The Best Read-Aloud Books for Young Readers

 The Best Read-Aloud Books for Young Readers: beginner readers should read aloud often; here is some classic easy children's literature that both parents and kids will enjoy.

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Ever since my kids were babies, I’ve wanted to instill a love of reading in them. Probably because I love reading. I would so love to be on a warm beach with a good book and an iced coffee right now. Mmmm…or maybe a cocktail…

I digress. I’m so over it being winter. Kids. Kids and books. Let’s talk about that.

One of my favorite things to do with my kids is sit and read to them. In fact, that’s pretty much the only consistent kid activity we do together. Our board book collection is vast. Our crafting supplies, on the other hand, are dismal. I should probably buy some more construction paper…we need more coffee too…

Focus, Gina. Focus.

Still with me? Let’s get inspired about children’s literature. I have two young readers now—ages five and six. Currently in our homeschool, I do not use a formal reading curriculum with either of them (I do have materials for spelling, writing and English grammar, if you’re curious). I believe that the best way to be a strong reader is, well, to read a lot.

Even if you’re not a homeschooling family, your child can benefit immensely from spending a few minutes each day reading aloud with you.

According to Leigh A. Bortins, classical education advocate, there are three ways kids can boost their reading skills:

  • Being read to from books above their reading level to increase speaking vocabulary.
  • Reading easy books below level in order to master common words.
  • Reading books at a comfortable level to gently increase the child’s reading skills. This is best done out loud with an adult who can help the student evaluate what is being read (from The Core, 90—I highly recommend this book to someone exploring their homeschool options).

My boys spend part of every school day reading aloud to me. The material we pick is easy enough that they don’t stumble through  the vocabulary, but not boring. It’s challenging enough to familiarize them with new words and writing styles.

kids reading

We go to the public library frequently. My kids, of course, are drawn to the pop-culture easy readers—you know, like Legos and Scooby Doo and all of the world’s most annoying TV shows in book form. In other words, the ones that are torturous for parents to get through.

Luckily, those aren’t our only options. I’ve been compiling a list of high quality easy-to-read children’s literature throughout our school year. If you’ve got beginner to intermediate readers (between approximately kindergarten and second grade), be sure you put these on your must-read list.

Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons

My pediatrician recommended this book and we have loved it. The unique phonics approach teaches your child how to decode all of the basic words they need to know to start reading on their own. It also teaches you, the parent, how to coach your child through learning new words, even when you’re done with the book. If you want to see this approach in action, check out this video of my son.

Bob Books

This is another fun phonics approach. As your child grows more confident in their ability to read, you can add new sounds with each book. There are variety of sets available; we have done some of the beginning readers and advanced beginning readers.

Usborne Very First Reading Set

These are so much fun! At the beginning of the series, you and your child each read parts of the story. This way the kids can read a more interesting plot than something like, “Fat cat sat.” As your child advances, they are able to eventually read a whole story by themselves. We love these because the stories are funny and interesting and the illustrations are wonderful. Each book also has comprehension activities you can do together, which my kids really enjoy.

Dr. Seuss’s Beginner Books

We all love Dr. Seuss, but some of his books are written for kids to read while others are written for adults to read to kids. This set contains our favorite books that my oldest son can handle on his own: The Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Green Eggs and Ham, Hop on Pop, and Fox in Socks.

Frog and Toad

My son doubles over in laughter when he reads these classics. This is what I’m talking about when I refer to books that parents can enjoy along with the kids. If you haven’t read these, you are missing out. Other books by Arnold Lobel have also made our reading list.

Amelia Bedelia

These are a little bit more advanced, but they are excellent for helping your kids figure out all those crazy idiosyncrasies in the English language. Plus they’re pretty funny…who else could draw the drapes or dress the chicken or put out the lights and make it funny? I like the original classics by Peggy Parish, although there are currently some newer “easy readers” available.

Elephant and Piggie

We just recently discovered these and both of my boys are obsessed with them. They are written in 100 percent dialogue, like comics, which is fun and helps the kids practice inflection when they’re reading. There are a lot of these books available—and really, they are all good.

My first grader is getting to be quite proficient now that he has read through these books, so I’m looking forward to the next stage in our reading adventures. My five-year-old is still just beginning, and I won’t mind reading these again.

Have you read these books? What books would you recommend for young readers?

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Gina M Poirier

I’m a wife and mom of five, with kids ages toddler to teenager. I’m created in the image of God, made whole in Jesus. In this online space, I help others overcome the overwhelm all of us face when navigating this messy, beautiful journey we call life. Want to join us?

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  1. Cori

    Love this list. Thanks for the suggestions!

  2. tenderfootmom

    I love reading time with the kids…great ideas x

  3. christine

    I’m with you all the way. Best way for kids to not only learn to read but to love reading is to read with them. We’ve read all the books you suggest. Another that immediately comes to mind is the Ready Freddy series by Abby Klein. All of my boys enjoyed those when they were learning to read.

    • ginapoirier

      Hi Christine, thank you! I’ll have to check those out



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