As a children’s book blogger, mom, substitute teacher, and fellow reader I can’t stress the importance of reading aloud to your child every single day. Start reading to them as babies and they will fall in love with the routine of reading before bed, or reading at supper time, or reading during breakfast, or reading after school. Whatever your reading time is, it doesn’t matter, as long as you make time to read.
Now in its 13th year, and celebrated in 173 countries, World Read Aloud Day (founded by LitWorld in 2010) continues to call attention to the power and importance of sharing stories. Findings from the Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report: 7th Edition™ show that more than 80% of both kids and parents love or like read-aloud time because they consider it a special time together.prnewswire.com
Finding the perfect read-aloud is really up to what you like to read and what your child wants in a book. Does your child like silly books or books with facts? Do you like to read stories with lots of characters and different voices? Are your favorite read-alouds ones that you can read at bedtime to calm and soothe your child before bed? Do your favorite picture books share a life lesson or offer a chance to talk about a situation with your child? If any of these types of books resonate with you, then I have the perfect list of books that will make reading aloud with your child a fun and rewarding activity.
Bedtime was always my favorite time to read aloud to our kids. With a boy or two on my lap or snuggled in bed with our daughter, it was a time that was specifically focused on reading our favorite books. Back in 2015, I shared books that were our favorites for reading aloud at Bedtime. Check out that post, HERE. You’ll find some silly Sandra Boynton books as well as cozy bedtime stories on this list.
20 Great Books to Read Aloud to Your Child
Every one of these books is a book I either purchased for our own library or received from a publisher for review. There are so many wonderful books out there, but these are books that stood out to me as an adult reading them, ones that our own nieces and nephews loved when I read to them, or students at school loved when I would read aloud to them in class. There are books that share life lessons, books perfect for bedtime, books that are just plain silly, and books that make great read alouds for all the funny characters and voices you could use. They also all have excellent illustrations which are also important to reading aloud. If you are looking for books for your own library, suggestions for your town library’s bookshelves, or maybe a storytime activity in your homeschool, these books all make excellent choices.
Clicking the title takes you to my book review post on that book.
Non-Fiction Read Alouds
These books offer short facts, excellent photos, and lots of learning opportunities. Middle-grade kids love these books. You could easily read a few pages at dinner or start breakfast with a “fun fact for the day”.
Babies and toddlers love to put things in their mouths so this board book teaches the good things to put in their mouths like an ice cream cone, a better thing like a pear, and a yucky thing like a booger. They will giggle but get the idea of what is good for them and what isn’t.
Introduce your youngest kids to music through these fun board books. Read about country legends like Dolly Parton and then listen to one of her songs. Share your favorite rocker from high school and their music. These board books will encourage a love of music in your kids.
Anytime your child can learn or interact while you are reading to them is a win-win. This Margaret Wise Brown (of Goodnight Moon popularity) shares the story of a mouse traveling through the holes in the book and counting the things he sees. The repetitive text also helps your child recognize words.
A group of monsters tries to scare some friends before bedtime, but instead, they end up just being funny and cuddly. It’s a fun bedtime read-aloud.
A little mouse can’t go to sleep with all the noises at bedtime, like the coyote’s howl, his grandpa’s snores, or the wind through the trees. But, those are eventually the noises that end up lulling him to sleep.
Many of you will recognize this book from your own childhood with an added friend. Grover is trying to convince you that there is a monster at the end of the book and to not keep turning the pages. In this new version, Grover is telling his friend, Elmo, not to turn the pages. It still has the same silly factor as the original version and kids will love it, especially if you play up the anger and disbelief every time you turn the page.
This picture book is a bit of a longer book with chapters so it is perfect for kids wanting a bit more pages in their stories. If you have a middle child, you could save this one just for them to make it their special book. I promise they will relate!
Hilarity ensues when this quirky family needs a new couch and finds one that comes with a new friend. Lots of giggling guaranteed.
A boy likes it quiet. When a squeaking mouse makes his presence, the boy goes to town to get a cat to take care of the mouse. But, then he has to go to town to get a dog to take care of the cat. If you think of IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE type of book, this one is similar. Chaos happens and kids will love it. But there is also the hidden message about making friends as well as that it’s ok to like being alone.
Every parent that has had to find something for show and tell at the last minute and every child that has had to think of what to say at show and tell will relate to Dexter the Dinosaur and his show and tell day.
A wild imagination makes bath time a blast for Will and his dad. Books that encourage pretend play or having an imagination are always winners for great read-alouds.
This story features a play-on-words where a group of lambs hear the word “landslide” and think it was “lambslide” and start campaigning for a slide for the lambs on the farm. Super fun read-aloud.
Juniper Kai has all the spy gear and loves to find clues to what is going on in her world. She knows her parents are keeping a secret and has to use all her best spy tricks to find out the big secret that her parents are hiding. A great read-aloud for kids expecting a new sibling.
Life Lesson Stories
I love reading this one aloud because there are so many characters and emotions to play up. Gray feels left out because no one wants to choose him for coloring so he creates his own story with only gray colors, but of course, the other colors railroad his plan. The kids love it every time I read it at school. This book shares an important message of seeing things from a different perspective and that drive to fit in is maybe really a need to stand out.
Rosie is a tractor that was built by women during WWII. Rosie the tractor works day and night for her family to help grow crops for the troops. She is proud to do everything she can to help and once the war is over Rosie is older and sees all the new and younger tractors moving faster than she did. She teaches them everything she knows and is very tired. But, she can still hold her own and continue to make her family proud. Rosie offers a great message for kids about the importance of everyone working together and doing their part, especially when times are tough.
A saguaro is a giant cactus native to the Southwest and Mexico. It can be over sixty feet tall plus have multiple branches, much like a tree. The saguaro produces flowers and fruit that provide food and nectar to many birds and animals. Saguaro’s Gift reminds us how we all depend on each other and benefit from the gifts we can each provide in our great ecosystem.
As you read this story aloud and your child looks at the illustrations, they will see one single kindness spread across a classroom and come back to the girl that started it all. This is one I will keep in my library because its message is timeless. This important message of a small act of kindness making a difference in the lives of others is so simple and yet so profound.
I could have shared many other books with you, but these are ones that stand out in my mind as being recent, fun read alouds. I hope that you are carving time out of every day to read aloud to your children. It truly makes a huge difference in their joy of reading and learning.
Posted Under Amanda Jane Jones, Ann Patchett, Barry Falls, Book Review, Children's books, David Slonim, Eoin McLaughlin, fiction, Jon Stone, Kurt Cyrus, Laura Gehl, Lindsay Ward, Lindsey Sagar, Margaret Wise Brown, National Geographic, non-fiction, Sherri Duskey Rinker, Stacy McAnulty, Steven Weinberg, Todd Tarpley, Weird but True!, World Read Aloud Day