Books to Read Aloud with Kids

The Little Prince
The Little Prince By Saint-Exupéry, Antoine de Book - 1943 SAINT.E Available in some locations

Annotation:This story, about meeting a small boy from a faraway planet, is magical. Its themes, like becoming a grown-up and finding extraordinary things in the ordinary world, are magical. All the little drawings peppered throughout are magical. It’s one of those books that’s just as worthwhile for adults to read as children, and I’m jealous of anyone who gets to discover it for the first time. Source:

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom By Martin, Bill Book - 1989 Martin, Bill Available in some locations

Annotation:It looks like a collage and reads like the lyrics to the world’s most infectious rap song (totally appropriate for kids, of course). Just be warned that any small human you read this with will start reciting it ad nauseum. Source:

Where the Wild Things Are
Where the Wild Things Are By Sendak, Maurice Book - 1963 Sendak, Maurice Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 18 copies

Annotation:This beautifully illustrated classic is a simple reminder that sometimes going on an adventure is the best way to appreciate what you have back home. Source:

Matilda By Dahl, Roald Book - 1988 Dahl, Roald Available in some locations

Annotation:This list could basically be a comprehensive rundown of everything Roald Dahl ever wrote, but Matilda holds a special place because it’s all about the power of reading and thinking for yourself. And whether you’re a parent, a teacher, a babysitter, or a sibling, chances are you’re nowhere near as reprehensible as Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood or the dreaded Trunchbull, so you’ll win major points with your reading buddy by comparison. Source:

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day By Viorst, Judith Book - 1972 Viorst, Judith Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 5 copies

Annotation:This is a great way to talk about feelings and can help make any kid’s awful day look pretty OK by comparison. As Alexander’s mom tells him, “Some days are just like that.” Preach. Source:

Where the Sidewalk Ends
Where the Sidewalk Ends The Poems & Drawings of Shel Silverstein By Silverstein, Shel Book - 2004 811 SILVERSTEIN 2004 Available in some locations

Annotation:If this deceptively simple but clever poetry doesn’t make a kid want to sit down and bang out a few rhyming couplets of their own, nothing will. Plus, the drawings are super rad. Source: Also suggested - "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein

Half Magic
Half Magic By Eager, Edward Book - 1999 Eager, Edward Available in some locations

Annotation:Eager’s books are a wonderful, quiet introduction to fantasy for kids. They’re all about ordinary children whose lives are unexpectedly changed by some form of magic — in this case, it’s the discovery of a coin that grants exactly one-half of whatever is wished for. Source:

Make Way for Ducklings
Make Way for Ducklings By McCloskey, Robert Book - 1941 McCloskey, Robert Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 8 copies

Annotation:This book is especially resonant for any kid who grew up in Boston, but no matter where you come from, it’s a sweet, well-paced story of an animal family trying to make a home in a city. Source:

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie
If You Give A Mouse A Cookie By Numeroff, Laura Joffe Book - 1985 Numeroff, Laura Joffe Available in some locations

Annotation:Teach your child that no matter how much they give someone, that ungrateful rodent will always want more. (JK, this classic book is actually really clever and adorable, and it spawned a whole legion of spin-offs like If You Give a Moose a Muffin and If You Give a Pig a Pancake, so there’s something for every animal lover.) Source:

The Hundred Dresses
The Hundred Dresses By Estes, Eleanor Book - 1944 ESTES Available in some locations

Annotation:This story, about a poor Polish girl who’s teased by her classmates, will simultaneously break your heart and, if I may, restore your faith in humanity. It’s a bit like Matilda in how much it champions creativity and developing a rich inner life even as the rest of the world seems awful, but with much softer edges. You’ll want to frame every last one of the illustrations. Source:

Green Eggs and Ham
Green Eggs and Ham By Seuss Book - 1960 Seuss, Dr. 18 Available in some locations Holds: 3 on 15 copies

Annotation:Every Seuss title could easily be on this list, but this one is especially important in re: showing picky eaters what’s up. Source: Also suggested - "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" by Dr. Seuss

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle By MacDonald, Betty Bard Book - 2007 MacDonald, Betty Bard Available in some locations

Annotation:She lives in an upside-down house! She has cures for everything from Won’t-Take-a-Bath* to Won’t-Pick-Up-Toys**! Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, please be the world’s grandma. *plant radish seeds in the dirt on the kid’s skin. **let the kid get trapped in his room by all the debris. Source:

In the Night Kitchen
In the Night Kitchen By Sendak, Maurice Book - 1970 Sendak, Maurice Available in some locations

Annotation:There are only two things you need to know about this book, which are that 1) a little boy makes a plane out of bread dough and 2) sometimes people get mad that there’s a drawing of him naked, so use your judgment? But let me repeat, THE KID MAKES A PLANE OUT OF BREAD DOUGH AND FLIES AROUND IN IT. Source:

Stellaluna By Cannon, Janell Book - 1993 Cannon, Janell Available in some locations

Annotation:Who knew that a pair of fruit bats could be so lovable? Source:

Diary of A Wimpy Kid
Diary of A Wimpy Kid Greg Heffley's Journal By Kinney, Jeff Book - 2007 Kinney, Jeff Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 16 copies

Annotation:After starting as a webcomic in 2004, this insanely popular series now contains seven volumes. It’s appealing to both boys and girls and, because it’s so visual, is a surprisingly quick read. Source:

Goodnight Moon
Goodnight Moon By Brown, Margaret Wise Book - 1947 Brown, Margaret Wise Available in some locations

Annotation:A bedtime classic so sweet, you’ll want to fall asleep right there. Source:

Ramona Quimby, Age 8
Ramona Quimby, Age 8 By Cleary, Beverly Book - 2006 CLEARY Available in some locations

Annotation:Ramona, with all her mistakes and worries, is still just as easy for kids to identify with now as she was when this book came out 30 years ago. The whole series is worth checking out, as is Judy Blume’s Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing series; between them, they span a variety of ages and problems. Source:

Strega Nona
Strega Nona An Original Tale By De Paola, Tomie Book - 1997 DE-PAOL Available in some locations

Annotation:Strega Nona’s doofy helper Big Anthony causes her magic pasta pot to flood the town with pasta, so she makes him eat it all. Poetic justice at its finest. Source:

Stuart Little
Stuart Little By White, E. B. Book - 1973 White, E. B. Available in some locations

Annotation:What I always remember loving about this book is how casually it regards the fact that Stuart is a mouse; he’s just born to human parents in New York, and even though it causes them some mild shock, they rig him up a matchbox bed and a little suit and continue about their business. His adventures and his friendship with Margalo the bird are some for the ages. Source:

Madeline By Bemelmans, Ludwig Book - 1963 Bemelmans, Ludwig Available in some locations

Annotation:Across the pond from Eloise, in a boarding school instead of the Plaza and with appendicitis instead of a puppy, lives her little French soulmate, Madeline. Source:

The View From Saturday
The View From Saturday By Konigsburg, E. L. Book - 1996 Konigsburg, E. L. Available in some locations

Annotation:This luminous book, about four kids who come together to form an academic bowl team, is absolutely intended for older readers (I first had it read by my fifth-grade teacher, who also played us “Das Rheingold” on vinyl) — it’s narratively complex and contains the word “ass” as well as references to things like calligraphy — but if you have a kid or a class that will still acquiesce to be read to, this is your book, and they will love you for it. Source: Also suggested - "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler" by the same author

The Borrowers
The Borrowers By Norton, Mary Book - 1953 Norton, Mary Available in some locations

Annotation:Tiny people doing tiny things in the big world is a topic that will never stop being fascinating. Source:

Poppy By Avi Book - 1995 Avi Available in some locations

Annotation:The same holds true for tiny animals, especially when they’re trying to fight much larger animals like the still-terrifying-even-though-you-have-a-job-and-an-apartment Mr. Ocax. Source:

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel By Burton, Virginia Lee Book - 1967 Burton, Virginia Lee Available in some locations

Annotation:This tale of hardworking people being overwhelmed by cold, unfeeling modernity will make you chuckle bitterly to yourself even as your kid asks you what the heck “diesel” even means. Source:

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe By Lewis, C. S. Book - 1994 Lewis, C. S. Available in some locations

Annotation:Please please please don’t let them see the movie before they’ve read or heard the book; it’s so gripping (not to mention wicked fun to do all the voices), and they should have the chance to picture Narnia for themselves first. Source:

Sheila Rae, the Brave
Sheila Rae, the Brave By Henkes, Kevin Book - 1987 Henkes, Kevin Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 6 copies

Annotation:This is a fantastic book for siblings, as it’s about an older sister who finally has to admit that sometimes she needs her little sister’s help to get over her fear. Source:

The Story of Ferdinand
The Story of Ferdinand By Leaf, Munro Book - 1938 Leaf, Munro Available in some locations

Annotation:Wouldn’t we all rather smell flowers than participate in a gory bullfight? Right on, Ferdinand. Source:

Harriet, the Spy
Harriet, the Spy By Fitzhugh, Louise Book - 1990 Fic Fit Available in some locations

Annotation:Perfect for aspiring writers, aspiring spies (say that five times fast), or any kid who’s ever felt lonely and misunderstood. Source:

Guess How Much I Love You
Guess How Much I Love You By McBratney, Sam Book - 1995 McBratney, Sam Available in some locations

Annotation:Speaks for itself. Source:

Annotation:This is the article the list is based on and contains a few more titles - plus really interesting conversation about "perfect" readalouds and all the favorites that did not get included on the list!

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BuzzFeed published a list of suggestions for books that are perfect to read aloud with kids - or to revisit yourself for a dose of wonder! As one of the 2013 Adult Summer Reading "Break New Ground" challenges is to read a story, poem or picture book out loud to someone, this list should make it easy to come up with readalouds to share with your (or someone else's) kids or grandkids. Click on the author name to search for availability of other formats. (Annotations from BuzzFeed -

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