The smell of sunscreen, chlorine, and barbeques are here. The magic of Summer will be reflected in our children’s eyes, shining like fireflies. The pictures of sun kissed noses, sticky s’mores fingers, stained popsicle lips and dirty toes will carry with you, and them, for a lifetime. 

Why not add a little extra together time with these fun picture books? Snuggle up on a picnic blanket outside, under the shade of a porch or tree, or even in the nice air conditioned coziness of your couch. Happy Summer and happy reading!

“All the World” by Liz Garton Scanlon

All the world is here. It is there. It is everywhere. All the world is right where you are. Now. Following a circle of family and friends through the course of a day from morning till night, this book affirms the importance of all things great and small in our world, from the tiniest shell on the beach, to warm family connections, to the widest sunset sky

“Natsumi’s Song of Summer” by Robert Paul Weston

Two young cousins who are separated by language, continent and culture meet for the first time when Jill’s family travels from America to Japan to stay with Natsumi’s family during the summer holidays. Natsumi’s nervousness about meeting her cousin from across the sea quickly disappears when she discovers that her cousin is a lot like her: they both love summertime’s hot sandy beaches, cool refreshing watermelon, festivals and fireworks. A sweet story about summertime and faraway friends.

“Summer Song” by Kevin Henkes

Bees buzz, birds sing, and children roll in the grass and feel the heat of the summer sun. With striking verbal imagery, repetition, and alliteration, Kevin Henkes introduces basic concepts of language and the summer season. Laura Dronzek’s glowing paintings beautifully illustrate the wonders of summer.

“Jabari Jumps” by Gaia Cornwall

Working up the courage to take a big, important leap is hard, but Jabari is almost absolutely ready to make a giant splash. Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board. He’s finished his swimming lessons and passed his swim test, and he’s a great jumper, so he’s not scared at all. “Looks easy,” says Jabari, watching the other kids take their turns. But when his dad squeezes his hand, Jabari squeezes back.

“Swashby and the Sea” by Beth Ferry

Captain Swashby loves the sea, his oldest friend. And he loves his life by the sea just as it is: salty and sandy and serene. One day, much to Swashby’s chagrin, a young girl and her granny commandeer the empty house next door. All Swashby wants is for his new neighbors to GO AWAY and take their ruckus with them. When Swashby begins to leave notes in the sand for his noisy neighbors, however, the beach interferes with the messages that are getting across. Could it be that the captain’s oldest friend, the sea, knows what Swashby needs even better than he knows himself?

“The Night Before Summer Vacation” by Natasha Wing

In the style of Clement Moore’s familiar Christmas poem, it tells of a family’s last minute preparations for summer vacation. 

“When the Fireflies Come” by Jonathan London

This delicious depiction of the quintessential summer night opens with screen doors slamming, burgers sizzling on the grill, ice cream dripping, bare feet slapping on blacktop, and boys and girls playing baseball. Shadows lengthen, the first twinkling stars appear, and then . . . the fireflies come!

“Goldfish on Vacation” by Sally Lloyd-Jones

From a New York Times bestselling author and a rising-star illustrator comes a humorous tale based on an amazing-but-true story about the summer a city fountain was used as a goldfish pond. H, Little O, and Baby Em are stuck in the city for the summer with only their pet goldfish–Barracuda, Patch, and Fiss–for company. It’s looking like it might be a pretty boring vacation, but one day, something exciting happens. 

“Summer Camp Critter Jitters” by Jory John

Animals have different anxieties about going off to summer camp. A variety of animals with different anxieties about going off to summer camp receive reassurance, in this story about going to a new place.

“Summer” by Wenxuan Cao

Under a burning sun on the dry grassland, animals ranging from a tiny field mouse to a large elephant fight over a bit of shade until they learn a better way.