Summer is quickly approaching! Here are some of our favorite summer books about swimming, the beach, camps, and long sunny days.
Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall – This is one of my favorite picture books. I LOVE this book. It’s about a little boy who is trying so hard to conquer his fear of jumping off the diving board at the pool. I like that it shows Jabari’s doubts and hesitation – but also his grit and determination. It’s a great read-aloud for story times.
Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall – This 2019 Caldecott award winner is a new addition to our summer collection. It tells the story of a lighthouse and the people who keep it running.
Wave by Suzy Lee – A beautiful wordless picture book about a little girl’s day at the beach.
A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever by Marla Frazee – A really funny book about two nature camp-hating boys. James and Eamon are visiting their grandparents for the summer and are supposed to be learning to appreciate nature – but all they really want to do is to stay inside, play video games, and eat waffles.
The Berenstain Bears Go to Camp – by Stan Berenstain and Jan Berenstain – I had this book when I was little. Brother and Sister Bear are heading off to summer camp, but Sister Bear is feeling nervous. It’s a great book for new campers.
The Night of the Moon Jellies – by Mark Sasha – This is my all-time favorite book about summer. Seven-year-old Mark is helping his grandmother in their family’s busy restaurant selling lobster rolls and milkshakes. When their work day ends, they take an evening boat ride and see a ocean full of shimmering moonjellies.
Sky Dog (out of print) – by Brinton Turkle – This out-of-print book is about a boy who finds a dog during his summer beach vacation. The illustrations are so beautiful and I love the stylish 70’s mom outfits. This is one of those simple picture books that sticks with you forever.
Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey – I hesitated to put this book on the list, as my kids tended to wiggle and squirm as I read them McCloskey’s very wordy and lengthy picture books – but I love the way it captures the feeling of summertime in coastal Maine.
Early Chapter Books
Henry and Mudge and the Forever Sea by Cynthia Rylant – I love all the Henry and Mudge books – but this one about a day at the beach is really great. Perfect for new readers.
The Key to the Treasure (out of print) – Another favorite from my own childhood, it’s about three siblings who spend the summer with their grandparents trying to solve a family mystery. It’s a great book to read aloud to younger kids (6-8). It’s out of print, but I was able to grab a copy on Amazon for less than $2.00.
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall – This series is about four plucky sisters who spend their summer vacation in a cottage on the grounds of a beautiful estate called Arundel. The book is a wonderful read-aloud for younger kids (6-9). It has the swell, wholesome feel of a book written decades ago, but it was first published in 2007.