Today is World Read Aloud Day! Below are just some (emphasis on some) of my favorite read-aloud books.
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats – In this 1963 Caldecott winning book, we experience the joy of being a child waking up to a large snowfall!
LMNO Peas and 123 Peas by Keith Baker and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault, illustrations by Lois Ehlert – Each of these books is great for introducing letters and numbers to your children. There are many fun craft projects and activities that you can pair with them. Just do a search online, and you will discover a plethora of ideas!
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle – Days of the week, counting, and making healthy choices: this book helps us teach our children all these important lessons! Combine this with Eric Carle’s beautiful illustrations and you get a read-aloud masterpiece.
The Mitten by Jan Brett – I love Jan Brett’s illustrations! It is surprising to me that she has never won a Caldecott medal. This is a delightful book to teach children how to make predictions by using the clues in the illustrations. It is also a good lesson on why we should not wear white mittens to play in the snow.
Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss – Dr. Seuss’s books are excellent read-aloud books! Horton Hatches the Egg just happens to be my personal favorite. “An elephant’s faithful one-hundred percent!”
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury – This is a fun book to have your children read with you. Have them repeat each line after you say it, or you can take turns saying the lines. Make it even more crazy by adding hand motions and making noises by clapping and patting your laps!
Curious George books by Margret and H. A. Rey – Children (and adults) can learn many lessons from this cute little monkey and his friends!
What If You Had Animal Teeth? and What If You Had Animal Hair? By Sandra Markle, illustrated by Howard McWilliam – These books are a fun way to teach children about how animals’ teeth and hair play a role in their daily lives, and in some cases, their survival. The illustrations in these books are pretty awesome as well!
Creepy Carrots! By Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Peter Brown – Jasper Rabbit loves carrots! One might even say he is obsessed with them. One day, he begins to see carrots everywhere, and they are angry and scary! Are the carrots seeking revenge, or is Jasper just paranoid?
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers – If you have never read this book, you need to. It is hilarious! In this picture book, we get a peek inside the minds of our crayons.
After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again by Dan Santat – This book is so clever and inspiring! I did not see the ending of this book coming, and I was so pleased when I read the final page. I would not be surprised if Dan earns another Caldecott medal for his work on this book.
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn, illustrated by E. Harper and Nancy Leak – When I was teaching Pre-K, I would read this to my class every year on the first day of school. In this book, young Chester the Raccoon is heading to his very first day of school. Like most little ones, this is a very scary event as he has never been away from his momma for this long.
Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis – There is a new girl at school. Not only is she different from everyone else, but no one will play with her or include her. This book teaches an important lesson on kindness, but not in the way we think it will.
Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena, illustrated by Christian Robinson – Observing the world around you, kindness, family, listening, community, and giving: these are all themes in this beautiful picture book. This book won the 2016 Newbery Medal as well as a Caldecott Honor award, and it is not hard to see why! Matt de la Pena and Christian Robinson did an amazing work with this book! I am excited that they are collaborating on another book, Carmella Full of Wishes which will be released in October of this year! Check out our review of this book on episode 3 of Team Friendship Reads the Newberys: https://teamfriendshippodcast.com/2016/12/14/3-last-stop-on-market-street/
Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park – When I was first introduced to Junie B. Jones (in high school), I immediately fell in love with her! Barbara Park wrote Junie B.’s voice the way a Kindergartener talks and thinks. Some would argue that this is the reason they do not read these books to their children, but I see it as an opportunity to introduce literary terms such as voice, dialect, and vernacular.
El Deafo by Cece Bell – In this graphic novel, Cece Bell tells her own story of growing up deaf. She shares how she felt as she went through one change after another: a new neighborhood, a new school, and new friends. She tells of her internal battle between not wanting to draw attention to herself and voicing her feelings about the ways in which she wishes others would interact with her (and the ways in which she wishes they would not interact with her).
Amelia Bedelia books by Peggy Parish and Herman Parish – I grew up listening to the Amelia Bedelia books. These hilarious books teach children about idioms and figurative speech. If only Amelia Bedelia would learn to understand them! In the mid-1990s, Peggy Parish’s nephew Herman Parish took over writing the Amelia Bedelia series, and in 2009, he began the Young Amelia Bedelia books. Two of my favorites from this series are Amelia Bedelia’s First Apple Pie and Amelia Bedelia Makes a Friend.
Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild –This sweet book is the story of three girls who are rescued and adopted by a fossil collector. As their Great-Uncle Matthew (Gum for short) is away on his travels, the three girls are raised by Gum’s niece and the nanny who must find creative ways to educate them as there has been no word from Gum for many years, and the money is running out.
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White – This is a classic! I cannot read this book without crying!
Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace – These books were some of the very first books I read as a young child, and now I am reading them to my own daughter. We love reading about Betsy and Tacy’s carefree, imaginative days: flying over their neighborhood on a feather, playing with their homemade paper dolls, and riding home from school in a carriage with all the hot cocoa they could ever want and a horse that talks!
The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser – This book is delightful, lovely, and heart-melting! I recently read this book and decided to write a review. Check it out here: https://teamfriendshippodcast.com/2018/01/23/the-vanderbeekers-of-141st-street/
Wishtree by Katherine Applegate – Is it possible for a neighborhood to be united by an old tree? This is a book that everyone should read. I have said this before, and I will say it again here, “There is no reason for you to not read this book!”
Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo – Oh, Kate! Once again you use your words to fill our hearts with emotion beyond what we think we are capable of feeling! Only our dear friend, Kate could take a cynical little girl and a squirrel with super-hero powers and teach us the importance of love, forgiveness, and home. This has been Team Friendship’s favorite Newbery book so far! Check out our review of it in episode 5 of Team Friendship Reads the Newberys: https://teamfriendshippodcast.com/2017/03/14/5-flora-ulysses-the-illuminated-adventures/
What are some of your favorite read-aloud books? We would love to hear from you! Send us an email at [email protected]!
Post written by Lauren Keen