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Topic: Good read alouds

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Subject: Good read alouds
Date Posted: 4/13/2008 7:03 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2006
Posts: 7
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I am looking for books to read aloud to my 4 1/2 yo as well as my 2yo I am currently reading Charlotts Web and have Stuart Little. What are some of your favorites????

Any deals on the Phantom Tollbooth or the Last of the Really Great Wangdoodles???



Date Posted: 4/14/2008 10:59 AM ET
Member Since: 2/7/2008
Posts: 309
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I'm interested in other's responses to this - I read bedtime stories every night and I'm thinking it might be time to try again with some longer books. Last summer we read Mary Poppins (every chapter is a self-contained story) and the Just So Stories, but my son's attention span was not quite there. He's 4 now, maybe it's time to try again... ideas please!


Date Posted: 4/14/2008 8:33 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2005
Posts: 438
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Our family's first read-aloud when my oldest was 3.5 was Winnie the Pooh and then The House at Pooh Corner.  Other's that we enjoyed around the 4 to 5 year age range were My Father's Dragon, Mr. Popper's Penguins, Charlotte's Web, The Wizard of Oz (it's *nothing* like the movie), Ramona the Pest (she's 5 in this book and grows older in the series), All of a Kind Family, Little House in the Big Woods, Understood Betsy.  We read a ton of animal stories by Thornton Burgess...Adventures of Peter Rabbit and such, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

If you can get your hands on Jim Trelease's New Read Aloud Handbook , Honey for a Child's Heart, For Reading Out Loud, Books Children Love, or The Book Tree they will suggest wonderful books for reading out loud with age recommendations.


Date Posted: 4/14/2008 10:30 PM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2007
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What a great topic.  I have a 4 yr. old & 2 yr.old, both boys, & would love ideas for this.  My 2 yr old's attention DEFINITELY isn't there yet...how do you keep your 2 yr. old interested?  I cannot even imagine. I'm not sure my 4 yr. old would even pay that close attention either.  I can't wait until they are older & we can read some of these as a family! 

Last Edited on: 4/14/08 10:31 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/15/2008 3:19 PM ET
Member Since: 4/8/2008
Posts: 111
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My 4 year old son really enjoyed listening to The Wizard of Oz. He had not seen the movie until the book was finished and he had fun pointing out all of the differences. Then we took a field trip to see Dorothy's slippers at the Museum of American History (we live near DC). James and the Giant Peach is another one that he enjoyed. We tried Charlotte's Web and Mary Poppins but they did not really hold his attention.

Edited to add that he also liked Mouse and the Motorcycle and Ramona Quimby, Age 8.

Last Edited on: 4/15/08 3:21 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/15/2008 7:00 PM ET
Member Since: 8/4/2007
Posts: 389
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My son at 4, loved the series by Danae Dobson. The name of the book was "Woof", but there were multiple books in the series. We read it all the time.

Date Posted: 4/16/2008 8:15 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2006
Posts: 7
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Sometimes I read while my 2yo is napping other times she will be nursing or playing on my lap. She has a pretty good attention span so in that I am blessed.

Thanks for all the suggestions keep them comming!!!!


Date Posted: 4/20/2008 6:03 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
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My daughter, at age 4, loved a series of books featuring two toads, Warton and Morton.  I think there were about five or six books altogether...and the author was Russell Erickson.  One book was "Warton and Morton" I think, but I remember her favorite was "A Toad for Tuesday." 

She's 27 now, and we don't get to read aloud together.  *pouts*....I need grandchildren!!!  LOL


Date Posted: 4/22/2008 7:15 PM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2006
Posts: 4,325
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Little kids love Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner!! 

Date Posted: 4/24/2008 11:51 AM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2006
Posts: 4,325
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I almost forgot about these Classic Myths to Read Aloud and Classic Fairy Tales to read Aloud

Date Posted: 4/24/2008 11:58 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2006
Posts: 249
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Books by Andrew Clements are always a hit at our house. I have three girls but the main characters are usually boys.... Frindle, A week in the Woods.... the list goes on. We are currently reading "No Talking". My girls are 13, 11 and 7 but these books are great for reading allowed for even younger ages. I just checked with our school program and many of his books are 5.0 reading level...if they read them on their own.  Charlotte's Web is level 4.4. Fouth month of fourth grade. So, Andrew Clements is on a very similar level.

Date Posted: 4/25/2008 5:15 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2007
Posts: 175
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A few suggestions:

Any Roald Dahl book

The Pippi Longstocking books

The Chronicles of Narnia

Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling

Date Posted: 9/29/2008 10:53 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2006
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It has been a while since I asked this ??? But just wanted to thank you all again for the suggestions. A little update My kids are now 5 &3 and still loving reading. We have just read the first two Spiderwick books (on my sons request) He adores them. I was hesitant at first thinking it would be to much for them but he is constantly asking for another chapter... My little one still just wants me to read the pages with pictures on them. I will finish the series and see what he wants next. I would love any more suggestions you may have!!! N
Date Posted: 3/24/2009 10:40 PM ET
Member Since: 6/18/2008
Posts: 10
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Igraine the Brave by Cornelia Funke is great!

Date Posted: 3/25/2009 12:48 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I enjoyed hearing The Boxcar Children and there are tons of those now added to the series. A friend's nephew used to enjoy the Hank the Cowdog stories. Judy Blume has some about 2 boys - tales of a fourth grade nothing and has a couple of 'fudge' titles as well as the sheila the great book.

Date Posted: 3/26/2009 9:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/24/2008
Posts: 357
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I loved the original Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books, they were great fun. Amelia Bedelia is always good too!

Date Posted: 4/5/2009 2:39 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 14
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Look at my shelf it is almost all Childrens books i have some mysteries on there the A to Z mysteries. They were cute for younger kids not violent. One is the Case of the Empty Envelope. Then there are also the Mary Kate and Ashley Mysteries. I think that little kids would have fun trying ot figure out for them  selves who did it.  I also have other types of childrens books on there too.

Date Posted: 5/9/2009 1:11 AM ET
Member Since: 2/17/2008
Posts: 13
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Magic Tree House books...These are fairly short (an hour or so), but what's great is the theme carries to each book. Always Jack and Annie, always a time travel, always a problem they solve.

Date Posted: 5/12/2009 12:20 AM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2008
Posts: 26,635
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The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest

This was my daughter's favorite bedtime story, especially when I read it using different voices for the characters.

Date Posted: 6/11/2009 10:43 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2006
Posts: 1
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I am so glad for this post. I am on the same quest. My 4 year old will sit forever while I read to her and I am constantly looking for books that are appropriate for her. Here is a list my friend gave me as well as a couple websites that have really good lists with recommended age levels.


The Enormous Egg, by Oliver Butterworth and Louis Darling

Mr. Popper’s Penguins, by Richard Atwater

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl (I would say Charlie would be fine; James has a couple of maybe scary parts—I think the peach rolls down the hill and crushes the mean aunts, and later they have to fight off cloud monsters. Roald Dahl liked to dabble in the gruesome, like horrible mean adults who were very nasty to kids, and then very bad things happen to them…but he always kept it absurd and over the top so that kids love it instead of being scared. Four is young, though…you might want to leaf through the book and decide.)

The Mouse and the Motorcycle, by Beverly Cleary (FANTASTIC)

The Cricket in Times Square, by George Selden

A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett


And here are the websites:




I look forward to watching this thread.


Date Posted: 6/17/2009 10:13 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2008
Posts: 1,958
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A Child's Book of Verses. It is amazing how useful these verses are in later life. I teach 4th grade and the kids who know these verses understand a lot more references than the kids who did not. I LOVE Kate DiCamillo's books. Because of Winn-Dixie is really good and a simple story. So is The Tale of Despereax (never saw the movie). But my FAVORITE of hers is The Miraculous (not sure if this is the right adjective) Journey of Edward Tulane. It is about a bunny who is loved by a little girl but accidentally gets separated from her. It is a really, really sweet story. I also recommend the classics of children's literature, such as Black Beauty, Anne of Green Gables, etc. even though your children may be a little too young for them. Theses stories are timeless. You can find some abridged copies so that the stories are more readable for young ears. The Duck books (Click, Clack, Moo), etc. are really, really funny. They are by Doreen someone (I forgot her last name). I also like The Pigeon books (don't know the author, but they are really funny). Chicka Chicka Boom Boom was a hit when I taught kindergarten. So was Is Your Mama a Llama? (My mom and I laughed ourselves silly reading this out loud at Target). The Book of Virtues (edited by William Bennett) and the other book he wrote in the same vein (again, cannot remember the title, but a quick search can find it). It contains MANY little gems to teach children timeless lessons, like honesty, fairness, etc. The stories are organized by the virtue they illustrate. I am 38 and I absolutely LOVE this book. I won't ever swap it. Frog and Toad books are great. So is The Wind in the Willows. I do so love these books and I hope your children grow up to be voracious readers!
Date Posted: 6/30/2009 10:45 AM ET
Member Since: 2/10/2007
Posts: 79
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Picture Books that are fun at any age:  Any of the Skippyjon Jones books, Alphabet Adventure books, books based on classic songs like On Top of Spaghetti or Take Me Out to the Ballgame, and the silly Tacky the Penguin books.  Oh, and one more, Oh Were They Ever Happy, which is hard to find and you'll probably have to get that one at the library.  Also, the books by Patricia Polacco are terrific.

Chapter books:  A Grain of Rice, The Family Under the Bridge, Twenty and Ten, A Lion to Guard Us, My Father's Dragon and the books that follow in that series, Homer Price (the audiobook version is really funny too), Number the Stars, and the one my son and I just finished, The Great Turkey Walk.



Date Posted: 7/1/2009 8:01 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2007
Posts: 237
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Picture books/Early readers by Eric Carle, Gail Gibbons, Tomie de Paola.

Two that will hold their attention, but might not be good for bedtime, are Jump, Frog, Jump!! and Stand Back, Said the Elephant, I'm Going to Sneeze!!. The first has wonderful, bright pictures and kids love to say jump, frog, jump on each page of the adventure. The second one is hilarious!! It is not easy to find though.

Another wonderful one is Teddy Bear's Picnic by Alexandra Day. Try to find it with the CD of the old song.

You could check the book lists on this site for good books. http://www.fiarhq.com/FIAR/FIARBL.html

Anything listed in the Sonlight curriculum catalog will be good too.