I recently asked my followers on Instagram what topics they’d like to see for book lists and someone said summertime picture books. I was glad to hear that since I had been intending to make a list, but hadn’t got around to it yet. I know there are many more summer related books beyond the ones on my list, but these are some that my family has most enjoyed. They all capture some of the things that mean summer to me: beaches, eating watermelon and ice cream, camping, going swimming, and road trips!
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When a Dragon Moves In by Jodi Moore
This is one of the most read picture books in our house! My kids love to pore over the illustrations and try to figure out if there really is a dragon on the beach or if it’s the boy’s imagination. Reading the book always makes me want to visit the beach!
Ladybug Girl at the Beach by David Soman
This is a very frequently read book in our house as well. My son actually had a very similar experience to Ladybug Girl when we went to a beach this summer (being nervous about waves and beach water) and we talked about how his feelings were similar to the ones in this book.
Day at the Beach by Tim Booth
A great story of sibling bonding based around building sandcastles on the beach!
The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli
A very popular pick for kids, this funny book tells the story of an alligator who accidentally swallows a watermelon seed and worries about what will happen.
The Ice Cream King by Steve Metzger
Ice cream is a summer time staple and this book is a fun story of imagination with a sweet ending.
Saturday is Swimming Day by Hyewon Yum
Summer time is often full of swimming lessons and this book captures the anxiety some kids feel about swimming lessons and how a girl was able to slowly overcome that fear.
Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall
Jabari is sure he is ready to jump off the high dive, but as the time gets closer he’s not quite as confident. I have seen this exact situation play out with kids I know!
Shark Nate-O by Tara Luebbe
Nate is a boy who loves sharks and wants to be one, but he doesn’t actually know how to swim. He decides he needs to take the plunge. This one would be especially good for a shark lover or a child learning to swim.
Monster and Mouse Go Camping by Deborah Underwood
A silly story of one friend trying to introduce another to camping while things don’t go as planned.
A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee by Chris VanDusen
A peaceful camping trip for a man and his dog turns into an unexpected adventure when a bear comes into the scene!
Are We There Yet? by Dan Santat
Every child that has been on a road trip can probably relate to this book and the universal question of “Are we there yet?” It’s a creative approach with really engaging illustrations although the concept of the story (the boy feeling like he’s going back in time) may go over the head of younger kids.