September 8, 2023 // by Dr. Cynthia Cohen

Summertime presents an ideal opportunity for parents to encourage their children to dive into the magical world of books. Summer reading brings joy, entertainment, and many benefits for children and parents.

Dr. Cynthia Cohen from Orangetown Pediatric Associates shares the incredible advantages of summer reading and how parents can leverage this time to nurture their child's love for reading and learning.

1. Academic advancement

One of the significant advantages of summer reading is its positive impact on academic achievement. Studies have consistently shown that children who engage in regular reading during the summer break maintain or even enhance their reading skills. By encouraging your child to read, you can prevent the "summer slide" and ensure they start the new school year with confidence and a strong foundation.

2. Enhanced vocabulary and language skills

Reading exposes children to a wide range of vocabulary and sentence structures. By exploring different genres and styles, children encounter new words, phrases, and ideas, and as a result, enhance their own communication skills. 

3. Improved concentration and critical thinking

Regular reading helps children strengthen their ability to concentrate on a task for an extended period. It also stimulates critical thinking and problem-solving abilities as children engage with the characters, plotlines, and various perspectives.

4. Emotional and social development

Books act as windows into different worlds, cultures, and experiences. By reading diverse literature, children develop empathy and understanding for others and foster their own emotional intelligence. Engaging with characters facing challenges, conflicts, and triumphs helps children develop social and emotional skills that can be applied to real-life situations.

5. Bonding and family time

Establishing a shared reading routine where parents and children read together or discuss books allows for meaningful conversations and connection. It's an opportunity to explore your child's interests, recommend books, and exchange thoughts and ideas.


It's never too early or late to start reading with your child. The benefits can even impact infants through sentence structure, the rhythm of voices, and emotional cues. Any material you choose can provide these valuable lessons, not just baby books. 

As your child gets older, gradually increase the length of the stories, even if it means breaking them up into multiple sessions. This gives them more to ponder and engages their imagination. Encourage them to share their thoughts on the characters and their predictions for the plot.

The following books and authors are recommendations from Dr. Cohen's own bookshelf.

Baby and small children books: 

  • Author Sandra Boynton
  • Author Eric Carl 
  • Author Dr. Seuss 
  • Author Richard Scarry 
  • The Berenstain Bears series

Pre-k to second grade:

  • Magic School Bus series 
  • Magic Tree House series 
  • Judy Moody series
  • Little House in the Big Woods series
  • Judy Blume Fudge series 
  • Encyclopedia Brown series

Third to fifth grade: 

  • Hank Zipzer series 
  • Harry Potter series
  • Rick Riordan Percy Jackson series
  • The Serpent’s Secret series

By embracing the benefits of summer reading, parents can nurture a lifelong love for books, promote academic success, and create lasting memories with their children.