Thursday, March 29, 2012

Best Read Aloud Books For K through 2?

Story time is a tricky bit of business in a small library.

When space is at a premium, the natives can get a little restless, even with some awesome coloring pages for distraction.  So I've been testing out various types of read aloud stories this year to see what works -- and what decidedly does not -- in terms of holding attention through an entire story.

The big answer?  Action, suspense, and rhyming all win out over a convoluted and involved tale pretty much every time, especially with the kindergarteners and first graders whose attention spans are still developing.

Which books have been big hits this year, you ask?

-- The Miss Smith Reads series. But perhaps that is because their librarian is named Mrs. Smith, and they all get a kick out of me reading the books.  They are quite good, though, nice action pulling you along at every page and wonderful illustrations.

-- Anything by Dr. Seuss. Classics become classics for very good reasons. Kids love these books.

-- Speaking of classics, certain authors still resonate well: Leo Lionni, Robert McCloskey, Beatrix Potter, and Eric Carle spring to mind.

But I know there are a lot more gems out there waiting to be found. I'm trying to put together a more comprehensive list of favorite read aloud stories -- and I'd love your thoughts on books that your kids may have adored when they were little. Especially ones they still adore -- and perhaps are reading to their own children if they are grown up.

Please share. I'm looking for some more fun reads for my library.

(Photo by Christy Hardin Smith.)

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