I can’t believe it is already the last week of June! Time is going so fast right now. While reflecting on the month, it is nice to sit back and think about all we’ve done. This is swimming and relaxing for some, while others take a vacation. For me, it is reflecting on one of my favorite activities: the newly released books! There is something so magical about seeing all the fantastic new stories for our students to enjoy! So, let’s dive in and explore these new June books!
I’m sharing all of these books on video as well! Check out the Picture Books: June 2023 on my Youtube channel.
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Martina Has Too Many Tias by Emma Otheguy
In this story, a young girl is overwhelmed by her rambunctious family. To let out her pain, she cries. Since so many parties are going on and it is so loud, no one can hear her tears. So, she finds this magical place of solitude where she can be alone, and things are quiet. However, she realizes that a home is only a home with the love of family. This leads her to appreciate her family and the differences they share.
Our Pool by Lucy Ruth Cummins
This is the perfect read aloud for summer! It is a hot day, and people come from all over the city to enjoy the cool pool. There are friends, families, kids, and grandparents. Honestly, there are people of all shapes and sizes. Everyone is welcome to swim and splash in this pool. With all the conflict in society today, this is an amazing way to show appreciation to our communities while having a fun summer.
The Sound of Kindness by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
Personally, I feel it is easier to be kind than rude. Unfortunately, not everyone feels the same as I do. Thankfully, this is the perfect way to show that kindness is all around us if you know where to look and how to listen for it.
This tells the story of a parent and child walking through their neighborhood. They’re looking for kindness wherever they go. So, they watch and listen for words of friendship, gratitude, support, generosity, and love. Ultimately, this leads them to realize that kindness is everywhere. While it may not always stand out, there are times we need to slow down and listen.
When implementing new June books into the school year, this is a great one to start the year and incorporate SEL!
Penny and Pip by Candace Fleming
This story starts with a little girl at the museum. While walking around, she finds a baby dinosaur roaming the halls, and this dinosaur just keeps following her around! So, she decides to name it Pip and gives it some snacks. She then decides that this dinosaur needs a home, but she can’t figure out how to get it back to her house.
You’ll have to read it with your class to see if she figures that out!
A Smart, Smart School by Sharon Creech
In this book, the beloved characters from A Fine, Fine School return to have something else happening at their school. If you’ve read the first one, you know that Mr. Keane, the principal, encourages his students to be creative. He wants them to be individualistic and show themselves through their creativity, whether in art, music, or dance. However, Mr. Keane has to leave for a little while. The new principal, Mr. Tatters, sees creativity differently than Mr. Keane. He prefers tests every day and no art or music. The students and teachers disagree with Mr. Tatters.
Honestly, this shares a timely message of the importance of creativity in the classroom. This fantastic selection in our new June books category inspires students to be proud of their interests!
Where Wild Flowers Grow by Ha Dinh
This is a true story that is sure to inspire all of your students!
It tells of a young girl who was uprooted from her home in Vietnam and now lives in a refugee camp. She enjoys being there and spending time with the friends that she’s made. Additionally, she enjoys picking wildflowers. However, moving day arrives, and her family is excited to go to their forever home in America.
The young girl is not so sure that she wants to move. She’s sad to leave her friends and the wildflowers behind. Honestly, this book reminds us that we continue to grow wherever we go and move, just like the wildflowers.
Only For a Little While by Gabriela Orozco Belt
When picking new June books for the classroom, this is an excellent choice to help students adjust to a move.
Poppy loses his job, and Maribel and her family must move in with their extended family. However, this feels very unsettling to Maribel. The new house is loud, and she has to share a bedroom.
Thankfully, Maribel quickly realizes that there’s always somebody to play with, and their meal times are full of laughter and happiness. This is the perfect way to help students adjust to a big change in their life!
Moonlight Memories by Amanda Davis
This is a powerful story!
Piper is feeling sad and empty after her mother passes away. While she has her father, he is dealing with his grief at the same time. So, he gives her a telescope and encourages her to look out at the stars at night. Instead of finding stars, Piper finds memories. Soon, she connects those memories with her mother, and rushes to draw pictures of them before they disappear. She hangs each memory up to surround herself with the amazing times spent with her mom and dad.
This book is important because it helps children process and acknowledge the grief they’re feeling. For so long, we just swept that kind of thing under the rug. However, I think bringing it to light is important for kids and even adults.
Salat in Secret by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow
In this book, a Muslim boy receives a prayer rug for his 7th birthday. He becomes empowered by his faith and is determined to do all of his prayers on time throughout the day. There are five different prayers, but one falls during the school day, and he starts worrying. He doesn’t want people to see him praying at school. He knows that people mock, stare, and make fun of him throughout the day while he is praying. Thankfully, the teacher steps in to help him, and they find the perfect spot for him to pray.
This is one of the best June books to show students the importance of welcoming and respecting different cultures.
You, Me, We by Arun Gandhi
This one’s all about peace and cultivating peace at home and in the classroom. This occurs when we play together, speak up, ask for help, or share kindness with others. Also, peace is there when we take turns, get past our misunderstandings, and learn and grow.
Same Love, Different Hug by Sarah Hovorka
When selecting new June books, this is a fantastic choice explaining the different ways to show affection. Sometimes, we love big hugs. Other times, we love gentle hugs. There are even times we want no one touching us. Depending on who we meet or who we’re interacting with, we want those different types of affection. So, we must respect the boundaries of others and understand our own. However, students will not just naturally know this. They need books, lessons, and to walk through situations to show we care without physical touch. This is a great conversation starter for your classroom when the year begins!
I Can Be All Three by Salima Alikhan
It’s Multicultural Day at school, and a young girl is trying to figure out how to tell her family’s story. Does she share her German tales, or does she share her stories from India? Or, does she share the American traditions that she celebrates? She realizes that just choosing one of those doesn’t seem quite right. Then, she realizes that it’s all three- that sharing all these parts of who she is really tells her full story.
This is an excellent story about understanding who we are. It inspires students to learn about their background and where their ancestors came from.
As you can see, there are so many excellent new June books to pick from! They each tell a meaningful and impactful story with an important life message for students to learn. Thankfully, all of these options are ready for summer reading or when the year begins!
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Save this Book List
Be sure to save this pin to your favorite book board on Pinterest! You’ll be able to come back to this list when you are ready to choose some books for your students.