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A Parent's Favorite Read Alouds!

Updated: Jul 29, 2023

When I became a mom, I knew that I wanted to share my love of reading with my kids. I started off reading a lot to my firstborn and after having my second, I read the Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. That book only grew my passion of reading aloud.

Sometimes, there are books my kids love that I have a harder time reading aloud and other times, I find a book that is an absolute joy no matter how many times my kids ask me to read it to them. Today I am sharing some of my FAVORITE books to read aloud with my kids.

Milk and Cookies by Frank Asch

We have enjoyed every book by Frank Asch that we've read. This is one of my personal favorites. Baby Bear is sleeping at his grandparent's house and gets scared that the furnace is a dragon, so he has a bad dream. Then his parents help him through it.

The story is a fun one and the illustrations have little things the kids can find (like when the dragon eats the flowers in the vase).

I Ain't Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont

This is a brightly illustrated book with a cute little story and I love reading it out loud. The little boy in it loves to paint the walls, so his mom puts away the paint. When his mom is gone, the boy gets out the paint and paints himself, all while saying he won't paint anymore.

As the boy paints his body, there's a chance for the kids to figure out the rhyme (ie harm and arm).The words have a sing-song feel to them, which makes it fun to read over and over again.

*There is one rhyme at the end that is going to be "butt", but the mom walks in and says, "What?" instead.

The Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen

This was a book I discovered because of a library story time. The fish has a mouth that pouts, so he says that he is a pout-pout fish and there's nothing he can do about it. Until, that is, another fish comes and plants a kiss on him. Then he realizes that he is a kiss-kiss fish instead.

My kids love the end, when he smooches the other fish. The book has rhyming and repetitive verses, similar to a song with a chorus. The rhymes of the book flow well and the chorus of the book is fun to read, which makes the book a fun to read again and again.

Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson

We watched the movie of this first (it's about 30 minutes) and really liked it. When I found out that it was based on a book, we got it immediately and were not disappointed.

The witch keeps dropping something and each time she lands to find it, she lets a knew friend onto her broom until it breaks in half. As her broom breaks, a dragon comes to eat her up and she's glad for the friends she made before. The story is fun and the rhymes flow, which make it really fun to read out loud.

Gideon by Olivier Dunrea

I am a big fan of all of Olivier Dunrea's books, but this is one of my favorites. Gideon is playing and his mother keeps calling that it's his naptime, but he doesn't want to stop playing to nap.

I love doing the voices of his mother and Gideon as he responds, which make it fun to read. I also love the ending, of Gideon not answering his mom because he finally fell asleep.

Kiss Goodnight by Amy Hest

Kiss Goodnight is a sweet story about a bear mom doing the bedtime routine, but it can't be finished until the kiss good night.

I love the story, but what I love most about the book is the prose--the words are not poetry but they read like poetry. It is fun to read, in a different way than some of the other books I've mentioned.

You are (Not) Small by Anna Kang

This is a fun story that my kids can quote from how many times we've read it together. A small creature insists he's not small, but the other creature is big. The other creature insists he isn't bit, but the first creature is small. They argue this way until an even smaller creature and even bigger creature show up.

The book makes me laugh when I read it and it doesn't have a lot of words, which is always nice when you are reading a book over and over again.

The Fat Cat Sat on the Mat by Kalin Nurit

This is a super fun children's book about a cat who sits on a rat's mat. The rat tries to get the cat to move, until a little plot twist at the end.

I may be a little biased with this book, because it is one I remember from my childhood, so I have nostalgia around it. I love the clever story and the rhymes, and how much my own kids love it.

The Big Wide Mouthed Frog by Anna Martin Larranaga

This is a fun story about a frog who goes around asking who everyone is, introducing himself as a big wide-mouthed frog. That is, until he meets a crocodile who eats wide-mouthed frogs.

One of the fun parts of reading this book is all coming up with different voices for all the animals throughout the story. It also repeats often in a way that makes it fun to read over and over again.

Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester

My oldest picked this book out at the library when she was three and it's been one of my favorites ever since. It is a story about a penguin who is different from his penguin friends. This comes in handy though, when some hunters come looking for penguins and Tacky is able to chase them away.

I love reading this book aloud. Tacky sings silly songs and talks in fun ways, the hunters have a chant that is fun to say, and though they don't rhyme or anything, the words flow really well.

Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson

This is an interactive book and my kids absolutely love it, no matter how many times we read it. The book instructs the child to do something (like tap the tree) and then turn the page to see what their actions caused to happen.

It's delightful to see how excited the kids get as they work their way through the book. It also only has a few words on each page, which is always a bonus when your kids want you to read a book over and over again.

The Book with No Pictures by BJ Novak

This book is hilarious. Even as an adult, I find it so funny, and my kids die laughing every single time they read it. It does have a little bit of humor that some parents might not like (for example, it says "boo boo butt" in it).

Like some of the previous books mentioned, this one doesn't have a lot of words on each page and it's easy to get into the book because of how ridiculous it is. That really just makes it a fun experience for the parent, even when it's the 100th time you're reading it.

Good Night Gorilla by Peggy Rathman

If you are looking for a book with very few words, this is a great one! It really only has a three or four words on each page. The book uses those words and the illustrations to express an engaging and clever story. My kids and I both love watching the story unfold each time we read it together and I appreciate that we can get such a fun story without me having to read a lot of words!

Rattletrap Car by Phyllis Root

This is another fun, sing-songy book. It repeats and builds on itself and the story is silly in the best way. It's a hot day, so the kids and dad want to go to the beach, but their car is falling apart. They use what they can to fix up the car and there's even a little twist at the end. The story is fun and the way the words flow makes the book a fun one for me to revisit over and over again.

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Would this list be complete without this book? This is one of my favorites to read over and over. I love the poetic way the words flow and I also love doing voices for both Max and the Wild Things.

I will say that this book showed me how different people can love reading different things out loud. While it's one of my favorites, my husband loathes reading this one out loud. He'd rather read the Disney movie books (that have a million words telling the story of the movie but in book format) than this book, while I avoid those books like the plague.

What are some of your favorite picture books to read aloud over and over? I am always looking for new books to share with my kids and would love to hear from you in the comments below!

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