When you think about summer, what comes to mind? For my kids, it’s swimming, running barefoot through the grass, a trip to the amusement park, and eating popsicles before they melt. Here are some great children’s books about summer that help capture those moments and memories.
You can click on any of the covers below to learn more about each book or find all of these Summer Books for Kids on my Amazon page.
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Children’s Books about Summer
And Then Comes Summer
by Tom Brenner
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.
How to Code a Sandcastle
by Josh Funk
All summer, Pearl has been trying to build the perfect sandcastle, but out-of-control Frisbees and mischievous puppies keep getting in the way! Pearl and her robot friend Pascal have one last chance, and this time, they’re going to use code to get the job done. Using fundamental computer coding concepts like sequences and loops, Pearl and Pascal are able to break down their sandcastle problem into small, manageable steps. If they can create working code, this could turn out to be the best beach day ever!
Goldfish on Vacation
by Sally Lloyd-Jones
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.
by Marla Frazee
Clickity, clackity. Clickity, clackity. The roller coaster car is going up, up, up to the highest spot. And at least one of the people in the car has never ridden on a roller coaster before . . . ever. Wheeeeeeee!
The Relatives Came
by Cynthia Rylant
In a rainbow-colored station wagon that smelled like a real car, the relatives came. When they arrived, they hugged and hugged from the kitchen to the front room. All summer they tended the garden and ate up all the strawberries and melons. They plucked banjos and strummed guitars. When they finally had to leave, they were sad, but not for long. They all knew they would be together next summer.
by Julie Brinckloe
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.
There Might Be Lobsters
by Carolyn Crimi
Lots of things at the beach scare Sukie. Lots. Because she is just a small dog, and the stairs are big and sandy, and the waves are big and whooshy, and the balls are big and beachy. And besides, there might be lobsters.
A Moment in Time
by Jennifer Butenas
A fun loving story in rhythm and rhyme about a family of four and their moment in time. It’s a balmy, summer Cape Cod day and this visiting family is savoring every moment. Experience the delight, the joy and exhilaration a mindful moment can bring!
How I Spent My Summer Vacation
by Mark Teague
Most kids go to camp over the summer, or to Grandma’s house, or maybe they’re stuck at home. Not Wallace Bleff. He was supposed to visit his Aunt Fern. Instead, Wallace insists, he was carried off by cowboys and taught the ways of the West–from riding buckin’ broncos to roping cattle. Lucky for Aunt Fern, he showed up at her house just in time to divert a stampede from her barbecue party!
by Gaia Cornwall
Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board. He’s finished his swimming lessons and passed his swim test, and he’s a great jumper, so he’s not scared at all. “Looks easy,” says Jabari, watching the other kids take their turns. But when his dad squeezes his hand, Jabari squeezes back. He needs to figure out what kind of special jump to do anyway, and he should probably do some stretches before climbing up onto the diving board.
Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream Of Inventions
by Chris Barton
You know the Super Soaker. It’s one of top twenty toys of all time. And it was invented entirely by accident. Trying to create a new cooling system for refrigerators and air conditioners, impressive inventor Lonnie Johnson instead created the mechanics for the iconic toy.
Cam Jansen and the Summer Camp Mysteries
by David Adler
Mysteries follow super-sleuth Cam Jansen everywhere she goes…even to summer camp. Cam and her best friend, Eric, are spending three weeds at Camp Eagle Lake. It’s a summer filled with swimming, sports, canoeing, making new friends, and…solving mysteries! This is a chapter book with three mysteries in one. You can find resources to pair with this book here.
The Night Before Summer Vacation
by Natasha Wing
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.
The Night Before Summer Camp
by Natasha Wing
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!
by Jim LaMarche
Nicky is convinced that his summer with his grandmother in the Wisconsin woods is going to be the worst summer ever. She cooks food that he doesn’t like, there’s an art studio where her living room should be, and he’s expected to do chores—including fishing, the most boring chore ever. But one afternoon, while Nicky is trying to catch their dinner, a raft drifts down the river towards him. The raft has a calming magic about it, affecting both Nicky and the wildlife of the river and woods. Through the raft and the adventures it brings him on, Nicky finds new common ground with his grandmother, a fellow river rat, who encourages him to explore his newfound talent for art.
The Summer Visitors
by Karel Hayes
Told primarily through illustration, with only a few dozen words in the book, this story follows the interactions between a family of bears and a human family during their summer stay at a lake cottage.
by Paul Fleischman
Now that school is over, Wesley needs a summer project. He’s learned that each civilization needs a staple food crop, so he decides to sow a garden and start his own — civilization, that is. He turns over a plot of earth, and plants begin to grow. They soon tower above him and bear a curious-looking fruit. As Wesley experiments, he finds that the plant will provide food, clothing, shelter, and even recreation. It isn’t long before his neighbors and classmates develop more than an idle curiosity about Wesley — and exactly how he is spending his summer vacation.
The Little Red Fort
by Brenda Maier
Ruby’s mind is always full of ideas. One day, she finds some old boards and decides to build something. She invites her brothers to help, but they just laugh and tell her she doesn’t know how to build. “Then I’ll learn,” she says. And she does! When she creates a dazzling fort that they all want to play in, it is Ruby who has the last laugh.
The Sandcastle That Lola Built
by Megan Maynor
Lola is building her dream sandcastle–one with a tall, tall tower and sea glass that sends signals to mermaids. But the beach is crowded, and soon enough, a boy steps on her castle. Not to worry! Lola recruits him to build a wall. When a toddler with a bulldozer starts digging too close the walls, Lola decides he can be in charge of digging the moat. As the sandcastle grows, so does Lola’s friendly group of helpers. There’s only one thing that Lola doesn’t want near the sandcastle: a wave! Will the new friends be able to salvage the mermaids’ castle when their hard work is washed away?
by John Rocco
One hot summer night in the city, all the power goes out. The TV shuts off and a boy wails, “Mommm!” His sister can no longer use the phone, Mom can’t work on her computer, and Dad can’t finish cooking dinner. What’s a family to do? When they go up to the roof to escape the heat, they find the lights–in stars that can be seen for a change–and so many neighbors it’s like a block party in the sky! On the street below, people are having just as much fun–talking, rollerblading, and eating ice cream before it melts. The boy and his family enjoy being not so busy for once. They even have time to play a board game together. When the electricity is restored, everything can go back to normal . . . but not everyone likes normal. The boy switches off the lights, and out comes the board game again.
Summer Days and Nights
by Wong Herbert Yee
On a hot summer day, a little girl finds ways to entertain herself and stay cool. She catches a butterfly, sips lemonade, jumps in a pool, and goes on a picnic. At night, she sees an owl in a tree and a frog in a pond, and hears leaves rustling. Before long, she’s fast asleep, dreaming about more summer days and summer nights.
by David Wiesner
A bright, science-minded boy goes to the beach equipped to collect and examine flotsam–anything floating that has been washed ashore. Bottles, lost toys, small objects of every description are among his usual finds. But there’s no way he could have prepared for one particular discovery: a barnacle-encrusted underwater camera, with its own secrets to share . . . and to keep.
Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach
by Mélanie Watt
Even though the sun is shining and it’s time for a vacation, Scaredy does not want to go to the beach — that vast, frightening place where a squirrel could get stranded. (Not to mention other hazards such as sea monsters, falling coconuts, seagulls, pirates and lobsters.) Instead, Scaredy builds his own safe beach getaway under his nut tree, complete with germ-free inflatable pool, artificial beach scenery, a flashlight and a plastic flamingo. Still, the lure of the genuine beach is strong — even a dedicated homebody such as Scaredy can’t resist it forever. Can his back-up plans save him from its perils? Will his No.65 sunscreen protect his delicate complexion?
CeCe Loves Science and Adventure
by Kimberly Derting and Shelli R. Johannes
Cece loves being an Adventure Girl almost as much as she loves science, which is why she can’t wait for her troop’s camping trip. Nature is full of science for Cece to explore! Along with her friends, her mom, and her dog, Einstein, Cece learns how to pitch a tent, set up a campsite, and document landmarks on the trail. Then thunder booms in the distance! Working together, the girls use meteorology and math to determine the location of the storm; engineering to build a shelter; and technology and math to calculate the length of the trek back to the campsite. After all that teamwork, Cece’s mom gives them an Adventure Girl surprise!
See the Ocean
by Estelle Condra
Driving through mountain fog to the beach, two young brothers compete to see who will catch the first glimpse of the ocean, but it is their blind sister Nellie who senses it first.
The Watermelon Seed
by Greg Pizzoli
This book follows a crocodile who has one big fear: swallowing a watermelon seed. What will he do when his greatest fear is realized? Will vines sprout out his ears? Will his skin turn pink? This crocodile has a wild imagination that kids will love.
Under Alaska’s Midnight Sun
by Deb Vanasse
In the far northern parts of the world, near and above the Arctic Circle, summer days are very long. In Barrow, Alaska, for example, the sun rises in May and sets 83 days later, in early August. During this time, the sun shines all through the night. People call it the midnight sun. When the midnight sun is shining, people and animals stay active even at night.
Bats at the Beach
by Brian Lies
Quick, call out! Tell all you can reach: the night is just perfect for bats at the beach! So pack your buckets, banjos, and blankets—don’t forget the moon-tan lotion—and wing with this bunch of fuzzy bats to where foamy sea and soft sand meet.
The Night is Yours
by Abdul-Razak Zachariah
This story follows Amani as she plays an evening game of hide-and-seek with friends at her apartment complex. The moon’s glow helps Amani find the last hidden child, and seems almost like a partner to her in her game, as well as a spotlight pointing out her beauty and strength.
The House Takes a Vacation
by Jacqueline Davies
After the Petersons leave for vacation, their house decides it wants to take a holiday, too! But the different parts of the house can’t agree on where to go. Finally, the sunporch suggests the house go to the beach. The basement refuses “to rise to the occasion,” but the rest of the house follows the front door as it leads the way—and the house has a vacation that it will never forget!
A Beach Tail
by Karen Lynn Williams
“Don’t go in the water, and don’t leave Sandy,” warns Dad. But the sandy lion grows a tail that gets longer and longer—and soon Gregory is lost on the beach. This wonderful read-aloud book brings to life a summer experience that is all too familiar for young children.
One Hot Summer Day
by Nina Crews
An effervescent city child dances through a hot summer day until a thunderstorm brings welcome relief.
Do you have any children’s books about summer that you love to share with kids? I’d love to check them out!
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