Baby & Toddler

The Best Summery Board Books for Babies and Toddlers

by Keith Rice

Background credit: Lidiya Oleandra/Shutterstock

There’s nothing quite like spending summer days with your little one. It’s the perfect time for sun-drenched walks, afternoons in the park, and lazy days basking in that summer sunshine. With thoughts turning to games and beach trips, ice cream and picnics, it’s also the perfect time to start introducing your baby to all the joys this particular season has to offer. I’ve rounded up ten favorite board books to while away those sunny days with your littlest soon-to-be reader.

  • Llama Llama Sand and Sun

    by Anna Dewdney

    Summers were made for spending time at the beach. With this touch-and-feel book, your baby joins Llama Llama and Mama Llama for a day of seaside adventure splashing in the waves and building sandcastles. The bright illustrations and tactile touches are a great way to keep babies entertained.

  • Is it Warm Enough for Ice Cream?

    by DK

    This is perhaps the most important question of the season: Is it warm enough for ice cream? This board book is a highly visual and basic introduction to the seasonal change. It’s an excellent way to begin teaching your little reader that with the changing seasons comes new and fun activities to try. Ice cream, of course, is at the top of the list.

  • The Teddy Bears’ Picnic

    by Jimmy Kennedy, illustrated by Alexandra Day

    The simple, rhyming lyrics of the “The Teddy Bears’ Picnic” have been charming children for decades and this beautifully illustrated board book brings the classic children’s song to life. The colorful illustrations found here are the perfect complement to this lyrical journey, making The Teddy Bear’s Picnic a lovely way to introduce your little one to one of best summer activities.

  • Pop-up Peekaboo: Under the Sea

    by DK

    This bright and colorful pop-up book is a charming and wonderful way to introduce your little book lover to the ocean and all the creatures that live there. From Diving Dolphin to Stripy Fish, there are a host of colorful sea creatures waiting to surprise and delight your baby under each flap. The rhyming structure is also an ideal way to support those developing language skills.

  • A Ball for Daisy

    by Chris Raschka

    This winner of the 2012 Caldecott Medal is the perfect way to help your toddler learn to cope with the loss of something special. Told through Raschka’s engaging, impressionistic illustrations, the bittersweet story of what happens when Daisy’s favorite toy pops teaches little ones a valuable lesson and is perfectly suited for long, play-filled days of summer.

  • Baby Loves Summer

    by Karen Katz

    This wonderful pop-up is a fun and engaging way to present your baby to all the surprises of summer.  Your little one will delight in all the summery images hiding under each flap. From a big yellow sun to flip flops to a colorful ice cream cone and everything in between, Baby Loves Summer is a vibrant introduction to the season.

  • Duck, Duck, Goose

    by Tad Hills

    This new board book edition of a beloved contemporary classic is a sweet tale of friendship and understanding. It sees Duck and Goose overcoming the first real trial of their feathered friendship when a new duck named Thistle arrives in their lives. The bright, colorful illustrations are a lovely addition to a charming story of camaraderie and summer fun.

  • Colors with Ladybug

    by DK

    Summer is a time of vibrant, bright colors. Colors with Ladybug is a delightful and tactile adventure sure to spark your child’s imagination. Written in rhyming verse perfect for a read-aloud session, we follow the journey of a little ladybug as she discovers magical flowers and learns colors with her animal friends.

  • Red Wagon

    by Renata Liwska

    Renata Liwska’s lively artwork is the star of this wonderfully imaginative tale for the youngest of readers. Lucy only wants to play with her brand-new red wagon, but her mother has chores for her to do. Fortunately, Lucy discovers that with her new wagon and a little imagination, anything is possible and fun can be had anywhere — a perfect lesson for all those summer playtime sessions.

  • The Very Lonely Firefly

    by Eric Carle

    This board book is an innovative and creative tale starring one of summer’s most magical creatures: the firefly. A lonely firefly goes searching for other fireflies, only to find all manner of other glowing things in the darkness. Beautifully illustrated and with a perfect read-along cadence, this one has a surprise at the end that’s sure to light up your little one’s face.

What are your favorite board books to read over the summer? Let us know in the comments below!