Walt Disney once said, “There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on treasure island.” We couldn’t agree more! Reading is one of the best activities for people of all ages—children and grownups alike. With summer right around the corner, it is the perfect time for you and your little one to head to your local library and check out some children’s books to read together.

Patrick Heath Public Library

It is easy to forget about libraries and what a great resource they are. Instead of buying all of the books listed below, you can likely find many of them at your local library. For the Planet Kids families here in Boerne, the Patrick Heath Public Library (PHPL) is a wonderful local library for children and adults alike. In addition to having a wide selection of children’s books, PHPL also has a variety of programs for children. The library is open every day except Sunday; view the library’s hours.

Benefits of Picture Books for Children

Reading benefits children in so many ways. Even if your little one is not reading quite yet, picture books serve as building blocks for their developing mind! Picture books familiarize children with books, art, colors, and more. Perusing picture books can spark your toddler’s imagination, giving them a chance to build their own stories. Picture books are also a great tool to promote independent play.

Benefits of Reading Aloud for Children

Reading aloud is another form of reading that benefits children. It enhances their literary skills by expanding their vocabulary and familiarizing them with what new words mean and how to say them. Reading along while being read to promotes brain development in children. It also increases attention span and encourages parent-child bonding.

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on treasure island.” –Walt Disney

Summer Reading List

That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how reading benefits children. With that in mind, let’s dive into our summer reading list recommendations! The titles in our list are intended for toddlers and young children. We’ve included enough book titles to read a different one every other day this summer. Of course, your little one might fall in love with one book and want to read it over and over (and over!) again all summer long. Either way, we think you’ll find a few new favorites below.

  • The Raft, by Jim LaMarche
  • A Perfect Day, by Lane Smith
  • Mouse’s First Summer, by Lauren Thompson
  • Everything You Need for a Treehouse, by Carter Higgins
  • The Golden Glow, by Benjamin Flow
  • Possum and the Summer Storm, by Anne Hunter
  • The Lemonade War, by Jacqueline Davies
  • A Beach Tail, by Karen Lynn Williams
  • Uh-Oh! by Shutta Crum
  • Swashby and the Sea, by Beth Ferry
  • I See Summer, by Charles Ghigna
  • Llama Llama Sand and Sun, by Anna Dewdney
  • Over and Under the Pond, by Kate Messner
  • Fireflies, by Julie Brinckloe
  • Froggy’s Lemonade Stand, by Jonathan London
  • Summer Walk, by Virginia Brimhall Snow
  • Two Dogs on a Trike, by Gabi Snyder
  • Ice Cream Summer, by Peter Sis
  • Summer Sun Risin’, by W. Nikola-Lisa
  • Dandylion Summer, by Frann Preston-Gannon
  • Roly the Hedgehog, by Frances Rodgers
  • Jack at the Zoo, by Mac Barnett and Greg Pizzoli
  • Millions of Maxes, by Meg Wolitzer
  • Summer Song, by Kevin Henkes
  • Round and Round the Garden, by Annie Kubler
  • Hooked, by Tommy Greenwald
  • The Little Blue Cottage, by Kelly Jordan
  • Marshmallow Kisses, by Linda Crotta Brennan
  • Summer Color, by Diana Murray
  • My Awesome Summer, by P. Mantis
  • Summer Supper, by Rubin Pfeffer
  • Grumpy Monkey, by Suzanne Lang
  • And Then Comes Summer, by Tom Brenner
  • Hot Dog, by Doug Salati
  • A House for Hermit Crab, by Eric Carle
  • A Lullaby of Summer Things, by Natalie Ziarnik
  • Summer Evening, by Walter de la Mare
  • Dozens of Doughnuts, by Carie Finison
  • Sea Glass Summer, by Michelle Hout
  • How to Catch a Mermaid, by Adam Wallace
  • Uni the Unicorn, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
  • Listen, Listen, by Phillis Gershator
  • Walk and See Colors, by Rosalind Beardshaw
  • The Watermelon Seed, by Greg Pizzoli
  • The Great Garden Escape, by Erica L. Clymer
  • Pie is for Sharing, by Stephanie Parsley Ledyard
  • The Sandcastle that Lola Built, by Megan Maynor
  • Inky the Octopus: the Official Story of One Brave Octopus’ Daring Escape, by Erin Guendelsberger
  • Mama, Is It Summer Yet? by Nikki McClure

Finding Time to Read

With summer camps, vacations, playdates, and more, it can be hard to find time in busy schedules to read new books with your child. Remember that reading together does not have to take very long. If you have a busy day ahead, pick a shorter story to read together. Here are a few scenarios perfect for summer reading!

In the Car
Taking a long road trip for your summer vacation? Bring a few new books for your child to read during the drive. You could even rent a few audio books from the library and listen as a whole family!

At Breakfast
Bedtime stories seem to get all the attention, but why not start the day with a short story? If there is time, read a quick book at the breakfast table, or right after breakfast.

At the Playground
Bring a book to the playground to read with your child. Changing the environment can bring a book to life and make it memorable.

On a Picnic
Go on a family picnic this summer. Read your favorite summer books while enjoying your favorite food together.

At the Beach

If you have a trip planned to the beach, don’t forget to pack some books. They might get a little sandy, but sand won’t hurt them—just keep them away from the waves. You can even choose some books from the list above that are about the beach, such as A Beach Tail.

At Bedtime
Who doesn’t love a good bedtime book? If you did not have the time to read a book together during the day, there’s always bedtime!

Reading is one of our favorite activities for families. We hope you have a wonderful summer of reading, using your imaginations to explore new worlds, and growing together with your child. If you make it through the list of books we shared, we’d love to know your favorite picks or any other you would add. Contact us to share with us!