Picture Book Read Alouds

By — Parents' Choice Foundation
Updated on Apr 21, 2014

Want to encourage your kids to become lifelong readers? Read aloud! It’s one of the most important things you can do. The experience of listening to a favorite story helps associate reading with pleasure, all the while building vocabulary and recognition skills. More importantly it fosters a special bond between you and your child and models a love of reading and books.

Although it’s best to get an early start, it’s never too late. There are great read aloud books for every age and interest. Make it a priority to set aside reading time each day. Your kids won’t be the only ones who will look forward to it. Have your children select books they would like to hear. When you’re the one making the selections, be sure to pick books you will enjoy reading.

While reading - ham it up! Change your voice to represent different characters; alter the pace of your reading to create humor and suspense. And when reading familiar books, let your youngsters read words or passages to you (you'll see how fun it is). Just find a comfortable place to snuggle in together and start reading. Milk and cookies not required.

Ages 3 - 6 yrs.

Goodnight Moon Written by Margaret Wise Brown, Illustrated by Clement Hurd HarperCollins: 0060275049: $19.95

Everyone for generations has grown up with this, the classic good night book. Fifty years and still going strong, this is a great read aloud for youngsters even if it isn’t bedtime.

Cat's Colors Written and Illustrated by Jane Cabrera Dial Books for Young Readers: 0803720904: $14.99

Cabrera’s cat asks if readers can guess his favorite color, and he takes them through each hue of the rainbow. But everyone knows a cat’s favorite color is his mother’s color. Warm and fuzzy with a little learning thrown in.

Bear Snores OnBear Snores On Written by Karma Wilson, Illustrations by Jane Chapman Margaret K. McElderry Books: 0689831870: $16.00

Bear’s cave is warm and dry, and one by one, the forest animals creep in. They have a quiet little party until the bear wakes up. He’s mad, MAD! But not for the reason you might guess. Chapman’s soft, warm illustrations help make this a great book to cuddle up with.


Frank was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance Written and Illustrated by Keith Graves Chronicle Books: 0811821692: $12.95

Frank (N Stein) just wants to dance, so he puts ants in his pants and jumps out on stage. The audience loves his gyrations until he starts to fall apart. This is silly (goopy) rhyming fun that you won’t be able to read just once.

GingerGinger Written and Illustrated by Charlotte Voake Candlewick Press: 076360108X: $16.99

Cat lovers especially will appreciate Voake’s story of kitty sibling rivalry. Ginger, the older cat, will have nothing to do with the new little kitten. With some coaxing, though the two do get along. Voake’s illustrations perfectly capture cats in this charming story.

Noisy Nora Written and with all new Illustrations by Rosemary Wells Dial Books for Young Readers: 0670887226: $15.99

Nora just wants some attention, but her baby brother Jack occupies one parent and her sister Kate occupies the other. Nora knows what to do…make NOISE! Wells’s book was so good she illustrated it twice.

One Day in the JungleOne Day in the Jungle Written and Illustrated by Colin West Candlewick Press: 1564026469: $9.95

Jungle animals pass around a cold from smallest to largest in this silly, sniffley, funny read aloud. It offers the extra added bonuses of learning size words and the importance of covering your mouth.

Don't let the Pigeon Drive the Bus Written and Illustrated by Mo Willems Hyperion Books for Children: 078681988X: $12.99

This Caldecott Honor book (from this year) is simply hilarious. The bus driver asks the reader to please keep the pigeon from driving the bus. Once the driver’s gone, the pigeon tries every toddler tactic to get to fulfill his dream. When the driver comes back before he can get his way, the pigeon just dreams a new dream.

Trashy TownTrashy Town Written by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha, Illustrated by Dan Yaccarino HarperCollins Publishers: 0060271396: $15.99

Mr. Gillie makes his way around Trashy Town with his truck emptying all the garbage bins. Your audience will chant along with you by page two. Yaccarino’s signature simple illustrations are a perfect complement to this good clean story.

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