Friday, November 11, 2011

The Best Read Aloud Books

I have to teach a class about reading aloud to kids.  I'm pretty passionate about reading, and I LOVE reading aloud to kids of all ages, kids and adults.  There is something magical that occurs when a child, or even an adult, is being read to.

You are probably a fan of reading if you are checking out this site.  I'm trying to make more and more people a fan of reading.  I found this fabulous quote, and being the bad librarian that I am right now, and I do not know where it came from.  I had it in some of my notes from my years of not being a librarian when I didn't care as much about sources.  Anywho, here it is:
Reading is like eating... simultaneously yields both pleasure and benefit. Alohamora: Open a Book

“Like eating, reading is one of life's activities that simultaneously yields both pleasure and benefit."

Reading is great! Reading to a child is great!  Reading to a child provides two main rewards.  First, there is an immediate reward. The text pulls us into images and ideas that at the very moment we travel through the words. It's enjoyable and pleasure.  Second, there are long-term rewards. The long-term benefits include increased language, vocabulary, comprehension, and thinking skills.  Plus the child gains additional knowledge, experience, and insight which can make them an educated person.

Most recently, an article last week put out by BBC stated that a research study recently learned that reading to your kids while they are young, even before they go into school, on a regular basis still showed the kids benefiting from it when they were 15 years old. The teens that we're read to were at least 6 months ahead in reading levels.

So you see, reading aloud to kids, and even newborns, has huge benefits!

Oh, and just b/c your child can read to him/herself does not mean you can't read to them.  Reading a book with a reader not only models good reading to them, but it can expand their interests of books, and include all of the other great benefits of reading.  So, it is clear to see that you should read to your kids, no matter the age.  

With that in mind I wanted to give you a resource list of books that you could use to help you determine which books to read to your kids.  The B/G after a book title is to tell you if it is geared more towards boys, girls, or both (B-boys, G-girls, and B/G- both).  

Feel free to use this list as a resource and starting point.  

Happy Reading!  

I apologize for my little soapbox rant about reading and the importance of it.  I'm just so passionate about the topic.  I appreciate you bearing with me.  

The Best Read-Alouds 

Infants-Preschool:  These books are for the curious little ones.  They teach basic concepts such as the alphabet, counting, colors, etc.  Books with patterns work well for this age group. 
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? By Bill Martin (B/G)
Gallop by Rufas Butler Seder (B/G) This is a scanimation book; it is a short book but fun for the little hands that like to turn pages.
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff (B/G)
Skippy Jon Jones by Judy Schachner (B/G)
Armadillo Rodeo by Jan Brett (B/G)
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (B/G)
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown (B/G)
Don’t let the Pigeon Stay Up Late by Mo Willems all of the Pigeon books are great (B/G)

Kindergarten to 2nd grade:  These books are for the ones that are beginning to get their sense of humor and beginning to read.  You will find both chapter and picture books here. If you are reading chapter books together be sure to talk about what happened before and you can even begin to predict what will happen.

Picture Books:
            Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel (B/G)
            Dear Mrs. LaRue by Mike Teague (B/G)
            The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister (B/G)
            The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka (B/G)
            How Much is a Million? by David Schwartz (B/G)
            Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems (G)
            The Great Fuzz Frenzy by Janet Stevens (B/G)
            Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert (B/G)
            Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems (B/G)
            Traction Man is Here by Mini Grey (B)
            Chameleon, Chameleon by Joy Cowley This non-fiction book is perfect for boys (B/G)

Chapter Books:
            Stuart Little by E.B. White (B/G)
            The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo (B/G)
            The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo (B/G)
            Judy Moody by Megan McDonald (G)
            Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid by Megan McDonald (B)
            Ramona Quimby by Beverly Cleary (G)
Mercy Watson to the Rescue by Kate DiCamillo (B/G But others in the series is more geared to girls) This is an easier chapter book
3rd grade to 6th grade:  These kids may read on their own, but they can still benefit by being read to.   Try books and genres that they normally wouldn’t gravitate towards.  Feel free to read a book together that is above their reading level.   
Picture Books:
            Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears by Verna Aardema (B/G)
            The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush by Tomie dePaola (B/G)           
Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine (B/G)

Chapter Books:
            Frindle by Andrew Clements (B/G) Most Clements books make great Read-Alouds
            Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar (B/G)
            Holes by Louis Sachar (B/G)
            The View from the Cherry Tree by Willow Davis Roberts (B/G)
            Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli (G)
            A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (B/G)
            Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech (G) Creech books are all fabulous
Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool (B/G) This was the Newbery Winner this year, and it is absolutely fabulous.  Anyone 3rd grade and up will love it.
            The Watsons Go to Birmingham; 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis (B/G)
            The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (B/G)
             The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (B/G)

Non-Fiction Books:
Blood and Guts by Linda Allison (B/G)
Children of the Dust Bowl: The True Story of the School at Weedpatch by Jerry Stanley (G)
Strange Mysteries by Seymour Simon (B) Simon always has fabulous pictures/photographs
Lincoln; A Photobiography by Russell Freedman (B/G) One of the best biographies I’ve ever read

Anyone and Everyone:  These are some of the books that are great for any age, gender, and interests.
Picture Books:
Patricia Polacco (B/G) books are all great.  They are longer picture books, but anyone that can handle a longer book (attention span) will love the pictures and the stories.
 The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant (B/G)
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (B/G)
Any Shel Silverstein poems (B/G)
Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth (B/G)

Chapter Books:
Any Roald Dahl book (B/G)
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling (B/G)
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (B/G)
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White (B/G)


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for doing this blog and for this list! I needed some recommendations, especially from someone I trust. You're awesome!