10 Picture Books to Read in August
As a homeschooler, I place a heavy emphasis on reading. From my fifth graders to my preschooler, reading is part of the daily routine. I leave the library every month with actual stacks of books. I’m that homeschooling mom. Whether your children are homeschoolers or not, I recommend reading to your children daily; this list will come in handy when choosing which picture books to read in August.
This month, I chose books about summer experiences and about what’s happening in nature during the summer which make these the perfect picture books to read this August. Perhaps outside on the porch…or in the park on a blanket…or after a picnic lunch.
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Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall
Watch the days and seasons pass as the wind blows, the fog rolls in, and icebergs drift by. Outside, there is water all around. Inside, the daily life of a lighthouse keeper and his family unfolds as the keeper boils water for tea, lights the lamp’s wick, and writes every detail in his logbook.
Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall
Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board. He’s finished his swimming lessons and passed his swim test, and he’s a great jumper, so he’s not scared at all. “Looks easy,” says Jabari, watching the other kids take their turns. But when his dad squeezes his hand, Jabari squeezes back. He needs to figure out what kind of special jump to do anyway, and he should probably do some stretches before climbing up onto the diving board. In a sweetly appealing tale of overcoming your fears, newcomer Gaia Cornwall captures a moment between a patient and encouraging father and a determined little boy you can’t help but root for.
The Golden Glow by Benjamin Flouw
Fox loves nature. There’s nothing he enjoys more than reading about and picking flowers. One evening, he comes across a rare specimen in his old botany book — the golden glow, a plant from the Wellhidden family, found only in the mountains . . . a plant that has yet to be described. Fascinated, Fox decides to set off on a quest in search of the mysterious golden glow. He packs his knapsack, a map, a compass, a flashlight, a sleeping bag and other items for his hike. Along the way, Fox observes many different kinds of trees and plants. He also encounters woodland friends who help him make it to the summit of the mountain. But when Fox eventually stumbles upon the object of his quest, he makes a surprising decision.
Insect Detective by Steve Voake
Right now, all around us, thousands of insects are doing strange and wonderful things: wasps are building nests, ants are collecting food, and dragonflies are readying for the hunt. But it’s not always easy to catch sight of these six-legged creatures; you have to know where to look. Guided by this book, readers will happily become insect detectives and find out just what those bugs are up to.
The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson
A spare, patterned text and glowing pictures explore the origins of light that make a house a home in this Caldecott Medal-winning bedtime book for young children. Naming nighttime things that are both comforting and intriguing to preschoolers—a key, a bed, the moon—this timeless book illuminates a reassuring order to the universe.
Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold
Ringgold recounts the dream adventure of eight-year-old Cassie Louise Lightfoot, who flies above her apartment-building rooftop, the ‘tar beach’ of the title, looking down on 1939 Harlem. Part autobiographical, part fictional, this allegorical tale sparkles with symbolic and historical references central to African-American culture. The spectacular artwork resonates with color and texture. Children will delight in the universal dream of mastering one’s world by flying over it. A practical and stunningly beautiful book.
The Little Blue Cottage by Kelly Jordan
The little blue cottage waits each year for summer to arrive―and with it, the girl. Through sunny days and stormy weather, the cottage and the girl keep each other company and wile away the long days and nights together. Until one year, and then another, the cottage is left waiting and empty season after season.
Fresh Picked Poetry: A Day at the Farmer’s Market by Michelle Schaub
This collection of poems takes young readers to a day at an urban farmers’ market. Who to see, what to eat, and how produce is grown—it’s all so exciting, fresh, and delicious. Readers are invited to peruse the stands and inspect vendors’ wares with poems like “Farmer Greg’s Free-Range Eggs,” “Summer Checklist,” and “Necessary Mess.”
My Awesome Summer by P. Mantis by Paul Meisel
This is the diary of P. Mantis, one of 150 brothers and sisters born on a garden bush. P. Mantis is an amazing bug: she can make herself look like a stick to hide from predators, she can swivel her head all the way around, and when she’s grown up she’ll even be able to fly! Colorful, bold art helps illustrate the different stages of the mantis life cycle, and the engaging, narrative text is paired with more detailed information about praying mantises on the heavily-illustrated endpapers.
The Raft by Jim La Marche
Nicky is convinced that his summer with his grandmother in the Wisconsin woods is going to be the worst summer ever. She cooks food that he doesn’t like, there’s an art studio where her living room should be, and he’s expected to do chores—including fishing, the most boring chore ever. But one afternoon, while Nicky is trying to catch their dinner, a raft drifts down the river towards him. The raft has a calming magic about it, affecting both Nicky and the wildlife of the river and woods. Through the raft and the adventures it brings him on, Nicky finds new common ground with his grandmother, a fellow river rat, who encourages him to explore his newfound talent for art.
Each month I choose picture books based on whichever season, holiday, or time of the year we are in so that I can make connections in nature or life situations later. I try to choose a new book everyday, but there are always some favorites that are repeated. Yes, even my fifth graders enjoy these books and the daily reading time. Don’t let the label children’s picture book deter you from the educational material or message in these books. Big kids like pictures too!
Drop a comment below with one of your favorite picture books to read in August or if one of these recommendations is now on your list!