Looking for some summer-themed titles? Whether you’re heading to the beach, to the in-laws, on a road trip, or just the shade in your own backyard, here are ten fabulous books to enjoy with your child.
Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
Little Sal and her mother head to the local wild blueberry patch. Sal’s mother wants to pick enough blueberries to can for winter, while Sal wants to gobble up as many as she can. On the other side of the hill, Mama Bear and her cub are filling up on blueberries in preparation for winter, too. The little ones wander off, as little ones tend to do, and you might imagine the mixup on Blueberry Hill.
One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey
In this McCloskey book, Sal is a bit older. She is excited about spending the day with her father when she suddenly loses a tooth! …and then literally loses it. She spends the morning lamenting her lost opportunity to make a wish while simultaneously experiencing all the types of things children do on a typical coastal, summer day.
The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant
For anyone who carves out time to reconnect with relatives over the summer, this is the book for you. The relatives in this story travel a long distance by car and Rylant does a beautiful job illustrating the welcome invasion of family. Crowded, loud, busy, and full of love, you will treasure the way this story is so perfectly relatable.
Watermelon Day by Kathi Appelt, illustrated by Dale Gottlieb
Jesse cannot wait for that one watermelon to just ripen already. Pappy insists they wait until just the right time to pick and eat it. When that day comes, the cool, juicy flesh of this one gorgeous melon does not disappoint. This is another great story about family getting together to make memories and have fun.
S is for S’mores: A Camping Alphabet by Helen Foster James, illustrated by Lita Judge
This enchanting book will appeal to younger and older children alike (plus their outdoorsy parents!). Each gorgeously illustrated page contains a few brief lines of text with more in-depth information in the margins. Children will learn about the equipment we take camping, the recreational possibilities, and the conservationists and organizations that make it all possible.
The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle
Children are often enchanted by fireflies during warm summer evenings. In this classic story by Eric Carle, one solitary firefly tries to find other fireflies. It follows the light of a flashlight, candle, the reflections in a dog’s eyes, among other things, until it finally finds its way to its family.
Zoo in the Sky: A Book of Animal Constellations by Jacqueline Mitton, illustrated by Christina Balit
Whether you head to your backyard, an open field, a beach, or a nearby park, stargazing is an activity that captivates us all. Warmer summer nights certainly make it a memorable experience! This fun book appeals to children’s love of animals and gives factual information about stars and the solar system while teaching them about various constellations.
Fishing Day by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Shane W. Evans
Heading to the local fishing hole on a hot summer day is a pastime many of us treasure. Pinkney is well known for her rich storytelling that touches on issues of social justice, and Fishing Day is no exception. Set in the Jim Crow South, it illustrates a small moment when two children reach across society’s restrictive and oppressive lines. The main character Reenie and her mother are black, love to fish, and are great at it. A white boy and his father are also fishing one day, but the two families keep their distance. When the white family struggle to catch anything, Reenie takes a chance and helps the other child out.
Hello, Ocean by Pam Muñoz Ryan, illustrated by Mark Astrella
“Amber seaweed, speckled sand, bubbly waves that kiss the land.” Appealing to the senses, this book will transport you and your child to the seashore, whether or not you actually live close to one. The lyrical text and charming illustrations highlight the sorts of explorations children experience at the beach, from playing with seaweed, diving into the waves, digging deep holes, and playing with seashells.
Homemade Popsicle Recipes: 50 Treats for Kids (Cooking with Kids Series) by Debbie Madson
What child doesn’t love popsicles? If you are a parent who either wants to incorporate healthier alternatives or loves to have fun in the kitchen with your children, this is a great book for your family. Please note that it has no pictures but is strictly a book of creative popsicle recipes. Older children will be able to follow the recipes without help, while younger children may need a little assistance in the beginning.
We hope you enjoy some of these books and would love to hear if you have any others you would add to the list!