Is your child looking for children’s books to read? No surprise there. A kindergartener’s interest in reading a book outside of school is 100%, according to The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. By fourth grade, interest drops to 54%. Almost half, guys. What changes in fourth grade?
Parents stopped reading to their kids.
At some point, we assume kids don’t ‘need’ us to read to them. When they can read every word in a book, we assume the next logical step is to leave reading to them. Almost like it’s potty training—once they master it, they no longer need our help.
But that’s not the case with reading aloud. The more we read to them, the longer their interest in reading will hold. They’ll associate reading with something special and positive.
And of course, they should read on their own. Nothing fills my heart more than seeing my kids pick up a book and read a book on their own. But that shouldn’t be a reason to stop reading aloud to them. They can read on their own and be read to.
So here’s a challenge I’d like to extend to you: Read aloud to your kids. Even if they can read every word in the book, keep reading to them. They love the bonding experience of sitting next to you, hearing your voice. Start with 10 minutes a day, or one book a day.
Or, pick a more challenging book to read to them. If they can read most of the books on your shelves, borrow a few more challenging ones from the library.
Sometimes I alternate reading aloud with my six-year-old: he reads one page, and I read the next. Other times he reads the whole book to me, while still yet he listens as I read the whole book to him.
And introduce all sorts of books. I was surprised to find one of my two-year-olds “reading” The Polar Express to himself in their room. Even if he couldn’t read the tiny words, he enjoyed the pictures (and until now keeps asking us to read it to him).
You can begin with these 52 children’s books to read aloud. These are the books my kids and I have read over and over this past year. I found these books through different ways, such as browsing the library or word of mouth. I also divided them by month and theme.
52 children’s books to read in 2016
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- The Little Dump Truck by Margery Cuyler
- Choo Choo by Virginia Lee Burton
- Trains Go by Steve Light
- Zoom, Zoom, Baby! by Karen Katz
February (Transportation, Friendship)
- Night Light by Nicholas Blechman
- The Goodnight Train by June Sobel
- Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry
- Nugget and Fang by Tammi Sauer
- Leo: A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett
- Do Unto Otters by Laurie Keller
- A Home for Bird by Philip C. Stead
- Can I Play Too? by Mo Willems
- Too Tall Houses by Gianna Marino
April (Family, Humor)
- I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt
- Oh, Daddy! by Bob Shea
- Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio
- Pig Kahuna Pirates by Jennifer Sattler
- This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
- The Plot Chickens by Mary Jane Auch
- Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein
- The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf by Mark Teague
- Robo-Sauce by Adam Rubin
- Tumble Bumble by Felicia Bond
- Chicken Big by Keith Graves
- The Nonsense Show by Eric Carle
- I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
July (Board Books, Non-Fiction)
- ABC: A Child’s First Alphabet Book by Alison Jay
- Peck, Peck, Peck by Lucy Cousins
- Clouds by Anne Rockwell
- What Will Hatch? by Jennifer Ward
August (Non-Fiction, Nursery Rhymes)
- Eric Carle’s Dragons, Dragons by Eric Carle
- Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Jane Cabrera
- Baby Beluga by Raffi
- Hush, Little Baby: A Folk Song with Pictures by Marla Frazee
- The Eensy Weensy Spider by Mary Ann Hoberman
- The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen
- Clap Your Hands by Lorinda Bryan Cauley
- Silly Sally by Audrey Wood
- I Know a Rhino by Charles Fuge
October (Rhymes, Lessons)
- Llama Llama Gram and Grandpa by Anna Dewdney
- Peanut Butter and Jelly by Nadine Bernard Westcott
- The Lady with the Alligator Purse by Nadine Bernard Westcott
- The Black Rabbit by Philippa Leathers
- Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall
- Louise Loves Art by Kelly Light
- Orion and the Dark by Emma Yarlett
- Max the Brave by Ed Vere
- Not a Box by Antoinette Portis
- The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri
- My Leaf Book by Monica Wellington
- The Thing about Yetis by Vin Vogel
- The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
Want to read with your kids, but not sure which books to start with? Download my FREE Read Aloud Book List! You’ll get hundreds of favorite selections to read aloud with your kids. Get it below:
Your turn: Have you read these books? What do you like best about reading aloud to your kids? What are your favorite children’s books to read?