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The Finest Summer time Books for Children

May 15, 2023
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The best collection of Summer Books for Kids to read! Explore fun summer themes through popular children’s books with your child this summer. Plus we’ve included some summer activity and craft ideas too.

Let’s get ready for a book-filled summer!

Summer Books for Kids

Summer for me is a time to READ READ READ with my kids. We make lots of trips to the library and grab all sorts of books to read together. My kids have a chance to pick new things to learn about. They visit familiar and loved books.

We also have the chance to make themed weeks that are full of themed books that we enjoy together. I’ve put together book lists based on these fun summer themes for you. You may also want to explore the America Library Association Summer Reading List.

I’ve collected for you a list of summer themed books that I think you’ll love. You can click in the table of content for each summer book theme to find my top picks of books.

Summer is a time to explore our world and our backyards together. Happy Summer Reading!

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Welcome the beginning of summer with this adorable books about summer for your child. Summer is a time for swimming, camping, ice cream and outdoor fun with friends and cousins.

ACTIVITY: Take a Summer Virtual Field Trip with kids!

4th of July

Celebrate America’s Independence Day with these patriotic children’s books. Learn about various symbols of America and celebrate the 4th of July with your child.

ACTIVITY: Here’s a delicious 4th of July snack idea the kids can make for their patriotic book fun.

Father’s Day

Father’s Day is celebrated on the 3rd Sunday of June. Here are some heartwarming stories about dads to read together.

ACTIVITY: Make an adorable Father’s Day craft to go along with these books about Dad.

Ice Cream

Summer and ice cream go hand in hand. Here are some delicious stories all about ice cream.

ACTIVITY: Host your own ice cream fun this summer with this ice cream math playdate.

Water & Swimming

Kids and water are like magnets. Here are some fun children’s books that are all about swimming. Are you ready to dive into summer reading?

ACTIVITY: You can explore these fun water themed activities to expand your water reading.


The fun part about summer break is that we have a little more time to travel. One top destination to enjoy is the beach. Here are some fun children’s books about the ocean for your child to explore and learn about sea animals.

There are so many great Ocean Books for kids. We have a large guide to help you find adorable ocean themed books for each sea creature. Explore here…



Each summer there’s a special week called Shark Week hosted by the Discovery Channel. It’s time to raise awareness of conservation efforts and correct misconceptions about sharks. Here are some great shark books that help kids learn more about these fascinating and important animals of the sea.

Want more? Explore our large collection of Shark Books for Kids!



There’s something quite magical about summers and exploring the sandy shorelines to discover seashells with your child. There are so many special things our children can learn from shell collecting. Here are a few seashell books that share about this.

ACTIVITY: Make this colorful watercolor seashell craft or play a shell themed literacy game.


With exploring the oceans we enter into the magical world of mermaids. Here are some classic stories for kids about mermaids to read together.

ACTIVITY: You can make your own mermaid necklace or mermaid clothespin craft.


Ahoy there! Summer time and beach fun naturally draws our imagatination to pirates. Here are some tales for your little pirate.

ACTIVITY: Make your own pirate book basket filled with activities and fun for summer.


Take time this summer to explore STEM concepts with your child through books about science, technology, engineering, and math. We’ve picked some of our favorite STEM books for kids.

Want more? Explore this collection of STEM Books for Kids.

ACTIVITY: Get ready to do one of our STEM Challenges for kids.

Balls and Sports

Head outside for summer fun! These books are all about balls! Are you ready for a ball game?

Take a look at the Best Ball Books for Kids! Explore our Summer Olympic Book Picks too!



“Juneteenth – also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, LiberationDay, and Emancipation Day – is a holiday celebrating the emancipation of African Americans who had been enslaved in the United States. Although the emancipation proclamation was signed almost two and a half years earlier, the news of this important decision didn’t reach Texas until June 19th, 1865.

Now, Juneteenth is celebrated annually on June 19th and has become a time for celebration. People honor Juneteenth in many ways from parties and parades to memorials and lessons. However it’s celebrated, it’s a time to share stories of resilience, resistance, and liberation, and to uplift Black joy. ” –National Museum of African American History and Culture’s Early Childhood Education Initiative Team.

Here’s a guide for how to talk to kids about Juneteenth from the Smithsonian.

ACTIVITY: Here are four ways to Celebrate Juneteenth with kids.


With younger kids having a week filled with fun about a specific animal can be lots of fun. We think alligators are the perfect choice for this. Here are our favorite alligator books for kids.

ACTIVITY: Let’s get crafty after reading these alligator books with a few fun Alligator Crafts and Activities.


One step into the backyard and at times it’s a bug zoo for your child. Summer is the perfect time to learn more about insects with your child. Here are our favorite bug books for kids.

You can find our top picks of ladybug books, butterfly books and bee books for more book suggestions.

ACTIVITY: Have some fun with literacy and bugs with this letter bugs craft. You may want to even raise your own praying mantis, ladybugs, or butterflies this summer.

Sun and Solar Energy

Our longest days are in summer which makes it nice to get outdoors with the kids. Summer is the perfect time to learn more about the sun and solar energy with your child. Here’s our top picks of books about the sun.

ACTIVITY: Learn more about sun and solar power with these Solar Science Experiments for kids.


Go on an adventure to the rainforest this summer with these adorable books. Learning about all the life that a rainforest contains can be such fun with your child. Plus ways to learn how to help protect our planet with these precious ecosystems.

ACTIVITY: Take a Virtual Field Trip to the Rain Forest with your child.


Summertime can be a fun time for families to go camping. Here are some adventures books all about camping for kids. Keep in mind sometimes even the best tents can be a blanket fort inside for summer fun.

ACTIVITY: Let’s set up a tent for camping with these 10 Tent Activities.


Watermelon is such a summer classic! Here are our favorite books about watermelon to read with your child this summer.

ACTIVITY: Go on a Virtual Field Trip to a Watermelon Farm!


Gardens are in full growing mode during the summer. It’s the perfect time to plant and learn with your child. Here are our top picks of gardening books for kids. What will you grow in your backyard this summer?

Want more? Take a look at these Gardening Books for Kids.

ACTIVITY: Head to the garden to learn and explore 30+ Garden Activities for Kids.


Summer break is the perfect time to do more art with your child and to learn about famous artists and their famous pieces of art. Here are our top picks of art books for kids.

ACTIVITY: Looking for a few art projects this summer? Try these popular art resources for teaching art to kids.


Head to the kitchen this summer with the kids and help your child learn to cook. Here are our top picks of books about food and even some fun recipes for kids to make.

ACTIVITY: Want more ideas for the kitchen? Explore these book inspired recipes for kids and our collection kids recipes for summer fun.

The best collection of summer books for kids.

Building a Summer Library for Your Child

As you head to the library or your local book store this summer be sure that you take notice of the books you’re chosen as you build a diverse library. There are so many options available compared to when I started teaching nearly 30 years ago.

Books can be such a fun way to teach and celebrate diversity and explore our world, especially during summer vacation.

Summer Calendar Bundle for Kids. Includes June, July, August Activity Calendars, Summer Themed Book List, Summer Reading Challenge, Summer Virtual Field Trips and Log, First Day of Summer Interviews, Summer Planner and more

Summer Themed Activity Bundle for Kids

This collection of books are a perfect match with our summer calendar for kids. You can download summer activities for June, July and August with this summer activities guide.

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