My Seven Favorite Picture Books About Summer and FREEBIE!
Summer is almost here. As the seasons change, I sometimes have difficulty finding simple read alouds that benefit early readers.Whether you are looking for summer themed picture books for your kiddos at home or for your students during summer school/extended school year (ESY), this post has just what you need. These seven picture books about summer are perfect for students with autism and other ability levels, as well as preschool and kindergarten aged students. You will also find quick augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) tips that will help take your read alouds to the next level! Vocabulary words from each book are highlighted. You can download my FREE summer vocabulary cards that correspond to the books in this post. This download is found at the end of the post.
What is my FAVORITE Picture Book about Summer?
I See Summer By: Charles Ghigna
This is my favorite picture book about summer! The bright and bold illustrations found in this summer read-aloud book are sure to grab your students’ attention. This book highlights a variety of summer-themed vocabulary including: sun, sailboats, seagulls, flowers, ladybugs, lemonade, bathing suits, barbecues, fireflies and more. This book also includes repetitive text, “I See” statements, on each page.
AAC tip: Have students use the “I See” carrier phrase when commenting on what they see or when helping you read the pages.
My (second) Favorite Picture Book about Summer
Good Night Summer By: Adam Gamble and Mark Jasper
You can’t just have one favorite picture book right?! This board book is a part of the “Good Night Our World” series. It focuses on summer-themed activities. Some of the vocabulary featured in this book are: sun, sailboats, flowers, swimming, beach, ice cream, rainbows, fishing, fireflies and more. This book includes a single, simple sentence on each page. The pictures on each page correlate directly to each sentence.
AAC tip: As the students read along in the story, they are taken through the activities of a summer day. Throughout the book they’ll find, corresponding sentence starters such as: “good morning,” “good afternoon,” “good evening,” “good night,” and “hello.” These sentence starters can be recorded on a communication device so that students can help you read the story!
Five of My Other Favorite Picture Books about Summer…
Summer is Here By: Heidi Pross Gray
This picture book contains beautiful illustrations. Some of the vocabulary featured in this book are: sun, butterfly, flowers, frogs, watermelon, lemonade, fireflies, bathing suits, and camping, among others. Like, the aforementioned book, this book also uses repetitive text, “summer is here,” on each page. Reading these two picture books about summer will generalize their summer vocabulary.
AAC tip: Record “summer is here” on a communication device so that students can help you read the story!
At the Beach By: Anne Rockwell
These simple illustrations provide the students with an accurate representation of common items seen at the beach. Some of the vocabulary focused on in this summer read aloud are: bathing suits, towels, lemonade, sunscreen, seagulls, shells, sandcastle, fish, and more. This book has 1-2 sentences on each page and each directly picture relates to the text. If your students are familiar with Annie Rockwell’s other seasonal books, they will recognize the main character!
AAC tip: Set up a beach page on the students’ AAC device or focus on beach vocabulary that is already set up throughout the device. Students can identify items in the book using this vocabulary, but can also use this page during beach themed activities in the classroom or at home.
Summer Days and Nights By: Wong Herbert Yee
This beautifully illustrated book follows a young girl and her family throughout her summer day. Some of the target vocabulary in this summer read aloud are: flowers (daisies), tree, lemonade, pool, bee, picnic, ants, fireflies, frog, and more. This book contains 1-3 sentences on each page. Some of the sentences are slightly more complex than in the aforementioned books.
AAC tip: Ask families what students do during a typical summer day. Set up this related vocabulary on an individual page or throughout the student’s device. Have students practice sharing their summer activities, while seeing if any of them are similar to the main character’s activities.
The Night Before Summer Vacation By: Natasha Wing
Compared to the three aforementioned picture books about summer, this book is longer and contains multiple sentences on each page. Additionally, this book is more visually stimulating. As the title indicates, the book is written in a similar format to Twas the Night Before Christmas. Some of the target vocabulary in this summer read aloud are: backpacks, s’mores, canoe, suitcase, beach, bike, and more. If you love this book, be sure to check out the rest of the “The Night Before…” series from Natalie Wing for topics such as: Thanksgiving, kindergarten, preschool, and more.
AAC tip: Ask families if they plan to take a summer vacation this year. If so, focus on words in their AAC device that will relate. If not, see what the families plan to do in the summer (walk in the city, go to the pool, visit the beach, play in the park, etc) and focus on these words.
Pete the Cat Goes Camping By: James Dean
Who doesn’t love Pete the Cat? This familiar character will have your students excited to learn about camping. While this book doesn’t specifically mention summer, I think it connects well with the other books listed above. Some of the vocabulary focused on in this book are: camping, sleeping bag, tent, fire, hike, fishing, s’mores, Bigfoot, and many more! This picture book contains 2-3 simple sentences on each page. This book contains multiple characters and conversations, so this book is slightly more complex, like “The Night Before Summer Vacation.”
AAC tip: Set up a camping page on the students’ AAC device or focus on camping vocabulary set up throughout the device (depending on the student’s communication device). This page/this vocabulary can be used during this story, during camping themed activities or when discussing camping trips.
Since these books contain similar vocabulary words, I have included vocabulary cards for students to practice identification and generalization of this summer vocabulary. You can download my FREE Vocabulary Cards for Picture Books about Summer below.