Although kids may have started back to school, it still feels like summer here. Our family is still in summer-mode, celebrating by visiting local pools, eating ice cream, and enjoying fresh peaches. We’ll have another month of summer weather before temperatures begin to cool. 

Since we’re not quite ready to read books about apples and pumpkins, I have chosen to savor our morning basket, filled with stories of summer. As you plan out the reading books for your morning baskets over the next month, here’s what’s on our list before we transition to fall topics. 

If you missed my summer book round-up from a couple years ago, check it out here.

Jamberry by Bruce Degen

1. Jamberry by Bruce Degen 

For me, one of the best parts of summer is the fresh fruit. I love taking my girls fruit picking (strawberry and peach picking are my favorite). “Jamberry” has been around since I was a kid, and does a great job celebrating summer berries. My girls love the whimsical illustrations and poetic story, which makes it fun to read aloud. This book is great for toddlers through kindergarteners. 


Over and Under the Rainforest by Kate Messner

2. Over and Under the Rainforest by Kate Messner

Whether your summer whisked you away to far off places or kept you local, author Kate Messner’s “Over and Under” series will spark the travel bug in you. Messner’s two newest books “Over and Under the Rainforest” and “Over and Under the Canyon” will transport you and your children to two very different places. The beautiful illustrations will introduce your children to the landscapes, animals, colors, and sounds of rainforests and canyons. We couldn’t recommend these books more highly.  


Swashby and the Sea by Beth Ferry

3. Swashby and the Sea by Beth Ferry

We accidentally found this book at our library, and it’s been one of our favorite summer books ever since. If you are planning an ocean unit or ocean-themed morning basket, you’ll want this sweet story in your rotation. We read it over and over again every summer. 


Be a Pond Detective by Peggy Kochanoff

4. Be a Pond Detective by Peggy Kochanoff 

We don’t live near the ocean, but we have ponds, creeks, and rivers to enjoy. As a result, we enjoy learning about pond critters and plants. This reference book identifies common plants, insects, and animals that live in and around ponds. The author also wrote two other reference books “Be a Beach Detective” and “Be a Wilderness Detective,” which are perfect companions to include in your morning baskets about the ocean and forests.


Bringing the Outside in by Mary Mckenna Siddals

5. Bringing the Outside In by Mary McKenna Siddals

This short story celebrates being outside all year round! One of our family goals is to spend as much time outside as we can, no matter the weather. I love that this book shows children enjoying the outdoors all year round, taking readers through the beauty of each season as children play outside. 


Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco

6. Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco 

Around here, summer storms happen a few times per week. The sky darkens and the air grows heavy as thunder rolls across the sky. “Thunder Cake” is the perfect book to read aloud during stormy afternoons. It is the story of a young girl, scared of thunderstorms, whose Russian grandmother helps her overcome her fear by baking a “thunder cake.” The beautiful, folk-inspired illustrations and whimsical story will have you and your children returning to this book time and time again. At the end of the book, the author includes her grandmother’s “thunder cake” recipe, making a perfect hands-on activity for stormy days. Add this book to your weather-themed morning basket.


Secrets of the Seashore by Carron Brown and Alyssa Nassner

7. Secrets of the Seashore by Carron Brown and Alyssa Nassner 

We love Usborne’s Shine-A-Light books. While this series encompasses every season and a variety of places (hospitals, space stations, farms, etc.), “Secrets of the Seashore” explores a tide pool. Children shine a flashlight under the pages to discover what creatures are hiding inside shells and under rocks. These books are very educational while also being exciting to read. My girls get so excited to see what is hiding under the pages. Using a flashlight to read a book makes everything more fun!


Swimmy by Leo Lionni

8. Swimmy by Leo Lionni

This Caldecott Honor book deserves a spot in every ocean-themed morning basket. Filled with beautiful illustrations, this short story celebrates bravery and creativity. Swimmy’s ingenuity is a role model for children as he shows that one little fish can make a difference.

I hope you enjoy this list! I would love to hear what your favorite end-of-summer books are in the comments! 

Follow my homeschool adventures on Instagram @chelsearmoore as I homeschool my kindergartner and preschooler.