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Summer: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about summer?

Summer. That word just brings memories, smells, traditions, vacations and fun ideas to mind. This book list is sure to do the same and help your kids enjoy their summer vacation with lots of adventures and real life exploration.

Top 10 Books About Summer

#1
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Baby Loves Summer!
Written & illustrated by Karen Katz
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3
Soak up summer with this sunny lift-the-flap board book from Karen Katz! Little ones will love lifting the flaps in this new Karen Katz book to reveal a big yellow sun, flip-flops, an ice cream cone, and everything else that Baby loves about summer! The sturdy format and easy-to-lift flaps make this a perfect summertime treat for parents and children to share. Featuring new Karen Katz branding that reflects her vibrant colors and patterns, this holiday favorite is sure to delight little ones!
#2
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On My Beach
Written & illustrated by Sara Gillingham
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Turn the colorful die-cut pages of this irresistible board book to discover just what makes little crab's beach so cozy. Is it the soft sand? Is it the salty seaweed? No, it's his loving family! Bright pictures, a sweet reassuring message, unique layered pages, and an adorable finger puppet combine to create interactive reading and playtime fun!
#3
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Dusk Explorers
Written by Lindsay Leslie & illustrated by Ellen Rooney
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This book fills me with nostalgia for summer nights spent playing outside at dusk! The illustrations are fabulous—read this all year long for a little taste of summer.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
It's that special time of evening, when the hours and the possibilities seem endless: Light is fading. A buzz of excitement and wonder takes over the neighborhood....What outdoor adventures await? Join a diverse group of suburban kids as they dash and dodge in classic street games like tag and kick-the-can and reconnect with nature's simple pleasures catching frogs, hunting fireflies, and climbing trees. These explorers play, laugh, and make the most of their own front yards right up until their parents call out that "It's time to come home!" But when the sun begins to set tomorrow, they'll be back for more evening excitement! This ode to the timeless magic of summer evenings spent outside will remind kids of the fun and friends that wait just outside their doors and leave adults smiling with nostalgia for their own dusk explorations.
#4
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At the Boardwalk
Written & illustrated by Kelly Ramsdell Fineman
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This cute book about the boardwalk takes me back to memories of family vacations spent at the beach! I like that the rhyming story of the day at the boardwalk goes through all the different activities, weather, and sites there. The illustrations, like the book, are fun and playful!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
From sunrise to sunset, the attractions of a beach boardwalk include popcorn, taffy, arcade games, and a dazzling amusement park.
#5
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Fireflies
Written & illustrated by Julie Brinckloe
Thoughts from The Goodfather
Fireflies is a refreshingly simple and honest book. Barefoot running in the summer grass. Meeting friends. Catching fireflies in a jar. Getting called home by mom and dad. All these touches and more, brought to life by the unique illustrations, make this a timeless, nostalgic summer tale.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
A young boy is proud of having caught a jar full of fireflies, which seems to him like owning a piece of moonlight, but as the light begins to dim he realizes he must set the insects free or they will die.
#6
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Sunrise Summer
Written by Matthew Swanson & illustrated by Robbi Behr
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
**_Sunrise Summer_ is a picture book by writer Matthew Swanson and illustrator Robbi Behr that celebrates self-confidence and empowerment, as a girl’s role changes in her family’s fishing expeditions.** When a girl and her family travel four thousand miles from home, it’s not your typical summer vacation. Everything is different on the Alaskan tundra―where the grizzly bears roam and the sockeye salmon swim―including the rules. A girl can do things she wouldn’t, and couldn’t, do at home. She can wake up at midnight to work with her mom on a fishing crew. She can learn what it means to be an essential part of a team. She can become a braver, stronger, and ever-more capable version of herself. She can take her next big step. She’s ready for her first real sunrise. **An Imprint Book**
#7
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A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee
Written by Chris Van Dusen
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato
A silly tale of a night in a camper gone awry. I found it interesting that the first half of the book is just a cute story about a man and his dog enjoying a campout together in the beauty of nature. It's only half-way through the book, after Mr. Magee and his dog Dee have gone to bed, the tone of the book changes and the comedy begins.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Mr. Magee and his dog Dee go camping and have an adventure with a hungry bear.
#8
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Mouse's First Summer
Written by Lauren Thompson & illustrated by Buket Erdogan
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4
Join Mouse and Minka for a summer picnic in this sunny Classic Board Book. Mouse and Minka invite you to celebrate summer with a picnic in the park. Roll down the hill on tickly green grass. Fly fluttery kites high in the sky. Enjoy some juicy watermelon! And before it’s time to go home, a summer surprise sparkles in the sky. Now available as a Classic Board Book, this seasonal story is ideal for the youngest readers—and the smallest hands.
#9
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Sea Glass Summer
Written by Michelle Hout & illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Author Michelle Houts and illustrator Bagram Ibatoulline explore the magic of one of the seaside's greatest wonders and the bonds that link us through time. One summer, a boy named Thomas visits his grandmother at her seaside cottage. She gives him a magnifying glass that once belonged to his grandfather, and with it Thomas explores the beach, turning grains of sand into rocks and dark clamshells into swirling mazes of black, gray, and white. When his grandmother shows him a piece of sea glass, Thomas is transfixed. That night he dreams of an old shipyard and the breaking of a bottle. Could the very piece of sea glass on his nightstand have come from that bottle? For the rest of the summer, he searches for more sea glass and hopes to have dreams that will reveal more of the sea's secrets. A stunning ode to stories and the seaside, this picture book invites readers to imagine the ocean of possibility that lives in every small or forgotten treasure.
#10
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Caterpillar Summer
Written by Gillian McDunn
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Cat and her brother Chicken have always had a very special bond. When Chicken has a "meltdown", Cat’s the one who scratches his back and reads his favorite story. She’s always knows what he needs. Since their mom has had to work double-hard to keep their family afloat after their father passed away, Cat is the glue holding her family together. When a summer trip doesn’t go as planned, Cat and Chicken end up spending three weeks with grandparents they’ve never met. With their help, Cat can be a kid again for the first time in years, and the journey she takes shows that even the most broken relationships can be healed if people take the time to walk in one another’s shoes. Perfect for fans of Lynda Mullaly Hunt and Ali Benjamin, this special novel features an unforgettable voice and is brimming with heart.
Table of Contents
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Books About Summer and Family Life

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Sunrise Summer
Written by Matthew Swanson & illustrated by Robbi Behr
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
**_Sunrise Summer_ is a picture book by writer Matthew Swanson and illustrator Robbi Behr that celebrates self-confidence and empowerment, as a girl’s role changes in her family’s fishing expeditions.** When a girl and her family travel four thousand miles from home, it’s not your typical summer vacation. Everything is different on the Alaskan tundra―where the grizzly bears roam and the sockeye salmon swim―including the rules. A girl can do things she wouldn’t, and couldn’t, do at home. She can wake up at midnight to work with her mom on a fishing crew. She can learn what it means to be an essential part of a team. She can become a braver, stronger, and ever-more capable version of herself. She can take her next big step. She’s ready for her first real sunrise. **An Imprint Book**
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Caterpillar Summer
Written by Gillian McDunn
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Cat and her brother Chicken have always had a very special bond. When Chicken has a "meltdown", Cat’s the one who scratches his back and reads his favorite story. She’s always knows what he needs. Since their mom has had to work double-hard to keep their family afloat after their father passed away, Cat is the glue holding her family together. When a summer trip doesn’t go as planned, Cat and Chicken end up spending three weeks with grandparents they’ve never met. With their help, Cat can be a kid again for the first time in years, and the journey she takes shows that even the most broken relationships can be healed if people take the time to walk in one another’s shoes. Perfect for fans of Lynda Mullaly Hunt and Ali Benjamin, this special novel features an unforgettable voice and is brimming with heart.
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The Relatives Came
Written by Cynthia Rylant & illustrated by Stephen Gammell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
The relatives come to visit from Virginia and everyone has a wonderful time.
Honorable Mentions
Summerhouse Time book
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The Night Before Summer Vacation book
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Under the Lilacs book
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Summertime in the Big Woods book
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  1. Summerhouse Time - The approach of summerhouse time at the beach brings back good memories of this annual tradition, of aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents cleaning, laughing, eating, playing, and relaxing.

  2. The Night Before Summer Vacation - A little girl and her family are getting ready to go on vacation . . . or at least they are trying to. In the effort to pack everything that will be needed, there’s bound to be something overlooked, and what that is provides a funny ending to this meter-perfect “twist” on Clement Moore’s classic.

  3. Under the Lilacs - From Ezra Jack Keats Honor winner E. B. Goodale comes a celebration of nature, family, and building our own hands-on adventures_—_perfect for any reader who has ever craved a bit of independence . . . In this lush and playful picture book from E. B. Goodale, illustrator of Windows, Kate feels ignored by her mother and sister and so decides to run away. In a neighboring yard, she builds a fort and enjoys a sense of independence—until she finds herself making room for her family in her new home . . . Under the Lilacs is the perfect celebration of striking out on your own—while still making room for everyone.

  4. Summertime in the Big Woods - With this illustrated adaptation from the beloved Little House series**, the youngest readers can share in the joy of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s classics.** The winter is finally over, and now it is summertime. Laura and Mary are busy all day helping Ma in the garden and playing outside. Renee Graef’s illustrations are based on Garth Williams’ classic artwork.

Books About Summer and Vacations

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Davy's Summer Vacation
Written by Brigitte Weninger & illustrated by Eve Tharlet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
When Davy hears about his friend Wendy Wildgoose’s wonderful vacation at the beach, he wants to go too. But he and his family can’t fly like geese and their wagon is too weak to carry their luggage, so the beach is out. But Davy takes the family on a wonderful trip that is just as fun!
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Elliot Stone and the Mystery of the Summer Vacation Sea Monster
Written by L. P. Chase & illustrated by Carl DiRocco
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Having to leave his friends and miss a popular fourth-grade graduation party, Elliot is not looking forward to spending the summer in Vermont until he spots an unusual animal in Lake Bomoseen.
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The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy
Written & illustrated by Jeanne Birdsall
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
While vacationing with their widowed father in the Berkshire Mountains, four young sisters, ages four through twelve, share adventures with a local boy, much to the dismay of his snobbish mother.
Honorable Mentions
Half Magic book
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Goldfish on Vacation book
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  1. Half Magic - Faced with a dull summer in the city, Jane, Mark, Katharine, and Martha suddenly find themselves involved in a series of extraordinary adventures after Jane discovers an ordinary-looking coin that seems to grant wishes.

  2. Goldfish on Vacation - From a New York Times bestselling author and a rising-star illustrator comes a humorous tale based on an amazing-but-true story about the summer a city fountain was used as a goldfish pond. H, Little O, and Baby Em are stuck in the city for the summer with only their pet goldfish—Barracuda, Patch, and Fiss—for company. It’s looking like it might be a pretty boring vacation, but one day, something exciting happens. Someone starts fixing up the old fountain down the street—the one Grandpa says horses used to drink from before everyone had cars—and a sign appears: “Calling All Goldfish Looking for a Summer Home.” H, Little O, and Baby Em can’t wait to send their goldfish on vacation, and the fish, well, they seem pretty excited too. Based on the true story of Hamilton Fountain in New York City, this charming tale of one special summer will delight readers young and old. Author’s Note included.

Books About Summer and Culture

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Flower Fairies of the Summer
Written & illustrated by Cicely Mary Barker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
This beautiful reissue of the well-loved classic Flower Fairies title is complete with Barker’s original poems and exquisite artwork. Each page features her recreation of nature’s beauty and the enchanting world of the fairies. Essential background readings to the bestselling Fairyopolis, this book provides a glimpse into the enchanting world of the Flower Fairies.
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Letters from Camp
Written by Kate Klise & illustrated by M. Sarah Klise
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Mom and Dad, You've got to get us out of here! When you get this letter, COME IMMEDIATELY! -- Charlie The brother-sister pairs who arrive for the summer at Camp Happy Harmony are almost too busy fighting with each other to notice how strange the camp really is. Not only are the campers forced to wear bizarre uniforms, eat gross food, and do chores all day, but the members of the family that runs the camp fight constantly--with each other. Are the campers in danger? Or--in spite of sibling wars--do they need to stick together to solve the mystery humming under the surface of Camp Happy Harmony?
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How I Spent My Summer Vacation
Written & illustrated by Mark Teague
Thoughts from Lemony Snickers
How I Spent My Summer Vacation is an imaginative read from a little boy names Bleff (that was a name I've never heard before) who tells in class how he spent his summer being adopted into a band of cowboys. The book has some clever rhyming, and the little boy saves the day when he uses a red tablecloth to steer the stampeding cows away. I'm not sure there's a particular lesson to draw from the book--perhaps, be creative and solve problems.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
A schoolboy tell his class about his summer vacation, during which he joined a group of cowboys and stopped a cattle stampede.
Honorable Mentions
Postcards from Venice book
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Just Dance book
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Under Alaska's Midnight Sun book
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Summertime Rainbow book
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  1. Postcards from Venice - Twelve-year-old Skyler is in for a summer of adventure in Venice, Italy, as she pursues a dream opportunity in this hilarious MIX novel that’s a companion to The BFF Bucket List.

  2. Just Dance - “[A] memorable story.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review) From Newbery Award–winning author Patricia MacLachlan comes a “quiet tale about finding your own voice” (Kirkus Reviews) while learning to understand the people you love the most. Sylvie Bloom wants to find something new and exciting this summer—at least more exciting than the cows, goats, and chickens on her family’s farm that she’s become accustomed to. Luckily, Sylvie’s teacher Mrs. Ludolf has the perfect idea. Sylvie can take over her husband Sheriff Ludolf’s column in the newspaper for the summer, reporting on all the important events that happen in their small Wyoming town. Sylvie is thrilled to have a new challenge, but she’s not sure she’ll actually see anything amazing. At least nothing like the things her mother saw when she traveled the world as a famous opera singer. Sylvie can’t figure out why her mother would give up singing in front of thousands of people. Have she and her brother Nate been holding her mother back? And when her mother’s old duet partner James Grayson writes that he’s coming to perform nearby, will she be tempted to return to the stage, without them?

  3. Under Alaska's Midnight Sun - On the longest day of the year, a young Alaskan girl stays up late and enjoys the midnight sun.

  4. Summertime Rainbow - In English and Mandarin Chinese, Belle Yang’s bilingual board books celebrate the natural world with simple concepts and beautiful, bold illustrations. It’s summer, and the meadow is in full bloom. As some bunnies hop along, they see blue sky, white clouds, and yummy green grass. How many more colors can be found? Look for an explanation of tonal marks at the end of the story, along with pinyin translation of the Chinese characters.

Want to see books about culture?

Books About Summer and The Beach

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On My Beach
Written & illustrated by Sara Gillingham
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Turn the colorful die-cut pages of this irresistible board book to discover just what makes little crab's beach so cozy. Is it the soft sand? Is it the salty seaweed? No, it's his loving family! Bright pictures, a sweet reassuring message, unique layered pages, and an adorable finger puppet combine to create interactive reading and playtime fun!
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A Lullaby of Summer Things
Written by Natalie Ziarnik & illustrated by Madeline Valentine
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
This simple, lyrical picture book is as warm, reassuring, and filled with joy as a vacation at the beach. Readers will join a little girl and her siblings as they wind down from a perfect day—hanging up towels, eating dinner, and getting ready for bed—each activity sparking a memory of their day—playing catch with the dog, chasing waves, and looking at sailboats along the shore. And when the lights of the family beach house go off—“In the dusky evening light, a sleepy house says goodnight”--young listeners will be lulled to sleep themselves.
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Beach Day
Written by Karen Roosa & illustrated by Maggie Smith
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
A colorful board book that captures the fun and excitement of a day at the beach. Sun, sea, and sand meet bright illustrations and a fun rhyming text in this delightful summer story. The perfect board book for summer! Buoyant verse and bright, playful illustrations capture the singular feeling of a hazy, lazy day by the ocean, complete with a ball game with new friends, water-skiers and sailboats, and a picnic lunch. A captivating introduction to the beach for young children.
Honorable Mentions
Waiting for Chicken Smith book
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Bats at the Beach book
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  1. Waiting for Chicken Smith - A story about childhood friendships, anticipation, and the magic moments that arise while you’re waiting for something else to happen. Every year a young boy stays in the same cabin at the beach with his family. And every year his friend Chicken Smith stays in the next cabin over. But this year, something’s different: Chicken Smith hasn’t shown up yet. The boy’s little sister, MaryAnn, keeps trying to get his attention, but he’s too busy remembering all of his adventures with Chicken Smith — and thinking about everything they’re going to do this summer. Is Chicken ever going to show up? And just what has MaryAnn been yelling about? David Mackintosh’s ode to small summer wonders will make readers of all ages open their eyes to the quick, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments happening all around them.

  2. Bats at the Beach - On a night when the moon can grow no fatter, bats pack their moon-tan lotion, blankets, banjos, and baskets of treats and fly off for some fun where the foamy sea and soft sand meet. 15,000 first printing.

Want to see books about the beach?

Books About Summer and Action And Adventure

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Moominsummer Madness
Written by Tove Jansson & illustrated by Thomas Warburton
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
A flood hits Moomin Valley and triggers a series of adventures for the Moomins.
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James and the Giant Peach
Written by Roald Dahl & illustrated by Quentin Blake
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
From the bestselling author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG! After James Henry Trotter’s parents are tragically eaten by a rhinoceros, he goes to live with his two horrible aunts, Spiker and Sponge. Life there is no fun, until James accidentally drops some magic crystals by the old peach tree and strange things start to happen. The peach at the top of the tree begins to grow, and before long it’s as big as a house. Inside, James meets a bunch of oversized friends—Grasshopper, Centipede, Ladybug, and more. With a snip of the stem, the peach starts rolling away, and the great adventure begins!
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Abel's Island
Written & illustrated by William Steig
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
A wild August torrent sweeps Abel Mouse away from home, family, and familiar world to an uninhabited island where, between efforts to return home, he makes new discoveries about himself and the world. A Newbery Honor Book. Reprint.
Honorable Mentions
How to Track a Pterodactyl book
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Breakout book
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  1. How to Track a Pterodactyl - It’s the end of summer, and time for Trihorn Settlement’s big summer party, and Josh’s hero, Terrordactyl Bill, is making the grand opening speech! But the festivities are interrupted when a flock of pterodactyls come screeching through the air. T-Bill jumps in to protect the townspeople…and a group of pteros plucks him from the ground and carries him away! It’s up to Josh and his best friends to brave Rocktooth Ridge, home of the fearsome pterodactyls, to rescue T-Bill from the flying dinosaurs’ clutches!

  2. Breakout - Told in letters, poems, text messages, news stories, and comics—a series of documents Nora collects for the Wolf Creek Community Time Capsule Project—Breakout is a thrilling story that will leave readers thinking about who’s really welcome in the places we call home. Nora Tucker is looking forward to summer vacation in Wolf Creek—two months of swimming, popsicles, and brushing up on her journalism skills for the school paper. But when two inmates break out of the town’s maximum security prison, everything changes. Doors are locked, helicopters fly over the woods, and police patrol the school grounds. Worst of all, everyone is on edge, and fear brings out the worst in some people Nora has known her whole life. Even if the inmates are caught, she worries that home might never feel the same.

Books About Summer and Sports And Recreation

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Dusk Explorers
Written by Lindsay Leslie & illustrated by Ellen Rooney
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This book fills me with nostalgia for summer nights spent playing outside at dusk! The illustrations are fabulous—read this all year long for a little taste of summer.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
It's that special time of evening, when the hours and the possibilities seem endless: Light is fading. A buzz of excitement and wonder takes over the neighborhood....What outdoor adventures await? Join a diverse group of suburban kids as they dash and dodge in classic street games like tag and kick-the-can and reconnect with nature's simple pleasures catching frogs, hunting fireflies, and climbing trees. These explorers play, laugh, and make the most of their own front yards right up until their parents call out that "It's time to come home!" But when the sun begins to set tomorrow, they'll be back for more evening excitement! This ode to the timeless magic of summer evenings spent outside will remind kids of the fun and friends that wait just outside their doors and leave adults smiling with nostalgia for their own dusk explorations.
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At the Boardwalk
Written & illustrated by Kelly Ramsdell Fineman
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This cute book about the boardwalk takes me back to memories of family vacations spent at the beach! I like that the rhyming story of the day at the boardwalk goes through all the different activities, weather, and sites there. The illustrations, like the book, are fun and playful!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
From sunrise to sunset, the attractions of a beach boardwalk include popcorn, taffy, arcade games, and a dazzling amusement park.
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Bats at the Ballgame
Written & illustrated by Brian Lies
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
On deck and ready for the spring lineup, New York Times bestselling author-illustrator Brian Lies's ode to "batty" baseball fans. Hurry up! Come one--come all! We're off to watch the bats play ball! You think humans are the only ones who enjoy America's national pastime? Grab your bat--the other kind--and your mitt, because it's a whole new ballgame when evening falls and bats come fluttering from the rafters to watch their all-stars compete. Get set to be transported to the right-side-up and upside-down world of bats at play, as imagined and illustrated by best-selling author-illustrator Brian Lies.
Honorable Mentions
One on One book
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Surfer Chick book
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Surf's Up book
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TBH #4: TBH, IDK What's Next book
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  1. One on One - Chloe Gordon is so excited to attend summer soccer camp with her Soccer Sisters Makena James and Val Flores— even though she worries she’s not as skilled as her friends. It’s even worth having to promise her parents she’ll attend ballet camp afterward as a trade. But when Chloe arrives at camp and discovers that the Breakers’ archrival, Skylar Wilson, is rooming down the hall, she worries that her camp experience will be more stressful than fun. Can the Soccer Sisters band together and shut out Skylar’s bullying, and can Chloe overcome her fear of not being good enough?

  2. Surfer Chick - Two birds of a feather, a chick and her dad, lived by the shore, in a radical pad. So begins the story of a little chick and her dad who take to the beach for some father- daughter surf lessons. Soon the little chicken is catching waves on her own board and doing gnarly tricks, just like her rad dad. This sweet, rhyming picture book is filled with cool surf lingo and perfect for summer at the beach. It also celebrates the love between father and daughter.

  3. Surf's Up - Surf’s up, Bro! Not yet, Dude. Books are boring. Not this one! Newbery Award Winner Kwame Alexander’s bouncy ode to the joy of reading is available in board book format Bro and Dude have very different ideas about how to spend a day at the beach. But as Bro continues to gasp and cheer while he reads his book (Moby Dick), Dude can’t help getting pulled in—literally. Before you can shout “Surf’s up!” both frogs are sharing the same adventure— that is, until they get to the beach. Newbery Medalist Kwame Alexander and illustrator Daniel Miyares join forces to give readers a wild ride in this playful board book celebrating the joys of summer and reading.

  4. TBH #4: TBH, IDK What's Next - Three BFFs set out to have the BEST SUMMER EVER in the fourth book in this addictive series told entirely in text messages. BFFAEs Prianka, Cece, and Gabby are ready to have an unforgettable summer—but they don’t agree on what that means. For Cece and Gabby, everything is CAMP, CAMP, CAMP! But Prianka wants to forget about sleeping in the woods and hang out at the pool before her big family trip to India. Gabby won’t stop obsessing over the likes on her camp photos while Cece won’t pick up her phone at all. With “back-to-school” looming and relationships changing at lightning speed, can CPG4Eva sort out their differences before classes start and things really change?

Books About Summer and Nature

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Mouse's First Summer
Written by Lauren Thompson & illustrated by Buket Erdogan
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4
Join Mouse and Minka for a summer picnic in this sunny Classic Board Book. Mouse and Minka invite you to celebrate summer with a picnic in the park. Roll down the hill on tickly green grass. Fly fluttery kites high in the sky. Enjoy some juicy watermelon! And before it’s time to go home, a summer surprise sparkles in the sky. Now available as a Classic Board Book, this seasonal story is ideal for the youngest readers—and the smallest hands.
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Summer
Written & illustrated by Ailie Busby
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3
Follow the children in this book as they discover and explore the unique character of summer through indoor and outdoor play.
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Summer Song
Written by Kevin Henkes & illustrated by Laura Dronzek
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
<p> <strong>From Caldecott Medalist and Newbery Honor author Kevin Henkes and acclaimed painter Laura Dronzek, the bestselling and award-winning creators of <em>Winter Is Here</em>, <em>When Spring Comes</em>, and <em>In the Middle of Fall</em>, this picture book about summer celebrates the sights, sounds, and smells of the season. </strong></p> <p>Bees buzz, birds sing, and children roll in the grass and feel the heat of the summer sun. With striking verbal imagery, repetition, and alliteration, Kevin Henkes introduces basic concepts of language and the summer season. Laura Dronzek's glowing paintings beautifully illustrate the wonders of summer.</p><p>This is an engaging seasonal companion to the bestselling <em>When Spring Comes, In the Middle of Fall</em>, and <em>Winter Is Here, </em>Ideal for introducing the season, for story time, and for bedtime reading.</p>
Honorable Mentions
Under the Water book
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Among a Thousand Fireflies book
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Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys book
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Ava's Poppy book
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  1. Under the Water - Summer has finally arrived in the fourth book of Carle’s Porta’s Tales From The Hidden Valley series! Beloved characters return in the final book of this whimsical series for fans of Tove Jansson’s Moomins. Hidden in a remote place surrounded by high mountains, there lies a secret valley. There is an entrance, but you could pass by it a hundred times and still not see it. It’s finally summer, and our friends from the hidden valley are gearing up for a dreamy summer afternoon! When a new, watery friend appears, Ticky, Mister Cold and the rest of the pals explore an exciting new undewater world. But a great monster lurks beneath the surface, and our joyous friends sure are causing quite a fuss! Will they be able to escape its terrible jaws?

  2. Among a Thousand Fireflies - How can a firefly find the one, among so many? Exquisite photographs and poetic text evoke a sense of mystery and magic. On a summer evening, just as the stars blink on, a firefly lands on a flower. Lights start to flash all around her — first one, then three, seven. Hundreds. Thousands. How will she find just one flash among them? And will he see her flash in return? In evocative photographs and lyrical language, Rick Lieder and Helen Frost, creators of the critically acclaimed Step Gently Out and Sweep Up the Sun, offer a true story of how two fireflies come together after finding each other’s light among thousands of others.

  3. Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys - The wind and I play tug-of-war with my new kite. The wind is winning. When you’re a guy, nature is one big playground—no matter what the season. There are puddles to splash through in the spring, pine trees to climb in the summer, maple seeds to catch in the fall, and icicles to sword fight with in the winter. Nature also has a way of making a guy appreciate important stuff—like how many rocks it takes to dam up a stream, or how much snow equals a day off from school. So what kind of poetry best captures these special moments, at a length that lets guys get right back to tree climbing and kite flying? Why, guyku, of course!

  4. Ava's Poppy - Ava is delighted when she discovers a brilliant red poppy in the middle of her yard. She sits with the little flower in the sunny days of summer and shields it from the rain, until one day the petals start to drop and the tiny flower fades away. But when spring comes again . . . Ava is surprised anew. This Marcus Pfister classic is now available in paperback!

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Books About Summer and Camps

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The Night Before Summer Camp
Written by Natasha Wing & illustrated by Mindy Pierce
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
The first day of summer camp is almost here, and one little camper doesn’t know what to expect. For a while everything is hunkydory . . . until rest time rolls around and he gets a bad case of nervous butterflies. But an unlikely friend appears out of the crowd and reassures him that the best cure for the summertime blues is tons of summertime fun! A sweetly reassuring story, once again told in verse to the meter of Clement Moore’s classic.
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Runaway Ralph
Written by Beverly Cleary & illustrated by Tracy Dockray and Paul Zelinsky
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
"The rousing notes of the bugle and the laughter and shouting increased the feeling of rebellion within Ralph. As the last strains of the bugle call hovered in the clear mountain air, Ralph made up his mind. He knew now what he was going to do. He was going to run away. Fed up with his timid mother and uncle and his squirmy little cousins, Ralph hops onto his toy motorcycle and zooms down the road to summer camp. It turns out camp is not all peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and fun. A strict watchdog, a mouse-hungry cat, and a troubled boy named Garf lead Ralph on some fur-raising escapades. Perhaps home isn't such a bad place to be, if only Ralph can find a way to get there again.
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Tallulah's Tap Shoes
Written by Marilyn Singer & illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
It’s summer, and Tallulah is excited about going to dance camp. She’ll get to take plenty of ballet classes. She’ll have to take tap, too, and she’s NOT excited about that. She’s never taken tap before, so she’ll be a beginning beginner. And she’s right—tap class is not much fun. Plus there’s a girl her same age who’s maddeningly good at tap dancing. But that same girl isn’t very good at ballet . . . could it be that she and Tallulah have something in common?
Honorable Mentions
Willows vs. Wolverines book
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Crossing Over book
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Lumberjanes: Book One book
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The Jellybeans and the Big Camp Kickoff book
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  1. Willows vs. Wolverines - It’s an all-out boys vs. girls summer camp prank war in this hilarious M!X novel from the author of The Classy Crooks Club!

  2. Crossing Over - A hilarious and heartfelt series about the particular magic of summer camp—a place where reinvention is possible and friends are like family—from a sparkling debut talent. There’s only one thing Melman loves more than soccer: her summers at Camp Rolling Hills. So she’s pumped to be back—until she realizes her bunkmates have gone totally boy-crazy over the school year and plastered their cabin in pink. Pink posters, pink t-shirts…it seems that the only not-pink thing in the cabin is Melman herself. That is, until she’s given a dare in front of the entire camp: wear a pink princess dress. For Three. Whole. Days. Steinberg’s summer gets off to a rough start, too, when his robot (usually his area of expertise) blows up during a camp-wide robotics contest. Steinberg might feel like a loser at home, but camp’s supposed to be his place to shine. Steinberg without robots? Melman in pink? This whole summer feels turned upside down! To set things right, Steinberg and Melman team up and hatch a fail-proof plan. The plan’s secret ingredient? Hamburgers.

  3. Lumberjanes: Book One - Welcome to Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. The five scouts of Roanoke cabin—Jo, April, Molly, Mal, and Ripley—love their summers at camp. They get to hang out with their best friends, earn Lumberjane scout badges, annoy their no-nonsense counselor Jen . . . and go on supernatural adventures. That last one? A pretty normal occurrence at Miss Qiunzella’s, where the woods contain endless mysteries. Today is no exception. When challenge-loving April leads the girls on a hike up the TALLEST mountain they’ve ever seen, things don’t go quite as planned. For one, they didn’t expect to trespass into the lands of the ancient Cloud People, and did anyone happen to read those ominous signs some unknown person posted at the bottom of the mountain? Also, unicorns. This hilarious, rollicking adventure series brings the beloved Lumberjanes characters into a novel format with brand-new adventures.

  4. The Jellybeans and the Big Camp Kickoff - Read this sweet New York Times bestselling series from the author of If You Give a Pig a Pancake, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, If You Give a Mouse a Brownie, and other beloved books. The Jellybeans are off to summer camp to enjoy ghost stories around the campfire, roasting marshmallows, and swimming in the lake. Each girl finds her own favorite activity: Emily goes to the dance studio, Bitsy does arts and crafts, and Anna reads about nature. But Nicole can’t find anything that’s just right for her. So she decides to start a soccer team and teach her friends her favorite game. Will the Jellybeans be able to win the big match against a neighboring camp? Once again, the girls use their different strengths and talents to work together and have the best summer ever. This third book in the successful New York Times bestselling series shows that, whether readers are girly girls, bookworms, artists, or tomboys, there is a Jellybean for everyone.

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Books About Summer and Fall

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Sleepover with Beatrice & Bear
Written & illustrated by Monica Carnesi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Beatrice & Bear meet one spring day and become best buddies. They play together through summer and fall. Then winter comes and Beatrice can't find Bear anywhere. She hears he's gone to hibernate -- but where on earth is that? When Beatrice learns that hibernation is not a place and that Bear will be sleeping all winter long, she fears it will be a lonely season...unless she can come up with a brilliant plan. This delightful story of an irrepressible bunny will engage readers on many levels as it celebrates creativity, making the best of circumstances, and the joy of the changing seasons.
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Tap the Magic Tree
Written & illustrated by Christie Matheson
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
The acclaimed interactive picture book about the changing seasons. “Like Hervé Tullet’s Press Here, Matheson’s Tap the Magic Tree proves you don’t need apps for interactivity,” praised the New York Times. Every book needs you to turn the pages. But not every book needs you to tap it, shake it, jiggle it, or even blow it a kiss
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My Mama Had A Dancing Heart
Written by Libba Moore Gray & illustrated by Raúl Colón
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
A ballet dancer recalls how she and her mother would welcome each season with a dance outdoors
Honorable Mentions
Fairy Friends: Seasons book
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Squirrel Round and Round book
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  1. Fairy Friends: Seasons - Fairy Friends Be the first to review this product From the creators of BabyLit® . . . Parents and children alike will be swept away by the whimsical imaginings of Merilee Liddiard’s Fairy Friends: A Seasons Primer. Springtime fairies are robed in flower petals, summer sprites float on leaves, autumn fairies gather falling leaves, and winter fairies skate on ice. Discover, play, and spark your imagination at any time of year with Fairy Friends’ enchanting illustrations to lead the way.

  2. Squirrel Round and Round - In English and Mandarin Chinese, Belle Yang’s bilingual board books celebrate the natural world with simple concepts and beautiful, bold illustrations. Squirrel is busy all year long, from one season into the next and back again. Birds feed their babies in spring, fireflies wink on a summer night, yellow leaves flutter in fall, and squirrel makes fresh tracks in winter’s snow. Look for an explanation of tonal marks at the end of the story, along with a pinyin translation of the Chinese characters.

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Books About Summer and Girls And Women

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The Summer I Saved the World...in 65 Days
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
One summer. One girl. One plan. Inspired by her late grandmother, Nina Ross sets out to do 65 anonymous good things for her family and neighbors, one for each day of summer vacation, to find out if doing good actually does any good. But things don't turn out exactly as she envisioned.
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Nadia: The Girl Who Couldn't Sit Still
Written by Karlin Gray & illustrated by Christine Davenier
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9
Nadia Comaneci was a feisty and fearless little girl who went from climbing trees in the forests of Romania to swinging into history at the 1976 Olympic Games, where she received an unprecedented seven perfect scores in gymnastics. But as readers will see in this first-ever illustrated picture book about Nadia's journey to Olympic gold, the road from small-town girl to world-class athlete was full of many imperfect moments. Expert illustrations that capture the energy and fluidity of Nadia's exuberant gymnastic routines and referential back matter round out this inspirational story of determination and overcoming adversity. A perfect 10.
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The Little Blue Cottage
Written by Kelly Jordan & illustrated by Jessica Courtney-Tickle
Select type book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
The little blue cottage waits each year for summer to arrive―and with it, the girl. Through sunny days and stormy weather, the cottage and the girl keep each other company and wile away the long days and nights together. Until one year, and then another, the cottage is left waiting and empty season after season. In this heartfelt story about change, Kelly Jordan’s lilting text and Jessica Courtney-Tickle's lush art captures the essence of cherishing a favorite place.
Honorable Mentions
The BFF Bucket List book
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Emily Dickinson book
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The Final Battle... for Now book
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The Girls of Firefly Cabin book
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  1. The BFF Bucket List - When best friends Skylar and Ella begin to drift apart, they try to fix their friendship by creating the ultimate BFF Summer Bucket List in this funny and heartfelt M!X novel. Skylar and Ella have been BFFs since kindergarten, and in Ella’s mind, nothing can change that bond. But when Skylar starts to act weird and distant, Ella is determined to bring them back together with a fun challenge the summer before high school: The BFF Bucket List. Ella creates a list of challenges—some wacky, some heartfelt—that they have to do together. At first, Skylar is totally game, but as they go through the list, each girl discovers that the unbreakable bond they once had might break more easily than they think. And when each girl develops a big secret that could threaten not only the list, but their entire relationship, will the list—and their friendship—fall apart?

  2. Emily Dickinson - Let your children discover the works of poet Emily Dickinson in “Emily Dickinson.” As the premier title in the Poetry for Kids series, “ Emily Dickinson” introduces children to the works of poet Emily Dickinson. Poet, professor, and scholar Susan Snively has carefully chosen 35 poems of interest to children and their families. Each poem is beautifully illustrated by Christine Davenier and thoroughly explained by an expert. The gentle introduction, which is divided into sections by season of the year, includes commentary, definitions of important words, and a foreword.

  3. The Final Battle... for Now - The Huit octuplets, each of whom has now discovered her power and received her gift, finally learn where their parents are, but before they can attempt a rescue they must face the Other Eights and a very scary aunt.

  4. The Girls of Firefly Cabin - Lauren, Isla, Jade, and Archer meet the first day of summer camp, and friendship magic is made in Firefly Cabin. If only they could immortalize their summer memories by winning the contest to be the face of the camp’s website. But it won’t be easy; not with rival cabins, distracting crushes, and of course, the girl’s own secrets getting in the way. Can friendship—and the Fireflies—triumph over all?

Books About Summer and Imagination And Play

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Marshmallow Kisses
Written by Linda Crotta Brennan & illustrated by Mari Takabayashi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
Children and their family enjoy a variety of activities during a summer day.
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And Then Comes Summer
Written by Tom Brenner & illustrated by Jaime Kim
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
A joyful, sun-drenched tribute to the anticipation and adventures of the warmest season of the year. When the days stretch out like a slow yawn, and the cheerful faces of Johnny-jump-ups jump up . . . then it’s time to get ready for summer! From flip-flops and hide-and-seek to fireworks and ice-cream trucks, from lemonade stands and late bedtimes to swimming in the lake and toasting marshmallows, there’s something for everyone in this bright and buoyant celebration of the sunny season. Tom Brenner’s lovely, lyrical ode to summers spent outdoors will strike a chord with anyone who’s ever counted down the days until school gets out, and Jaime Kim’s jubilant, nostalgia-soaked illustrations leave little doubt that summer is indeed a time unlike any other.
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In My Garden
Written by Charlotte Zolotow & illustrated by Philip C. Stead
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
****A little girl and her older friend poetically describe the garden as it changes through the seasons.**** This quiet, intergenerational story pays homage to experiencing nature as a child and as an adult. The two friends watch the birds, fly a kite, plant flowers and play in the snow. Two picture book giants, author/editor Charlotte Zolotow and author/illustrator Philip Stead collaborate across generations in this elegant retooling of Ms. Zolotow's _In My Garden_, originally published in 1960, complete with delicate, colorful illustrations.
Honorable Mentions
Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer book
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Sun book
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Hello Kitty, Hello Summer! book
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  1. Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer - Megan McDonald’s story — as featured in Judy’s uber-cool movie — is back in a must have edition illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. RARE! Roar! It’s not bad enough that Mom and Dad are heading to California, leaving Judy and Stink with Aunt Awful (er, Opal), but now two of Judy’s friends are going Splitsville, too. Just when it looks like her summer is going to be BOR-ing- eureka! — Judy comes up with the most thrill-a-delic plan ever. Get ready for a race involving tightrope walking, Scream Monster riding, and way more! Add in a treasure hunt for Judy’s teacher, a midnight stakeout, a runaway ice cream truck, and a dash of Bigfoot, and what have you got? The Judy Moodiest summer ever!

  2. Sun - A boy and his grandad set off on a scorching adventure in this companion to Snow and Rain. It’s the hottest day of the year, hotter than broccoli soup, hotter than the Atacama Desert, hotter than the surface of the sun. It’s just the right kind of day for a boy and his granddad to go for a picnic. But as the sun beats down, Granddad keeps having to stop for a rest, and by the time they find the perfect picnic spot, some pirates have beaten them to it. Good thing they have enough food to share!

  3. Hello Kitty, Hello Summer! - Hello Kitty, hello seasonal fun! This sunny board book depicts our favorite star and her cast of friends enjoying all that summer has to offer: swimming, ice cream cones, and more! With sparse text and irresistible original scenic art, this title is part of the newest series of Hello Kitty collectible board books.

Books About Summer and Camping

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A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee
Written by Chris Van Dusen
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato
A silly tale of a night in a camper gone awry. I found it interesting that the first half of the book is just a cute story about a man and his dog enjoying a campout together in the beauty of nature. It's only half-way through the book, after Mr. Magee and his dog Dee have gone to bed, the tone of the book changes and the comedy begins.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Mr. Magee and his dog Dee go camping and have an adventure with a hungry bear.
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Spy Camp
Written & illustrated by Stuart Gibbs
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
As almost 13-year-old Ben, a student at the CIA's academy for future intelligence agents, prepares to go to spy summer camp, he receives a death threat from the evil organization SPYDER.
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Koala Is Not a Bear
Written by Kristin L. Gray & illustrated by Rachel McAlister
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
It's Koala's first day at camp, and she thinks she's found her place in the Bear Cabin--until know-it-all Kangaroo tells Koala that she is not a bear. Koala lists all the ways in which she resembles her new friend, Grizzly, but Kangaroo isn't buying it. As Koala tries to find her place, alert readers will recognize clues about where Koala belongs.
Honorable Mentions
Space Camp book
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Unicorn Theater book
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TBH #3: TBH, Too Much Drama book
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My FANGtastically Evil Vampire Pet book
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  1. Space Camp - Zack and his friends are off to space camp on a new planet in the fourteenth Galaxy Zack adventure. Camp Among the Stars! Summer vacation is finally here and Zack is pumped for space camp! He can’t wait to play galactic games, tell scary stories, and go on crazy camping adventures with new friends. But when there’s trouble between his cabin mates, it’s up to Zack to bring everyone together. Will he be able to find a solution before the entire summer is ruined? With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Galaxy Zack chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.

  2. Unicorn Theater - New York Times Bestselling Author! The second Phoebe and Her Unicorn graphic novel! Summer is here, and Phoebe and Marigold are headed to drama camp. Phoebe’s expecting some quality time with her best friend, but in a surprise twist, Marigold has invited her sister, Florence Unfortunate Nostrils! While the unicorn sisters head to camp in a magical rainbow pod, Phoebe is stuck riding with her parents in their boring car, wondering where it all went wrong. But at Camp Thespis, there are more daunting tasks at hand: writing, producing, and acting in an entirely original play! The second Phoebe and Her Unicorn graphic novel is a sparkling tale of sisterhood and summer fun, as well as a reminder that sometimes it takes a bit of drama to recognize true friendship.

  3. TBH #3: TBH, Too Much Drama - Told entirely in text messages, the third book in this addictive series from the acclaimed author of 11 Before 12 is perfect for fans of Lauren Myracle and Rachel Renee Russell. Cece, Gabby, and Prianka can’t wait for Spirit Week, aka the last week of school before summer break! And they’re already making plans for the best summer ever—including a friends-only camping trip, plenty of pool time, and a top-secret shared notebook. But between Pajama Day and pizza parties, Gabby accidentally leaks Cece’s most embarrassing secret to the whole school in a meme that goes viral. Half the squad thinks it’s no big deal, but Cece needs a time-out from all the drama—even if that means taking a break from her best friends.

  4. My FANGtastically Evil Vampire Pet - This epic spin-off of Mo O’Hara’s New York Times bestselling My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish series features an aspiring evil scientist, paranormal pets, and plenty of hilarious summer camp shenanigans. Welcome to Camp Mwhaaa-haa-ha-a-watha! This summer is going to be epic. Epically evil, that is. ‘Cause I’m going to Evil Scientist Summer Camp! No annoying little brothers. No annoying zombie goldfish. Just me, my best friend Sanj, our notebook of evil plans, and my truly evil (and totally forbidden) vampire kitten Fang. We’ve got it all planned out. Okay, so maybe I didn’t expect for the totally not-evil Geeky Girl to show up, or for Sanj to find a new partner to work with, but there’s no way I’m going to let them ruin my summer. Evil Emperor of the Camp, here I come! Signed, The Great and Powerful Mark

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Books About Summer and Animals

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Summer
Written & illustrated by David A. Carter
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Just in time for summer, this is the fourth and final book in the David Carter pop-up book series about the seasons. Each spread has a brief verse and depicts flora and fauna commonly found during the summer months. Pictures of strawberries, tomatoes, chipmunks, and more are labeled with simple text, making the book easy for very young readers to understand and enjoy.
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Tree
Written & illustrated by Britta Teckentrup
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Through a hole in the book’s cover, an owl invites you inside to meet a majestic tree and all its forest inhabitants during the changing seasons. With clever peekaboo holes throughout, each page reveals a new set of animals playing and living in the tree—baby bears frolicking in the spring, bees buzzing around apples in the summer, squirrels storing nuts in the fall, and finally the lone owl keeping warm during the winter chill—until another year begins… . Children will love seeing a new set of animals appear and then disappear as each page is turned, and along the way they’ll learn about the seasons and how a forest and its inhabitants change throughout the year.
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The Loud Book!
Written by Deborah Underwood & illustrated by Renata Liwska
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
From the blare of an alarm clock in the morning to snores and crickets in the evening, simple text explores the many loud noises one might hear during the course of a day.
Honorable Mentions
The Little Island book
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Jasper & Ollie book
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No Sleep for the Sheep! book
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Kylie the Kitten book
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  1. The Little Island - Children’s book icon Margaret Wise Brown – writer of the cherished classic Goodnight Moon – and Caldecott Medal-winner Leonard Weisgard bring young readers an enduring picture book about the magic of nature. Winner of the 1947 Caldecott Medal, this beautifully moving story centers around a little island in the midst of the wide ocean, and the curious kitten who comes to visit. As the seasons pass, the island and the creatures who call it home witness an ever-changing array of sights, smells, and sounds – proving that, no matter how small, we are all an important part of the world.

  2. Jasper & Ollie - Jasper, an impatient fox, and Ollie, a slow-moving sloth, head to the pool on a summer day, each taking their own unique path.

  3. No Sleep for the Sheep! - One tired sheep wants nothing more than a good night’s sleep. All is peaceful until—QUACK! Is that a duck at the barn door? And now a goat? A pig? A cow? A horse? Each new unexpected guest is bigger and louder than the last! How will the sheep ever get this barnyard crowd to quiet down before—COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO!

  4. Kylie the Kitten - Kylie’s excitement over going to summer camp with her friends is threatened by her fear of the water. Includes activities.

Books About Summer and Multigenerational

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Sea Glass Summer
Written by Michelle Hout & illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Author Michelle Houts and illustrator Bagram Ibatoulline explore the magic of one of the seaside's greatest wonders and the bonds that link us through time. One summer, a boy named Thomas visits his grandmother at her seaside cottage. She gives him a magnifying glass that once belonged to his grandfather, and with it Thomas explores the beach, turning grains of sand into rocks and dark clamshells into swirling mazes of black, gray, and white. When his grandmother shows him a piece of sea glass, Thomas is transfixed. That night he dreams of an old shipyard and the breaking of a bottle. Could the very piece of sea glass on his nightstand have come from that bottle? For the rest of the summer, he searches for more sea glass and hopes to have dreams that will reveal more of the sea's secrets. A stunning ode to stories and the seaside, this picture book invites readers to imagine the ocean of possibility that lives in every small or forgotten treasure.
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Swashby and the Sea
Written by Beth Ferry & illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
**From _New York Times_ best-selling author Beth Ferry and Caldecott Honor winner Juana Martinez-Neal comes a sweet-and-salty friendship story perfect for pirate-lovers and fans of _The Night Gardener._** Captain Swashby loves the sea, his oldest friend. And he loves his life by the sea just as it is: salty and sandy and serene. One day, much to Swashby’s chagrin, a young girl and her granny commandeer the empty house next door. All Swashby wants is for his new neighbors to GO AWAY and take their ruckus with them. When Swashby begins to leave notes in the sand for his noisy neighbors, however, the beach interferes with the messages that are getting across. Could it be that the captain’s oldest friend, the sea, knows what Swashby needs even better than he knows himself?
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Swimming with Seals
Written by Maggie de Vries & illustrated by Janice Kun
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
A stunning picture book set in the Pacific Northwest about an alternative, multigenerational family and their love for their granddaughter, niece and daughter. Ally isn’t able to live with her mother. Instead she lives far, far away, on the other side of the country, with her gram and great-aunt. But one summer Ally goes to stay with her aunt and uncle in the “big city by the ocean” and gets to spend time with her mom. While exploring the shore, watching whales from the boat and dipping into the salty water, Ally finds out something important: her mother loves to swim as much as she does. This is a very personal story. Ally is based on the author’s niece, Jeanie, and Ally’s mother is based on the author’s sister, Sarah, who went missing from the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver in 1998. Jeanie is like a seal in the water, and Sarah was just the same, but they never got to swim together. In this story, they do. Swimming with Seals is a story that was written for the thousands of children who long to live with their birth parents and will never fully understand why they can’t.
Honorable Mentions
While Grandpa Naps book
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Wild Blues book
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  1. While Grandpa Naps - A moving, funny, elegant meditation on love, childhood, and one’s place in a family. Gilbert spends a sunny summer afternoon obediently keeping watch over his napping grandpa to shoo the pesky flies away. Unsure of exactly how long he’s really supposed to sit there, watching for non-existent bugs, he passes time contemplating his ever-changing family: His grandma Sarah recently died, a new baby is on the way, his siblings and cousins race in and out. While the temptations to abandon his post beckon, Gilbert’s loyalty to his grandpa stays true, and his quiet dedication finds a sweet reward.

  2. Wild Blues - The threat of two escaped convicts and a missing friend lead Lizzie on a harrowing journey through the wilds of the Adirondacks in this stunning novel from National Book Award finalist Beth Kephart. Thirteen-year-old Lizzie’s favorite place in the world is her uncle’s cabin. Uncle Davy’s renovated schoolhouse cabin, filled with antiques and on the edge of the Adirondacks, disconnected from the rest of the world, is like something out of a fairy tale. And an escape from reality is exactly what Lizzie needs. Life hasn’t been easy for Lizzie lately. Her father abandoned their family, leaving Lizzie with her oftentimes irresponsible mother. Now, her mom has cancer and being unable to care for Lizzie during her chemotherapy, Mom asks her where she’d like to spend the summer. The answer is simple: Uncle Davy’s cabin. Lizzie loves her uncle’s home for many reasons, but the main one is Matias, Uncle Davy’s neighbor and Lizzie’s best friend. Matias has proportionate dwarfism, but that doesn’t stop him and Lizzie from wandering in the woods. Every day they go to their favorite nook where Matias paints with watercolors and Lizzie writes. Until one day when Matias never arrives. When news breaks about two escaped convicts from the nearby prison, Lizzie fears the worst. And when Uncle Davy goes missing, too, Lizzie knows she’s the only one who knows this area of woods well enough to save them. Armed with her trusted Keppy survival book, Lizzie sets out into the wilds of the Adirondacks, proving just how far she’ll go to save the people she loves.

Books About Summer and Siblings

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Summer in the Land of Anne
Written by Elizabeth Rollins Epperly & illustrated by Carolyn M. Epperly
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
A Prince Edward Island summer vacation inspires a young writer. Six-year-old Elspeth's mother has a surprise in store for her daughters. She's taking Elspeth and her eleven-year-old sister on a surprise vacation. When she starts reading Anne of Green Gables aloud to the girls, they catch on--they're going to Prince Edward Island! Elspeth proudly dons her Anne hat on the ferry, ready to explore the Land of Anne. Although she knows she's really visiting Lucy Maud Montgomery's house, she feels like she recognizes everything from the books and is thoroughly enchanted. At first devastated that Montgomery's first house was torn down by Montgomery's uncle, Elspeth sees signs of life--chipmunks living in the old cellar. Elspeth's imagination is ignited. No longer satisfied with pretending to be Anne, Elspeth is instead inspired to become more like Montgomery: famous writer Elspeth of Cavendish, writing about the world she loves. Summer in the Land of Anne is a celebration of the books we love and all the ways they inspire us.
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Freefall (Camp Rolling Hills #4)
Written & illustrated by Stacy Davidowitz
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Wiener's little brother Max discovers that Wiener might not be the camp legend he made himself out to be, and in the girl's cabin, Missi is determined to be 100 percent true to herself this summer.
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Rules of Summer
Written & illustrated by Shaun Tan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Never be late for a parade. Never forget the password. Never ruin a perfect plan. It's all about the rules. But what if the rules feel completely arbitrary? What if your older brother is the only one who gets to make them up all summer long? And what if he's the only one who can save you when the darkness of winter comes rushing in? As usual, master artist and storyteller Shaun Tan shows us the strange truth of ordinary things -- rules, relationships, despair, and hope -- as only he can.
Honorable Mentions
The Woodshed Mystery book
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The Lemonade War book
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The Summer of the Swans book
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  1. The Woodshed Mystery - A double puzzle involves an old friend of Aunt Jane’s, romance, and a chase.

  2. The Lemonade War - Evan Treski, who is people-smart, and his younger sister Jesse, who is math-smart, battle it out through competing lemonade stands, each trying to be the first to earn one hundred dollars.

  3. The Summer of the Swans - A Newbery Medal Winner All summer Sara Godfrey has fretted over herself, her impossible body, her terrible new haircut. One moment she’s elated, the next, she’s in tears. And she can’t figure out why. Maybe her wildly changing moods are tied to the sudden and unaccountable appearance of the swans, which hold the rapt attention of Charlie, Sara’s mentally handicapped brother, who she loves far more than herself these days. In fact, it will be the sudden disappearance of Charlie that will compel Sara to abandon her own small, annoying miseries, and lose herself in searching for him. In her anguish, Sara turns to Joe Melby, whom she has long despised, and together they search through the dense woods and rough fields to find him. Sara knows that she will never be the same again. “A compelling story.”—Publishers Weekly

Books About Summer and Multicultural

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Ice Cream Summer
Written by Megan Atwood
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Lizzie and Sarah, neighbors and best friends, look forward to running the ice cream stand at Lizzie's family's New England orchard, but their plans go awry.
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The Other Side
Written by Jacqueline Woodson & illustrated by E.B. Lewis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Clover's mom says it isn't safe to cross the fence that segregates their African-American side of town from the white side where Anna lives. But the two girls strike up a friendship, and get around the grown-ups' rules by sitting on top of the fence together. With the addition of a brand-new author's note, this special edition celebrates the tenth anniversary of this classic book. As always, Woodson moves readers with her lyrical narrative, and E. B. Lewis's amazing talent shines in his gorgeous watercolor illustrations.
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Why Can't I Be You
Written by Melissa Walker
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
“This book is for anyone who has ever felt ‘less than’ or on the outside. That is to say, this is a book for everyone.” —Elana K. Arnold, author of A Boy Called Bat Claire Ladd knows that this summer is going to be special. She and her two best friends, Ronan and Brianna, are turning twelve. She is leaving camp behind and gets to do what she wants all day. She feels everything starting to change. But things don’t always change for the better. With Brianna’s cousin Eden visiting for the summer, Claire feels like a third wheel. Even though she is only a year older, Eden seems so much more sophisticated and glamorous . . . and when she is around, she takes up everyone’s attention, including Brianna’s. But that doesn’t explain why things have felt awkward with Brianna ever since she moved to a fancy new house, or why Ronan, who lives in the trailer next to Claire’s, has started acting moody anytime anyone mentions his dad. Claire has always been happy with her life just as it is, but as the summer wears on and the issues with her friends start to grow, she can’t help but wonder: Would everything be better if she could just be someone else?
Honorable Mentions
Cody and the Fountain of Happiness book
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The Misfits Club book
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  1. Cody and the Fountain of Happiness - Middle-grade readers drawn to Judy Moody or Clementine will find a funny and charismatic companion in Cody, star of this delightful new series. For whimsical Cody, many things are beautiful, especially ants who say hello by rubbing feelers. But nothing is as beautiful as the first day of summer vacation, and Cody doesn’t want to waste one minute of it. Meanwhile, teenage brother Wyatt is moping over a girl, Mom is stressed about her new job as Head of Shoes, Dad is off hauling chairs in his long-distance truck, and even camp has been closed for the summer. What to do? Just when all seems lost, Cody bumps into a neighborhood boy named Spencer who is looking for a runaway cat. With a new friend and a soon-to-be-found cat, Cody is on her way to the fountain of happiness.

  2. The Misfits Club - A group of small-town kids revive their childhood adventure club when they think they’ve snapped a picture of a ghost in this novel.

Books About Summer and Weather

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Come On, Rain
Written by Karen Hesse & illustrated by Jon J Muth
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
A young girl eagerly awaits a coming rainstorm to bring relief from the oppressive summer heat.
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A Year with the Wind
Written & illustrated by Hanna Konola
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Charming illustrations and fun, engaging rhymes will enchant toddlers as they learn about the wind; holding kites high in the spring, pushing sailboats in the summer, tossing leaves around in the fall, and making snowflakes dance in the winter. Hanna Konola's illustrations are popular the world over.
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Listen, Listen
Written by Phillis Gershator & illustrated by Alison Jay
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4
Introduce young readers to the sights and sounds of the year - from summer's sizzling sun to winter's crackling snow. Featuring breathtaking illustrations by internationally renowned illustrator, Alison Jay, this book will open your child's eyes and ears to the world around them!
Honorable Mentions
The Book of Summer book
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Possum and the Summer Storm book
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Summer book
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Summer Days Fall Days book
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  1. The Book of Summer - Here comes the sun . . . and summer! Put on your sunglasses and enjoy the heat at the beach, where you can dig up the sand with your shovel and pail and see starfish in the sea. And don’t forget the seasonal treats like watermelon and ice cream—yum!

  2. Possum and the Summer Storm - Possum looked out one summer afternoon. “Time to come in!” he called to his baby possums. “It looks like we’re in for some weather!” Possum calls his children out of the summer storm—but what can he do when their home is swept away by rising water? The possum family must rely on their friends to construct a new house. At first it seems that no other animal’s home is suited for a possum, but they come up with something spectacular! Beloved character Possum is back, along with an array of friends who make for a broad, ranging ensemble, giving children a tantalizing peek at how different animals build their homes.

  3. Summer - During a hot summer day in the grasslands, the animals race to claim the single spot of shade on the safari. The selfish elephant triumphs over the rest. The animals fight until they are inspired by a selfless act of love to offer shade to one another. With lyrical text, bright and delicate art, and a die-cut surprise, Summer is an introduction to animals and a testament to the power of kindness.

  4. Summer Days Fall Days - In these graphic flip books, young readers will learn about the seasons.

Want to see books about weather?

Books About Summer and Family

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Mama, Is It Summer Yet?
Written & illustrated by Nikki McClure
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3
As spring slowly turns to summer, a little boy builds a fort and plants a garden in impatient anticipation.
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Ice Cream Summer
Written & illustrated by Peter Sis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
A little boy writes a letter to his grandfather about all the reading and studying he is doing this summer--but all his activities revolve around ice cream.
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If I Were You
Written & illustrated by Leslie Margolis
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14
Be careful what you wish for. A refreshing twist on the Freaky Friday set-up, If I Were You by Leslie Margolis is a fun, touching middle-grade story about friendship, family, and overcoming jealousy. Katie is jealous of her best friend, Melody. Turns out that Melody is jealous of Katie, too. It's the end of what was supposed to be the best summer of their lives, before they start middle school, and the girls aren't on speaking turns. They've had a big fight over-what else?-a boy. When the two girls wish for the exact same thing at the same moment-to redo the summer as each other-their wishes are granted. But, as the girls will learn, sometimes the grass isn't always greener on the other side.
Honorable Mentions
Honeybees and Frenemies book
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Jelly Bean Summer book
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  1. Honeybees and Frenemies - Twelve-year-old Flor faces a bittersweet summer with a pageant, a frenemy, and a hive full of honey. It’s the summer before eighth grade and Flor is stuck at home and working at her family’s mattress store, while her best friend goes off to band camp (probably to make new friends). It becomes even worse when she’s asked to compete in the local honey pageant. This means Flor has to spend the summer practicing her talent (recorder) and volunteering (helping a recluse bee-keeper) with Candice, her former friend who’s still bitter about losing the pageant crown to Flor when they were in second grade. And she can’t say no. Then there’s the possibility that Flor and her family are leaving to move in with her mom’s family in New Jersey. And with how much her mom and dad have been fighting lately, is it possible that her dad may not join them? Flor can’t let that happen. She has a lot of work to do.

  2. Jelly Bean Summer - Joyce has had it with her family (especially with UFO-sighting Elaine who loves her guinea pig more than her own sister). Her solution? Move out of the house and pitch a tent on the roof for the summer. But when she spots a boy watching her from a neighboring roof she’s stunned-and intrigued. Brian recently lost his brother, and the two instantly bond over their messed-up families. To help Brian repair his brother’s truck, they concoct a scheme to build and sell tickets to a UFO display. Even Elaine agrees to help… until unexpected events test the limits of Joyce’s family ties.

Want to see 31 more books about summer and family ?

How about books about family?

Books About Summer and Friendship

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Big Nate Goes Bananas!
Written & illustrated by Lincoln Peirce
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-12
Join Big Nate and his pals for another round of pranks, jokes, and wedgies! NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR! The school year is winding down, and Nate can't wait for summer vacation: baseball, beach trips, and...overripe bananas? Yuck! Turns out Nate has a problem with fruit that's past its prime. And that's not all that's bugging him. Kim Cressly is making Chester jealous at Nate's expense, Artur is challenging him in the Hunny Bursts mascot contest, and his replacement social studies teacher is none other than Coach John. In banana terms, it's all left Nate feeling a little bruised. Can he make it to summer without slipping up? Join Nate and the gang for more shenanigans in this newest collection of Big Nate comics!
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Dandylion Summer
Written & illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
In this sweet, character-driven picture book, two sisters wish upon a dandelion for a summer filled with adventure—and their wish comes true! When two sisters make a wish upon a dandelion, their wish brings them a new friend—a dandy lion—to play with all summer long. Together, the girls and the lion go on adventures and explore. And when the seasons change and their lion friend must say goodbye, the girls will miss their friend—until fall arrives!
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Tales of Sasha 8: Showtime!
Written by Alexa Pearl & illustrated by Paco Sordo
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8
In book eight of the Tales of Sasha series, Sasha throws a party for the horses of Verdant Valley and Crystal Cove! The King and Queen have put Sasha in charge of planning a Summer Solstice celebration for the horses of Verdant Valley and Crystal Cove! Sasha has never planned a big party before, and there are so many details! Will she find a way to pull this party off?
Honorable Mentions
Rules of the Ruff book
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My Weird School Special: Bummer in the Summer! book
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Best Friends book
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Ruby and Olivia book
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  1. Rules of the Ruff - Jessie, twelve, copes with what promised to be a long, boring summer with relatives by becoming apprentice to Wes, a grouchy neighborhood dog walker, who is facing new competition.

  2. My Weird School Special: Bummer in the Summer! - With more than 23 million books sold, the My Weird School series really gets kids reading! School’s almost out for the summer, and A.J. is dreaming about all the fun things he’s going to do on vacation. But A.J.’s dream quickly turns into a nightmare when three familiar spirits appear to show him summers past, present, and yet to come. Will they be able to convince him to leave his bad ways behind? Or will this summer end up being a total bummer? Bestselling author Dan Gutman brings his kid-friendly sense of humor to this special series of after-school chapter books featuring hilarious stories plus thirty-two pages of games, puzzles, and more. This is one weird summer vacation special you won’t want to miss!

  3. Best Friends - In this M!X original, Izzy is used to being queen bee—but will she ditch her mean girl status for a chance at true friendship? Isabella Caravella is dreading summer. She doesn’t want to spend a month at a lakeside resort with her parents and the families of her dad’s coworkers, especially when she discovers that two of the kids go to her school. She thinks Bailey and Ava are beyond weird—and they’re not exactly thrilled to see Izzy, either. Izzy has been their tormentor, the leader of the pack of girls who made their first year of middle school so unpleasant. Once Izzy discovers that the other kids have been spending their summers together for years and she’s the outsider, she realizes she’s going to have to change her bossy, stubborn ways if she wants to fit in. Bailey and Ava turn out to be kind and welcoming, and Izzy actually wishes she were more like them. Back home, Izzy knows that things are probably going to be different. Ava and Bailey were great summer friends—but are they really forever friends? Can Izzy prove that she really does have the potential to be a true friend? Or is she stuck playing the mean girl forever?

  4. Ruby and Olivia - A spooky middle-grade story that’s full of fun, friendship, and humor—perfect for fans of Ingrid Law and Lisa Graff. Ruby is bold and opinionated, while Olivia has always been respectful and well behaved. But Olivia’s good-girl image is tarnished when she takes the fall for her twin sister’s misdeed. And now Olivia is stuck with Ruby all summer—at a community service day camp for troublemakers. To kick off the spirit of service, the campers are tasked with cataloging the contents of Live Oaks, a historic mansion in their town. Sorting through objects in an old house sounds boring, and working together is the last thing the girls want to do, but the stuff is actually kind of cool. There’s everything from mink stoles to golf clubs to antique dolls . . . and . . . wait . . . is that doll watching them? It isn’t long until little tricks—like mysterious music playing, doors slamming, and shadows rising—start to spook the girls. They’d like to think the other campers are pranking them, but they soon realize that this empty mansion might not be uninhabited after all. To solve the mystery at Live Oaks, Ruby and Olivia will have to put their old grudges aside and figure out how to be a team. This gently creepy middle-grade story is full of all the heart, humor, and authenticity that make Rachel Hawkins a favorite with kids and teachers alike.

Books About Summer and First Concepts

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A Stroll Through the Seasons
Written by Kay Barnham & illustrated by Maddie Frost
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Introduce children to the natural world with this fresh, bold, and bright book! Discover the seasons, from bright spring blossoms to sparkling winter snow, and everything in between. Includes Notes to Parents and Teachers to encourage further exploration.
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Outside Your Window
Written by Nicola Davies & illustrated by Mark Hearld
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Introduces the sights and sounds of the changing seasons, along city streets and in country meadow.
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One Big Rain
Written by Rita Gray & illustrated by Ryan O Rourke
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10
Rita Gray has compiled twenty poems about precipitation, each written by well-known poets such as Kyoshi, Eve Merriam, Lilian Moore, and Carl Sandburg. Divided into poems written about rain within each of the four seasons, this compilation offers the reader a chance to revel in the beauty of precipitation and the poetry it inspires. The variety of poems opens the door for discussion of poetic styles, while Ryan O’Rourke’s playful yet sophisticated illustrations will appeal to readers of all ages.
Honorable Mentions
One Lighthouse, One Moon book
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Walk and See: Colors book
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  1. One Lighthouse, One Moon - Here, in one book, are the days of the week, the months of the year, the four seasons, the basic colors, and an exciting counting adventure — all conceived, staged, and presented by the incomparable Anita Lobel. You can savor each of the three stories separately or think of them as three acts in one play. However you do it, a standing ovation is guaranteed! 10 Best Illustrated Books of 2000 (NY Times Book Review) 01 Riverbank Review Magazine’s Children’s Books of Distinction Award Nominations

  2. Walk and See: Colors - This elegant board book takes very young readers on a journey to explore the colors of the rainbow. The talented Rosalind Beardshaw’s beautiful illustrations and visual storytelling follow two children on a summer walk through the countryside, bringing a narrative feel to this simple book for very young readers. The third in a series of seasonal concept books, this is a board book to visit again and again.

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