Great Read Aloud Picture Books

Feb 23, 2011

Now that we've discussed the importance of reading aloud to children, here's a list of ten great picture books you can read. These books should be available at your local library or bookstore.

By Jeff Calareso

Picture book

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type, by Doreen Cronin

This is the comical story of what happens when a group of cows find an old typewriter and begin giving Farmer Brown written demands. When Farmer Brown doesn't give in the cows go on strike, with the conflict escalating to a hilarious all-out feud between Farmer Brown and his animals.

Corduroy, by Don Freeman

This is the story of a bear named Corduroy who lives in a department store. One day, he realizes he's missing a button. At night, he goes on an adventure to find his missing button. Ultimately, a young girl named Lisa buys Corduroy and becomes his friend.

Froggy Gets Dressed, by Jonathan London

When Froggy wakes up to discover that it's snowed outside, he wants to go out and play! His mother reminds him that frogs sleep all winter, but Froggy is persistent. Yet each time he thinks he has all of his winter clothes on, his mother tells him he's forgotten something, so he must start over. Each piece of clothing comes on and goes off with a fun sound effect, like zup for his boots and zwit for his scarf.

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, by Laura Joffe Numeroff

This is story of a little mouse with an insatiable appetite for adventure and his own sense of logic. When he's given a cookie, he simply must have milk. But then he can't drink milk without a straw! His demands keep going, eventually leading back to another glass of milk and, of course, another cookie.

The Napping House, by Audrey Wood

This book begins with a snoring granny. It then builds and builds as more members of the house try to nap, one on top of another, all the way to a tiny flea. The story is told with a rhythmic, repetitive narrative that emphasizes the ridiculousness of the plot.

Reading a picture book

The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats

Winner of the 1963 Caldecott Medal, this is the story of a boy going on a modest adventure through his snowy world. Simple events, like playing with footprints and making snow angels, are treated as magical moments, just as they are to small children. The story is told with vivid pictures that use a mix of watercolors and cut-outs.

Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak

Max is a little boy in a wolf suit who is causing a little too much mischief at home. It doesn't help when he shouts, 'I'll eat you up!' at his mother. When he's sent to his room, a wondrous forest grows and he sets off to the land of the wild things. Though they have terrible claws and terrible teeth, the wild things make Max their king. That is, until he begins to miss home.

Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr. Seuss

In this story, Sam-I-am goes to great lengths to convince a skeptic to try green eggs and ham. He presents a wide array of whimsical options for trying the dish, like in a box or with a fox. Ultimately, the skeptic is convinced to try them, only to discover he loves green eggs and ham.

The Monster at the End of this Book, by Jon Stone

In this story, Grover interacts with the reader, pleading with us to not continue reading. After hearing the title of the book, he's worried about facing the monster and he goes to great lengths to stop us. The story has a surprise ending that's embarrassing for Grover, as he realizes that he's the monster he's been fearing all along.

The Mitten, by Jan Brett

When a little boy loses the mitten his grandmother knit for him, it becomes a winter home for a mole. Soon other creatures discover the mitten too, including a rabbit, hedgehog, badger and fox. The mitten keeps getting stretched out, miraculously fitting even a bear. When the bear's sneeze knocks all the animals from the mitten, the boy finds it and heads for home.

Librarians can be great resources for book recommendations. Check out our interview with a California public librarian.


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