10 Read Aloud Books for the Younger Years

10 Read Aloud Books for the Younger Years
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What is your favorite picture book from your childhood?

Reading aloud is so important in the younger years. It teaches a love of reading, models fluency, introduces vocabulary, builds curiosity, and opens the door for great discussions. These picture books I like for the writing and the illustrations, especially the colored pencil art in Albert and the watercolors and postcards in Toot and Puddle. Several stories are about overcoming fears, making friends, travel adventures, and family. Some have sensitive topics that will take careful discussion, but what better place to have these conversations than in your own living room.


I took a walk down memory lane and pulled these off my bookshelf. Some I read to my own kids and some were from my classroom. Below are 10 of my favorites for read aloud books for the younger years (or actually for any age!). Just pulling these favorite books off my shelf has brought me joy and a flood of memories from my classroom and my own children in their younger years. I am looking forward to reading these to my grandchildren!


A Pig Parade is a Terrible Idea by Michael Ian Black and Kevin Hawkes “Like most children, you probably think a pig parade is a terrific idea. Well, you are wrong. This book will show you exactly why a pig parade is a terrible idea. Because it truly, truly is.”


Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner “Every morning, Skippyjon Jones woke up with the birds. And this did not please his mother at all.”


Toot and Puddle by Holly Hobbie “One day Toot takes off to see the world, while Puddle decides to stay home. This is a story of their wonderful adventures both far away and right at home all year long.”


Albert by Donna Jo Napoli and Jim LaMarche “Albert has always started his mornings by sticking his hand out the window to check if the weather is right for a walk. Then one day, a cardinal drops a twig in his palm. From that moment on, Albert’s life is changed forever.”


Baloney (Henry P.) by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith “‘Well I would have been on time,’ said Henry. ‘But… I misplaced my trusty zimulus.’”


Oxford First Book of Art by Gillian Wolfe “A dazzling introduction to the joys of art for young children. It includes a wonderfully varied collection of images – painting, drawing, sculptures, and textiles –  from all around the world and down through the ages.”


Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street by Roni Schotter and Kyrsten Brooker “Eva unwrapped a cinnamon Danish, opened her notebook, and stared helplessly at the wide, white pages. ‘Write about what you know, ’her teacher, Mrs. DeMarco, had told her.”


Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes “Wemberly worried about spilling her juice, about shrinking in the bathtub, even about snakes in the radiator. She worried morning, noon, and night. And Wemberly worried about one thing most of all; her first day of school.”


The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant and Stephen Gammell “When they arrived they hugged and hugged from the kitchen to the front room. All summer they tended the garden and ate up all the strawberries and melons. They plucked banjos and strummed guitars.”


Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein “You’ll meet a boy who turns into a TV set, and a girl who eats a whale. The Unicorn and the Bloath live there, and so does Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out.”

Tip: Always read the book to yourself first and see if it is a good fit for your audience. You are the gatekeeper of your home and classroom.

Look for these books at your local public library. If you particularly like one, ask the children’s librarian to recommend a similar one for you to read next.

Want a read aloud book list for the the middle years? Read this post. 

Want read aloud and active ideas for preschoolers? Read this post. 

Table Talk: What were some read aloud picture books you enjoyed in your childhood? What is your favorite Shel Silverstein poem?


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