June 21 marks the beginning of summer, and in our opinion, the best season of all. We spent many childhood summers swimming in the ocean, playing in the park, and just enjoying being outdoors. Now, though we spend most summers working, we still love this time of year and all that is has to offer. Get your summer off to a great start with some great books that capture the essence of the season. Our suggestions of books will hopefully make you want to explore and enjoy summer all the more.
A Wynk, a Blynk, and a Nod to New Books about Summer
New Summer Books
Bitty Bot’s Big Beach Getaway by Tim McCanna, illus. by Tad Carpenter
Bitty Bot the robot is bored at the beach until he and a few new friends build a submarine and take it on an underwater adventure. This is a very playful story told in rhyming text.
A Campfire Tail by Sarah Glenn Marsh, illus. by Ana Gómez
Though Dragon doesn’t fit in at summer camp, he comes through in the end, teaching a valuable lesson about friendship. The illustrations are bright and cheerful and should keep children engaged.
Celebrating the Fourth of July by Maddie Spalding
A new book featuring the traditions associated with this patriotic holiday. Instructions for a craft activity are included as well.
Day at the Beach by Tom Booth
Building sandcastles at the beach makes for a fun afternoon, but Gideon soon realizes that there’s more fun to be had by working together rather than alone. The artwork is rendered in animation style.
Dude! by Aaron Reynolds, illus. by Dan Santat
In this nearly wordless picture book, a platypus and a beaver head out for a fun day of surfing. Santat is a Caldecott Medal winning artist and his illustrations do not disappoint!
Fourth of July by Emma Carlson Berne, illus. by Luke Flowers, music by Joseph Faison IV
Part of the Holidays in Rhythm and Rhyme series, this book encourages the reader to sing along while learning about the holiday. In addition to the cd, online music access is also included.
Froggy’s Lemonade Stand by Jonathan London, illus. by Frank Remkiewicz
Nothing says “summer” quite like a lemonade stand! Froggy has great plans for all of the money he’s going to make, but there’s just one problem … Froggy drinks all the lemonade!
Inky the Octopus by Erin Guendelsberger, illus. by David Leonard
Based on a true story, this book tells the adventure of an octopus who escaped from the National Aquarium of New Zealand in 2016. The backmatter tells the true story and also includes lots of additional interesting information about this sea inhabitant.
Let’s Look at Summer by Sarah L. Schuette
This book is part of the Investigate the Seasons series which shows young readers how to recognize the changes that happen in each season. Full page color photographs accompany the simple text.
A Lullaby of Summer Things by Natalie Ziarnik, illus. by Madeline Valentine
A family on a beach vacation settles in for the night while reflecting on the experiences of the day. The color palette is soothing making it a perfect bedtime read.
Monster & Mouse Go Camping by Deborah Underwood, illus. by Jared Chapman
Mouse encourages hesitant Monster to go on a camping trip. The story is full of humor with a twist at the end.
My First Swim Class by Alyssa Satin Capucilli, photos by Jill Wachter
Part of the Ready to Read series, this book shows young children in their first swim class learning to blow bubbles, float on their backs, and kick their legs.
On Gull Beach by Jane Yolen, illus. by Bob Marstall
A young boy spots a red sea star on a New England beach, but just as he reaches to pick it up, a gull swoops in and steals it. It’s passed between several gulls before falling back to the beach, where the boy rescues it and places it back in the water away from the seagull’s reach. Factual information about shorebirds and other beach creatures is included in the backmatter.
Pignic by Matt Phelan
A family of pigs experiences a perfect summer day for a picnic. Rain doesn’t spoil their ability to have fun!
Ready, Set, Sail! by Meg Fleming, illus. by Luke Flowers
A tiger and a turtle go sailing, explore an island, and return home to tell their tale. The rhyming text and bright, lively illustrations depict the work that goes into sailing as well as the fun to be had.
The Sandcastle that Lola Built by Megan Maynor, illus. by Kate Berube
This is a beachy version of “The House that Jack Built.” The mixed media and collage illustrations add lots of interesting details. The text makes for a playful, summer read.
Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping by Mélanie Watt
Scaredy Squirrel is extremely anxious over going camping. His ideal version of camping is watching The Joy of Camping on television, but he must venture across the campground, into the wilderness, in order to plug into an electrical outlet. Through his adventure he discovers that the wilderness is really meant to be enjoyed up close!
Sea Bones by Bob Barner
Barner takes a look at the bones, or in some instances, lack of, of ocean dwelling creatures. The illustrations are done in painted paper collage and add visual interest. Factual information is also included in captions throughout.
Spot Goes to the Swimming Pool by Eric Hill
It’s Spot the dog’s first time ever in a swimming pool. This toddler book would be appropriate and reassuring for those learning to swim.
Summer by David A. Carter
This pop-up book completes Carter’s series on the seasons. The simple verse is accompanied by pictures of the flora and fauna on display in the summer. This book should work well with young readers.
Summer Color by Diana Murray, illus. by Zoe Persico
Two children discover all the colors of summer in this unique concept book. The rhyming text and colorful artwork make for a fun read.
A Sunny Summer’s Day illus. by Anne Passchier
This novelty board book which includes acetate windows shows various insects and animals playing together in a summer garden.
A Trip to the Beach by Maddie Spalding
This book describes the various activities that take place at the beach including putting on sunscreen, swimming, and building sandcastle. A glossary and craft instructions for a Styrofoam crab are included.
Waves: Physical Science for Kids by Andi Diehn, illus. by Shululu
An understanding of the science behind waves at the beach and waves in a baseball stadium are a few of the concepts introduced in this book.
Weather in Summer by Maddie Spalding
In this non-fiction work for early readers, children are introduced to the ways that Earth changes in the summertime. A simple craft and glossary are included as well.
Written by Cecilia Horn and Terri Diebel
Cecilia Horn is currently the Juvenile Collection Development Librarian for the Kenton County Public Library. Terri Diebel is a Children’s Librarian at the Covington Branch. Both hold Masters of Library Science degrees and have worked in the field of Children’s Literature for many years. In recent years, they have collaborated on presentations at local, state, and national library and literature conferences.
“Children’s literature is our passion. Through this blog, we hope to share that enthusiasm and love of children’s books. As children’s literature enthusiasts, our blog name pays homage to the classic children’s poem from 1889, ‘Wynken, Blynken, and Nod,’ by Eugene Field.”