It is good to read aloud to your children. It is good for their vocabulary and reading skills. It is entertaining and it develops relationships and creates beautiful memories. I have wonderful childhood memories of my mom reading us tales of adventure and excitement to us every night before bed.
I started reading to my children when they were babies. I read all of those counting books and word books and started hating reading to my kids. There were a few good board books- as opposed to ‘bored’ books (thank you, I’m here all week)- but so many made my eyes glaze and just put me right to sleep. I did get rid of a lot of the really boring books and kept the good ones (you can read about those here), but I also rejoiced when my kids got old enough for chapter books! Books with interesting characters and actual plots! I was so excited.
So here is a list of chapter books I’ve read aloud to my children that we all loved:
- Five Children and It– This story is our current read-aloud. I saved it for just after I had my fifth baby- I figured the kids would really identify with the children in the story and thus really get into it. I was right. It is about four siblings (and their baby brother) who find a Sand-Fairy and get wishes. So far, their wishes haven’t turned out so good. And their adventures are quite amusing. X-man and Princess K wish that this was all we did for school and they never want me to stop reading, even though the chapters are quite long. I highly recommend it!
- Detectives in Togas– This one (and its sequel, below) is one of the favorites of my oldest son. He and Princess K both always objected when the chapter ended and I put down the book. They couldn’t handle the suspense! It is a great story- a mystery set in Roman times- with all kinds of surprising twists.
- Mystery of the Roman Ransom– The sequel of Detectives in Togas and its equal in fun and twisty mystery.
- Mr. Popper’s Penguins– A delightful and very funny tale about a man who dreams about the poles and gets penguins sent to him by post. It is an outrageously ridiculous story and all of my children absolutely loved it.
- Trumpet of the Swan– My five year old’s favorite story was this one. He even has a little stuffed swan he named Louis. It is a story about the adventures of Louis, a trumpeter swan who learns to use a musical instrument to win the affection of his love, Serena.
- Ginger Pye– We like funny stories around here and this is another one. The kids were drawn in by the story of Jerry and Rachel and their intellectual dog, Ginger, who gets dognapped and how they find him again.
- Pinky Pye– The sequel to Ginger Pye sends the Pye family on an island vacation where a cat joins the family and learns to typewrite and discovers a secret in the attic.
- Charlotte’s Web– This one was one of my daughter’s favorites. The story of the pig who doesn’t want to end up as Christmas dinner and the spider who helps him is well-known. We also watched the modern movie with Julia Roberts as the voice of Charlotte and we really enjoyed it.
- Little House in the Big Woods (and others of this series)- Another well-known story about the life of the Ingalls, a pioneer family who lived in the midwest United States, as recounted by the second oldest daughter, Laura. It is charming and sweet and has great detail about life in that era.
- The Boxcar Children– This is a tale about the adventures of four children who end up living for awhile in a boxcar in the woods. We only read aloud the first & second stories of the famous series, the subsquent books can be read by my children themselves for independent reading.
- Happy Little Family (and the rest of the series)- The Fairchild Family Series is a charming series of four books about the Fairchild family who have five chidren- four girls and a boy. They live in the mountains of Kentucky in the early 1900s. The adventures revolve mainly around the youngest daughter, Bonnie, who goes ice skating, raises ducks, feeds lambs, visits far-off neighbors and goes to school in a one-room schoolhouse.
- Betsy-Tacy– I read this book to my daughter last summer and she loved it. This is her favorite book I have ever read aloud to her. She enjoyed it so much that she recieved this and the three following books of the series for Christmas and has devoured them all- on her own. It is the story of the friendship of imaginative Betsy and shy Tacy and the fun they have in their little town of Deep Valley (also in the late 1800s to early 1900s).
*The Chronicles of Narnia -the Focus on the Family Radio Theater version of these books is amazing (as is The Christmas Carol done by them). We listened to this series a couple of years ago and plan to revisit the series again when the kids who were too young to remember get a little older. We really enjoyed their dramatization of this excellent, classic series.