Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Read-alouds: a listing of some of the best ...

Read-alouds are a large part of our learning-at-home adventure! We've always got at least two books going -- one I read to the kids during the day and one dh reads to them at night. So we've gone through some great read-alouds ... and some real clunkers, too! Because I have two active boys with a contemplative daughter in-between ... and they're close in age but not interests ... our read-alouds that we recommend have to follow certain criteria:
  • can't be too girly or too boyish
  • must have an engaging story that will make mom/dad want to read and the kids want to listen
  • must have beautiful language, excellent vocabulary and gorgeous word-pictures
  • must have an interest for 7 yo boy .... 10 yo girl ... 11 yo boy ... and adults
  • must catch our interest, excitement within the first 10-15% of the book ... if not, we stop and get another (too many good books out there to waste our time on twaddle)
I wrote a book a few years ago that lists a dozen great family read-alouds, giving a synopsis of each book (and some author and illustrator information) and tied it to over two dozen original hand-knit designs.  That of course would be a great starting place for family read-alouds -- Great Yarns for the Close-Knit Family.  But, here is our list of the best of the best (but not really in order -- I've made comments where warranted and mentioned book-series if those are ALL good) in case you'd like to share the read-aloud adventures with your own family:
These are all read-alouds that we've really enjoyed ... so the listing is random but I can promise you that you could pick any one of these and not be disappointed!  We've also enjoyed the classics like the Little House series or Narnia or Hobbit and Lord of the Rings ... but these are some you might never have heard of and you might just want to give 'em a try.  Many of these come in audio versions -- perfect for car-travel!

Enjoy and don't forget to read, read, read to your kids -- even when they're old enough to read to themselves.  Here are some books that do a great job of explaining the benefits of read-alouds and suggest some titles too:  Valerie and Walter's Best Books for Children, 100 Best Books for Children, The Essential Guide to Children's Books and Their Creators, The New York Times Parent's Guide to the Best Books for Children: 3rd Edition Revised and Updated.


  1. We love, love, love good book recommendations! Thank you! Marvelous Land of Snergs sounds particularly intriguing!

  2. Marvelous Land is a fun read-aloud .... I really need to add to my list of must-haves that the book has to be fun to read ... the language and the words have to roll off the tongue and be fun to "play" with when reading aloud!