The Ultimate List of the Best Summer-Themed Children's Books
Are you looking for great books to make reading exciting and fun over summer break?
Look no further! Reading books about the current season can be a great way to motivate children to read and give them more opportunities to relate to the material!
In this blog, you will find a list of my favorite summer-themed books. These books will make your child's summer fun and give them plenty of reading on these hot summer days. There are books for elementary kids of all ages and every reading level!
(This list does contain affiliate links for your convenience. I do make a small commission from any purchases made.)
Summer-Themed Picture Books For Young Children
There are many great picture books to add to your summer reading list. It's hard to choose, but here are some of my favorite summer books. I hope they spark an interest in your child and help them to have an awesome summer!
Why you will love it: This book was a new york times bestseller and winner of the Caldecott Medal. It's about leaving the noisy and busy streets of the city to enjoy a nice beach day. It's full of fun and detailed illustrations your child will love!
Age: 2-4 Years old
Why you will love it: This is an adorable board book celebrating summer. It talks about fireflies, watermelon, and more!
Age: 2-5 years old
Why you will love it: Wordless picture books are fun books for children to build their imagination! Young kids love to make up the story with the beautiful watercolor illustrations in this book!
Age: 2-5 years old
Why you will love it: Kids love this popular book series. It's a cute story about Llama's first time camping and an excellent opportunity to teach kids how things that can feel scary can be really fun and exciting in the end!
Age: 1-5 years old
Why you will love it: Your child will have so much fun joining Biscuit at the beach to make the perfect sandcastle, collect seashells, and play in the ocean. It's a great book to read to young readers before a trip to the beach. It's a great way to introduce all the beach essentials, such as the umbrella, shovel, and more!
Age: 1-5 Years old
Why you will love it: This book is a classic! It's a wonderful story full of beautiful illustrations. It's both written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. Kids love this book, and it's great to put your child down to bed after one of summer's long days. In fact, it reminds me of the long summer days I used to spend exploring outside as a kid. Going on adventures, using my and coming in the late afternoon only to get dinner. It's a great story about Max sailing away to tame his "wild things." It teaches kids about emotions, responsibility, consequences, love, and acceptance.
Age: 2-5 years old
Why you will love it: What little girl isn't a fan of Frozen and especially loves the character Olaf? My daughter's favorite books are anything with a Disney princess these days. This story is adorable. It's all about Olaf finally getting his wish. To enjoy a hot summer day with his best friends!
Age: 3-7 years old
Why you will love it: Tom Brenner celebrates school ending and sunny days beginning in this cute book. He perfectly depicts the perfect summer day through beautiful summer illustrations. Who doesn't love getting the perfect ice cream cone, throwing on your flip-flops, and breathing the sweet summer air?
Age: 4-8 years old
Why you will love it: This is a beautiful summer story about a little boy who tries to master the perfect cannonball. He learns that the best way is his way and that he doesn't have to listen to everyone's advice. It's a story about overcoming a little doubt and fear to accomplish your goals.
Age: 4-8 years old
Why you will love it: This is a fun story about the life cycle of a praying mantis from the bug's point of view! It is funny, engaging, and full of great illustrations. Your child will enjoy reading it and learning from this nonfiction book!
Age: 3-6 years old
Why you will love it: Your child will enjoy reading this book because they can join Mr. Magee on his camping adventure! There are beautiful illustrations and lots of rhyming throughout the book.
Chapter Books for Summer
Age: 8-11 years old Why you will love it: It's a graphic novel about all the fun things involved with going to summer camp, like making new friends!
Age: 10-12 years old
Why you will love it: This is a beautiful story about how a watermelon seed led Della to accept her mother just as she is. It's a story of a girl who learns difficult life lessons in empathy, acceptance, finding community, self-love, and hope. It's set in North Carolina and reminds you of the lazy days of summer. This book does cover the hard issue of mental illness but can be a great way to introduce children to the topic or can be a great book to relate to if they or a family member might be struggling with mental illness.
Age: 10 years and up
Why you will love it: The main character is a young girl (12 years old) who must spend the summer months with her dad, who she hasn't seen in a couple of years. It reads like a powerful true story because it is written in journal entries and poetry. It's a coming-of-age story that covers some difficult topics of growing up while on her summer vacation. It is the perfect opportunity to gain empathy and knowledge or relate to the situation of those who have experienced a divorce.
Age: 7-12 years old
Why You will love it: What better way to spend your free time in the summer than read about exciting adventures in some of the most popular National Parks? This five-series book set will keep your child interested in reading over the summer and wanting to know more as they work through the entire series! Join the "campground kids," Isiah, Sadie, and Ethan, as they explore the Grand Tetons (book 1), the Smoky Mountains (book 2), Zion (book 3), the Rocky Mountains (book 4), and the Grand Canyon.
Age: 6-9 years old
Why you will love it: There are 38 books in the Magic Treehouse best-selling series. Reading a series of books can be a great way to hook kids in for the long haul and give them a good goal or plan for reading over the summer. These books are great because they are exciting, adventurous, and educational. Although they are fictional stories, they often have real facts about history, inspirational people, and more!
Or you can pick and choose from the series. Some of the books that stand out to me for being fun to read over the summer are:
Camp Time in California: The characters travel to Yosemite and take on a great adventure filled with wilderness, camping, and grizzly bears!
Stage Fright on a Summer Night: A great story about conquering your fears. Your child will also learn about William Shakespeare in a fun and exciting way!
High Tide in Hawaii: What doesn't scream summer more than a story about a beach vacation?
A Big Day for Baseball: Baseball always reminds me of summer! In this story, your child will read about a fun adventure and learn the history of Jackie Robinson and more!
This blog gives you great ideas for sparking excitement in your child about reading this summer! These books are the perfect beach day activity or a fun way to fill their free time on a peaceful camping trip this summer. Have fun with it, and get creative! Have a great read-aloud around the campfire, or take turns reading a chapter book/whole story with your child. The main idea is to make sure they keep reading over the summer to prevent "summer slide" or reading loss and create fun memories around reading so they become avid, lifelong readers!
It's so hard to choose my favorite children's books for summer, so there are many more great options! Visit your local library to get inspired for more reading topics and ideas.
If it's challenging to find the motivation and time to read over the summer, another idea is to have your child join a summer reading program. Click here to visit my recent blog, which is jam-packed with FREE reading programs to keep your child engaged and excited about reading over the summer!
I hope you have the best summer!
About the Author
Janay Neufeld is an online reading specialist and confidence coach for kids. Her unique approach can help children worldwide increase their confidence and reading skills with positive mindset training, helping them reach their full potential!
She has ten years of experience helping children feel like skilled, confident readers. She has her multiple-subject teaching credential, Orton Gillingham trained through the Institute for Multisensory Education, and she has a Master of Arts in Education. She is also certified as a life coach for kids through Adventures in Wisdom.
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