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Diverse Books For All Ages

Books That Celebrate Every Story, Every Voice, Every Child

Summer Reading: Captivating New Picture Books that Embrace the Magic of Summer

Updated: Jul 14, 2023

The best diverse children's Books

Kick off a summer of reading with these new picture books that capture the essence of the season.


From sunny beach adventures to backyard explorations, these delightful stories will transport young readers into the magic of summertime, igniting their imaginations and fostering a love for literature during the warmest months of the year.


So, grab a book, soak up the sun, and embark on a literary journey filled with joy, laughter, and unforgettable summer memories.


For your convenience, we've included publisher's descriptions along with each book.

A celebration of Black joy and the simple pleasures of a day at the beach from acclaimed poet Shauntay Grant


Follow along as a young boy spends the day at the beach with his family in this spare and poetic picture book from award-winning poet and picture book author Shauntay Grant. With a simple story--and simply stunning illustrations from Candice Bradley--this book is an ode to celebrating summer's wonders big and small.



From Newbery Honor author Rajani LaRocca comes a celebration of extended family and summertime fun.


Summer is for cousins.

Mom and Dad,

Two uncles, two aunties,

Thatha and Pati,

Seven cousins,

All of us are together.


Ravi can't wait to spend summer vacation at the lake house with his family--especially his cousins! Summer vacation is for days at the beach, long hikes, paddleboarding, and--of course--ice cream. Ravi and his oldest cousin, Dhruv, had the same favorite flavor last year, but everything feels different now.


Dhruv's much taller and his voice is deeper. Ravi's worried that Dhruv won't be interested in spending time with him, the little cousin. The ice cream shop doesn't even have their favorite flavor this year. But on the last night of vacation, the cousins decide to make dinner, and Ravi's in charge of dessert. He only has one special thing in mind!


This picture book all about summertime fun celebrates the resilient bond between extended family members.



A reverent celebration of learning to swim among a diverse cast of children and families who each experience the mysterious joys of water in nature.


In this exploration of what it truly means to swim, expansive vignettes introduce sandpipers, tannin-soaked lakes, and the feeling of a small waterfall on sun-soaked shoulders. But what about those who are afraid of the water's mysterious ways and resist learning to swim? Painting a compelling picture of the many joys and surprises that the water holds, artist and author Jack Wong has delivered an empowering, poetic journey that invites children to discover their confidence within to receive the warmth and wonder of the natural world.



In this love letter to the Philippines (and to grandmothers), a young girl comes up with a brilliantly delicious way to attract customers after a heat wave leaves her lola's store empty.


Nora loves spending summers with Lola at her sari-sari store, a treasure trove filled with everything you could need, from hair accessories to toys, creamy yema to sour tamarind candy. And this year, Nora is big enough to help her grandmother. But when a heat wave strikes and no one comes to the store, Nora worries that she won't get to spend the rest of the summer with her lola--until she gets a sweet idea. After all, the mangoes on the tree outside are finally ripe, and with a bit of measuring, mixing, and a good deal of tasting, Nora and Lola have a refreshing way to bring people together--and to the sari-sari store. With soft, heartfelt illustrations, Lynnor Bontigao's endearing picture book--featuring a recipe for making mango ice candy like Nora's--is an ode to ingenuity and to intergenerational relationships that's as sweet and gentle as a kiss on the cheek.



A young girl spends the summer at her grandmother's home on the Standing Rock Reservation in this heartwarming family story from acclaimed author-artist S. D. Nelson


Now that Clara is almost in third grade, she's finally old enough to spend her first summer away from home visiting her grandma, Unci, and her cousin at their home in Standing Rock Reservation. To welcome her visit, Uncle Louie brings an extra-special surprise in his pickup truck: the tipi that's been passed down through their family for generations. The girls learn how to stack the poles and wrap the canvas covering around them, how to paint spirit pictures on its walls, and how the circle of the tipi tells its own story, reminding us to how to live in the great Circle of Life. Over long days spent playing outside, doing beadwork together, telling stories, singing songs, and sleeping under the stars, the tipi brings the family closer together. As summer draws to an end, goodbye comes all too soon, but Clara will always cling to the memories of summer days and starry nights . . . and Grandma's tipi.



A stunning celebration of our Sun and the universal ways in which it connects each of us, all around the world.


No matter who you are or where you live, the Sun graces us all. It wakes us up, lights our breakfast tables, warms our play, lifts our moods, grows our food, and gives us life! From Madagascar to Thailand, Iran to the Netherlands, Brazil to Mali, each spread depicts children in a different country enjoying the universal benefits of the Sun. From sunup to sundown, this deceptively simple yet stunning picture book offers a wondrous sense of worldwide connection via the glowing star around which we orbit.



In her grandmother's garden, a young Black girl learns about mindfulness and herbal medicine in this soothing intergenerational story about our connection to nature.


It's Joy's first summer in her grandmother's South Carolina garden--a rite of passage. In the midst of okra, spinach, and strawberries, Grammy teaches Joy that plants are friends with many uses. Herbs, for example, can be turned into medicine.


There in Grammy's abundant backyard, Joy learns to listen for the heartbeat of the earth and connect it to her own as she takes deep breaths and puts her intentions into the soil. By the story's end, she learns to grow seeds in her own garden, honoring all that her grandmother taught her. With sensory-rich illustrations from award-winning illustrator Ashleigh Corrin, Joy Takes Root is a blissful reminder of all that might bloom.


 

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