As a children’s librarian, one of my favorite tasks is storytime. Introducing children to awesome books, planning activities that they will love, and keeping them engaged with songs and fingerplays is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job.
Here are my top 5 favorite read-alouds for storytime.
5. How Do Dinosaurs? series by Jane Yolen
Everyone who knows me is aware of the fact that I love dinosaurs. I’ve been fascinated by them since I was a child, so when I stumbled across Yolen’s How Do Dinosaurs? series, I got really excited. Not only are these books concise and easy for children to understand, but they also teach manners and what you should and should not do in a given situation. The kids tend to be completely absorbed in these books, and if you ask them if dinosaurs should or should not be doing something depicted in the book, they’ll yell out “Yes” or “No!” Anything that engages kids in the plot is a winner in my book.
4. "I’m Not Cute" – Jonathan Allen
I’m Not Cute is one of the books in a series featuring a baby owl. Even though this owl insists that he isn’t cute, everyone tells him otherwise, and we all know that he is, in fact, absolutely adorable. The kids love the owl, and with this book in particular, it’s easy for them to relate, as they’re also told how cute they are all the time.
3. I Need My Monster - Amanda Noll
My friend, Christina, actually introduced me to this book during a mock storytime in a Children’s Resource class, and I have been hooked on it ever since. I love the style of the art, and the plot, a kid auditioning other monsters to take on the role of “monster under the bed” after his designated monster goes on a trip, is a wonderful combination of awesome. The kids laugh and “eww” simultaneously, and I’ve found this book to be especially great for Kindergarten and First Graders. It is one of my favorite books to use for Halloween.
2. Anything by Mo Willems
Honestly, who doesn’t love Mo Willems? His characters are hilarious, and the kids crack up the entire time I read them anything he has written. It’s also really easy to incorporate the kids into the book, especially his Pigeon series, as the characters often talk directly to the reader. Funny picture books are my personal favorite, and really, how can you go wrong with these books?
1. Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes – Eric Litwin
Without a doubt, Pete the Cat is my absolute favorite book to read to kids. The message of the book, to keep calm even if things aren’t going your way, is an important one for children to understand, and best of all, children love Pete! His “I love my ___ shoes” song is an easy one for the kids to memorize, and they love singing along as Pete steps in one thing after another. They also beg me to re-read it whenever I bring it with me (and, of course, I happily oblige), so if that isn’t a sign of an awesome picture book, I don’t know what is.
What are your favorite read-alouds?