30 Wonderful Read-Aloud Books Perfect For All Ages

Gather Around: Read-Aloud Picture Books for Every Age

Discover wonderful read aloud picture books that will help your students understand the connection between written text and spoken language. You can model reading habits and strategies, reading fluency, tone and introduce different genres, authors and illustrators.

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Read Aloud Books

You can use any book as a read-aloud, but not all books add an extra level of engagement and interaction to the experience.

If you want to deliver an effective read-aloud session, you must consider a few things before reading to your class.

Choosing Picture Books for Read Aloud Lessons

I go into more detail in the post ‘Key Reasons Why Is It Important To Read Aloud Books, but here is a quick overview of things to consider before reading.

Theme or Big Ideas in Picture Books

  • Does the book provide opportunities for deep and critical thinking?
  • Is any background knowledge necessary? Do you need to introduce any knowledge before sharing the books so the children can understand the text?
  • Does it relate to current events you can use for discussions?

Diversity or Stereotypes in Picture Books

  • Is the book diverse? 
  • How does the book relate to the children’s background and culture?
  • Does the book reinforce negative stereotypes?

What is the Length of the Picture Book?

  • How long is the book? Will you need several days to finish the text?

Will the Picture Book Engage Your Students?

  • Is it age appropriate? (characters, setting, time period, plot and children’s social and emotional level).
  • Is the text engaging and relevant to your purpose and instructional goal?
  • How will you get students to interact during the reading aloud?
  • What types of questioning does the text inspire? Think about explicit and implicit questions.

Picture Books for Read Aloud Lessons

These picture books are wonderful read-aloud books. Each book has suggestions for appropriate discussion topics. You will also see from each image if additional teaching resources are available. Just click on the image to access.

Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty

Ada Twist’s scientific curiosity propels her to question, hypothesize, experiment, and unravel the world’s mysteries, including one close to home.

Ada Twist, Scientist explores the power of curiosity, the spirit of inquiry, the pursuit of knowledge, and the importance of creative thinking.

After the Fall by Dan Santat

A fresh retelling of the classic Humpty Dumpty story told from the egg’s perspective. Humpty Dumpty bravely faces his fear of heights, teaching us about courage, overcoming adversity, and the importance of self-esteem.

After the Fall promotes discussions around character traits, perspectives, a growth mindset, embracing fears, adaptability, and resilience.

All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold

Follow a group of children from diverse backgrounds through a day at their school where everyone is welcome in an environment of acceptance and respect for everyone’s unique differences.

All Are Welcome explores inclusivity, respecting all cultures, and building unity in our communities.

A Bad Case of the Stripes by David Shannon

Camilla Cream loves lima beans but won’t eat them because her friends hate them. A mysterious illness causes her to become what others think she should be. Only when she embraces her true self does she recover.

A Bad Case of the Stripes serves as a reminder that individuality should be celebrated and that personal growth stems from self-acceptance and the courage to resist societal pressures.

The Bad Seed by Jory John

A sunflower seed believes he’s bad due to the negative comments he overhears about himself. He decides to change his ways and make an effort to become better. He doesn’t change overnight but commits to taking it one day at a time. 

The Bad Seed explores a growth mindset, self-management, self-awareness, and emphasises that effort and determination make change possible.

A Chair For My Mother by Vera B. Williams

A Chair for My Mother illuminates the power of love, family, and community even in the most challenging times. Rosa, her mother, and her grandmother lose their home to a devastating fire.

The book gives us a glimpse into poverty, saving money, community kindness and generosity, and perseverance, even in the face of adversity.

Change Sings: A Children's Anthem by Amanda Gorman

Change Sings tells the inspiring story of a young girl and her group of friends who work together to bring about positive change in their community.

The book teaches your students that age is no barrier to making a difference and that their unique voices can bring about positive changes in the world.

Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin

When Farmer Brown’s cows stumble upon a typewriter, they type letters demanding electric blankets. Things escalate as the cows strike, and Duck is the mediator. But the peace doesn’t last long when the ducks have their own demands!

Click, Clack, Moo story promotes dialogue about fair negotiations, communication’s power, and compromise.

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

Liam stumbles upon a wilting garden on an abandoned train track. With time, care, and patience, Liam nurtures the garden back to life which spreads throughout the city. 

The Curious Garden sparks discussions on sustainability, adaptability, perseverance, cooperation, and the impact one person can have.

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

A box of crayons have decided to quit their jobs. Each crayon leaves a letter for Duncan, their owner, explaining their grievances and requests for improved working conditions.

The Day the Crayons Quit explores communication, perspective-taking, feelings, having a voice, and understanding and responding to the needs and wants of others.