Engaging New Read-Alouds

Publishers have brought us several new read-alouds that will make your students, laugh, think, feel and identify with great characters.

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Augie to Zebra : An Alphabet Book.  Kate Endle & Caspar Babypants. Sasquatch Books, 2012.
Just when I think there can’t possibly be a reason for publishing another alphabet book, something new and great comes along.  Each letter of the alphabet has an alliterative phrase, consisting of a name, an action and an animal,  such as : “Josie Jams with Jaguars.”  In the back there is a list o fthings that can be found on each page starting with that letter.  The artwork is colorful and the cast is multicultural. oPicture Book.
Read-aloud K-1st grade (older for writing model/alliteration)

Bear Has a Story to Tell.  Phillip C. Stead.  Roaring Brook Press, 2012.
Bear wants to tell his forest friends a story, but Frog, Mouse, Duck and Mole are so busy preparing for the winter, they don’t have time to listen.  Bear helps his friends, then hibernates.  When, at last, everyone wakes in Spring, Bear has forgotten the story!  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-2nd grade


The Bear in the Book.  Kate Banks.  Frances Foster Books, 2012.
As a mother reads a the bedtime story to her son, the bear in the book is preparing for hibernation.  As the bear begins to wake in the Spring, the boy falls asleep.  A warm and cozy feel good story.  Picture book.
Read-aloud K-1st grade


Because Amelia Smiled.  David Ezra Stein.  Candlewick, 2012.
Amelia is out walking with her parents.  The smile she gave to Mrs. Higgins began a chain of good will that goes around the world…and back to Amelia.  A great way to start discussions on how a simple act can have far reaching effects.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-4th grade


Big Mean Mike.  Michelle Knudsen.  Candlewick Press, 2012.
Mike is the toughest dog in the neighborhood.  He looks and acts the part because that is just how he likes it…until four little furry bunnies appear unexpectedly in his life.  They won’t go away, so Mike tries to hide them to protect his mean guy reputation.  Finally he can’t resist the adorable bunnies and decides he doesn’t care what the other dogs think.
Humor with a good message.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-2nd grade

Cindy Moo.  Lori Mortensen.  Harper, 2012.
After the Diddle cows overhear the “Cow jumped over the moon” nursery rhyme” they have a big discussion on the possibility of a cow really jumping that high.  Cindy Moo is determined to make it happen.  If you still have a copy of Mrs. Mooley by Jack Kent, these would be a perfect pair to compare and contrast.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-2nd grade


Dog Loves Drawing.  Louise Yates.  Alfred Knopf, 2012.
When dog receives a blank book as a gift, he realizes that it is a sketchbook with magical abilities.  Whatever he draws comes to life, allowing Dog and his friends to have quite an adventure.  Kids will enjoy this story as much as they did Dog Loves Books.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-2nd grade


Each Kindness.  Jacqueline Woodson.  Nancy Paulsen Books, 2012.
Maya is a new girl in Ms. Albert’s class.  She wears old clothes and plays with old fashioned toys.  she tries to join in, but Chloe and her friends reject her repeatedly.
One day, Ms. Albert teaches a lesson on the ripple effect of small kindnesses.  Unfortunately, Maya has moved, leaving Chloe with remorse and regret.  A powerful, straightforward, unsentimental story.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 2nd-5th grade

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs.  Mo Willems.  Balzer + Bray, 2012.
Willems version of the three bears could only be wacky and utterly delightful.  Throw in chocolate pudding and wit and humor for all levels.  As for Golidlocks, the moral is:  “If you ever find yourself in the wrong story, leave.”  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-3rd grade (But seriously, the older you are, the more you will laugh.)


Huff & Puff : Can You Blow Down the House of the Three Little Pigs?  Claudia Rueda.
Abrams Appleseed, 2012.
The reader can play the part of the wolf in this very simple version of the traditional story with an ending that everyone, including the wolf, is happy with.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-1st grade


I Gotta Draw.  Bruce Degen.  Harper, 2012.
Charlie the dog’s passion is drawing.  When it interferes with his schoolwork, his teacher finds a creative way for Charlie to incorporate his passion into a traditional classroom setting.  We don’t all learn in the same ways.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 1st-3rd grade


It’s a Tiger!  David LaRochelle.  Chronicle Books, 2012.
A young boy imagines himself in a story where he narrowly escapes from a tiger at every turn.  Children will have fun spotting the tiger’s camouflaged  tail and mimicking the actions of the boy: climbing, crawling, creeping, hiding.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-1st grade


The King Who Wouldn’t Sleep.  Debbie Singleton.  Andersen Press, 2012.
The King will not rest until he finds the perfect prince for his daughter.  It takes a clever farmer with some unconventional math to get the king to fall asleep.  He marries the princess and all ends as it should.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-2nd grade


Little Elephants.  Graeme Base.  Abrams, 2012.
The setting is a wheat farm in rural Texas where a boy and his mother are faced with a devastating swarm of locusts.  The boy also has to let his pet mouse go rather than risk it attracting more mice.  The mouse does return to save the day with a herd of tiny flying elephants.  Crazy sounding?  Yep, but Base and his spectacular artwork make it all wonderfully possible!  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-3rd grade


Lulu Walks the Dogs.  Judith Viorst.  Atheneum, 2012.
In this sequel to Lulu and the Brontosaurus, the slightly less incorrigible Lulu desperately wants something her Parents cannot afford.  She enlists a boy named
Fleischman’s help in making money walking neighbor’s dogs.  It turns out to be a much bigger (and for reader’s, hilarious) job than she ever dreamed it would be.  Short Chapter Book.
Read-aloud 2nd-3rd grade

Mossy.  Jan Brett.  Putnam, 2012.
Mossy, the box turtle, lives near Lilypad Pond.  Moss starts to grow on top of her shell, followed by ferns and flowers making a wonderful garden.  Just as she is about to make friends with another turtle, she is scooped up and taken to a natural museum.  Realizing that Mossy would be much happier in her natural home, she is returned and reunited with Scoot.  A sweet story with a good message and spectacular Brett art.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-3rd grade

Olivia and the Fairy Princesses.  Ian Falconer.  Atheneum, 2012.
Olivia is down in the dumps with an “identity crises.”  All of the girls in her class are carbon copy princesses in pink.  Olivia, of course, wants to be different.  Kids will enjoy this, but will need some things explained, such as Martha Graham’s Lamentation.  She is as indomitable as ever.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-2nd grade


The Quiet Place.  Sarah Stewart.  Farrar Straus Giroux, 2012.
Isabel and her family move from Mexico to Michigan in the 1950s.  The story is told through letters to her Auntie Lupita who had been teaching her English back in Mexico.  A moving and timeless story.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 1st-3rd grade


The Reader.  Amy Hest.  Amazon Children’s, 2012.
A small boy takes his dog, sled, a snack and his favorite book to the top of a sledding hill.  They enjoy their snack and book before heading back down.  Charming!  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-2nd grade

Sky Color.  Peter Reynolds.  Candlewick, 2012.
You may remember Marisol from Ish.  In this book she is going to paint the sky
for the class mural project in the library, but there is no blue paint.  Through thoughtful and careful observation, Marisol discovers that the sky is often anything but blue.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-3rd grade


Underground.  Denise Fleming.  Beach Lane Books, 2012.
With her signature pulp paper paintings, and spare rhyming text, readers are treated to a bird’s view of creatures that tunnel, dig and burrow underground.  A Creature Identification” index is included which is perfect for beginning research and a springboard for finding more information.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-1st grade
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