Children’s minds are fertile grounds of imagination. They readily accept make-believe worlds and have no room in their minds for the impossible. But the restrictions of today’s busy world can sometimes mean our children’s imaginations are not given the time they need to grow and develop. Reading aloud with your child is a wonderful way to foster your relationship as well as enhance and stimulate both your imaginations.
Plus, reading aloud with your child strengthens their academic performance, especially by increasing their reading fluency. When you read aloud, your child learns speech skills and emotional reading–how to react to the words on the page. They learn logic skills, such as making predictions, and their comprehension of a story is increased. Reading allows you to offer your child new experiences, different places or worlds or times. They’ll develop concentration and discipline for listening and participating. By sharing this time together, you’ve taught your child a valuable life skill–reading is fun.
For some great books to share together, check out lists like 100 Great Children’s Books from the New York Public Library or Amazon’s Bestsellers 2016. In the meantime, here are a few of our favorites from new and notable authors and illustrators.
The Mitten by Jan Brett–Brett is best known for her stunning illustrations and hidden pictures that recreate folktales from all over the world.
Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattock and Sophie Blackall–The remarkable story of the real bear who inspired Winnie-the-Pooh.
The God Bless series by Hannah Hall–Sweet board books for little ones with delightful cadence for the perfect read aloud.
The Elephant and Piggie Books by Mo Willems–These charming easy readers offer humorous tales that appeal to young children, as well as their overworked parents.
The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen and Dan Hanna–Beautifully illustrated, this sweet story of one lonely fish has become a modern classic.
When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin–A lovely retelling of a Chinese folktale.
Sofia and Her Morning Star by Paige Snedeker–The charm of this little book lies with its author whose story of overcoming obstacles teaches nothing is too big to steal your dreams.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle–All of Carle’s books are a feast for the eyes as well as the ears.
Family Read Alouds
These chapter books are family friendly. They are engaging enough for older ones but simple enough to be enjoyed by little ones as well.
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald–Mrs. Piggle Wiggly lives in an upside-down house and smells like cookies.
Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sacher–31 hilarious tales of one sideways school.
Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel–A timeless tale of friendship, lost buttons, and too many cookies.
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh–Harriet is a spy, until the day her notebook of always truthful, but sometimes hurtful, observations falls into the wrong hands.
Matilda by Roald Dahl–Matilda’s parents think she’s a nuisance, but when she discovers she has a remarkable power of defense, everything changes.
Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary–Ramona’s ready for kindergarten, but is kindergarten ready for Ramona?
The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne–These enduring tales of childhood continue to delight every new generation.