Fill the dwindling days of summer with these great movie, TV, and book choices.
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Before the crush of the school year starts, your family should make time for some of the great summer releases they may have missed over the past few months. From the adorable hijinks of a lovely little farm to the return of one of the best shows on TV, EW recommends 10 fantastic picks to keep kids entertained during the last hazy days of the season.

Duck and Goose
Credit: Apple TV +

Duck and Goose (Apple TV+)

Based on the best-selling kids' series, this animated adaptation captures all the charm of the Duck and Goose books for a preschool audience. Though the exuberant Duck and the more cautious Goose are the best of friends, they don't always see eye to eye when solving problems, but that doesn't mean they don't make a great team. With cute songs and vibrant animation, every episode contains two different stories that will keep even the littlest ones engaged as they learn about the importance of friendship. 

Bugs Bunny Builders
Credit: Cartoonito/HBO Max

Bugs Bunny Builders (Cartoonito/HBO Max)

In this new Looney Tunes preschool series, Bugs, Lola, and company work as part of the Looney Builders crew constructing all kinds of crazy projects. Each 11-minute episode incorporates the trademark humor the Looney Tunes have long been known for along with educational concepts about engineering, problem solving, and design. It's sure to have your kids breaking out the building blocks after watching it.

Bluey Season 3
Credit: Ludo Studio

Bluey, season 3 (Disney+)

Wackadoo! After an almost interminable wait, season 3 of Bluey finally debuts Aug. 10 on Disney+. Fans of the acclaimed Australian cartoon can expect even more wit and heart as Bluey, Bingo, and the rest of the Heeler family embark on more hilarious antics. From Bandit and Chilli's occasional parental exhaustion to the weird turns that Bluey and Bingo's games of imagination often take, it's one of the most realistic and relatable depictions of family life — even if it is about cartoon dogs. The new season proves once again that Bluey is one of the best shows on television and no one will blame you if you start watching without your kids. 

Lovely Little Farm
Credit: Apple TV +

Lovely Little Farm (Apple TV+)

If your kid spends time searching out cute animal videos, this is the show for them. Set on a bucolic farm in England, Lovely Little Farm centers on biracial sisters Jill and Jacky whose lives as young farmers keep them very busy. A mix of live-action with animated talking animals a la Babe, this little jewel of a show debuted on Apple TV+ in June. If you haven't caught up with it, you won't be disappointed since the show is not only fun to watch but gorgeously shot as well. 

Doña Esmeralda Who Ate Everything by Melissa De La Cruz, Illustrated by Primo Gallanosa
Credit: Orchard Books

Doña Esmeralda Who Ate Everything by Melissa De La Cruz, Illustrated by Primo Gallanosa

Got a picky eater on your hands? They might just wish Doña Esmeralda would sneak under the table to eat all their brussel sprouts. In this entertaining new picture book, Melissa De La Cruz adapts a Filipino folk tale from her childhood about the tiny but voracious Doña Esmeralda who will eat everything a kid won't. From tofu to mushy vegetables, Doña will slurp it all down with her straw. But she gets into trouble when she starts eating all the foods kids love as well. What happens when she reaches her limit? Kids will have to read to find out!

Credit: HBO Max

Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Underground Rock Experience HBO Max

After his fantastic 2020 special Don't Let the Pigeon Do Storytime! got many kids through the beginning months of the pandemic, best-selling author Mo Willems released his new HBO Max special Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Underground Rock Experience in July. Based on both his best-selling picture book and the musical he crafted from it, this animated special follows wannabe fashionista Wilbur (voiced by Jordan Fisher) who scandalizes naked mole rat society with his desire to express himself through his clothing. Deadpan wit and rocking tunes make this hour-long special a true delight. 

Lego Star Wars Summer Vacation
Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Lego Star Wars Summer Vacation (Disney+)

Have your kids (or you) finally exhausted playing the Lego Skywalker Saga? If so, Lego Star Wars Summer Vacation might engage their hyperdrives. Featuring vocal performances from Billy Dee Williams, Kelly Marie Tran, Anthony Daniels, and, um, Weird Al Yankovic, this new Disney+ special follows Finn and the rest of the gang as they vacation aboard the Galactic Starcruiser. As Rey, Poe, and Rose run off to have fun, Finn finds it hard to relax without them. It's only when the burgeoning Jedi gets visited by three Force ghosts (Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Leia Organa) telling tales of their summer vacations gone awry that he starts to enjoy his trip. From seeing Obi-Wan perform with the Max Rebo Band while wearing a Hawaiian shirt to Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader crashing a limbo contest, Lego Star Wars Summer Vacation continues the fine Lego tradition of having tons of silly fun with the Star Wars canon. 

Netflix

Gabby's Dollhouse, season 5 (Netflix)

Kids might want to check their Meow Meow Mailbox because the imaginative Netflix hit recently returned with six brand-new episodes. Portrayed by the charming Laila Lockhart Kraner, the curious and creative Gabby continues to be a great role model for little kids who will no doubt wish they could explore her adorable dollhouse themselves. Visually appealing animation, catchy jingles, and adorable production design make this a hard show for kids to resist. 

Invisible by Christina Diaz Gonzalez, Illustrated by Gabriela Epstein
Credit: Graphix

Invisible by Christina Diaz Gonzalez, Illustrated by Gabriela Epstein

A Latine take on The Breakfast Club, this wonderful graphic novel introduces a group of 8th graders who all wind up in the principal's office for an unnamed incident at their middle school. Initially lumped together to perform community service in the cafeteria, each kid seems to fit into a specific role– the smart one (Jorge), the delinquent (Dayara), the rich kid (Nico), the jock (Miguel) , and the weird loner (Sara), but as the story gets more complicated, they discover that each one is more than the label society has given them. With four of the kids being recent immigrants from Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic, and only Sara and Jorge speaking English, they overcome communication issues that's reflected in the novel's use of Spanish dialogue with English translation. As they deal with their own struggles and family dynamics, they work together to help a needy mother and daughter and find friendship along the way. Beautifully told by Christina Diaz Gonzalez with vibrant illustrations by Gabriela Epstein, Invisible is a story that shouldn't be missed.

Netflix

The Sea Beast (Netflix)

Ahoy, matey! Reminiscent of both How to Train Your Dragon and Luca, The Sea Beast is a rollicking animated adventure featuring monster hunter Jacob (Karl Urban) who has been on the hunt for the fearsome Red Bluster. When Jacob comes across an orphaned stowaway named Maisie (Zaris-Angel Hator), his career takes an unexpected turn as the little girl realizes there is more to the famed sea monster than meets the eye. Thrown into an unexpected adventure, Jacob and Maisie discover the truth about the Red Bluster and fight to do what's right even when the whole monster-hunting society lines up against them. At almost two hours, the length might test the patience of the smallest pirates, but entertaining vocal performances and eye-popping visuals make this an appealing choice for older buccaneers.

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