Best Kids Books About Summer

The 21 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.

At the Boardwalk book
#1
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.

Fireflies book
#2
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.

A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee book
#3
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.

Sleepover with Beatrice & Bear book
#4
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.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation book
#5
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.

A Year with the Wind book
#6
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.

Tree book
#7
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.

Ice Cream Summer book
#8
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.

Four Seasons in One Day book
#9
Four Seasons in One Day
Written and illustrated by Jessica Courtney-Tickle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Follow a little girl called Isabelle and her dog, Pickle, as they travel through the four seasons in one day. Accompanied by pieces from Vivaldi's Four Seasons, this first title in a series of sound books that bring classical music to life for young children.

A Lullaby of Summer Things book
#10
A Lullaby of Summer Things
Written by Natalie Ziarnik and 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.

Davy's Summer Vacation book
#11
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!

Sea Glass Summer book
#12
Sea Glass Summer
Written by Michelle Hout and 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.

Summer Supper book
#13
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.

Flower Fairies of the Summer book
#14
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.

The Night Before Summer Vacation book
#15
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.

Marshmallow Kisses book
#16
Marshmallow Kisses
Written by Linda Crotta Brennan and illustrated by Mari Takabayashi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Children and their family enjoy a variety of activities during a summer day.

The Relatives Came book
#17
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.

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.

Possum and the Summer Storm book
#19
Possum and the Summer Storm
Written and illustrated by Anne Hunter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

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.

The Night Before Summer Camp book
#20
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.

When Green Becomes Tomatoes book
#21
When Green Becomes Tomatoes
Written by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Julie Morstad
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

december 29 and i woke to a morning that was quiet and white the first snow (just like magic) came on tip toes overnight Flowers blooming in sheets of snow make way for happy frogs dancing in the rain. Summer swims move over for autumn sweaters until the snow comes back again. In Julie Fogliano's skilled hand and illustrated by Julie Morstad's charming pictures, the seasons come to life in this gorgeous and comprehensive book of poetry.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.