100 Picture Books to Read This Summer

Summer is all about the pool, parks, ice cream…but don’t forget about the books. Summer is the slow down season, so pour yourself a tall glass of lemonade, find a comfy spot, and join my summer reading challenge. As a Reading Specialist I know how important consistency is for reading skills to continue to grow and improve, even when on summer break. So encourage your family to tackle this list of 100 Picture Books to Read This Summer.


These beautiful books are works of art in an of themselves, and they also encourage budding artists to take risks and create their own one of a kind art.

Beautiful Oops—Barney Saltzberg

Sky Color—Peter H. Reynolds

The Day the Crayons Quit—Drew Daywalt

The Day the Crayons Came Home—Drew Daywalt

The Dot—Peter H. Reynolds

Ish—Peter H. Reynolds

Mix It Up—Herve’ Tullet



These books feature characters who learn what it takes to be a  good friend and will undoubtedly inspire readers to improve their friendships through both simple and big acts of courage and love.

Wolf the Bunny—Ame Dyckman

A Big Guy Took My Ball—Mo Willems

The Giving Tree—Shel Sliverstein

It Came in the Mail—Ben Clanton

Can I Play Too?—Mo Willems

What Newt Could Do For Turtle—Jonathan London

Elmer—Holly Hobbie

The Rabbit Listened—Cori Doerrfeld



From challenging the reader to tell the story based on pictures or requiring a heat source (grab your hair dryer!) to reveal words, these fun and interactive books will keep your reader engaged from cover to cover.

Quest—Aaron Becker

Journey—Aaron Becker

Let’s Play—Herve Tullet

Press Here—Herve Tullet

Tickle Monster—Josie Bissett

Flora and the Flamingo—Molly Idle

How to Put Your Parents To Bed—Mylisa Larsen

Keep Our Secrets—Jordan Crane



These books will inspire readers to be unique and realize how special and loved they are.

The Family Book—Todd Parr

I Wish You More—Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Tom Lichtenheld

One—Kathryn Otoshi

Hello, My Name is Octocorn—Kevin Diller & Justin Love

BunnyBear—Andrea J. Loney

That’s Me Loving You—Amy Krrouse Rosenthal

I Like Myself—Karen Beaumont

Spoon—Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Alma and How She Got Her Name—Juana Martinez-Neal

A Bad Case of the Stripes—David Shannon

Red: A Crayon’s Story—Michael Hall


As a boy mom, I know that sometimes the only way to coax a reluctant reader is through these beloved machines. Even better? These books are perfect for bedtime with rhythmic melodies and gorgeous illustrations.

Roadwork—Sally Sutton

Demolition—Sally Sutton

Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee—Chris Van Dusen

Mighty, Mighty Construction Site—Sherri Duskey Rinker & Tom Lichtenheld

Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site—Sherri Duskey Rinker & Tom Lichtenheld

Steam Train, Dream Train– Sherri Duskey Rinker & Tom Lichtenheld

The Digger and the Flower—Joseph Kuefler



Help kids take a look around their world and learn about trailblazers, leaders, and people who make a difference.

Who Says Women Can’t be Doctors? The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell—Tanya Lee Stone

Death is Stupid—Anastasia Higginbotham

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind—William Kamkwamba & Bryan Mealer

Word Collector—Peter H. Reynolds

Nobody Owns the Sky: The Story of “Brave Bessie” Coleman—Reeve Lindbergh

Ada Twist, Scientist—Andrea Beaty

Hey, Little Ant—Phillip M. Hoose

Just a Dream—Chris Van Allsburg

Play, Motzart, Play—Peter Sis

Hidden Figures: The True Story About Four Black Women and the Space Race—Margot Lee Shetterly



It is impossible to not be inspired by these beautiful stories that celebrate heroism, bravery, and uniqueness.

Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist—Jess Keating

The Book of Mistakes—Corinna Luyken

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo—Marlon Bundo with Jill Twiss

Little Tree—Loren Long

The Lion Inside—Rachel Bright & Jim Field

She Persisted—Chelsea Clinton

The Cow Who Climbed a Tree—Gemma Merino

Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend—Dan Santat

What Do You Do With An Idea?—Kobi Yamada

Iggy Peck, Architect—Andrea Beaty

Rosie Revere, Engineer—Andrea Beaty

You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer—Shana Corey



Seeing my sons love the same books I adored from childhood makes my heart melt in a way I never thought possible.

The Rainbow Fish—Marcus Pfister

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie—Laura Joffe Numeroff

Corduroy—Don Freeman

Harry the Dirty Dog—Gene Zion

Strega Nona—Tommie de Paola

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom—Bill Martin Jr. & John Archambault

Little Blue Truck Leads the Way—Alice Schertle

Green Eggs and Ham—Dr. Seuss

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type—Doreen Cronin

Little Hoot—Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Jen Corace

Little Pea– Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Jen Corace

Little Oink– Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Jen Corace

A Sick Day for Amos McGee—Philip C. Stead

The Very Hungry Caterpillar—Eric Carle

Jumanji—Chris Van Allsburg

Where the Wild Things Are—Maurice Sendak

The Lorax—Dr. Seuss

Danny and the Dinosaur—Syd Hoff



These fun and creative books are too special to fit into a category. Read them of find out why!

Mommy Calls Me Monkeypants—J. D. Lester

The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors—Drew Daywalt

The Book With No Pictures—B. J. Novak

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day—Judith Viorst

Alexander, Who’s Trying His Best to Be the Best Boy Ever—Judith Viorst

Grumpy Pants—Claire Messer

Goldi Rocks and the Three Bears—Corey Rosen Schwartz & Beth Coulton

Dragons Love Tacos—Adam Rubin & Daniel Salmieri

Dragons Love Tacos 2—Adam Rubin & Daniel Salmieri

The Seven Silly Eaters—Mary Ann Hoberman

Tell Me the Day Backwards—Albert Lamb

Fred and the Bedtime Elephants—Caroline Crowe

We Are In a Book—Mo Willems

Explorers of the Wild—Cale Atkinson

My Friend Rabbit—Eric Rohman

This Is Not My Hat—Jon Klassen

Wild About Books—Judy Sierra

Trouble With Gran—Babette Cole

The Great Dictionary Caper—Judy Sierra

Don’t know how to get started? Simply unplug, create a cozy reading nook (a bed, couch, fort, or picnic blanket under a tree will do) and just start reading. Simple as that. For design inspiration, head over to Project Nursery and see all of the creative book nooks they have imagined!


Happy Reading!
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  1. Karin says

    Picture books are so fun and what a great thing to bring along on a camping trip or road trip! Thanks for these suggestions!

  2. Kayvona says

    I’m on a personal mission to read at least one book a month for myself but I never even considered making a goal for my kids! I love this idea! Definitely going to look into all of these!

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