Fabulous Read-Alouds for K-3

These 32 fabulous books will amuse, delight and inspire your kids.

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City Dog, Country Frog.  Mo Willems.  Hyperion, 2010.
It is spring when City Dog meets Country Frog.  Through the seasons they form a special friendship.  In the fall, Country Frog becomes tired and doesn’t want to play.  City Dog returns in the winter, saddened when he can’t find Frog.  He comes back in the spring, still no Frog, but he does meet Country Chipmunk.  Watercolors make this poignant picture book even more special.
Read-aloud K-3rd grade

All the Way to America : The Story of a Big Italian Family and a Little Shovel.  Dan Yaccariono.  Knopf, 2011.
A wonderful celebration of generations in the author’s family, beginning with his great-grandfather who immigrated to America, bringing a small shovel handed down to him by his father.  The shovel has been passed down through the generations to the author’s children.  A warm portrayal of family values.  Picture Book.  Pair this with “Miss Bridie Chose a Shovel” by Leslie Connor.
Read-aloud 1st-3rd grade

Argus.  Michelle Knudsen.  Candlewick, 2011.
Sally’s teacher gives each student an egg to hatch for a science project.  They all hatch into fuzzy little chicks except Sally’s which is green and scaly and grows to an enormous size.  When Sally points out that hers is different, the teacher does not acknowledge it.  Sally wonders if she would be better off without him.  When Argus gets lost, the whole class comes to the rescue.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-2nd grade

Bats at the Ballgame.  Brian Lies.  Houghton Mifflin, 2010.
Two reams of bats play a very entertaining game of baseball at night.  Pair this with Bats at the Beach and Bats at the Library.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-3rd grade

Betsy Red Hoodie. Gail Carson Levine.  Harper, 2010.
Betsy is taking cupcakes to grandma’s accompanied by her flock of sheep.  Her friend,  Zimmo the wolf is also a shepherd in the valley and wants to help.  Betsy knows that “wolves aren’t good for grandmas” and worries when Zimmo disappears along the way.  When she arrives at grandma’s, Zimmo and Betsy’s family and friends surprise her with a birthday party.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 1st-3rd grade

Children Make Terrible Pets.  Peter Brown.  Little Brown, 2010.
Lucy the bear finds a boy lost in the woods and takes him home, begging her mother to allow her to keep him a s a pet.  Her mother reluctantly agrees as long as Lucy takes full responsibility for his care.  Predictably, the boy is not a good pet and Lucy finds that he needs to be in his own native habitat.  Children will enjoy all the humor in these role reversals.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-2nd grade

Don’t Slam the Door! Dori Chaconas.  Candlewick, 2010.
A slamming door sets off a chain of chaotic events.  This rhyming, cumulative tale has great illustrations.  You could use this for teaching about predictions and cause and effect, or just for fun!  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-3rd grade

The Eensy Weensy Spider Freaks Out! : (Big Time!) Troy Cummings.  Random House, 2010.
When spider is washed out, it take ladybug’s encouragement for spider to start climbing again. The sky is the limit!  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-2nd grade

The Eraserheads.  Kate Banks.  Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2010.
Three eraserheads live with a boy in the land of pencils, paper, rulers, letters, numbers and drawings.  They become trapped in one of his drawings and use their skills to escape. “Hooray for mistakes,” the owl says, as the crocodile agrees that without them, “There’d be nothing to learn.”  Picture Book.
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Fortunately, Unfortunately. Michael Foreman.  Andersen Press, 2010.
On his way to grandmother’s house to return her umbrella, Milo has many wild adventures!  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-2nd grade

Hattie the Bad.  Jane Devlin.  Dial, 2010.
Hattie is so bad that parents don’t want their children playing with her, so she decides to become the perfect child.  Now, none of the kids want to play with her anymore.  With the help of the word UNDERPANTS, Hattie finds the right balance!  It might be fun to compare this to Falconer’s Olivia books.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-2nd grade

If You’re a Monster and You Know It.  Rebecca and Ed Emberley.  Orchard, 2010.
The monster’s version of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” includes snorting and growling, stomping, tail twitching.  You get the idea!  The neon cut-paper illustrations may inspire an art project or two.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-1st grade

I Didn’t Do It. Patricia MacLachlan and Emily MacLachlan Charest.  HarperCollins, 2010.
Delightful poems about three puppies and their discoveries and antics.  Beautifully written and illustrated.  Shows a real understanding of life from a puppy’s point of view.
Read-aloud K-5th grade

Joha Makes a Wish : A Middle Eastern Tale.  Eric Kimmel.  Marshal Cavendish, 2010.
A man in Baghdad finds a wishing stick, which creates nothing but problems for him until he finds the proper way to use it.  The expressive, exaggerated characters in water color add much to the humor.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 1st-3rd grade

Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion. Mo Willems.  HarperCollins, 2010.
In this third and final story about Trixie and her beloved Knuffle Bunny, the family travels to Holland to visit grandparents.  Trixie leaves KB on the airplane.  When Trixie is finally reunited with KB, she realizes she has outgrown her need for him and gives him to a crying baby on the flight home–mush to everyone’s delight!
Read-aloud K-2nd grade

The Lost-and-Found Tooth.  Louise Borden.  Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2008.
Lucy is the only 2nd grader in Mr. Reilly’s class who hasn’t lost a tooth.  Losing a tooth is a very big deal in his class.  On a calendar students record the date, time and place of their tooth loss, and tell their story.  Lucy’s day finally comes in April when she truly loses her tooth at recess.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 1st-2nd grade

The Loud Book. Deborah Underwood.  Houghton Mifflin, 2011.
Depicts a broad range of good and bad loud noises.  Just as charming as her first book:  The Quiet Book.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-5th grade

Lyle Walks the Dogs.  Bernard Waber.  Houghton Mifflin, 2010.
Lyle enjoys his new job as dog walker.  He is so popular, he soon ends up with 10 dogs, which gets a little chaotic.  Picture Counting Book.
Read-aloud K-1st grade

Monsters Eat Whiny Children.  Bruce Eric Kaplan.  Simon & Schuster, 2010.
Weary of all their whining, Henry and Eve’s father warns them that monsters eat whiny children.  Sure enough, they are kidnapped by monsters who argue and can’t agree on what dish to make with the children.  Amidst all that, the children begin to play nicely. A great read-aloud with the opportunity to perform several different “giant voices.”  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-3rd grade

Mr. President Goes to School.  Rick Walton.  Peachtree, 2010.
When the president becomes overwhelmed from the many pressures of his job, he dawns a disguise and goes to kindergarten.  He takes back the lessons he learns about friendship and compromise to the White House and applies them to his job.  Maybe the hokey pokey really is what it’s all about!  Picture Book
Read-aloud 2nd grade and up

Mr. Putney’s Quacking Dog.  Jon Agee.  Scholastic, 2010.
Twenty jokes about Mr. Putney’s unusual animal friends.  Very punny!
Picture Book.
Read-aloud 1st-4th grade

Not Last Night But the Night Before.  Colin McNaughton.  Candlewick Press, 2009.
This is a take-off on the traditional jump rope rhyme, but in this version fairy tale and nursery rhyme characters come knocking, each bringing a gift.  It ends with a rowdy birthday party and an unusual version of the birthday song.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-1st grade

Oh No! (Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World). Mac Barnett.  Disney Hyperion, 2010.
In this graphic style picture book, a girl build a robot for the science fair.  As it starts to take over the city, she realizes that she forgot to give it the skills it would need to follow her commands.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 1st-3rd grade

Once Upon a Royal Superbaby.  Kevin O’Malley.  Walker & Company, 2010.
Follow-up to Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude,  the girl and boy have another writing assignment, this time about a king and queen.  This is just as fun an entertaining as the first.  A good way to talk about the writing process, collaboration.
Read-aloud 1st-5th grade

Rain School. James Rumford.  Houghton Mifflin, 2010.
It is the first day of school for Thomas.  He walks with older siblings to a small village in Chad to find a teacher, but no school.  The teacher leads the children in building the school by making mud bricks, mud walls and desks and a grass roof.  Nine months of learning pass quickly, then the rains come and the school returns to mud.  The author once lived in Chad as a Peace Corps volunteer.  Beautifully told and illustrated.
Read-aloud K-3rd grade

Pirate vs. Pirate : The Terrific Tale of a Big, Blustery Maritime Match.  Mary Quattlebaum.  Disney/Hyperion, 2011.
Bad Bart, the burliest pirate and Mean Mo, the baddest girl pirate hold a series of increasingly difficult contests to determine who is the best pirate in the world.  A rip-roaring tale full of action and a little romance.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-3rd grade

Shout!  Shout it Out! Denise Fleming, Henry Holt, 2011.
A preschool teacher invites students to shout out what they know as a little mouse leads them through numbers, letters and easy words.  Vibrant Picture Book.
Read-aloud K

Six Sheep Sip Thick Shakes : And Other Tricky Tongue Twisters.  Brian P. Cleary.
Millbrook Press, 2011.
These short twisters look deceptively easy.  Read these aloud and have your kids repeat them.  LOL!  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 1st-3rd grade

Tell the Truth, B.B. Wolf.  Judy Sierra.  Knopf, 2010.
Big Bad Wold lives at the Villain Villa Retirement Residence when he gets a call asking him to tell a story at the local library about how he met the Three Pigs.  Ashamed of his behavior, he tries to tell a much different version of the story painting him in a more positive light, but the pigs in the audience won’t hear of it.  He asks for their forgiveness and to prove his sincerity, he builds the Three Pigs a spectacular new house.  Sequel to “Mind Your Manners, B.B. Wolf.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-3rd grade

Wonder Horse : The True Story of the World’s Smartest Horse.  Emily Arnold McCully.  Henry Holt, 2010.
Based on the remarkable true story of Bill Key, a former slave who became a veterinarian and trained his horse to pick out letters, colors, count and do math.  His mission was teaching humans to treat animals with kindness.  Inspiring and uplifting.
Picture Book.
Read-aloud 1st-4th grade

You’re Finally Here! Melanie Watt.  Disney/Hyperion, 2011.
A demanding dust bunny wants the reader to know just how annoying it has been to wait for the reader.  Though he, himself doesn’t have the best manners, he uses similes to let the reader know how RUDE it is to make him wait.  Very Funny!  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-5th grade

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