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Books About Summer

Best Children’s Books About Summer

As the weather warms up and the summer holidays beckon, why not celebrate this season of sunshine and adventures with some Summer-themed books for children?

From classic seaside tales like Lucy and Tom at the Seaside and The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch, to laugh out loud stories of animal adventures like You Can’t Take an Elephant on Holiday and The Great Hamster Getaway, our selection has something for everyone to enjoy. This Summer booklist is recommended for parents, teachers and librarians looking to inspire a love of reading and a thirst for adventure in young children.

Get ready to dip your toes in and explore the sights, sounds and smells of the summertime with our list of recommended children’s books about Summer.

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Children's Books About the Season of Summer

Lizzie Scott
 & Stephanie Fizer Coleman
Non-fiction Picturebook
Young children can explore and discuss the season of summer with this beautiful non-fiction picture book. Very simple text, high frequency and decodeable words and strong art-to-text matching make this a perfect book for early readers. It also features questions to encourage readers to relate the information to their own experiences.It is part of the series 'I Love the Seasons' which helps young children aged 4+ to discover the seasons. The books are great for seasonable topics and projects in the early years.
Jo Lindley
Picturebook
Meet four magical friends who control the seasons in this irresistible new series from author-illustrator Jo Lindley.Say hello to the Little Seasons!The sun is shining and the Little Seasons are on their way to the beach. But Summer is feeling hot and bothered . . . First their picnic is overrun by hungry creatures. Next their game of catch is ruined when their ball goes POP.Luckily his friends know the perfect way to relax: building a giant sandcastle. Finally Summer is starting to have fun!But no one has noticed the great big wave that’s rolling in . . .A pitch-perfect story about managing emotions, especially anger and frustration, and showing compassion – to ourselves and others.Meet four magical friends who control the seasons in this irresistible series from author-illustrator Jo Lindley.Each title centres on a different seasonal character and gently explores key social and emotional themes, such as anxiety, self-belief and resilience.Set in an enchanting natural world that readers will love to return to again and again!With a sparkling foil finish!
Sean Taylor, Alex Morss
 & Cinyee Chiu
Picturebook
In this follow-up to Winter Sleep and Busy Spring, Wild Summer explores nature in summer.The beautifully-told story follows a young girl and her naturalist grandpa as they walk down a wild path towards the coast. They spot amazing plants and animals. She is enchanted by the vibrancy of life around her, but asks: “Do plants and animals want summer to last forever?Young curiosity is combined with old wisdom in a nature-filled adventure showing a touching relationship between grandfather and grandchild. He teaches her about challenges facing the natural world around her, as we explore a meadow, stream, heathland, fire-charred pine wood, fossil rich cliffs, rocky cove and ocean life.Filled with fascinating facts and stunning illustrations, the books in this series encourage children to discover more about nature and the changing seasons.

Recommended Stories About Fun in the Sun

Nick Sharratt
Chapter book

Splash Day is part of Barrington Stoke’s highly recommendable ‘Little Gems’ series, which brings together popular children’s authors and illustrators to produce stories with clever design features and super-readable layout that make them appealing and accessible to newly independent readers who may not be quite ready for full chapter books. It has the feel of a short chapter book, but has a reduced amount of text on each page and is perfect for Year 1.

This Little Gem is written and illustrated by multi-award-winning Nick Sharratt and is buckets of fun to read. The simple rhyming story, about a class that has been awarded a day of water fights and paddling pools as a reward for working so hard, was inspired by a real visit to a school that holds a ‘splash day’ treat annually. The children in the class are equipped with goggles, wellies and inflatables ready for a day of watery fun and even the teachers are ready to join in. There is plenty of rhyme and alliteration in the text and a funny twist waiting at the end. Coupled with Nick Sharratt’s signature-style bold and colourful illustrations, the book is a joy to read.

Children in the 5-8 age bracket who remember listening to Nick Sharratt’s younger books like Chocolate Mousse for Greedy Goose and Goat Goes to Playgroup as toddlers will be delighted to find a book in his wonderfully appealing and familiar style designed for them to be are able to access independently as newly independent readers.

We also enjoyed the jokes and puzzles inside the jacket, a brilliant feature shared with the other Little Gems books.

Michelle Robinson
 & Tom Knight
Picturebook

We love Michelle Robinson’s funny books that give favourite foods a new lease of life!

When Ice Cream Had a Meltdown is a super story book about an ice cream (Mr Whippy style, complete with cone and flake) who feels saddened that none of the customers ever chooses his plain flavour over the more exciting, commercialised lollies on offer from the ice cream van. Young readers love the emotive expressions and the different ice cream characters, and will surely relate to the ice cream’s struggle to control his emotions as the tension builds towards a full on meltdown.

Children love talking about which ice creams they would choose as much as the story itself (the end pages offer a brilliant visual menu of options!). This rhyming text is a good book to choose for a lighthearted and fun storytime to bring smiles to faces young and old.

Mark Sperring
 & Sophie Corrigan
Picturebook
From the creators of Mince Spies , Santa Jaws and Jingle Smells comes another hilarious romp that's guaranteed to make you laugh this summer!This is the story of a little hot dog who longs for just one thing: to be a REAL dog. But when the Mustard Fairy makes his dreams come true, will he be accepted by the other dogs? Or will he have to fight for his place in the sun?Packed with beaches, sunshine, ice cream and seaside silliness galore.
Lou Carter
 & Magda Brol
Picturebook
Raffleton Grey is as BORED as a hamster can be. He wants to go to the fair - but he's STUCK in his cage. There's only one thing for it . . . Get ready for the most exciting HAMSTER GETAWAY in history! Freedom means new friendships and tasty ice cream and fairground rides. But as night falls, things begin to get a bit scary. Perhaps home isn't so bad after all - especially if you have a new friend by your side . . . This hilarious rhyming adventure is perfect for reading (and laughing!) out loud - a fun-packed summertime getaway that's irresistible to readers both big and small!
Patricia Cleveland-Peck
 & David Tazzyman
Picturebook
Imagine playing minigolf with meerkats or building a sandcastle with an armadillo! And don't even think about eating candyfloss when there's an albatross about! Jam-packed with crazy creatures, this brilliant new book from the creators of You Can't Take an Elephant on the Bus , You Can't Let an Elephant Drive a Digger and You Can't Call an Elephant in an Emergency is riotous, laugh-out-loud fun!

Sam Usher
Picturebook
It's the hottest day of the year, the perfect day for a boy and his grandad to set off on an adventure - and the perfect day to share a picnic with pirates!
Sarthak Sinha
Picturebook
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a mango? Or swim in an ocean full of mangos? Well, Farah loves mangoes so much, she has!  This imaginative book centres around Grandpa’s Mango tree, which one year doesn’t bear fruit. Farah sets out trying to change this, but alas, has no luck. Downhearted, Farah doesn’t see the point in Grandpa’s tree. Until that is, she looks closer and finds a beautiful surprise.
A gorgeous book about appreciating nature and looking closer at the world around us, while representing how even if something makes us sad, it’s important to look on the bright side, use imagination, be resilient and dig a little deeper!

Children's Books About Days at the Seaside

Nathan Bryon
 & Dapo Adeola
Picturebook

Clean Up! is the second picture book from Nathan Byron and Dapo Adeola, and acts as a sequel to their mightily popular debut book Look Up!. The story follows a young girl called Rocket, who goes to visit her Grammy and Grampy in Jamaica. However, when Rocket stumbles upon a baby turtle trapped in some plastic on the beach, she begins to realise how pollution is ruining this once perfect island. Determined to make a change, Rocket sets about on a mission to give the beach a thorough clean up!

This picture book was an absolute pleasure to read and delivered a delightful story with a powerful message to match. As a teacher, I believe this book is deserving of a spot in any school as it offers so much in terms of the themes which link to caring for the environment and encouraging children to take the lead from Rocket in being bringers of change. I love that even the youngest children will see the example Rocket sets and be inspired to act with the same passion and desire as Rocket does to change the world for the better.

The illustrations in this book are fantastic and Adeola does a superb job at making this book so visually enjoyable and bringing the protagonist of Rocket to life. Rocket is a character that will be seen as a role model for readers and her enthusiasm is infectious. I am certain this book will replicate the positive reception that its predecessor Look Up! had, and deservedly so.

Roland Harvey
Picturebook
This is a series of fictional postcards from a child on a seaside holiday. The pictures are incredibly detailed and children will spend hours poring over them. This book works well as a great stimulus for writing.
Julia Donaldson
 & Lydia Monks
Picturebook

A seaside favourite from the stellar picture book partnership of Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks, When Crab finds a new shell, he doesn’t want to share it with anyone – especially not a blobby purple anemone and a tickly bristleworm. But life in the rock pool proves tougher than Crab thinks and he soon finds he needs his new housemates. With brilliant rhythmic verse, bright and distinctive illustrations, this is a firm storytime favourite.

Fiona Lumbers
Picturebook
Clem is an explorer, a collector and a protector of the seas. Treasure hunting on her beloved beach, she stumbles across Crab, his claw stuck in a plastic bag. Crab will be much safer and happier in the city with Clem, but doesn't he belong on the beach? A stunningly illustrated timely tale of cleaning up our beaches, with the message that every small action helps.
Julia Donaldson
 & Lydia Monks
Picturebook

The What the Ladybird Heard series is a huge favourite amongst preschoolers, parents and teachers. With everything from farm animals and minibeasts to sneaky crooks and fantastic lilting rhymes, this brightly illustrated story from national treasure Julia Donaldson is a clear winner for storytimes in the Early Years.

In this story, the loveable ladybird takes a trip to the seaside and outwits the baddies once again in a shimmering adventure involving a mermaid, a host of sea creatures and a beautiful coastal setting.

A top recommended seaside story for young readers to fall in love with.


Charlotte Guillain
 & Jo Empson
Non-fiction
From the Look Closer series, this richly illustrated concertina book takes you on a journey through the deep dark waters, all the way down to the seabed, before floating back up to the surface. A follow-up to The Street Beneath My Feet , The Skies Above My Eyes and The World Around Me, this visually stunning book ventures to the very bottom of the sea on a journey of discovery. Through the waves and into the deep, you'll spot all kinds of weird and wonderful marine creatures, explore the seabed and discover the impact humans have had on the underwater world. As you dive below the surface, past sea otters playing in fields of giant kelp, you will see sea lions and shoals of mackerel playing in the shallows, before passing orcas hunting in pods in the deeper water. As well as animals, discover the technology which is used under the sea , from scuba breathing apparatus to oil pipelines and deep sea submarines. As you reach the very bottom of the sea, the 'twilight zone' where very little light can filter through, you will meet the mysterious creatures of the deep such as Lanternfish and the luminous swell shark. This book is part of the Look Closer series , a set of concertina books which help teach us about the mysteries which can be found in the world around us.
Ronda Armitage
 & David Armitage
Picturebook

A classic picture book featuring the story of the lighthouse keeper Mr. Grinling and his attempts to receive his lunch before it is eaten by the pesky seagulls.

First published forty years ago, The Lighthouse Keeper series is a popular choice of reading books to go alongside a seaside topic. This text is rich in vocabulary and a good option for stimulating discussions.

This story book is a popular choice for Year 1 and children will enjoy innovating on Mr Grinling’s plans to put off the seagulls.

Shirley Hughes
Picturebook
Lucy and Tom are off for a very special day out at the seaside! But what should they do first?Join Lucy and Tom as they discover the seaside. From paddling to picnics, to sandcastles and ice cream - they discover everything the seaside has to offer.With gentle illustrations and easy-to-read text, Lucy and Tom at the Seaside is perfect for summer celebrations. Delighting children for generations, discover this soothing bedtime story.

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