Whether you’re heading to the beach or staying inside playing with kinetic sand, summer is a wonderful time to snuggle up with your toddler and read books! At my house, we love to read seasonally, so here are twelve board books that are on our summer reading list this year.
Summer by Gerda Muller
Summer is one of four books in the gorgeous Seasons series by Gerda Muller. All four books contain no words—they are beautifully illustrated depictions of different scenes and activities young children may encounter during each season. These books captivate my daughter’s attention and provide many topics to talk about and vocabulary to share. The Autumn book is our favorite so far, and we can’t wait to get our hands on Summer!
Beach Day by Karen Roosa
We borrowed this book from the library, and my toddler and I fell in love with the illustrations by Maggie Smith. Similar to Gerda Muller’s Summer, it beautifully depicts activities that families may do during a day at the beach. However, this book also contains words that rhyme, which always engages young children. At the end, there’s a seek-and-find page. Your child can point to the beach objects you name, or they can go back through the pages to find the items in the story.
Touch and Explore: The Ocean by Nathalie Choux
What toddler doesn’t love flaps and touch-and-feel books? This informative book teaches little ones about various sea creatures. This would be fun to read before a trip to the beach or aquarium to learn about the different creatures that live under the water.
National Geographic Look and Learn: Ocean Creatures
We absolutely love the board books in the National Geographic Look and Learn series. My daughter tends to enjoy books with real photography the most, and the photos in these books are wonderful. In Ocean Creatures, you can learn about parrotfish, sea stars, sea horses, sea turtles, and humpback whales.
Boat Book by Gail Gibbons
Your beach and ocean exploration isn’t complete until you talk about the things that float on top of the water…boats! This book covers all types of boats such as rowboats, canoes, sailboats, speedboats, cruise ships, submarines, tugboats and more.
Goodnight Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle
Another popular series at our house is The Little Blue Truck series by Alice Schertle. There’s a book for springtime, Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day, but not one specifically for summertime. We already have Little Blue Truck Leads the Way (which would also be a great summer book), so I think this bedtime book would be a nice addition to our collection!
The Babies and Doggies Book by John & Molly
This fun book takes you through certain activities that both dogs and babies do…”Lots of things babies do, doggies do too!” My daughter loves the real photos of babies, toddlers and dogs. Most of the photos seem to be taken during the summertime, so this is the perfect time of year to read this gem!
The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle
Many summertime childhood memories involve catching fireflies. In this story, we join a firefly as he looks for other lighting bugs but instead finds various objects that glow in the dark. At the end, he finally finds other fireflies and a surprise. It’s a lovely story, and of course, classic illustrations by Eric Carle.
Stir Crack Whisk Bake by America’s Test Kitchen
Whether you’re escaping the summer heat or some pesky insects, baking with your toddler is a wonderful indoor activity! This interactive board book walks your little one through the process of baking cupcakes and invites them to perform certain actions and motions along the way.
A New Day by Ronald Heuninck
Summertime often brings a change in routine. Join a little girl as she goes through the daily rhythms and routines in her home. This beautifully illustrated book contains no words. You and your toddler can create your own story, talk about your own routine, and learn new vocabulary by pointing out various objects in the pictures.
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox
You may or may not be traveling this summer, but you can travel around the world with this board book. We are introduced to diverse babies from different places and cultures, all of whom also happen to have ten little fingers and ten little toes.
Calm-Down Time by Elizabeth Verdick
Toddler tantrums are inevitable in the summer (and all year round). This bilingual book helps teach toddlers different techniques to use to calm themselves down when they’re experiencing big emotions. “One, two, three…I’m calm as can be. I’m taking care of me.” It also has tips for adults as well.