As you all know, I LOVE a good booklist. I always have! As a teacher, I constantly created random themed book baskets or gathered books about a specific topic to perch on the whiteboard ledge. As a mom, I’ve always loved filling our front-facing shelf with whatever holiday or theme was appropriate for a given chunk of weeks. And as a blogger, creating lists for you all is my favorite thing to do.
Today, not only do I have a list for you, but I have my favorite annual list for you — 90 Books for 90 Days of Summer! This is the list I dreamed of making for a few years before starting my Instagram page, and I was thrilled to finally be able to release my first summer booklist last summer. I’m back with 90 Books for 90 Days of Summer (2020 Edition), a completely different but just as fabulous collection of picture books for you to read with your family this summer.
Now, you might be thinking, “My child can read chapter books independently. Why would we want to read picture books?” For so many reasons! First of all, just as adults enjoy beach reads or magazines, older children often like to kick back with something light, too (and this may be especially important if the only other reading your child does over the summer is her required reading for school!). And, while a picture book may be lighter in terms of accessibility, remember that picture books often expose children to deeper themes or more intense time periods in history, but in age-appropriate ways. As Jim Trelease writes in The Read-Aloud Handbook (7th edition), “A good story is a good story, whether it has pictures or not. All those pictures in museums don’t have a lot of words under them but they still move us, right?” (page 63).
Then, you should know that picture books are often written at or above a third grade reading level, so even though there are pictures on each page, the vocabulary and sentence structures may be a challenge. Then, for a quick little bit of math, if we assume that these books have, on average, 500 words in them (some have many many more, and some are wordless, so just play with me…), then your child is going to read or hear 45,000! If each book takes ten minutes to read, then that’s 900 minutes building a love of good books, learning vocabulary, and practicing reading! Those statistics don’t even take into account the fact that your child is inevitably going to want to reread many of these over and over and over again…
And last, keep in mind that a picture book may be a great way to bring a family together to connect for a bit. A picture book may be just the length that smaller children with short attention spans need, but engaging enough for an independent reader to enjoy as well (and maybe even read aloud to his younger sibling!). And, while helping children engage in and enjoy reading over their time away from school is the ultimate goal, building connections within families is a close second. So, grab these books, snuggle up, and settle in for a summer of fun!
In addition to being perfect for a wide range of ages, the books on my list below cover a wide range of interests and topics. From fiction to nonfiction, poetry collections to wordless wonders, I think I’ve got it all! You’ve going to find a good diversity of characters and topics here, too, so hopefully you’ve got a good set of windows AND mirrors to help your child grow this summer. I’ve included some of my favorite summery reads, books from my favorite authors and illustrators, books to inspire you to be a better person, books that will make you laugh, and books that will help you learn. Want to travel the world without leaving your house? You can do that with this booklist! Want to inspire your child to find a cure or run for president? I’ve even got those current events covered,too!
*This post contains affiliate links.
And now, my chosen 90 Books for 90 Days of Summer! Below, you’ll find 90 picture books, organized alphabetically. All are appropriate for a wider range of audiences, so I haven’t included age range suggestions. Given that many library systems are still closed (including ours…), I tried to include books that have been around for a few years (and some personal childhood favorites!), hoping they may be books you either already own or can borrow from a friend. Hopefully that makes at least starting this list a bit easier, while we wait for libraries to open back up!
Click the links below to download and print PDF copies of
90 Books for 90 Days of Summer!
If you missed last year’s list, you can check it out here. And, if you choose to use my list and want to post about it on Instagram, feel free to tag me (@childrenslitlove) and use the hashtag #90booksfor90days. I’d love to see what you’re reading and what some of your favorite books from this list are!
1. A Day’s Work by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Ronald Himler. You can read my review here.
4. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst, illustrated by Ray Cruz
5. All Along the River by Magnus Weightman
7. America’s Champion Swimmer: Gertrude Ederle by David A. Adler, illustrated by Terry Widener
9. Balderdash! John Newbery and the Boisterous Birth of Children’s Books by Michelle Markel, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
10. Bear Came Along by Richard T. Morris, illustrated by LeUyen Pham
11. Ben’s Dream by Chris Van Allsburg
14. Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys, and Their Monkey Business by Esphyr Slobodkina
15. Charlotte the Scientist Finds a Cure by Camille Andros, illustrated by Brianne Farley. You can read my review here.
16. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett, illustrated by Ronald Barrett
17. Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters from Obedience School by Mark Teague. You can read my review here.
18. Desmond and the Very Mean Word by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams, illustrated by A. G. Ford. You can read my review here.
19. Fireflies by Julie Brinckloe
20. Flossie and the Fox by Patricia McKissack, illustrated by Isadora Rachel
21. Girl Running: Bobbi Gibb and the Boston Marathon by Annette Bay Pimentel, illustrated by Micha Archer
22. Good Sports: Rhymes About Running, Jumping, Throwing, and More by Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by Chris Raschka. You can read my review here.
23. Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by LeUyen Pham. You can read my review here.
24. Hello Ocean by Pam Muñoz Ryan, illustrated by Mark Astrella. You can read my review here.
25. Home in the Woods by Eliza Wheeler
26. How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman. You can read my review here.
27. Hum and Swish by Matt Myers. You can read my review here.
28. I Am Enough by Grace Byers, illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo. You can read my review here.
29. I Am Invited to a Party! by Mo Willems
30. I Wanna Iguana by Karen Kaufman Orloff, illustrated by David Catrow. You can read my review here.
31. In a Garden by Tim McCanna, illustrated by Aimée Sicuro. You can read my review here.
32. Jim Henson: The Guy Who Played with Puppets by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher
33. Journey by Aaron Becker. You can read my review here.
34. La Princesa and the Pea by Susan Middleton Elya, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
35. Life by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Brendan Wenzel. You can read my review here.
36. Lift by Minh Lê, illustrated by Dan Santat. You can read my review here.
37. Little Pea, Little Oink, and Little Hoot by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Jen Corace
38. Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn, illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw. You can read my review here.
39. Molly & Mae: A Friendship Journey by Danny Parker, illustrated by Freya Blackwood. You can read my review here.
40. Niko Draws a Feeling by Robert Raczka, illustrated by Simone Shin. You can read my review here.
41. Nine Months: Before a Baby is Born by Miranda Paul, illustrated by Jason Chin
42. One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey. You can read my review here.
43. Our Flag Was Still There: The True Story of Mary Pickersgill and the Star-Spangled Banner by Jessie Hartland. You can read my review here.
44. Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie dePaola
45. Papa Put a Man on the Moon by Kristy Dempsey, illustrated by Sarah Green. You can read my review here.
46. Randy Riley’s Really Big Hit by Chris Van Dusen
47. Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran, illustrated by Barbara Cooney. You can read my review here.
48. Ruby’s Sword by Jacqueline Veissid, illustrated by Paola Zakimi
49. Saturday by Oge Mora. You can read my review here.
50. School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex, illustrated by Christian Robinson. You can read my review here.
51. Sea Glass Summer by Michelle Houts, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
52. Sisters: Venus & Serena Williams by Jeanette Winter. You can read my review here.
53. Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell, illustrated by David Catrow. You can read my review here.
54. Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o, illustrated by Vashti Harrison
55. Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Beth Krommes
56. Take Me Out to the Yakyu by Aaron Meshon
57. That’s NOT a Hippopotamus! by Juliette Maclver, illustrated by Sarah Davis. You can read my review here.
58. The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat
59. The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach
60. The Bear’s Garden by Marcie Colleen, illustrated by Alison Oliver. You can read my review here.
61. The Boy with Big, Big Feelings by Britney Winn Lee, illustrated by Jacob Souva. You can read my review here.
62. The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred by Samantha R. Vamos, illustrated by Rafael López
63. The Empty Pot by Demi. You can read my review here.
64. The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh by Supriya Kelkar, illustrated by Alea Marley. You can read my review here.
65. The Mess That We Made by Michelle Lord, illustrated by Julia Blattman. You can read my review here.
66. The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires. You can read my review here.
67. The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi. You can read my review here.
68. The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read by Rita Lorraine Hubbard, illustrated by Oge Mora. You can read my review here.
69. The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E. B. Lewis. You can read my review here.
70. The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad and S. K. Ali, illustrated by Hatem Aly. You can read my review here.
71. The Sloth Who Slowed Us Down by Margaret Wild, illustrated by Vivienne To. You can read my review here.
72. The Snatchabook by Helen Docherty, illustrated by Tomas Docherty. You can read my review here.
73. The Wolf Will Not Come by Myriam Ouyessad, illustrated by Ronan Badel
74. There are No Bears in This Bakery by Julia Sarcone-Roach
75. There’s a Dinosaur on the 13th Floor by Wade Bradford, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
76. This is Sadie by Sara O’Leary, illustrated by Julie Morstad. You can read my review here.
77. Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco
78. Truman by Jean Reidy, illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins. You can read my review here.
79. Water Land: Land and Water Forms Around the World by Christy Hale
80. We’re All Wonders by R. J. Palacio
81. What is Given from the Heart by Patricia McKissack, illustrated by April Harrison
82. What Should Danny Do? or What Should Darla Do? by Ganit and Adir Levy, illustrated by Mat Sadler. You can read my review here.
83. When Charley Met Emma by Amy Webb, illustrated by Merrilee Liddiard. You can read my review here.
84. When You Are Brave by Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler. You can read my review here.
85. Where Are You From? by Yamile Saied Méndez, illustrated by Jaime Kim. You can read my review here.
86. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
87. Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats. You can read my review here.
88. Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton, illustrated by Don Tate
89. Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox, illustrated by Julie Vivas. You can read my review here.
90. Zero Local Next Stop: Kindness by Ethan and Vita Murrow
Click the links below to download and print PDF copies of
90 Books for 90 Days of Summer!
Whew! What book on this list are you most excited to read with your kids?