Books to Read Aloud with Your Child

While cleaning out my email tonight, I found this list that my daughter’s kindergarten teacher of books to read aloud to your kids. It’s such a great list, I thought I’d share it here. I believe she got it from Pizza Hut Book It! Program. They have some great resources there, so be sure to check it out!

20th Century Children's bookI was very impressed by this list. We have definitely read all of the Infant to Preschool books. We haven’t read all of the “All Ages” books, because I can’t read The Giving Tree (aka, Call Your Mother) without bursting into tears. And, Little Women as all ages? Um. No. But, we’ve read all of the Infant to Preschool books (thanks in part to The 20th Century Children’s Book Treasury–which is a book I can’t recomend highly enough). We’ve read almost all of the 4-8 Year old books, but I’m excited to try the ones I hadn’t even heard of. Yeah. There were some I hadn’t even heard of. How is that even possible?

As for the 9-12 year old books, we’re just getting to those and I can’t wait to dive in.

How about you? Have you read all of these to your kids? Are there any favorites? Are there any you think were left out?

All ages:

  • The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
  • Heidi by Johanna Spyri

Infant to Preschool

  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  • Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr.
  • The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
  • Corduroy by Don Freeman
  • The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
  • The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown
  • Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

4-8 years old

  • The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  • Love You Forever by Robert N. Munsch
  • The Mitten by Jan Brett
  • Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
  • Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss
  • Strega Nona by Tomie De Paola
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
  • The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
  • The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by John Archambault
  • The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne
  • If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff
  • The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
  • Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
  • Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg
  • Math Curse by Jon Scieszka
  • Are You My Mother by Phillip D. Eastman
  • Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
  • One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss
  • The Napping House by Audrey Wood
  • Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
  • Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss
  • Basil of Baker Street by Eve Titus
  • The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
  • Curious George by Hans Augusto Rey
  • Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox
  • Arthur series by Marc Brown
  • Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
  • The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
  • Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish
  • The Art Lesson by Tomie De Paola
  • Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
  • Clifford, the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell
  • Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss
  • The Paper Bag Princess by Robert N. Munsch
  • The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
  • Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

9-12 years old

  • Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
  • Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  • Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  • Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L ‘Engle
  • Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  • Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
  • Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
  • Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
  • Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
  • The BFG by Roald Dahl
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  • Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
  • Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner
  • Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
  • Mrs. Frisby and the Rats fo Nimh by Robert C. O’Brien
  • The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
  • Matilda by Roald Dahl
  • Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
  • Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
  • The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White
  • The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
  • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  • Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
  • Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
  • Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Lois Sachar
  • Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
  • A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
  • Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater
  • My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
  • Stuart Little by E. B. White
  • Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
  • The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
  • The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 by Chirstopher Paul Curtis

Young Adult

  • Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls
  • The Cay by Theodore Taylor
  • The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare

Summer Reading for Kids

There’s a great post on my publisher’s blog today about summer reading lists for kids. Amanda Forrester makes a great list of classics every child should read. Check it out and comment there–or here–about some of your favorites. Any that shouldn’t be on the list? I told her The Three Musketeers and The Scarlet Pimpernel were not good choices for kids.

Summer Reading Blog

Saturday Book Recommendation: A Mother for Choco

motherforchocoSeveral years ago, when The Professor and I still lived in Tennessee my sister sent me a book when she learned we were working toward getting home study approved for domestic adoption. We were always open to any ethnicity and this book is perfectly geared just to that. But it certainly works for all forms of adoption and it’s great for non-adopted kids to learn about families that don’t necessarily all look alike.

Now, both our girls love this book. They know it’s a special book and it reminds them how special our family is. I want them to always recognize our differences and embrace them and not feel excluded because of them.

So Choco is this funny looking bird & he’s looking for his mom. He goes up to all these animals to see if they’re his mom because they share features (walrus & his big cheeks) but he can’t ever find anyone who looks like him. Then he stumbles upon Ms. Bear and she comforts him and brings him home for pie where he meets her other kids – three different animals. It’s charming and sweet and one of our favorites & I wanted to share it with you.

Children’s Book Recommendation

As moms we know you understand how busy life gets. Right now life is super busy for our blogging mamas. We should have loads of new content soon, but until then, here’s a book recommendation for those of you with little girls in your life who don’t like to brush their hair.

Princess Galen hates to brush her hair, so when I found this book at an indie bookstore, I had to buy it.


The story is so cute and not preachy at all. Basically, this little girl won’t brush her hair and a few mice move in. Pretty soon, she has so many mice living in her hair, they eat her lunch at school.

photo(7)And they keep her up at night telling Knock, Knock jokes.

photo(5) copyShe loves the mice, but something has got to give. It’s a sweet, funny book kids from 3+ would love.

Have you found any new favorites?

I do some stuff right….

There’s so much pressure in our world to have the perfect life or to at least strive for it. I know I fall into this trap a lot. But here’s the truth, my life is messy, my house gets messy, I’m always behind on laundry, my writing is messy, I don’t consistently exercise (though I’m working on this), I eat entirely too many m&m’s and I’m so not a perfect mom. But every now and then I do something that makes me proud of where I am that day, sometimes it’s only one tiny thing, but you know I’ll take it. So here are some things that I (mostly) do right…

miss_spiders_tea_partyI read to my kids. Even when it’s reading the same I-can-read book that has no plot, and zero excitement. I don’t play with them nearly enough – as in getting on the floor and grabbing a Barbie and using my imagination with them. But I do read them books. And I dance with them. And I snuggle them and get silly with them.

I’ve finally conquered the paper monster. I don’t know about y’all, but we get an extraordinary amount of mail, I’d say about 80% of this is crap (junk mail, flyers, political crap & credit card offers – you know what’s irritating? credit card offers from companies where you already have a credit card – check your mailing list, people). But after many trial and errors for the right process and solution, I finally have one that works that keeps paperwork from eating my house. (for the most part…)

IMG_0941I make sure we eat pretty healthily *most* of the time. My girls get lots of fruit and they eat veggies even if they don’t want to. And they have to try new things, even if the chicken is “wet” (Emily, can you believe Babybee said that to me last week? She is so my kid!) They snack on raisins and trail mix with nuts. I try to make sure that we’re all set for the week with healthy go-to foods, boiled eggs, cut up veggies, fruit, etc.

I learn from my mistakes. I don’t know about y’all, but I screw up all the time, in all areas of my life, but especially in parenting. But I think I learn from my mistakes and try to correct things in the future. As much as I hate it, I do recognize when I’m wrong and try to move forward in a better direction.

Hopefully there are other things I do right, but that’s my list for today. I could fill a book with all the things I do wrong, but I think we put too much focus on those things. Sometimes we need to step back and acknowledge that we do do some things very right. So what are your things that you’re doing right?

Share a Book Saturday

Little kids love to be scared. Perhaps I should rephrase that. They love to be surprised. Any game with a “boo” at the end is a winner. So it stands to reason any book with a surprise element is a winner too.


Recently I had to read a book to Baby Galen’s class. I asked her to choose the book I’d read, because really she’s going to make me read the book she wants anyway, so I might as well pretend it’s her choice. She picked Open Very Carefully: A Book with Bite. This is a super cute book that pretends to be a retelling of The Ugly Ducking but is really a book about a surprise crocodile trying to get out of the book.


If you’re looking for a gift for the under 5 crowd or a new book to share with your child, try this cute one by Nick Bromley and Nicola O’Byrne.

Shana Galen, Multitasker Mama
I’m Shana Galen, AKA Multitasker Mama (and aren’t we all?). I’m a wife, mom to a three-year-old daughter I call Baby Galen. My parenting motto is, “Keep moving. Don’t pass out. Don’t throw up.” Or maybe that’s my fitness motto?

Bring a Book Saturday–Boo’s Dinosaur

It seems like just yesterday Baby Galen could not sit still while I read a picture book. Actually, that was yesterday. But once in a while she can sit still, and now that she is “a big girl” who constantly tells me, “I’m big, Mommy. I’m big. Right, Mommy?” she wants to read Big Kid Books. She insisted on taking Beezus and Ramona home from the library. Yeah. That didn’t go over so well. But we also accidentally stumbled upon a book by Betsy Byars titled Boo’s Dinosaur.

boo's dino

Betsy Byars usually writes books geared for late elementary school/early middle school, but this book is perfect for a 3 or 4 year old with an imagination. It has glorious pictures on every page and a cute little protagonist and her put-upon older brother. We have read it again and again. And we just ordered another in the series, Boo’s Surprise.

boo and dino

If you’re looking for something with chapters that is simple and easy for kids to understand, this would make a great before-bed read.