Favorite Children’s Books About Summer

Favorite Children's Books About Summer | This seasonal booklist includes books about summer solstice, the beach, fireflies, camping, swimming, parades, vintage classics, & more!

Warm summer months are filled with lemonade, lazy days, swimming pools, and firefly nights. This booklist celebrates a few of our favorite children’s picture books featuring all things summer!

If you’re heading to the library, I’ve assembled a library list of these titles for easy browsing if your library uses the bibliocommons catalog system. If you’re looking for more seasonal booklists, be sure to check out these autumn, winter, and spring lists.


Children's books for summer solstice and midsummer

Nonfiction and fiction books that are about or take place on the summer solstice or Midsummer:

The Longest Day: Celebrating the Summer Solstice by Wendy Pfeffer, illustrated by Linda Bleck
Mermaid Dance by Majorie Hakala, illustrated by Mark Jones
The Flowers’ Festival by Elsa Beskow
Summer Story by Jill Barklem
Ella Bella and The Midsummer’s Night’s Dream by James Mayhew


picture books about summer

Long days, no school, ice cream, gardens, farmer’s markets, family and friends, free time for imagination and wonder… These picture books highlight the joys of the summer season:

It’s Summer by Linda Glaser
Summer Days and Nights by Wong Herbert Yee
Summer is Summer by Phillis and David Gershator, illustrated by Sophie Blackall
Ice Cream Summer by Peter Sis
Bluebird Summer by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Bethanne Andersen
Four Friends in Summer by Tomie dePaola
Mama, Is it Summer Yet? by Nikki McClure
Summer Wonders by Bob Raczka, illustrated by Judy Stead
It’s Summertime by Elaine Good
A Summertime Song by Irene Haas
Song for A Summer Night: A Lullaby by Robert Heidbreder, illustrated by Qin Leng
Westlandia by Paul Fleischman, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
Summer Sun Risin’ by W. Nikola-Lisa, illustrated by Don Tate
All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Marla Frazee
How I Spent My Summer Vacation by Mark Teague
The Shadow Chasers by Elly Mackay


summer books for kids

Summer in the northern hemisphere in many places is typically hot, hot, hot! These stories are about the summer heat during the day and at night:

One Hot Summer Day by Nina Crews
Rattletrap Car by Phillis Root, illustrated by Jill Barton
Come On, Rain! by Karen Helle, illustrated by Jon J. Muth
Blackout by John Rocco


books about the beach

For families that live close to or vacation to the ocean or a lake, summer and shorelines go hand in hand. These books are all about visiting the seashore:

Magic Beach by Alison Lester
A Beach Tail by Karen Lynn Williams
Wave by Suzy Lee
Beach by Elisha Cooper
Bats at the Beach by Brian Lies
The Sandcastle Contest by Robert Munsch
At the Beach by Huy Voun Lee
Beach Feet by Lynn Reiser
Senses at the Seashore by Shelley Rotner
Beach Day by Karen Roosa, illustrated by Maggie Smith
Flotsam by David Weisner
One White Wishing Stone by Doris Gayzagian
If You Ever Want to Bring a Piano to the Beach, Don’t! by Elise Farsley
Hello, Ocean by Pam Muñoz Ryan, illustrated by Mark Astrella
Can You Hear the Sea? by Judy Cumerbatch
How Will We Get to the Beach? by Brigitte Luciani, illustrated by Eve Tharlet
Beach Party by Harriet Ziefert
All You Need for a Beach by Alice Schertle, illustrated by Barbara Lavallee
Sea, Sand, and Me! by Patricia Hubbell, illustrated by Lisa Campbell Ernst


books about summer vacation

With kids out of school, some families look to the summer as a time to get out of town. Here are a few books about vacationing in the summertime:

Pictures from Our Vacation by Lynne Rae Perkins
Mayfly by Marthe Jocelyn
The Summer Visitors by Karel Hayes
See You Next Year by Andrew Larsen, illustrated by Todd Stewart
Beach House by Deanna Caswell, illustrated by Amy June Bates (public library)


books about fireflies

These twinkling insects are an icon of long summer evenings outside:

It’s a Firefly Night by Dianne Orchiltree, illustrated by Betsy Snyder
Fireflies by Julie Brickloe
The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle
Among A Thousand Fireflies by Helen Frost
Ten Flashing Fireflies by Philemon Sturges, illustrated by Anna Vojtech
Sam and the Firefly by P.D. Eastman


children's books about camping

A popular activity in the great outdoors or in the comfort of your backyard, camping is a favorite summer getaway:

Camping Spree with Mr. Magee by Chris Van Dusen
Sally Goes to the Mountains by Stephen Huneck
Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping by Mélanie Watt
Quiet Night by Marilyn Singer
When We Go Camping by Margiet Ruurs, illustrated by Andrew Kiss
Flashlight by Lizzie Boyd
Into the Outdoors by Susan Gal


swimming pool books

These stories all take place poolside and/or are about learning to swim:

My Best Friend by Mary Ann Rodman
Pool by JiHyeon Lee
The Whale in My Swimming Pool by Joyce Wan
Maisy Learns to Swim by Lucy Cousins
Splish, Splash, Splat by Rob Scotton
Frog by Susan Cooper, illustrated by Jane Browne


books about parades

‘Tis the season of parades! Memorial Day, Summer Solstice, Puerto Rican Day, Gay Pride, Fourth of July… These books capture the heart of summer parades:

Mermaids on Parade by Melanie Hope Greenberg
This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman, illustrated by Kristyna Litten
Hats Off for the Fourth of July by Harriet Ziefert, illustrated by Gus Miller
Parade by Donald Crews


vintage children's books about summer

Old school picture books that still hold the magic of the season:

The Summerfolk by Doris Burn
Peter in Blueberryland by Elsa Beskow
Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey*
One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey
Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
Bayberry Bluff by Blair Lent
Harry by the Sea by Gene Zion, illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham

*Time of Wonder is a beautiful book to read, BUT there is one page that I’d like to note has cultural insensitivities on page 56. When I read this story with my own kids,  I replace the word “Indian” with “Native Americans” and “white man” with “European settlers”. I almost left it off the list, but decided it was a good platform for discussion if you happen to read this title with children.


summer poetry books

Poems about lemonade, ice cream, berry picking, camping, flowers, and the highs and lows of summer:

Flower Fairies of the Summer by Cicely Mary Barker
From the Belly Button of the Moon and Other Summer Poems by Francisco X. Alarcón, illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez
Fireflies at Midnight by Marilyn Singer
Lemonade Sun: And Other Summer Poems by Rebecca Kai Dotlich, illustrated by Jan Gilchrist
Lemonade by Bob Raczka, illustrated by Nancy Doniger
Summersaults by Douglas Floiran
Toasting Marshmallows: Camping Poems by Kristine O’Connell George, illustrated by Kate Kiesler
Ocean Soup: Tide-Pool Poems by Stephen R. Swinburne, illustrated by Mary Peterson


children's nonfiction books about summer

All about the summer seasons, nature in summer, and seaside ecology.

What Happens in Summer? by Sara L. Latta
Summer by Anna Claybourne, pictures by Stephen Lewis
What Camping Can Teach Us by Willow Creek Press
A Kid’s Summer Ecojournal by Toni Albert and Margaret Brandt
Firelfies in the Night by Judy Hawes, illustrated by Ellen Alexandar
Ferdiand Fox’s First Summer by Mary Holland
Looking Closely Along the Shore by Frank Serafini
In One Tidepool: Crabs, Snails, and Salty Tails by Antony D. Fredricks, illustated by Jennifer Dirubbio
The Seaside Switch by Kathleen V. Kudlinski
Seashells, Crabs, and Sea Stars by Christine Kump Tibbitts, illustrate by Linda Garrow
A Pod of Orcas by Sheryl McFarlane
What Lives in a Shell? by Kathleen Weidner Zoefeld, illustrated by Helen K. Davie


books for babies and toddlers about summer

Seasonal books for the littlest readers.

Summer by Gerda Muller
Baby Loves Summer! by Karen Katz
Summer by Roger Priddy
Mouse’s First Summer by Lauren Thomapson
Leo Can Swim by Anna McQuinn, illustrated by Ruth Hearson
I See Summer by Charles Ghigna
Beach Feet by Kiyomi Konagaya, illustrated by Masamitsu Saito
Beach Baby by Laurie Elmquist, illustrated by Elly MacKay
Marshmallow Kisses by Linda Crotta Brennan, Illustrated by Mari Takabayashi
Kitten’s Summer by Eugenie Fernandes
A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Baby Lit Fairies Primer by Jennifer Adams
Summer Beach Day by Liesbet Slegers
At the Beach by Salina Yoon
At the Beach by Anne Rockwell



What’s your favorite book about summer for kids? Please share in the comments below!




4 Responses to “Favorite Children’s Books About Summer”

  1. Jenny Foster says:

    Thank you for a fantastic and *thorough* summer booklist! I’d like to suggest Henry Explores the Jungle, it’s part of a recently re-published series I remember from when I was a child. It’s neat to see that you’re in a Lawrence- we’re in KC and I’m also a homeschooler of two girls, although mine are 11 and 7. I’ll be looking forward to more books, I had fun putting several on hold at the library! :-)

    • Rebecca says:

      Hi Jenny! Yay for Kansans! I’m so happy you left a comment. What part of KC do you live in? My dad is in Overland Park and my little brother lives in Brookside downtown, so we’re in your neck of the woods quite a bit. If we decide to continue homeschooling, I might reach out to you and pick your brain a bit… I’m interested in learning more about homeschooling communities in the area. And thank you so much for the book recommendation! I’m not familar with that title and plan on hopping over the library and checking it out later today!

      • Jenny Foster says:

        We’re in Weatherby Lake, just north of Parkville- do you ever get up this way? We get to Lawrence as often as we can, my husband graduated from KU and never gets tired of going back. We belong to an active homeschool group, I recommend seeking one out if you decide to keep going- have you decided if she’ll go back in the fall yet? Here’s the link to our group, just so you can get an idea of what’s out there: http://www.nfltkc.org/ Hope you were about to fin dthe book, I bought all mine from Purple House Press, I love that website!

        • Rebecca says:

          Thank you for that link! We have a secular Facebook group and email list here in Lawrence, but it’s not nearly as organized as this group. We haven’t decided what we’re doing in the fall yet, but if we decide to continue with homeschooling this might be a good avenue to venture down. Maybe even start something similar here in Lawrence…

Leave A Comment