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FAVORITE SUMMER CHILDREN’S BOOKS

I love rotating our kids books seasonally. Mainly because it feels so exciting and new when we pull out a new batch. This year when we put away our spring books and pulled out our favorite summer children’s books, I decided it might be fun to share some of them with you! Part of the fun in our seasonal swapping is simply getting to rediscover so many of our favorites.

It’s a great way to cut down on the number of books we have on the shelves. And it helps with keeping the kids interested and engaged with what we have out. And honestly, it keeps me from getting bored with reading the same books over and over again (because… toddlers!?). For me the best part is seeing their faces light up when the “new” box of books comes out. And knowing we will pile up with a stack of our favorites and dive straight into enjoying them.


This year we wanted to share some of our favorite summer children’s books:


1. The Greatest Table by Michael J. Rosen. Full of lovely and engaging illustrations of different foods, people, and places. The lyrical text of this book encourages the reader to “build a longer table” in a world of bountiful food yet increasing food insecurity. This is a beautiful book that we were thrilled to add to our collection.


2. The Thing About Bees by Shabazz Larkin. I can’t say enough wonderful things about this book – I happened upon it while I was looking for books about bees one summer. Noah was having a lot of anxiety about the carpenter bees that were living on our front porch. In our house we often turn to books as a way to help our kids learn about things they are frightened by (see also: thunderstorms, going to school, spiders, and visiting the doctor).

This charming story is written as a love letter from a father to his sons all about bees! The author shares that he has “a ridiculous fear of bees” that he did not want to pass on to his children. He set out to discover everything he could bees in effort to understand them and share his knowledge with his sons. This incredible illustrations of this book have a modern day Norman Rockwell vibe. The lyrical storytelling makes this one you will enjoy reading again and again.


Check the back of the book for a bonus Guide to Bees (and Wasps) from Kind to Kinda Mean
The Thing About Bees by Shabazz Larkin

3. Mama, Is it Summer Yet? by Nikki McClure. Ths joyful board book highlights the beauty of nature and all of the delights that come from the changing seasons. The story, simplistically illustrated with unique paper cutouts, embraces the persistence and curiosity of children. It also wonderfully depicts the patience and perseverance of motherhood. It’s a seasonal favorite in our house!


4. Carmela Full of Wishes by Matt de la Peña. This is the latest book by the author of Last Stop on Market Street. It is a wonderfully compelling story about the complicated nature of sibling relationships, the power of hope, and the importance of kindness. The illustrations are bold, dynamic, and evocative.


5. Hum and Swish by Matt Myers. This beach-themed book is a charming story about introversion, creativity, and the quiet joy of finding a kindred spirit. It is full of detailed, colorful artwork that is so gorgeous, you can almost smell the sea air. This story reminds us of the importance of enjoying quiet time to play, imagine, and create – for both children and adults.

Hum and Swish by Matt Myers

More of our favorite summer children’s books:


6. Swashby and the Sea by Beth Ferry. This book is a clever and charming tale of an unlikely friendship. Swashby is a grumpy retired sailor who lives alone and loves his quiet life by the sea – his oldest friend. One day a little girl and her grandmother commandeer the house next door and disrupt his solitude. He leaves cranky messages to them written in the sand like “PLEASE GO AWAY.” However, the sea fiddles with them and changes them into more friendly things, gently encouraging a friendship between them.


7. Some Bugs by Angela DiTerlizzi. This is one of our all-time favorite books and it holds an extra level of charm in the summertime! It is written in a delightful rhyme that is fun to read with brightly colored illustrations. This sweet book is educational for parents and kids alike! The last fold pictures all of the bugs (plus the cat!) listed by name and my boys love to point out which ones are their favorites!


Keep an eye out for the funny little ladybug in every scene!


8. Max and the Tag-Along Moon by Floyd Cooper. We got this heartwarming book through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. It is a timeless story about Max, his grandfather, and the moon that follows him home. Ultimately teaching him a powerful lesson about unconditional love. The wonder, innocence, and curious nature of childhood are all beautifully depicted in the soft, dreamy illustrations of this beautiful book.

9. The Keeper of Wild Words by Brooke Smith. As a lover of language, this book spoke to me with its beautiful premise and pages. A nature loving grandmother discovers that her favorite “wild” words—words like apricot, blackberry, buttercup—are disappearing from the English language. She appoints her granddaughter to be their Keeper, learning all about them as they adventure outdoors, exploring nature together.


10. Sam and the Firefly by P.D. Eastman. This classic tale of Sam the Owl and Gus the Firefly who meet and become friends. These two get into some questionable adventures together. I remember this nostalgic book from my own childhood! Gus gets carried away learning new tricks, causes all sorts of trouble and chaos, and ultimately learns the hard way that being a prankster isn’t always fun and games. Sometimes it can cause harm to others. With unique illustrations, this story highlights the power of friendship, doing the “right” thing, and the potential impact of one’s actions. (This is also a fun book for kids who are learning to read!)

Sam and the Firefly by P.D. Eastman

What is your favorite summer children’s book? I love learning about new ones!
Share yours in the comments below.

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