Splendid Summer Read Alouds

Full of warmth and sunshine, summer is a season for fun.  What a wonderful time to read beautiful summer picture books.  Children love being read to, whether they are home, in school or at summer camp.  Here are some splendid summer read alouds to make your season shine.  So put on your flip flops, flag down the ice cream truck and get ready to read.

Pictures of Summer Read Alouds for kindergarten

There are so many happenings and holidays in summer.  Whether it’s Juneteenth, Father’s Day, or an epic camping trip, we have great recommendations that are appropriate for kids getting ready for kindergarten or just graduating from kindergarten.  And if you’re like me you will enjoy them as well.  To purchase any of the following books from Amazon simply click on the linked titles.

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Summer Themed Books for Kids

 The theme is summer.  Some of the following read alouds are all about summer.  Others may have a summer setting.  And some of the books are about things we do mostly in the summer.

Books About Summer

These books are about summer, with all the sundrenched images and feelings this season evokes.  If you want nonfiction book recommendations about summer go to Sunsational Resources for Teaching Kindergarten about Summer.

And Then Comes Summer is a children's book about summer.

And Then Comes Summer by Tom Brenner, illustrated by Jaime Kim: This joyful summer read aloud celebrates the warmest season of the year with plenty of outdoor adventures; flip flops, fireworks, ice cream trucks, camping and more. 

Summer Song is a children's book perfect for a summer read aloud.

Summer Song by Kevin Henkes, illustrated by Laura Ddronzek: This book describes summer as a song.  “But if I had to pick one color, I’d say summer is green.  Green on green on green.  Summer is a green song.” With lyrical text and vibrant illustrations, this beautiful summer picture book celebrates the season.

Summer is Here! is a children's book.

Summer is Here! by Heidi Pross Gray: “When the sun greets the day so very early in the morning… Summer is here!”  This book has poetic text with beautiful watercolor illustrations, depicting summertime occurrences both in nature and man-made. Whether it’s bushes overflowing with berries, tadpoles turning into frogs, or children making lemonade, this book is picture perfect for summer.

Summertime Stories

These  funfilled books take place in the summer.  At least I imagine they do.

Hot Dog is a children's book with a summer theme.

Hot Dog by Doug Salati: The description on the book jacket says it all, “When you’re too hot and everything is too much, sometimes all you need is a stretch of sand and open sky to bring you back to yourself.”  With a pinch of perfect words and an abundance of beautiful, detailed pictures, this Caldecott winner is a delight from beginning to end. Take a quick trip with this little dog from the hot city to the cool seashore.

The Night Before Summer Vacation is a children's book.

The Night Before Summer Vacation by Natasha Wing, illustrated by Julie Durrell: Enjoy the fun with this family as they get ready to go on vacation. This year they’re going camping and it’s so hard to pack!  Will they forget something? Yes, they will!  But don’t worry, this family will figure it out just in time for the 10-hour drive.

Should I Share My Ice Cream is a children's book by Mo Willems

Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems: Elephant has a yummy treat.  Should he share it with his friend Piggie?  While contemplating what to do the unthinkable happens… the ice cream melts.  Now Elephant is sad.  So sad.  But who should come along and save the day… Piggie!  We have a great ice cream art activitiy that goes with this book.

Bugs Bugs and More Bugs

It wouldn’t be summer without bugs.  So here are some of the best bug books for children.

I am Bee is an adorable children's book.

I Am Bee by Rebecca McDonald and James McDonald: This delightful book explains the importance of bees with big bright illustrations and engaging text.  After all, what is summer without bees?

Flight of the Honey Bee by Raymond Huber, illustrated by Brian Lovelock: This is my granddaughter’s favorite.  Did you know that the honey bee is the planet’s greatest pollinator?  This gorgeous book is full of facts about honey bees interwoven in the story of Scout, a tiny honey bee whose mission is to find the last flowers of fall. 

Eric Carle Summer Bug Books

Nobody does bugs better than Eric Carle.  His trademark brightly colored, collage illustrations along with timeless stories are perfect for summertime reading.  He also has a great author’s note at the beginning of each story with interesting facts about the insect.

The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle: In this book a lonely Firefly is searching for other fireflies.  He flashes his light and flies toward other lights, only to be disappointed, until finally…  People are also looking towards lights in the sky.  What could those lights be?  Fireworks!  Nothing is more dazzling than a night sky filled with fireworks, except maybe… a night sky filled with fireflies. 

The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle: “One warm day, from a tiny egg a little cricket is born.”  Throughout the day he is greeted by all kinds of amazing insects: a whispering praying mantis, a bubbling spittle bug, a screeching cicada.  The cricket tries to return the greetings by rubbing his wings together.  “But nothing happened.  Not a sound.”   Don’t worry, by the end of the day the cricket has found his sound and another cricket.  

Summer Holiday Read Alouds

So many important holidays are celebrated in the summertime.  Here are some wonderful summer read alouds with a holiday theme.

Pride Read Alouds

June is Pride month, rainbow flags will be flying and curious children will want to know why.  Here are two great books to commence the celebration of Pride.

Rainbow: A First Book of Pride by Michael Genhart, illustrated by Anne Passchier: This short and colorful book is a tribute to Gilbert Baker and his rainbow flag, which represents the LGBTQ+ community.  Each page reveals the meaning behind the flag’s rainbow stripes: life, healing, sunlight, nature, harmony and spirit.  With its focus on the rainbow flag and its sweet message: Rainbow flags celebrate love, hope, diversity and acceptance, this book is a great introduction of Pride for young readers.

'Twas the Night Before PRIDE is a children's book.

Twas the Night Before PRIDE by Joanna McClintick, illustrated by Juana Medina: Written with a fun, rhythmic cadence, ‘Twas the Night before Pride follows the excitement of a child as their family prepares to celebrate Pride.  With “floats and loud music, and rainbows and glitter”, this book captures the beauty of pride and emphasizes the importance of being yourself.  As the family prepares for a day full of fun, they share a brief story of the very first Pride.  

Father's Day Read Alouds

Celebrated the third Sunday in June, this holiday honors fatherhood.

A Perfect Father’s Day by Eve Bunting: In this sweet story Susie wants to give her father a perfect Father’s Day.  She’s filled the day with all the activities she thinks her father will love; feeding the ducks, climbing the monkey bars, riding the merry-go-round, getting balloons.  Fortunately, her father loves them all and he even pays.

A Father's Love is a children's book.

A Father’s Love by Hannah Holt, illustrated by Yee Von Chan: “Papas come in many stripes—The big.  The bold.  The silent types.”  This beautiful book illustrates how animal fathers take care of their babies all over the world.  Travel from the “frosty white” land of the penguins to the “hazy yellow fields” of the lion, all the way back to the “warm and snug” houses where dads everywhere are taking care of their babies. 

Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry, illustrated by Vashti Harrison: This isn’t a book about Father’s Day.  It’s a book about a father…a wonderful father.  Daddy loves his little girl, and he does so much for her.  Today is a special day for Zuri, and she wants her hair to be special as well.  But Zuri’s hair has a mind of its own and Daddy is not so good at fixing hair. With patience and perseverance, together they create the perfect hairdo.  This charming story with adorable illustrations will become a favorite.

Juneteenth Read Alouds

Juneteenth is a federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.  It is celebrated on June 19th.

Juneteenth for Mazie is a children's book.

Juneteenth for Mazie by Floyd Cooper: Mazie is sad.  She can’t go outside because it’s too late.  She can’t have another cookie because it’s bedtime.  But when her dad tells her that tomorrow is Juneteenth and why we remember this holiday, Mazie is ready to celebrate.

All different Now is a children's book about the first Juneteenth.

All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis: This book depicts the story of the first Juneteenth  (June 19, 1865), when the last slaves were finally freed. The story is told by a child.  It is through her eyes that we see and feel the importance of this day.  With lilting words and stunning illustrations, this book is a pleasure to read aloud.  

Independence Day: The Fourth of July

Parades, picnics and fireworks: let’s celebrate our country’s independence with some fun summer picture books.

On The Fourth of July is a children's book.

On the Fourth of July by Maggie C Rudd, illustrated by Elisa Chavarri: With rhyming text and sparkling illustrations this book lovingly depicts the anticipation and fun of attending a big July Fourth celebration, complete with a dazzling fireworks display.

Pie is for Sharing by Stephanie Parsley Ledyard, illustrated by Jason Chin: Pie is for sharing…  What else can be shared?  The children in this story share a lot more than pie on this Fourth of July: adventures, friendship, skinned knees and eventually fireworks.  This warm, richly illustrated book is a lovely depiction of friends and family sharing and caring at an Independence Day picnic.

We Came to America is a picture book by Faith Ringgold.

We Came to America by Faith Ringgold: “We came to America, Every color race and religion…” With Faith Ringgold’s colorful, patterned artwork, this beautiful poem celebrates what makes our country great: the people.  Diverse, resilient, artistic, people came from everywhere (some in chains, others by choice), each contributing their stories and much more. 

One Last Summer Picture Book

Just for fun!  This adorable book will give you a reason to eat red ripe strawberries with your children.   

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear is an adorable picture book.

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, & the Big Hungry Bear by Audrey Wood, illustrated by Don Wood: In this book Little Mouse has just picked a red ripe strawberry that he can’t wait to eat.  But suddenly a voice tells him of the Big Hungry Bear and how he loves to eat strawberries, especially ones that have just been picked!  Little Mouse tries several (hilarious) ways to save his strawberry from the Big Hungry Bear.  There is plenty of verbal imagery in this book.  We never actually see the bear, and that’s part of the fun.  The illustrations are sumptuous.

Picture of woman holding the book Summer Song.

List of Splendid Summer Read Alouds

More Great Summer Activities for Children

If you want some great resources for teaching about summer be sure to read Sunsational Resources for Teaching Kindergarten about Summer.  And if you want some adorable art projects check out 10 Simple Summer Craft Kindergarten Ideas.



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