Our Summer Reading List For Children of All Ages

Clementine contributor Sarah Hurt shares all of her favorite titles to read with kids at the beach and beyond this summer.
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Image Credit: Oeuf

Image Credit: Oeuf

There's no better season than summer for cracking open a brand new book — especially for children. After a long, hot day at the beach, a bit of reading before bed provides the perfect respite, and a book on tape keeps the kids entertained on the trip back home. Today Clementine Contributor (and mother of three), Sarah Hurt, offers her list of favorite titles to enjoy with the whole family, including some to read aloud and others for newly independent bookworms.  

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." — Emilie Buchwald

I love reading. If you asked me what I would do with a quiet morning all to myself, I would answer with a resounding, “Read!” 

As I began to have children, I soon discovered the beautiful world of books for lap readers and beyond. Many of my favorite read-aloud books could easily cross over into works of art in their own right, with illustrations that demand as much attention as the words. Some are lyrical and have a singsong rhythm. And some have no words at all, but invite your imagination to create dialogue of its own. 

If you're new to the world of children’s literature, you are in for a treat. If you're experiencing the wonder of watching your children read on their own, I've included a few gems to pass along to them, too. I could list a thousand much-loved titles, but I've restricted myself to some newly published works that I hope capture your family's imagination, all summer long. 

Illustrated books for reading aloud:


Can I Eat That?

This book answers many question pertaining to why we eat some things and not others. For example, if both rocks and potatoes are covered in dirt and come from the ground, why don't we chew on rocks for dinner? (You'll have to read to find out.) 


Last Stop on Market

I love this multicultural, multigenerational look at living in the city from a child’s voice.


The Farmer and the Clown

This is the sweet story of an odd couple who find friendship in life's unexpected places.


Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems

This amazingly beautiful book is filled with poems short enough for even your smallest reader.


The Night Gardener

Mysterious topiaries appear overnight in this title, and a whole town is eager to solve the riddle of who is responsible for the whimsical creations.



We all feel all the feelings, thankfully Everyone reminds us of the beauty and normalcy of experiencing emotions. 


The Only Child

A picture tells a thousand words in this engaging story about the loneliness of an only child (with a happy ending). 

For independent readers and beyond:


The Wild Robot

A robot finds herself alone in the woods and slowly earns the love and friendship of her new neighbors. This one also comes in audiobook formperfect for those long summer roadtrips!


The Timmy Failure Books

This multi-book series revolves around charming protagonists whose mistakes always end with a good moral. 


Under the Egg

This one is an engrossing mystery about art, World War II and the grandfather the main character thought she knew.

p.s. Books are a great way to expand a kid's imagination, but a nourishing home environment makes a huge impact, too.