Great Read Aloud Books for the Elementary School Classroom

Reading aloud to children engages their interest and senses, introduces reading as entertainment, and serves as a mechanism for bonding between the reader and the listeners. Reading in the classroom is absolutely necessary but parents who read aloud to their children can be even more enormously impacting. A parent reading to their child is comforting and reassuring amid a hectic world. Reading aloud goes a long way to creating security. Reading aloud literally makes a child feel loved, valued and important. There are a number of wonderful read aloud books that teach, reach, and entertain. Some of my favorites include:

Bootsie Barker Bites by Barbara Bottner
Dangerous Dan by Jef Mallett
Herman the Helper by Robert Kraus
Me First by Helen Lester
Moe the Dog in Tropical Paradise by Diane Stanley
Pirates Don’t Change Diapers by Melinda Long
Roxie and the Hooligans by Phyllois Reynolds Naylor
The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant
When I Was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Ryland (historical fiction)
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

It is also impossible to go wrong with any Dr. Seuss book. Three of my favorites are The Lorax , Horton Hears a Who, and Green Eggs and Ham.

There are excellent websites that list read aloud recommendations. Several of these include:

http://www.readaloudamerica.org/ReadingList2008.htm
This book list is put together by librarians. Each year a list is created that categorizes the books it recommends based on age levels. There is also a section entitled “ageless”.

http://www.unitedthroughreading.org/readaloud_books.htm
This site is a large resource that divides the recommendations into categories first and then age groups. Some of the categories include “Cultural/Folklore”, “Poetry, Rhymes”, “Booklists for Military Families”, and “Alphabet and Counting Concepts”.

The importance of reading aloud cannot be emphasized enough. Reading aloud is a springboard for communication. It is the training ground for future conversations and emotional connections. Small snippets of time reading aloud and focused on children creates a desire within them for more time. To read aloud to a child touches a part of their spirit corresponding clearly that they are special. These are moments that affect self-worth and personal value while conveying morals and acceptance. Reading aloud can honestly change hearts, minds and even the world-one child at a time!