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Five Books for Fabulous Read Alouds: World Read Aloud Day 2021

One-on-one Story Times are something special. They’re a chance to connect with your young reader in a way that builds bonds and helps them create positive associations with reading and with you. Equally important and impactful in their own way? The group Story Time. Whether you’re in a classroom or entertaining young family members, reading together opens the door for laughter, conversation, team-building, and sharing.

If you need a little guidance to create your next fantastic Story Time experience, look no further! We’ve got five books that meet different needs and are sure to provide an unforgettable Story Time.

The Funny Group Story Time

Shh! We Have a Plan

By Chris Haughton Four friends are out to capture a bird in their nets...but the plan goes hilariously awry again and again! Counting. Repeated refrains. Silly scenarios. What more do you need to set your PreK group up for a fun and successful story time? Despite its minimal text, it offers numerous opportunities for skill-building and critical thinking, easily prompting questions like “What do you think will happen next?” or “How do you make a plan?” Shh! We Have a Plan also sets the stage for asking questions that spark creativity like, “What would YOU do next?” and acting out the story.

The Cozy One-on-One

The Little Mermaid

By Jerry Pinkney

Fairytales are the “classic” bedtime story, but here this familiar tale has been re-imagined for today’s young readers. The lush, delicate illustrations will draw children in, and the story is one that is sure to stay with them for years to come. Pinkney’s retelling is masterful, and the friendship that blooms and then ends (but will never be forgotten) over the course of only a few pages is as hopeful and bittersweet as the friendships we look back on fondly from our own childhoods. For adults and slightly older readers, there is an excellent author’s note that provides material for further exploration on many different topics.

The Conversation Starter

Mae Among the Stars Written by Roda Ahmed and Illustrated by Stasia Burrington

One-on-one or in a group, books are invaluable tools to guide conversation and open doors for sharing and reflection. Mae Among the Stars is a beautifully illustrated book that makes inroads for a number of important topics: science, respect, ambition, anti-racism, how we support our loved ones, positive affirmations, and (of course) the life of the incredible Mae Jemison herself.

The Commute Boredom Buster

The Fog

Written by Kyo Maclear and Illustrated by Kenard Pak

Bird watchers and people watchers have at least one thing in common: a keen sense of curiosity. Combine The Fog with a special notebook for your child to make their own observations through words and/or pictures while they’re out and about. and you’ll have a winning combination to make long train or car rides an experience of wonder rather than one of boredom. Plus, this book’s ecological theme makes for an excellent conversation starter no matter your mode of transportation.

The Sing-a-Long

The Library Book Written by Tom Chapin & Michael Mark, Illustrated by Chuck Groenink (Guess what? We’ve got a Story Time video for The Library Book. Check it out!)

If you’re not already familiar with “The Library Song,” here’s your chance to get acquainted with it with a fabulous book to match. Cheerful and full of literary depictions of well-known characters, The Library Book is an all-out celebration of reading and the library. For young children (and older ones too!) song is an effective and affirming way to boost literacy skills and a love of learning.

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