Monday, March 23, 2015

The Best Books To Read Aloud to Your Children

As a child, my mom read aloud to us every night. We started with books like The Boxcar Children and Dealing with Dragons and eventually as we got older moved on to books like Great Expectations and Tarzan. It is one of my favorite memories and one that I knew I wanted to continue with my daughter. We started reading chapter books aloud a couple of years ago and we have developed some favorites. These are all books that your kids will love!

1. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. This is hands down my favorite Cinderella story. If you have seen the movie, don't let it keep you from reading this book to your kids. It is clever and funny. There is still the same basic cast of characters, Ella, the evil stepmother and stepsisters but in this version you add in some crazy fairies, ogres and giants too!
2. The Plant that Ate Dirty Socks by Nancy McArthur. This book had as rolling on the floor as kids. What's not hilarious about a plant that eats your dirty socks? This book is about two brothers a neat freak and a walking disaster area and the crazy sock-eating plants they grow together. I loved it as a kid and so did my brothers.
3. Harry Potter by JK Rowling. We have started reading Harry Potter with my 6-year-old and she is completely captivated. She can't stop giggling about Moaning Myrtle living in a toilet and she brings me the book begging for one my chapter. Since my daughter is still a kindergartner we are only planning on reading the first three together for now and then we will hold off until she is a bit older.
4. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner.  The first book is a story of survival of four children after their parents die, the subsequent books are children friendly mysteries that take the main characters Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny all over the place. My daughter absolutely loves this books.
5. The Magic Tree House Books by Mary Pope Osbourne . These are perfect beginning chapter books to read out loud. They have a picture every few pages and are relatively short. When my daughter is really interested in one of them we can read about half of a book in one night. The main characters are brother and sister and go on all sorts of adventures in the magic tree house including to see dinosaurs and knights.
6. Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede (The Enchanted Forest Chronicles). This fun series is about a princess who likes to fence and practice magic and doesn't want to marry a boring prince, instead she runs off to live with the dragons instead. She becomes a dragon's princess and actually talks the knights who come out of rescuing her. I haven't read this series to my daughter yet, but it is on my list for sure.
7. The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverley Cleary. How can you forget this classic? My husband was actually the one to read this book out loud to my daughter and it was so much fun to listen to them giggle while they read.
8. The Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. My daughter absolutely loves these books. She is fascinated by all the stories of panthers and bears as well as harvesting and surviving the winter. She played Laura Ingalls Wilder for a long time after we read these books. They gave us the opportunity to try many old games and dig up fun recipes to make.
9. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. I always shake my head when people talk about how much they love the old Willy Wonka movie, because it is nothing like the book. Both my daughter and I love the crazy fun way that Roald Dahl wrote Willy Wonka. This book is just plain fun.
10. Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater. I have actually read this one out loud to my daughter twice. She loves the performing penguins and we had lots of fun looking up penguin facts while we read this one.

Other great read aloud books: The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar by Roald Dahl, Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar, Amber Brown is Not a Crayon by Paula Danzinger, Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene, The Hardy Boys by Mark Turner , The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald, The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks, Dragon Slayers Academy by Kate McMullan, The Giver by Lois Lowry, Wonder by R.J. Palacio (Seriously perfect for about 4th grade,) Princess Academy by Shannon Hale, Holes by Louis Sachar, Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George.

What are your favorite read aloud chapter book?
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