Tuesday, June 6, 2017

{100} Picture Books to Read this Summer

Luke and I do a lot of reading but especially in the summer when there is the added motivation of summer reading programs (prizes) but also because few things say "lazy summer day" to me like a stack of books.  Either for me or for him!  Here are 100 picture books we've enjoyed together.  No Star Wars and only a few recognizable characters (of course the Berenstain Bears make an appearance...or two).  Let me know what we should add to our list!  Happy reading!

Note: Affiliate links abound below which means if you purchase through the link I'll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.  We checked every single one of these out from the library before purchasing ourselves (and we don't own nearly all) so we encourage that option as well!  Thanks for supporting the blog!

1) Mouse and Hippo by Mike Twohy
Mouse draws a picture of Hippo, Hippo draws Mouse.  They have different perspectives.

2) Hooray for Hat by Brian Won
A group of animals learn that it's more important to share and for everyone to be happy than to keep it all for yourself.  Also, delightful pictures.

3) Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle
A classic around our house (I've had it memorized for YEARS).  Teaching the value of friendship and being kind.  I love gifting this one.

4) The Wrong Side of the Bed by Lisa Bakos
Sometimes you might wake up on the wrong side of the bed, even in the summer.  Reminder that maybe life doesn't always go as planned.

5) Chicken in Space by Adam Lehrhaupt
Chicken has dreams, of doing into space.  Will he make it?

6) The Library by Sarah Stewart
When you have so many books that you can't use your front door, what are you doing to do? (Luckily, I am very far from that point although I do like sharing books.)

7) Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins
Bruce is no Mother Goose so why do these goslings, hatched from eggs he had planned to eat, keep following him around?

8) Apples and Robins by Lucie Felix
Each pages brings something new as pictures transform into other objects.  Beautiful pictures.

9) When Your Elephant Comes to Play by Ale Barbe 
Having neighbor kids overs to play will probably seem like a piece of cake after reading about an elephant who rang the doorbell and wanted to play!

10) Nobody Likes a Goblin by Ben Hatke
Goblin just wants to be left alone and play with his friend Skeleton, until the "heroes" burst in and steal Skeleton so Goblin must go on a rescue mission.

11) LMNO Peas by Keith Baker
Teaching ABCs and occupations with the help of some (pretty cute) little green peas.

12) Quit Calling Me a Monster! by Jory John
Just because you have pointy teeth and look like a monster, doesn't mean you are one!  At least you might not think you are one!

13) Hensel & Gretel: Ninja Chicks by Corey Rosen Schwartz
The fox is no match for chicks Hensel & Gretel who are ninja!  Maybe the fox should rethink who he's kidnapping.

14) This Moose Belongs to Me by Olivers Jeffers
A boy meets a moose and thinks it belongs to him.  The moose might have other ideas.  Other people might have other ideas. 

15) Our Great Big Backyard by Laura Bush and Jenna Bush Hager
Jane had wanted to spend her summer playing video games and with her friends but her parents drag her on a long trip through multiple national parks (national treasures).  Turns out to be a pretty good way to spend a summer.

16) Sophie's Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller
Sophie goes to the market with her parents and comes home with a squash she treats as a pet.  Maybe squash are meant to be kept around forever?

17) Hello, My Name is Octicorn by Kevin Diller 
An Octicorn is what happens when your parents are an octopus and an unicorn, obviously. You might be pretty unique.

18) A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead
Amos visits all his friends at the zoo but what do they do when Amos is sick and can't come visit them?  Repay his kindness, of course!

19) The Hole Story of the Doughnut by Pat Miller
The story of how one of the most popular treats came to be.  Interesting and educational! (And will make you want to eat a donut).

20) A Hat for Mrs. Goldman by Michelle Edwards
Mrs. Goldman knits for everyone in the neighborhood so her young friend Sophia decided to knit for her.  Sweet and charming!

21) Bug in a Vacuum by Melanie Watt
A bug flies through a window and ends up sucked into a vacuum where it goes through the five stages of grief.  Did you know bugs could grieve?  Well, now you do.

22) There's a Bear on my Chair by Ross Collins
The poor Mouse has had a Bear settle on his chair and nothing Mouse does will get Bear to move.  So Mouse takes his revenge.

23) Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg
This has stood the test of time for good reason - Peter and Judy find a board game, that comes to life completely with wild animals in their house.

24) Chopsticks by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Chopsticks have been best friends forever and THEN they get separated!  What are they going to do??

25) Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems
Any Elephant and Piggie is a solid choice but this is my favorite and super appropriate for summer.  Should Gerald find Piggie and share his ice cream when he really just wants to eat it himself?

26) The Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon Lord
How else would you get rid of 4 million wasps than with a giant jam sandwich?

27) Life on Mars by Jon Agee
A young astronaut wants to check for life on Mars and takes along cupcakes as a gift.  He searches all over and finds a flower, pretty happy with his discovery.  Until he notices the cupcakes are gone...

28) A Greyhound, A Groundhog by Emily Jenkins
Almost a tongue twister following the antics of a greyhound and a groundhog who meet.

29) Bring Me a Rock! by Daniel Miyares 
The grasshopper kings wants a large rock tower so he can rule over the other bugs.  One small bug can only contribute a little but that turns out to be important too.

30) The Cookie Fiasco by Dan Santat
Four animal friends have to figure out how to share three cookies before the Hippo gets too nervous and crushes them all!  Lesson in math and sharing!

31) Bunny's Book Club by Annie Silvestro
Bunny loves listening to the library's outdoor story time but then the weather gets too cold she has to find a way to get her own books! (Let's just pretend it's equally likely a librarian would be that thrilled with finding wild animals all over the library as it is likely that animals can read.)

32) Mix it Up! by Herve Tulle
One of my favorite of this "interactive" type of book, all about mixing colors and making "art" within the book.

33) Rufus the Writer by Elizabeth Bram
Why have a lemonade stand when you could have a story stand?  (As much as I love lemonade in the summer, I'd love to come across a story stand!)

34) The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot by Margaret McNamara
The story of the Three Little Pigs but in outer space with a VERY unpronounceable name.  A strong favorite in our house!

35) Panda and Polar Bear by Matthew Baek
A polar bear wonders what is outside his cold world, falls over the edge into mud, and befriends a panda (who he just happens to look like at the moment).  Will their friendship outlast the mud?

36) Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? by Brianna Caplan Sayres
A fun rhyming story that goes through a bedtime routine.  A huge favorite here!

37) Triangle by Mac Barnett
Triangle wants to play a trick on his friend Square.  Teaches shapes and maybe practical jokes.

38) The Queen's Hat by Steve Antony
A gust of wind blows off the Queen's hat and the Queen and all the Queen's Men go chasing it around London.  Charming and perfectly British.

39) Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast by Josh Funk
Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast are great friends UNTIL there is only ONE drop of syrup left.  The race through food to see who can get the last drop.

40) Together by Emma Dodd
The Sea Otter just likes spending time with his parents, even when they aren't doing anything exciting.  Cute story and otters are just adorable.

41) The Giant Jumperee by Julia Donaldson
Rabbit comes home to find something making loud noises in its home.  Who is going to be a match for the (self-proclaimed) Giant Jumperee?

42) The Mixed-Up Truck by Steven Savage
Cement Mixer's first day on the job and he doesn't want to make mistakes...and yet somehow he ends up with cake instead of cement...

43) The Berenstain Bears Go on Vacation by Stan & Jan Berenstain
The Berenstain Bears are going vacation and enjoying some of their favorite things like fishing, swimming, and eating seafood.  Extra fantastic if you are doing a beach vacation this summer!

44) XO, OX: A Love Story by Adam Rex
An Ox is in love with Gazelle and sends her increasingly oblivious love letters.

45) McToad Mows Tiny Island by Tom Angleberger
McToad mows the Big Island every day but he likes Thursdays best because that's when he exerts a whole lot of effort and time to mow Tiny Island.

46) Mom School by Rebecca Van Slyke
A kid's opinion on what Moms would learn if they went a school on how to be a Mom.

47) The Unexpected Love Story of Alfred Fiddleduckling by Timothy Basil Ering
Captain Alfred is sailing home with duck eggs for his farm when things go awry and one little duck ends up with the Captain's fiddle which leads them home.

48) We Are Growing by Laurie Keller
Walt and his grass friends are growing but Walt seems to think he is nothing special, unless he is?

49) The Boss Baby by Maria Frazee
"From the moment the baby arrived, it was obvious.  HE was the boss."  Relateable to any parent!

50) The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors by Drew Daywalt
How Rock, Paper, Scissors came to be.  You'll never play it the same again.

51) The Good for Nothing Button by Charise Mericle Harper
Three bird friends find a button that seems to be good for nothing but maybe that's not true?  Great example of imagination.

52) Mama, Is it Summer Yet? by Nikki McClure 
Perfectly captures that yearning for summer and warmer weather all through the cold months and the joy when it actually gets here.

53) The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
A little boy discovers a negelected garden and decides to take care of it, slowly transforming his city.

54) Chicken in Space by Adam Lehrhaupt
Zoey the chicken has dreams to go to space.  And she's going to figure out a way to get there.

55) Fortunately by Remy Charlip 
Ned has a lot of bad luck but he's good at seeing the silver lining, until bad luck strikes again.

56) When an Elephant Falls in Love by Davide Cali
When an elephant falls in love he might do some foolish things, not at all like humans.

57) Arnie the Doughnut by Laurie Keller
Arnie just wants to be selected from the bakery like his friends.  Then he quickly discovers what happened when you do get picked.  Not what he thought.

58) The Lion Inside by Rachel Bright
The Mouse wants to be brave like the Lion but then figures out that the Lion is scared of him!

59) Noisy Night by Mac Barnett
It's a noisy night in this apartment building as everyone can hear the people above them and wonders what they are doing to be making those noises.

60) The Truth about my Unbelievable Summer by Davide Cali
A teacher wants to know what her students did over summer break and one kid has quite the story.

61) This is a Moose by Richard T. Morris
A movie director just wants to capture a moose, being a moose.  But the moose has bigger ambitions.

62) Caroline's Comets by Emily Arnold McCully
The true story of Caroline Herschel who was a fantastic astronomer but also the first woman scientist to be paid for her work.  Fascinating story.

63) Mighty Mighty Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker
All the construction trucks come back to the site to work together, they can't do it alone!

64) Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion by Alex T. Smith
Little Red is going to visit her sick aunt but the lion has a different plan.  Too bad for the lion that Little Red is sneakier than he thought.

65) The Bear and the Piano by David Litchfield
A bear cub finds something strange in the forest and it changes his life, but will it change him?

66) Don't Push the Button by Bill Cotter
Larry thinks the button is SO TEMPTING but you can't push it.  You just can't.

67) Alice the Fairy by David Shannon
Alice is a little girl with a big imagination with a few things to learn before she can be a Permanent Fairy.

68) The Things About Yetis by Vin Vogel
Yetis should love everything about winter - the snow, the cold, but even sometimes they miss summer.

69) Froodle by Antoinette Portis
Most animals make typical animal noises but what if they wanted to say something different?

70) I'm Trying to Love Spiders by Bethany Barton
Your first instinct upon seeing a spider might be squish it but what if there was something to love about them?

71) Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems 
Goldilocks might not be the smartest little girl but she is smart enough not to get eaten by dinosaurs.  One of Mo Willems' best.

72) Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
Mrs. Mallard thought the pond at the Boston Public Gardens would be the perfect place to raise her ducklings but now she just has to safely get them there!

73) The Book with No Pictures by BJ Novak
This book has no pictures but almost guaranteed to make any kid laugh at all the funny words and sounds the adult has to say.

74) Scaredy Squirrel at Night by Melanie Watt
Scaredy does not want to sleep because sleep can bring things like bad dreams so he has an elaborate plan to stay awake, all night.  Things might not go to plan.

75) Diana's White House Garden by Elisa Carbone
This Diana lived in the White House during FDR's administration and had the idea of making a garden to help with the war effort.  True story of a little girl who made big news.

76) Panda Pants by Jacqueline Davies
Little Panda wants to wear pants.  His Dad explains that pandas don't wear pants. (This is the exact opposite of a daily conversation at my house!)

77) The Odd One Out by Britta Teckentrup
For a slightly older picture book crowd, an easy(ish) search and find book with adorable pictures!

78) Maple by Lori Nichols
Maple's parents plant a maple tree for her when she's born and it becomes a friend of sorts.  Then Willow comes along.

79) Astronaut Handbook by Meghan McCarthy
Do you have what it takes to be an astronaut?  A kid-friendly explanation of what it takes! And a science-y lesson!

80) Where Do Steam Trains Sleep at Night by Brianna Caplan Sayres 
How do trains get ready for bed?  Probably pretty similar to your kid!

81) The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt
After the crayons quit they had to come back home!  And who doesn't love Esteban the Magnificent?

82) If I Ran the Zoo by Dr. Seuss
What's a kids book list without Dr. Seuss?  Gerald McGrew has ideas for how he'd run his zoo.  Lots of ideas.  
83) Penguin Problems by Jory John
You might think penguins live a pretty cushy life but this penguin isn't so happy with the snow and cold and always eating fish.  But maybe, there's still some good things.

84) Lots of Bots by Kiki Thorpe
This is a Wall-E book but it reads almost like a Dr. Seuss with the rhymes and the cutout pictures are so impressive.  Enjoyable to read and look at.

85) The Circus Ship by Chris Van Deusen
A circus ship run aground off the coast of Maine and the animals make their way ashore and then make themselves at home.  Which works out well for the animals and residents, not so much for the circus master when he comes looking for his animals!

86) Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis
Written entirely in a gibberish bug language, a few bugs make a tree fort in a small plant until it all comes apart.  Read it enough times you might be fluent in bug.

87) Orion and the Dark by Emma Yarlett 
Orion is scared of the dark so one night Dark shows up to take Orion on an adventure.

88) Popcorn by Frank Asch
Sam's parents are leaving and Sam has a big Halloween party, where the popcorn gets a little out of control.

89) Robo-Sauce by Adam Rubin
Robots seem pretty cool, if only humans could turn themselves into one, not have to eat vegetables or take baths.  Bonus: the book turns into a robot which is a fun touch.

90) Quackers by Liz Wong
Quackers is sure he is a duck.  He lives with ducks.  He eats what they eat, even if it doesn't taste good.  But he doesn't like water.  And doesn't look like the other ducks.  Where does he fit in?

91) When Dads Don't Grow Up by Marjorie Blain Parker
Dads might look like grown-ups with their jobs and mowing the lawn but then they also will pop bubble wrap and race shopping carts.  Maybe they are still kids on the inside.

92) The Night Gardener by Terry Fan 
One night William discovers that the tree outside his window has been turned into an owl.  Then slowly more tree animals appear around town. Who is doing it?

93) Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett
Sam and Dave want to find something spectacular so they start digging.  And dig some more.  They might not find anything but they do find an adventure.

94) A Beginner's Guide to Bear Spotting by Michelle Robinson 
A young bear spotter heads into the woods, armed with his teddy bear, to find some real bears.  Maybe not the best idea?

95) The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! by Mo Willems
The Pigeon finds a hot dog and he just wants to eat it IN PEACE.  But then there is this Duckling who has never tasted a hot dog...darn Duckling.

96) Good News, Bad News by Jeff Mack
Good news!  Mouse and Rabbit are going on a picnic.  Bad news!  It's raining.  Two friends with different outlooks encounter some good and some bad.

97) The Berenstain Bears Under the Sea by Mike Berenstain
Suspend your belief for how the Bear Country Museum has it's own submarine and easily gives tours on it, and learn about some sea creatures with the Bears!

98) The Night World by Mordicai Gerstein
Everyone might be sleeping in your house but the outside world is still awake and that makes it prime for exploring.

99) How to Babysit a Grandpa by Jean Reagan
Your Grandpa might THINK he is babysitting you but really, we all know who the boss is.  Kids are going to need to show him how things are best done.

100) The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach
A bear lost in a city discovers an unattended sandwich in a park.  He has a long journey from home, to the city, and back again.

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