These summer books for preschoolers are positively delightful! Get it? DeLIGHTful because of the bright, long days? I’m sorry; summer just makes me so happy. Luckily, this post gives me a chance to combine two loves: summer and books.
Certainly, summer is a magical time. The children are out of school and the teachers are (kind of) free. Of course, that means it’s up to parents and caregivers to engage their little ones through those long summer days.
While it might not be common practice for preschoolers, many schools utilize summer reading lists to keep children engaged in literacy activities year-round. Accordingly, these lists are one way schools attempt to combat the so-called “summer slide.” This refers to the phenomenon by which students start a new school year at a reading level below where they’d ended the previous school year. Usually, it’s about the equivalent of losing one month of school learning.
Though preschoolers are not a particular concern in the summer slide research, they are at a pivotal age. Their sweet little sponge brains are soaking up so much information. Thus, they’re at the perfect age to instill in them a love of reading that will prepare them for success in school and beyond.
Whether you’re searching for great read aloud books or simple stories they can read independently, these 15 books are bound to delight!
Great Read-Aloud Summer Books for Preschoolers
One Hot Summer Day by Nina Crews
This oldie-but-goodie is a great summer book for preschoolers! With its photo collage style and relatable content, it’s perfect for repeat reads. The intricate illustrations will give your kiddo lots to look at, with more to discover on each perusal.
Summer Supper by Rubin Pfeffer, Illustrated by Mike Austin
Similarly, this alliterative tale offers kiddos lots to look at. The intricate artwork weaves the text into the illustrations in interesting ways. Kids will learn about how food travels from farm to table, all in s words! Books like this are an excellent way to get your preschooler to notice individual sounds in words, which is a crucial phonemic awareness skill that will strengthen their reading skills.
Summer Color! by Diane Murray, Illustrated by Zoe Persico
In this rhyming tale, a pair of friends embark on an outdoor adventure. Soon, they discover that nature is full of color during summer. Fun and educational, this book promotes phonological awareness and color recognition.
The Wonders of Summer by Kealy Connor Lonning, Illustrated by Lora Look
Often, summer is a time for family fun. This story follows a little girl and her father as they enjoy all the magic summer has to offer. For instance, they catch fireflies, do some cloud gazing, and eat ice cream. This sweet tale is perfect for your preschooler.
Mama, Is it Summer Yet? by Nikki McClure
Undoubtedly, every parent and caregiver knows how it feels to be asked the same question 1000 times. In this cute little picture book, a child anxiously awaits the shift from spring to summer. The mother patiently points out all of the signs in nature that indicate summer’s approach.
The Night is Yours by Abdul-Razak Zachariah, Illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo
On a warm summer night, Amani and her friends play hide-and-seek in their apartment complex. With the help of the moon’s glow, she gleefully finds her hidden playmates. Beautifully illustrated by the acclaimed artist behind I Am Enough, this lyrical tale is another ode to Black joy and self-confidence.
Summer Days and Nights by Wong Herbert Yee
In this sweet rhyming tale, a little girl tries to stay cool on a hot summer day. Of course, she engages in some of summer’s favorite pastimes: jumping in a pool, sipping lemonade, having a picnic, catching butterflies. Finally, she falls asleep to dream of more summer days and nights.
Mermaid Kenzie: Protector of the Deeps by Charlotte Watson Sherman, Illustrated by Geneva Bowers
Enter the mind of imaginative, ocean enthusiast Kenzie. Written in lyrical African American Vernacular English, the story follows the title character on a trip to the beach. When Kenzie discovers plastic polluting the ocean, she decides to take action—inspiring others to join her.
And Then Comes Summer by Tom Brenner, Illustrated by Jaime Kim
This ode to childhood’s favorite season is full of warmth and nostalgia. Jaime Kim’s vivid illustrations perfectly capture the sense of celebration that accompanies long summer days. Beach trips, fireworks, and more mean there’s something for everyone in this timeless tale.
Stella Keeps the Sun Up by Clothilde Ewing, Illustrated by Lynn Gaines
Although this may not explicitly be a summer book, it definitely has the right vibe. Six-year-old Stella thinks sleep is boring. Furthermore, her best friend moved to the other side of the world, which means they’re not awake at the same time very often. Thus, Stella hatches a plan to keep the sun up forever, in this adorable and amusing tale.
Great Summer Books for Preschoolers to Read Independently
I See Summer by Charles Ghigna, Illustrated by Agnieska Malgorzata Jatkowska
It’s great practice to allow even our youngest children to read independently. Regardless of reading ability, preschool children can practice book handling skills and other pre-reading behaviors. After having this book read to them, they’ll be able to revisit it on their own. The predictable rhyming pattern and pictures that closely match the text enable little ones to follow along with the story, even if they can’t yet decode all the words.
Higher! Higher! by Leslie Patricelli
With its vivid illustrations and simple, repetitive text, this book is perfect for a preschooler to read independently. Moreover, the story captures a warm day at the park between a father and daughter. How high can the little girl swing? Your little one will laugh at the outlandish possibilities.
Uh-Oh! by Shutta Crum, Illustrated by Patrice Barton
Wordless picture books are perfect for preschoolers. In fact, wordless picture books are beneficial to use throughout elementary school. This book actually includes the repeated phrase “uh-oh” but tells its story of a day at the beach primarily through pictures.
A Boy, A Dog, and a Frog by Mercer Mayer
Beloved author Mercer Mayer’s classic wordless picture book is a great summer book for preschoolers. Follow the titular boy and his dog as they explore a swamp on a summer day. Soon, they spot a frog and decide to try to catch it. As you can imagine, they end up wet and frog-less. A simple and funny story, this is one your preschooler can read again and again.
Wave by Suzy Lee
Suzy Lee has earned international acclaim for her artwork and this wordless picture book is an incredible example of her skill. With just two shades of watercolor, Lee creates a vibrant story of a child’s day at the beach.
If you enjoyed this list of summer books for preschoolers, here are a few other lists you may like: