Summer is finally here! When you need a break from the beach or the pool, these picture books are just right for slowing down and savoring the magic that is summer.

The Raft by Jim LaMarche

Nicky isn’t looking forward to spending the summer with his quirky grandmother in her shack on the river, until he discovers a raft that opens the door to exciting new adventures. As Nicky and his grandmother bond over their love of wildlife and their artistic talents, a beautiful relationship blossoms.

Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey

This 1949 Caldecott Honor Book never gets old. It follows Little Sal and Little Bear as they each go berry picking with their mothers on Blueberry Hill. When they both wander off, a delightful mix-up ensues. The evocative illustrations, the gentle humor, and Sal’s oh-so-relatable innocence are sure to charm your littles.

The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle

One night a very lonely firefly goes off in search of friends. Each time he sees a flicker of light he flies off toward it, but none of them turn out to be fireflies. He sees a lantern, an owl’s eyes, even headlights shining in the darkness. Will the lonely firefly ever find creatures like himself?

Mrs. Mack by Patricia Polacco

As long as she can remember, ten-year-old Patricia has been longing to ride a horse. Spending the summer with her father she finally gets her chance and is forever changed by the experience.

When I Was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant

Cynthia Rylant’s lyrical text and charming illustrations tell the story of summers spent growing up with her grandparents in rural Appalachia. This book has been a favorite of children and adults alike since it came out over 30 years ago.

Where Is Baby’s Beach Ball? by Karen Katz

Perfect for the littlest readers, this board book with flaps to lift will mesmerize babies and toddlers. Colorful illustrations and engaging text make this a wonderful interactive book to toss in the diaper bag or snuggle with in the hammock.

Arthur’s Family Vacation by Marc Brown

Arthur’s family is taking a vacation to the beach! But when they get there it starts to rain, pour, and doesn’t stop. Arthur decides to find other things for his family to do-will their vacation be fun or will it just end up washed out?

Jamberry by Bruce Degen

Nothing says summer like fresh berries, and this rhyming tale is full of them. Your kids will have you reading about the silly summertime adventures of this boy and bear over and over again!

Comet’s Nine Lives by Jan Brett

Sandy beaches, sunset gardens and the exquisite border art Jan Brett is famous for make this story of Comet the cat and his adventures on Nantucket Island a summer must-read.

Hello, Ocean by Pam Munoz Ryan

This book will transport you right to the beach with vivid illustrations and tender poetry that will help you experience the ocean with all five senses.

Want some more ideas for books to share with your family this summer? Download our free Summer Reading packet for lots more book recommendations!

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Aimee grew up in rural Michigan, where she was captivated by Jesus as a teenager and married her high school sweetheart. Together they moved to New England where they homeschool their two children together. Aimee has a Master's degree in Biblical Languages from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She enjoys exploring new places, reading great stories, and enjoying the outdoors with her family.