When my kids were little, I would hear the same advice over and over "READ TO YOUR KIDS." I loved the idea of reading aloud to my kids, but it felt so overwhelming.
How do you know what books to read to your kids?
Where do you find good books?
At what age do you read more chapter books?
And, what if they just aren't interested?
You see, I wasn't read to as a kid. We didn't take regular trips to the library. I remember my neighbors would come home with 100's of books each week from the library and I couldn't imagine reading through all that! It was a mystery to me.
I did fall in love with books. I loved reading to myself as a child. My mom would purchase books at the local bookstore and I remember spending hours reading through them. I never read good literature. My childhood books were filled with fun and fluff.
As my children grew, I wanted to read good books with them and help them discover a love for the story. So I spent a lot of time researching, asking mentors, and combing through our local library to find great books to read to our kids.
I've learned you will only frustrate yourself and your family by reading books that are poorly written. Reading aloud requires good literature, no trash allowed. The best books must grab even the parents interests, because who wants to read a boring book? Not me.
Below is our 10 favorite chapter books to read aloud. If you have younger children, ages 2 -4, start with the first five and work your way up. We have found that even our older children still love to read all of these books. Happy Reading!
This is a chapter book of Pooh's adventures. Each chapter is a different story. We will read one chapter at a time. This version of Winnie is a family favorite and the watercolor pictures will captivate the youngest listeners. We make up songs to Pooh's little's rants and laugh at his silly thoughts. This book is a family treasure.
You may remember this as a movie a few years back starring Jim Carrey. The movie didn't do the books justice! Mr. Popper's Penguins is a hilarious story of a painter who finds himself with a family of penguins. This book is engaging for all ages. It is a book no one talks about anymore but everyone should read!
The truth is, I could never get myself to watch the 1980's version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It seems strange and awkward, but the kids and I picked up this book during dinner one night. To my surprise, we ALL loved it. Dahl's wild imagination and strange stories are some of our favorite children's literature. Be sure to add more of his books to your read aloud rotation!
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle is unlike any woman you've ever met. Her house smells like cookies and her backyard is full of buried treasures. She knows EVERYTHING about children and can fix any problem that comes her way. This classic by Betty McDonald is quirky and hilarious for both kids and adults.
I loved watching the movie Mary Poppins as a child! I love her wit and positive attitude. It was one of my favorite movies. My kids never got into the movie, so we picked up this classic. This magical nanny comes alive on paper and is sure to dazzle your kids no matter what age they maybe.
The Penderwicks is a story of 4 sisters who spend the summer in the country. Thier kind, widowed, father, gives them plenty of freedom to roam and explore. The girls make a new friend and have plenty of adventures in this book. The characters are engaging and the story is touching. We recommend this book for older elementary and up.
Over the past few years, many new versions of Alice in Wonderland have hit the movie theaters. Unfortunately, my kids found them dark and scary. They came away fearful rather than entertained. We found the book to be opposite. Don't miss out on this book! The story is quirky and the characters are SUPER strange, but Carroll pulls it all together in a magical way. My boys were in LOVE with the Cheshire Cat and we had many discussions about plot and characters. This book leaves you with so much to discuss.
Cheaper by the Dozen is the hilarious story of one father who obsessed with efficiency and his 12 kids. He firmly believes you can manage 12 kids just like you manage a factory. As you can imagine, it is funny and light hearted and is the book that inspired the movie (and a sequel) starring Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt.
The Wind in the Willows is the story of four friends - Mole, Mr. Toad, Badger, and Ratty. Together this little band of friends go through it all; adventure, rest, and hilarious tomfoolery. This book captivates all ages and is sure to entertain kids and adults alike.
Claudia Kincaid and her brother, Jamie, run away from home and decide to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. She finds herself investigating the mysterious purchase of a statue at auction. They dig into the history of the statue and discover MORE than they thought they would find. It is a thrilling and captivating mystery for kids and adults alike.
Remember, reading aloud should not stop once your kids become independent readers. Even older children benefit from reading aloud with family. Independent readers who are read to become better writers and stronger readers. Keep reading aloud to your kids beyond 3rd grade. It gets better with time!
What are your favorite books to read aloud as a family? Let us know!!!