Looking for summer-themed books your preschooler will love? You've come to the right place. I had so much fun putting together this list of books for preschoolers about summer, which covers all the joys, adventures, and first-time discoveries of my favorite season and captures it from a child's perspective. I had to include a few silly animal characters along the way, too!
I have always loved reading to my children. Story time is a wonderful way to bond with your child, and as an added bonus, everyone knows the benefits of reading to children are plentiful. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) actually recommends reading to your child from infancy as it promotes brain development, giving children an advantage when they enter kindergarten. Not to mention, it's just plain fun to read to kids. Parents are given full allowance to be goofy, to create silly voices for characters, and to choose books that will teach your child something about the world. In fact, a study in the Kids and Family Reading Report discovered children should (and want!) to be read to until at least age 11.
With that said, and with summer on the horizon, grab the swimsuits, find the gardening tools, buy the sun block, and curl up with your child and a book from this list!
1. 'The Colors of Summer' by Danna Smith & illustrated by Amber Ren
Little Golden Books bring back such memories of my childhood. I've loved sharing so many of them with my own children, this one included. The Colors of Summer, by Danna Smith, is a perfect selection as you prepare for a day at the beach. Practice colors by asking your child to find different hues on each page. I spy purple flip flops on the cover!
2. 'Maisy Goes Camping' by Lucy Cousins
Planning a camping trip this summer? Written and illustrated by Lucy Cousins, Maisy Goes Camping, is a silly picture book adventure from the popular Maisy series. You'll be preparing your preschooler for the adventure that is camping while laughing at Maisy and friends as they figure out how to put up a tent. (Hint: it's not that easy!)
3. 'The Sandcastle That Lola Built' by Megan Maynor & illustrated by Kate Berube
Start planning ahead for that sandcastle you and your little one will make at the beach as you read The Sandcastle That Lola Built by Megan Maynor. This modern spin on The House That Jack Built follows Lola as she, and new friends she meets at the beach, work together to build a magnificent castle — but can they finish it before the tide comes in?!
4. 'Planting a Rainbow' by Lois Ehlert
Does your preschooler have a green thumb? Little ones are introduced to the joys of summertime gardening with Planting a Rainbow, written and illustrated by Lois Ehlert — a bright and cheerful board book. Follow the entire gardening process, from picking out seeds and bulbs to discovering blooms in the garden. Gardening requires patience and hard work, but the pay off is worth it.
9. 'Jabari Jumps' by Gaia Cornwall
Is your preschooler taking swimming lessons this summer? Then Jabari Jumps, written and illustrated by Gaia Cornwall, couldn't be more appropriate. I love this story about overcoming your fears, being determined to meet a goal, and a sweet father who's rooting for his son all the way.
6. 'The Night Before Summer Vacation' by Natasha Wing & illustrated by Julie Durrell
As you plan your summer vacation, keep this book in mind. A twist on T'was the Night Before Christmas, Natasha Wing's The Night Before Summer Vacation follows a little girl and her family as they try to finish packing for their summer getaway. Will they pack too much or forget something important?
5. 'And Then Comes Summer' by Tom Brenner & illustrated by Jaime Kim
Tom Brenner's And Then Comes Summer captures everything I love about summer vacation: roasting marshmallows, lemonade stands and late bedtimes (well, maybe not that part so much), fireworks and flip flops. It's a celebration of the season, with whimsical illustrations by Jaime Kim to match. Ask your preschooler what they love most about summer after reading this book together.
7. 'How Do You Know It's Summer?' by Lisa M. Herrington
In this summer-themed Rookie Read-About Science series by Lisa M. Herrington for Scholastic, children will learn about seasonal changes in weather, plant, and animal life, like animal migrations and hibernations. How Do You Know it's Summer?is perfect for the kid asking "why this" and "why that" 90 times a day. (Basically every preschooler.)
8. 'Mouse's Summer Muddle' by Anita Loughrey & Daniel Howarth
Mouse's Summer Muddle by Anita Loughrey and Daniel Howarth follows Mouse on an adventure as he tries to discover what's sparkling on the pond beside his home. He enlists his friends to help him figure this mystery — follow along to see what it could be!
10. 'Curious George: Curious About Summer' by H. A. Rey
Everyone's favorite monkey is back with this adventure all about summer. Curious George: Curious About Summer by H. A. Rey is a tabbed board book just perfect for little hands. Discover all the summertime essentials (and George's mishaps) as you flip around this book. Let your preschooler pick out which tab he wants to discover next!