Best Books to Read Aloud to Kids
Some of the best time you spend with your kids is reading to them. Reading aloud also lets you expose children to great literature. With school teachers having more and more tests to teach to, there is less time for luxuries like art, music, and reading to kids. Whatever you loved as a child, you're kids will probably also adore. These are my personal favorites.
Charlotte's Web by E.B. White is a great book to start with when you want to begin reading longer works aloud to your child. The barnyard community will be a familiar setting for younger audiences. A lovable pig named Wilbur strikes up an unlikely friendship with a spider named Charlotte. Kids will be as sad to learn of Wilbur's fate as is his human companion, Fern. However, it's Charlotte who ultimately saves her friend with her skillful web spinning. Author E.B. White reminds parents and children to keep our eyes open to the wonder and miracle in ordinary things.
James and the Giant Peach
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl is one of his best in my opinion, but you can't really go wrong with any of this author's work. The language is a joy to speak out loud and the kids will be swept away in the fantastical world Dahl creates. James, an orphan is sent to live with his awful aunts, but soon escapes thanks to some magic crystals. He sets off for adventure inside an overgrown peach with an assortment of insects who have also grown to monstrous size.
Little House on the Prairie
Little House on the Prairie, as well as the other books in the series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, are the answer to many children's questions about what it was like in the olden days. Each chapter is a story, an adventure. Plus, the way Ingalls Wilder structures the chapters, they are just right for before bed reading. Rather than ending in a cliffhanger, she usually tidies the stories up at the end of the chapters so that the children in the story are often snug in their beds just as you are tucking your own in!
Watership Down by Richard Adams is a different kind of read. I'd recommend it for older children who are ready to appreciate more complex literature but may not yet have the patience to read it on their own. This is the story of the difficult journey of a band of rabbits to find a safe home. Watership Down is a complex story that can be read on many different levels. Often praised as an allegory about freedom, ethics, and human nature, it's also equally enjoyable as an adventure. It may be difficult to know what age is appropriate, but you'll know by the first few pages if kids are going to be interested or not.