Our Favorite Kids’ Books About Summer

Summer days are for creating memories with kids, and what better way than with a blanket, picnic, and a stack of delightful books? It is even better if they are books about summer!

We rounded up some of our favorite summer titles for kids. From sandy beach days to camping under starlit skies and chasing down the ice cream truck, these books capture everything they’ll remember about summer.

Board Books

The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s First Summer by Eric Carle

Explore everything summer with The Very Hungry Caterpillar. There’s lots to experience during the season, like hearing noisy bugs, feeling the warm sunshine, and seeing the clear blue sky. For “summer is a season of endless fun.”

The Very Hungry Caterpillar's First Summer (The World of Eric Carle)

I’m Your Ice Cream Truck by Hannah Eliot

I am your ice cream truck!
I deliver sweet treats
that are cold and frosty
and delicious to eat!

Follow along as the happiest ice cream truck as it makes its way to the school, the library, the pool, and more.

I'm Your Ice Cream Truck

Bee: A Peek-Through Board Book by Britta Teckentrup

Fly along with bee on her busy day and see all she does on her own and as part of a hive. Kids will learn how important bees are to nature and how they give life to plants and flowers.

Bee: A Peek-Through Picture Book

You’re My Little Sunshine by Nicola Edwards

You’re my little cupcake,
you’re good enough to eat!
I’ll sprinkle you with kisses,
you’re my sugar-frosted treat.

This is from one of our favorite board book series. It features the sweetest illustrations and rhyming text to tell your little one how much you love them.

You're My Little Sunshine

Picture Books

Bubbles…Up! by Jacqueline Davies

Bubbles….up! Mouth bubbles, nose bubbles, ear bubbles, rear bubbles.

It’s a summer day at the community pool, and a young girl plunges in. Bubbles rise as the girl’s imagination fills with wonder. She waves to her mom, sitting on the edge of the pool, as she plays with friends. And then, a thunderstorm rolls in, and they all take cover.

Bubbles . . . UP!

Goldfish on Vacation by Sally Lloyd-Jones

An unused fountain in a New York City neighborhood is spruced up for summer and ready to offer neighborhood goldfish their own summer vacation away from the confines of their fish bowl. Three eager children bring their three goldfish to their new oasis, and others do the same, as what was once an eyesore is now a place for neighbors to gather and play.

This fun summer read is based on true events!

Goldfish on Vacation

If You Spot a Shell by Aimée Sicuro

A girl collects shells on the beach and thinks of everything they can be with a bit of imagination. She envisions one as a swimming cap for diving into the waves, another as a rocket ship to take her way up high, and one as a tutu for a dancer spinning in the air.

It is a delightful book that encourages children to see the things around them in new ways.

If You Spot a Shell (If You Find a Treasure Series)

Summer is Here by Renée Watson 

What joy will summer bring me today?

Summer is here, and that means the most perfect day filled with fresh fruit, swimming with friends, jumping rope, a cookout with family, sweet treats from the ice cream truck, and sunsets that paint the sky.

Summer Is Here

Jules vs. The Ocean by Jessie Sima

Jules is going to build the biggest, fanciest, and most excellent sandcastle. Her big sister will be impressed! But the ocean has other plans, and waves keep ruining her creations. And even worse, her bucket gets taken by the waves, too!

But then Jules’ sister joins her, and together they DO build the biggest and fanciest sand castle!

Jules vs. the Ocean

Pool Party by Amy Duchêne and Elisa Parhad

Splash, dash! It’s time for a pool bash! 

Dive into swimming pool fun with this fun rhyming book featuring colorful, hip illustrations. Because what’s more summer than a pool party?

Pool Party: A Picture Book

Natsumi’s Song of Summer by Robert Paul Weston

Natsumi’s name means “the sea in summer,” and she loves everything about the outdoors. But what she loves most are insects, especially cicadas.

During the summer holiday, Natsumi’s cousin Jill travels from America to Japan to visit her family. Although the cousins live on different continents, they discover they enjoy many of the same things. Then Jill asks Natsumi about the buzzing sounds from the nearby trees, and Natsumi introduces her cousin to the cicadas she loves so much.

This one is a sweet, poetic story about friendship and kindness.

Natsumi's Song of Summer

The Little Ice Cream Truck by Margery Cuyler

I’m a little ice cream truck
it’s just another day.
I make the children happy,
I love my job–hooray!

Join the cheerful ice cream truck and its driver, Lou, as they drive through town on a hot summer day and deliver frozen treats to the kids. Little ones will love the charming illustrations and the fun cast of characters! 

The Little Ice Cream Truck (Little Vehicles, 4)

And Then Comes Summer by Tom Brenner

This nostalgic book is the ultimate ode to childhood summers!

It celebrates everything we love about this season—evening games of hide-and-seek, swimming in the lake, roasting marshmallows in the campfire, visiting the ice cream truck, biking in the parade, and everything in between.

And Then Comes Summer

The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli

An imaginative crocodile who loves watermelon but is scared of swallowing a watermelon seed! So what happens when his fear comes true? Do vines sprout out of his ears? Does his skin turn pink? Does his stomach stretch?

Help! He can fill it growing inside of him until…BURP! This one is sure to make kids laugh out loud.

The Watermelon Seed

The Little Blue Cottage by Kelly Jordan

Each year, the little blue cottage awaits summer, and with it, a little girl and her family arrive. They spend every summer together until one year, the girl stops coming. The little blue cottage is sad and wonders what happened to the girl and her family.

Finally, years later, the little girl, now a mother, returns to the cottage with her own family. This heartwarming story will be enjoyed by adults as much as children.

The Little Blue Cottage

When Lola Visits by Michelle Sterling

For one young girl, summer doesn’t begin until Lola, her grandmother from the Phillipes, arrives for her annual visit. In this book, the young girl explores summer through the scents that remind her of her grandmother, like mango jam simmering on the stove and the chlorine of the pool.

As fall approaches, Lola must return home, but not without a surprise, which makes summer last just a bit longer.

When Lola Visits

Hot Dog by Doug Salarti

One dog has had enough of summer in the city! The sizzling sidewalk, wailing sirens, the crowds! When he plops down in the middle of a busy crosswalk, his owner takes him to the beach via taxi, train, and ferry.

At the beach, this pup can run and enjoy the cooler breeze.

Hot Dog: (Winner of the 2023 Caldecott Medal)

The Camping Trip by Jennifer K. Mann

Ernestine is going on her first camping trip with her aunt and cousin. She follows her lengthy packing list and feels prepared. However, once they arrive, Ernestine discovers camping is not always easy! There are lots of steep hills to climb, and the lake where they swim has fish in it. Plus, it takes a lot of effort to set up (and take down) camp! Will Ernestine decide camping is for her?

We especially love this one for new campers, who may not know what to expect.

The Camping Trip

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