Parenting

20 Best Books to Read to Your Kids Over the Summer

Reading is great for kids of all ages, and summer is the perfect time to curl up with a good book. But with the long days of summer only about halfway over, you might be running out of books to read at home. Thankfully, the local library offers an affordable way to temporarily add new books to your library. Look for these great summer reads (listed by age group), or add them to your personal home library today!

20 Best Books to Read to Your Kids Over the Summer

Babies and Toddlers (Ages 1-4)

While you can read almost anything to your baby or toddler, there are some books that engage them better than others. They typically offer bright colors, and fun textures and activities to keep young minds engaged. These are some of our favorites for the summer:

Baby Loves Summer by Karen Katz

Baby Loves Summer by Karen Katz.jpg

Karen Katz’s new book, Baby Loves Summer, is full of bright colors and engaging tabs for your child to pull. Each pull reveals a fun new item that baby discovers on a trip to the beach. The thick pages ensure that this book will be a fun read for many summers to come.

Penguin on Vacation by Salina Yoon

Penguin on Vacation by Salina Yoon

What could be more fun than a penguin on vacation? A penguin who vacations at the beach, of course! Your baby will love this colorful, fun-filled story.

Mouse’s First Summer by Lauren Thompson

Mouse’s First Summer by Lauren Thompson

Mouse is enjoying all the fun of a summer picnic. There’s even a little adventure, and a kite!

Fred and Ted Go Camping by Peter Eastman

Fred and Ted Go Camping by Peter Eastman

If you’re a fan of Dr. Seuss, you’ll love Peter Eastman’s books. With its camping theme and bright summer colors, Fred and Ted Go Camping is perfect read for the season.

I See Summer by Charles Ghigna

I See Summer by Charles Ghigna

This bright, colorful book about summer is the perfect story for nap time or bed time.

Pre-K Through Kindergarten (Ages 4-6)

As children grow older, you can begin to challenge them with books that are a bit more complex in character, theme, and meaning. This allows you to not only encourage a healthy reading habit in your child, but to also teach them some important lessons about life and society. Of course, everyone deserved a break, so be sure to pick up these fun summer reads.

Taffy Saltwater’s Yummy Summer Day by Michael Paraskevas

Taffy Saltwater’s Yummy Summer Day by Michael Paraskevas

Nickelodeon’s creator of Maggie and the Ferocious Beast brings you and your child a story about a happy-go-lucky girl who’s bound and determined to build the perfect sand castle.

Maisy Learns to Swim by Lucy Cousins

Maisy Learns to Swim by Lucy Cousins

Maisy the mouse learns to swim! If you and your child haven’t had the chance to enjoy the Maisy books, be sure to check this one out over the summer.

Good Night Beach by Adam Gamble

Good Night Beach by Adam Gamble

This beautifully illustrated book shows just how many people enjoy the beach. It also touches on environmental aspects that will hopefully encourage your little one to care for their planet.

Curious George Goes Camping by Margret & H.A. Rey

Curious George Goes Camping by Margret & H.A. Rey

Who doesn’t love Curious George?! Follow the world’s favorite monkey on his very first camping trip. Antics are sure to abound in this summer read.

Olivia Opens a Lemonade Stand by Kama Einhorn

Olivia Opens a Lemonade Stand by Kama Einhorn

Accompany Olivia as she opens her first business – a lemonade stand! Told in true Olivia fashion, this book is both fun and engaging.

Primary School (Ages 6-9)

School-aged children need more complex stories to stay engaged. Give them what they crave with these fun but interesting summer books.

Camping by Nancy Hundal

Camping by Nancy Hundal

This engaging read is like a love poem for camping. Beautiful, artistic pages make the story even more lively.

Arthur’s Family Vacation by Marc Brown

Arthur’s Family Vacation by Marc Brown

Fans of Arthur will love this summer story. The family is going on vacation. See what fun adventures the family cooks up.

Swimming Lessons by Deborah A. Lennon

Swimming Lessons by Deborah A. Lennon

If your little one is concerned about swimming lessons, this is the perfect read! It’s all about how a girl overcame her challenges while trying to learn how to swim underwater.

Dino Swimming by Lisa Wheeler

Dino Swimming by Lisa Wheeler

It’s time for the dinosaur swimming competition! Find out which team wins in this fun and silly book about dinosaurs.

Fireflies by Julie Brinckloe

Fireflies by Julie Brinckloe

A little boy is fascinated by fireflies, and pleased when he catches them. But as their lights begin to dim, he makes a startling realization. He must set them free so they can live.

Primary School (Ages 8-12)

As children head into their pre-teen stages, they begin to gravitate more toward books that contain characters with whom they identify. But they still crave a bit of adventure. Give them both this summer with these great chapter books.

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

If you and your child haven’t taken the time to read this classic tale about a girl and a pig, now is the time to do it! A classic but evergreen tale about unconditional love and enjoying the little things in life. It also takes place during the summer, of course.

Letters from Camp by Kate Klise

Letters from Camp by Kate Klise

This is not your average summer camp story. Told through letters and postcards home, readers are encouraged to unravel a summer camp mystery.

Elliot Stone and the Mystery of Summer Vacation Sea Monster by LP Chase

Who says Scotland has the only Loch Ness Monster? This story suggests there could be one in a lake in Vermont. When you add in an adventurous boy and a summer vacation, you end up with a fun, engaging story that any young child would love.

Holes by Louise Satire

Holes by Louise Satire

Stanley Yelnats is plagued by a family curse. While everyone else is out enjoying summer, he’s stuck digging holes in a boys’ detention center. This story is weird, funny, and oddly satisfying, all the way to the end.

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

Historical fiction with a twist. Follow three sisters from Brooklyn as they search for the mother that abandoned them. It also contains themes related to the Civil Right’s Movement, which makes this book engaging but also powerful and quite educational.

About the author

Kate

Kate Givans is a wife and a mother of five—four sons (one with autism) and a daughter. She’s an advocate for breastfeeding, women’s rights, against domestic violence, and equality for all. When not writing—be it creating her next romance novel or here on Growing Your Baby—Kate can be found discussing humanitarian issues, animal rights, eco-awareness, food, parenting, and her favorite books and shows on Twitter or Facebook. Laundry is the bane of her existence, but armed with a cup of coffee, she sometimes she gets it done. Find out more about Kate’s books at authorkategivans.com.

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