Reading aloud to your children can be a special time! I put together this list of my top 15 best read alouds for young kids. They are also great beginner novels for young readers! If they’ve heard the story before it will be easier to keep their interest in the story when they go to try to read it alone.
We use read aloud time instead of media time where it makes sense for us. The children lay still and listen, or they can do a quiet activity while I read. Sometimes we choose to read a chapter in our novel instead of a shorter story from the shelf at bedtime. They usually choose this option when they’re really interested in the book we’re currently reading aloud!
I love the content of the books in this list. The storylines depict strong children with good moral character who overcome obstacles with grace. There are stories that both girls and boys will love!
by E.B. White
Charlotte’s Web is a charming story about a young girl who saves the runt of the litter of pigs. This pig goes on to makes friends with a spider in the barn who can write words in her web. The two of them become famous with the help of the girl and go on to win the prize at the fair.
Anne of Green Gables
by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Anne of Green Gables is set on Prince Edward Island. It is about a quirky red-haired orphan girl who goes to live in a house with green gables. There she makes unintended enemies with some people since her personality is tough to take! But, in the end, she wins over everyone!
The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe
by C.S. Lewis
The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe is a classic novel about four children who are sent by their mother to live in the country to escape the bombings. In the big house they’re staying in they discover a wardrobe that leads to another world filled with mythical creatures. They soon learn that they are meant to be the Kings and Queens of this new land and help to overthrow the White Witch.
Mr. Popper’s Penguins
by Richard and Florence Atwater
Mr. Popper’s Penguins is the story of a poor house painter named Mr. Popper who lives with his family in a small town. The Poppers unexpectedly become the owners of a penguin, Captain Cook. Captain Cook meets a mate and they have 10 baby penguins. Mr Popper realizes that these penguins can’t all stay or they will soon outgrow their home!
by Carol Ryrie Brink
Caddie Woodlawn is a book about an 11-year-old tomboy who explores the countryside around her home and farm. She would rather hang out with the Native Indians in the forest than play with dolls. In the story, the children play many pranks on each other which makes for a fun read!
Little House In The Big Woods
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
This enchanting book recounts the skills Laura learned as a young child on her homestead. She demonstrates that hard work and fun can go hand in hand, and that hard work is something everyone should value. The book covers all seasons on her farm so the reader feels like they’ve come full circle by the end of the book.
Little House On The Prairie
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Little House on the Prairie is another great book by Laura Ingalls Wilder that tells part of the story of how her family were homesteaders in the mid-west. Kids love this book because it is so different from what most children live these days in their home lives.
The Voyages Of Dr. Dolittle
by Hugh Lofting
This hilarious fantasy book is about a doctor who can talk to animals! The doctor and animals go on a great adventure on a ship and all sorts of crazy things happen! This is a loved book by many children and appeals to boys and girls alike.
by P.L. Travers
This book is about a magical English nanny who is blown by the East wind and her umbrella, to 17 Cherry Tree Lane, London, where the Banks’ children live. She commits to being their nanny until the “winds change” and she’s blown away to the next place she’s needed. She cares for the children and helps them develop good character. When she is blown away to her next destination the children are left as new well-behaved children.
The Secret Garden
by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Secret Garden is a story about a girl who goes to live in a large house with her Uncle and his servants after her parents pass away in an earthquake. Outside there is a secret garden that her Uncle’s widow used to tend to. The girl finds the key to this garden and goes inside to discover why no one goes in there anymore.
James And The Giant Peach
by Ronald Dahl
This book is about a young English orphan boy who goes inside a gigantic, magical peach, and has a wild and cross-world adventure with seven equally magical garden bugs he meets. They set off on a journey to escape from James’ two mean and cruel aunts. Some people find this book better for children who are a bit older so I would wait until your children are eight or nine before reading this one!
by Anna Sewell
If you have a horse lover in the family as I do then Black Beauty is a must! It is an excellent book that teaches the reader about animal welfare. It also teaches the reader about how to develop good character and how to teach people with kindness and empathy. The chapters in this one are short which makes it a good choice to read at bedtime each night.
Harriet The Spy
by Louise Fitzhugh
Harriet M. Welsch is a spy. She carries a notebook where she writes down everything she knows about everyone, even her classmates and her best friends. Before long her notebook ends up in the wrong hands and her friends read the truthful and sometimes awful things she’s written about them. The book follows Harriet on her quest to make things right with her friends after they read the often hurtful things they read in her notebook.
Bridge To Terabithia
by Katherine Patterson
Bridge To Terabithia is a book about overcoming fear and learning to be courageous. A boy moves into a new neighbourhood and meets a neighbour girl who exudes confidence. They get along well and she helps him to come out of his shell. Through their creativity, they, create a world of their own outside their houses and call it Terabithia.
The Water Horse
by Dick King-Smith
This amazing book is about a brother and sister who find a mysterious egg washed up on the shores of the beach. The next day the egg hatches and an odd looking horse-like creature emerges from the egg with the tail of a crocodile. This odd creature becomes their pet but grows VERY large!
What books are in your read-aloud collection? Do you and your kids love read aloud time as much as we do?