School is out and summer is here! Want to find some fun picture books that teach kids about summer? Or a few ideas of picture books with summer-themes? Look not further, today I’m sharing some of the best picture books about summer.
We often take a summer break from our homeschool, but to keep the learning alive, I like to keep our living room book basket stashed with lots of good books for the kids to choose from.
With that being said, summer is a great time to explore all kinds of things like oceans, picnics, animals, traveling, and even summer food. Therefore, this summer picture book list will reflect these topics.
Why Read in the Summer?
Why not? Summer is a wonderful time to dive deeper into subjects like the beach, camping, hiking, the outdoors, gardening, bugs, trees, flowers, weather, or simply the season of summertime. While kids are experiencing this sunny season, books allow them to expand the knowledge.
Besides, all kids will need a break from the heat, eventually. Why not grab a pile of summer picture books along with a glass of lemonade and cool off with a little bit of reading?
Summer Picture Book Themes
Looking for some themes for your summer picture book haul? The sky is the limit: water, heat, weather, gardening, bug, stars –the list goes on. Here are a few summer picture book themes you will find in this list of books:
- The Season of Summer
- Summer Foods
- Outdoor Fun
- Summer Poetry
Best Picture Books About Summer
(This list includes Amazon Affiliate Links.)
- Mama, is it Summer Yet? by Nikki McClure- This is a sweet book about summer for young kids (ages 3-5). The child in the story is noticing the changes of spring and keeps asking, “is it summer yet?” This book does a good job of bringing awareness to the characteristics of spring as well as summer.
- Summertime in The Big Woods – by Laura Ingalls Wilder – This is a delightful pictures book that tells of Laura’s life growing up in their cabin in the big woods during the summertime.
- Summer Story by Jill Barklem- This is another great adventure with the Brambly Hedge mice. (book 2 of 4) This book paints the season of summer in the most engaging and beautifully illustrated way.
- Summer Days and Nights by Yong Herbert Yee- This story follows a little girl as she discovers summertime both at daytime and at night. She learns about fun things she can do as well as great ways to stay cool.
- Come on Rain by Karen Hesse- This is a sweet mother/daughter story about enjoying a summer rain on a hot sweltering day. It paints a great picture of a truly refreshing a summer rain can be.
- A Year at Maple Hill Farm by Alice Provensen – This is an older book, but is a fun read for younger kids. It goes through the different seasons and what they look like on a farm.
- And Then Comes Summer by Tom Brenner – Get the all the vibes of the seasons with this celebration of all things summer: Ice cream, swimming, sunshine, play, etc.
- Summer is Here by Heidi Pross Gray – A very simple book that showcases the things we enjoy about summer: Blueberry picking, vacations, butterflies, and more.
Picture Books About Summer Vacation
- The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant- This is a fun-filled, descriptive book about a family road trip and a great time visiting relatives. It relates true summer vibes and is very engaging for young readers.
- The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Vacation by Jan and Stan Berenstain- Another great Berenstain Bear adventure. This time, kids will learn all about the characteristics of summertime such as mosquitos, vacations, hot sticky weather, and even rain.
- Summer Visitors by Karel Hayes- is a story of a family of humans and a family of bears sharing their vacation destination. It has very few words but the illustrations do a great job of telling the story while making it a playful and fun read for kids of all ages.
- Harry By the Sea by Gene Zion – This is a charming story about a friendly dog and his adventures at the beach.
- A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee by Chris Van Dusen – With brightly illustrated pictures, this book teaches about overcoming obstacles as Mr. Magee faces unexpected challenges on his camping trip with his dog, Dee.
- Amelia Bedelia Goes Camping by Peggy Parish – Amelia Bedelia is a sweet housekeeper who takes everything literally. When she goes camping for the first time, she tries to do everything just as she is told, but ends up getting things mixed up.
- Fred and Ted Go Camping by Peter Eastman – This humorous beginner book follows two dogs, Fred and Ted (unlikely friends), on their adventurous camping trip.
- Just Me and My Dad by Mercer Mayer – Another sweet critter book by Mercer Mayer. In this book father and son go on a camping trip, but who is looking after who?
- How I Spent My Summer Vacation by Mark Teague – Instead of a quiet summer vacation at Grandmas, Wallace Bleff is swept away into a real Wild West adventure.
Picture Books About Summer Food
- The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli – A funny story about a crocodile who loves watermelon but is scared of what might happen if he swallows a seed.
- Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey – A McCloskey classic about a little girl and a baby bear picking blueberries with their mothers.
- Ice Cream Summer by Peter Sis – A boy writes a letter back to his grandpa telling him all about his summer and what he is learning and experiencing.
- Maisy Makes Lemonade by Lucy Cousins – This is a cute little story about how to make lemonade and the joy of sharing it.
- Summer Supper by Rubin Pfeffer – A very simple garden to table tale using words that begin with the letter S.
- Pie is For Sharing by Stephanie Parsley Ledyard – In this book, get ready for the Fourth of July picnic while learning the joy of sharing.
- Pigeon Finds a Hotdog by Mo Willems – When Pigeon finds a hotdog he can’t wait to shove it in his mouth. But wait, a hungry duckling walks on the scene. Which bird will get the dog. (Simple and humorous)
Summer Picture Books About Outdoor Fun
- Roxaboxen by Alice Mclerran- This is a great book is great for inspiring outdoor imaginative play. The kids in this story use what they can find outside to create spaces and places to play in.
- The Hike by Alison Farrell – Three girls go on a hike it the forest and spend the day discovering new plants and animals. (Simple text, captions, and onomatopoeia.)
- Rhoda’s Rock Hunt by Molly Beth Griffen- This is a delightful picture book about a little girl who goes on a hike with her aunt and uncle. Along the way she collects all the rocks that catch her eye. However, before long her backpack is too heavy to carry home.
- Grandma Gatewood Hikes the Appalachian Trail by Jennifer Thermes – This book retells the story of the first woman to hike the Appalachian trail. (Note: Beautiful illustrations, great story line, a little longer in length.)
- The Golden Glow by Benjamin Flouw – Mr. Fox is on a mission to find a rare plant, along the way, he discovers so many exciting things in nature.
- My Awesome Summer by Paul Meisel- An excellent science book about the life of a Preying Mantis. P. Mantis shares his diary and kids are quick to pick up on how he grows, what he eats, his habitat, and how is summer is going.
- Fireflies by Julie Brinckloe – This book is about a little boy who discovers fireflies and decides to catch them in a jar. He enjoys the light but soon realizes he needs to set them free.
Summer Picture Books About the Ocean
- A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle – Learn about the underwater habits and habitat of the Hermit Crabs. Meanwhile, enjoy of the of Hermit as he works through the challenges of growing up.
- The Magic School Bus: On the Ocean Floor by Joanna Cole – Follow Ms. Frizzle and her class on an excited adventure to the ocean floor.
- Swimmy by Leo Lionni – a Caldecott winner about a brave fish to found a way to work with the other frightened fish to come out of hiding.
- If I were a Whale by Shelley Gill – A playful, inviting, rhyming book about whales that live in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Southern Oceans.
- The Big Book of Blue by Yuval Zommer – This colorful book explores all types of creatures that can be found in the ocean depths. From the scaliest to the scariest this books is great for new ocean discoveries.
- The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson – A charming tale about an unexpected friendship between a snail and a whale.
Picture Books of Summer Poetry
- A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson – This is a beautiful collection of Stevenson’s classic poetry and many of these poems are seasonal.
- Toasting Marshmallows by Kristine O’Connel George – A creative and colorful book of poems related to camping
- Sing a Song of Seasons by Nosy Crow – A collection of seasonal poetry for kids (including summertime).
Free Printable Summer Picture Books List!
Want a handy summer picture books list for kids? Well, you can get all of these titles in one free summer books printable! All you have to do is sign in with Grow for this exclusive content!
More Great Summer Resources
- 200+ Screen-Free Summer Activities for Kids
- How to Make Ice Cream in a Bag
- Printable Summer Busy Book
- Printable Summer Reading Challenge
- Fruit Kabobs
- Frozen Fruit LaCroix Ice Pops
- Garden Journal and Activities
- Life Skills Your Preschooler Can Learn This Summer
What are your favorite picture books about Summer?
This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links.