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A backbone of our family life and culture is reading aloud together.  I’ve been reading aloud to my kids since they were infants and continue to do so even though three out of my four of my children are capable and fluent readers.  In actuality, they are magnificent readers who have to be pulled away from their books in order to accomplish the things of life. They love a good story and will read almost anything.  I credit that to our read aloud times together.  Over the years I’ve strategically introduced them to books that were above their own reading levels and that they likely would not have chosen on their own.  I kept a door open to adventure, suspense, mystery, intrigue and more.  They are hooked.  We bond over these stories.  Our inside jokes often revolve around them.  They make up our shared experiences.  They are a bit of our glue that keeps our family strong.

When I started this article I had intended to make a list that would span the ages.  However as I went I soon realized we have too many favorites.  This list focuses on the preschool and kindergarten age range or so.  It is an incomplete list.  I can sit here for hours listing book after book.  So do consider it a work in progress.  As I am able I will add more and reshare it with you.  And as soon as I can I will create new lists for early elementary, late elementary, and so forth. So let’s get to the heart of it.  What has been MY family’s FAVORITE read alouds?  I’m glad you asked! The images are clickable and will bring you to Amazon.  All are Affiliate Links.

So let’s get to the heart of it.  What has been MY family’s FAVORITE read alouds?  I’m glad you asked! The images are clickable and will bring you to Amazon.  All are Affiliate Links.

For Preschoolers and Kindergarteners 

 The Snowy Day is a favorite book of mine from my own childhood.  We have worn through many copies in our home.  I think some of the draw here is the name of the author.  What a cool name.  My 9-year old agrees.

 There is just something about the lyrical pattern to this book that draws us all in.  We recently rediscovered this book as my youngest is of the age to really enjoy.  All of the kids have developed the habit of sort of chanting it aloud while bopping around the house doing chores or setting the table.  Anything to make their baby sister giggle.

 Eric Carle is a children’s book author I fell in love with in my college days while I was studying children’s literature.  His stories and artwork are perfections. If I included all of our favorites (The Grouchy Ladybug, The Very Lonely Firefly, Little Cloud) I’d take up pages.  His books are a MUST have in our preschool library.

 This is just a beautiful and delightful book.  It is a classic that I’ve now read with generations of children (beginning way back when I was a teen and working in daycares).  You can’t go wrong.

 This story is another classic.  It also involves big machines.  Boys in particular love big machines.  It has suspense and fun and repetitive text that make it a delight.

 I notice a trend.  We love classic books!  This is a favorite in the Boston area because it takes place in the city.  When my boys were little I brought my children to Boston, along with a good friend of mine and her daughter, and we completely reenacted the story following the path the ducklings took in the story through the streets of Boston.  Yes, we all quacked our way down the street.  I’ll never forget it.  Neither will my boys.

 I’ve never been one to shy away from the hard topics.  Picture books can be a fantastic tool for introducing a discussion about the difficult things of life and history.  If you browse around YouTube you can find beautiful recordings of people singing this song.  It’s a must do!

 This book will fit your older preschooler or kindergartener well.  In fact this is a great book for the younger elementary age as well.  So many fantastic themes abound in this book.  Great for discussion or a study of early flight.   It tells the true story of the first flight across the English Channel by Frenchman Louis Bleriot ( a European contemporary and competitor of the Wright brothers) in an aircraft that he designed and built.