Picture Books Highlights | Summer=Outdoors!

By Monica C. RSS Thu, June 24, 2021

And we are back to my favorite season of the year! There’s so much to do when the weather is warm, when sunshine lasts long through the day, and there’s all kinds of things to be done outside: playing, exploring, swimming, camping, and hiking—or just going for a nice walk and sitting down under a tree to read a book.

Here are some book recommendations to get you as excited as I am about summer, from beginning to end!


Bubbles… Up! written by Jacqueline Davies; illustrated by Sonia Sánchez
An everyday visit to the community pool is transformed into an unforgettable celebration of all the things one can do in the water, from dunking and diving with friends to somersaulting, walking on your hands, and bursting up through the surface like a tortoise. When a thunderstorm comes and a little brother ventures too close to the pool’s edge, will our main character be quick and brave enough to save the day?

Fatima’s Great Outdoors written by Ambreen Tariq; illustrated by Stevie Lewis

ebook and audiobook available from Overdrive

Fatima Khazi is excited about the weekend. Her family is headed to a local state park for their first camping trip! The school week might not have gone as planned, but outdoors, Fatima can achieve anything. She sets up a tent with her father, builds a fire with her mother, and survives an eight-legged mutant spider (a daddy longlegs with an impressive shadow) with her sister. At the end of an adventurous day, the family snuggles inside one big tent, serenaded by the sounds of the forest. The thought of leaving the magic of the outdoors tugs at Fatima’s heart, but her sister reminds her that they can keep the memory alive through stories—and they can always daydream about what their next camping trip will look like.

We All Play = Kimêtawânaw by Julie Fleet

ebook available from Overdrive

From chasing, chirping birds, to swimming, squirting whales, this book for young readers reminds them how animals play just like them. This picture book is a marvelous celebration of the interconnectedness of all creatures and includes some Cree phrases based on the teaching of wahkohtowin, interconnectedness, and play. Also included is the English and Cree names of the animals in the book, all of whom are from 'Turtle Island' (North America).

The Old Boat by Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey

ebook available from Overdrive

Off a small island, a boy and his grandfather set sail in their beloved fishing boat. They ride the waves, catching wants and wishes and seeing the wonders of the ocean. But soon the boy is sailing the boat himself, drifting further from shore as the waters grow muddied and turbulent. When a storm washes him ashore, he sees home in a new light. He decides to turn the tides of his fortune, cleaning the island's waters and creating a new life with a family to call his own.

Camp Tiger written by Susan Choi; illustrated by John Rocco

ebook available from Overdrive

A talking tiger approaches a family during their annual end-of-summer camping trip and is befriended by the youngest, a boy who does not feel ready for first grade.

The Camping Trip by Jennifer K. Mann
Ernestine is beyond excited to go camping. She follows the packing list carefully (New sleeping bag! New flashlight! Special trail mix made with Dad!) so she knows she is ready when the weekend arrives. But she quickly realizes that nothing could have prepared her for how hard it is to set up a tent, never mind fall asleep in it, or that swimming in a lake means that there will be fish—eep! Will Ernestine be able to enjoy the wilderness, or will it prove to be a bit too far out of her comfort zone?

Sunrise Summer written by Matthew Swanson; illustrated by Robbi Behr

ebook available from Overdrive

It’s summer, so a young girl and her family are heading on their annual trip to Alaska where she usually plays with her younger brothers, jumping on the bluff and searching for critters on the shore. But this year, she joins her mother’s salmon-fishing crew. Being a part of the crew is a big responsibility, and though she may fall down, she is now part of a team that helps her get back up.

Rocket Says Clean Up! written by Nathan Bryon; illustrated by Dapo Adeola

ebook available from Overdrive

Rocket is off to the islands to visit her grandparents. Her family loves nothing better than to beach comb and surf together... but the beach is clogged with trash! When she finds a turtle tangled in a net, Rocket decides that something must be done!

Outside, You Notice written by Erin Alladin; illustrated by Andrea Blinick
Poetic nonfiction text describes a child's sensory experience of various kinds of outdoor space. On each spread, facts related to observation center on a particular theme, including rain, animal homes, fruit, soil, flowers, seeds, water, roots, leaves, vegetables, pollinators, and the benefits of spending time outdoors.

Charlie and Mouse Outdoors written by Laurel Snyder; illustrated by Emily Hughes

ebook available from Overdrive

Charlie, Mouse, and their parents are going on a camping trip. There will be hiking, storytelling, marshmallows, and campfires, and the joy that comes from sharing it all.


Be sure to check our catalog and Overdrive Kids eReading Room, for these titles and many more being added!

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