Friday, December 28, 2012

A Beginning List of Books to Read Aloud

 Many many blog posts ago I was asked for a list of books I have read aloud with my child. I will compile a rough list here and add to it as I remember. My child is now 15 and doesn't "enjoy" read aloud time with mom, but I still shoot for chances with him whenever I can get them.

When he was young we read everything. I have always had my favorites though and these are some of them:

the Frances Books by Russell & Lilian Hoban

I am crazy for A Birthday for Frances. It is in my all time top 10. I love Bedtime for Frances, Bread & Jam for Frances, and A Baby Sister for Frances.

Tomie de Paola Books
The Clown of God is also in my all time top 10. I wrote about it here: A Joyful Display -- The Clown of God by Tomie dePaola

Robert McCloskey Books
Make Way for Ducklings is fun to read aloud, and Blueberries for Sal is another in my all time top 10. I wrote about that books here: Kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk

My son also loved some Dr. Seuss.
We were big fans of the Sneetches, Thidwick, and Horton. Horton Hatches the Egg is my all time favorite book to read aloud.

My son could recite from memory Mama Do You Love Me?  by Barbara M. Joose (we read it so often - at his request)

He could also "read" to me Where the Wild Things Are.

as well as Freight Train by Donald Crews.

We both enjoyed the stories in the Thomas the Tank Engine: The Complete Collection by Rev. W. Awdry

As we began chapter books, we enjoyed reading some of Beverly Cleary's books such as those of Ramona Quimby, Ribsy and Henry Huggins.

Some titles that I remember us reading in middle elementary were:

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White

Rascal by Sterling North - a DELIGHT to read aloud.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. This is another book that is a joy to read aloud. Roald Dahl writes so well, and the story has so many depths for young and old alike.

Peter Pan and Wendy by J. M.Barrie

We read this edition with illustrations by Robert Ingpen. His illustrations are divine and really take the story reading aloud to a wonderful new level. I am a huge fan and collector of his works.

For me, good art that enhances a story and adds to the joy of reading a book is a must. Robert Ingpen is an artist such as this, his books truly delight me. We read many classics together that were editions with illustrations by him.

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling (illustrated by Robert Ingpen)


Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (illustrated by Robert Ingpen). Ahh pirates, they are very cool! We really loved the pirate phase. Treasure Island really captured this for us and made us big pirate fans for quite awhile.

We read Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi (illustrated by Robert Ingpen)

One of the best parts of the book, unlike the Disney movie is that as soon as Jiminy Cricket is introduced, Pinocchio kills him with a hammer. None of that annoying Disney cricket, yet his ghost makes an appearance.

Bambi: A Life in the Woods by Felix Salten

Another truly wonderful nature story. Don't let the fact that Disney eventually had their hands on this keep you from reading this book. The book is not the movie. It is wonderful!

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (illustrated by Robert Ingpen)

We read the Ingpen version. The classic illustrations by E. H. Shepard (the illustrator of the Winnie the Pooh books) are also wonderful in their beauty and simplicity. I love them as well!

Either way, this book is in my all time top 10. It is a gentle, beautiful story complete with some lovely moments, crazy characters, and Mr. Toad and his insanity. The boy loved this book. It is still one of his favorites.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens  (illustrated by P.J. Lynch)


The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

Reading this book with my child was one of the great moments of parenting him. He had loved deer since he was a toddler, and this story of a boy and his love for his pet fawn and the difficulties of life and growing up was a real moment for the two of us. We read it when he was a 5th grader and it hit him so on target. He very much related to this coming of age story.

Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (illustrated by Robert Ingpen)

Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Reading historical fiction with your child is such a great experience. They are constantly learning things throughout the story. This series may be one of the best ways to learn while being entertained. From the moments of sugaring to Pa riding a blizzard out amidst a snow drift, to Indian raids and winters with hardly any food, all this and so much more awaits in this wonderful series.

Betsy Tacy series by Maude Hart Lovelace

These books were my absolute favorites as a young girl. I decided to begin reading them with my son (a 6th grader). I wasn't sure it would be a hit, they are primarily stories of young girls, however a good story stands not only the test of time but can appeal to a wide audience. We followed Betsy and Tacy from becoming friends at the age of five, through elementary school, into high school and times of friends and boyfriends, through college and Betsy's year abroad in Europe. These are wonderful stories from the early 1900's in rural Minnesota.

A side note is that the first four books have recently been released in one volume. The following six books have been released as 2 books per copy as all pictured above.

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Oh how we adore the Harry Potter books. We had a few days where we did nothing but read aloud together because we were SO captivated by these books. They are remarkable.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (we read this "The Whole Story" version as it has added pictures and notes to aid in understanding the time and story - it is the full unabridged text).

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Such a great book, so filled with things to discuss and have deep conversations with your older middle school child. (Note we read in 8th grade)

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (with original illustrations by E. W. Kemble)
This is one of my favorite books. It has moments of true "laughing out loud" coupled with moments of sheer annoyance (really the King and the Duke are some of the most annoying scum in literature), and moments of tears and joy. Mark Twain is a master. I recommend the illustrated edition by Kemble!

Currently we are reading (slowly but surely)
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Charles Green illustrated the story in 1861 which can be found in the 2 volume Annotated Dickens set (if you want to really geek out on books like me).

Orlick . . . very soon among the coal-dust

Well, that's it for now. There are others which I will add as they spring to mind.

1 comment:

  1. Aaah. This is what I was looking for... thank you for sharing.