In a day and age where children spend a startling amount of time watching a screen, it doesn’t have to be that way for your children. The presence of a screen in a child’s life cannot compare to the benefits received from snuggling together for read aloud. So put away the screens and start making memories with these 15 read aloud children’s books.
In this blog post, I want to share 15 must-have read aloud children’s books. Reading aloud to children brings them great delight, security, sweet memories, and strong family bonds. Educationally, research has shown over and over that children who are read to by their parents receive a tremendous boost in language and literacy. And all the educational testing and reforms in the world cannot make up for the lack of it.
My favorite course in college was Literature for Children. Later, my elementary school students enjoyed a rich supply of children’s read aloud books. After having children of my own, our homeschooling journey has been enriched and centered around literature.
If you are on a tight budget, you will likely find all of these at your local library. However, I would strongly recommend investing in your own library, little by little, so your children can visit these treasures again and again. If you can, invest in hardback versions. They will last a lifetime! When I pull our beloved copies off the shelf, even my teenagers and children in their early twenties pick them up with a smile, because wonderful memories are stirred.
It would be impossible for me to put these in ranking order. We love them all, so the list is in random order. Perhaps you already own some of these, but maybe you haven’t pulled them out in a while. If any of them are new to you, I hope you will share them with your children.
15 Must-Have Read Aloud Children’s Books
Here we go, in random order…
This is an adorable story of Sal helping her mother gather blueberries on the mountainside. A little bear cub, who is doing the same thing, gets all mixed up with Sal. Our favorite memory from Blueberries for Sal is Kerplink, Kerplank, Kerplunk!
Make Way for Ducklings is appealing to children because of the tender story of a mother mallard duck leading her little ones through the streets of New York City. The illustrations are fantastic.
Goodnight Moon is one of the sweetest bedtime books ever. It reflects the innocence of childhood in saying goodnight to everything in sight. You and your child will be saying good night to all things that are special to your child. Absolutely precious.
Even though the Frog and Toad Books are written at an early reading level, Arnold Lobel wrote them so creatively that they make fantastic read alouds. Our lifelong fun quote from Toad: “Blah! Tomorrow!”
What a cute story with great illustrations and a wonderful rhyming story line. The little boy brings his animal friends one by one to visit the king and queen. Our favorite memorable lines from May I Bring a Friend still find their way into our conversations. “Any friend of my friend is welcome here…So I brought my friend.”
Caps for Sale is a fun-filled classic! Children love to imitate the peddler and the monkeys as one tries to outwit the other. My children once acted this one out at a homeschool program.
Don’t miss the fun of reading Are You My Mother aloud to the whole family! Be sure to use your most animated voice as you imagine a little bird asking everything in sight, “Are you my mother?”
The Important Book beautifully portrays the importance of everyday objects with the wonder of a child. This one will stir your child’s creativity to come up with their own ideas of why each object is important.
The Little House is an adorable book about the adventures of a little house when a city is built up around it, and its longing to be in the country again.
10. The Snowy Day
Beautifully portrayed is a child’s wonder at the first snow of the season in The Snowy Day.
Oh, my! What a fun book! If You Give a Mouse a Cookie will spark your child’s creativity to come up with ideas for what the mouse might want next.
Your children will cherish the warm, delightful tales of Herriot’s life as a rural British veterinarian as he visits the nearby farms to care for the animals in James Herriot’s Treasury for Children. These beloved stories possess the timeless qualities of family affection, humor, loyalty, appreciation for nature, and love of animals.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is a super fun rhyming story where the letters of the alphabet race to the top of the coconut tree. “A told B and B told C, I’ll meet you at the top of the coconut tree!”
14. Curious George
Every child loves the unforgettable stories of the curious, loveable monkey in Curious George. Pure fun for children!
15. The Giving Tree
The Giving Tree is the tender story of the tree who found happiness in giving, day after day, to a little boy his whole life long. Beautifully written by the beloved Shel Silverstein.
THAT’S NOT ALL!
Oh, how difficult it was to choose only 15 favorite read-aloud children’s books! This is just a beginning list. There will be more in the months to come. 🙂
YOUR TURN: Does frequent screen use threaten your family? Do you have a regular read-aloud time with your children? What are your favorite children’s books for read aloud? Share with us in the comments below!