One of my favourite things about being a librarian is finding a book that gets kids excited! It’s often the highlight of my day! Over the past few years I’ve found some guaranteed winners that always get a great reaction out of my audience, and I thought that I would share them with you here today. So, the next time you are looking for a great story to share, just remember this list!
And don’t hesitate to share your own favourite read alouds with me in the comments below! I’m always looking for new suggestions!
The Name of the Tree by Celia Barker Lottridge
One of my clearest memories from Grade 3 is when my school librarian read us The Name of the Tree. I LOVED it! There is a scene in the book where one line is repeated over and over again, and it’s just so darn catchy that it stays with you long after the story is done: “Ungali, Ungali, the name of the tree is Ungali. Ungali, Ungali, the name of the tree is Ungali.” Every time I read it to a group, they always end up repeating the line with me, even without me prompting them! I even caught some of the kids chanting it at recess! Long story short, this is probably one of my all-time favourite read alouds for Grades 1 to 5!
Something From Nothing by Phoebe Gilman
This is another fabulous story where the repetition in the text gets the kids involved without you even asking! I always add in some hand movements to go with the words, and the kids usually end up doing them with me by the end of the story! A great tale for Kindergarten to Grade 3!
Press Here by Herve Tullet
There is a sense of magic about this book that delights both kids and adults alike! A series of dots take on a new life as the audience is asked to press, shake, tilt, and blow on the book. I’m not lying when I say that the kids will be fighting to be the ones to turn the pages for this story! Kindergarten to Grade 3.
Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude by Kevin O’Malley
There is no denying that this book is silly, and the kids LOVE it! The story is told from the perspective of a boy and girl, who are supposed to write a fairy tale together for a class project. The girl wants to tell a story about a beautiful princess, while the boy wants to focus on cool motorcycle dude. Morphing their two stories together creates an awesome and hilarious tale! Grades 2 to 5.
Tiki Tiki Tembo by Arlene Mosel
The name of one of the characters in this story is an absolute tongue twister! Chanting “Tiki Tiki Tembo No Sa Rembo Cheri Beri Ruchi Pip Peri Pembo” as fast as you can is somewhat of a challenge, but that’s what makes it so much fun! Kids love trying to say his whole name all by themselves! Grades 1 to 4.
Snowmen At Night by Caralyn and Mark Buehner
The rhyming text of Snowmen At Night is really catchy, but when paired with their illustrations they are absolute gold! The snowmen in the story are just so imaginative, and the kids love pointing out all of the small details that they notice in the pictures (especially the snowman with the pickle nose!). This story is a MUST READ during the winter! Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 2.
How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? by Jane Yolen
There is no denying the fact that kids (especially boys) love dinosaurs, and so this book is almost always a hit! The rhyming text has a great flow to it, and the kids love to name off each of the different types of dinosaurs as you turn the pages. Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 2.
The Foggy Foggy Forest by Nick Sharatt
This is a great book for sparking the imagination! On each page the audience is shown a silhouette of a character, and must make a guess at who (or what) they think it is. Kids love sharing their guesses with you, which often range from wild and crazy, to right on the mark! Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 2.