To help prevent Summer reading loss, I’ve created this list of Summer books for kids and tips to help keep reading fun.

Throughout this post, you will see tips to avoid reading loss, book recommendations, and chapter book lists.

At the bottom of the post, you can find links to other posts for more summer fun.

summer books for kids

5 Tips to Avoid Summer Slide:

 Summer reading loss is the decline in reading skills when kids are out of school and have little exposure to reading over the Summer months.


Beach Vacation Books for Kids

1. Pete the Cat: Pete at the Beach

You guessed it!  I had to add Pete the Cat to this collection of Summer books for kids. 

The kids absolutely love this groovy cat, and all his silly adventures.

Your kiddos will get a kick out of watching Pete face his fears as he jumps into the water in the ocean. If you have kiddos ages 3-7, this would be a must-have in their collection of Summer books for kids.

2. Sun, Sun

Oh, the joy of a Summer day at the beach. If you’re taking a road trip to the beach with kids, this picture book would be great to read along the way. 

It has vibrant pictures and rhyming patterns the little kids love.

3. Biscuit’s First Beach Day

Biscuit is going on his first trip to the beach! He is excited about making sand castles, collecting seashells, and playing in the ocean.

This would be the perfect opportunity to have fun reading on vacation.

4. How To Catch a Mermaid

If you have a kindle for kids, then you can get this Summer book for free! Yes, it’s listed as a free kindle book for kids. 

If you don’t, it’s worth spending a few bucks on this fun book about Mermaids.

You can read aloud this mermaid book to the younger kids, or let your first and second grade students read it independently. 

When tutoring, my second grade students loved reading this book because of the rhyming pattern. 

There are endless opportunities you can do to expand the story line, such as writing a how-to story.

Picture Summer Books for Kids

This collection has great picture books that any young boy or young girl would enjoy on Summer break. 

By the time you search through this collection of diverse picture books, you will have a list of books to get through the Summer days.

1. Ice Cream Summer

This book, by Peter Sis, is for younger children. Kids in prek, kindergarten, and first grade will appreciate the beautiful illustrations and storyline.

Towards the end of the school year, or on a perfect summer day, plan a fun ice cream party following this read aloud with kids.

summer books for kids ice cream summer

2. Mouse’s First Summer

Mouse and Minka invite you to celebrate summer with a picnic in the park. Roll down the hill on tickly green grass.

Fly fluttery kites high in the sky. Enjoy some juicy watermelon! And before it’s time to go home, a summer surprise sparkles in the sky.

If you have really young children, you can get the board book. They’ll have a great time looking at the pictures in their first book about summer.


3. A Day in the Sun

I asked my 7 year-old daughter which book about Summer she would pick first.  Her #1 choice was A Day in the Sun, because she is a huge Disney Frozen fan.  

Your kids, however, don’t have to be Frozen fans to want this on their list of Summer books.

Olaf himself is a funny character that takes the kiddos on a Summer adventure.

Do I think this is the absolute best Summer book for kids? No. But, I do think kids ages 3-7 will enjoy this simple story line during a mid-day read-aloud.

4. My Awesome Summer 

Did you know a praying mantis’ egg will hatch 100-200 tiny mantises during the late Summer? 

This book is excellent for kids that are intrigued by Summer insects. 

The kiddos will learn about a praying mantis’ life cycle and Summer adventures from a funny perspective of P. Mantis himself.

5. Lemonade Stand

This picture book is perfect to read to your kiddos in the summertime. 

It combines illustrations and woodsy photography taken in upstate New York, which gives it a unique appeal to the kiddos. Great for rhyming and using pictures to retell a story.

6. Summer Song

Written by a Caldecott Medalist and Newbery Honor author, Kevin Henkes, this Summer picture book will get kids thinking about the sights, sounds, and smells of Summer.

An Amazon reviewer says, “I really appreciated the inclusion of children of different skin tones and hair colors as well as little details like a woman mowing the lawn.

There are also fun details in the bugs and animals that mark summer throughout the book.

The text flows smoothly and is written in a large and clear text that makes this book easy to read aloud.

The book could also inspire classroom activities about what summer means to children with illustrations and emphasis on color and sound.”

7. The Truth About My Unbelievable Summer

From Space, to the Egyptian Pyramids, you’ll go on a quick Summer adventure. 

This is a quick, short, read that is perfect for bed time. If you have reluctant readers, the pictures are also great for making inferences and predictions.

8. The Honeybee

Written by Kristen Hall, The Honeybee has a catchy rhythm, vibrant pictures, and a fun story line.

If you love poems for kids, then you will appreciate the poetry used throughout this adorable book about the Summer Honeybee.

9. The Night Before the Fourth of July

If you’re a fan of The Night Before collection, by Natasha Wing, then you’ll want to add this to your collection, too! 

This is a great story to read about how young kids across the United States celebrate Independence Day on July 4th.

This time of year is great for a lazy day with themed books!


10. And Then Comes Summer

Are your kids counting down the days until Summer? 

This book has been highly recommended to read with your students the last week of school, before Summer break.


11. Last Day Blues (The Jitters Series)

The Jitters is a popular children’s book series. Written by Julie Danneberg, this story makes a great read-aloud on the last day of school.

12. The Night Before Summer Vacation

Here’s another addition to The Night Before series for kids. 

This would be great as a read aloud at the end of the school year, or to read aloud before leaving on a Summer vacation.


13. I See Summer

This simple Summer book for kids would be perfect to read aloud to preschool, preK, or kindergarten kids.


14. Llama Llama Loves Camping

This #1 best seller is sure to bring a smile to Llama Llama lovers of all ages!

15. A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee

Enjoy this story about an exciting adventure with Mr. Magee and his dog.

While enjoying their Summer camping trip together, along comes a bear. What do you think happens next?

16. How Do You Know It’s Summer?

Full of facts and bright photographs, this non fiction book about Summer is great for kids ages 3-7.

17. Summer in the Forest

If your kids love flap books, this will be a perfect addition to your collection of Summer books for kids. 

This board book, great for ages 2-6, will teach your kids about Summer in the forest while taking you on a adventure of a bear and her cubs.

18. Summer Sun Risin’

This book is a Parenting Reading Magic Award winner! 

W. Nikola-Lisa’s tribute to childhood, farm life, and family togetherness. shares a story about an African-American boy who spends his Summer with his family on the farm.

19. My Stinky Summer

If you’re looking for a funny book about Summer for kids, then this is it! 

This silly story is told from the view point of a stink bug, sharing his stinky journey through Summer.


Summer Chapter Books for Kids

If your young readers are looking to expand their summer reading list to something more advanced than picture books, try chapter books.

On a hot summer day, whether at home, on a beach vacation, or at summer camp, kids can enjoy a good book.

Below are some popular chapter books young readers love:

Before you go, here are some blog posts you may enjoy:

5 Easy Summer Crafts for Kids

5 Easy Father’s Day Crafts and Gift Ideas

Kindergarten Summer School Activities

summer books for kids picture books read alouds and chapter books


Summer Books for Kids