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Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Diverse Picture Book Covers that Feel Like Summer

I’m so excited to join in the fun with my very first blog post for Top Ten Tuesday!  Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

When you think about summer, what kind of things come to mind?

Remember, how as a kid, you could play outside until the sun went down and not get bored?  I recall playing games like Tag, Double Dutch, Hide-and-Seek, and Kick the Can just to name a few.  Sometimes, when I think about summer, I am filled with nostalgia when I see my kids doing some of the things I used to do during my childhood.  Summertime is a wonderful reminder that there are so many adventures to be found outside in your neighborhood that cost little to no money.

If you’re looking for some great summer themed picture book recommendations, I hope you’ll enjoy this list.  If you have any additional book recommendations to add to this list, please shout them out in the comments.  Happy Reading!

Granny's Kitchen: A Jamaican Story of Food and Family

Sadé Smith and Ken Daley
3 - 6
Shelly-Ann lives with her Granny on the beautiful island of Jamaica. When Shelly-Ann becomes hungry, she asks her Granny for something to eat. Granny tells her “Gyal, you betta can cook!” and teaches Shelly-Ann how to get in touch with her Jamaican roots through the process of cooking. As Shelly-Ann tries each recipe, everything goes wrong. But when Granny is too tired to cook one morning, Shelly-Ann will have to find the courage to try one more time and prepare the perfect Jamaican breakfast.

Paletero Man

Lucky Diaz and Micah Player
4 - 8
Grab an ice cream cone, and travel to a bustling Koreatown neighborhood in Los Angeles, California where icy-cold ice cream/popsicle (paleta) treats, and a catchy tune unite children and teach the value of community, friendships, and kindness. This vibrant story includes Spanish words and phrases throughout is sure to be well loved by readers.

If Dominican Were a Color

Sili Recio and Brianna McCarthy
4 - 8
If Dominican were a color... it would be the sunset in the sky, blazing red and burning bright. This book is also available in Spanish.

The World Belonged to Us

Jacqueline Woodson and Leo Espinosa
5 - 8
It's getting hot outside, hot enough to turn on the hydrants and run through the water--and that means it's finally summer in the city! Released from school and reveling in their freedom, the kids on one Brooklyn block take advantage of everything summertime has to offer. Freedom from morning till night to go out to meet their friends and make the streets their playground--jumping double Dutch, playing tag and hide-and-seek, building forts, chasing ice cream trucks, and best of all, believing anything is possible. That is, till their moms call them home for dinner. But not to worry--they know there is always tomorrow to do it all over again--because the block belongs to them and they rule their world. (This book is also available in Spanish, as El mundo era nuestro!)

A Song of Frutas

Margarita Engle and Sara Palacios
4 - 8
The little girl loves visiting her grandfather in Cuba and singing his special songs to sell all kinds of fruit: mango, limón, naranja, piña, and more! Even when they’re apart, grandfather and granddaughter can share rhymes between their countries like un abrazo—a hug—made of words carried on letters that soar across the distance like songbirds. This book is also available in Spanish.

'Ohana Means Family

Ilima Loomis and Kenard Pak
3 - 6
Acclaimed illustrator and animator Kenard Pak's light-filled, dramatic illustrations pair exquisitely with Ilima Loomis' text to celebrate Hawaiian land and culture. The backmatter includes a glossary of Hawaiian terms used, as well as an author's note.

Where Three Oceans Meet

Rajani LaRocca and Archana Sreenivasan
4 - 8
Sejal, Mommy, and Pati travel together to the southern tip of India. Along the way, they share meals, visit markets, and catch up with old friends. For Pati, the trip retraces spaces she knows well. For Mommy, it’s a return to the place where she grew up. For Sejal, it’s a discovery of new sights and sounds. The family finds their way to Kanyakumari, where three oceans meet, and delight in making it to the end of the earth together. This picture book celebrates the beauty of India and the enduring love of family.

Jabari Jumps

Gaia Cornwall
4 - 8
Jabari is ready to jump off the diving board. He’s finished his swimming lessons and passed his swimming 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 do some stretches before climbing up onto the diving board. This book is also available in Spanish.

Cannonball: A Fun, Summertime Read About Believing In Yourself and Having Fun

Sacha Cotter and Josh Morgan
4 - 8
A summer tale about family, overcoming fears, and the importance of being oneself, all in the pursuit of performing the perfect cannonball. As one boy searches for the secret to executing the perfect cannonball, it's only by listening to his own voice that he finds his unique style and pulls off a truly awe-inspiring CANNONBALL. A celebration of native culture, a glossary including Maori words is included.

Bubbles . . . Up!

Jacqueline Davies and Sonia Sánchez
4 - 8
A day at the community pool is full of unwater magic--dunking and diving with friends; somersaulting, walking on your hands, and bursting up through the surface like a tortoise. But when a thunderstorm comes and a little brother ventures too close to the pool's edge, will our main character be quick enough and brave enough to save the day? In this energetic read-aloud, the words swim off the pages as the underwater world comes to life through lush, dynamic illustrations and visual poetry. Journey to an imaginative world where, always, and forever, bubbles . . . rise . . . UP!
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