Summer may be all about fun in the sun, but for our family it’s all about getting our reading on too! The start of summer was also the beginning of our household’s imaginative adventure, where we spend a little time each day reading something new. If you haven’t guessed yet, our house is very much a Sci-Fi, pop-culture-ish geek domain, so we’ve been on the search for incredibly geeky books for young kids. Thanks to DK Publishing, we didn’t have to look far at all, and you won’t either, if you too have been on the lookout for the best LEGO Star Wars books for kids. And if you’re looking for a cool Summer Reading Kit printable to keep track of everything you and/or your child are reading this season, we’ve got you covered!
So, turns out Kit wants to be just like Darth Vader when he grows up. Okay, maybe not just like him, but he really loves this character. Crazy thing is, he hasn’t actually watched the original Star Wars movies yet. He’s seen LEGO Star Wars, and episodes of Star Wars Rebels, but YouTube, oh YouTube has some crazy videos out there staring Darth Vader (Darth Vader vs Santa, anyone?), and now Kit is his #1 fan. I’m not going to be surprised if Kit begs to dress up as him for Halloween.
Kit also keeps asking specifcally for a “toy lightsaber. I don’t want a real one Chachi, because they can hurt people, but can I have a red toy lightsaber please?” Red. Thank you, YouTube, for convincing Kit that lightsabers are real. Oh, boy. YT has also convinced Kit that he wants a red one, because that’s what his hero uses. I think I might need to keep a box of Kleenex handy for when Kit is old enough to watch the actual movies. There will be tears.
In the meantime, DK Publishing has a whole slew of awesome books for the young geek, with an easy way to determine whether the book fits their reading level.
Recommended Geek Books for Kids
Here’s a list of Star Wars, LEGO and even LEGO Star Wars books by DK Readers that any kid would be sure to love.
- Star Wars: Darth Vader, Rebel Hunter (Level 2) – Follow Darth Vader as he hunts down those pesky rebels! (Totally made with Kit in mind, I swear.)
- LEGO Star Wars – Free the Galaxy (Level 2) – Meet the original Rebels of Lothal, and the Rebel Alliance, and LEGO EWOKs, how can you not?
- LEGO Star Wars – The Force Awakens (Level 2) – an introduction to Rey, Finn and a LEGO BB-8. It’s essentially a quick run through of the recent movie, including Kylo Ren, which is a good thing. Kit has seen my Kylo Ren Pop! figure (that I got for all of $5 woot,) and has been asking who that dude is. He looks like his Vader, but not, and now Kit’s no longer confused.
- LEGO Ninjago – Team Ninja (Level 4) – If your kid(s) watch Ninjago on Netflix, they are totally going to enjoy this supplementary book that explains the Ninjago realm (the Island, fortresses, characters, battle moves, etc.) This one is a bit above Kit’s reading level, but it’s one we can go through together (thank goodness I’ve been watching Ninjago with Kit on Netflix to know what’s going on, lol.)
- LEGO NEXO Knights – Meet the Knights (Level 2) – We have not learned about NEXO Knights before, so this introduction book is quite fun. Chachi’s personal favourite is Princess Macy who loves comic books, and drops everything to become a knight instead. Kit’s fave is probably the King.
- LEGO NEXO Knights – Monster Battles (Level 3) – Once you’ve met the NEXO Knights in the book above, you can then check out how they fight certain monsters with cool tech, and the Knight’s code.
The above list is a great start for any reading club, but check out DK Readers Summer Reading List for an even greater list of recommended books, where kids can learn about spaceships, wild animals and wonders on Earth!
Why Parents Are Going to Love DK Reader Books Too
I’ve suddenly become a huge fan of DK Reader books. Enough so, that I’ll be keeping an eye out for their publications specifically whenever I take my nephew Kit (and soon enough Henry) to pick up new books. Here’s why:
- Large Font – While Kit is now at a point to be comfortably reading on his own (he’s tipping into Level 3 books now,) the font in these books are large enough that I don’t have to squint while reading over his shoulder to help with any words he hasn’t come across yet, such as “Rebellion” and maybe “Empire”. These books are largely designed well for an accessible read, if your child has low to moderate eyesight issues (if they require glasses to see.) There were a couple pages in the Darth Vader, Rebel Hunter! book that have a black font on a red background that would be a little hard to read in a darkened bedroom, without glasses on (or simply good eyesight,) if they choose to read in bed. Otherwise the various typographies are designed well enough that it can encourage just-before-bedtime reading, without the need for glasses (my inner six year old that bent a pair of glasses while “sleep reading”, wishes her books were designed the same way! Pretty sure mom and dad would agree.)
- Colourful, Interactive Pages – a great aspect of these books is that they don’t follow a uniform template, page after page. A little excitement builds as the child flips each page to see what kind of design they are going to see next.
- A Quiz! – how awesome that every DK Readers book comes with a quiz at the end of the story, to establish that the reader has truly understood what they’ve just read and can revisit pages if it turns out they’ve missed something. While reading with Kit over the school year, we would come to the inevitable “The End” that would immediately follow with questions like, did he get the moral of that story (heck, there have been times where I’d question, “Did I?”) So we would talk it out a bit after each book, just to see if he picked up key pieces from the book. With these quizzes at the end of each book, I don’t need to keep a running tally of questions to pester Kit with, the book does that for me! And the questions are thorough enough, that I guarantee the reader will have to go back to certain pages to find the answers.
- There’s a glossary for words that may be new to your readers vocabulary.
- And a short Guide for Parents with a handful of helpful tips to make the most of your child’s reading adventure.
Free Summer Reading Log and Book Finder
We use this sheet to keep track of all the books Kit will read over the summer, and I recently decided it was something that I could share with all of you!
The log is fairly easy to fill out. Print out the reading log sheet, number each book line accordingly, write the title (and perhaps even the author/publishers) of each book, as well as the date of when each book was read to keep track. Once the page is completely filled, you can print another sheet, to keep the log going.
In the “Notes” box at the bottom of the page, we wrote down our agreement that for every 30 books he reads over the summer, he’ll earn a toy from EB Games (generally a LEGO Dimensions or Skylander toy, roughly around $15.) This is the first year we’ve assigned an earned item to a reading log, so I’m not sure whether 30 is too low or too high, but time will tell.
The Book Finder is a quick questionnaire to help anyone who is looking for a new book to read. Once filled out, you can bring this page with you to either your local bookstore, library (or keep it on hand while searching through Amazon,) with hope of finding a better selection of recommendations specifically for you!
Have you already begun a reading challenge at home? Or are you ready to start one now? How has it gone so far?
Disclaimer: DK Publishing provided Kit with books for his summer reading, which will be cherished as all books should be. All opinions here are mine, except when they’re Kit’s.
Kids Should Code
Find out from DK now, on Why Kids Should Code.
Coming soon! Kit and I will review some awesome DK books on Programming Made Easy for kids. We’ll also be hosting a giveaway to help your family get started too!