What better way to kick off the month of June than by reading summer picture books? Whether you’re sharing a story with the beloved children in your life or just reading to yourself as market research, a good picture book can capture and reflect the best parts of the summer. From the excitement of new adventures, to the appreciation of everyday blessings, these 5 stories will help you dive into the joys of the season. I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I did.
5 Summer Picture Books for Your Summer Reading List
1. Oona by Kelly DiPucchio
Nothing says summertime like a spunky mermaid getting into mischief. And Oona has enough spunk to face any challenge. She loves to seek out treasure and go on adventures with her trusted side-kick Otto the otter. But when she finds a crown that seems forever out of reach, she may have found one challenge she can’t overcome. Will she give up on her newest adventure? Or will she forge a new path to reach the real treasure?
2. I see, You See by Richard Jackson
When Maisie takes her brother and their dog for a walk, she’s focused on the responsibility of looking after them. But her brother sees wonder in everything they pass, and as Maisie slows down, she begins to notice amazing sights, too.
Richard Jackson does a wonderful job of showing the beauty we can find when we take the time to see and imagine and appreciate the world around us.
3. Float by Daniel Miyares
In this wordless picture book, Daniel Miyares captures the magic of a rainy day. The main character sets out to sail his homemade boat in the puddles on the street. But when his sailboat drifts farther than expected, the boy is sent on a wild chase. The contrast between Miyares’s grey scenes and the pop of yellow in the boy’s outfit adds an emotional impact to each page. Even without words, the story created is mesmerizing, ending on a lovely, hopeful note which promises that the main character will have many adventures to come.
4. All We Need by Kathy Wolff
This soothing book, illustrated with gorgeous summer scenes of verdant parks and water fountains and bustling city streets, reminds its readers to consider their blessings. Wolff gently walks us through the most important things in life–shedding off the mountains of wants the world throws at us to touch on what truly matters. The words are a breath of fresh air, calming to read in their simple truth. The pictures perfectly balance the words, acting as the warm and bright sunshine to make us smile. It’s a delightful read and would make a wonderful bedtime story.
5. Off & Away by Cale Atkinson
Jo and her dad live on a special island, an island where all the messages in bottles land. Her dad gathers the bottles and delivers them where they need to go, sailing to places Jo dreams of going but is too frightened to follow. Then, one day, her father gets sick, and it’s up to Jo to make sure the bottles reach their destinations. Can Jo overcome her fears and save the day?
This book is probably my favorite of the five I’ve shared here, just because Jo is such a fun character. Her story is less whimsical and more vibrant and exciting, full of dangers (real and imagined), and a super sweet and satisfying ending.