Read-aloud books for bedtime, to teach about being kind and strong feelings, and even books for older kids.
Science has proven there are numerous social, familial, neurological and psychological benefits of reading aloud, especially for parents and children (of all ages).
Not sure how to start reading to your kids? Start here.
Here are some suggestions for read-aloud books to read for kids. Also available has a handy printable!
Read-aloud books for bedtime
1. Goodnight Moon
by Margaret Wise Brown
In a great green room a little bunny is tucked up snugly and safely in bed and is getting ready to say goodnight to all the familiar things in his room, one by one. A timeless picture book, which is known and loved around the world.
2. The Bear in the Book
by Kate Banks
It’s time for bed, and a little boy chooses his favourite book for his mother to read to him. The bear in the book is preparing for his own deep slumber, hibernating through the winter while humans and other animals explore the snowy landscape around him.
3. The Prince Won’t Go to Bed!
by Dayle Ann Dodds
When the young prince refuses to go to bed, assorted members of the royal household offer their ideas on exactly what he needs, but it is his sister, Princess Kate, who learns the truth.
4. Power Down, Little Robot
by Anna Staniszewski
It’s time to power down for the night, but Little Robot isn’t ready! He quickly opens his stalling program. Luckily, Mom Unit knows exactly how to get him into his sleep module.
Read-aloud books about being kind
5. Gorilla! Gorilla!
by Jeanne Willis
Baby mouse is missing! Mother mouse can’t find him anywhere. And then, to make matters worse—a big, scary gorilla charges out of the rainforest!
6. The Hundred Dresses
by Eleanor Estes
Wanda Petronski is ridiculed by her classmates for wearing the same faded blue dress every day. She claims she has one hundred dresses at home, but everyone knows she doesn’t. A beautifully written tribute to the power of kindness, acceptance and standing up for what’s right.
7. The Wild Girl
by Christopher Wormell
In the great wide wilderness, a little girl and her dog live alone in a cave high up on the mountainside. They are happy surviving on their own, until one day in the bitter cold of winter, they see bear tracks in the snow that lead right up to their cave . . .
8. Wolf in the Snow
by Matthew Cordell
A girl is lost in a snowstorm. A wolf cub is lost, too. How will they find their way home? Paintings rich with feeling tell this satisfying story of friendship and trust.
Read-aloud books for teaching counting, colours or opposites
9. Before After
by Matthias Arégui and Anne-Margot Ramstein
Which came first? No words are necessary in this beautiful, artfully humorous book, in which every turn of the page offers a surprise.
by Quentin Blake
The reader may find Professor Dupont’s hiding cockatoos in the illustrations of his house, but the professor needs to correct the problem that caused his 10 pets to hide in the first place.
11. Ducks Away!
by Mem Fox
A mother duck and her five little ducks waddled out one day. Onto a bridge, then—ducks away!
by Janik Coat
Featuring witty words that sound the same but are spelled differently—and have different meanings.
Lengthier read-aloud stories for young listeners
13. Ash Road
by Ivan Southall
Graham, Wallace, and Harry will have one glorious week of pure freedom in the outback. No teachers, no school, no homework, no parents breathing down their necks! The boys are elated until they accidentally start a fire that quickly gets out of control in the dry underbrush.
14. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
by Kate DiCamillo
Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, and for good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who treated him with the utmost care and adored him completely. And then, one day, he was lost.
15. The Inquisitor’s Tale
by Adam Gidwitz
1242. On a dark night, travellers from across France cross paths at an inn and begin to tell stories of three children. Their adventures take them on a chase through France: they are taken captive by knights, sit alongside a king, and save the land from a farting dragon.
Read-aloud books about managing strong feelings
16. Brave Martha
by Margot Apple
Martha and her cat Sophie are best friends. Every morning Martha gives Sophie crunchies and milk. And every night Sophie helps Martha get ready for bed. But one night, Martha’s parents have company, and the guests bring their dog.
17. Grumpy Bird
by Jeremy Tankard
Bird wakes up feeling grumpy. Too grumpy to eat or play—too grumpy even to fly. “Looks like I’m walking today,” says Bird. He walks past Sheep, who offers to keep him company. He walks past Rabbit, who also could use a walk. Raccoon, Beaver, and Fox join in, too.
18. Maybe a Bear Ate It!
by Robie H. Harris
At bedtime, a young boy who cannot find his favourite book imagines the various creatures that might have taken it from him.
Read-aloud books with witty wordplay
19. The Alphabet Thief
by Bill Richardson
When night falls, along comes a peculiar thief who steals each letter of the alphabet, creating a topsy-turvy world as she goes. It seems that no one can stop her, until the Z’s finally send her to sleep so that all the other letters can scamper back to where they belong.
20. Betty’s Burgled Bakery
by Travis Nichols
When the Gumshoe Zoo’s alarm alerts them, they learn Betty’s Bakery has been burgled! But how? Something isn’t quite right—and it’s up to these determined detectives to figure out what! Alliteration abounds in this comic book caper.
21. Where’s the BaBOOn?
by Michaël Escoffier
Step right up, fearless readers! Today, in this very book, we will PROVE to you that a snake can hide in a snowflake, that pigs can paint, and that the ones who copy the most are not necessarily cats! Prepare to be AMAZED by the game of hide-n-seek the words play!
Classic novels and novellas to read aloud
22. Animal Farm
by George Orwell
A farm is taken over by its overworked, mistreated animals. With flaming idealism and stirring slogans, they set out to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality.
by Jane Austen
Emma Woodhouse is one of Austen’s most captivating and vivid characters. Beautiful, spoilt, vain and irrepressibly witty, Emma organises the lives of the inhabitants of her sleepy little village and plays matchmaker with devastating effect.
24. The Great Gatsby
by F Scott Fitzgerald
This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story is of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his new love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan.
25. True Grit
by Charles Portis
In the 1870s, young Mattie Ross learns that her beloved father was gunned down by his former handyman. But even though this gutsy 14-year-old is seeking vengeance, she is smart enough to figure out she can’t go alone after a desperado who’s holed up in Indian territory.
Free printable: Read-aloud book list
Simple click on the image or link below to download the list to print out.
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