31 Books Your Kids Should Read This Summer - Baby Chick
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31 Books Your Kids Should Read This Summer

Snuggle up with your favorite blanket and read these classic and new children's books from ages 0-6.

Updated March 19, 2024
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Summertime is the best time to get outdoors, run in the sprinklers, and eat s’mores and hot dogs on the barbecue. But what do you do on those rainy days that are bound to pop up occasionally? Grab a book (or two)! Rainy summer days are perfect for picking a book and snuggling up on the couch with your favorite blanket. We’ve selected some of the best books for your kids to read this summer from ages 0-6. Add these to your cart next time you’re picking up some essentials. You won’t regret it!

10 Books to Read This Summer for Ages 0-2

Check out these great reads for the youngest crowds. From classics like “Goodnight Moon” and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” to new favorites like “Everything is Mama” and “Woke Baby,” we’ve got an excellent list for you to get started early!

1. Goodnight Moon – Margaret Wise Brown

Summer Books for Kids
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A classic children’s book. Its soothing poetry and lulling illustrations are the perfect literature for those newborn babies.

2. The Going to Bed Book – Sandra Boynton

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Getting ready for bed couldn’t be more fun with this sweet book! Starting a bedtime routine is essential at a young age, and Sandra Boynton makes routine exciting with her rendition of the usual bedtime routine!

3. Everything is Mama – Jimmy Fallon

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Jimmy Fallon is a funny guy, so we know his literature is even funnier. His lighthearted look at the world from your baby’s POV is a hilarious read, and will be sure to get those first giggles out!

4. Your Child’s First Word Will be Dada – Jimmy Fallon

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Another rendition of Fallon’s “Everything is Mama” book, the short writing and board book texture, is the perfect bedtime read for your young baby!

5. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? – Bill Martin and Eric Carle

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Rhyming always tends to sit well with the younger crowd, and this book rhymes with a sing-songy vibe to it as well. The animal images in brightly colored collages will keep your little ones engaged!

6. The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle

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Another sing-songy title with bright and bold images, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” follows a short story about a caterpillar’s journey to a full stomach. Short but sweet, it’s the perfect first story to incorporate into your baby’s nighttime routine.

7. On the Night You Were Born – Nancy Tillman

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A beautiful story highlighting the night our little ones were born and how magical it was. This book talks about their names and what else happened the same night. Nancy Tillman brings you on an adventure like no other and has you reminiscing from the start until the end.

8. Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes – Mem Fox

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The rhythmic, rhyming text in this one allows you to read it repeatedly without getting tired of it. This book celebrates everything, baby: baby fingers, baby toes, and the joy they bring to us parents!

9. I Love You Through and Through – Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak

31 Books Your Kids Should Read This Summer
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A story of unconditional love through the eyes of a toddler, “I Love You Through and Through” is a short, rhyming story about the love a little boy shares with his teddy bear. Your baby will feel loved when you read this book all about affection and love!

10. Woke Baby – Mahogany L Browne

31 Books Your Kids Should Read This Summer
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An amazing story talking about activism and empowering all of our babies – because it is never too early to instill this in them. As taken from the description, “Woke Baby” is an anthem of hope in a world where the only limit to a skyscraper is more blue.

11 Books to Read This Summer for Ages 3-4

For kids just learning their letters, we’ve got 11 excellent options. Dr. Seuss’s “Oh! The Places You’ll Go” is a classic for every child, but we bet you’ll even appreciate some chuckles with “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.”

1. The Very Cranky Bear – Nick Bland

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Having a rough toddler day? Feeling a bit cranky? This is an excellent read for that! “The Very Cranky Bear” includes a bear and his friends hanging out in a cave. The bear is cranky, so the friends try their hardest to make him feel better. Giggle and laugh along to this fun, rhyming bedtime story.

2. The Little Blue Truck – Alice Schertle

Little Blue Truck board book Board book
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Since most toddlers are into everything trucks and cars, “The Little Blue Truck” is a must for your bedtime library. Follow him as he drives through the city, worried about his contribution to society. It’s a great story that talks a lot about inclusivity and about how everybody belongs!

3. Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site – Sherri Duskey Rinker

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site (Board Book for Toddlers, Children's Board Book)
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Another book about vehicles! The vibrant illustrations and gentle, poetic text will excite your children for this bedtime story. It’s so fun to see what happens at a construction site at night when all the bulldozers and trucks get tucked in and sleep.

4. How to Babysit a Grandma – Jean Reagan

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This is a favorite to read with Grandma, Granny, or whatever you call them. A book all about what to do when you get to spend a night with Grandma. Bring her to the park? Play dress up? The possibilities are endless, and this book gives you all the ideas you might need.

5. A is for Awesome – Eva Chen

31 Books Your Kids Should Read This Summer
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An entertaining take on the alphabet! “A is for Awesome” features 23 iconic women who changed the world and pairs them with excellent illustrations so we know more about exactly who these women were. It’s never too early to introduce your children to some game-changers that once roamed the earth.

6. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus – Mo Willems

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This hilarious picture book features a not-so-traditional bus driver trying to get through a bus route. That not-so-traditional bus driver? A pigeon! The author writes it in a way that perfectly depicts a preschooler’s temper tantrum, which is perfect for your toddler.

7. There’s a Bear on My Chair – Ross Collins

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This classic by Ross Collins offers serious “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” vibes. A bear (who is way too big) has settled in a mouse’s chair and doesn’t want to budge. Read along with Mr. Mouse trying to get his rightful chair back — no matter what!

8. Wonky Donkey – Craig Smith

31 Books Your Kids Should Read This Summer
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“The Wonky Donkey” was not only a viral sensation, but it is also nothing but a whimsical masterpiece. If you love rhyming, this is the book for you. Mom, Dad, and the children will be laughing AND crying at this one — and it just gets funnier as you continue reading!

9. Oh! The Places You’ll Go – Dr. Seuss

31 Books Your Kids Should Read This Summer
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You can’t go wrong with anything Dr. Seuss, but this is one of our favorites. It is a perfect bedtime story and great literature celebrating our special milestones.

10. The Bad Seed – Jory John

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This New York Times bestseller is a funny yet charming read that will engage the minds of all toddlers. It’s a touching tale about a bad, bad seed. He has a bad temper, bad manners, and a bad attitude. There will be bedtime giggles with this hilarious read.

11. Dragons Love Tacos – Adam Rubin

Dragons Love Tacos Hardcover
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A #1 New York Times bestselling phenomenon, this deliciously funny read-aloud is an unforgettable tale of new friends and the perfect snack to make you laugh until spicy salsa comes out of your nose.

10 Books to Read This Summer for Ages 5-6

Young kids in school will get a kick out of Shel Silverstein books like “The Giving Tree,” but “I Promise” by NBA superstar LeBron James might inspire them to do great things as they start learning!

1. The Giving Tree – Shel Silverstein

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This classic book by Shel Silverstein is full of a beautifully written story that talks a lot about the gift of giving and acceptance. It’s another book that can be given as a meaningful gift as it strikes a chord with many ages and audiences.

2. I Promise – LeBron James

31 Books Your Kids Should Read This Summer
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NBA champion LeBron James does an excellent job inspiring our young children and helping them understand how important it is to do their best, excel in school, and be their best. It’s another nighttime story that includes rhyming text and lively illustrations.

3. The Day the Crayons Quit – Drew Daywalt

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If you love bright illustrations, hilarious text, and an amazing story, this book is for you. In a 5-year-old’s life, coloring is an everyday task for most. So this story about missing crayons is so relatable! The crayons written about are getting sick of coloring the same things – so they quit! Follow along as the main character does everything he can to get those crayons back in their case.

4. Puff the Magic Dragon – Peter Yarrow

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Are you singing the song in your head? Based on a song over 40 years old, “Puff the Magic Dragon” is a book that will keep all ages intrigued. You can read it or sing it! Fun for all preschoolers, especially once they’ve memorized it and can join you in reading it (or singing)!

5. The Gruffalo – Julia Donaldson

31 Books Your Kids Should Read This Summer
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What 5-year-old doesn’t love magical lands and characters? “The Gruffalo” comes off as a big, scary villain when a little mouse first sets eyes on him – but the mouse changes his feelings as the story continues. Julia Donaldson’s usual rhyming text accompanied by beautiful illustrations is a match made in heaven.

6. Giraffes Can’t Dance – Giles Andreae

31 Books Your Kids Should Read This Summer
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Gerald is a giraffe who CAN’T dance – can you imagine? His big, lanky legs keep buckling anytime the music comes on! Will he find his moves? This giggle-inducing, laughable book will have your 5-year-old asking to read it night after night!

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie Hardcover
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One of many in a series, this book is so much fun for any young child. Your child will be taught lifelong lessons, including never giving a mouse a cookie! Snuggle up and enjoy this one before a night of sweet dreams.

8. Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak

Where the Wild Things Are
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This iconic story has inspired many renditions on film and literature. Max (the main character) sets sail in his dreams to a land far, far away, and lands where the Wild Things are. Cuddle up and enjoy this beautiful interpretation of this magical art piece.

9. It’s Hard to Be Five – Jamie Lee Curtis

It's Hard to Be Five: Learning How to Work My Control Panel Hardcover
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Most 5-year-olds can agree – it’s hard to be their age! Follow along while Jamie Lee Curtis talks about the struggles of being a 5-year-old and how to make it much easier and fun. Your kids will laugh the whole time, especially when they hear how many things they relate to.

10. Rainbow Fish – Marcus Pfister

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Once known as a children’s TV show, “The Rainbow Fish” is about a beautiful fish who learns to make friends differently. The read is excellent, and the glitter and foil stamping on every page is also eye-catching!

These (and so many more) fun and kid-friendly books need to be on your summer must-read list! Ensure you choose a topic that keeps your child engaged and listening. Also, try to select a book close to or around your child’s age range to ensure a proper understanding of what’s happening in the book. From fairytales and friends to animals and trucks — your kids will love going on a literary adventure with you this summer!

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Alina is a Journalism graduate and a mom blogger living in Ontario, Canada. She is also a wife and a mom to a 4-year-old little boy. She is most passionate… Read more

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