The Ultimate Summer Reading List for Kids Ages 3 – 5

Whether it’s basking in the sun on the beach, relaxing in the shade at the playground, or cuddling at home during an afternoon storm, books are the perfect addition to any summer activity! We’ve rounded up 25 stories that will have kids laughing, learning, and begging to read them again and again. With tales celebrating the essence of summer, books about family and friendship, and silly stories to tickle the funny bone, there is something here for everyone.

Break out the sunscreen and lemonade and prepare for a fun summer with these standout stories!

no no 9780593702956 Bubble Gum Bison Needs a Bath by Scott Rothman, illustrated by Pete Oswald

Bubble Gum Bison tries to avoid a bath at all costs in this humorous story. When she slips in mud and becomes covered in feathers, she’s finally ready to get clean, but now there’s no water! Luckily, her brother comes to the rescue with a surprising solution.

9780593327609 A Mermaid Girl by Sana Rafi, illustrated by Olivia Aserr

This feel-good story about cultural awareness is a gem. A young girl is thrilled to show off her new burkini at the community pool until she notices it is very different from her friends’ bathing suits. Drawing strength from her Pakistani heritage, she confidently enters the pool, educating her friends and readers on the special Muslim custom of wearing a burkini.

9780593519479 A Unicorn, a Dinosaur, and a Shark Walk into a Book by Jonathan Fenske

When a narrator announces that a unicorn, dinosaur, and shark are in the best book ever, they are less than impressed. What ensues is a hysterical story packed with funny banter and kid appeal! Kids will also love the follow-up tale, A Unicorn, a Dinosaur, and a Shark Were Riding a Bicycle.

9780593569177 Built to Last by Minh Lê, illustrated by Dan Santat

Two friends love using their imaginations to build bigger and better creations in this playful story about collaboration and perseverance. However, their partnership is truly tested when their latest innovation is destroyed. Once again, the dynamic duo of Minh Lê and Dan Santat have produced an inventive friendship story.

9780525555445 100 Mighty Dragons All Named Broccoli by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Lian Cho

This comical counting adventure cleverly embeds math skills into an engaging story. As dragons leave their mountain home to pursue their eccentric interests, readers count down from 100 until only one dragon remains — who has a big surprise!

9780593619131 The Truth About the Couch by Adam Rubin, illustrated by Liniers

Readers will never look at couches the same way after reading this hysterical book. From the eccentric mind of Adam Rubin, the author of Dragons Love Tacos, comes another zany story that kids will love. This time, it personifies couches as wild beings that run amuck when overfed with loose change and sprout from farms (a.k.a couch potatoes).

9781984895837 Donut Feed the Squirrels by Mika Song

Two best friends cannot resist the sweet temptation of a tasty donut in this humorous graphic novel for new readers. Despite their best efforts, Norma and Belly’s plans to steal a donut from a food truck comically crash and burn with each attempt, creating a rib-tickling story.

9781984812698 The Octopus Escapes by Maile Meloy, illustrated by Felicita Sala

Unhappy with his recent confinement in an aquarium, a clever octopus plans his daring escape back into the wild. With just the right amount of drama for little ones, this entertaining read will have children clamoring to know more about these brilliant creatures.

9780593650998 If You Spot a Shell by Aimée Sicuro

If You Find a Leaf is one of my favorite fall books, so I was thrilled to see a summer edition featuring seashells. This gorgeous celebration of imagination demonstrates how a simple shell can transform into a myriad of objects. I love how it inspires children to create dazzling masterpieces featuring shells in unusual ways.

9780593465943 Sleepy Sheepy and the Sheepover by Lucy Ruth Cummins, illustrated by Pete Oswald

A sleepover can be an exciting but scary milestone for children. Many will relate to Sleepy Sheepy’s eager anticipation and shared nervousness for his first-ever sleepover with his grandparents. Readers will be entertained and reassured by this “wooly” good story!

9780593622841 Gorgeously Me by Jonathan Van Ness, illustrated by Kamala Nair

I love books that empower kids to embrace their uniqueness, and this uplifting book does just that in the most beautiful way. Vibrant illustrations add to the joyful tone of the story as gentle rhymes nurture children’s self-esteem by affirming their inherent worth and individuality.

9780593203255 Something, Someday by Amanda Gorman, illustrated by Christian Robinson

Empower children to make a difference in this rousing story from acclaimed creators Amanda Gorman and Christian Robinson. When a young boy notices a problem in his neighborhood, he works with a friend to improve the situation, demonstrating the limitless potential within every individual to create positive change.

9780593529461 Gaga Mistake Day by Emma Straub and Susan Straub, illustrated by Jessica Love

This endearing intergenerational tale brilliantly captures the joy of a grandmother’s visit. Gaga’s amusing attitude and comical “mistakes” make each day more magical in a young girl’s life. It is hard not to smile while reading this heartfelt story.

9780593621967 The Wrong Book by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Alex Willmore

Firefighters say “Ding Dong” and live in the sea, right? Well, that’s what the unseen narrator of this hilarious book thinks. Prepare for lots of giggles as an adorable bookmark tries to set the narrator straight in this fun, nonsensical story.

9780593429396 Ahoy! by Sophie Blackall

Batten down the hatches! It’s time to embark on a whimsical journey of imaginative play in this fantastical new story by award-winning creator Sophie Blackall. When a parent’s mundane housework is interrupted by their inventive child, the two engage in a fun-filled journey that whisks them from the living room to the high seas.

9780593644638 Duck Duck Taco Truck by Laura Lavoie, illustrated by Teresa Martínez

Rollicking rhymes share the high-spirited story of two feuding food trucks in this funny beach read. When a goose moves in on a duck’s taco turf, the feuding fowls learn an essential lesson in collaboration versus conflict.

9780593651568 Somewhere In Between by Laan Cham

When a young girl named Pink is transported to a magical land, she encounters Fireball, the guardian of warmth and sunlight, and Snowball, the ruler of ice and cold. As tensions rise between the two, Pink intervenes, guiding them toward reconciliation and restoring harmony to the land.

9780593350669 How to Talk Like a Bear by Charlie Grandy, illustrated by Alex G. Griffiths

Prepare for giggles while reading this hilarious new interactive book that encourages children to roar like a bear at varying volume levels. Each attempt at bear talk results in funnier and funnier communication that will have both children and adults laughing.

9780399545498 The World Belonged to Us by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Leo Espinosa

This spectacular story brilliantly captures the boundless joy of carefree summer days. Opening on the final day of school, a lively group of students spills out into their Brooklyn neighborhood, eager to kick off the weeks ahead where they reign supreme over their block. The upbeat text begs to be read aloud, while the bright illustrations clearly display the delight found in summer.

9780593352670 Partly Cloudy by Deborah Freedman

The idea of cloud gazing on a lazy afternoon is comically captured in this delightful tale of two friends with very different points of view. While one sees fanciful objects in the sky, the other shares scientific facts about each cloud. I adore books that can cleverly educate readers while entertaining them, and this one is a real standout.

The post The Ultimate Summer Reading List for Kids Ages 3 – 5 appeared first on Brightly.

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