National Pink Day!

Did you ever know there was such a thing? Me neither! Yet, if you peered into our house, you’d think we’d know all things pink.

To celebrate all things pink, Mila and I read and interacted with our latest Little Bookish Wardrobe box. Inside was the book Pinky Got Out! by Michael Portis and illustrated by Lori Richmond.

You may be wondering, what’s in the box? (Not meant to be read in Brad Pitt’s voice from Seven.)

In the box was the book, that beautiful PINK outfit, and a little craft. Mila wasn’t that into the craft this month. It was a mask and I think she doesn’t like the feeling on her face. Maybe when she gets older we’ll revisit.

But, she LOVED the glorious pink skirt, hair piece, and leotard.

I have to admit… it does look pretty cute.

Back to the good stuff though.

Little Bookish Wardrobe always picks out engaging books. This book was just so much fun for Mila to interact with.

It’s set in a zoo with a flamingo named Pinky that likes to get in a little trouble. A group of students are on a field trip and quickly take notice in the flamingo’s antics.

Throughout the book, the class see and learns about different animals, which is very educational to the reader too.

I didn’t know some of the facts in there!

The best part, even though it’s educational and you’re learning about animals, it’s fun for children to find Pinky. He escapes to every animal enclosure and always looks like he’s having fun.

Mila’s favorite part of this story is finding Pinky and laughing at his silly whereabouts.

The illustrations in this children’s book are amazing. I love the way Pinky looks. Even though the pictures are simple, they’re very impactful and help make this book fun for adults and children.

It’s a great way for kids to stay focused, recall what they’re looking for, and laugh along the way. I also like how there’s so many opportunities for learning extensions.

You can also quiz your child about the different animal names, what sounds they make, or the information from the story.

This would be a perfect book to read before the zoo or really anytime at all!

We hope that you have an amazing National Pink Day and check out Little Bookish Wardrobe. It’s a great way to get new books and additions for your child to fall in love with stories.

Do you do anything special for holidays like National Pink Day? If not, what’s your favorite pink thing?

Or you can check out this amazing pink Strawberry Fluff by Mom Buns and Mayhem. It looks so yummy and only has two ingredients. Plus, you all know my strawberry obsession lately!