Get your family’s summer reading off to a flying start with these great reads:

One Big Family

One Big Family

Written by Marc Harshman
Illustrated by Sara Palacios

When you have a big family, reunions can be loud and chaotic. But as this cheerful book demonstrates, they can also be tons of fun! From canoeing down the river to getting chased by bees to telling ghost stories around the campfire, the reunion is filled with adventures for the whole family, even the pets! But when the vacation comes to an end, will everyone be able to keep the memories they’ve shared?

With sunny illustrations by Sara Palacios, Marc Harshman’s winsome story evokes all the joys of summer vacation and family togetherness.

For more on this book, see our guest blog posts from author Marc Harshman and illustrator Sara Palacios.

Mom, There’s a Bear at the Door

Mom, There’s a Bear at the Door

Written by Sabine Lipan
Illustrated by Manuela Olten

A mother is surprised when her son tells her that there is a bear standing outside their door. How did the bear get all the way from his cave in the forest to their eleventh-floor apartment? And what is it doing here in the middle of the city?

This sweet story of a wacky chain of events will appeal to young readers who like to make up their own tall tales.

For more on the book, read this starred review from Kirkus — “verbal and visual humor abound” — and also this recent review from School Library Journal.

Roger-Is-Reading-a-Book

Roger Is Reading a Book

Roger Is Reading a Book

Written and illustrated by Koen Van Biesen

All Roger wants is some peace and quiet so he can read his book. Unfortunately, the girl in the apartment next door has hobbies of her own — very loud hobbies! But when Roger gives the girl a book of her own, she discovers that reading can be just as much fun as playing basketball or banging a drum.

This playful and engaging read-aloud from an award-winning Belgian author shows readers that shared activities can lead to rewarding friendships.

For a great summer activity, check out this craft featuring Roger Is Reading a Book,

Just for Today

Just for Today

Words by Saint John XXIII
Illustrated by Bimba Landmann

Known fondly as “The Good Pope,” John XXIII was recently canonized as a saint, and his daily Decalogue continues to be a source of inspiration and comfort for people the world over. In this lovely picture book, graceful illustrations connect the text to everyday life, showing how the statements apply to school, family, and friendships.

The pairing of Saint John XXIII’s cherished words and Bimba Landmann’s symbolic artwork instills readers of all ages with a sense of peace while they savor each page. This charming book provides the perfect reminder of how to make the most of every day.

For more on the book, read our five questions interview with illustrator Bimba Landmann.

Garmann’s Summer

Garmann’s Summer

Written and illustrated by Stian Hole

This unique, award-winning picture book delves into the mind of a young boy who is afraid of starting school.

Summer is nearly over. The old aunts have come to visit, and autumn is in the air. Everything is ready for Garmann’s first day of school, but he is still nervous. And he can’t believe that he hasn’t lost a single tooth yet, despite his best efforts!

Stian Hole has created a memorable and endearing character in Garmann, whose musings about fear and courage, life and death, beginnings and endings, help him understand that everyone is scared of something.

Published in ten languages, Garmann’s Summer was the recipient of the 2007 BolognaRagazzi Award, one of the most prestigious international prizes for excellence in children’s book publishing, awarded each year in conjunction with the Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

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Fore more great books for summer reading, see our entire featured collection.