A Short Summer Reading List

June 21, 2018

Every year it feels as if I've waited endlessly for spring to arrive, and then before I know it, summer is upon us. It's such a joy experiencing the same seasons again and again with a young child, seeing what she remembers from the year before, comparing how much she's grown since. This year there are a lot more discussions with a chatty three-year-old - a lot more questioning and searching for answers together. And midsummer (6 weeks away!) we'll have a newborn amongst us as well. I feel there are many good things to come these warmer months for our family - a lot of growth and love.

I've started to pull from our collection all the summer titles that depict all our favourite things about this season - fields bursting with wildflowers, the scent of sunscreen and sweat, baskets full of ripe berries, hikes in search of wild creatures, impromptu picnics and late nights at the water's edge. I've rounded up a few titles to share with you - I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey is a classic summer read for all who are familiar with it (kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk). Little Sal goes wild blueberry picking with her mother on one side of the mountain - and at the same time, a little bear and her big bear mother have begun filling up on blueberries on the opposite side. The mothers and babes become separated from each other and a little mixed up, creating some excitement in this gentle adventure for young children. We were lucky to find a secondhand copy last summer just in time for blueberry season - the illustrations are wholly in black and white, but have such a captivating, classic quality to them.

The Golden Glow by Benjamin Flouw is a charming book that feels like a cross between Fantastic Mr. Fox and a Peterson Guide. It became an instant favourite in our house with beautiful illustrations, quirky details like a fox who eats "grape pate sandwiches." The story follows a fox who is in search of a rare flower called the Golden Glow - we follow him on his hike as he identifies flowers, trees, and terrains, and meets a few animal friends along the way. It's a beautiful book for nature lovers, especially those who keep a nature journal. The story also has a truly beautiful ending which shows a great respect for nature and life.



Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney is a story of Miss Alice Rumphius and how she came to be the Lupine Lady. From when she was a little girl she longed to travel to faraway places, to live in a house by the sea, and to make the world more beautiful. When she had completed the first two tasks, she settled on beautifying the world by scattering lupine seeds wherever she went along the Maine Coast for all the enjoy. The story is such a classic, with cherished illustrations, and such a powerful message - that our efforts, the small seeds that we plant now, can make the world a more beautiful place for generations to come.

Summer by Gerda Muller is part of the must-have seasonal collection for all young children's libraries. This may be Ramona's favourite book of the four seasons (SpringAutumn and Winter) because it features several pages at the beach, playing in the sand and water. This is a wordless board book full of beautiful illustrations depicting scenes from summer - sharing ice cream,  eating dinner outside on a warm summer night, catching fireflies, picking berries, and building sandcastles.

Backyard Fairies by Phoebe Wahl is a sweet little narrative about the hidden fairy and sprite world. A young girl goes searching for fairies in midsummer, never quite catching a glimpse of the magical creatures, but still believing in this unseen world she believes must be nearby. The illustrations by Wahl are so charming, full of rich details for children to pour over again and again.


The Flowers' Festival by Elsa Beskow gives us a glimpse of the magical festival held by all the spring and summer flowers - a celebration of their beauty. The illustrations, as with all Beskow's books, are very pleasing. I felt a little sorry for the weeds in the book, as I'm quite fond of even the lesser-loved wildflowers and common weeds, but altogether a sweet little book to add to any summer collection.



Peter in Blueberry Land by Elsa Beskow is yet another gentle classic by the Swedish author following Peter in the forest as he searches for blueberries for his mother. When he loses hope and begins to cry, the King of Blueberry land shrinks him down and he goes on an adventure with the blueberry boys and cranberry girls and is shown where the blueberries grow.


Over and Under the Pond is another seasonal collaboration between author Kate Messner and illustrator Christopher Silas, this time observing summer and the thriving natural world within. The story follows a mother and child on a boat on a mountain pond, and we learn about the secret world surrounding them (and beneath them), full of tadpoles, beavers, minnows, and so much more.




This post is in partnership with Tundra Books. I was gifted both The Golden Glow and Backyard Fairies by Tundra Books to share my honest opinion on both titles.

This post contains affiliate links as part of the Amazon Associates Program. As part of this program, I receive compensation for products purchased through affiliate links - however, as always, all thoughts, opinions and run-on sentences expressed here are my own.