10 Best Read-Aloud Picture Books

Reading aloud to children helps them build a positive relationship with books and reading. Keeping this in mind we have come up with our recommendation of the ten best read-aloud picture books that young kids would easily fall in love with.

In the last two blogs, why and how to effectively read aloud to children, we have already learnt the importance, benefits, and the read aloud method. This also highlighted best practices of an easy to follow parenting wisdom ‘Read Aloud books to children every day’.

We now know that reading aloud to children helps them build a positive relationship with books and reading. Reading aloud not only gets children interested in books, which are a great source of knowledge, but also helps them develop other skills like listening, language and cognitive skills. Read-aloud books for children often end with positive messages and morals, which help them learn virtues like kindness, persistence and friendship.

Here is our recommendation for the ten best read-aloud picture books that young readers would easily fall in love with.

1. The Day the Crayons Quit – written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

Teach kids a little about defying the stereotypes and understanding individual identity through an amazing read Aloud Picture book for kids- 'The Day the Crayons Quit' by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

This story is about a young boy named Duncan who receives letters from his crayons stating that they want to quit colouring for him. They all have different reasons for quitting, from being overworked to not being used at all. Will Duncan be able to please his crayon friends? 

The book’s unique plot and its humour would make children go crazy on this book.

Typically recommended for children: Ages 3-6

2. The Day the Crayons Came Home – written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

Instill empathy in your children with one of the best Read Aloud Picture books for kids- The Day the Crayons Came Home – written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

This is a sequel to The Day the Crayons QuitIt sees Duncan receive letters from his crayon friends from all across the globe. The crayons have either been forgotten, lost, melted or broken. Would Duncan be able to find and save his crayon friends? 

Anyone that says sequels don’t live up to their predecessors hasn’t read this book. This book doesn’t just live up to its predecessor but surpasses it in entertainment and being funny! It introduces new and funny crayon friends such as Pea Green and Neon Red, bringing about familiarity with colours and the objects that the colours are associated with. The story teaches children to be appreciative of little things. 

Typically recommended for children: Ages 3-6

3. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! – words and pictures by Mo Willems

Teach kids important concepts such as responsibility with the fantastic Read Aloud Picture book for kids- Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! – words and pictures by Mo Willems

This book is one of the many to have come out of the gold mine known as The Pigeon Series. The story involves a bus driver leaving a major responsibility in the hands of the young readers, of not allowing a pigeon drive his bus! The pigeon would try to bribe and sweet talk the readers into letting it drive the bus, but they must not give in.

Typically recommended for children: Ages 2-6

4. I Don’t Like Koala – words by Sean Ferrell, pictures by Charles Santoso

Teach kids an endearing wholesome message about loving what they have through the fantastic Read Aloud Picture book for kids- I Don't Like Koala – words by Sean Ferrell, pictures by Charles Santoso

This story starts off as what seems to be a cheeky tale but ends with an endearing wholesome message about loving what you have. It’s a tale about a kid named Adam who dislikes his creepy-looking koala toy but learns to love it and care for it towards the end of the book.

Typically recommended for children: Ages 4-8

5. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom – written by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault, illustrated by Lois Ehlert

A super fantastic rhyming Read Aloud Picture book for kids is- Chicka Chicka Boom Boom – written by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault, illustrated by Lois Ehlert

Ever wondered what would happen if all the English alphabets tried to climb up a coconut tree? Well, this book gives you the answers you have waited for your entire life.

The tale is written in the form of a rhyme, which is great to develop lyrical skills in children, especially future singers and rappers!

Typically recommended for children: Ages 2-6

6. Instructions – written by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Charles Vess

A fantastical fairytale-like Read Aloud Picture book for kids is - 'Instructions' - written by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Charles Vess

This fable takes the reader on a fantastical fairytale-like journey. The protagonist encounters enchanted woods, fascinating creatures, and even a castle! All that is sure to make a child’s imagination go wild. 

The art of this book is spellbinding, and the tale has a relaxing vibe to it. It’s definitely a must-read!

Tip: Go for the hardcover version of this book.

Typically recommended for children: Ages 5-9

7. The Paper Dolls – by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Rebecca Cobb

A soul stirring Read Aloud Picture book for kids- The Paper Dolls by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Rebecca Cobb

This sweet story revolves around the theme “Strength in unity.” 

Our protagonist, a little girl, plays with paper dolls that she crafted. Her imagination breathes life into those dolls and creates a fascinating world with unique and interesting characters such as “Jim with two noses” and a literal dinosaur! 

The story ends on a high note that will stir the soul no matter what your age is. But let’s not spoil the ending here.

Typically recommended for children: Ages 4 and above

8. Wolfie the Bunny – written by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by Zachariah Ohara

Celebrate love and respect for animals with the fantastic Read Aloud Picture book for kids- Wolfie the Bunny – written by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by Zachariah Ohara

Dot, a little bunny’s life changes after her family adopts a baby wolf named, Wolfie. Will Dot ever learn to trust her adoptive brother and feel safe around him? 

This book has two things that children love a lot, animals and plenty of characters that can be given funny voices. A must-read-aloud book for children!

Typically recommended for children: Ages 3-6

9. Rosie Revere, Engineer – written by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts

Learn to celebrate your failures with the amazing Read Aloud Picture book for kids- Rosie Revere, Engineer – written by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts

Rosie wants to be an engineer, but her fear of failure keeps her from achieving her dreams. Watch Rosie overcome her fears and learn a valuable lesson, “You only fail if you quit trying.” 

Typically recommended for children: Ages 4 and above

10. Love You Forever – written by Robert Munsch, illustrated by Sheila McGraw

Celebrate the unconditional unflinching selfless love you have for your child with your child with this super fantastic Read Aloud Picture book for kids- Love You Forever – written by Robert Munsch, illustrated by Sheila McGraw

Last, but not the least! Our favourite is- Love You Forever! This heart-warming story revolves around a mother raising her very mischievous son. This book reminds us of the universal truth, and that is – a parent would always love her children no matter how old they grow and no matter how naughty they are. My eyes have welled up each time I’ve read out this book to my little one! 

Typically recommended for children: Ages 2 and above.

That concludes the list of the ten best read-aloud picture books that children would love. These fun and enjoyable books can be a great way to introduce children to a healthy reading habit. The morals learnt from these stories are sure to stick with young readers for a lifetime. And who knows? The children to whom we are reading these books today might want to read these stories to their children when they grow up.

Enjoy the happy hours of read-aloud time daily with your little ones! 

Happy reading!

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