The top 100 must-read books for parents to read aloud to their kids.

I can still remember the very first time I read aloud to one of my children.

My very first baby was only a couple of months old, and it was clear that both she and I were getting more than a bit bored holed up in our little house for those long, cold, winter days. She was fussy. I was fussy. So I picked up a board book, the only one we had, and I lay on the floor beside her. I held the book up in the air and began reading and turning the pages — and something magical happened.

Reading Aloud

Reading aloud gave me a new way to connect to my little girl. And to this exhausted mother’s relief, it didn’t involve me carrying on endless one-sided conversations, shaking toys, or making silly faces in order to keep her happy. I discovered an amazing parenting tool that day that has formed our family culture.

Finding Good Read-Alouds

But that very first board book I read to my oldest all those years ago? It kinda stunk. I’ve had to do a lot of searching over the years to find the good ones — you know, the books that grown-ups don’t mind reading, and kids ask for again and again.

A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”

C. S. Lewis

Several years (and babies!) later, reading aloud to my kids has become one of my most favourite parts of parenting. The snuggles. The stories. The giggles. From those very first board books enjoyed with baby snuggled on my lap, to enjoying action-packed adventures with my older kids while they beg for “one more chapter!” , there isn’t anything like it.

Your public library is probably filled, like mine, with choices. But nobody wants to pick a dud or waste their time on a book that lets them down. That’s why I’m sharing with you this list of 100 must-read books that are sure to be enjoyable for both you AND your children. From picture books to chapter books, classics to living authors, this list is chock full of books to build memories with!

I’ve also included a printable version of this list that you can tuck into your purse, take along with you to the library, or keep on hand for those times when you need a trusty list to help you find your next book.

Top 100 Books to Read Aloud to Your Kids with printable booklist!

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100 of the Best Books to Read Aloud to Your Children

Must-Read Picture Books to Read Aloud

These fantastic read-alouds are perfect for younger children, but many are enjoyable even for older kids. Use these selections for snuggling up with your babies, toddlers, preschoolers and big kids too!

1. Moo, Ba, La La La! by Sandra Boynton

2. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle

3. Go, Dog. Go! by P. D. Eastman

4. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

5. Mucha! Muncha! Muncha! by Candace Fleming

6 Tops & Bottoms by Janet Stevens

7. The Napping House by Audrey Wood

8. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

9. The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman

10. This is My Home, This is My School by Jonathan Bean

11. Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney

12. Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

13. Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey

14. Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

15. Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina

16. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

17. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

18. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

19. The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

20. Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola

21. Stone Soup by Marcia Brown

22. Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag

23. Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel

24. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton

25. Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne

26. Little Bear by Elsa Holmelund Minarik

27. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig

28. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

29. Curious George by H. A. Rey

30. The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones

31. The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

32. Brave Irene by William Steig

33. A Chair for My Mother by Vera B Williams

34. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judy Barrett

35. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

36. Miss Nelson is Missing by Harry G. Allard

37. The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Grahame

38. Something from Nothing by Phoebe Gilman

39. The Apple Pie that Papa Baked by Laura Thompson

40. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

Related: Snowy Books for Snowy Days: Great Winter Picture Books

Must Read Chapter Books to Read Aloud

These are my favourite type of read-aloud by far! There isn’t anything I love more than well-written kid-lit and this list is sure to please parents as much as it does kids!

Start with the shorter books that have lots of pictures once your little ones are showing signs of longer attention spans, and then move on up as their appetites and attention grows.

The Ultimate Guide to Keeping Busy Kids Quiet (&Engaged!) During Read Alouds - 50 Ideas for keeping hands busy and kids quiet!

41. Charlotte’s Web by E B White

42. My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett

43. The Trumpet of the Swan by E B White

44. Stewart Little by E B White

45. Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace

46. Pippy Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

47. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

48. Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder

49. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

50. On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder

51. Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink

52. All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor

53. Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

54. The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary

55. The Cricket in Times Square by George Seldon

56. By the Great Horn Spoon by Sid Fleishman

57. Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

58. In Grandma’s Attic by Arletta Richardson

59. The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic by Jennifer Trafton

60. Henry and the Chalk Dragon by Jennifer Trafton

61. The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes

62. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

63. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C S Lewis

64. Prince Caspian by C S Lewis

65. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C S Lewis

66. The Silver Chair by C S Lewis

67. The Horse and His Boy by C S Lewis

68. The Magician’s Nephew by C S Lewis

69. The Last Battle by C S Lewis

The Wingfeather Saga makes a great read aloud!

Librarians aren’t always right — these books are definitely fantasy and not sci-fi!

70. On The Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson

71. North! Or Be Eaten by Andrew Peterson

72. The Monster in the Hollows by Andrew Peterson

73. The Warden and the Wolf King by Andrew Peterson

74. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit

75. The Green Ember by S D Smith

76. Ember Falls by S D Smith

77. Ember Rising by S D Smith

78. Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery

79. Mary Poppins by P L Travers

80. Nurse Matilda by Christianna Brand

81. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

82. The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson

83. The Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum

84. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

85. Little Men by Louisa May Alcott

86. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

87. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

88. Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier

89. The Bark of the Bog Owl by Jonathan Rogers

90. The Secret of the Swamp King by Jonathan Rogers

91. The Way of the Wilderking  by Jonathan Rogers

92. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

93. Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson

94. Peter Pan by J M Barrie

95. The Railroad Children by E Nesbit

96. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

97. Sarah Plain & Tall by Patricia MacLachlan


Related: 10 Excellent Early Chapter Books for Newly Independent Readers

Funny Stories to Read Aloud to Your Children

These selections are sure to add a few giggles to your read-aloud time!

98. Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar

99. Mrs Piggle Wiggle by Betty MacDonald

100. Mr Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Keeping Busy Kids Quiet (& Engaged!) During Read Alouds

Need more read aloud inspiration?

If there’s one thing I’m passionate about, it’s reading, reading aloud, and books. Looking for help, inspiration or ideas? I’ve got you covered!

And don’t forget to check out more 100 Things from the bloggers of iHomeschool Network.

100 Things A cache of homeschooling and family treasures

What are your favourite read alouds? Share in the comments, and don’t forget to grab your free printable booklist!







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