Sunny days of leisure should always include a good book—they’ll give your kids screen-free stimulation, activate their imaginations and prevent that infamous “summer slide.” If your kiddos are fans of popular books like Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site and the Pete the Cat series, we’ve got your summertime must-read list! The following books are new, recent or soon-to-be-released and are perfect for a casual afternoon spent daydreaming. Scroll down to find  your favorite new story.

image courtesy Penguin Random House

1. If You Like Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, You’ll Love:

Little Excavator by Anna Dewdney

“Llama Llama” author Anna Dewdney passed away last year but she left behind the nearly-final version of her latest endeavor: Little Excavator. For fans of building and construction, or just fans of Dewdney’s, this sweet gem might bring a tiny tear to your eye with its signature rhyming text so true to Dewdney’s style and her darling illustrations. Meet Loader, Dump Truck, Backhoe, Crane and the littlest one of all, Little Excavator, who is small but mighty.

Available now (June 6) from Viking.
Cost: $17.99
Ages: 2-5

image courtesy Little Brown and Company

2. If You Like A Book with No PicturesYou’ll Love:

Did You Take the B from My _ook?

The silly factor of comedian B.J. Novak’s A Book with No Pictures got grown-ups to read out loud some of the funniest phrases on the written page, and in the same vein, Did You Take the B from My _ook? is a perfect one to read out loud to the kids. Part of the Books That Drive Kids Crazy series, challenge yourself to not add in the missing “B” to so many words, and then take turns trying to read it faster. We promise laughs and a little lesson in spelling, too.

Available now from Little, Brown and Company.
Cost: $14.99
Ages: 4-8

image courtesy Penguin Random House

3. If You Like Dragons Love TacosYou’ll Love:

Dragons Love Tacos 2 : The Sequel

Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri have teamed up again for another book that your kids will absolutely love. We last left the plot line understanding full well that dragons love tacos (spicy salsa…house fire…rebuilding…tacos!) but this time the dragons are in trouble: there are no more tacos left in the world! How to solve this horrific problem? Travel back in time. of course.

Available now (May 2017) from Penguin Young Readers.
Cost: $18.99
Ages: 3-5

image courtesy Penguin Random House

4. If You Like Press Here, You’ll Love:

Splat!

Doodle-artist Jon Burgerman’s iconic art takes to the children’s picture book page perfectly, and the interactive story that goes along with it will instill giggles galore. If your kiddos could not get enough of Press Here (Herve Tullet) Splat will make a welcome addition to the game-in-a-book collection.

Available now (June 20) from Penguin Random House Young Readers.
Cost: $16.99
Ages: 3-5

image courtesy Scholastic

5. If You Like Pete the Cat, You’ll Love:

Tool School

Pete the Cat illustrator James Dean has teamed up with author Joan Holub for a sweet story about the first day of Tool School, where the little tools quickly learn that working together is the only way to get the best job done. Pete the Cat fans will recognize the art immediately (especially the school bus) and parents will love the message. Great for back to school jitters, too.

Releases July 25, 2017 from Scholastic. Preorder on Amazon.
Cost:$16.99
Ages: 3-5

What are your favorite new picture books? Tell us in a comment below! 

—Amber Guetebier

 

 

RELATED STORIES:

100 Books to Read Before They Turn 12

4 Books by Your Favorite Authors You Haven’t Read Yet

Best New Activity Books for Summer