When my children were young we loved to read picture books together. I love reading of course and wanted to pass my love of reading down to them. I especially loved the change of seasons and picking out books about the upcoming season.
I thought it would be fun to put together a few of my favorites over the years. The summer season will be the first one I put together. Most of these are older and are classics but if you love picture books and want to keep up with the newest releases you should check out Everyday Reading, she keeps an updated list each year.
This is a great summer list to start with!
Picture Books About Summer
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This was one of my kid’s favorite books. We read this so many times. This is about a family coming to visit during the summer. They spend time hugging, doing all kinds of things that summer allows like picking strawberries and playing music. At the end of the trip, of course, there is some sadness but they know it’s all going to be ok because the next summer is coming. This book reminded me so much of my childhood. In the ’70s and 80’s we cherished the times’ relatives came to visit and even relatives that lived local, we would often visit more in the summer and sit on the porch and eat with snow cones with ice cream in them. I have such wonderful memories of those summers.
Who doesn’t love a lovable vet, beautiful countryside, and a bunch of wonderful animals? In this treasury, we find all of his books for children collected in one beautiful volume.
From the springtime frolic of Oscar, Cat-About-Town to the yuletide warmth of The Christmas Day Kitten, these stories―radiantly illustrated by Peter Barrett and Ruth Brown―are just stunning!
I love to recommend treasury books for gifts and this one is always at the top! The pictures in this book are breathtaking! A huge favorite in our house! BBC now has a show called All Creatures Great and Small based on the book and it is wonderful.
Alice made a promise to make the world a more beautiful place, then a seed of an idea is planted and blossoms into a beautiful plan. This beloved classic and celebration of nature—written by a beloved Caldecott winner—is lovelier than ever!
I love how this book shows that a woman set out to make the world more beautiful and did it. She had a plan and saw it through and I think it’s a wonderful life lesson to children. Of course with the beautiful flowers, you have to think of summer. The countless lupines that bloom along the coast of Maine are the legacy of the real Miss Rumphius, the Lupine Lady, who scattered lupine seeds everywhere she went.
Miss Rumphius received the American Book Award in the year of publication.
I love this book about a boy and his granddad. The boy is disappointed it is raining so much and can’t go outside. He drinks hot chocolate, reads his books, and dreams of all the adventures. Eventually, Granddad has to mail his letter and so he decides they have to go out despite the rain and flooding and so they do.
Sam and Granddad brave the rain and floods and have the best adventure ever! This is a fun one!
In A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee, Mr. Magee and his trusty dog, Dee, are enjoying a peaceful camping trip when along comes a lumbering, marshmallow-loving bear and the excitement begins. The next thing the two campers know, they are plunging down a mountain, racing down a river, and teetering on the edge of a waterfall! How will Mr. Magee and Dee find their way out of this slippery situation?
We love this one! It is a rhyming book that has always been a favorite since I was a kid. The illustrations are vibrant and fun and it takes you along to a little adventure that starts out as a basic camping trip but ends up literally a slippery slope. This is one the kids will be wanting you to read over and over.
Early one morning a little spider blown by the wind spins her web on a farmyard fence post. One by one, the animals of the nearby farm try to distract her, yet the busy little spider keeps diligently at her work. When she is done, she is able to show everyone that not only is her creation quite beautiful, it is also quite useful!
This is another one that shows a great life lesson. It teaches kids that working hard and staying with something is worth it. Sometimes we have to do homework or work on a chore or do a project or help someone else. We may have opportunities to leave those things to go have fun but many times it is more important we finish the task.
There is something magical about what fireflies bring to summer. I have the best memories as a young girl catching fireflies in a jar with holes poked in the top. We had a ton of fireflies at that time and it is such a great reminder of a fun summer night. Maybe it is why I love this book so much!
A young boy is proud of having caught a jar full of fireflies, which seems to him like owning a piece of moonlight, but as the light begins to dim he realizes he must set the insects free or they will die. This was something I realized as a kid too, they had to be set free. The artwork is beautiful and everything is in classic black and white.
Kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk! Sal and her mother a picking blueberries to can for the winter. But when Sal wanders to the other side of Blueberry Hill, she discovers a mama bear preparing for her own long winter. Meanwhile, Sal’s mother is being followed by a small bear with a big appetite for berries! Will each mother go home with the right little one?
This one is such a classic! Two mamas and two little ones (human and bear) set off to pick blueberries and they get mixed up, a wrong kid with wrong mom until they find their way back to one another. This was published in 1948 and it is still beloved with its simple, classic illustrations. When my children were young we did a mini-unit study on this book and went and picked blueberries. You can find many ideas on Pinterest for activities that go with the book!
From Shel Silverstein, the New York Times bestselling author of Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic, comes a poignant picture book about love and acceptance, cherished for over fifty years. This classic is perfect for both young readers and lifelong fans.
The story starts off with a tree that loves a boy. The boy is always playing under and on the tree and the tree loves him so much.
“Once there was a tree…and she loved a little boy.”
As the boy grows the tree misses the boy but every once in a while he shows up and the tree gives him a different part of himself. The book is a lesson on growing up, love, and the gift of giving.
Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk…and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave and gave. This is a tender story, touched with sadness, aglow with consolation.
The Giving Tree is a meaningful gift for milestone events such as graduations, birthdays, and baby showers.
These are some of our favorite summer picture books! I hope your kids enjoy them as much as mine did!
Summer Picture Books
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