Team Favourites: Sixteen Summertime Stories

August is here (!) and while some people think that summer is nearly over, I think the best is yet to come, and I intend to fully squeeze every ounce out of summer. A glass half full approach. : ) So to celebrate the finale to the season, I wanted to share the team’s sixteen favourite summer themed picture books.

A reason to curl up in a shady spot and read is always great. But long summer days are an especially good excuse to add new books to your repertoire. Actually while working on this post, I was so inspired by the recommendations that I purchased a few of the books… (ok, I actually bought five of the books!). The ocean and beach themed books I bought are now tucked away in our suitcases so I can surprise the kids with new books when we arrive at our holiday by the coast. A great way to start our holiday — reading an ocean themed book, curled up on a beach blanket, with sand in your toes, as the sun slowly sets. It doesn’t get much more summery than that!

Enjoy our team’s (family) favourites, with a selection for all ages too. And we hope that these books add to your memorable and magical summer.

  1. Mama Is It Summer Yet? by Nikki McClure. The perfect celebration of summer, this most favourite of seasons! (More detailed review here.)  — Courtney 
  2. The Flower’s Festival by Elsa Beskow.  A perfect book to be read on a midsummers evening. — Vanessa
  3. Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney.  A tale of living by the sea and doing something to make the world a more beautiful place, this was a favorite book from my own childhood and one I love sharing with my children as they spend part of their summer on a coast that looks much like the one in the book. — Shannon
  4. Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey. Because I used to go to Boston every summer to visit family, this classic children’s book reminds me of rides on the Swan Boats and time spent in the Boston Common. — Lara in London
  5. Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran. A wonderful story of the intricate worlds children create for themselves with little more than found objects and their imagination. Perfect summer inspiration! — Shannon
  6. The Sand Horse by Ann Turnbull.  This book holds very special memories for me and I always read it to my kids right before our annual trip to Cornwall. Set in St Ives an artist sculpts a beautiful horse from sand but when the crowds of tourists have gone home the horse longs to join the white horses of the sea. Its a really touching story and is beautifully illustrated. — Kate
  7. The Little Island by Margaret Wise Brown. Another tale of changing seasons and observations of nature on a little island in the sea. I love the charming illustrations! — Shannon
  8. The Swing by Robert Louis Stevenson.  Such a romantically sweet book for young children. I love the illustrations. —Vanessa
  9. ABC: off to Sea! by Virginie Morgand.  A cute and captivating alphabet book about an adventure on the sea. Ships and their captains, seagulls and sailboats, pirates and mermaids all come together, beautifully illustrated in a sixties screen print style. A favorite in our family! — Lara in Paris
  10. Summer by Gerda Muller.  Part of a series, these no-text picture books that celebrate the seasons are simply adorable in a very timeless way. My kids love them! — Esther
  11. Magic Beach by Alison Lester — When the beach becomes the perfect setting for all sorts of imaginative adventures. We love this beautiful rhyming book. Courtney 
  12. Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey.  All of Robert McCloskey’s books are great, but I think this is my absolute favorite. It traces the passage of a summer on a little island off the Maine coast, and McCloskey’s descriptions and illustrations are stunning. — Shannon
  13. Harry by the Sea by Gene Zion. Harry the dog goes to the beach with his family and chaos ensues. A super charming summery story. (Detailed review here.) —Courtney 
  14. In One Tidepool by Anthony D. Fredericks. On a recent trip to Laguna Beach we bought this book. It is fascinating. — Lara in London
  15. Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey — I think of this book every time I go berry picking! A classic Caldecott Honor story of a little girl, Sal, and her mother on a blueberry picking outing. Vanessa and Courtney 
  16. The Curious Fish by Elsa Beskow.  Such a charming and curious book. Perfect to read on the river bank with a picnic! — Vanessa

We would love to hear your family summer favourites too! Let us know.



Comments (2)

Kerstin Thompson
August 7, 2017

We’ve just recently read The Raft, by Jim LaMarche. It’s about a young boy who stays the summer with his grandma. She’s naturalist (calls herself a river rat). As the summer passes he discovers his own love of nature while forming a wonderful bond with his grandma in the process. It’s such a heartwarming story that we’ve all fallen in love with. It’s one we’ll be adding to our own bookshelf so we can read it for many years to come.

Courtney in Australia
August 8, 2017

Thanks so much for the book recommendation, Kerstin. I just looked it up online and it looks so beautiful! A perfect summertime read. xx

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