New Read-Aloud Fun

There is something for everyone in this new batch of great read-alouds.

The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse.  Eric Carle.  Philomel, 2011.
Inspired by painter Franz Marc, Carle has created another deceptively simple, bold artistic statement.  Using his signature tissue paper collage, he displays a blue horse, yellow cow, etc. and surprises us with a polk-dot donkey at the end.  Classically predictable for some, an art lesson on color, style and form for others.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-2nd grade


Amelia Bedelia’s First Field Trip.  Herman Parish.  Greenwillow, 2011.
Amelia Bedelia goes with her class on a field trip to a farm.  While we laugh at her literal-mindedness, her curiosity is a learning experience for all.  The story ends with her class planting pumpkin seeds, making this a good choice for fall themes.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 1st-3rd grade


An Annoying ABC.  Barbara Bottner.  Knopf, 2011.
When Adelaide annoys Bailey, an alphabetical chain reaction is set off in Miss Mabel’s preschool class.  This alphabet book tells a real story and everyone apologizes at the end.  Charming.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-1st grade

The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man.  Michael Chabon.  Balzer + Bray, 2011.
What young boy doesn’t want to be a superhero?  Awesome Man seems to be from the Superman-era and keeps his identity a secret.  He fights evil geniuses and alien blobs, not to mention the Flaming Eyeball.  Kids won’t be disappointed when they learn that his mom is waiting for him at the end of a long day, in the Fortress of Awesome.  Traction Man fans will like this one.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-2nd grade


Bailey.  Harry Bliss.  Scholastic, 2011.
A charming story of Bailey, the dog, who is a very enthusiastic student accepted by his human classmates and teacher when his “doggy” nature shines through.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-2nd grade



The Bear Who Shared.  Catherine Rayner.  Dial Books, 2011.
Rich language tells the simple story of a bear who waits patiently for the last ripe fruit to fall from a tree and decides to share it with 2 new friends.  Words like clambered, gazed, delicious, sun-kissed, soft as cotton candy are richly illustrated with slightly abstract watercolors.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-2nd grade


The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred.  Samantha R. Vamos.  Charlesbridge, 2011.
In the style of The House That Jack Built, this bilingual story is set on a farm where the animals help gather the ingredients for the rice pudding.  Vibrant artwork.  Recipe included.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-2nd grade



Dot.  Patricia Intriago.  Farrar Straus Giroux, 2011.
This intriguing book was created by a graphic designer, this mostly black and white book is about opposites, conveyed through simple, clever circular shapes.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-2nd grade



A Friend for Einstein: The Smallest Stallion.  Charlie Cantrell.  Disney/Hyperion, 2011.
A true story about the smallest horse ever born and his search for a friend.  Aww!!!
Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-2nd grade


I am so Strong.  Mario Ramos.  Gecko Press, 2011.
The Big Bad Wold knows he is the strongest animals in the forest and demands everyone to acknowledge it, including Red Riding Hood and animals from several fairy tales.  He gets his comeuppance when a baby dragon insists that his mother is the strongest.  Picture Book.  Very fun to read-aloud!
Read-aloud K-2nd grade



Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat.  Phillip C. Stead.  Roaring Brook Press, 2011.
Jonathan is crushed when his parents trade Frederic the teddy bear for a toaster.  His search involves a big blue boat, a goat, an elephant, pirates, a whale, and finally a girl who traded her toaster for Frederic the Bear.  I love the collage artwork which is watercolors over bits of found paper.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-2nd grade


Mary and Her Little Lamb : The True Story Behind the Nursery Rhyme.  Will Moses.  Philomel, 2011.
Mary Sawyer nursed a sick lamb back to health on her family’s farm in 1810s Massachusetts.  The lamb became her playmate and did follow her to school on the first day, including visitor John Roulstone who wrote the first stanza of the poem.  Delightfully told.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 1st-3rd grade

Otis.  Loren Long.  Philomel, 2009.
When a bigger, better, yellow tractor arrives, Otis the little red tractor is stuck out in the weeds.  He proves his worth when he rescues a calf from a mud hole.  Sweet and nostalgic.  Reminds me of Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, my favorite when I was in first grade.  Gosh, I’m old!  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-2nd grade


Otis and the Tornado.  Loren Long.  Philomel, 2011.
Otis has to save all the animals, including the less than friendly bull, when a tornado comes along.  The nostalgic artwork is noteworthy.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-2nd grade



The Princess and the Pig.  Jonathan Emmett.  Walker, 2011.
A delightfully funny tale of a baby princess who accidentally changes places with a piglet.  Tongue in cheek, “Happily Ever After” has a whole new meaning.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 1st-3rd grade



Reading, Rhyming, and ‘rithmetic.  Dave Crawley.  Wordsong, 2010.
These 20 poems about typical school experiences are humorous, relatable and sometimes thought-provoking.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 1st-4rd grade


The Sleepless Little Vampire.  Richard Egielski.  Arthur A. Levine Books, 2011.
What could keep a little vampire from sleeping?  A spider spitting, werewolf howling, skeletons clacking?  But wait, vampire don’t sleep at night!  Just enough creepy with lots of humor for the younger set.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-2nd grade


Superhero Joe.  Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman.  Simon & Schuster, 2011.
Five-year-old Joey used to be afraid of everything.  But now he answers calls for help with the “Cape of Confidence, Helmet of Invisibility, Power Gloves and Super Gravity-Defying Boots” like any good superhero would.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-2nd grade


Three Bears of the Pacific Northwest.  Marcia and Richard Vaughn.  Sasquatch Books, 2011.
When a little blue teddy bear falls out of a family RV trailer, he is picked up by, two native bears agree to help reunite him with his people.  Along the way they show the blue bear the flora and fauna of the region.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 1st-2nd grade

The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot.  Margaret McNamara.  Schwartz & Wade, 2011.
Kids will love this sci-fi version of the Three Little Pigs as the little aliens search the solar system for the right place to build a house that won’t fall victim to the Big Bad Robot.  Onomatopoeia and great artwork make this a fun read-aloud.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-3rd grade

Too Many Dinosaurs.  Mercer Mayer.  Holiday House, 2011.
Mom won’t let her son get a dog, so he buys a dinosaur egg at a yard sale.  When it hatches and escapes, wreaking havoc on the neighborhood, his mom gives in and let’s him get a dog if he gets rid of the dinosaur and it’s prehistoric friends.  Mayer fans will love it.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-2nd grade
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