The 43 Best Books About Summer Ever

Updated Mar. 12, 2019

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.

Baby Loves Summer! book
#1
Baby Loves Summer!
Written and 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!

On My Beach book
#2
On My Beach
Written and 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!

Fireflies book
#3
Fireflies
Written and illustrated by Julie Brinckloe
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
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.

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.

At the Boardwalk book
#4
At the Boardwalk
Written and illustrated by Kelly Ramsdell Fineman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
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!

From sunrise to sunset, the attractions of a beach boardwalk include popcorn, taffy, arcade games, and a dazzling amusement park.

A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee book
#5
A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee
Written by Chris Van Dusen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Thoughts from Mr. Stacatto

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.

Mr. Magee and his dog Dee go camping and have an adventure with a hungry bear.

Mouse's First Summer book
#6
Mouse's First Summer
Written by Lauren Thompson and 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.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation book
#7
How I Spent My Summer Vacation
Written and illustrated by Mark Teague
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
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.

A schoolboy tell his class about his summer vacation, during which he joined a group of cowboys and stopped a cattle stampede.

Mama, Is It Summer Yet? book
#8
Mama, Is It Summer Yet?
Written and 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.

Sleepover with Beatrice & Bear book
#9
Sleepover with Beatrice & Bear
Written and 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.

Tap the Magic Tree book
#10
Tap the Magic Tree
Written and 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

Tree book
#11
Tree
Written and 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.

A Year with the Wind book
#12
A Year with the Wind
Written and 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.

Ice Cream Summer book
#13
Ice Cream Summer
Written and 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.

Elliot Stone and the Mystery of the Summer Vacation Sea Monster book
#14
Elliot Stone and the Mystery of the Summer Vacation Sea Monster
Written by L. P. Chase and 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.

The Relatives Came book
#15
The Relatives Came
Written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Stephen Gammell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

The relatives come to visit from Virginia and everyone has a wonderful time.

The Book of Summer book
#16
The Book of Summer
Written and illustrated by Agnese Baruzzi
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-4

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!

James and the Giant Peach book
#17
James and the Giant Peach
Written by Roald Dahl and 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!

Surfer Chick book
#18
Surfer Chick
Written by Kristy Dempsey and illustrated by Henry Cole
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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.

Summer book
#19
Summer
Written and 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.

Summer book
#20
Summer
Written and 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.

The Night Before Summer Camp book
#21
The Night Before Summer Camp
Written by Natasha Wing and 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.

The Night Before Summer Vacation book
#22
The Night Before Summer Vacation
Written by Natasha Wing and illustrated by Julie Durrell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Flower Fairies of the Summer book
#23
Flower Fairies of the Summer
Written and 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.

Summer Supper book
#24
Summer Supper
Written by Rubin Pfeffer and illustrated by Mike Austin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

From sowing seeds in spring to savoring succotash, follow the creation of a family meal from the farm to the picnic table on a warm summer evening. Told entirely in words beginning with the letter “s," this book will give children an appreciation for the process by which their food travels to the dinner table. Mike Austin cleverly incorporates Rubin Pfeffer’s words into his art and creates a visual feast in which kids will love to indulge! Layers of humor and storytelling make this worth many revisits.

Davy's Summer Vacation book
#25
Davy's Summer Vacation
Written by Brigitte Weninger and 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!

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected]!