Monday, November 9, 2009

Read Alouds

Recently a reader asked me to suggest some chapter books that she could read aloud to her boys, ages 1,2,4 and 6 (if I remember correctly!). I am going to list some books that I think are appropriate for young boy listeners, but first I am going to list a few resources that I use when I am choosing books for our family.

Books Children Love by Elizabeth Wilson--This is my favorite guide to children's literature. The books are categorized by subject (such as animals, Bible and moral teaching, biography, crafts,history, geography, humor, language, etc.) and then the literature category is further broken down into three levels. Each book listed in this guide has a brief summary. I do not go to the library or order books online without this book in hand!

How to Grow a Young Reader by Kathryn Lindskoog and Ranelda Mack Hunsicker--another guide for children's literature. This book has more general information than the above book. It also lists the books by category, gives a brief summary, and also gives a grade level for each book.

Who Then Should We Read by Jan Bloom--This book is different the than the two previous books I listed. Instead of giving a summary of the books, it provides a brief biological sketch of numerous authors, then it lists all of the books written by that author. This is a nice resource to learn about quality authors, and also to discover other books that were written by your favorite authors. The authors are categorized by their genre. This book also includes all of the books in various series (like Childhood of Famous Americans, and Landmark books), and provides reading level suggestions too.

Honey For A Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt--The first part of this book is entitled, "Using Books to Help Children Grow", and it provides information about the purpose of and benefits of children's literature. Part 2 includes booklists with brief summaries. These lists are divided into categories and also by age level.

Sonlight Catalog --I use this catalog much like I use my "reference books". I look for books by particular authors or subjects, and I read the summaries that the catalog provides. Sonlight lists its books by grade level and subject.

All of the above resources, with the exception of Who Then Shall We Read? include an extensive index. I can easily find a book in question and read the summary and suggested age level.

Now, for specific titles for reading aloud to small boys. These are some books that Clay liked at a younger age (my girls too!). In fact, they all still like these books, but I think they would be enjoyed by boys 6 and under.

Beverly Cleary books such as Henry and the Paper Route, Ribsy, Ramona the Brave, and really any of the other Cleary books too.
George Selden--A Cricket in Times Square, Chester Cricket's Pigeon Ride, Harry Kitten and Tucker Mouse
The Bears on Hemlock Mountain by Alice Dalgliesh
The Matchlock Gun by Walter D. Edmonds
Elizabeth Yates--A Place for Peter, and Mountain Born

Girls of this age usually love the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. In fact, I am currently reading Little House in the Big Woods to Leah (and Sam) at bedtime.


  1. I love that Sonlight forces me to read aloud to my kids. There never seemed to be time to squeeze it in before. I remember fondly the books my dad used to read to me. We read all the Chronicles of Narnia and the Lord of the Rings. My parents and I still read many of the same books. What a treasure!

  2. Don't forget biographies!! I just started one with Jackson (everybody else is reading one on their own) about John Smith. He is fascinated!! We are reading the one from the World Explorer series and it is keeping his interest. He is asking for more than the 2 chapters I am reading to him each day. : )

    Love your resource lists. Most of those are some of my favorites as well.

  3. Thank you so very much, Roan!!!! I clipped this and will keep it as a reference!!! Your advice is like gold to me! Thanks again!