The beach is a rite of summer for me and my family. My husband and I grew up near the beach; he in Northern California and I in Southern California. When we moved to Massachusetts, we were no longer a few minutes from the beach. It was a much bigger commitment to get to the beach but the upside was clam shacks, something that we did not have in California!
Now, the beach and clam shacks are forever intertwined as dual loves that, to us, define summer. My husband hates the New England winter, so each winter’s passing is celebrated by a trip to a clam shack, even if it’s too cold for the beach.
My kids have made a few trips out to Southern California recently because my mother isn’t doing very well. Their favorite beach is Hermosa Beach and again, it’s the food near the pier that they want even more than the beach. They love the acai bowls at Paradise Bowls and the breakfast burritos and fish tacos at Amigos Tacos. I’m glad that they love Hermosa Beach. I called it home for many years after I first graduated from college.
How about you? What are moments that define summer for you? Will you get to the beach this summer? Thanks for sharing!
p.s. I’m giving away the four board books listed here to one lucky winner! Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter!
p.p.s. More book lists for summer reading:
New Beach Picture Books
Swim with Little Fish! (wipe-clean + waterproof bath book) by Lucy Cousins
We had a Maisy by Lucy Cousins bath book with my kids were little and I used to take them into the tub with me. I loved turning bathtime into a quick reading session! This one about a happy little fish ends with kisses from Mommy Fish! It’s also great wherever sticky little fingers might be … the highchair, the stroller, or in the car! It’s adorable and also wipe clean and worry free! [bath book, ages 1 and up]
Baby Oceanographer by Dr. Laura Gehl, illustrated by Daniel Wiseman
It’s never too early to plant a seed about science careers! Dr. Gehl uses simple language and STEM concepts that preschoolers can relate to like salty and float vs. sink. There is a huge trend in board books lately that I’ve noticed that feels more for adults than babies with concepts like being a foodie or astrophysics. I think it’s all good if you can entertain the adult and child reader! [board book, ages 2 and up]
Lois Looks for Bob at the Beach by Gerry Turley
Lois looks for Bob the bird in this Lift-the-Flap board book full of colorful illustrations of creatures. I like how this is a sturdy book with flaps that can handle wear and tear. You will be able to enjoy this book for years even if it is well loved! [board book, ages 2 and up]
Who’s Hiding at the Beach? by Katherine McEwen
This is another Lift-the-Flap book with multiple flaps on every page! The flaps have to be pulled out and that requires nimble fingers, especially the first time. The back of each flap has nature facts featuring the animal it hides. This would be a good board book to read with siblings as older kids would also get something out of the book and can help with the flaps. [board book, ages 2 and up]
Waiting for Chicken Smith by David Mackintosh
David Mackintosh manages to skirt the line of a story that appeals to kids while also writing a layered story that brings adults back to their youth. A seaside family vacation has always included playing with the boy next week but this summer might be different. A boy waits for his friend, Chicken Smith, to arrive, ignoring his sister who urgently wants him to look at something. This is the start of a new kind of summer and this story gently suggests that change can be okay. And little sisters too! [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Fish Everywhere by Britta Teckentrup
I have to confess a deep love for textured, embossed book covers. They just feel luxurious, like a handmade quilt for a picture book. This one also has iridescent metallic highlights that really make the fish on the cover pop. Inside is also an equally wonderful surprise. With a beautiful palette of sea colors, this nonfiction picture book combines fun nature facts with engaging page layouts, and that is hard to pull off when there is a lot of information on a page! It’s the details of the book that really make it shine, from the illustration style to the hidden fish secretly hidden in the book. Kids who like nonfiction can really dig into this book and enjoy it reading after reading! [nonfiction picture book, ages 6 and up]
Tropical Terry by Jarvis
This is The Rainbow Fish + Swimmy but with an anti-hero. Terry wants to be fancy to hang out with the popular fish instead of his real friends. The fancy fish make fun of Hide-A-Fish, Terry’s favorite game. But when a predator comes after them all, Terry’s skill at hiding comes in handy and he who his real friends are! This is a useful book to introduce bullying and wanting to be popular at all costs to kids which can hit in elementary school though it feels more like middle school to me. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Sea Glass Summer by Michelle Houts, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
This book reminds me of Flotsam by David Weisner. The books are not exactly identical; Flotsam is a wordless picture book that segues into another world. Sea Glass Summer has the same story-within-a-story that also explores found objects that wash up on the beach. I’d pair these books together and then go to the beach with a magnifying glass in hand, looking for sea glass and adventure! [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Jasper & Ollie by Alex Willan
Technically Jasper & Ollie are going to a pool rather than a beach but I include this picture book because it’s funny! The humor is set up because Jasper is a squirrel and his friend Ollie is a sloth and it’s a race to get to the pool. It is a picture book in a graphic novel format. While there aren’t panels like a comic strip there are lots and lots of conversation bubbles. What is especially fun about this book is how Alex Willan captures the voice of a child and the shenanigans of high energy + an active mind! [picture book, ages 4 and up]
4 Beach Board Book GIVEAWAY!
I’m giving away the four board books listed here to one lucky winner! Please fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter! I can only mail to U.S. or AFO mailing addresses.
My Book Lists for the Seasons
Books for Kids About Spring
Books for Kids Set in Summer
Books for Kids About Winter
Books for Kids About Autumn
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