For the last few weeks, I’ve shared reasons for reading aloud to your children and ideas for getting the most out of read aloud time with your kids. This week, I’ve compiled a list of books that your kids are sure to love. Most of these are short reads, either board books or picture books. Many have won numerous awards. I can’t wait for you to try them out! You might want to either check out from your library or purchase through one of the links below. If you do choose to buy one or more of these read aloud titles through my affiliate links, I may receive a small commission from your purchase at no additional cost to you.
Read Aloud Titles for Infants and Toddlers
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? By Eric Carle
My daughter was obsessed with Brown Bear from the time she was a month old on. She loved the pictures, and she chewed on the board book. If your baby is chewing up your board books, don’t worry. Babies explore with their mouths. It’s great when they want to “devour” books early, right? If your baby can’t get enough of Brown Bear, there’s the Brown Bear and Friends Little Bear Library. Three more Eric Carle read aloud titles are included inside!
Dear Zoo: A Lift the Flap Book by Rod Campbell
Both my son and my daughter loved this one. The flaps were fun! My kids loved trying to name the animals.
Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee
If you’ve ever sat up all night with a baby who wants to play, you will totally get this book. The precious little girl in this story gives her parents a run for their money the way all babies seem to. This title is just as funny for parents as it is for the little ones.
Dog by Matthew Van Fleet
I read this book so many times that I memorized it. My daughter ate her copy of this book as well. Matthew Van Fleet has also written Tails, which we loved, and a whole collection of other board books for young children.
Belly Button Book by Sandra Boynton
Here is another book that I memorized. In fact, I memorized several of her books including Moo, Baa, La, La, La. I love her books so much that I would sing them. Oh, yeah…my kids loved them too.
Where’s Spot? By Eric Hill
Eric Hill has quite the collection of books about Spot the dog. These simple books with bright drawings were a also huge hit with both my kids.
Goodnight, Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
My kids adored this classic. I read this before bedtime over and over and over. There’s something so soothing about that little bunny in the room. She puts me to sleep every time….zzzzz
Dream Big, Little One by Vashti Harrison
This book is full of strong women who dreamed big when they were small. If we can plant big dreams in the minds of our babies when they are tiny, they are sure to keep thinking large as they grow. This book is full of positivity and possibility!
Read-Aloud Titles for Preschool Kids
Mary Had a Little Glam by Tammi Sauer
If you have a little girl who loves bling, this book is for YOU. Mary is a little extra when it comes to dressing each day, and she spreads her glam to all the kids in her class. When it’s time for recess, though, the kids learn that sometimes “less is more.” This is such a cute story with a strong female character.
Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by James Dean
I just can’t get enough of Pete. These books also have a sing-along component, particularly Dean’s book Pete the Cat Rockin’ In My School Shoes and Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes. In each book, Pete deals with challenges that he always meets with cool cat swag. Does Pete get upset and melt down and make a complete spectacle of himself in public like most kids this age? Goodness, NO! Grab a couple of these read aloud titles to inspire your preschooler to be like Pete!
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
Quite frankly, any Mo Willems book is a total gem. The pigeon books have an interactive component though, that cracks my kids and me up. The pigeon has one ridiculous request after another, not unlike the average preschooler. As a result of reading this book and others like it, I spent weeks trying to explain to my daughter why she couldn’t have a hippopotamus for a pet. Little kids will have fun trying to come up with reasons why the pigeon shouldn’t drive the bus or stay up late in his other classic book Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late.
Llama, Llama Mad at Mama by Anne Dewdney
If there was ever a book filled with reasons not to take preschoolers to the store, it’s this one. This is more of a cautionary tale than Mo Willems Knuffle Bunny, about the late night consequences of losing your child’s most favorite toy in the whole entire world. Anyhow, Llama is mad at Mama for taking him grocery shopping, so he has a meltdown. Can you say, “Relatable?” These are two fun read aloud titles for little people learning to self-regulate and for their poor parents.
Chicka-Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr.
I love this poetic, funky story about letters. What a cool and groovy way to teach kids about their alphabet! This sing-song rhyming book gives kids more practice with letters and wordplay. It’s flat-out fun to read as well. You’ll memorize it so fast that you’ll be able to recite in the store right before your preschooler has a meltdown in the check-out line.
Grandma’s Purse by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
Vanessa Brantley-Newton illustrated Mary Had a Little Glam, and she both wrote and illustrated this book. This particular Grandma has multitudes of stories and love packed in her purse. If you’ve ever dug through your own grandmother’s bag and had her tell you about her things, you’ll surely relate to this sweet story.
Titles for Elementary Students
Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall
How well I remember the first time I jumped off the diving board as a little kid! Man, that was SCARY! Jabari thinks so, too, but he really wants to jump. Will he overcome his fear enough to try? I love the way this book encourages little kids to try BIG things.
Click, Clack Moo, Cows That Type, by Doreen Cronin
The concept of this book is hysterical! When you give the animals a typewriter, the farmer better watch out! School-age kids will love this book. There’s enough of a story in this one to ask your younger readers some questions about problem, solution, characters, and setting as well.
Thunder Boy, Jr. by Sherman Alexie
When Little Thunder realizes that he doesn’t like the traditional name his father gave him, he thinks of all sorts of other names he’d rather have. As the little guy grows up, he wants a name to express his own personality, not his father’s. Luckily, his dad realizes this, and he saves the day in a wonderful way.
No, David! By David Shannon
This book is great for Kindergarteners who are learning school rules. Shannon shows everyone all the reasons his mother had to tell him, “No!” when he was a boy. Not sure about all of you, but as a parent, I could relate to every one of these scenarios.
Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
Woodson addresses bullying in this book in such an amazing way! While this book doesn’t end particularly happily, it does drive the message home that kindness is so important. Woodson’s award-winning writing style make this story is so relatable for all elementary students.
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Elementary students will LOVE this timeless classic. This book is 50 Years OLD! Wow! Max’s pretend journey to the wild things gives us a special glimpse into the inner imaginations of our little people. Definitely relatable for your young readers!
The Sandwich Swap by Queen Rania of Jordan Al Abdullah and Kelly DiPuccio
When two little girls disagree over their “gross” sandwiches, the whole school gets in a food fight. The battle between peanut butter and hummus looks like it could tear both a special friendship and an entire school apart. What happens at the end makes this little book about cultural differences so worth the read.
Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match / Marisol McDonald no combina by Monica Brown
I’m a total fan of Marisol with her wild sense of style and determination to be herself. Sadly, everyone points out that her diverse background and her funky clothes makes her “mismatched.” Marisol tries to match, but finds that it just won’t work for her. The ending to this book rocks, and it’s bilingual, too!
Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
Has your child ever felt just a little different? Maybe even felt like he or she didn’t quite fit in? When Stellaluna, the baby bat, gets separated from her mother, she ends up in a bird nest. Since Stellaluna is a fruit bat, eating bugs and worms doesn’t quite work for her. This is a great book to share with your child when they are feeling a little left out. The plot is complex enough for some great discussion as well.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, by Ron Barrett
If your child has ever said they wish it would rain desserts, you might want to share this book with them. Cookie storms might sound great in theory, but this book shows otherwise. This book is funny, but it does introduce the idea of “too much of a good thing!”
Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes
Doesn’t a haircut just make you feel amazing? If so, you’ll really relate to the little boy in this book. As he gets his own fresh cut, he envisions the stories of the strong men getting their own haircuts next to him. Just where will good hair take you today? This poetic story shows that little things can be such an amazingly big deal!
Thanks a million for taking the time to check out this list of books. I hope you’ll have as much fun reading them with your kids as I did with mine. Let me know in the comments what your favorite read-alouds are! Don’t forget to like the Facebook page, and please consider pinning this article for future reference!