Let the sun shine in. ☀️

Summer read-aloud books called Come On Rain and Fireflies.
We Are Teachers; Stephanie Sanders

The summer solstice takes place on June 21, marking the longest day of the year. Celebrate this sunshiny day and the upcoming summer break with these summer read-alouds. Help kids relate to the changes in the season with these charming selections. Sunshine, waves, lemonade stands—there’s a lot to love about summer!

Summer read alouds example with the cover of Wild Summer. A girl is dancing by the beach in the summer sun.

1. Wild Summer: Life in the Heat by Sean Taylor and Alex Morss

Summer read-alouds like this one make us all wish summer could last forever! Follow a little girl and her grandfather in this charming, realistic-fiction tale that takes a close look at how animals and plants adapt to the summer weather. At each stop on their nature walk, Grandpa points out beautiful-colored plants and flowers. They also observe the vibrant activity of animals at play in the sunshine and warmth. This is a beautiful follow-up to this team’s previous seasonal books, Winter Sleep and Busy Spring.

Buy it: Wild Summer: Life in the Heat

Book cover of The Summer Nick Taught His Cats to Read with a boy reading under a tree with his two cats.

2. The Summer Nick Taught His Cats To Read by Curtis Manley and Kate Berube

Calling all cat lovers! We all know how difficult it is to herd cats, so how can we teach them how to read? This charming picture book will bring smiles to all while encouraging even the most reluctant readers. If you are looking for summer read-alouds to bring smiles to little faces, this one is purrfect!

Buy it: The Summer Nick Taught His Cats To Read

Sandcastle book cover with a giant sandcastle on the beach (summer read alouds)

3. Sandcastle by Einat Tsarfati

Summer picture books about the beach are a great way to ring in the season. See what happens when a girl with a wild imagination builds a sandcastle worthy of the royals. All types of majestic characters and animals can be found in the detailed illustrations. This beach day will go down in history!

Buy it: Sandcastle

Come On, Rain- summer read alouds

4. Come On, Rain! by Karen Hesse

It’s summer in the big city, and the heat is relentless. Three weeks have gone by without any relief. Tess, her family, and their friends in the neighborhood are about to give up hope. And just like that, the welcome rain finally comes falling down.

Buy it: Come On, Rain!

Froggy Goes to Camp- summer read alouds

5. Froggy Goes to Camp by Jonathan London

School’s out, and Froggy is off to sleepaway camp. He and his bunkmates’ days are filled with kayaking, archery, swimming, and friendship. Of course, no Froggy book would be complete without some silly mishaps, which kids love!

Buy it: Froggy Goes to Camp

Book cover of Summer Vacation, Here I Come, with kids swimming in a pool (summer read alouds)

6. Summer Vacation, Here I Come! by D.J. Steinberg

If you are looking for summer read-alouds involving poetry, this one’s for you. It’s full of whimsical, sunshiny poems that kids of all ages will love. Hello, summer vacation!

Buy it: Summer Vacation, Here I Come!

The Night Before Summer Vacation- summer read alouds

7. The Night Before Summer Vacation by Natasha Wing

Fans of Wing’s “Night Before” books will love this fun, rhyming story celebrating the end of the school year. This book will set the stage for the upcoming summer break and long-awaited summer adventures.

Buy it: The Night Before Summer Vacation

Fireflies- summer read alouds

8. Fireflies! by Julie Brinckloe

Summer is the season for fireflies, and a young boy has just discovered them for the first time. He and his friends catch a bunch in a jar, fascinated by their magical glow. As the night goes on, he realizes that the insects cannot survive this way and learns a lesson about the beauty of nature.

Buy it: Fireflies!

Book cover of It Began with Lemonade with a child selling lemonade in a homemade stand (summer read alouds)

9. It Began With Lemonade by Gideon Sterer and Lian Cho

As our main character sets out to sell lemonade one hot summer day, it turns out her bright idea isn’t very original. After bumping into another stand on every street corner, she finally ends up down by the river, away from the hustle and bustle. This is where her true adventures begin, with a whole new world of thirsty, quirky friends!

Buy it: It Began With Lemonade

Book cover of Blackout, showing a family on the roof of a building at night under the stars. (summer read alouds)

10. Blackout by John Rocco

In this Caldecott Honor book, see what happens when a blackout takes over the city on a hot summer night. What is a kid to do without computers, tablets, and television? As it turns out, there are a whole lot of fun activities that don’t even require electricity! Help encourage kids to get off those screens with summer picture books like this one.

Buy it: Blackout

Seashells More Than a Home- summer read alouds

11. Seashells: More Than a Home by Melissa Stewart

Summer is the season for long days at the beach. Searching for seashell treasures is always fun, and this book helps kids learn more about them. Their different sizes and shapes all serve unique purposes.

Buy it: Seashells: More Than a Home

If You Give a Cat a Cupcake- Summer Read Alouds

12. If You Give a Cat a Cupcake by Laura Numeroff

When a little girl and her cat spill some sprinkles, it reminds the cat of sand. This quickly inspires them to head out to the beach, which in turn leads to stops at other popular summer spots. This cute, circular story follows the tradition of Numeroff’s other books from this famous series.

Buy it: If You Give a Cat a Cupcake

Clifford Takes a Trip- summer read alouds

13. Clifford Takes a Trip by Norman Bridwell

Summer has arrived, and Emily Elizabeth and Clifford are ready for their summer staycation. Find out what happened when Clifford was left behind with a neighbor the previous summer while the rest of the family took a trip to the mountains.

Buy it: Clifford Takes a Trip

Book cover of Frog and Toad All Year with both characters building a snow person. (Summer Read Alouds)

14. Frog and Toad All Year by Arnold Lobel

Technically this isn’t strictly a summer picture book, since it covers all four seasons. But if you’re looking for summer children’s books for Frog and Toad lovers, this is the one. Join this dynamic duo as they explore summer and the changes that come before and after it in this classic book. This is also a great introduction to the beloved Frog and Toad series.

Buy it: Frog and Toad All Year

Cover of the book Super Summer, with bright flowers and butterflies, as an example of summer read alouds.

15. Super Summer: All Kinds of Summer Facts and Fun by Bruce Goldstone

It’s always a great idea to incorporate nonfiction summer read-alouds into your library to mix things up. This summer children’s book is full of fascinating facts about the warmest season on our planet. It includes real photographs and craft ideas to help build further connections to the text.

Buy it: Super Summer: All Kinds of Summer Facts and Fun

Summer Supper book cover with a boy holding a pot of fresh vegetables (summer read alouds)

16. Summer Supper by Rubin Pfeffer

This alliterative delight chronicles a delicious summer meal—from planting to preparation to dinnertime. Yum!

Buy it: Summer Supper

Summer walk

17. Summer Walk by Virginia Brimhall Snow

What better way to spend a summer day than hunting for bugs? The children in this book find ladybugs, dragonflies, stink bugs, and more during a visit to Grammy’s house.

Buy it: Summer Walk

Captain Jack and the Pirates book cover for summer read alouds. Three children are pictured in a sailboat.

18. Captain Jack and the Pirates by Peter Bently and Helen Oxenbury

Summer adventures at the beach are even more fun when kids use their imagination. A sandpit becomes a pirate ship for Jack and his pals.

Buy it: Captain Jack and the Pirates

A Perfect Day book cover with a sleeping brown bear in a meadow and a bird flying. Summer read alouds for kids.

19. A Perfect Day by Lane Smith

Each animal has its own idea of a perfect summer day, from lounging in the warm sun to cooling off in a refreshing pool. And Bear? Well, Bear likes it all. Ask your kids, “What would happen on your perfect summer day?”

Buy it: A Perfect Day

A Lullaby of Summer Things book cover with a child in pajamas and pet dog sleeping next to her.

20. A Lullaby of Summer Things by Natalie Ziarnik and Madeline Valentine

This rhyming text captures the special feel of a summer evening—everyone’s tired, sandy, and content after a busy day at the beach.

Buy it: A Lullaby of Summer Things

The Little Red Fort book cover

21. The Little Red Fort by Brenda Maier

We adore this updated take on The Little Red Hen. When Ruby makes plans for an epic summer fort, none of her brothers are interested—until she builds it and they see how amazing it is.

Buy it: The Little Red Fort

The Sandcastle That Lola Build book cover showing girl on the beach in a bathing suit building a sandcastle (summer read alouds)

22. The Sandcastle That Lola Built by Megan Maynor

In this beach-themed version of The House That Jack Built, Lola builds a fantastic sandcastle—and makes a host of new friends in the process.

Buy it: The Sandcastle That Lola Built

And Then Comes Summer book cover with three children eating ice cream. (Summer read alouds)

23. And Then Comes Summer by Tom Brenner

Get excited about lazy summer days full of possibility. Tom Brenner invites kids to delight in seasonal rituals like pumping up bike tires, hosting a lemonade stand, and playing hide-and-seek until it gets dark, along with many more.

Buy it: And Then Comes Summer

Froggy's Lemonade Stand book cover for summer read alouds.

24. Froggy’s Lemonade Stand by Jonathan London

Froggy’s latest great idea is a summer staple: a lemonade stand! In classic Froggy fashion, though, there are a few hiccups along the way.

Buy it: Froggy’s Lemonade Stand

My Awesome Summer book cover with a praying mantis standing on a plant. (Summer read alouds)

25. My Awesome Summer by P. Mantis by Paul Meisel

Kids may spend the summer on the beach, at cookouts, or at camp, but P. Mantis’ diary is more about shedding skin and camouflage. This creative look at the life cycle of a praying mantis gives a different perspective on summer’s passing.

Buy it: My Awesome Summer by P. Mantis

How to Code a Sandcastle book cover with a girl and a robot lying on the beach near a sandcastle.

26. How To Code a Sandcastle by Josh Funk

Pearl has been trying to build a sandcastle all summer without success, so she calls in her trusty rustproof robot, Pascal, to help. She writes code to make Pascal build the perfect sandcastle, teaching readers basic coding concepts along the way. So smart and so fun!

Buy it: How To Code a Sandcastle

Book cover of Saffron Ice Cream with a girl and dressed up as the Statue of Liberty with her pet cat. (Summer read alouds)

27. Saffron Ice Cream by Rashin Kheiriyeh

Rashin reminisces about her family’s trips to the Caspian Sea when they lived in Iran and wonders how a trip to Coney Island will compare now that they live in Brooklyn. Get students thinking about how summer fun is both the same and different in other parts of the world.

Buy it: Saffron Ice Cream

The Golden Glow book cover with a fox standing up like a human in a meadow of flowers and trees.

28. The Golden Glow by Benjamin Flouw

Fox goes on a summer hiking expedition in search of a rare flower described in his botany book. He encounters many other forest plants and animals along the way before finally finding “the golden glow.” Read this to inspire kids to plan their own summer hikes.

Buy it: The Golden Glow

Book cover of Pie is for Sharing, a summer read aloud with kids at a picnic table sharing a pie on the cover.

29. Pie Is for Sharing by Stephanie Parsley Ledyard

Summer is the perfect season for sharing, whether it’s pie, a ball, or a towel. This title will have everyone counting the days until the next summer picnic.

Buy it: Pie Is for Sharing

Book cover of Goldfish on Vacation with three kids carrying a fishbowl of goldfish and a fishing net. (summer read alouds)

30. Goldfish on Vacation by Sally Lloyd-Jones

City kids bring their goldfish to a local fountain for the summer. This sweet story about summer in the city is based on real events.

Buy it: Goldfish on Vacation

Book cover of hooked with a boy fishing under a tree at a lake

31. Hooked by Tommy Greenwald

Joe loves fishing, but it takes an unexpected ice-fishing experience to get his dad interested. By the following summer, both father and son are “hooked.” Kids will enjoy thinking about funny items they could “catch.”

Buy it: Hooked

Summer read alouds book cover of Everything You Need for a Treehouse book showing a treehouse with two kids in a large tree.

32. Everything You Need for a Treehouse by Carter Higgins and Emily Hughes

“Everything you need for a treehouse starts with time and looking up,” this lyrical text proclaims. This ode to creative possibility will get readers dreaming about summer building projects.

Buy it: Everything You Need for a Treehouse

What are your favorite children’s books about summer? We’d love to hear about them in our We Are Teachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, check out our 2024 summer reading list for more book suggestions for summer!

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