Avoid the "summer slump" with these new summer book releases for kids

We all know how important reading can be in developing young minds, and no time is it more crucial for young children than during the busy summer months, when reading might be put on the back burner. The "summer slump", as educators call it.

If finding new, enticing books are what you need to get your kiddo re-energized for reading time, you've come to the right place. I love discovering new stories, and really treasured reading with my children when they were younger. As much as I love that my daughters can now read on their own, I really miss our nightly story times together. So, I'm taking all that missed excitement about reading with my kids and using it to help you find new books to enjoy with your little ones.

From helping a monster with his outfit decisions to learning how to understand big feelings, here are some entertaining new releases that are just perfect for toddlers through kindergartners!

Here's our roundup of best new summer book releases for kids ages 2-6:

Best new books for toddlers, 2-4 years old

Monster Clothes by Daisy Hirst


Shall we find out what do little monsters like to wear? When monsters get up in the morning, they have to find something to put on, of course. This silly board book is perfect for the toddler set. With child-friendly art in the brightest of colors, Monster Clothes is a whimsical introduction to toddler monster fashion.

Release date: July 6

Sesame Street: Monster Meditation: Being Patient with Cookie Monster by Random House


Help Cookie Monster learn simple meditation techniques while he plays a fun game to help learn how to be more patient. Based on the popular Sesame Street Monster Meditation video on YouTube, this book was made in collaboration with the mindfulness app Headspace. Sometimes everyone needs to slow down and take some cleansing belly breaths–even Cookie Monster!

Release date: July 13

Dr. Seuss Discovers: Bugs by Dr. Seuss (of course!)


Who doesn't love The Cat in the Hat, and what toddler doesn't love bugs? This rhyming board book about backyard bugs is perfect for fostering a love of nature in babies and toddlers who are just discovering Dr. Seuss. Featuring over ten different kinds of insects (among them, ants, bees, butterflies, fireflies, ladybugs, and grasshoppers) and reviewed for scientific accuracy by a noted expert, The Cat in the Hat and Thing One and Thing Two look at common backyard insects in this that's perfect for introducing babies and toddlers to the world around them.

Release date: June 29

The 12 Days of Kindness by Jenna Lettice


In this rhyming picture book inspired by "The 12 Days of Christmas", count out twelve ways to celebrate and honor your friends, family, neighbors, and first responders with small acts of kindness! And if that wasn't sweet enough, it includes stickers, too. Fun! I love that the book features easily achievable acts of empathy like picking flowers for neighbors, writing thank you notes to first responders, and delivering baked goods to loved ones. You and your little one will enjoy counting all the different ways you can engage with your community.

Release date: June 22

Dozens of Dachshunds by Stephanie Calmenson


Dog lovers will enjoy seeing, literally, dozens of dachshunds in clever costumes (birds, bees and dinosaurs, oh my!) as they stars in a "woofing, wagging costume parade." When the parade is through, there's a happy jamboree, including seventy-eight dachshunds, and a "sing-along, bark-along dachshund song." You'll even meet the author's own dachshund, Harry!

Release date: June 29

Best new books for preschoolers, 4-6 years old

Chirri & Chirra The Rainy Day by Kaya Doi


In this whimsical, wonder-filled story, Chirri and Chirra are out on a bike ride when they stop to order tea at a shop. Turns out, they're drinking magical tea that lets you ride high in the air on upside down rain, of all things! The duo get to see what life would be like if we gave love and respect to all humans, animal and natural world, what a wonderful world it would be. Adapted from Japanese, I love that this story introduces big topics in a way kids can understand.

Release date: July 6

Big Feelings by Alexandra Penfold + Suzanne Kaufman


In their bestselling picture book All Are Welcome, Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman celebrate kindness, inclusivity, and diversity. Now with Big Feelings, they help children navigate the emotional challenges they face in their daily lives. This is especially relevant for children after a year of remote schooling and trying to understand the pandemic.

"What should we do when things don't go to plan? We may feel mad, frustrated, or overwhelmed, but by talking it through, compromising, and seeing another point of view, we can start fresh, begin anew." I love this!

Release date: March 2 (technically this isn't new, but I loved so much I'm including anyway!)

Isobel Adds It Up by Kristy Everington


Where are my math-loving kids? I love this special story of Isobel, who loves math and hates loud noises. She loves to answer math problems, but when it comes to the problem of noise next store, she's not sure what to do. Could it be a family of elephants? Who knows, the solution just might come from the most unlikely place!

Release date: June 29

How to Spot a Best Friend by Bea Birdsong


Full of imagination and charm, this is the perfect picture book for little ones hoping to find--and be--a best friend at school. Do you know how to find a best friend? You'll find out in this wonderful and whimsical celebration of kindness and friendship!

Release date: June 22

Those Are Not My Underpants! by Melissa Martin


This gentle yet hilarious read aloud is brought to you by New York Times bestselling author/illustrator of Can I Be Your Dog?, Melissa Martin and Troy Cummings. One morning, Bear Cub wakes up and finds underwear hanging on a tree limb. Who could they belong to? Ever inquisitive, he sets out on a quest through the forest to find the tighty whities' rightful owner. This book is pure, silly fun.

Release date: June 15