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The best read aloud kids’ books

The thing small children value most — more than toys, ice cream, and television — is time alone with an adult. They desperately crave our attention and they are thrilled to spend just a few precious minutes sitting with Mom or Dad.

One of the best ways to spend time with your kids is to read to them. And these are some of the best stories to read aloud.

Goodnight Moon

by Margaret Wise Brown

There’s a reason this story is still popular after all these years. Not only does the rhyme lend itself to reading aloud, the detailed illustrations let you and your child discover something new every time you read. Most children also enjoy pointing out the little mouse on each color spread. This one doesn’t have to be a bedtime story — it’s just as much fun in the middle of the day.

The Runaway Bunny

by Margaret Wise Brown

Another classic story, in Brown’s familiar voice, this one reinforces what your own child needs to know — that no matter where he is or what he does, you will be there, and you will love him. The illustrations again provide plenty of detail and room for observation.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

by Bill Martin Jr.

All the books in this series are a lot of fun to read aloud. Kids can chime in or make sound effects and get silly with these stories, and you’ll appreciate the artwork that goes into the illustrations.

Frog and Toad are Friends

by Arnold Lobel

The Frog and Toad stories are ideal for reading aloud to four and five-year -olds who are old enough to follow a real story but who still enjoy pouring over pictures. The stories are simple enough that children can follow the action, yet filled with enough detail to keep everyone interested and engaged. And these stories are truly heartwarming — and funny.

Where the Wild Things Are

by Maurice Sendak

Even parents who think their children will be scared of this book are usually pleasantly surprised. Kids tend to take their cues from Max, the hero, who isn’t afraid and even stands up to the wild things. In addition to being a lot of fun to read aloud, this story is one that demonstrates how children can express their anger and wild sides.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

by Judith Viorst

Every child will recognize a piece of Alexander, and Judith Viorst’s books are a pleasure to read aloud. The repeating refrain lets kids chime in, and the story also provides lots of opportunity for discussion.

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

by Virginia Lee Burton

If you’ve never shared this classic tale with your child, you’re both missing out. This is a fantastic story that provides exciting drama, fun sounds, and the chance for a child to be a hero. What’s not to love?

Reading aloud with your child is one of the best ways to encourage early literacy skills. And with these books on your list, you’ll have a lot of fun.


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