20 Children’s Books That Are a Joy to Read Aloud

There are a million reasons why we read to our children.  The best books contain wonderful art, engaging stories, rich vocabulary and something that just makes kids (and their grown ups) feel good.  They also are the kind of book you don’t mind reading again and again to your kiddos. 

Here’s 20 books that we return to over and over because they do that for us.  🙂 

(Note: I haven’t separated these into age levels because I really think great books transcend age and families often read together.  The majority are picture books.  I’ll post a list of recommended chapter books for older kids soon.)

  1. A Fairy Went A-Marketing (a must own, as far as I’m concerned!)
  2. Miss Rumphius
  3. Kiss the Cow
  4. There’s a Nightmare in My Closet
  5. Mama, Do You Love Me?
  6. Please Baby Please
  7. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
  8. Hop on Pop (my favorite for helping reading “click” for kids)
  9. More! More! More! Said the Baby
  10. Anything (Pooh or poetry) by A.A. Milne
  11. The Napping House
  12. Jamberry
  13. There’s a Frog in the Bog
  14. Anything by Sandra Boynton (but especially “But Not the Hippopotamus”)
  15. Where the Wild Things Are
  16. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
  17. Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon
  18. Silly Sally
  19. Big Momma Makes the World
  20. Do’s and Don’ts (and others by Todd Parr)

This is just a drop in the bucket in terms of our favorites, and mostly off the top of my head.  I’m sure I’ll think of 20 more that should have been on the list as soon as I hit post!

Want to share your favorite read-alouds?  Please add them in the comments!


Filed under Book Recommendations

17 responses to “20 Children’s Books That Are a Joy to Read Aloud

  1. I love reading Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day. I also love to read Green Eggs and Ham and The Monster at the End of this Book, oh and Guess How Much I Love You. OH! And Dinosaur’s Binket. One more, The Going Off to Bed Book.

  2. sarajschmidt

    I LOVE Big Mama Makes the World! What a gorgeous book.

  3. Jeannette

    We love Bear snores on!

  4. Catriona

    I have always loved The Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon Lord. This is still available on internet sights.

  5. Cara

    Love those! We also like Sheep in a Jeep and Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? (for the younger set)

  6. Thank you for sharing these! I love reading to my daughter and plan to buy A Fairy Went A-Marketing ASAP!

  7. Make Way for Ducklings
    Blueberries for Sal
    Goodnight, Moon
    various titles by Shel Silverstein: rhymes and silliness and giggles galore – buy the one with the CD recording of Silverstein reading his own poetry for an extra kick of awesome!
    Dinotopia: at first it’s a picture book where you can make up stories. As your child grows, you can read it in small chapters. Eventually, it’s one of their most treasured books, as it became for me!
    various Little Critter books, especially All by Myself; I Was So Mad; I Just Forgot; and Me Too
    AND a link to even more! http://librarybooklists.org/fiction/children/jclassics.htm#jbed

  8. I love this list! We had a bunch of these, but always great to have new ones! I’d add Quick as a Cricket by Audrey Wood, we have a blast reading that one!

  9. Erin Ritter

    My 5 yo loves Shel Silverstein poems. We usually pick four or five to read a night. I also love the Llama Llama books. Good rhythm and rhyme.

  10. Amelia Resig

    Go Dog Go – P.D. Eastman, was my favorite as a child and now it is my daughter’s favorite. “Do you like my hat?, No, I do not like your hat. Good Bye, Good Bye!”

  11. Christine Heart-Skaggs

    Love all the suggestions! We’re always reading those plus! Another fun one is The Tickle Monster by Josie Bissett (yes, of Melrose Place fame)! The Sleep Book by Dr. Seuss is great at bed time. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE books!!!!

  12. Laura

    Definitely need to add I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More 🙂

  13. AJ

    •Pigs in the Mud in the Middle of the Rud by Lynn Plourde and John Schoenherr

    •Aunt Pitty Patty’s Piggy retold by Jim Aylesworth and illustrated by Barbara McClintock

    •Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?

    •The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman

    •Duck on a Bike by David Shannon

  14. I’ll vote for all the Dr. Seuss books!

  15. Phoebe

    Elisa Kleven’s books are fantastic! We especially like The Apple Doll. Also, the great rhythm and message in Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle have made it a favorite, too.

    *A Bedtime for Bear by Bonny Becker
    *A Visitor for Bear ” ” ”
    *Ladybug Girl by Jacky Davis and David Soman

  16. Nicolette Williamson

    We just LoVe books by Julia Donaldson:
    * The Gruffalo
    * The Troll
    * Tyrannosaurus Drip
    and many others

    Also Babette Cole:
    * Mummy Laid An Egg
    * Hair in Funny Places
    * Princess Smartypants
    Oh there’s just too many to mention, all of them brilliant!

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