Take a break from the heat with books full of picnics, theme parks, camping trips and more. From the sandy beach to the city streets, this list will get your kids reading no matter where summer takes them.


By: Elisha Cooper 
Ages: 3-5
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
This book creates familiar memories of the common beach goers, like the kids burying each other in sand or the woman wading into the cold water one step at a time. Watercolor illustrations perfectly capture the warm, lazy mood of the beach.

By: John Rocco
Ages: 4-8
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Even a hustling and bustling city needs a break during the summer. A blackout pushes families away from their computers and phones and to the rooftops, where they play games and gaze at the stars revealed above them. This picture book teaches readers to appreciate the time spent together, even if it’s in the middle of a blackout.

Fireflies in the Night
By: Judy Hawes
Illustrated by: Ellen Alexander
Ages: 4-8
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
If you’ve ever wondered how fireflies light up at night, this book offers a scientific explanation that’s easy for kids to understand and helps them differentiate between cool and warm light. Wonder and science come together for a new look at the lightning bugs floating in the darkness. Cute illustrations accompany.

Flip Flop! (Step into Reading)
By: Dana M. Rau
Illustrated by: Jana Christy
Ages: 5-7
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Whether these two friends are swimming in the lake or laughing at an amusement park, this book explores the endless opportunities summer offers. The words are large and easy to read, making it perfect for younger readers to follow along on the adventure.

Lucille Camps In
By: Kathryn Lasky
Illustrated by: Marylin Hafner
Ages: 3-7
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
When her siblings and father go out camping, poor Lucille is left behind. But she and her mother turn their house into a campsite of their own and learn about the adventures you can have without leaving your front door.

Mouse’s First Summer
By: Lauren Thompson
Illustrated by: Buket Erdogan
Ages: 2-4
Reading Level: Pre-Reader
Mouse and Minka can’t enjoy summer without some food, and their colorful picnic has more to offer than just watermelon and pie. Grab a kite or roll down some grassy hills and get into the spirit of the season with these two lovable, furry friends.

Peep and Ducky
By: David Martin
Illustrated by: David Walker
Ages: 1-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader
Join the incredibly adorable Peep and Ducky as they play in the park on a bright summer day. Playgrounds, creeks and their own two feet provide plenty of fun in this simple book on friendship.

Roller Coaster
By: Marla Frazee
Ages: 4-7
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Get in line and enjoy the ride with this picture book thrill ride. Plenty of sounds like clacking and yelling make it fun to read aloud and the loops and drops and turns on the pages let kids feel like they’re actually rushing through the air. It’s just like going on a real roller coaster, but with all of the excitement and none of the wait.

Summer Days and Nights
By: Wong Herbert Yee
Ages: 2-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
One girl doesn’t let the heat stop her – she ventures out into the sun with her hat and butterfly net to tackle summer head on. Awaken the inner explorer in your child with this cute adventure.

Summer with Elisa
By: Johanna Hurwitz
Ages: 6-9
Reading Level: Intermediate Reader
Elisa was looking forward to a summer without her older brother teasing her, but when her family takes a vacation into the country she has to find other ways to escape. Follow Elisa as she tries to keep up with her older brother and prove she can do anything he can do.

By: Douglas Florian
Ages: 5-7
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Douglas Florian’s book turns poetry on its head. Poems like “The Swing,” “Sidewalk Squawk” and more capture the youthful energy of children playing in the sun, with equally exciting illustrations to liven up the page.

The Moon Jumpers
By: Janice May Udry
Illustrated by: Maurice Sendak
Ages: 5-7
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
From the author of “Where the Wild Things Are” comes another inspiring tale of childhood innocence. This book transports readers old and new alike back to those moonlit nights full of exploration and wonder.

The Relatives Came
By: Cynthia Rylant
Illustrated by: Stephen Gammell
Ages: 3-8
Reading Level: Intermediate Reader
Summer wouldn’t be complete without a family reunion. This narrator’s relatives arrive in a rainbow station wagon and fill the days with strawberry picking and guitar playing. Though they may not always get along, this family will always be there for each other.

The Storm Book
By: Charlotte Zolotow
Illustrated by: Margaret Bloy Graham
Ages: 4-8
Reading Level: Intermediate Reader
An approaching storm takes over the sky, sending people and animals alike into a calm wonder as thunder crashes and rain pounds the ground. From beginning to end to a little bit farther, this book covers one storm’s journey across the countryside.

Proceeds from the sale of books purchased at Amazon.com help support PBS Parent. Thank you!

More Adventures in Learning

You Might Also Like